Happy New Year to all Fake Teams readers!!! I want to thank everyone for stopping by and reading our work in 2010, as our site visits and page views continue to grow. Actually, Fake Teams experienced its best traffic month ever in December thanks to our excellent fantasy football coverage, early offseason position rankings, fantasy baseball All Questions Answered threads and the recently added Tuesday evening chats.
Here are a few more offseason thoughts as we enter the new year:
The Orioles signed first baseman Derrek Lee to a one year deal and apparently turned down a more lucrative deal from the Padres. Can you blame him? What power hitter coming off a down season would want to sign with the Padres? Lee is coming off a season where he hit just .260-.347-.428 with 19 HRs, 80 RBIs and 80 runs scored. Lee is a solid signing for the young Oriole clubhouse and should be able to improve upon his 2010 season.
It appears the Nationals will add another strikeout-prone first baseman in Adam Laroche if rumors are true, but he won't hit as many HRs or walk as much as Adam Dunn. The rumor has it that Laroche will get a two year deal with the Nats. Does this mean first base prospect Chris Marrero needs two more years of minor league experience?
One site that I frequent is Fangraphs mainly for their stats and some of their chats. In the middle of the home page, there is a section called "Popular Players". One day last week, Dodgers reliever Kenley Jansen was the most popular player with around 4,000-5,000 inquiries (assuming the number in parentheses is the number of times the player was searched on the site). There was no news on Jansen recently, and maybe some sites are hyping him as a future closer, not sure. It seems strange that a pitcher with just 27 innings pitched at the big league level would get so many hits.
The Royals MLB beat writer wrote yesterday that third base prospect Mike Moustakas could make the club with an impressive spring training, but more than likely will start the 2011 season in AAA, with a mid-season call-up.
I finally got my 2011 Baseball Forecaster and have just begun opening up the book. I like reading the comments they add on every player along with the "UP" and "DN" comments. One UP SB estimate given for one Pirate outfielder was a level only 3 guys achieved in 2010. Hint: he doesn't have dread locks.
Speaking of stolen bases, I am convinced that the Brewers will be running alot after reading this quote from new manager Ron Roenicke from the Brewers MLB.com site:
Roenicke says the Brewers will run the bases so aggressively that, "At times, you're going to say, 'Why are you running so much? Why are you getting thrown out trying to take extra bases?'"
Gregor Chisholm from the Blue Jays MLB site write yesterday that pitching prospect Kyle Drabek is currently penciled in as the team's #4 starter and that AA prospect Zach Stewart has a shot at the 5th spot in the rotation.