Sunday, December 17, 2006

Joel Zumaya Starter?

DREW SHARP: Zumaya a starter? Bet on it

I clicked through to this story after seeing it linked in Buster Olney's blog post. I hadn't heard anything by any Tiger even considering such a move. Nevermind, Zumaya's stated preference for relieving.

However, when I read the article, it was apparent the writer was just making-up a story. To boot, it is a horribly reasoned article.

Throwing heat is harder on the arm than breaking balls?

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

2007 Guide Update

Back in October, Rotomusing announced that he would produce the first-ever Rotomusing Rotisserie Baseball Guide (to be titled something more "scientific" sounding with an acronym and a sub-title with and acronym!).

Since then, I have developed an outline of what I feel must be covered and have begun addressing some of those areas. Unfortunately, I had enormous impositions by my cash provider (my job), family and illness which has left me much further behind than I had planned.

I wanted it on the market before anyone else's guide in order to take advantage of the thirst for fantasy baseball that occurs following the end of the season. But I believe my perspective is unique and may be able to withstand a mid-season release! (Icarus, don't fly too close to the sun.)

I also have been trying to determine how long it should be. A 200-page book has about 100,000 words. I don't think that is necessary, but one of half that length? A quarter? With team write-ups, there are at least 30 pages if one looks for a page per team so maybe 50 is correct.

Not including the team write-ups, which really do need to be done as late as possible, I am probably a good 20 hours away from what I consider the portion that I want to withstand the test of time.

Nevermind the issue of whether I should sell it and for how much. I'd like your opinions.

(As you can look back and see, I tried to speak in the third person was unable to do so past the first sentence.)

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Rule 5 Draft Prospects: Rule 5 Draft Blog

The above is a link to Baseball America's report on the just-completed Rule 5 Draft. The A's have decided that AA OF Ryan Goleski is a good risk to carry on the roster all season long.

If the A's fail to land a LF and do not move nick Swisher there, Goleski may be a $1 flyer at the end of fantasy drafts. His .370 OBP and .528 SLG at AA Akron do bode well.

As for Josh Hamilton, I'd like to see him make the Cubs roster. With big money wrapped up in Soriano, Ramirez, Lee, Jones, DeRosa, there aren't a whole lot of ABs available anyhow. Maybe he could pinch-hit all season and fill-in at 1B and OF every couple weeks?

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Joe Borowski

The Indians signed 2006 Marlins closer Joe Borowski. I guess I was premature in labelling Roberto Hernandez this year's Joe Borowski.

Joe Borowski is going to retain his role in 2007.

This year he will either fail or be dealt!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Morgan Ensberg

Given the man-love Houston has for Mike Lamb, the availabilty of 100 Walks 3B Morgan Ensberg should have every major league team conniving of ways to steal him from Phil Garner's team. The Astros are in need of starting pitching behind the $73MM man Roy Oswalt. Couldn't the Angels deal lefty Joe Saunders for Ensberg?

Astros show interest in trade for pitcher Peavy - Houston Chronicle: "The Astros have received quite a bit of interest in outfielder Willy Taveras and infielder/outfielder Chris Burke. Third baseman Morgan Ensberg and reliever Brad Lidge also have been mentioned as potential trade bait because the Astros will likely have to move money to re-sign Pettitte or Clemens or add another significant starting pitcher's contract.The Astros have received quite a bit of interest in outfielder Willy Taveras and infielder/outfielder Chris Burke. Third baseman Morgan Ensberg and reliever Brad Lidge also have been mentioned as potential trade bait because the Astros will likely have to move money to re-sign Pettitte or Clemens or add another significant starting pitcher's contract."

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Roberto Hernandez

The Indians signed former closer Roberto Hernandez to bolster their bullpen, and, as of now, he is the likely closer entering the 2007 season.

Much can change between now and then, but, on the assumption nothing does, I am reminded of the Joe Borowski signing by the Marlins - a stopgap veteran reliever holding a place until a better option emrges from the current crop of young relievers.

I held fast to the theory that Borowski was the closer until 7/31 when the rebuilding Marlins would flip him for more rebuilding blocks. He never did lose his job, and the Marlins are now without a closer.

The Indians are further along, but I believe Roberto will serve the same purpose. Two situations would alter this. One, the Indians are in serious contention with no obvious pitcher to step-in, and, two, the Indians did deal their one-year stop-gap closer, Bob Wickman, last season and found their young relievers incompetent for the task.

Get ready for a low $20s bid in AL-only keeper leagues.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Brad Hawpe

The Colorado Rockies have decided to take RF Brad Hawpe off the market in their pursuit of starting pitching and middle relief. Whether it is just a negotiating tactic is yet to be seen.

I like the strides Hawpe made last year, in particular his plate discipline. He walked 74 times while hitting .293 for a very nice OBP of .383. He struck out 123 times, though, but that no longer seems a negative nowadays.

The Rox still have RF Jeff Baker, and this decision by the team appears to be one that will hurt the fantasy value of both Hawpe and Baker as one would expect each to take ABs from the other.

On the brighter side, whomever ends up with the player who is the benficiary of the unforseen injury will have a $20 player on their hands.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Danys Baez

Oh, well. Despite his insistency on closing, Danys Baez took the money and will set-up for the Orioles' and Chris Ray.

With a three-year deal in the $15-$18MM range, He demonstrates that what one wants and what one accepts in terms of employment is more dependent on the money you get paid rather than on the ideals you'd prefer in a position.

Baez becomes a $5-$10 draftee based on the obviousness of his back-up closer role, but Ray is amongst the most effective late-inning specialists so he could go for less.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

AZ/MLW trade

Milwaukee acquired catcher Johnny Estrada and pitchers Claudio Vargas and Greg Aquino from Arizona for pitchers Doug Davis, Dana Eveland and outfielder David Krynzel.

It seems like an even trade. Doug Davis is the marquee player. And "expensive" one.

The Brewers needed some youth at catcher, and Estrada, even at 30, qualifies when the starter is 37-year-old Damian Miller.

Maybe Mike Maddux can help Caludio Vargas and Greg Aquino acquire consistency to match their flashes of potential.

Eveland is a lefty waiting for his first 162-game major league season. By 2010, he may be the only one amongst the dealt players still on their respective teams.

Poor Dave Krynzel.

Thursday, November 23, 2006


Matthews is the centerpiece - Los Angeles Times: "Matthews, a 32-year-old switch-hitter, was a career .249 hitter with a .324 on-base percentage and .397 slugging percentage for the first six years of an undistinguished big league career in which he played for seven organizations, was claimed on waivers three times, traded three times and released once."

I want to believe this information isn't indicative of future performance, but I can't.

I received an offer yesterday in my AL-only:

I give Adam Lind, Elijah Dukes and #8 for $3 Mathews and $35 Jim Thome,

It is a 12-team, AL-only 4x4 keeper league with a two-round minor league draft. I love prospects, but think this may be too good to pass-up. Both Lind and Dukes can be protected on the farm. Thoughts?

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Gary Mathews Jr

With a 5YR/$50MM contract for Gary Mathews, Jr., the Angels have effectively closed off the rumors of a trade between themselves and the Boston Red Sox for Manny Ramirez.

The Angels will have Mathews in CF with Garret Anderson and Juan Rivera sharing time in LF and DH and Vladomir playing RF.

Ironically, Mathews' contract makes Manny's look like an absolute bargain and that should fire-up the Manny rumors.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Jason LaRue

Word is the Reds are about to deal C Jason LaRue to the Royals for a PTBNL. This has two fantasy implications.

The first is 21 HR catcher Dave Ross is considered legit by the Reds organization. I tend to agree despite getting burned by him in 2004 following his 10 HR/124AB 2003 season.

Even at $9 or $10, Ross carries little risk.

The more interesting implication is the plunge in draft value that will happen to 26-year-old John Buck. He's a $5 catcher anyhow, but with LaRue, he'll be a $1 at the end of the draft.

And for $1, I love him.

Reds Moves

Gm Wayne Krivsky continues to morph the free-swinging/walks-taking Reds into a more defense-minded team. He inked former Marlin and Red Sock Alex Gonzalez to a three-year $15MM contract.

I've heard nothing but plaudits for AGonz's defense. On that front, I would expect a slight plus for the Reds pitching staff. How much I can't determine.

What I can determine is AGonz will be predicted to match his 23 HR output from a couple years ago. Playing in Cincy's home park guarantees the prediction.

What concerns me is he has failed to hit double figures in either of the past two years. FWIW, he hit just 24 2Bs in Fenway, his lowest this decade minus an abreviated 2002. That combined with AGonz's inability to work a walk (career-high 33 in 8 major league seasons) will make me shy away for anything more than a couple dolalrs in NL-only leagues.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Free ESPN Insider Weekend

Smartly, the suits at ESPN have decided to allow access to their Insider package. Great stuff has become available from Peter Gammons to Keith Law to this tidbit from Buster Olney: - INSIDER - Buster Olney Blog#20061118: "Hearing a lot of chatter about a possible Atlanta-Baltimore trade built around right-hander Tim Hudson, a free agent coveted by the Orioles a couple of years ago. You would have to assume that either Adam Loewen or Hayden Penn, two of the Orioles' better young pitchers, would be involved in the discussions."

I could not imagine the tired ten-figure-salaried Tim Hudson landing a player like Loewen, but Penn still has enough shine to overcome his generally unsuccesful stints as a major leaguer.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Danys Baez Closer Watch

From today's Plain Dealer in Cleveland:

"Baez is reportedly looking for a three-year deal as a closer. "

I don't doubt he is going to get a nice contract, but he'd better hurry if he wants one to be a closer. By my count, the following teams have openings: Boston, Tampa Bay, Cleveland, Kansas City, Marlins, Cardinals, and the Reds with the Diamondbacks and Giants on shaky closing grounds.

The DRays, Royals and Cards still have the relievers who finished-up 2006 in the role, so they are apt to shun the pricey free agent market. Also, The Drays and indians have had Baez and have dealt him. They may be less inclined to bring him back as the closer at closer money.

