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Since our last Closer Look, we’ve had some comings and goings.  One coming was Pestano, who last year said Eataly should give out free pizza toppings if you’re wearing Crocs.  With Chris Perez going down for 4 to 6 weeks with the ever-mysterious oblique injury, Pestano should see some saves into the beginning of the year.  Double negatives aside, I wouldn’t not draft Perez.  He should resume the closer job once he returns because the Indians are committed to him, in the same way Courtney Love should be committed.  Another coming was Brett Myers, who will take over the Astros closing job.  If you grab Myers at a draft, you’re gonna get beat up.  Not speaking metaphorically.  If you draft Myers, you should be fine for 25ish saves.  Another bit of closer news pertains to Brian Fuentes and Grant Balfour.  The A’s are saying Fuentes and Balfour are both up for the closer job.  Balfour is the better option, but clubs don’t always go with the best option.  (Actually, the best option would be Faustino De Los Santos, but he’s not going to be the closer right out of the gate.)  I’d draft Fuentes and Balfour (and FDLS in very deep leagues, an acronym that sounds like a dyslexic branch of Latter-Day Saints).  Finally, Javy Guerra was announced the closer to start the season by Don Mattingly, who lost all common sense once he shaved his mustache, which is not a coincidence.  Guerra could be the closer for the whole season while having one of the best middle men behind him, kind of how Marmol used to work that role.  Or Guerra could blow three saves in April and Jansen will be the closer by April 20th.  I think there’s a 50/50 chance either scenario happens.  I’d draft both.  If Jansen goes to the bullpen, maybe the free time will allow Kenley an opportunity to think about designing with something other than polka dots and prove she deserved to be a Project Runway All-Star (hey, four girl readers, who loves you?).  Anyway, here’s all the closers for 2012 fantasy baseball:

$12 Salads

You know that restaurant your girlfriend/wife/what-have-you likes to go to that charges, like, $12 for a salad? Every time you go there, you have a thoroughly solid meal. No complaints, except you just paid $12 for a salad when you could’ve went to McDonald’s and stuffed you and your woman for ten schmools and had $2 in quarters left over to make the hotel bed vibrate. These closers are $12 salads.

1. Craig Kimbrel (Jonny Venters)
2. John Axford (Francisco Rodriguez)
3. Drew Storen
(Tyler Clippard, Brad Lidge)
4. Mariano Rivera (David Robertson, Rafael Soriano)
5. Jonathon Papelbon (Antonio Bastardo)

Donkeycorns

Imagine you’re following a donkey, who’s wearing a wool cap, through a desert for 1700 miles. Why are you following a donkey? Because he promises you something wonderful and you just need to trust him. Does the donkey talk? Yes. Yes, he does talk. So when you and the donkey in the wool cap arrive at his destination, he removes his the wool cap to reveal a horn. The donkey is a unicorn and his gift to you for your trust is saves. These closers are Donkeycorns.

6. Jose Valverde (Joaquin Benoit, Octavio Dotel)
7. Brian Wilson (Sergio Romo, Santiago Casilla)
8. J.J. Putz (David Hernandez, Takashi Saito)
9. Heath Bell (Juan Leo Carlos Nunez Oviedo, Mike Dunn)
10. Carlos Marmol (Kerry Wood, Jeff Samardzija)
11. Joakim Soria (Jonathon Broxton, Greg Holland)
12. Joel Hanrahan (Evan Meek)
13. Ryan Madson (Sean Marshall, Nick Masset)
14. Jason Motte (+1) (Eduardo Sanchez)
15. Huston Street (+1) (Luke Gregerson)
16. Andrew Bailey (+1) (Mark Melancon, Bobby Jenks)
17.
Sergio Santos (+1) (Francisco Cordero)
18. Jordan Walden (+1) (Scott Downs, LaTroy Hawkins)
19. Kyle Farnsworth (+1) (Joel Peralta, Jake McGee)

Brain Freeze

I’m going on a picnic and I’m bringing apples, bananas and Matt Capps– Wait, he just gave up 12 earned runs and hit Valencia in the head with a pickoff throw. Brain freeze! Make it stop! Use the following closers at your own risk.

