Showing posts with label Zack Greinke. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Zack Greinke. Show all posts

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Royals Trade Zack Greinke to Milwaukee

This Hot Stove season has been everything a baseball fan could hope.

UPDATE: Word is that Jeremy Jeffress is not in the deal and that a PTBNL is the fourth part of the Royals' return package.

UPDATE 2: But that word is wrong and Jeffress is headed to Kansas City.

Last night the Kansas City Royals and Milwaukee Brewers agreed on a trade that will send ace starter Zack Greinke and much maligned shortstop Yuneisky Betancourt to Milwaukee for young center fielder Lorenzo Cain, speedy shortstop Alcides Escobar and two top pitching prospects: Jake Odorizzi and Jeremy Jeffress.

Wow, is the word that comes to mind. Though I imagine the few remaining Royals fans are thinking in less family friendly terms. The deal actually isn't too bad. It may actually be the best deal Dayton Moore has made.

Lorenzo Cain was a favorite to unseat Carlos Gomez as the starting center fielder in Milwaukee in the upcoming season. Cain has above average, maybe even great speed. He is definitely a quality basestealer. He has very little homerun power right now. However, he has shown that he has the patience to draw walks and has shown signs that he knows what he is doing at the plate. If he continues to develop he should be the Royals' best option as leadoff hitter.

Alcides Escobar was supposed to become one of the stolen base leaders in the National League. Unfortunately he failed to hit as expected in 2010 and found himself with a manager who was not a fan of the stolen base. I was actually looking forward to watching Escobar rebound this season under new manager Ron Roenicke. Escobar doesn't walk much which hurts his on-base percentage and he swings at a ton of pitches out of the strike zone. He does make good contact and has fantastic speed so he still has a great chance to contribute to a fantasy team.

Jake Odorizzi and Jeremy Jeffress were the Brewers best pitching prospects. Ordorizzi is a potential ace starter which awesome stuff. He has a great fastball and a variety of quality pitches to complement it. He had a nice 10.07 K9 last season in the minors and a very decent 46 percent groundball rate. He is the real deal. Jeffress throws the ball with triple digit velocity and has been compared to Dwight Gooden very frequently. He has an other worldly strikeout rate but struggles to gain even decent control. Many analyst believe that he will eventually move to the bullpen and become a top closer.

The Brewers have just about emptied their farm system between the Greinke and Marcum deals but have put together what is likely a top five starting rotation. The Brewers had one of the better offenses in the National League last season so they should be a much improved team. Greinke will love pitching in the National League because he will get to hit (something he never wanted to stop doing) and he will finally get to pitch in meaningful games. Greinke joins Marcum at the top of NL-only wish lists.

The 2011 season is going to be a ton of fun.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Hot Stove Update: The Dodgers Making Moves

Things are getting interesting around the ol' Hot Stove.

The Red Sox are Hot 'n Heavy for Carl Crawford.
This surprises me a little because I figured with Jacoby Ellsbury coming back they would be more interested in a power hitter. But only a little, Crawford is easily the best position player available and the Red Sox are one of the teams that have mounds of available cash and an outfield opening. Who plays center field? Ellsbury, I guess...

The Yankees and Derek Jeter are looking at each other funny. The Yankees are suddenly acting like cheapskates when it comes to the Captain. He deserves every penny he's asking for for being one of the few superstar players that did not let us down during the steroid era. He had a down 2010 season but he isn't done just yet. The Yankees may want to phase Jeter away from shortstop, and that's understandable, but they should not force Jeter to play for the Baltimore Orioles. The popularity hit they would take is a lot bigger than they seem to think.

Someone is flooding the internet with rumors of Zack Greinke and the Yankees being a better match than most have speculated. Greinke has suffered from anxiety and bouts of depression. Most think that the pressure of New York would be too much for him. I submit that the man was depressed playing for the Kansas City Royals, who wouldn't be? The Yankees are about as far from the Royals as an organization as you can get. Plus, the Yankees clubhouse is very protective of their younger players and Greinke would get a ton of support. That said, I still don't buy him coming to New York.

