Once again a New York team makes a huge free agency splash. The big news from yesterday in free agency was Jose Peraza signing with the Yankees. With the loss of Tyler Wade, the Yankees could not afford to go into the season with Gio Urshela at short without an All-Star caliber shortstop backup. At the press conference, Brian Cashman stepped up to the mic and misquoted Jay-Z, saying, “I’m not a cash man, I’m a Cashman.” Reporters’ hands shot up to ask questions, and Cashman called on one in the front row, who asked, “Is it true you signed Jose Peraza because of his ability to do a well-choreographed handshake in the dugout after someone else does something good?” Cashman screamed, “NO MORE QUESTIONS!” and ran off the stage. Then a title comes on the screen that reads, “Three weeks ago…”
This is the opening to my Freaky Friday-like role reversal movie where the Yankees become the Mets and Vice Versa, another great role reversal film. The Mets as the Yankees are Fred Savage and Lindsay Lohan in this equation. Mets signed Max Scherzer, while the Yankees’ fans watched Jose Peraza do a really cool handshake. “Yanks gonna bring back Clint Frazier on a minor league deal and trade him for Max Scherzer, right? Right?!” That’s Twitter user, BingBong27rings. Anyway, Max Scherzer for 2022 fantasy baseball and other free agency news:
3. Scherzer and deGrom
2. Koufax and Drysdale
1. Braves’ rotations in the 1990s for, like, ten years
That’s the top three all-time front-end of a rotation. Wanna throw in Pedro and Schilling? Okay. Trying to squeeze in Verlander and Cole? Sure, try it. I dare you! I’m kidding, it’s irrelevant for fantasy baseball, but it is kinda interesting to wonder if Max Scherzer and Jacob deGrom are historically in the top 5? What is this, a bad Chris Rock film? “Tupac, Biggie, Scherzer, deGrom, Eminem.” That’s my top 5!
Last year, Max Scherzer went 11.8 K/9, 1.8 BB/9, 3.24 xFIP, 2.46 ERA with a .247 BABIP. Lowest ERA of his career, but not highest strikeout rate. His velocity has held pretty firm at 94+ MPH and a 85 MPH slider. He had the 4th best fastball (for results) in the majors, and the 2nd best slider. That was sorted by full season IP. When adding deGrom in, Scherzer had the 4th best slider with Clayton Kershaw and deGrom on the 1’s and 2’s. (Joe Musgrove sneaks in there with some quality stank, if you were wondering why Scherzer was 4th and not 3rd.) So, Scherzer and deGrom battle each other for best fastball and slider combo in baseball, but Scherzer’s change is actually a hair better than deGrom, odd from someone with an Al Bundy-sized bald spot. Does that mean Scherzer is actually better than deGrom? When considering one is a lock for 170 IP and one is “being reported as being healthy,” yeah, I think you can comfortably say Scherzer over deGrom.
People call Corey Kluber, the Klubot, but Max Scherzer is way more of a robot. Maybe someone put him together in a scrapyard and covered him in gold melted from the Dwight Gooden Cy Young award that was bought off eBay. It would explain the two different colored eyes from Scherzer. That’s not natural; that’s from someone sourcing materials in a scrapyard. At 37 years old, Scherzer just keeps getting better and better, but let’s be realistic and say he slows a bit this year. Not on the stuff scale, because I can’t imagine Scherzer’s stuff ever coming down, but, due to age, he can only throw 170 IP. Well, Corbin Burnes just won the Cy and only threw 167 IP, so what’s your point? For 2022, I’ll give Max Scherzer projections of 16-5/2.71/0.91/228 in 172 IP.
Robbie Ray – Signed with the Mariners. From Justin Dunn to Just In Pants: The Story of the 2022 Seattle Mariners Rotation. From Kelenic To There’s No Way They’re Hiding A Colonic In Those Pants, My Seattle Mariners Are All Back. From–Sorry! I was working on possible titles for my Seattle Mariners 2022 yearbook. New fan just dropped! That’s me! Love this signing for the M’s and Ray’s fantasy value. The concern that Robbie Ray would have nowhere to go but down after a Cy Young year, and he landed in literally the best pitchers’ park, for last year, at least. T-Mobile tied with Oakland for runs, and was 20th for homers. The one possible bugaboo still left in Ray’s game is homers allowed. Prior to last year, he struggled with command, said Mr. Exposition, and has always struggled a bit with the long ball. Was down to 1.5 HR/9 last year, but that still feels high for a guy with 11.5 K/9, 2.4 BB/9 and just absolute filth and I don’t mean his pants after a game. Seattle is going to help with those homers. Since I had the page open for Scherzer, Ray had the 8th best fastball (when sorting back to a full season), and the 10th best slider. If Robbie Ray is still on the board around pick 45, I’m in. For 2022, I’ll give Robbie Ray projections of 14-8/3.12/1.06/257 in 202 IP.
