Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Alphonso Soriano is one of the most valuable AL Roto players. 30/30 is not available anywhere else.

However, realizing that value is hard. He has been in trade rumors all off-season, and even if he isn't dealt this winter, he will be in trade rumors the moment the Rangers go two games under .500.

Who is going to pay the price necessary to land him with that dark cloud over him?
A couple of huge closer signings, and their effect on Roto is much less than the media coverage surrounding them.

Why? Because neither closer changed leagues.

However, the owners of Migule Batisita would certainly disagree. Losing a closer always hurts, but unless he was in next season's draft, little damage was done to the other teams in the league. And given he joined the Jays in the 2004 off-season, I am sure he was not.

The Orioles closing situation is officially in the air now, but even there, most did not expect the O's to resign Ryan. ("most" = me and my brother, who listens to MLB on XM Radio and heard this during the season.)

Who is going to close in Baltimore? My guess is one of the unglamourous old guys - Todd Jones or Bob Wickman. What do I base that on? Nothing.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Mike Jacobs

After a week of finding no one who agrees with my assessment of the Delgado trade, Rob neyer finally opines somethign that would put us in the same park.

To quote:

"Because Mike Jacobs is going to be a fine MLB first baseman -- in 2007 he'll be as good as Delgado...."

Monday, November 28, 2005

Resetting contracts

With fully-valued players eligible to be signed to a long-term contract does it make sense to throw them back into the pool to reset the contract?

A clever answer would be "yes." As the player is already fully-valued, you can assume he won't go for much more than a $1 or $2. True, he'd be more expensive, but the ability to control that player for an additional two years would make up for that.

The risk of doing this is plenty. The main risk is you will not get the player back. After all, a fully-valued player has already been recognized twice as such (once at a draft and the following year as a keeper), and therefore, 11 other teams can be expected to know about him. If you do not get the player, then acquiring him via trade will be costly. $30+ players are not sold cheaply!

In a keeper league, this will be especially true as the pool of top-flight players will be limited and cause the player in question to be easily recognized.

The second risk is something goes wrong with your plan and the player goes for $5 or so more. All of a sudden a $34 Eric Chavez is $39. True, his contract is reset, but in no way is he worth $39. Now he is going right back into the pool the following season - a de facto last-year contract.

There is also an opportunity risk in leaving a slot open to get this player back. By doing so, you may lose out on the opportunity to draft a player going for less than you thought or one that you project will have a breakout year. (My guess is this occurs most frequently with the DH spot, but could occur anywhere on the roster.)

After this brief examination, I would say to keep the fully-valued player and let him ride out his contract. You can then "reset" it the following year.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005 Mets get Delgado

If this is correct, then Florida made out like a bandit. Petit should be decent and Jacobs will come much closer to Delgado's HR production than anyone will project. He hit 43 HR last season.

This was a dumb move by the Mets. 30+ year-old, 10-figure 1B are not wise decisions. Just ask Philadelphia. Or how about the Yankees?

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Hanley Ramirez

With the latest Boston robbery of a top starting pitcher (the first being Schilling two off-seasons ago), a little more due diligence should have been paid to Hanley Ramirez.

He has never hit more than 8 HR in any minor league season, and that one time was in 2003! He hit 6 in the next two years. Not exactly an upward trend.

With a minor leaguer, occasionally doubles are predictive of furture power. In 2003, he hit 24. The next two seasons' totals were 15 and 21.

How about AVG? He hit .352 in 2002 and slugged about .540. A hyped prospect was born! In 2003, he only hit .275 and slugged .403. While he did have career highs in 2B and HR, they were not reflected positively in his SLG because he received 160 more ABs.

In 2004, he got his AVG to .310 against better competition and raised his SLG to .432, but still a long way from his 2002 numbers. But he followed that with a worse 2005, hitting .271 and slugging .385.

His SB success rate has also trended similiarly 57% to 73% to 71% to 67%. Basically, flat to negative.

(Yes, I know I did not have great things to say about Beckett but "top starting pitching" is relative and defined within the context of 4x4 Rotisserie where Scot Shields is more valuable than the vast majority of starting pitchers

Monday, November 21, 2005

Beckett Trade

Amazing. The Red Sox trade a prospect whose star has failed to rise despite persisent cajoling from the baseball press along with a couple other minor league prospects of little repute for a powerpitcher moving into his prime.

Those facts aside, I am not impressed with Beckett. He moves from a great NL pitcher's park with a great defense behind him to an AL hitter's park with a lesser defense.

Those facts are of considerable value in assessing Beckett's 2006 Roto prospects. I expect him to go for $25+ on hype. I would not be surprised to see a Matt Clement redux.

Hanley Ramirez may get some good hype but I expect disappointment. His power does not look promising in Pro Player, and his success rate of 66% last season in AA does not cause me to think he will improve once he is amongst the big boys.

He is young, though, and may play up to the competition.

Saturday, November 19, 2005


Dotel is clearly one of the top sleepers going into 2006. He will close if someone falters and should go for little more than $1 at a draft due to his elbow injury.

I wouldn't hesitate to pay $5 or so for him.

After my previous post, I should have followed up with something related to data organization but did not.

If you want more info on this topic, then post a comment and I will try to address this more in the future. (After all, any ol' site can comment on players, but how many are offering tips on organizing data?)

Friday, November 18, 2005

One of my leagues uses TQStats (TQS) and the other uses All-Star Stats (ASS). About 50% of each league plays in the other so there are several owners who can compare each site and comment on each endlessly.

