Yes, it's time again for the most wonderful day of the year: the day when all you hardworking people out there pay the salaries of mid-level bureaucrats like myself (and the day on which the GRBG re-launches its TA series). I'd ordinarily include a longer, more elaborate run-up to the year's first in-season TA, but I need to finish this off real quick and get back to sucking on that golden teat. (Teddy)
I like that we're making a Tax-Day TA a ritual because it excuses spending time on depressing subjects like your finances for the eternal hope that is your fantasy baseball team. In related news, for the first time ever, I've filed for an extension to file my taxes, because I couldn't get my shit together in time for today's deadline. This is probably because I spent the better part of the last two weeks drafting baseball players and writing league previews. The things we do for you kids... (El Angelo)
Suck It Silver
Signed: Rafael Betancourt (RP, CLE), Vernon Wells (OF, TOR)
Promoted: Jason Heyward (OF, ATL) from prospect list
If it ain't broke, don't fix it (or at least limit yourself to a moderate indulgence in your Blue Jay fetish). Not much to quarrel with here, especially since Vernon Wells seems to have found a new source of whatever bovine growth hormone he was on during his career years a few seasons back. (Teddy)
Part of the reason for the availability of roster spots is that Aaron Hill and Joe Blanton are now on the DL for at least the rest of the month. None of these three players address what the team loses in Hill, because hard-hitting 2B's aren't easily available. I suppose Betancourt nominally takes Blanton's place on the pitching side of the ledger, but unless I missed something, Raffy ain't fat, scruffy and full of lima beans. (El Angelo)
I guess the same reasoning applies here, though opting for total passivity might amount to too little of a good thing. (Teddy)
Yet another good start for Will's team, who's starting to resemble the Denver Broncos of the Wankdorf league--good 2 months to start, and an inexorable tail-off. It keeps you out of the basement, but also means they need to keep their eyes open for trouble around Mother's Day. (El Angelo)
The Revenge Society
Signed: Austin Jackson (OF, DET)
Third verse, same as the first. Jesus, I'm getting pre-emptively self-conscious over the length of my transactions list. I'm either trying too hard or just drafted like an idiot.
It's worth noting that it must be that none of these teams are facing early season injury issues, as we're not even seeing much in the way of roster top-offs using slots freed up by DL'd draftees. (Teddy)
Yeah, besides the Hill injury, Teddy's right. It's also worth noting that no team has played 10 games yet. Interesting side project I might take on this year: marking everyone's status and standings once a week, and publish the results/trends at the end. I'm curious to see if April success actually means anything. (El Angelo)
Jeters Never Prosper
Signed: Maicier Izturis (IF, LAA); Juan Rivera (OF, LAA); Josh Outman (P, OAK); Dallas Braden (SP, OAK); Casey McGehee (2B/3B, MIL)
Waived: Mike Adams (RP, SD); Izturis; Rivera.
The Captain Blasphemers leaned pretty far to the left coast in their initial moves, picking up about half of the A.L. West before recoiling in horror from the offensive talent in that group. Given the apparent weakness of the SEA and LAA offenses this year, I like the idea of scooping all available OAK pitchers, and Casey McGehee looks a lot more playable with 2B eligibility. Of course, that same weakness made the Izturis and Rivera pickups iffy, but those were rectified pretty quickly. (Teddy)
Casey McGehee is the answer as to why Milwaukee won't compete this year--if he's at the hot corner, you're in a lot of trouble against the Reds, let alone the Cardinals. That said, there are far worse placeholders for 2B, like say, Kelly Johnson. (El Angelo)
Le Dupont Torkies
Signed: Kelvim Escobar (SP-DL, NYM); JC Romero (RP-DL, PHI); Matt LaPorta (1B/OF, CLE); Delmon Young (OF, MIN); Sean Rodriguez (OF, TB); John Baker (C, FLA); Jose Guillen (OF, KC); Pat Neshek (PPP, MIN)
Waived: Brandon Wood (3B, LAA); Baker; LaPorta; Escobar
Here we go. LDT engaged in their usual early-season DL stash shenanigans, betting that once healthy, Kelvim Escobar will be better than John Maine and JC Romero will be better than Brad Lidge. Those are pretty sensible bets, honestly. Homegrown injuries forced Escobar back into the pool; he could turn out to be a useful piece for somebody with the time and DL space to wait for him.
