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Free Agency: Crossovers

February 10, 2011 | By Phillip Heilman | comment on this post
Bartolo Colon has signed with the New York Yankees.
The Yanks must be desperate to have signed fat bastard Bartolo Colon and his orange-faced bimbo.

BY PHILLIP HEILMAN

Editor’s Note: This is the debut article for Philip Heilman, who will be writing baseball, basketball and football content for RotoRob. Please help me welcome him to the site.

With pitchers and catchers reporting to minor league facilities very shortly, baseball is finally ending its hiatus. In case you missed it, after striking out with Cliff Lee this offseason, the Yankees still managed to put together one hell of a pitching staff. With the recent acquisitions of Bartolo Colon, Mark Prior and Freddy Garcia, Brian Cashman must have some insider knowledge on a time machine (or perhaps the Yanks have once again wielded their mighty spending power and bought themselves a hot tub time machine). If not, C.C. Sabathia is going to have even more weight on his shoulders than he did last season. Can the big guy start every second day?

The real purpose of this article isn’t to bash on the Yankees (although nothing beats that as a Red Sox fan), but to touch on some more notable free agent acquisitions that occurred between now and the last Aubrey Huff thong dance. Specifically, we’ll examine a few moves that change the complexion of AL- or NL-only leagues, while also still affecting more traditional leagues.

Here are three players switching leagues and switching sceneries to look out for:

Derrek Lee, 1B, Baltimore Orioles (NL to AL): Baltimore picked up Lee following a somewhat down season split between Chicago and Atlanta. While Lee is 35, the Orioles are looking to him to help anchor a lineup that has the potential to be very strong with the additions of Mark Reynolds and Vladimir Guerrero. Along with Nick Markakis, Brian Roberts and Luke Scott, Lee should up his modest 2010 numbers of 19 homers and 80 ribbies. With the Oriole pitching staff still suspect, the offense will be what wins them their share of games, and Lee, if healthy, should be a strong point and worthy of a late round pickup.

Javier Vazquez, SP, Florida Marlins (AL to NL): Can we finally agree that Javy is a National League only pitcher? Following another tumultuous campaign in the Bronx, Vazquez is back to where he belongs in the National League, with Florida. He last appeared in the National League in 2009 with the Braves, posting 238 strikeouts and a sub-three ERA. It is doubtful his dip in production had as much to do with loss of talent as it did with switching leagues. Back in the Senior Circuit, Vazquez should be a comparable middle-to-back-of-the-rotation starter capable of reaching 200+ Ks and 14-to-18 wins. This guy knows how to pitch in the NL East, and will be a good pickup as a third Fantasy starter.

Bill Hall, OF/2B, Houston Astros (AL to NL): A prototypical sleeper, Hall should be worth a late-round pickup as a utility guy that can fit into multiple positions in your lineup. In only 344 at-bats last season, he cranked out 18 bombs. With more playing time expected on a sub par Houston team, and another short porch in left field, Hall is fully capable of 25+ dingers in 2011. If you miss out on the Chase Utley/Robinson Cano/Dustin Pedroia group at second base or face injuries, Hall is a capable short-term fix.

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11 Responses to “Free Agency: Crossovers”

  1. DR says:

    Absolutely nothing new here…making fun of the guys the Yanks SIGNED TO MINOR LEAGUE DEALS was done by every other site a month or so ago…although those articles decided to mention the fact that Cashman is not some fool but rather is creating competition for the open 5th spot in the rotation. A spot which will likely not matter because the Yanks will be shopping for pitching all year. That being said I don’t think Freddy Garcia is such a bad option.

    You also showed a picture of Fat Joe with some orange chick, it seems bizarre to do that and to never mention that wasn’t actually Bartolo, maybe you really don’t know? Did you use that picture for some reason other than coming up with an opening paragraph about some chick with a fake tan that has nothing to do with baseball or anything in this article?

    I guess I don’t blame you for such a weak article if it’s your first for the site. I also don’t blame you for not knowing how to handle talking smack to the Yanks this year. Boston fans have been whining and whining for years about the Yankees going out and signing free agents and ‘buying’ championships. Now that the Red Sox are obviously imitating what they have seen you guys have nothing at all to say. I say have fun with the expectations and the pressure for once and see how easy it is to buy a championship in the offseason. Boston is no longer cowboys or idiots, they are hired mercenaries with huge paychecks and expectations. Not only that but you will need something new to whine about if the yanks still beat you.

    And how about a little analysis? The only reason Vasquez was so horrible was that he was in the AL…no mention at all of the decline in velocity? You think that will just magically return because he’s going to the NL again? like those ESPN guys say, c’mon man!

    Hope you come with a better effort next time Phillip! And if you want to talk smack about the Yankees do it. Fat Joes’ chick is neither here nor there, I do hope you run into him and he finds out though…

    Buck Foston!

  2. RotoRob says:

    Hey Derrick,

    Phillip didn’t put up that photo…I did because I thought it was damn funny. And it is. Surely even a Yankee fan can see that? Now, now, let’s all try to get along.

  3. DR says:

    When I saw the photo the first time it was funny. In this context it doesn’t make sense and is more confusing than anything. A line comparing Big Fat Bartolo to Fat Joe or something similar is needed to make it work.

