Fantasy ranking the rotations

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In light of Craig’s response to Buster Olney’s blog, I’ve thrown this together. It’s a ranking 1-30 of how the top six pitchers in each team’s rotation fare in my fantasy projections.
This isn’t meant to be taken very seriously. For one thing, I’ve simply added up the totals, so the No. 6 starter is treated equally with the top five options. That’s a problem for the Mariners, Angels and some other teams that I see as just five deep. Also, I’m not attempting to neutralize for park and league effects. That really hurts the Rockies and Rangers, both of whom would be several spots higher if I were doing this by hand.
1. Red Sox 10.07
2. Yankees 4.77
3. Giants 3.79
4. Mariners 3.65
5. Phillies 3.40
6. Dodgers 1.39
7. Cardinals 0.20
8. Rays -0.38
9. Marlins -0.74
10. Cubs -0.95
11. Braves -3.02
12. Twins -3.08
13. Diamondbacks -3.13
14. White Sox -3.18
15. Mets -3.89
16. Padres -5.14
17. Tigers -5.98
18. Athletics -6.71
19. Rockies -7.35
20. Astros -7.64
21. Angels -7.84
22. Royals -8.19
23. Brewers -10.22
24. Rangers -10.43
25. Reds -11.03
26. Blue Jays -12.62
27. Orioles -12.73
28. Indians -14.21
29. Pirates -18.72
30. Nationals -21.63
– I have the Red Sox starters ranked 9th (Jon Lester), 11th (Josh Beckett), 27th (John Lackey), 40th (Clay Buchholz) and 60th (Daisuke Matsuzaka), making it pretty obvious why they fare well here. Even Tim Wakefield has a substantial edge on most of the No. 6 starters. Boston and Seattle are the two teams that I have receiving significant boosts because of their defenses.
– The Yankees would have narrowed the gap a little had I made Phil Hughes the sixth starter, but I’m projecting him as a reliever. Chad Gaudin took that spot. Likewise, the Cardinals would have been helped had I used Kyle McClellan in place of either Mitchell Boggs or Jaime Garcia.
– Besides the Red Sox, the only other team to place four starters in my top 50 was the Braves. I was pretty surprised just how low they graded out here. However, the fact that Tommy Hanson is the only real strikeout pitcher of the bunch hurt. Also, sixth starter Jo-Jo Reyes weighs them down. They could have moved up had I used Kris Medlen instead.
– The Nationals would have overtaken the Pirates had I used Stephen Strasburg over Scott Olsen or sixth starter Shairon Martis.

Jason Kipnis could join Team Israel for 2017 World Baseball Classic

CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 02:  Jason Kipnis #22 of the Cleveland Indians throws during batting practice prior to Game Seven of the 2016 World Series against the Chicago Cubs at Progressive Field on November 2, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
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With the 2017 World Baseball Classic around the corner, Team Israel has reportedly reached out to Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis, per MLB Network’s Jon Morosi. Tournament rules stipulate that a player’s roster eligibility can be achieved in one of several ways: they were born in the country in question or hold citizenship/permanent legal residence there (or are simply capable of qualifying for citizenship), or one of their parents was born in the country or holds citizenship/permanent legal residence there.

For Kipnis, it’s the latter. Kipnis’ father, Mark Kipnis, is Jewish. That gives Kipnis the status he needs to suit up for Team Israel, despite the fact that he is a practicing Roman Catholic. He has yet to confirm or deny his participation in the competition.

Fifteen players have confirmed for Team Israel so far, including Mets’ infielder/outfielder Ty Kelly and free agents Sam Fuld, Nate Freiman, Jason Marquis and Jeremy Bleich. Per MLB.com’s Chad Thornburg, eight minor leaguers will also appear for the team. Like Kipnis, at least three other major leaguers are eligible for Team Israel’s roster but have yet to accept or decline involvement in the WBC: Dodgers center fielder Joc Pederson, Mariners infielder/outfielder Danny Valencia and free agent left-hander Craig Breslow.

Rangers to sign James Loney to minor league deal

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 21: James Loney #28 of the New York Mets tosses to first base against the San Francisco Giants during the second inning at AT&T Park on August 21, 2016 in San Francisco, California.  The New York Mets defeated the San Francisco Giants 2-0. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
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Free agent first baseman James Loney has reportedly signed a minor league deal with the Rangers, per FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman. The deal includes an invite to spring training and a $1 million salary if he makes the major league roster in 2017.

Loney picked up a one-year stint and starting role with the Mets in 2016, slashing .265/.307/.397 with nine home runs in 336 PA. While his numbers were down a hair from the .280/.322/.357 batting line he produced with the Rays in 2015, he provided the Mets with a necessary, if underwhelming upgrade over an injured Lucas Duda through most of the season.

The 32-year-old infielder is expected to have some competition at first base, with at least five other candidates in the mix: Jurickson Profar, Ronald Guzman, Ryan Rua, Joey Gallo and Josh Hamilton. Rumor has it that the team is planning on platooning Rua and Profar in 2017, barring any impressive breakouts or injuries during spring training, though Loney could still provide the club with some veteran depth and a decent left-handed bat off the bench.