One owner, I will call him The Pot Stirrer, voiced a concern over the user-friendliness of TQS player lists because there was no function to find a player and see what Roto team he was on.

After some bickering about it being too hard to copy text reports into other applications and easily formatting them, he agreed to pay me a nominal sum to produce something more easily manipulated with the assumption that it couldn't be done.

I did do it, and rather easily (the autofilter on Excel is a geat tool.)

So I posted he owed me the nominal fee. Another owner complained that I was making money off fellow owners because of a crappy site. (He is a pro-ASS owner. I am an anti-ASS owner due to the 500% difference in price.)

Here I thought I made money off other owners misfortunate drafting and trading.

Given the much better report I produced, I went to ASS to try to do the same. No such luck. I have been unable to find a ASS report that provided position eligibility for 2006. (TQS showed games played at each position.)

If I can find a way to pull the eligibility from a separte Excel report into the ASS report, then it would prove a wash, but until then, 50 points to Gryffin......TQS.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Brian Lawrence

The former Padre and current National, Brian Lawrence ($6), was just offered to me in a package with Damian Miller($5) for Juan Encarnacion($10).

It is a fair offer but not one that I like for several reasons.

Damian Miller is now a productive NL catcher (4th in AVG amongst those with 300 AB), and I would have him on my team at the right price ($5 and under), but he is 36 year-old. Any drop from his 9 HR/40 RBI level makes him easily replacable/worthless.

Brian Lawrence has one thing going for him - he is pitching in an extreme pitcher's park. At first blush, one would think his ERA and WHIP could improve from thier 2005 levels, 4.83 and 1.37 respectively. However, a little thought makes me believe their may not be enough improvement to make him valuable. Namely, he already pitched in a pitcher's park, Petco!

Really, how far will his ERA drop? 4.75? 4.69? It would have to go below 4.00 for him to be worth keeping at $6.

So, with Lawrence unprotectable at $6, this trade is the certainty of a 36-year-old catcher versus the upside of a $10 Encarnacion (16/73/6/.287 in 2005 in a pitcher's park.)

Monday, November 07, 2005


I am so itching to make a deal in either league but cannot find anything worth pursuing.

In the NL, I have Dontrelle at $10, Brett Myers at $10, Matt Cain at $5 and Jorge Sosa at $1. Do I need to acquire SP? No. Do I need to get a cheaper staff? No.

I could use a closer but must wait to see how things shake out in the free agent market. I do have Urbina at $18 and suspect he will close somewhere.

I also have Duaner Sanchez, who finished last season as the Dodgers closer. Nothing will be known in LA until Gagne reports for Spring Training.

For hitting, I have a slew of players whose value will largely be determined this off-season - Juan Encarnacion, Austin Kearns, Kenny Loften, Joe Randa, Ryan Shealy, Ryan Klesko, Jerry Hairston. Even free agent Wes Helms becomes valuable at $5 if he signs with a team that commits to getting him 300+ ABs.

Until that is settled, I am wise to hold off making trades for the sake of making trades.

But how I'd like to do so!

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Billy Wagner

Looks as if the Mets are going to get Billy Wagner $10MM per and a no-trade.

I wonder how everything shakes out if the Mets land Wagner espeically if NY Post's Joel Sherman is correct and the Yankees land BJ Ryan.

Baltimore and Philadelphia will have new closers for sure, but who those will be is too far up in the air to guess.

The list of teams looking for one would be Baltimore, Cleveland, Detroit, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Florida, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, and San Diego.

There will be a lot of Roto teams that fall into a 2006 closer, and I hope to be one of those teams.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Bruce Chen

I was entertaining an offer of Freddie Garica $16 for Mike Sweeney $16. The counteroffer was Sweeney/something for Garcia because Sweeney is frequently injured.

Before pursing this any further, I wanted to check stats of the players involved. As often happens, players full-season stats are not immediatley displayed due to trades, and I am unaware of how good or bad the player did over the entire season.

1st, Sweeny hit .300/21/83 in 470 ABs - very good numbers. If he were to stay healthy (150+ games), then he'd be a part of the wiinning Roto team. (Recently, he said he'd be OK DHing more.)

Next I checked Garcia. I thought he had done better than I thought he would prior to the start of the year due to the SEA/CHI splits from 2004.

He did do better - 14 W, 3.87 ERA, 1.25 WHIP in 228 IP. These were good, but not sure I liked that ERA so close to 4.00 for $16.

With these in hand, I noticed Bruce Chen ($10), who is already on my team. He had 13 W, 3.83 ERA and 1.27 WHIP in 197.1 innings.

Garcia's numbers were better, but I had to ask myslef whether dealing Sweeney for essentially the same player was wise.

I think not, but then embarked on finding a reason why and alit upon Leo Mazzone, Chen's new pitching coach in Baltimore. By my reckoning, Chen has some room to get better under Mazzone (this time!) while I do not see Garcia improving on his ratios. (maybe worsening if his defense is worst next year. See Bronson Arroyo.)

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Mark Buerhle vs Scott Kazmir

Buerhle is $30, and Kazmir is $10.

Buerhle has two seasons left (2006 & 2007) Kazmir has only one (2006)

Which player is more valuable?

Buerhle's relevant facts - 236.7 innings 16 W 3.12 ERA 1.18 WHIP 26 years-old

Kazmir's relevant facts - 186 innings 10 W 3.77 ERA 1.46 WHIP 22 years-old