20. Javy Guerra (-6) (Kenley Jansen, Matt Guerrier)
21. Frank Francisco
(Jon Rauch, Ramon Ramirez)
22.
Rafael Betancourt (Rex Brothers)
23. Matt Thornton (Jesse Crain, Addison Reed)
24. Joe Nathan (Mike Adams, Alexi Ogando)
25.
Brandon League (Shawn Kelley, Hong-Chih Kuo)
26. Jim Johnson (+1)(Kevin Gregg, Matt Lindstrom)
27. Brett Myers (+3) (Wilton Lopez, David Carpenter, Brandon Lyon)
28. Matt Capps (Glen Perkins, Alex Burnett)
29. Grant Balfour/Brian Fuentes (Joey Devine, Faustino De Los Santos)
30. Vinnie Pestano (-4) (Chris Perez, Tony Sipp, Chief Wahoo)

55 Responses

  1. schlitzy says:
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    Perfect timing for my closer keeper question. I hate keeping closers. But I have one league where the other 9 owners are saves whores and it costs me $25 to cut a player I draft, making it costly to play the waiver wire game. We keep 10 and this is a 2 catcher, 5 OF, 2 UT 4×4 league. My top 7 are:

    Votto
    Reyes
    Stanton
    J. Upton
    Hosmer
    Gallardo
    Papelbon

    I am trying to decide on my final 3 out of:

    Weiters, Jesus Montero, Heyward, Asdrubal, Motte and Serge Santos

    p.s., I won this league last year thanks to Razzball. Longoria is back in the draft this year and if he falls to me at pick 10 this league will be mine again!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @schlitzy, Get Longoria! Heyward, Wieters, Santos… I’m only saying Santos because of your big build up about saves costing.

      • schlitzy says:
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        @Grey, Thanks! If you were to gamble on being able to draft enough saves, would you take Montero instead of Santos?

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          @schlitzy, Yeah

          • schlitzy says:
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            @Grey, cool, once I scope everyone elses keepers I may utilize my one permitted day-of change.

  2. Bourne says:
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    I noticed koji Uehara isn’t in your line behind Adams for the Texas job. I thought with them keeping koji that meant he would be the 7th inning man.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Bourne, I think he will be the 7th inning guy.

  3. Steve says:
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    It is pleasing to me that the suggested recovery time for an oblique injury is so inexact.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Steve, Yes, I enjoy that, as well.

      • Steve says:
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        @Grey, I bet they’re also a bit unsure of how he did it.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          @Steve, Hehe… Outlook: Oblique

  4. Bristol says:
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    Grey

    I play in a keeper league where each team keeps 5 players. As of right now, my keepers are Lawrie, Jennings, Bautista, Latos and Luebke. We get to keep them in rounds where they were drafted so all of these guys are very late round picks.

    With that being said, 5 teams in the league have kept first round picks and will not be able to make a 1st round selection. Based on last year’s standings, I am sitting with the 2nd pick in the draft (which also means that I could stay there or chose to pick any of the other 11 draft slots). I could pick in the 12 slot if I wanted.

    Right now, here are a list of players that are available to be chosen:

    Votto
    Longoria
    Kemp
    Fielder
    Kinsler
    Reyes
    Hanley
    Halladay
    Pedroia
    Cliff Lee

    My dilemma is this. If I stay at number 2, I would be assured to get either Votto or Longoria or I could move to the 12 slot and get the 7th and 8th best players on the list (which could be Hanley and Halladay). If I stay and get Votto or Longoria, I would not pick again until 18 picks later (so I would have #2 and #18). After this list of players, it starts to get dicey as to who would be left.

    My question is this: if in my shoes, would you take the #7 and #8 best players from that list or would you just take Votto or Longoria and #18.

    BTW, given this league’s tendencies, Longoria could very well be there if I pick at #7.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Bristol, 7 and 8…

  5. mets fan says:
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    Grey 12 team h2h league who should I keep Wieters or Morse?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @mets fan, Morse

  6. bobbo says:
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    Heya Grey, time for me to start prepping for baseball again this year and Razzball is the first place I start (obviously). Was hoping you might give me some advice on my keeper situation, but first some league specifics:

    10-team 6×6 Roto (R/HR/RBI/SB/K/OBP x W/K/ERA/WHIP/SV/HLD)
    C,1B,2B,SS,3B,IF,CF,LF,RF,OF,UTIL
    1450 innings cap

    * We keep 10 players (2IF/2OF/1 any offensive & 2SP/2RP/1 any pitch)
    ** We can also keep one player who we drafted in round 18+ of the previous season in that round this year

    Offensive Options: CarGo, Hanley, Wright, Stanton, Heyward, Uggla, Weeks, Mauer, Alex Gordon (rd 27)

    Pitching Options: Felix, Gallardo, Hanson, Matt Moore (RP), Heath Bell, Madon (rd 23), Rafael Betancourt (rd 20), Kenley Jansen, Huston Street

    I don’t want to influence your picks so I won’t give you who I’m thinking about keeping, but since we get to keep players indefinitely at no “cost” that will probably play into things for me. Also, offensive K’s as a “negative” category is something to keep in mind (I got destroyed in that last year). Thanks!