Corey Seager – Signed by the Rangers. “Hey, we have everyone from the Rangers’ front office on this conference call, right?” Few hellos, few what’s ups, one distant “hey” that sounds like it’s from outside and being screamed into the 12th-floor window by GM Chris Young. Continuing, “Okay, great, just want everyone to know we’re guessing there won’t be a 2022 season, so let’s just sign everyone.” And that’s how the Rangers committed to $561.2 million. Sure wish all these bats weren’t going to be calling their new home, Arlington National Cemetery of Home Runs. Rather than a humidor, can the Rangers add in a giant industrial fan? Last year, Seager hit 16 homers, and that would’ve been 14 in Texas. Seager’s high in power since 2017 was 22 homers. He’s basically a .300 hitter with 22-homer power and no speed. Does that ignite the nethers? It doesn’t for me. For fantasy (and kinda real baseball), I can’t figure out Seager’s attraction. He has some kinda spell over the world, like David Blaine over Michael Jackson. For 2022, I’ll give Corey Seager projections of 86/22/81/.302/1 in 507 ABs, and that feels optimistic.
Marcell Ozuna – Will be suspended only 20 games. What a joke. For the first time, the MLBPA should appeal so Ozuna gets more games suspended.
Daniel Hudson – Signed with the Dodgers. Hey, if you’re gonna be shut out of every high-profile free agent, you may as well try to shorten each contest into a 5-inning game. Not sure yet if Hudson will be the closer. My guess is he won’t, but he should have some fantasy value. For 2022, I’ll give Daniel Hudson projections of 4-1/2.83/1.10/86, 4 saves in 64 IP.
Kirby Yates – Signed with the Braves. He underwent Tommy John surgery last March, and, afterwards, he woke in his bed, and announced to his wife, “I want you to call me Tommy John.” Maybe Yates can return by June, and we see something resembling his old self by July/August, I’m not holding my breath, and I’m certified in scuba.
Alex Cobb – Signed with the Giants. Squeeze a lime on Alex and he becomes Thai Cobb. Take it, Highlights! It’s yours! This is a solid move for Cobb, but let’s put down the truth before wrapping ourselves in dreams. He just turned 34 and hasn’t had a season of 100 IP or more since he was 30. I’d take the random solid 100 IP in deep leagues, but wouldn’t expect more. For 2022, I’ll give Alex Cobb projections of 9-6/3.61/1.24/106 in 102 IP.
Jacob Stallings – Traded to the Marlins for Zach Thompson. Pirates with a last ditch effort to show how broken the CBA is. Pirates looked at Jacob Stallings’ potential to make $20 million over 4 years in 2025, and were like, “What, are we a big market team now?” This is disgraceful. The Pirates search for booty is endless. I know most catchers are the epitome of garbage. Like all the dirty diapers in the world stacked to the moon is Jacob Stallings, but for s’s and g’s, I looked at Stallings’s Statcast page and I had a nice chuckle. If a baseball was a barn, he couldn’t hit the broadside of one. And his framing isn’t very good either! Meh, still prolly better than Jorge Alfaro. For 2022, I’ll give Jacob Stallings projections of 41/8/47/.243 in 381 ABs. By the by, just looked at Jorge Alfaro’s stats from 2021, and I gasped. Wanna gasp too? He went 22/4/30/.244/8. Guess how many games that was in. Bzzt! Wrongo! That was in 92 games. He saw time in the outfield! Mah gawd, that is awful.
Zach Thompson – Traded to the Pirates. Seeing now what the Pirates see in Zach Thompson; he won’t be a free agent until 2028, when he’s 35 years old. Pirates’ mascot should be a treasure chest with legs that is filled with booty. Not treasure, but actual asses.
Jose Quintana – Signed by the Pirates. They should break up the Pirates. Not as one breaks up a monopoly, like breaking up AT&T, but breaking up like MLB should say, “Hey, go to Montreal, Vegas or Nashville and become a new team, because we’re not letting you play in the majors anymore until you do. This is a break-up letter, if that wasn’t clear. Also, we’re blocking your number so you can’t text us.”
Jerad Eickhoff – Signed by the Pirates. Pirates making moves that make me want to make the jerk-off motion = signing Jer-khoff.