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Saturday 17th Feb 2018

What a fantastic week, initiated with three days at the Grapefruit League spent with Ron Shandler, Brian Walton and Brian Feldman, Jeff Winick, Trace Wood and Lord Z as we attended three games and then finished off our XFL Expansion Draft. Wednesday morning, I flew up to New York, where later this morning the American League Tout Wars draft will commence (you can tune in at both FNTSY and also Siirus/XM, with the AL at 9 AM, the Mixed at 3 PM and the NL on Sunday at 10 AM, all times Eastern).

As usual, I am listing players I like, but this year with a spin. This time, I am focusing on some relievers and a strategy with respect to my arms, so I will hit those pitchers first, and then note a couple of other players of interest. Mind you, I am thinking these players will be available at the prices I list, and I am always willing to consider going up a buck or two, depending upon time in the draft, but generally once a player is priced beyond what I think the value line is, that is it.

Andrew Miller ($13): So, I usually like to get two closers, and I am not afraid to spend $45 to get said commodity in a deeper league where saves matter. And, I do usually wind up with a third reliever, ideally for a buck, but I have spent up to $5 for a chance at a would-be closer who goes set-up and gets the whiffs. So, Miller does define that. 

Dellin Betances ($12): In theory, Betances and Miller are interchangable parts, but how interesting could it be to pair the pair, have potential closers who will get a lot of work and whiffs, and a good chance at 15-plus saves between them?

Roberto Osuna ($17): I have Osuna here because I like him, but the reality is there are other closers who fit the role. But the troika would cost $42, well within what I budget, can give me what I want, and perhaps give me a serious surplus chip to swap as necessary.

Eddie Rosario ($3): I liked him a lot last year, and he largely sucked, but salvaged a reasonable (.269-10-32 with five swipes) season in the end. Rosario is sort of forgotten now it seems, not even getting a mention in Mixed League concoctions, irrespective of depth. There is serious speed here, and a little pop, and Rosario's counterpart, Robbie Grossman (whom I also like), is dealing with a groin strain, defaulting Opening Day left field for now.

Rob Refsnyder ($5): I got him for just a couple of bucks (I opened the bidding at $2, figuring no one would jump to three) in LABR, but with the injury to Didi Gregorius, Refsnyder's profile gets a bump. I'll buy that he gets 350-plus at-bats and puts up some nice numbers.

Matt Joyce ($2): Oakland has a short right field line, Joyce pulls the ball hard in just that direction, and he should get a shot at facing righties at least, and maybe more. His on-base numbers have improved, and well, the Oakland offense is, to say the least, anemic, and the opposing team has to pitch to someone. I think the veteran Joyce will take advantage accordingly.

Caleb Joseph ($1): A deep league, so a part-timer is expected, but Joseph is having a nice spring (.278-2-2) and is kind of on a Chris Herrmann-like trajectory, I think. Joseph is six months older, but catchers develop hitting skills slower at the big league level, and Joseph has a chance to kick it up a level. For a buck, up a level means .260-5-35 as far as I am concerned. But more importantly, that cheap investment fills a roster spot and gives me a couple of dollar per player price increase for every other player on my roster.

Carlos Santana ($24): I wanted him at LABR: I hope to get him here as the core of my offense.

Chris Archer ($24): He is the ace I want, building a staff with Archer atop, and the Betances/Miller/Osuna pick finishing up. That means I am looking at about $6-10 each for the rest of my starters. I think I can hit that. I hope he delivers. 

Follow me @lawrmichaels.


0 #1 CubFan 2017-03-25 17:53
Lawr, interesting approach to the saves issue although it's a bit pricey for me. Bentances wore down as the season went on with his usage as the closer. Has me wonering about him. Also wonder about the overusage of Miller in the playoffs. Hoping I can sneek Refsnyder and Joyce at those salaries you have posted. Rosario is worth a gamble under $5 if one doesn't have anyone else from the Twins not named Dozier.

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