What is Adrian Beltre looking for? He turned down $64 million from the Athletics. For certain, the Athletics are not the ideal team for Beltre but other than re-signing with the Red Sox (still a possibility) teams like the Angels and Orioles seem like bad fits as well. The Rangers would be nice but are they really looking to add an expensive third baseman with Michael Young on the roster?

The Giants are hoping they don't need to shop for a third baseman. Pablo Sandoval in an effort to re-gain the starting position he lost in the playoffs has begun a rigorous off-season program to lose weight and get in better shape. He has hooked up with Triple Threat Performance, the experts that are famous for working with major leaguers like Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez and Gary Sheffield. Hey! No steroid jokes about Kung-Fu Panda.

Major Free Agent Signings

The Los Angeles Dodgers signed free agent infielder Juan Uribe.

The strangest thing about this signing is the report that Juan Uribe turned down essentially the same three-year, $21 million offer to stay with the World Series Champion, San Francisco Giants. The Dodgers plan to start Uribe at second base and to emphasize that plan they traded away infielder Ryan Theriot. It is not official yet, the Giants wasted no time signing Miguel Tejada to a one-year contract to be their starting shortstop in 2011. However, the Giants are supposedly still interested in acquiring Tampa Bay shortstop Jason Bartlett.

Uribe posted a career high walk rate and hit a career high 24 homers in 575 at-bats. Uribe has nice power for a shortstop. Although his BABIP was very low at .256 (career .282) fantasy owners should not expect much of a rebound in batting average. Uribe has a swing at everything approach that doesn't jive with his mediocre contact rates. He should continue to provide pretty much the same stats as a Dodger. Dodger Stadium is slightly better for homeruns but suppresses scoring at a rate similar to AT&T Park.

I find it interesting that the Dodgers have been fairly aggressive to start the off season. I guess I assumed that the divorce would be an impediment to progress. The Dodgers are one of the teams I want to root for to do well. Unfortunately they have lousy ownership and a GM in Ned Colletti that hasn't convinced me he knows what he's doing so far. So far so good for 2011.

Texas Rangers signed Japanese free agent right-hander, Yoshinori Tateyam.

The Rangers have signed Yoshinori Tateyam to a split contract that means he will be paid differently depending on whether or not he makes the major league club. Tateyam features a fastball that sits around 90 mph, a screwball that he features against left-handed batters and excellent control. He apparently has a very deceptive delivery that should at least make him effective the first time around the American League, assuming he makes the team. He isn't a threat to steal the closer job at this point so his fantasy value should be minimal.

The Trades

The Los Angeles Dodgers traded middle infielder Ryan Theriot to the St. Louis Cardinals for right-handed reliever, Blake Hawksworth.

The 2010 season was not a good one for Ryan Theriot. He pretty much had his worst season as a professional. He will play the 2011 season at age 31, so it isn't too hard to envision a bounce-back season. The Cardinals are apparently planning to move him back to shortstop, where Theriot claims he is more comfortable. What that means for the light-hitting Brendan Ryan is still a question to be answered.

Theriot usually provides a decent on-base percentage. His walk rate has been all over the place but his career 8.4 percent walk rate is probably about right for projecting. He has a good eye at the plate and a strong contact rate complemented by his above average speed on the bases. If his BABIP once again approaches his career level, Theriot should be able to hit for a batting average in the .275-.285 level and steal at least 20 bases. As a shortstop he has more fantasy value than some might expect.

Blake Hawksworth is a typical right-handed reliever. He had a very unfortunate 2010 season, but has the potential to be a solid middle reliever. His fantasy value should be minimal.

Other Significant Transactions

Texas Rangers signed free agent C Yorvit Torrealba.

Atlanta Braves signed free agent C Wilkin Castillo.

Pittsburgh Pirates outrighted Andy LaRoche to Indianapolis Indians.

LF Wilkin Ramirez assigned to Atlanta Braves.

St. Louis Cardinals signed free agent LHP Brian Tallet.

Pittsburgh Pirates signed free agent RHP Fernando Nieve.

Pittsburgh Pirates signed free agent 3B Andy Marte.