The music is playing.....

Nomar Garciaparra

Dodgers close to keeping Nomar - Los Angeles Times

So the Ned Colletti and the Dodgers are willing to give Nomar a multi-year deal to play 1B despite the $380K option of James Loney?

How will this situation play out according to the Dodgers?

"...Garciaparra has a better chance of staying healthy by remaining at first and would be reluctant to have him change positions. Loney would play first when Garciaparra rests and also compete for playing time in the outfield."

Consider me unsold on the viability of playing James Loney in RF or LF. He did make two appearances out there in 2006, but I wonder how well he can play the position and how well his power plays out.

A 10-HR hitter at a corner OF position is not your typical production.

As such, I do consider him a great end-of-draft $1 player. A Nomar injury, an unexpected smooth transition to the OF and Loney could get 350+ ABs. Without that, he'd likely not accumulate enough ABs to get significant counting stats.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Wes Helms

I kicked off 2006 with a post about former Florida Marlin 3B Wes Helms. Now that he signed a two-year $5.5 MM contract with the Phillies, i thought I'd provide a closing post on Helms.

The guys at NBC Sports/Rotoworld are fairly hard on the Phillies for signing him:
"Did they learn nothing from signing Abraham Nunez a year ago? Taking a bench player and giving him a multiyear deal and a starting job based on little more than one quality season is about the worst thing a GM can do that doesn't involve Chan Ho Park. Helms isn't even that good of a defender at third. He'd likely continue to have value as a bench player, but as a regular, he could make Phillies fans yearn for David Bell."

I think that harshness could set the tone for Helms' value going into the draft. If so, then expect Helms to be a good late round pick for $7-$11. Really? Who could lose their job to Abraham nunez/

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Frank Thomas - MLB - Sources: Blue Jays closing in on deal with Thomas

39 HR and 114 RBI is too hard to ignore.

137 games played as a DH easy to ignore.

I think JP is making a mistake. The turf in Toronto may not be as forgiving on Thomas' feet.

I wonder if Billy Beane laughs at his coattail rider.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Danys baez

Chatter: "Tribe manager Eric Wedge on free-agent Danys Baez: “We’ve talked to Danys and he wants to close.” "

That always warms my heart. Stick to your guns Danys. You can close again!

(If he'd remain in the NL, I'd be even more happy!)

JD Drew

Hoffman has Cy Young shot The San Diego Union-Tribune: "Boras said clubs are offering five years for Drew. "

While I would have expected J.D. Drew to get a contract along the lines of Johnny Damon or Hideki Matsui (4YR/$52MM) with competition likely adding a 5th year, the fact Boras said he has clubs offering five year deals makes me pause.

I interpret everything he says as an exxageration, and, if he states more than one club has offered a five year deal, then I conclude there are none.

Remember Kevin Millwood a few years ago?

Monday, November 13, 2006

Daisuke Matzusaka

MLB's Oreste Destrade broke the story today that the Boston Red Sox won the right to sign Matzusaka with a $50MM posting fee.

I had been thinking the flush-with-money theory was an exxageration following the Ramirez and Wood signings, but that posting fee is going to make Daisuke close to a $100MM pitcher after he signs his contract.

Barry Zito is in line for Kevin brown money if that proves true.

Hunter Pence

I play in a very deep NL-only 4X4 league that allows up to 5 minor league protects each year.

As such, the pool from which we select our minor league draftees is typically is empty of all the top 2006 prospects.

Fortunately, Hunter Pence was not selected last year, and enters this one as one of the top candidates to be selected #1 overall. - MLB - Inside Dish: Diamonds in the rough will be harder to find: "Astros OF Hunter Pence is drawing raves for his play in Arizona as well. 'He's kind of an old country ballplayer,' an American League scout says. 'Naturally strong, hunched back, but he really seems to have a good feel at the plate. He's probably the surest thing out here among position players.' "

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Jaret Wright trade

O's agree to trade for Wright -

The Orioles are sending rookie reliever Chris Britton to the Yankees for one-year-remining starter Jaret Wright.

So much for other teams being unwilling to trade with the Yankees.

For a player the Yankees did not want they are getting a middle releiver that would likely command $10 million dollars on the free agent market. That is a figure the Yankees won't pay him in the next three years combined!

(Maybe not at the league minimu is $380K, but you get the picture.)

I do like Wright in real-life, but, in fantasy baseball, I'd never deal a middle reliever for Jaret Wright. Those innings-weighted ratios are killers!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Dave Roberts

I surmised Roberts will get 3YR/$24MM and not fit the Rockies budget. Then I read this Journal-Sentinel article.

GM DougMelvin said Roberts' agent told him there were 12 teams interested, and he didn't believe a two-year contract would get it done.


Rockies CF

The Denver Post reports the Rockies are expected to have a $52MM salary in 2006. With $34MM committed to 5 players including LF Matt Holliday, there isn't much room for "marquee" free agent centerfielders.

With the major league minimum salary for 2007 being $380K, the Rockies have committed a minimum of $41.6 MM to its 25-man roster ($34MM for five players and 20@$380K.)

With $8MM per being the bandied about number for centerfielders, I do not see the Rockies addressing there CF via free agency.

Dave Roberts is the player most talked about, but I'd be shocked to see him get less than three years and $24MM. He does have the OBP that Juan Pierre lacks. (51 BBs in 499 ABs vs 32BB in 699 ABs) (Nevermind that Roberts in 35 and Pierre 30!)

I think the Rox could fit Roberts at $8MM in 2006, the team should be aware that Holliday and Atkins will be in the midst of their arbitration years and will take up more and more of the Rox' salary.

Do not be surprised to see the Rockies end-up with Jeff Salazar getting a chance to bring his AAA OBP of .357 to Coors. (And he had a .403 in 53 September ABs.)

Friday, November 10, 2006

Sheffield to Detroit

This morning's Newsday reports the Yankees and Tigers have made progress towards a deal that would send RF Gary Sheffield to the Tigers for...something.

However, the opting-out by JD Drew has made Los Angeles the best place to send Sheffield.

He can step into the vacated RF job and get an two-year extension for $20MM that the Dodgers were going to pay Drew in 2008 & 2009.

The question is what the Yanks will accept in a league-changing trade.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Gary Sheffield to Oakland?

SHEFF IS STEWING By MICHAEL MORRISSEY - New York Post Online Edition: Seven: "Two different major-league officials believed Sheffield will end up with the Cubs or Athletics."

I'd love to see what a deal with the A's would look like.

The Yankees need a first baseman. Would Dan Johnson for Sheff be feasible? With Daric Barton at AAA, the A's could remove one obstacle to major league ABs.

The Yankees could always use a starter/swing starter. Would Brad Halsey be available? Would the Yankees even consider that?

(Personally, the Yanks should pick-up Jaret Wright's $7MM option and use him in that swing role. If the Yanks do not, they pay Wright $4MM anyhow.)

Would Johnson and Halsey be enough?

Or would Daric Barton be a better match?

Without knowing what bargaining position the Yanks are in, I find it hard to speculate what the Yanks would be willing to accept.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Eric Patterson

Rototimes' Nate Ravitz has a glowing report on Cubs' AAA 2B Eric Patterson.

His eyes confirmed what his 46 SBs in 2006 tell you. Patterson is legitmately fast and looks to have developed the skills - OBP and defense - to make him a minor league draft pick in 2007.

With a currently unsettled 2B situation and some AAA success, Patterson could surprise this spring.

Barfield Trade

Here's my assessment of the deal from Fake Teams.

I have little doubt that Barfield will be a cheaper option than Robinson Cano next draft and will provide more SBs.

When Cano hits the high $20s, don't fear taking Barfield to the low $20s.

Red Sox Closer

This morning's Boston Globe reports Red Sox GM Theo Epstein stating the Sawx will obtain a closer via free agency or trade.

If the route is free agency, all Craig Hansen owners can feel free to cut bait as the free agent's contract will likley run for more than a year and effectively block Hansen from rising to the role he was drafted for.

While Eric Gagne would be a sexy choice, I believe his bevy of injuries is too much to gamble on.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

More Teahen

Today's Kansas City Star reports the Royals are seriously considering moving 3B Mark Teahen to left field to make room for uber-prospect Alex Gordon at the hot corner.

More interesting is the fact this was decided in early September, and it is the reason the Royals surprisingly cut short Teahen's breakout season.

I would be surprised if Teahen started Opening Day in left field because I believe Royals GM Dayton Moore when he says he wants Royals prospects to hit each level of the minors.

That means Teahen should play enough games at 3B to qualify there in 2008.

A signal that Teahen would open in LF would be a trade of either Reggie Sanders or Emil Brown. That would open a spot in the OF assuming Joey Gaithwright isn't a starter.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Mark Teahen

In the "Comments" section of this post, a reader asked what I thought about the 2007 prospects for Royals 3B Mark Teahen. (Really, he asked, "I'm curious to know your thoughts on Mark Teahen. He seems to be the one with offensive projections all over the map.") My re-phrasing remains faithful to the intent, right?)

I believe he learned something after his demotion to AAA following his horrible start to the 2006 season (.194 AVG). When he returned he hit .313 through the first week of September when he was precautionarily shut down with a shoulder issue.

Assuming the shoulder is healthy, I expect Teahen to maintain a 2007 performance closer to his post-demotion numbers than his pre-demotion ones. I can't say I can comfortably pro-rate his half-season production (June/July/August 16 HRs) into 30+ HRs, although I have little doubt he will get priced into the $20s on draft days 2007.

That said, I'd be comfortable expecting 15-20 HRs and 10 SBs from him next season. That would place him in the $17 range on draftday.

Bonderman/Texeiera Rumors

The rumors of a Jeremy Bonderman/Mark Texeiera trade have a life of their own right now.

Both players are free agents after the 2008 season, and I'm not convinced a move to Arlington will continue Bonderman's steady statistical progress.

If that occurs, then he will be a very pricey starting pitcher whilst Texeiera mashes away in Detroit.