    • bobbo says:
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      @bobbo, Edit: That’s Ryan Madson available as a 23rd round “late rd keeper”

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @bobbo, CarGo, Hanley, Wright, Stanton, Felix, Moore, Gordon, Uggla, Gallardo, Heyward…

      • bobbo says:
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        @Grey, Ah but there in lies the rub, I can only keep 5 offensive keepers (6 if you include keeping Gordon at the great value of rd 27). So I’d have to choose between Heyward and Uggla. Also, would then have to figure out which 2 RP to keep, or 1 RP and Tommy Hanson (keeping Moore as a RP slot). Thoughts?

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          @bobbo, Go with Uggla and Street and Hanson…

          • bobbo says:
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            @Grey, Damn Uggla over Heyward in a K/OBP “dynasty” league? Wasn’t expecting that… And Street over Bell, Madson, or Kenley Jansen? Loving that new SD home or what?

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              @bobbo, Go with Heyward if you’re feeling a bounce back… I did say him originally… Actually, I missed Bell. I’d go with him over Street. And I thought you couldn’t take Madson if you took Gordon?

              • bobbo says:
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                @Grey,Oh I can’t quit me some Heyward… I’m feeling all Brokeback Mountain over him. As much as Uggla is probably the smarter pick, the man likes to whiff almost as much as my boy Stanton (or Wright post fastball to the noggin). Madson I can keep as one of my normal 5 pitching keepers, it just wouldn’t be 23rd round value.

  7. Wake Up says:
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    I see you didn’t sleep on the saint of the saints in the LABR draft, nice pick. The rotowire team looks pretty good to me. MMD sneaking into the CI slot?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Wake Up, Yeah, that was our thought. Sneak that Mini Mini Donkey in there.

      • Wake Up says:
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        @Grey, I like the Razzball team better overall, but Upton, McCutchen, Bruce is nice in the first 3 rounds, until you realize that they are all OF and I’m not going to get a 1B now…woops…also Lincecum, Madbum and Anibal is nice! See the top chef finale?

        *did you mean four girl readers, who loves you?

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          @Wake Up, Oops, missed that typo, thanks! I think our team is stacked. I did watch the finale. Saw it coming from about two months ago.

  8. Alcesto says:
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    Matt Berry has Michael Bourn ranked 26th overall. That is all.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Crazy…

  9. Sean says:
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    Hey Grey– Do you think Bailey will be a successful closer for the Red Sox? What kind of leash will he have, with Melancon waiting in the wings?

    Another question… I’m in a 5×5, 12-team roto league. We can keep 6 players heading into 2012. My top 5 are set:

    Kemp
    M-Cab
    A-Gonz
    Kershaw
    JUpton

    Here are my options for the final spot: Wright, Avila or… trade Wright for Posey. Everyone is telling me Wright is the no-brainer choice here, but he worries me. Thoughts?

    Thanks.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Wright… Leash isn’t his concern, health is…

  10. Bob says:
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    In a 5×5 Head-to-Head Yahoo! league with no innings pitched minimum, if you were going to punt Wins and K’s in order to (cheaply) dominate Saves/ERA/WHIP each week, which middle relievers would you prefer to fill in around your giant pile of donkeycorns? David Robertson and Tyler Clippard seem obvious, but who else?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      I wouldn’t punt anything…

  11. Wampa says:
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    Keeper question: 10 team league, standard ESPN-size roster, we keep 4.

    I plan to keep Braun and Votto as my #1 and #2 picks (no value, but a great start to a team), but I have many choices for my other 2.

    Pick 2:
    Granderson: 10th round
    Hanson: 19th round
    Castro, Hosmer, Napoli: 22-25th rounds

    I was thinking of keeping Castro and Hosmer, and trying to pull off trades for draft picks with the others. Would asking for a #5 pick for Granderson be too much?

    Thanks!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Yeah, Castro and Hosmer…

  12. B.o.B. says:
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    We’re looking to change things up in my 10 team H2H league. Do I get a Mustache Approval for a 6×6 league with the following categories or do you have any suggestions for us?