Pittsburgh Pirates signed free agent C Dusty Brown.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Hot Stove Update: Heilman, Thompson, Grabow and Stuff!

(This bad-ass photo of Cy Young Winner Tim Lincecum was taken by Brad Mangini of

You should see the Yankees Fantasy Report later this afternoon. The Hot Stove season has wasted little time getting going. We have already seen a handful of trades and signings. The Rule V draft is coming and there always seems to be someone drafted that has a major league impact. Last year it was Everett Cabrera who I attempted to grab in my primary NL-only but failed to acquire. The lesson I learned is not to wait until dollar days for the guys you really want. Even if you expect to get them for $2, there is always some owner who hasn't spent his money hanging around to steal your guy! Okay, maybe it was his guy too, but you take my meaning.

The Arizona Diamondbacks strengthened their bullpen by acquiring right-hander Aaron Heilman from the Cubs for a pair of minor leaguers. (LINK)

I like this move for the Diamondbacks. Heilman is not an ideal closer but he has stuff that I think he can rediscover if he's over his pouting about being a starter. Oddly, Heilman was dealt to save the Cubs a few bucks which they used to sign a lesser pitcher. But more on that later. The D'Backs are thin enough in the bullpen that Heilman becomes a potential saves candidate should anything happen to Chad Qualls. The minor leaguers don't appear to be worthy of fantasy consideration at this point.

The Royals agreed to a Minor League contract with former Cardinals right-hander Brad Thompson. (LINK)

This is a good move by the Royals. If Dayton Moore understands anything about team building it is that good relievers can be had. Thompson is unestablished by showed some tools in the past. It was worth the minor league contract to find out if he can harness them. We will have to wait to see how things develop for the Royals before deciding on his chances of having some fantasy impact.

The Cubs and left-hander reliever John Grabow have agreed on a two-year deal worth $7.5 million. (LINK)

Dave Cameron of went off on this earlier but Grabow is a lefty specialist who is overrated due to his ERA. We fantasy owners like it when our relievers experience good fortune but we smart fantasy owners don't bet on it happening again.

Free-Agent outfielder Jason Bay rejected an offer believed to include four years and around $60 million. This comes from's Jon Heyman. (LINK)

I have no inside information on how far the Red Sox are willing to go to sign Jason Bay. However, if this report is true and Bay really wanted to return to Boston he probably should have taken the deal. Bay will probably find someone willing to give him more years but I doubt he'll do much better on an annual basis. I do think Bay will continue to be a pretty good fantasy player for a few more years but we've already seen his steal totals erode along with his defense. It is all downhill from here.

Tom Hicks may manage to hold on to the Texas Rangers. Hicks is putting together a group of local investors, including Hall of Fame quarterback Roger Staubach, for a bid that would enable him to keep majority ownership of the team. (LINK)

I hope Hicks pulls it off. The Rangers have been doing incredibly good work lately. I would hate to see it screwed up by some idiot looking to make an impact.

Tim Lincecum won the 2009 NL Cy Young Award, and became the first repeat winner since Randy Johnson won four straight times from 1999-2002. (LINK)

I love Timmy. There is no pitcher I would rather have on a fantasy team right now.

Zack Greinke won the 2009 AL Cy Young beating Felix Hernandez by a wide margin. (LINK)

I love Zack. There is no pitcher I would rather have on an AL-only fantasy roster right now. If you listen to Greinke's comments you can see that he still suffers quite a bit of social anxiety. I hope he's continuing to get help.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

The 2009 Fantasy Player of the Year!

I have trouble believing that anyone could go outside of these three players. On the outside edge you might be able to make a case for Carl Crawford but his 2009 season is not really all that far off from his typical performances. Though in the first half it seemed like he might be headed towards a record breaking stolen base total.

Personally, I think it has to be Joe Mauer both for his performance and the price he likely went for in auctions. Albert Pujols cost $40-plus in just about every league, we know at this point that he'll hit for average and 40 homers and what that will cost. Zack Grienke probably was not as expensive but he is also a pitcher who did not collect many wins. Cy Young? Yes. Fantasy Player of the year? Not so certain. Mauer was hurt the first month of the season and had to come at a severe discount in most leagues. My vote is for Mauer.