Bonderman could bring bat Tigers need - 11/06/06 - The Detroit News Online: "Q . Whom will the Tigers trade for?
A . I like their chances to make a deal for Mark Teixeira of Texas. A young catcher in the Braves' system, Jarrad Saltalamacchia, is the kind of future starter they could be expected to grab in a separate trade for a pitcher, say, for someone like Jordan Tata."

Jarrod Saltalamacchia should be available in trade talks, but I wonder whether the Tigers would deal a pitching prospect for a catching one.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Adam Dunn

So the Reds new hitting coach, Brook Jacoby, is going to work on Adam Dunn's strikeouts:

"If he were to put the ball in play a little more, I'm sure it would mean some more RBIs and possibly some more hits. It might be an approach thing with him with two strikes; it might be a mechanical thing. I'll have to sit down and talk to him and we'll figure it out. I'd like to think something could be improved there."

That quote will be the impetus for fantasy baseball pros everywhere to covert some number of his 194 Ks into hits and then into improved AVG.

Of those hits, some will be HRs, so the projections for a big Adam Dunn HR year will be made. (Roughly one quarter of his 2006 hits were HRs.)

This will also be buttressed by the fact Dunn is going into his Age 27 year.

Then someone will note his 7 SBs last year and notice the 19 he had a few seasons ago and reasonably conclude his could get 10. Then recall that he had said he wanted to run more just two seasons ago and confidently predict that double-digit steal season for 2007.

And wham! Adam Dunn is hyped enough to climb into the 2nd round in AVG leagues and the late first in OBP leagues.

I'll just recall the hype surrounding the 2005 season when he was going to run more and ended-up with four SB - his career-low!

I'm not buying the hype, but will happily deal a $38 Dunn from my NL-only team if that team believes the hype. (Yes, he went for $38 in that 2005 draft based upon the SB hype, and, yes, I protected him at $38 in 2006. But only for the "guaranteed" 40 HRs.)

Friday, November 03, 2006

Francisco Liriano

Finally, the news fantasy baseball players have waited on has arrived.

Francisco Liriano will undergo Tommy John surgery and miss the 2007 season

Recall I was already thinking about what to spend during the 2007 draft back in September.

I have settled on $15 give or take a few depending on the draft i.e lots of money chasing fewer good options.

Randy Johnson

How the mighty have fallen!

From Tyler Kepner's piece in this morning's New York Times:

"The Yankees would like to re-sign Mussina for two years, and they seem to understand it would take more than $10 million a year to sign him. Mussina, who had no arm problems last season, would be the second solid member of the rotation, joining Chien-Ming Wang."

I wish I could forget the $26 million the Yanks are going to give Randy johnson and Carl Pavano.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

2007 Fantasy Baseball Guide

Another tidbit:

"As a general rule, I sort Rotisserie baseball players into five categories:

1. Starting Pitchers
2. Closers and Possible Closers
3. Reliable Hitters
4. Questionable Ups
5. Questionable Downs.

I take a first-impression attack towards sorting players. By rapidly sorting various players, I am provided a frame work from which I can evaluate additional information. What is important is a willingness to move players from one group to another or out of a group entirely.

The first two categories are self-explanatory with the exception...."

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The $25MM Man

The NY Daily News reports the Mets and 2006 ace, Tom Glavine, are close to a two-year/$25MM contract.

At 41, why can't I stop thinking of the previous two-year extension granted to a NY pitcher? The Yankees $32MM extension for Randy Johnson.

Maybe this will work better for the Mets, but one thing is crystal clear.

There is a lot of money in MLB.

So much that the players will soon be in possession of the ridiculous contracts the NBA can bestow upon their mediocrities i.e. 5YR/$30MM for Jerome James. (Actually, one need only randomly select any Knick as an example.)

In baseball, the $6MM bum is non-existent. There are baseball bums paid $6MM, but they have typically performed well prior to signing.

Alphonso Soriano Rumors

Philadelphia Inquirer 11/01/2006 Phillies will offer big money to Soriano

If the Cardinals can win the World Series with Albert Pujols, Scott Rolen and some no-names, the Phillies would be unstoppable with Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Alphonso Soriano, and Jimmy Rollins.

As someone who does not have Soriano in my NL-only league and plays in an AL-only, I am saddend that Soriano wouldn't switch leagues. I really wanted to go $45+ for him at next year's draft.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Ask Rotomusing

Q12: Eric W. asks:
"Do you think Travis Hafner could continue to be undervalued next yeardue to the late season injury. Despite his numbers he's not mentionedin any MVP conversations and generally seems like a guy people haveslept on the past two years. In the (AL/NL) traditional drafts Iparticipated in he had an average draft position of 33. After leadingthe AL in both EQA and VORP is it feasible to see him slip again orhas he officially moved into the top tier?Also, what do you kind of value do you think he carry in a 2007 auction?"

Rotomusing responds:
"Thanks for the email.

The only thing holding Hafner back from being a late-first/early second round pick is his DH-only status.

With his success and David Oritz', I expect any unrealized value is gone.

In my AL-only, Hafner was protected at $32, and many teams tried to play the DH-only angle to acquire him cheaply.

No go, and his current owner has no intentions of dealing him before next year's draft.

He is an elite hitter, and a well-recognized one. Expect his 2007 draft value to reflect that. I'd happily select him in the second round."

Fantasy Baseball Guide 2007

One of the challenges preparing for each draft is evaluating whether or not those surprise performers from the previous season are for real and deserve a draft salary/slot commensurate with their production.

Amongst those players are Ryan Howard, Bill Hall, Nick Swisher, Matt Holliday, Adam LaRoche and Garret Atkins. Each of these player hit HRs at levels that would make them $30+ draftees in AL- and NL-only keeper leagues or top four round draftees in mixed leagues.

Adam LaRoche $30+?!?!?!?!?!

Monday, October 30, 2006

2007 Prospects Prospects: Prospect Pulse: Prospects Position Rankings

For those who can access the subscription-only content at Baseball America. Chris Kline has his Top 10 minor leaguers at each position (C, 1B, 2B, SS, 3B, CF, CROF, RHSP, LHSP, CL) and a star rating based on future star depth.

The strongest positions are RHSP and CF.

Given Hughes and Bailey are RHSP, that shouldn't be too surprising. My 2007 "sleeper" is Tim Lincecum, and he ranks very highly based on his domination of younger players last year.

I can see Lincecum fireballing his way through the 7th or 8th inning.

CF has many of my favorites like Andrew McCutchen and Chris Young along with another 2007 "sleeper" Colby Rasmus.

It is a good list and one that can prove very helpful for 2007 fantasy baseball drafts.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Fantasy Baseball Guide 2007

Just as taste:

"Trading is good for the game of fantasy baseball. It provides excitement when your team gets dull, and it allows an outlet for what everyone wants more of in baseball- wheeling and dealing. Everyone loves Sportscenter to open with a blockbuster trade, and Baseball Tonight to have a four-member discussion breaking it down along with the attendant trade rumors of more to come.

I send many a trade feeler to other teams in my league – a few per week, and I examine other teams to anticipate possible moves when situations change."

As I work on this everyday, I will provide just a bit of each day's work.

Feel free to comment. I'd appreciate it.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Carl Pavano

The NY Post's Joel Sherman has yet another insightful off-season article in this morning's paper.

This one pertains to the off-season work $40 MM bust, Carl Pavano. He is going to go to one of those off-season high-tech training facilities to "fix" whatever it is in his physiology that keeps getting him injured.

This is the piece of information you look for when trying to find those players who can exceeed consensus opinion.

Friday, October 27, 2006

San Francisco Closer - MLB - Bochy agrees to leave Padres, become Giants manager

The Giants hired former Padres manager, Bruce Bochy, to lead the transition from a team swamped by AARP representatives to one that is aware of the advances in video games post-Asteroids.

While manager of the Padres, Bochy used his bullpen in very predictable ways. (I know having Trevor Hoffman made that very easy.)

Even when Hoffman was out, he stuck with Tim Worrell as the closer.

For the Giants, this means whoever is the closer in 2007, will likely remain so minus an complete lack of ability to handle the role.

Nominally, that player is Armando Benitez because of his $7MM remaining on his contract, but, if Mike Stanton begins next season in the role, do not be afraid to land him as your closer.

I highly doubt a closing version of Mike Stanton would be amongst the middle-tier of closer prices.

Heck, following his 2006 season, I doubt Benitez would be there either.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Top AL SP - Blogs

Rototimes' Nate Ravitz offers up his Top 10 starting pitchers in the AL, and the list is scary.

Johann Santana is #1, and Roy Halladay is second. After that, the options delve right into the inconsistent and non-dominanting.

With the remainder, the ERAs hover around 4.00. Y-U-C-K.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Francisco Lirano

According to ESPN, Twins' rookie stud, and fantasy Viagra, Francisco Liriano is still feeling pain in his pitching elbow.

I expect that TJ surgery is likely and better to have it now than following your fantasy draft where you spent $25+ to have him anchor your team.

Never mind that any readers of this sight will have been reminded to stay away from that level of bidding.

In fact, I would bid more for him if he had the surgery now than if he had it during the 2007 season. He would be more likely available in 2008.

Monday, October 23, 2006

MLB Free Agency

It seems as if the regular season just ended, and now free agency is a mere three weeks away.

I can't wait to see the lies Scott Boras puts out there in his push to make Barry Zito the 20%-more-than-the-outrageous-contract-you-think-he'd-ask-for.

As I have him in an AL-only at $22, I certainly hope the Yankees are in on the bidding.

Sunday, October 22, 2006


Center field, bullpen are main targets

Depending on the quality of the "baseball sources", this article could be pure conjecture.

Chris Duffy and Wily Tavares can be had easily enough. The Astos can use the young pitching. Outside of Oswalt, there isn't any proven starters.

The Pirates may have more interest in a 1B than more young pitching, but neither would make Duffy unavailable.

It is the third CF mentioned, Matt Kemp, that made me question the quality of the baseball source. No way he is available for less than a Scott Olsen-level young pitcher.