I'd also like to note that the Jose Guillen pickup, combined with my grab of Scott Podsednik, means that the entire Royals OF is owned in our league. That almost has to be a first.
Finally: Pat Neshek is back! The GRBG wishes many happy returns to the former Pewter Parachute winner. (Teddy)
The last time you could rationally expect the entire Royals OF to be owned was 1999, when it consisted of Carlos Beltran, Johnny Damon and Jermaine Dye. I was trying to figure out how the hell a team with that outfield and a healthy (and quite productive) Mike Sweeney at DH went 67-95, then saw their starting infield included Rey-Rey Sanchez, Jeremy Giambi, and Carlos Meet The Febles. That could explain a lot of losing.
What I do like is Tucker's pro-active approach to improving a hitting roster that's squarely middle of the pack to start the season. No, not all of the group of Baker, Young, Rodriguez and LaPorta will pan out, but at least 1 will, and knowing Tucker's luck, 2 will probably be quite good. There isn't a horrible risk in that quartet, and what's the downside--a lost roster spot? Nice set of moves. (El Angelo)
The Situation Room
Signed: Chris Getz (2B, KC); Tim Wood (RP, FLA); Chris Young (OF, ARI)
Waived: Kelly Johnson (2d Round, ATL); Ross Ohlendorf (SP, PIT); Jason Hammel (SP, COL)
Not 12 hours after Kelly Johnson was cut, he was featured on the front page of the Yahoo! fantasy website as an underrated fantasy 2B. There appears to be a web-wide conspiracy to make Ang feel bad about any Johnson-related actions he takes.
Also, Chris Getz ranks slightly behind Bernard Goetz on my list of productive fantasy baseball players. (Teddy)
Somehow my entire 2B strategy has been lost in the mocking of these pickups. Allow me to explain. Gordon Beckham is going to be my 2B for the year, but he wasn't eligible to play the spot until last Sunday. Ergo, the need for placeholders. I was goaded into Kelly Johnson at the draft by Tucker, Jake, and Captain Lawrence. That lasted one game, then came Getz, which was only because he can ran. 3 steals later, he's bench fodder, and Beckham's got the spot locked up. Of course, my 3B options are shitty (Blake or Headley), but that's the reason for the moves. In the move that Teddy didn't address, is there any actual chance that Chris Young has finally figured his shit out? (El Angelo)
Signed: Joey Devine (RP-DL, OAK); Jim Johnson (RP, BAL); Carlos Gomez (OF, MIL); Jim Thome (1B, MIN); Daric Barton (1B, OAK); Jeremy Affeldt (RP, SF); Scott Podsednik (OF, KC); Gio Gonzalez (SP, OAK)
Waived: Sean Rodriguez (OF, TB); Brandon League (RP, SEA); Thome; Affeldt; Devine.
Hey, so, my entire brand new, high round pitching staff sucks. That's cool. Also, I managed to run out of DL slots 6 days into the season. So this is going well. I confidently anticipate that Ryan Howard will die of syphillis by the end of the month.