Who is your pick and why? Let's discuss in the comments.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Roundtable: Greinke, Verlander, or Lester

This week's Fantasy Baseball Roundtable is hosted by Fantasy Phenoms. This is one of my favorite fantasy sites and you should definitely become a frequent visitor. Brett Greenfield asks us a loaded question this week:

Three pitchers who have exceeded expectations so far are Jon
, Zack Greinke and Justin Verlander. Owners of these pitchers have been relying on them as weekly starters who play an intricate role for their fantasy teams. All three are on pace to strike out over 240 batters. If you had to choose one of these pitchers to continue this trend, who would it be? Why?
The collective answers are fairly interesting. All three pitchers received votes. I was the only one to pick my choice but I'm okay with that. I like being on the outside of the groupthink.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Trade Jose Reyes for Greinke, Jones, and Hill?

I'm in a 14 team 4 player keeper league that is now in its fifth year. I can't sleep at night with a feeling of buyers remorse after making a trade yesterday. I decided to deal my fantasy God Jose Reyes for Zack Greinke, Adam Jones, and Aaron Hill. I have owned Reyes since his career began but this trade seemed so interesting. Did I do the wrong thing here in getting rid of Reyes for possibly some players who could be over performing now. Honestly I just wanted to hear an outside opinion because I'm getting ripped apart on the boards in my league.

-- Scott
I think you can relax, Scott. I think you made a great deal for yourself. It is always hard when you give up the unquestioned best player in the deal. You are right that Zack Greinke probably will not have an earned run average under 1.00 for the entire season. Adam Jones is unlikely to bat for a .380 average. Aaron Hill may hit 20 homeruns but I would be shocked if he hit the 30-plus for which he is presently on pace. But that is no reason to worry.
Zack Greinke is becoming the ace pitcher he was always projected to be. He should be a Cy Young contender all season. He is striking out better than a batter per inning which is excellent for a starter but only slightly better than the pace has established over the last few seasons. His BABIP is .292 so far which indicates that he hasn't been particularly lucky with balls in play. He induces ground balls so he should limit the damage that flyballs can do as well. FanGraphs has him with an FIP of 1.38 (compare it to ERA if you aren't familiar -- with some luck factors removed) so it is not an illusion, he is in fact pitching like an ace.

Adam Jones
has been projected as a potential 30/30 star outfielder by dozens of analysts including me. In addition, Jones was predicted to ready for a breakout entering this season by just about every fantasy writer in the business. He is being more patient at the plate so far with 9.1 percent walk rate compared to a 5.2 percent career rate. His contact rate has improved and swinging at better pitches naturally leads to better numbers. I believe the batting average will come down to the .290-.300 range. But the power? The power is here to stay. I think we're looking at a very real 30/30 ((okay, maybe 30/20) season in the making.

I've always liked Aaron Hill a little more than most. Probably because I drafted him as a minor leaguer in my primary AL-only and he contributed to a championship. Hill is getting lucky at the plate so far. His walk and strikeout rates are right at his career averages. His BABIP is at .388, almost 70 points over his career average. His career high in homeruns is just 17 (hit the year before his injury) but at age 27 he would not be the first player with experience to see a power spike. I doubt he hits 30 homers but a career high in the 20-25 range would not be ridiculous. His average will come closer to his career .289 average. Some might consider this a disappointing analysis but a .290 average with 20-plus homers from second base is not a bad thing.

I have to assume Scott, because he made the deal that he is not concerned with stolen bases because this is the area you will no doubt lose the most. Jose Reyes is in a mini-slump after starting the season fairly hot. This is mostly the result of an unlucky streak. His BABIP is .283, almost 40 points below his 2008 level and 27 points below his career level. I am not at all worried about Reyes' production. Jones will lessen that loss slightly but the big benefit in this trade is in homeruns, Runs, RBI, and adding the (presently anyway) best pitcher in baseball. You should relax Scott, and tell your league mates they can drink out of your championship trophy at the end of the season...after they admit they were wrong.