Renyel Pinto, Yusi Petit and Jose Garcia do not come close to that level.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Endy Chavez

Just a great post-season moment for Mets' outfielder Endy Chavez.

The catch should keep him in the minds of fantasy baseball players all off-seaosn and lead to him being over-bid at next year's drafts.

Along with John Maine and Oliver Perez.

Any of the three are good flyers at a $1 or $2 but not at $10+.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

John Maine

Following John Maine's clutch pitching performance, I went back and examined what I was saying about him at the time of his trade to the Mets. (For those whose memories are a bit cloudy, the Mets dealt starting pitcher kris benson and his wife, Anna, to the Orioles for reliver Jorge Julio, the main piece, and minor league pitcher, John Maine.)

First post:
The Mets get Jorge Julio and John Maine. I like Maine's potential more than I like Julio as a middle reliever. Following the 2003 season, Maine was considered a top pitching prospect for the O's. He struck out 185 in 147 innings. He followed that performance with 139 Ks in 138 innings mostly at AAA. That led to a brief, and bitter, cup of coffee with the O's.

In 2005, he struggled at AAA (4.56 ERA but still struck out 111 in 128) and in a quarter season's worth of starts with Baltimore (8 starts 6.30 ERA 24 K/24 walks in 40 innings.) Given this was only his first shot at extended exposure, I will not right him off as "failed."

Second mention:
Even after Maine's disastrous spring, he is still the best piece the Mets received.

Last mention following a horrendous Jorge Julio April appearance:

To think John Maine is still the best pitcher Minaya got in the Kris Benson trade. Puh-theh-tick.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

First Trade Rejections

My offer from Monday evening of Tigers outfielder Brent Clevlen for Orioles starting pitcher Adam Loewen was rejected because the other team did not want to trade for Clevlen after releasing him during the season.

This calls for an expanded offer where Clevlen will be viewed as a bonus to the other parts of the trade.

The Dioner Navarro for Daric Barton/Carl Pavano offer was countered with Justin Huber in lieu of Barton. I'd have accepted it, but for the fact Huber's minor league eligibility was exhausted for this league when he was activated to his owner's fantasy team.

I already plan on carrying Adam Jones in a similar way and do not see the prudence of filling an OF spot and a corner one with two minor league players.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

My First Trade Offers

Yesterday, I sent out two trade offers. One was serious, the other was just to prove that a team did not believe the load of crap he was selling when he offered the same player.

The crap offer was my $5 Brent Clevlen for his $5 Adam Loewen. I had been offered Clevlen in a multi-player trade proposal and was told he was a quality player who will be a big contributor next season.

He was subsequently waived by his owner. When he was recalled in September, I used the last of my FAAB on him as a flyer.

Adam Loewen has potential but his ratios are so high that he'd need incredible improvement just to qualify as "unharmful".

But he has upside and the off-season is long.

The serious offer was $9 Dioner Navarro for Daric Barton and a $4 Carl Pavano.

As a starting catcher in an AL-only 12-team league, Navarro would undoubtably be drafted for $5+. He would also be one of the few available starting catchers at next year's draft.

Barton is coming off an injury but was a 21-year-old in AAA, and $4 for Carl Pavano isn't outrageous. He is a trade risk though.

I am OK making either deal or not making either deal.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Adam Dunn

The talk in Cincinnatti is that GM Wayne Krivsky is Minnesota-izing the Reds by trading away his high-strike out hitters in favor of lower-striking out ones.

He has dealt Wily Mo Pena, Austin Kearns and Felipe Lopez and just fired hitting coach Chris Chambliss.

Conjecture says OF/1B Adam Dunn is next. At 26, he is certainly not on the down swing of his production - assuming one puts that at .240/40/100/100+BBs.

In the currently-inflating free agent market, $10 million a year is nothing for a high-OBP HR hitter.

The Angels certainly look like they can use some high OBP hitters, and they have many a trading piece a budget-conscious club like Cincinnatti could use.

Never mind an even-ish contract swap of SS Orlando Cabrera ($8 MM per through 2008).....

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Alphonso Soriano

I am blocked from accessing Rototimes during the work day so I haven't been able to draw any attnetion to Mike Sheets' excellent post on Alphonso Soriano's increased walk rate in 2006. ( - Blogs)

He properly notes that Soriano's 67 BBs were more twice what he drew in either 2005 or 2004 (33 in each) or his career-high of 38 in 2003.

Also highlighted are the 16 intentional BBs amongst the 67 total BBs in 2006.

Correcting for those at a typical career-rate would have Soriano drawing 53 BBs.

That isn't great, but, if he maintained that next year, he'd remain a 40+ player. And those 53 BBs would establish his second-highest season total.

Friday, October 13, 2006

1st Off-Season Trade

Two teams in my 12-team NL-only league made the first trade of the off-season. $25 Francisco Cordero and a 2nd round minor league pick were swapped for $10 Juan Encarnacion, $5 Rich Aurilia and $3 Noah Lowry.

All four players are entering their final years at those salary levels with the three cheap players getting the option of being signed for $5 more per year.

I wouldn't sign any of them, though, and that may be reason enough to do the trade.

At $25, Cordero is as likely to be over-priced as he is to be under-priced, but he is the closer.

Juan Encarnacion will likely produce in 2007 what he did in 2006 - 15-20 HRs, 80 RBI and a .280 AVG with an OBP that constantly draws cries from the sabremetricians to replace him.

Rich Aurilia is a quality utility player in fantasy baseball. He fits in well with whatever the Reds are doing and qualifies at 1B, SS and 3B next draft.

Noah Lowry had a great stetch in August (5-0/1.86 ERA/0.90 WHIP), but was otherwise harmful to fantasy squads. However, at $3, he is protectable if you can get someone to focus on the August performance and extrapolate from there.

A decent trade for both sides.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

1st Trade Feelers

This afternoon, I received the first couple of trade feelers in preparation for the 2007 draft.

The first asked about the availability of $20 Bartolo Colon in exhange for something like $7 Carlos Pena or $6 Ben Zobrist.

Either would be acceptable. Any player with a modicum of potential for 2007 should land a player like Colon - fully-valued, if healthy, and coming off some arm issues.

The other feeler involved an $18 Jorge Posada or $9 Dionner Navarro. Both can be had.

However, I see them as more valuable than Colon right now, so I'd expect something with a little more certainty for 2007.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Manny Ramirez

Peter Gammons blurbs in his ESPN Blog that Red Sox outfielder Manny Ramirez wants to go to the National League and not the Angels.

If an NL team is convinced it can withstand his sometimes lackadaisical efforts in the field for two seasons, then Manny would be quite a catch.

There is little doubt that he will hit.

What do the Red Sox need is the question that should be answered before specualting which NL teams could use him because a player of Manny's caliber should be dealt only to fill the obvious holes in the organization.

1st, the Red Sox would need an outfielder to replace Manny.

2nd, the Red Sox need a shortstop.

3rd, the Red Sox need a 1B if Kevin Youkilis can slide back to 3B or a 3B if he can not.

4th, the Red Sox need a closer.

5th, the Red Sox, like most teams, can use starting pitching although this isn't a pressing need with Schilling, Wakefield, Beckett and Papelbon.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Julio Lugo

The Globe & Mail reports that free agent SS Julio Lugo really wants to be pursued by Toronto.

I'd provide his quotes, but then I'd be copying almost the entire article/blurb.

While those teams that lost Lugo to the NL would be happy to see him return to the AL this off-season, I'd be more concerned what the Blue jays would do to his SB production.

The Blue Jays attempted 99 steals last season and were succesful 65 times. They were bunched amongst six other clubs who attempted 100 or fewer.

CF Vernon Wells led the team with 17 steals in 21 attempts while Alex Rios was second with 15/21.

To be fair neither of those players possess Lugo's speed, and there isn't a Blue Jay who does. Predicting how much the Jays system would dampen Lugo's SB is more difficult.

For comparisons, the Tigers had the most in that dubious group with 100 while the Red Sox lead the bottom with 74.
The fewest attempts amongst the other group is a 141 by the White Sox.

Who is the other team strongly rumored to be after Lugo? The Red Sox!

Monday, October 09, 2006

Joe Torre

New York Daily News - Baseball - Yanks return, Torre twists: "If he becomes available, according to a source, the Rangers are expected to be very interested in trying to lure him to Texas to fill the vacancy created by Buck Showalter's dismissal"

That would take the team stolen bases from one extreme to another.

If Torre did manage Texas, and I do not get the feeling he'd waat to leave/move his family, from Westchester NY to Texas as a 66-year-old, then bump all the Rangers SB totals up even further than one would with just the departure of Buck.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Roto Guide

Rotomusing is seriously contemplating writing a fantasy baseball guide for 2007.

As such, it will be taking a lot of my free time to organize and write.

The guide will cover many topics touched on here over the past two seasons. From recognizing sleepers a year ahead to trade strategy.

I hope to have it available in a beta form by mid-November.

Any comments/suggestion are welcome.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Nats' Offseason Focus Is Soriano, New Manager -

Sounds like Soriano is out of there.

Not from the Nats POV, but from his own.

What a blunder that will prove to be on Jim Bowden's part if Alphonso doesn't resign.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Victory Speech

I ascribe my victory to those two skills necessary to win every Rotisserie league - luck and the lack of major injuries, which as I see it, is basically luck.

It began immediately following the draft when I replaced Colorado OF Jeff Baker with Pittsburgh 3B Freddy Sanchez. (One could say the luck continued as Jeff Baker was recalled in September and proceeded to hit his way into the Rox' 2007 plans.)

Another big factor was the way I constructed my team - $30+ players and $10 and under players. What this ended-up doing was preventing me from trading players because they were either 1. too expensive (Adam Dunn $38) and too hard to fit under either my or the other team's salary cap or 2. too valuable at their salary to trade i.e. $5 Ryan Howard.

John Bogle would be proud to see that limited trading activity.

