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.
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