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

BaseballAmerica.com: 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

ESPN.com - 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


RotoTimes.com - 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. (RotoTimes.com - 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 - washingtonpost.com

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.