Luck also helped me by putting other teams in disadvantagous positions when players were called-up to the majors. Dodgers catcher Russ Martin was recalled 20 minutes before the deadline with neither Dan nor Rob in physical position to take him.

Or causing other teams to hesitate like Steve did with Brandon Phillips. I was then able to trade a pool pick-up for a closer, Tom Gordon.

Which segues nicely into another bit of Roto luck. I didn't lose my end of my trades this year. Brandon Phillips continued to produce all season long and is now a more valuable player than Tom Gordon, but I got the saves from Gordon I wanted.

I dealt Juan Pierre for HR/RBI. Austin Kearns did nicely but not as well as Pierre did on Steve's team.

And so on.

Thanks. Hopefully, the luck continues next year. (Famous last words heard through Nevada. Or upstate New York. Or Eastern Connecticut. Or on the Mississippi River. Or..)

Monday, October 02, 2006

Andrew McCutchen

Notebook: Top prospect visits PNC Park - Tribune-Review

Remember Pirates OF Andrew McCutchen when the off-season hype machine begins rolling for Jay Bruce, Justin Upton and Colby Rasmus.

Sorry, that should be McCutchen and Rasmus. Bruce and Upton will be far away the more covered players.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Last Day

Jerry Owens needs to start today's game in the outfield. Otherwise, there is a chance he can take over the DH duties from whomever and that would guarantee a DH-only status for next year's drafts.

Other than that, I am not watching anythign today too closely. With an 18.5 point lead in my NL-only, I've begun to count my money. (Thank you, Salomon Torres, Freddy Sanchez, Russ MArtin, Miguel Olivo, Jorge Julio....)

Oh the list goes on and on...

In my Al-only, I am running out the clock on 7th place and the 2nd overall pick in my minor league draft.

There are too many to not give thanks to.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Pedro Martinez

Wow! Out eight months for rotator cuff surgery.

When the burning of Theo Epstein in effigy occurs this off-season, I hope someone recalls the Red Sox refusal to go more than three years, and that only because of market pressures.

Omar Minaya went four years and wrapped him up. One great season as a .500 club (2005) and half of another is all the Mets will get for their first $38 million.

When the accolades pour over Minaya, remember the Pedro's contract.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Worth Watching

From this morning's Daily Herald in Chicago"

"Jerry Owens made his first major-league start Wednesday, and the 25-year-old outfielder also got his first hit (single) and first stolen base, both in the third inning.

The White Sox want to add speed to next year's roster...

"I try to use my speed as much as possible," said Owens..."

Hopefully, you were able to add Owens cheaply after I gave a heads-up two weeks ago.

Hopefully, you have been able to maintain whatever standing you had when you did!

Hopefully, he will make two appearances more as an OF than DH so he qualifies at OF for next year's drafts!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Nook Logan

Natspos manager Frank Robinson has shown a proclivity for centerfielders who are fast with little pop and no concern about OBP skills.

Peter Bergeron and Endy Chavez fit that bill, and current CF Nook Logan does also.

With the impending departure of Frank Robinson. Nook Logans' 2007 prospects for a starting gig have diminished.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Gammons is Back! - INSIDER - Peter Gammons Blog#20060926#20060926

ESPN's senior baseball wirter, Peter Gammons, has his first blog entry up since his brain aneurysm.

Good to have him back, and I can see his unflagging optimism hasn't taken a hit.

He writes that the Tigers cannot be dismissed this off-season despite play-off inexperience, a horrendous team OBP and a limping-to-the-finish-line second half.

David Weathers

The Enquirer - Weathers in dark about 2007 return

David Weathers wants to return to Cincy next year.

For Roto players, all this will do is keep the closing situation muddled.

Narron has on and off confidence in Weathers as the closer.

The problem comes when he loses that confidence, switches roles, and then switches back.

If Weathers returns, I see the same thing happening in 2007 as happened in 2006 - Weathers, Coffey, Guardado, Committee, Weathers.

Hopefully, the Reds put down $20 million on a closer and force themselves into keeping one player in the role all season.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

2006 Minor League All-Stars Minors: 2006 Minor League All-Stars

A very handy list to have as the off-season quickly approaches.

Joey Votto's return to the top of the prospect heap is notable. 20/20 1B with OBP skills is the perfect mixture of sabremetrics and fantasy skills.

Too bad he won't be able to loosen Rich Aurilia's hold on Jerry Narron, I mean, 1B.

Boof Bonser

Twins rookie starting pitcher Boof Bonser, the third piece acquired from the San Francisco Giants in the increasigly horrendous AJ Pierzynski trade, pitched another September gem last night.

He went six and two-thirds innings and allowed just a run on two hits and two walks while striking out five.

For the month, he is 4-0 in 32.2 IP with 27 strikeouts and $30+ ratios - 2.20 ERA and 0.95 WHIP.

Back in February, I thought he'd be a good candidate to break into the majors as a middle reliever. At the time, I figured he'd be blocked from the rotation by Santana, Radke, Silva, Liriano and Baker.

"...I can see Bonser getting a bullpen role after striking out more than one per inning in AAA Rochester. His strikeout rate increased for the third season in a row last year. He gave-up too many HRs (22), but a foot-wetting in middle relief seems right..."

Given the injury to Radke, the general ineffectiveness of Carlos Silva, and the looming TJ surgery threat for Liriano, Bonser has locked-up the nominal 3rd or 4th starter spot for 2007.

With good ratios, expect Bonser to take the spot RHP Scott Baker occupied last off-season. Just hope he doesn't take-up Baker's spot as one of the most disappointing 2006 sleeper picks.

(Here is my original post on Bosner from February 20, 2006.)

Monday, September 25, 2006

Esteban German

Esteban German is shaping up as a very nice 2007 end-of-draft $1 player.

He will qualify at 2B, 3B and OF in all leagues. With a .426 OBP in 250 ABs so far, expect him to be involved in all fantasy discussions/criticism about the Royals.

Fortunately for Royals fans, that discussion will not focus solely on what a horrid team they are. With Ryan Shealy, Mark Teahan, Dave DeJesus, Alex Gordon and Billy Butler, the Royals offer opportunities for solid fantasy sleepers.

In the background will be Esteban German. Given the chance he would likely steal 20+

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Russ Martin Or...

FakeTeams :: Russ Martin Or...

Because I can't stop perserverating on the 2007 Rockies, a team that may be able to nearly duplicate the rookie success of the Marlins - in a way only a major league team can.

Three rookies starting - SS, C and CF- in the heart of the team.

What the Marlins did was unprecedented and likely to not occur again.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Danys Baez

Baez likely done with Braves

'They signed [Bob] Wickman already, and I want to be a closer,' said Baez.

I have been acting on this information all season.

He said the same thing after being dealt to the Dodgers in the Spring.

It is comforting to see his mindset has not changed.

If you are in a keeper league and can add him, do it. There are few nicer off-season feelings thans to see pool pick-ups turn into closers.

Jeff Baker

Obviously, I am in the midst of a mini-perseveration episode. I can't stop blogging about the Colorado Rockies.

Last night, OF Jeff Baker hit his 4th HR in 35 September ABs.

There is a little reason to doubt he will enter this off-season as the 4th OF/platoonmate of RF Brad Hawpe.

With CF being the Rockies top off-season priority, one can read that a right-hand hitting OF has been filled internally.

That filler is Jeff Baker.

The top internal candidate for CF is Jeff Salazar with the above-linked article reporting that the organization likes Coc0 Crisp and Gary Matthews Jr as trade/free agent options.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Jeff Salazar

I see Jeff Salazar is hitting .250 in his first 28 major league ABs. I am not surpised, but I checked to see how he was doing drawing walks.

There I was somewhat surprised. He has drawn seven bases-on-balls for a .405 OBP.

I went and checked current Rox CF, Cory Sullivan, and he has drawn 30 BBs in 377 ABs with 97 Ks. Under some vague impression that he had improved his plate discipline, I checked his 2005 numbers.

Call me "mis-impressed." In 378 ABs, he walked 28 times and struck out 83 times. Not the type of improvement anyone would expect to lead to Jeff Salazar being denied the chance to fill that centerfield hole for the major league minimum in 2007.

Cory Sullivan did increase his XBH from a paltry 23 in 2005 to 38 this season with 10 triples, though.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

ARod to Angels?

LA Daily News - Angels notes: Money no object to get A-Rod

When I read yesterday's quotes by California Angels owner Arte Moreno about the intention to make a big acquistion this off-season, I wondered who.

This morning the speculative race is on, and the name mentioned is Alex Rodriguez, a perfect fit for the Angels.

What the price would be, and the LA Daily News speculates - Ervin Santana, Scot Shields, Chone Figgins and a high-level prospect.

That is outrageous, but the offer has to start somewhere. That one does hit on what the Yanks needs are - a SP, RP, 3B and minor league depth.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


Sam Walker's Fantasyland is in the new bargian bin at

I thought the regular discount was a good price, but, given the book is not time-dependent, it is a good way to spend the price of a super-sized #1 at an NYC McDonalds.

Bob Wickman

The Braves signed current closer, and now 2007 one, Bob Wickman for next season.

I like the move as the braves were clearly in need of one prior to acquiring Wickman, and he will not retard any pitchers' development with just a one-year deal.

Those I feel bad for are those NL-only leaguers who bid enormous sums of FAAB hoping Wickman would retire or sign in the AL next year and avoid any penalties.

Off-Season Preparation

From today's regular 2 PM Minor League Chat on SPORTSNATION - Chat-12940(Insider): "Jim Callis(CTU Los Angeles): Where am I today isn't this my chat?

Chris Kline: This is indeed Jim's chat, but we're on deadline at the BA headquarters today and Jim is editing our Minor League Top 20 prospects for each league from Triple-A down to the rookie levels. So you guys will have to deal with me today . . . I have The Roots cranked up on the old iPod, so let's get rolling . . . "

If you are only capable (or willing) to buy one minor league magazine in the off-season, the Baseball America issue that ranks the Top 20 prospects at each level in the minor leagues is it.

