Friday, February 29, 2008

Ask the Hurler: Keeper-league quagmire

Alex writes:

Love, love, love your blog ... awesome info and refreshing writing style! I was hoping to get your quick opinion about a keeper question I am struggling with. I just joined a keeper league, inherited a team ... league as follows: 12-team - 5x5 - 14 batters (2 catchers), 9 pitchers, 2 bench, 3 DL - $265 cap - Auction draft - 7 keepers.

So looking at my inherited team, I'm comfortable with the following 5 keepers:
  • Wright at $30
  • Kinsler at $16 (a bit borderline on this one - but since 2nd is shallow, I kind of have no choice)
  • Byrnes at $11 (not a Byrnes fan, but at $11 I am)
  • Bedard at $16
  • Hamels at $11
I'm just about to call it quits on the keepers - only keeping 5 and spending the rest at the draft. Wondering if you felt any of the below are worth keeping at their particular salaries:
  • Saltalamacchia at $8 (projections are all over the place for this kid - 2 catcher league makes me think I should keep him - but at $8??? can I get him back for cheaper in the draft??? argh!!)
  • Oliver Perez at $8 (love this guy, but is $8 too much??? chance it by throwing him back in the draft??)
  • Joba at $8 (dude is in RP/SP limbo ... $8 for a limbo player is tough I think)
  • Broxton at $8 (love this guy, but at $8??? chance it by throwing him back in the draft??)

Bob responds:

Thanks for reading the site, Alex. Glad you enjoy it. As for your keepers, I don't think you can keep Broxton unless you're really thinking long term. Barring injury, Saito's got that closer's job locked up right now. Do you really want to pay $8 this year just to hold onto Broxton for 2009 or beyond?

I also don't think I'd keep either pitcher. Joba's a beast but, as you said, who knows if he'll spend the full season as a SP? The Yankees don't want to overwork him, and last I read, the plan was the start him in relief and gradually bring him into the rotation. I'd keep a watch on the situation right up until you have to make a decision. If the Yankees change their mind and put him in the rotation on day one, $8 could be a good deal. If they don't, I'd probably pass. Perez is a surer bet than Joba to give you a full season of quality pitching, but I've always seen Oliver's value listed as the lesser of the two. So maybe you can get him for cheaper?

Then there's Saltalamacchia. It's a risk, but considering it's a two-catcher league, I think he's the one you've got to hold on to. Twenty-four catchers will be starting in your league. Both Yahoo and Fantasy Sports magazine have Salty ranked seventh among catchers. That would put him in the top third of catchers starting in your league. Sounds like he's worth 8 bucks to me. I also have him in my two-catcher league, and believe me, I'm worried too about Texas sending him back down to Triple-A for "seasoning" or deciding to not start him at either catcher or first. At the same time, the guy's got a high ceiling and if he comes through, he'll be quite valuable in a two-catcher league. So he gets my vote.

I hope that helps. And remember, when it all turns out wrong (as it inevitably will), please don't come to my house with torches.

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