    R, HR, RBI, SB, AVG, OPS
    W, SV, K, ERA, WHIP, QS

    Thanks Grey!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      I don’t like 6×6 because I don’t like any 6th pitching category. QS makes starters a lot more valuable than closers, making punting too easily and making high ranked starters too valuable. Holds isn’t much better…

      • B.o.B. says:
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        @Grey, if we were to eliminate QS then, what offensive category would you get rid of? OPS, and just stick to the standard 5×5? Or would you mind substituting AVG for OPS or OBP?

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Yeah, I’d lose OPS…

      • Wake Up says:
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        @Grey, I like 6×6…adding OPS and QS…but balancing that with net saves and net steals…making “good” closers still valuable…thoughts?

        • Wake Up says:
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          @Wake Up, of course this kinda throws a wrench into the sagnof theory but i digress…

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          It then does goes against SAGNOF… It’s not the worst compromise I’ve heard but I like being to just look at stats and knowing what someone has…

          • Wake Up says:
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            @Grey, It also approximates dregs like Fuentes a little more accurately… and it’s just one league. I like the 5x5s too and enjoy the subtle differences in playing both.
            Bourn never goes in the 3rd round of an OPS league either which can only be a good thing.
            Also, also, Eagle Rare is worth looking into.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      So sexy… So charismatic… So Samardzija…

  13. I am being yelled in dynasty league

    cream of the crap – way more crap than cream here. no chance at the playoffs this year. additionally, i need to take this space to ridicule the single worst pick of the draft, matt moore at number 2……….with cc on the board. sabathia is a hall of famer in his prime. is moore either? the odds that m oore is more valuable this year than cc? over the next 3? 10? the answer is the same as the likeelihood that sabathia gets hurt (which he never does) and that moore stays healthy. that is it. what do you project moore to be that you would leave a hall of famer in his prime on the board? a better hall of famer? i am disgusted by you.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Ha… Nice rant…

  14. are you yelling at me too – I took over a team that had a bad foundation so maybe I reached a little – the team that is yelling at me is a big shot he drafted his team 6 years ago

    I was looking to next year where things should even out some

  15. EDUB says:
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    Betancourt so low because of the threat of Sexy Rexy and the likelihood he gets dealt….or age/effectiveness? I had him pegged as a guy who could pay off big with his cheap price tag. I hate paying for saves, he is the typical RP I like to target.

    • EDUB says:
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      ….just read above post and comments. Going for 15 bucks Doesnt sound like I’ll be getting him cheap after all

  16. The Math – By taking Moore – I lose 1/2 win a week through the season even though you can’t predict wins and 2 1/2 strike outs a week for this season and I lose a future MLB Hall Of Famer – like I was getting an invitation to cooperstown by C C for selecting him to my fake fantasy baseball team

    C C – 20 wins
    Moore – 10 wins

    C C 210 strike outs
    Moore – 160 strike outs

  17. Raja says:
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    What you think for a 10 team H2H league?

    1B – A Gon (9)
    OF – J Upside (12)
    3B – D Wright (29)
    SP – Hamels (32)
    2B – Uggla (49)
    OF – Bruce (52)
    SP – CJ Wilson (69)
    SS – Rollins (72)
    OF – Crawford (89)
    SP – D Hudson (92)
    SP – Garza (109)
    RP – Valverde (112)
    SP – Luebke (129)
    SP – Anibal (132)
    SP – Scherzer (149)
    C – Soto (152)
    SP – McCarthy (169)
    RP – Farnsworth (172)
    Util – Rasmus (189)
    Util – Cespedes (192)
    SP – Peacock (209)

    Please critique! Thanks Grey!

  18. Steven says:
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    You have the first pick in the draft do you honestly draft Braun? If so who do you match him up with for you second pick?

  19. Steven says:
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    I’ve been using your rankings the last 3 years and have won every single year (Thanks so much). 12 team–C,1B,2B,SS,3B,OF,OF,OF,UTL,SP,SP,SP,RP,RP,P…..I just did a mock draft with 10th pick and ended up with Wieters, Berkman, Kinsler,Jeter, Longoria,Cruz, Bruce,Gardner,Lind,Bumgarner,Lester,D.Hudson, Scherzer,Cahill,C.Lewis, B.Wilson,Street,Francisco…I’m very satisfied with my team i drafted…What do you think?

  20. paddyman says:
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    Hey Grey
    12 team H2H.
    Should I keep axford?

    Gonna keep Beltre, Reyes, Pence, Gallardo, and one other from

    Axford, Marcum, Werth.

    I have razzball to thank for somehow coming in second with these guys last year. Much appreciated!

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