It usually comes out in the beginning of October. While it doesn't have the simplicity of BA's TOP 100 rankings, it usually includes all those in the 100 with better coverage of each.

A must, must read.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

King Felix

Listening to XM Radio's Fantasy Focus with Jeff Erickson, a caller asked whether he should keep a 19th round Felix hernandez or a 16th round Ryan Zimmerman, and the host responded that Felix Hernandez was a the better protect.

My first thought was, "Go down with that ship!"

My next one occurred after Mr. Erickson rationalized it by citing Hernandez's age and some decent peripherals.

I thought, "Is pitcher's age the same as hitter's age? Do pitcher's who make the pros very early improve the same as hitters who do?"

I do not know the answer, but there is no glimmer on "King" Felix for me.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Colorado Centerfield - Numbers may add up to Crisp

I am not sure the Red Sox can let CF Coco Crisp go with all the holes they'd need to fill, which would include CF if they dealt Crisp.

If not for the trade of CF Adam Stern to the Orioles as the PTBNL in the Javy Lopez trade (recently released), I'd argue that he and top prospect, CF Jacoby Ellsbury, would be a possibility of manning the position.

Unfortunately, that isn't the case.

Putting that aside, do the Rockies have anything that Red Sox would take? The Red Sox need a 1B, a 2B, a SS, and RP. I'm sure Ryan Shealy would have gotten it done, but not Jeremy Affeldt and Danny Bautista- the players the ROX did get for Shealy.

I am sure the Red Sox would ask for Tulowitzki, but they'd officially become laughingstocks following the Matt Kemp request for David Wells.

The Rox should split the job between Cory Sullivan and Jeff Salazar and focus on adding a powerbat either at 2B or via a trade of Todd Helton.

The team's offense should be improved with an entire season of Tulowitzki at SS, Chris Iannetta at C, and Salazar and Jeff Baker as the back-up OFers.

Adding Josh Kashanky as the bat off the bench would also help.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Jason Isringhausen

STLtoday - Sports - Cardinals

Wow! When I read this:
"This certainly is a significant, serious situation at this point," Paletta said. "But I wouldn't call it career-threatening. It may put part of next year in jeopardy, but I don't think it's at a point where it's career-threatening. It may compromise part of next year, depending on which one of those (surgical) options."

I immediately began to think Adam Wainwright may be the best bet for closing, but then recalled that the Cardinals refused to deal him this past July 31 because he is slated to entert he starting rotation next season.

With the Red Sox leaning towards moving a successful closer to the rotation, I doubt the Cards will buck that "trend" and keep Wainwright in the 'pen.

Braden Looper looks like the best bet for 2007, but a free agent signing appears just as likely.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Jonathan Papelbon

My take on the increasingly likely move of Jonathan Papelbon to the starting rotation.

Phillip Hughes

The Yankees and Red Sox are scheduled to play four games in two days - back-back day/night doubleheaders.

I have a very hard time believing the Yankees wiht not burn through all their arms.

As a result, I see a better than even chance the Yankees will have to add a pitcher to start/relieve this weekend or Monday.

And conveniently located is prospect phenom SP Phillip Hughes who is with the team to acclimate to the atmosphere of a major league club.

The moment he is activated, add him. He is worth the risk.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Ask Rotomusing

Q11: Ray asks,"Can you give me your best guesstimate on the dollar values in an NL only roto league for the following players for next year:
Miggy Cabrera
Andy Laroche-LA
Matt Kemp
Russ Martin
Anibal Sanchez"

RM responds,"The first four will all be priced at the very top of draft day salaries.

I'd have all of them in the $40 range of a $260 league.

Martin, Tulowitzki, and Kemp should be in the $9-$17 range with Martin the "surest" bet followed by Tulowitzki and Kemp. Kemp would have the highest upside, but I remain concerned that he hasn't really hit since mid-June.

Nomar went for $17 in my NL-only, and I don't expect much more. His career seems to be on the one-year at a time tract.

As for Anibal Sanchez, I suspect the no-hitter and good ERA will lead to a low teens bid."

Nook Logan

Logan may be answer in center�-�Sports�-�The Washington Times, America's Newspaper: "It's still way too early to tell, but Logan in glimpses has shown he might be the Nationals' long-lost answer. "

I have a hard time believing the African-American version of Endy Chavez or Peter Bergeron will do well enough to keep a starting job, but Chavez and Bergeron did log seasons of full-time ABs playing with the Natspos.

A a buck or two now, Nook Logan could provide cheap steals in 2007 or trade bait in the impending off-season.

2007 Sleeper - Future Sox concerns: Speed, starters: "...will be looking for speed at the top and bottom of the order to offset a slow-footed middle of the order...The Sox have more than $99 million committed to 12 players for 2007....also a reason Williams has insisted the Sox will continue to introduce young players from their system to the major-league roster....With manager Ozzie Guillen already having placed a priority on speed for 2007...."

If I have Dowd-ified the quote my apologies.

What this assessment of the Chicago's needs points to is AA CF Jerry Owens, a speed prospect whose star lost some luster following a "mediocre" AAA season where he hit .262/.330/.346 after a AA one with .331/.393/.406.

I will find a positive comparison between the two seasons. In AA, Owens stole 38 bases in 58 attempts. At a higher level, he was 40 of 52.

He also maintained his AB:BB ratio of 10:1 at a higher level.

Is it possible he had an expecially unlucky year with batted balls falling for hits? Maybe.

What makes him attract is the the unpredictability of White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen. With the flutter of a butterfly's wings, Jerry Owens could easily become an Ozzie favorite and get ABs next year.

Grab him now while the rest of your league is prepping for football (and I know firsthand how easily football can distract one from baseball!)

Worst case, off-season hype leads to Owens having some trade value.

Best case, you have a cheap source of SB in 2007.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Armando Benitez - MLB - MLB Transactions: "Placed pitcher Armando Benitez on the 60-day disabled list with right knee inflammation"

A Roto gift! The Giants did me a kindness by disbaling Benitez and allowing me the opportunity to fish in the free agent pool for a replacement.

Without the ability to waive an active player, I could only sit and take solace that Armando wasn't hurting my WHIP.

More painful was watching Mike Stanton sit in the pool for several days while accruing saves.

I scanned the list of available free agents and was nonplussed.

I am leaning towards grabbing a more typical arm in the Giants bullpen in the event that manager Felipe Alou defies all his previous SF closing decisions and goes with a younger player - Kevin Correia.

He has bounced between the rotation, bullpen and minor leagues for three seasons. I hope it is time the Giants settle him in the bullpen and see what he can do.

After all, Benitez is no sure thing in 2007 and neither is Mike Stanton. Someone has to save games.

Francisco Liriano

Assuming Twins rookie phenom Francisco liriano needs Tommy John surgery, he will be out for most, if not all, of the 2007 season.

In keeper leagues, this is going to make him one of the most interesting players to come up for bid next draft.

What is he worth knowing he won't contribute at all? Certainly a few draft dollars on future value alone - either for his drafting team or as trade bait later in the season.

Is he worth $10+ bid?

Tony Gwynn Jr

While reading the boxscores from yesterday's PITT/MLW doubelheader, I noticed rookie Tony Gwynn Jr started both games.

That got me to thinking he may be an early sleeper favorite for 2007.

Then I read NBC Sports/Rotoworld that he is going to get an exteneded look for the rest of the season.

Brady Clark has clearly seen his best days, and Corey Hart is not CF. Laynce Nix isn't any good and Gabe Gross isn't a CF either.

For this winter, I'll be considering Gwynn the nominal starting CF for the 2007 Brewers.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Chris Iannetta

Yesterday's Denver Post mentioned that Chris Iannetta and JD Closser will split time for the remainder of the season following the shoulder injuury to Yavit torrealba.

It also stated this would be helpful for the slumping Iannetta.

I have quibbles with a 27 AB major league debut qualifying as a slump, but I will say I expect Iannetta to improve with regular playing time - which was the source of the poor start.

With a couple hits and an RBI yesterday, expect Iannetta to finish strongly and provide lots of hope for a better Colorado offense in 2007.

Friday, September 08, 2006

September Closers

STLtoday - Sports - Cardinals

With news that STL closer Jason Isringhausen may be shut down for the next week or so to help alleviate hip pain, we have yet another 9th inning situation in September where the new closer is unlikely to close in 2007.

First, there was Pittsburgh closer Mike Gonzalez going on the DL. His replacement is Salomom Torres.

Next was Sanf Fran closer Armando Benitez being shutdown due to arthritic knees. Mike Stanton has filled in admirably.

Then Yankees close Mariano Rivera was shut down for precautionary reasons due to problems with an "elbow muscle". Kyle Fanrsworth is the nominal closer right now, but the Yanks haven't had a save opportunity since Mo's rest began.

Now the Cards are looking at a new closer. Braden Looper is the easy choice, but the team appears to prefer Adam Wainwright - destined for next year's starting rotation.

"I feel a little more comfortable with Wainwright (against lefties) because he's got more things that he can do to get a lefthander out," pitching coach Dave Duncan said. "He does all the things that you look for in a late-game pitcher. He warms up quick. He doesn't really get excited. The ingredients are all there."

Of the four, Wainwright offers the most 2007 value, and, amongst the group of F-graded 2007 closers, he gets a D-.

That makes puts him at the top of this class!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Jeff Salazar

Rocky Mountain News: Rockies & MLB

"Outfielder Jeff Salazar joins the Rockies today and manager Clint Hurdle said he plans to get Salazar playing time in center field. Salazar hit .265 with nine home runs, 39 RBI and 12 stolen bases at Triple-A Colorado Springs.
'His year won't jump out at you, but he finished strong,' Hurdle said. 'We want to see if he is similar or different from Cory (Sullivan, a left-handed hitter like Salazar).' "

The AVG is nothing special but Salazar does take walks.

If he can continue to do so, he will become one of many 2007 sleeper picks.

(I know. He was one of my 2006 ones!)

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Dmitri Young

Somewhat surprisingly, the Tigers designated-for-assignment DH Dmitri Young.