I'm not proud of the Podsednik pickup, but with Brian Roberts and Carlos Gonzalez both hurt, I need absolutely any source of steals I can get. (Teddy)
Steals rarely "come into the league", so you have to take them where you can get them. That said, Podsednik, is one step above Kimera Bartee on the rung of one-category players. Even guys like Julio Borbon at least walk a little. I'm a little more confused about the Daric Barton pickup. First base is not a shallow position and you already have Ryan Howard and Mark Reynolds. Yes, I know you're hurting what with Lawrence Pissfuck Jones and Beltran being hurt, but was this guy the best option out there for the DH slot? (El Angelo)
Wu Tang Financial
Signed: Clint Barmes (MI, COL); Mike Adams (RP, SD); Mike Leake (SP, CIN)
Waived: Bud Norris (SP, HOU)
Interesting--usually Buds go in and Leakes come out. That's a time-honored tradition that I'm not sure that WTF is wise to buck. Best of British luck, though, because this will revolutionize leisure time if it works. (Teddy)
I'm hoping that Jon knows something about Leake that wasn't obvious in his first start, when he walked seven Cubs and had one wild pitch against 5 strikeouts. Keeping that up will not keep you in the Reds rotation. On second thought, given General Dusty's proclivity for shredding young labrums, this might be a good thing. (El Angelo)
Signed: Alfredo Aceves (RP, NYY); CJ Wilson (SP, TEX)(x2); Garrett Jones (OF, PIT); Miguel Olivo (C, COL); Scott Rolen (3B, TOR)
Waived: George Sherrill (RP, LAD); Wilson (x1); Brandon Inge (3B, DET); Joel Pineiro (SP, LAA); AJ BadPolishPerson (C, CHW); Jose Lopez (IF, SEA)
This is rare, so bask in it: I like most of these pickups. Garrett Jones is a Russ Branyan-type TTO hitter, and has the chance to put up some interesting numbers in the middle of PIT's order. Alfredo Aceves is probably the second-best reliever on the Yankees, even though Joba eats up more attention and cheeseburgers.
The one quibble I have is with the Joel Pineiro cut; even though he has outperformed his peripherals for a couple of years now, he's going to get to face some shaky offenses in big ballparks out in the A.L. West. I think he's playable. Then again, my staff ERA is currently over 5.00, so I'm probably not the guy to judge. (Teddy)
I actually agree with all of my co-author's points, and will go a step further to endorse the pickup of CJ Wilson as well, who might be closing if they decide Neftali Feliz belongs in the rotation. Nice swag. (El Angelo)
The Little Green One
Signed: Alex Gordon (3B-DL, KC); Michael “Bad to” Wuertz (RP, SD); Clay-TON Ree-SHARD (LW, MTL); Kenshin Kawakami (Motorbike, ATL); Baked Zito (SP, SF); The Rentasuck (SS, SF); Carl "The Truth" Pavano (SP, CLE)
Waived: Brett Myers (Asshole, HOU); Ryan Rowland-Smith (SP, SEA); Richard.
Very much the pupu platter for the Marvins. Nothing wrong with the hope-springs-eternal DL stash of Alex Gordon, and Barry Zito might finally be settling in as a useful mid-rotation guy in SF as people focus more on his performance and less on the absurdity of his contract. But lining up to grab draft-day punchline Mike Wuertz seems questionable, and signing up for voluntary exposure to the Carl Pavano Experience seems borderline masochistic. I recognize the symptoms of rushing all hands on deck to man the pumps, and that can't be a good feeling this early on. (Teddy)
These are just like Tucker's series of savvy moves, except the exact opposite. About the only one I can sign off on is Gordon, who's at least mildly interesting as a post-hype sleeper, but I think he's pretty affirmatively shown that his upside is Casey Blake. But I mean really, where the hell are Pavano and Zito taking you to, outside of Montepulciano (left)? (El Angelo)
Signed: Jake Westbrook (SP, CLE); Luke Hochevar (SP, KC); Joel Zumaya (RP, DET); Benji Molina (C)
Four guys in, no guys out usually means major injury problems. Sure enough, EP has most of his starting bullpen and his starting catcher on the DL at the moment. Given the utter lack of depth out there at those positions, the team's attempt to return to respectability is off to a rough start (though through no fault of their own). (Teddy)
This is also roughly what torpedoed these guys early last year. I do like the Hochevar and Zumaya flyer pick ups, since both guys could throw hard, play in a shitty division, and could present some upside. I presume Jake Westbrook is only here because Andrew's cat stepped on the computer in the middle of the night and accidentally picked him up. (El Angelo)
The Spam Avengers
Signed: Andy Pettitte (SP, NYY); Jose Mijares (RP, MIN); Scott Sizemore (Finish your drink); Kelly Johnson (2B, ATL); Jeremy Bonderman (SP, DET)
Waived: John Maine (P, NYM); Mijares; Sizemore
KEL-LY JOHN-SON [clap clap clapclapclap], KEL-LY JOHN-SON [clap clap clapclapclap]. (Teddy)
Kelly's well on his way to winning this year's Pewter Parachute, which will be the first trophy he's won since Tee Ball. (El Angelo)