    Still Phillip is on the hook here for lack of analysis. Why should we expect more from D Lee this year?

    I have no problem with him calling out the Yanks either but find a better reason or at least give the whole story. He tried to paint Cashman as a fool but that only works if he doesn’t include all the information. CC pitching every second day? Maybe that was Hank’s plan when he signed Soriano to that contract. CC goes 4 every second day. Cash knows whats going on. Hank, that’s probably the guy you want to go after next time Phillip.

  4. DR says:

    Just read Phillips one other article on this site and it has a picture of AGon with his chick saying how hot she is and how well they both will do in Boston. That’s bigtime homer crap right there. Chick is maybe, maybe a 6 tops from what we can see in the picture. Try to lose a little of the bias, it’s blinded you

  5. Phillip says:

    This is a little difficult to respond to because not everything that was discredited was my work entirely. Say what you want about the analysis but it was the first article I sent in for the site and worked on it between exams. I do think Cashman’s offseason strategy was foolish any way you look at it. Having a bunch of washed up dudes compete for the fifth spot is still a joke to me. And I thought the photo was pretty funny too, if you can’t make the connection then a lot of things probably go over your head anyways.

  6. DR says:

    Cashmans offseason strategy was foolish? You think his strategy was to go out and sign these guys to minor league deals? This is backup plan #2 or 3. Not sure you can fault him for doing what so many other teams have done in looking for a 5th starter, including your beloved Red Sox. Either you are acting like you don’t know and leaving out the actual facts to try to support your argument or you have no knowledge of what went on in the offseason, which explanation do you prefer? The Yanks main plan was to go after Lee. And just like when the M’s traded him last year the Yanks were given early indications they would get him. When he surprised them and turned them down they explored many other options. They even tried to offer Pavano a contract! Combine them missing on Lee and Andy’s retirement and they are now working on backup plans. And really who expects Colon to win the job anyway? No one. Yet you guys make him the focus of your ridicule about Cashman?

    So you’re telling me that the stuff you wrote trying to be funny was actually funny? The problem was it just went over my head? Hmmm ya I’ll take your word for it, you must be right, me dumb. Talking about a pitcher that has been out of baseball for awhile and showing a picture of a fat rapper with a chick with a fake orange tan is so complex and subtle in it’s hilarity that it just went right over my head. I GET IT NOW, THEY ARE BOTH FAT! LOL making fun of fat people is hilarious! Making fun of a chick that has nothing to do with anything even more hilarious. Using a picture not related to anything and recycling the same jokes that tons of other websites used when the picture was actually current, GENIUS! And don’t get me started with the clever way you referenced hot tub time machine and how the yanks can spend lots of money. Knock the Yanks while the Sox did exactly what you have probably complained about for years. Neglect to mention that many other baseball owners are more wealthy than the Steinbrenners’ and that those owners decide to pocket money rather than re-invest it in the team like the Yanks do so often.

    If it is your goal to go after the Yankees you can do a much better job of it and you can base your criticism on facts, you can make it even more compelling by saying what they could have done differently…or you can continue to repeat and recycle sh*t you have heard others say and whenever someone tells you something you wrote wasn’t that funny you can say that it’s just because it went over their head.

  7. RotoRob says:

    Wow, Derrick…you really need to stop taking things so freaking seriously. It can’t be good for your health.

  8. Phillip says:

    The fact that you just stood up for Cashman with a Carl Pavano reference is pretty comical to me. This is the same guy that went 9-8 with them over three seasons and his era was almost 5+ every season. Cashman even taking a look at this dude is a total waste of time. DId he not learn a thing from the Vazquez implosion? Some guys cannot handle New York and clearly he is one of them, why even go after him? Also, letting one player dictate your entire offseason like they did with Lee is foolish, and it isn’t just the Yankees who do it. When the Sox sat around waiting on Teixeira all winter a few years ago, their offseason pickups consisted of Smoltz, Penny, etc. who all tanked. I think it is ridiculous to wait all offseason on one guy. Carl Crawford came out a few days ago and mentioned the Yankees never made a serious run at him and it was because they sat around on Lee for so long. As a veteran GM, you have to be smarter than that. Theo does it too, I’m not just taking a random shot at Cashman. The Soriano pickup will sure up the bullpen, but mentioning him was never appropriate for the topic. Plus, he was grossly overpaid as the Yankees outbid themselves it seemed like. I will admit Andy retiring was unlucky, as I thought they could godfather him back for another year, but Cashman had to have had some inkling that he was leaning that way.The Fat Joe picture wasn’t put up by me but the orange chick was just part of the pun. Everyone has been taking shots at Colon, Bill Simmons made his fat ass his twitter pic to make fun of him. There are only so many ways to make fun of someone, sorry if you felt that was recycled. Anyways, I think Cashman could have taken a flyer on more relevant pitchers than him and Prior. Guys like Brandon Webb, Erik Bedard, Jeremy Bonderman IMO would all have been more saavy pickups, but that wasn’t the point of the column. Hopefully next time I can read up some more and do a better job so I don’t have to spend an entire day dealing with this. Thanks for the feedback however. Also, Hal is an idiot, he might spend some money but even Jeter hates his ass, so don’t rationalize the Yankees as good guys when that joker is still running the team.

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