I'd be very surprised if it did not involve a relapse into substance abuse. There is no other reason not to have DY enjoy the success of this year's Tigers after enduring the failures.

Froma Roto point-of-view, this may signal that the Tigers want to give OF Brent Clevlen more ABs after his earlier successful 29-AB stint (,379 AVG 3 HR amongst 6 XBH.)

But man! That .226 AVG in AA this year makes positive Clevlen posts difficult to write,

Mark Teahen

Royals 3B Mark Teahen will have season-ending surgery for a torn labrum. All reports says he wll be ready for next season.

That is great news in keeper leagues for one of this season's bust out players.

It is not good news for his owners this season.

With just under 30 games remaining, close races in HR/RBI/AVG have taken a hit as Teahen's owners now have a dead spot on their rosters.

In non-keeper leagues, one can just dip into the free agent pool for a replacement. In keeper leagues.....

In keeper leagues, this is an example of why making very late season pushes is unwise. When every little bit is needed to get all the cards to fall right, one or two missteps puts all that to waste.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Nook Logan

Logan Makes His Presence Felt in Center

Will Nook Logan continue a long tradition of no-hit SB CF begun qith Peter Bergeron, then Endy Chavez and now Nook Logan.

Bergeron was a SB tease since I began playing Rotisserie baseball in 1999. In 1998 in AA, he stole 41 bases with 78 BBs. In 2000, he began a string of double digit steals (barely) that left Roto teams drafting him as a SB sleeper.

By 2003, Bergeron's baseball skill set was clear. He had none.

As Bergeron faded, Endy Chavez took his place with a similar skill set - SB with no power and minimal plate discipline. In 2002, he stole 3 bases with a .296 AVG for the Expos - beginning a run as a cheap source of steals.

2003 brought an 18-steal season with a .251 AVG and a sub .300 OBP. Shades of Bergeron were everywhere.

However, Endy had a wonderful 2004 Roto season stealing 32 and hitting .277. The OBP was an awful .318 in 502 ABs, and in 2005, he turned into a pumpkin hitting a bit over .200 and stealing only two in 116 ABs.

Now Nook Logan looks to take the mantle so gloriously held by Peter Bergeron and Endy Chavez.

Logan stole 38 bases in AA Toledo in 2004 and was called up to the Tigers and swiped 8 more in 133 ABs. This made him a good source of cheap steals in 2005.

He did not disappoint his Roto owners as his stole 23. However, he disappeared in September and failed to make the team out of the spring this year.

Now he is in Washington and the team apparently loves his hustle. Given its willingness to stick with SB/low OBP CFs, expect a full-time gig through the end of this month and possibly all of next year.

By 2007, Logan should be a pumpkin again.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Injury of the year - MLB - MLB Transactions: "Placed catcher Michael Barrett on the 15-day disabled list with an intrascrotal hemotoma"

Man, that's gotta hurt!

This season I kept "feeling the pain" of Eric Chavez's double forearm tendinitis, but intrascrotal hematoma?

Only a chronic masterba.....would cringe more.

Yankee Saves

MATSUI READY FOR REHAB AT TRENTON By ANDREW MARCHAND - New York Post Online Edition: Sports: "With Rivera out, Torre went into yesterday's game with the intention of using Kyle Farnsworth as the closer. "

Pittsburgh Closer

Torres slams door on another one-run victory: "Tracy....summoned Torres -- who appears to be replacing injured Mike Gonzalez as closer -- an inning early for the eighth."

With four weeks remaining, Pirates' manager appears to have settled on the veteran to close. Recall immediately after Mike Gonzalez was placed on the disabled list, Tracy used Matt Capps before the 9th inning.

This was the first indication the strike-throwing rookie wasn't the choice to close.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Mariano Rivera

Recall my post from two days ago, I snidely remarked that Joe Torre would pitch Mariano three days in a row following his MRI.

I was wrong. Torre only pitched him that day.

Now, Mo is expereincing continuing discomfort. From the Headline in this morning's NY Post, "Mariano Could Be Out for a While"

"The plan is to rest Rivera for a couple of days - but if he experiences pain again the next time out, Rivera told The Post he would shut it down for a much longer time. "

Given there are only 30 days left in the season, I'd expect any shutdown to last until the last 5 games of the season with Mo tuning-up in games #158, 160 and 162.

In the mean time, expect Farnsworth and Proctor to split duties -
with a little Brian Bruney and Octavio Dotel thrown-in if Proctor and Fanrsworth show the wear and tear of a seaso's worth of abuse.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Tracey Ringolsby

Rocky Mountain News: Columnists: "Next, look for outfielder Jeff Baker ....was given a challenge during spring training to put a healthy season together. He has. And he has produced. Baker is hitting .302 for Triple-A Colorado Springs with 16 home runs and 101 RBI, third best in the Pacific Coast League.
Originally a third baseman, Baker has been playing right field for the Sky Sox and with the second-half struggles of Brad Hawpe, it would seem he will get an extended look in right field with the Rockies this month. Baker could win the right field job next season. He also could wind up being a bench player, sharing right field with Hawpe and backing up Todd Helton at first base and Garrett Atkins at third base. "

From Mr. Ringolsby's must-read Friday column.

It is the kind that typically runs in Sunday papers - covers multiple teams with bits of info from those.

Rockies Call-ups

Rocky Mountain News: Rockies & MLB: "Other players who will join the Rockies when the roster expands to 40 active players today won't join the team until it returns home Thursday. The Rockies don't want to raid the roster of Colorado Springs, which finishes its season Monday. "

With the news the Rox are going to move 3B Ian Stewart to the OF, trade bait converted-3B-to-OF AAA 100 RBI man Jeff Baker is unlikely to be available until the end of next week.

He should be picked-up on the flyer he will be traded to a better situation this off-season.

For the Rox' sake, he'd be a good platoon mate for Hawpe.

For Roto players' sake, he should be traded to a place he'd get the opportunity to play full-time.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Ian Stewart - Tulowitzki gives glimpse of future

Within this article are a couple of interesting facts for Rotisserie players to know.

The first is the intention to move 3B Ian Stewart to the OF:

"And with what (third baseman) Garrett Atkins has done, what it says is that Ian will be part of our team eventually at a different position. Where and when will depend on how he does and how the players do in front of him."

This takes even more glimmer off Stewarts star. Why? Ask Jeff Baker.

The Rockies already have Matt Holliday in LF, and if Brad Hawpe sticks, then only the right side of a platoon is available in RF.

For CF, the article reports:

"The Rockies are expected to address center field through trade or free agency, with Coco Crisp and Eric Byrnes among those on the radar in the offseason. "

I believe AAA CF Jeff Salazar deserves a look-see before the Rockies commit to Byrnes or Coco Crisp.

If Crisp struggles defensively in Fenway, wouldn't he do the same with even more ground in Coors and the inability of the Rockies to thicken the air?

And Byrnes? Didn't they try that already?

Rivera and Giambi Taking Medical Tests - New York Times

Rivera and Giambi Taking Medical Tests - New York Times: "Rivera has experienced inflammation in his right elbow and will have a precautionary M.R.I. on the elbow soon, perhaps today."

I've heard "Wolf!" cried so many times, I am now calloused towards this type of announcement.

However, Scott Proctor's blown save last night combined with Kyle Farnsworth's back and tonight's trade deadline must have every Yankees fan worried - and every Yankees hater giddy.

The rational path for the Yankees would be the use a commitee for the last month in order to let Mo rest. Say pitch him every three days and use match-ups to dictate saves on the other two.

However, this is Joe Torre so I would not be surprised to see Mo pitch three consecutive days with one being a non-save appearance.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

David Wells, Part III - MLB - Red Sox, Padres close to completing Wells trade: "The Red Sox moved steadily toward the completion of a trade of veteran left-hander David Wells, identifying Class AAA catcher George Kottaras as the player they want if they complete a deal with the Padres."

Kottaras isn't Matt Kemp, but he is still a top prospect.

Unfortuantely, he catches and finds himself in the same spot Kelly Shoppach did - blocked by Jason Varitek.

I like this deal for the Red Sox, assuming Kottaras is the player.

I think the Padres will have paid too much for Wells in what amounts to a 6 or 7 team coin flip.

However, he may pitch well going home and would be worth a gamble for the last month of the season.

Pittsburgh Closer

MLB - Chicago Cubs/Pittsburgh Pirates Box Score Wednesday August 30, 2006 - Yahoo! Sports

The suspense is killing me!

With a 7-6 lead and two outs in the 8th, the Pirates look primed to get their first save opportunity since Mike gonzalez was placed on the DL.

With John Grabow trying to finish the 8th, the obvious choices are strike-throwing rookie Matt Capps or veteran Salomon Torres.

If I were watching the game, I'd know as I could see who is warming up in the bullpen.

If I could discern Jim Tracy's methods (Steve Schmoll got three saves in LA last year), then there would be no suspense.

(Crap! As I type, Grabow blew the lead in the 8th.)

More Wells

Webb, Green to attend funeral

"The Diamondbacks spoke with the Boston Red Sox about a potential deal for left-hander David Wells but deemed the price tag too high."

Maybe Theo really did ask for Matt Kemp.

This is the second report that has the Red Sox asking for too much. Must have asked for Chris Young.

David Wells - Boston Red Sox: Wells may go to Dodgers: "The Sox are believed to have asked the Los Angeles Dodgers for 21-year-old outfielder Matt Kemp for Wells. "

It true, then the Theo has fallen and won't get up.

If Ned Colletti accepts, then he should be fired before he wrecks the team any further.

That type of offer should have the Dodgers blocking any calls from Boston.

Troy Tulowitzki

Rocky Mountain News: Rockies & MLB

Lost in the hype of Delmon Young's first major league game and subsquent plunking (Old School!) and homerun, the Rockies recalled the top SS prospect and likely Top 10 prospect in all of the minors, Troy Tulowitzki. (Man, that's an awkward sentence.)

Hopefully, you'll be able to grab TT whilst everyone else scrambles for DY.

If Neifi Perez can put up good numbers in Coors, imagine what a real hitter could do.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

2007 Trendy Cy Young Pick

In six starts, this soon-to-be-trendy pitcher has allowed five or more earned runs. He has walked nearly 4.5 batters every nine innings.

Not the type of stats one should lead with when getting the 2007 CY Young wagon rolling, are they?

However, in 24 starts, he has allowed 2 or fewer earned runs eleven times. Of those eleven, seven have come since July 1st.

This pitcher will soon be the trendiest starting pitcher going into 2007. The likelihood of 175+ strikeouts guarantees it. (While I prefer 4X4, the power of 5X5 cannot be denied!)

His name? Matt Cain, the 21-year-old rookie right-hander with the San Francisco Giants.

With 10 wins and pedestrian ratios of 4.32 and 1.31, there will be no other time when he can be had so cheaply. In August, he is 3-2 with a 2.65 ERA and 1 .26 WHIP in 37.1 IP. To boot, he has struck out 47 over that span.

In all keeper leagues, he should be acquired right now. By the off-season, the entire Roto-commentariat will be gushing over him. Possibly to the same extent King Felix was gushed over!

Brad Snyder

As a lefty hitting OF, I foresaw Cleveland AA OF Brad Snyder as a deep sleeper candidate to come up and platoon with the right-handed hitting corner outfielders of the Indians, Jason Michaels and Casey Blake.

I did not foresee, though, Blake finding a batting eye. (36 BBs in fewer than 300 ABs versus 43 in 523 in 2005. I know! 2004's numbers are similar!) Although Jason Michaels performance is not out-of-line with my expectations. (9/49/5/.270)

Where I my prognosticating skills went awry ("third eye" may be contextually correct, but it has taken on another meaning in these modern times,) is the Indians organizations' decision to send Snyder to AA - and keep him there all season!

From this week's Prospect Hot Sheet: "Brad Snyder, of, Double-A Akron (Indians): A lot of Tribe fans were outraged when Snyder didn't start the year in Triple-A, but Snyder was sent back to Akron to work on plate discipline--and his two-strike approach in particular. While his discipline hasn't improved--with 151 strikeouts in nearly 500 at-bats--Snyder is recognizing pitches he can drive better, and has seven bombs in August. Last week, Snyder hit .433 with a pair of homers and drove in six."

Well, the strike zone approach is not apparent in his numbers, he did manage to perform well across the Roto stats - 16 HR and 19 SB in 21 attempts.

Given the Indians ability to give Blake 500+ ABs each year despite well over 100 strikeouts per, I still like Snyder as a sleeper - in 2007!

(Please read my initial assessment from 2/21/06.)

Monday, August 28, 2006

Delmon Young

Rays: Young's callup appears near

Apparently, the DRays' have doled out all the punishment an uber-prospect deserves when Delmon Young was suspended 50 games for throwing a bat at an umpire.

The 20-year-old is slated to be recalled tomorrow.

Regardless of personal opinions, he should be picked-up immediately. His walk rates aren't good, but there may not be enough time in the season for teams to adjust.

Now, Elijah Dukes will be the only DRays in AAA next season bitching and moaning like a petulant child.

Young and Upton have been rewarded for their comments.

How long before Brignac, Davis, and Longoria catch on?

Tom Gordon

Philadelphia Daily News 08/28/2006 Gordon throws without pain, but in no rush: "He threw all of his pitches and was pain-free, said assistant general manager Mike Arbuckle."

That is excellent news.

Now if the Phils can stop racking-up saves while Gordon is out and begin doing so once Gordon is in, then his owners will be happy.

Andrew Miller

Minor League Ball :: Andrew Miller to be called up

The second of what I hope to be several top prospects will be recalled on Tuesday.

Following the Rockies recall of C Chris Iannetta, the Tigers are recalled this year's first round pick, and 6th overall, LHP Andrew Miller to pitch in the bullpen.

Given the pre-August 31st decision, the Tigers must be moderately assured that Miller can contribute and deserves to be on the play-off roster.

The above link has a discussion amongst non-Roto types about the decision. From a Roto-perspective, I see it as an opportunity to use a little FAAB (as there is only a little left at this point in the season) to take a gamble on a power arm in the bullpen.

He won't supplant Zumaya, but he could offer some zing for an off-season trade. In five minor league innings, he struck out nine batters.

If he provides a solid 12-15 innings, he could be a contributor this season in preserving your ratios.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Elijah Dukes

FOX Sports - MLB - Howard making strong case for MVP: "The Devil Rays aren't giving up on outfield prospect Elijah Dukes, whom they suspended indefinitely on Aug. 1.
'We are still very much behind Elijah,' Rays executive vice-president Andrew Friedman says. 'We've had a lot of discussions with him the last couple of weeks that have been very encouraging. We expect for him to play winter ball this off-season and come into camp next year with a chance to win a job.' ..."

That can't be anything but posturing for the off-seaosn trade market.

There is nowhere for Dukes to play and he is clearly unchallenged at AAA.

I'd hope the new ownership doesn't allow its assets to decay the way the previous one did.

Andrew McCutchen

The Pirates promoted 20-year-old OF Andrew McCutchen from Low A Hickory to AA Altoona for the final two weeks of the AA season and play-offs.

He has done remarkably well considering the two-level jump and his age - 16-49 with 2 HR and 5 BB.

This off-season whilst all the hype gravitates to Cameron Maybin, Justin Upton and Jay Bruce, remember McCutchen.

He may not have the ceiling of those three, but he is closer to the majors and plays for the worst of the four organizations.

That is a twosome I always like to see when looking for cheap Roto players who can be flipped in bail deals.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Armando Benitez

Giants 4, Reds 1

Mike Stanton closed out today's 3-run win versus the Reds.

There is nothing in the AP write-up to indicate why Benitez didn't get the argument against the save as a statisitic.

My guess is he is "permanently" hurt - meaning he has an injury that cannot be corrected by surgery nor can it be worsened through use.

I'm not a doctor nor do I play one on TV.

Daniel Cabrera

Cabrera Showing Promise in Return

A third gem in his past four starts since being recalled.

Could he have turned the corner via a mid-season demotion a la mark Teahen?

I do not know and would not take the chance if I were in a heated battle for the ring if ERA and WHIP are up for grabs.

Anywhere else? He should be grabbed. The risk is minimized and the upside is great.

At worst, he'd provide excellent off-season trade bait. At best, he lives up to the hype.

And that hype will be tremendous if he finishes 2006 strong.

Disclaimer: I have been trying to get him for a week or so and was unsuccessful because the team who had him on reserves decided to deal him for cap relief ($5 DC for $1 Joe Kennedy.)

Chris Iannetta

The Rockies, inexplicably, have recalled top catching prospect Chris Iannetta from AAA Colorado Springs.

He is a must-grab in all keepers leagues. Any catcher with an OPS greater than .900 would qualify.

How much he plays is a question, but given the 2nd catchers on most NL-only squads, he is an improvement based solely on futre value alone.

He has walked 48 times while striking out 55 in 307 ABs. With 21 doubles, 4 triples and 14 HRs, he is poised to grab the Colorado Catching Stud title that Ben Petrick failed to live-up to.

Washington Closer

Nationals Hold On�to Win in Atlanta

Saul Rivera (who?) notched the save for the Nationals.

This despite Chad Cordero nothing having pitched but once innthe past five days.

Unfortunately, there is nothing in the WaPo article about why Cordero was not used, but this has to be watched closely.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Ryan Howard

Ryan Howard hit his 45th HR tonight to go along with driving in his 115th, 116th and 117th runs of the season.

I have little doubt that he is now among the elite players in all of baseball and should be a Top 3 pick in every draft next year.

If you have him, I see little in the way of offers that could pry him loose. Replacing the HRs is impossible.

If he is under-priced - likely due to mid-season call-up last year and Thome hanging over his certainty of playing time - then he is likely the most under-valued player in your league.

To replace the production and the value, a team would have to basically destroy their team to meet the price.

Jeff Conine

Phillies Are Interested In Conine

Conine would be a nice pick-up for the Phillies and should come at adeep bargain price. Basically, he should be given to the Phillies.

There is no reason he should be taking ABs from any player on a rebuilding team.

Conine is a quality 14th man on Rotisserie rosters due to moderate pop and postion flexibility, and he would retain those qualities as a Phillie playing behind an OF of the Phil-Nevining Pat Burrell ("Won't waive your no trade? We'll bench you!"), Shane Victorino and Dave Dellucci.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Bobby Crosby

A week or so I ago, I wrote about acquiring $10 Bobby Crosby in a trade involving $34 Michael Young.

I then received this email from reader Paul C.:

"In a recent post, you mentioned you picked up Bobby Crosby, who is priced at $10, with an eye to next year. I've had Crosby on my AL 4x4 roto team since he was first in the majors, first as a waiver claim, and then through auction this year. (I paid $23 for him, which at the time I considered fair value.) After three+ years, I've now given up on him as a source of fantasy value. Except for about 6 weeks last year, Crosby is basically a .240 hitter, with middling power, some speed (useless, given that he plays for a team which refuses to steal), and extremely poor strike zone judgment. He is also extremely brittle. At this point, I'm not even sure that he would bring back $10 in value next year. Your best bet may be to flip him before next year's auction to someone who may still believe Crosby's press clippings. (Incidentally, I had been shopping him for the past month in my league, with no takers; I ended up including him in a trade basically as a throw-in to balance out positions...)”

Monday evening, Bobby Crosby came up with a bad back again, and, yesterday, there were reports the A’s may not DL him because the September 1st roster expansion was so close.

Needless to say, Paul’s email became more Nostradamus-esque.

However, in my rush to grasp at a reason why the A’s couldn’t possibly leave me with a dead roster spot for the remainder of the year (no way I cut bait after the price I paid with 1st place a statistical difficulty), I clung to the rationale that the A’s offense is so bad, it could not possibly go another 9 days short-handed.

After all, it already is with 7-hit Antonio Perez on the bench and Marcus Scutaro in the starting line-up!

Now I wait.