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The murmurs of Heath Bell getting traded to another team by July are getting louder.  (BTW, I love the word murmurs.  I really wanted the survivors on Lost to call The Others, The Murmurs.  Wouldn’t that have been awesome?!  Okay, maybe me.)  Prepare for a dozen or so posts titled, “For Whom the Bell Tolls,” at some of our weak sister sites.  And by “weak sister,” I’m talking prison slang and I mean ESPN.  I moved Bell down one whole spot.  I’m not worried in March about someone who might get traded in July.  He will probably drop one or two spots each month until July.  If you get 23 saves, a 1.69 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 42 Ks in 37 1/3 innings pre-All-Star Break, you’ll be mad you drafted him?  Bee tee dubya, those were his 1st half numbers last year.  Then who knows where he goes.  Maybe Lidge and Madson finally give Manuel a coronary and Bell takes over the closing duties in Philly as Victorino player-manages.  Or maybe Bell goes somewhere else.  You get the picture; it’s still early.  Don’t overestimate-slash-overthink-slash-overrate… Just don’t “over” anything.  Anyway, here’s all of the closers for your fantasy baseball team, as of right now:

$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. Joe Nathan (Matt Guerrier, Jon Rauch)
2. Jonathan Papelbon (Hideki Okajima, Daniel Bard)
3. Mariano Rivera (Alfredo Aceves, David Robertson, Joba Hughesberlain)
4. Jonathan Broxton (George Sherrill, Hong-Chih Kuo)

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.

5. Francisco Rodriguez (+2) (Kelvim Escobar, Eddie Kunz)
6. Heath Bell (-1) (Mike Adams, Luke Gregerson)
7. Carlos Marmol (-1) (Angel Guzman, John Grabow)
8. Joakim Soria (Kyle Farnsworth, Carlos Rosa)
9. Jose Valverde (+1) (Joel Zumaya, Ryan Perry)
10. David Aardsma (-1) (Mark Lowe, Chad Cordero)
11. Brian Wilson (Jeremy Affeldt, Sergio Romo)
12. Francisco Cordero (Arthur Rhodes, Nick Masset, Jared Burton)
13. Huston Street (Franklin Morales, Rafael Betancourt)
14. Rafael Soriano (J.P. Howell, Dan Wheeler)
15. Billy Wagner (Takashi Saito)
16. Brian Fuentes (Fernando Rodney, Kevin Jepsen)
17. Andrew Bailey (Michael Wuertz, Brad Ziegler)
18. Ryan Franklin (Jason Motte, Kyle McClellan)
19. Octavio Dotel (Joel Hanrahan)
20. Leo Nunez (Dan Meyer)
21. Frank Francisco (C.J. Wilson, Chris Ray)
22. Mike Gonzalez (Jim Johnson)
23. Trevor Hoffman (LaTroy Hawkins)

Brain Freeze

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

24. Brad Lidge (+3) (Ryan Madson, Danys Baez)
25. Bobby Jenks (-1) (Matt Thornton, J.J. Putz)
26. Matt Capps (-1) (Brian Bruney, Drew Storen)
27. Chad Qualls (-1) (Juan Gutierrez, Bob Howry)
28. Kerry Wood (Chris Perez)
29. Brandon Lyon (Matt Lindstrom, Jeff Fulchino)
30. Jason Frasor/Scott Downs/Kevin Gregg (Jeremy Accardo, The Pigeon That Dave Winfield Killed’s Vengeful Grandson)

  1. Steve says:
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    Saved By The Bell!

  2. Chad Cordero? Funny joke. It will be a miracle if he makes the team. Brandon League is most likely second in command to Aardsma in Seattle.

  3. Rollie Fingered Her says:
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    The majority of these guys won’t be closing by mid-season. Unless you’re one of those top four, your life expectancy is probably going to be short. Not an issue in your standard 10-12 man leagues where saves are everywhere, but if you go deeper (15-20 teams) don’t be afraid to pay for job security early. 20 teams x 2 closers per team = 40 closers. See the deficit? The last thing you wanna do is sacrifice a whole category while the guys that had the foresight to draft Nathan and Broxton are fighting each other to be the top dog; good luck trying to trade for one of them.

  4. Tom says:
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    Hey Grey, Franklin went back to being horrible at the end of last year, but Motte still hasn’t developed. Will Motte have any shot at closing?

    LaRusso hasn’t shown a tendency to stick with closers just because they used to work well.

  5. sean says:
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    @Grey: most reports I’ve read have anointed Gregg the closer in TOR. This will shake eventually. Are you hearing differently? Is it the random italicized voice again?

    Also, for those of us who plan on scavenging for saves, Tim Dierkes has set up a Twitter account http://twitter.com/closernews that is solely focused on realtime closer injuries, news, and moves.

  6. Ian, yo. says:
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    Not to nitpick but Brandon League is likely third in line for Seattle (unless he and Lowe switch.) Chad Cordero likely won’t be on the roster and the organization LOVES League.

  7. tyler says:
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    Ahhh, but a vibrating bed after $10 of McRibs gives me the runs (to the waiver wire).

    The metaphor works on so many levels!

  8. ThePoonTycoon says:
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    who should i keep?

    wainwright for $16
    or
    josh johnson for $12

    or should i just keep cano for $13?

  9. cigmata says:
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    Why is K-Rod listed fifth? His strikeouts have gone down four years in a row, his WHIP has gone up four years in a row, and he had an ERA of 6.72 after the break. Maybe that can be attributed to catching whatever Martian Death Flu was going around the Mets’ clubhouse, but I think the only thing he has going to him is job security.

  10. Irish says:
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    Franklin, Dotel, and Nunez over Frank Frank, Mike G, and Jenks? The latter three should have much stronger grips on the job, and are on the whole better pitchers. Why the love the first three?

  11. TJ says:
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    Just got offered a deal in my keeper league. I trade away my Kinsler, who is a one year keeper, and get back Joey Votto, who is a 3 year keeper.

    My other keepers are Hanley, Kemp, Jay Bruce and Gordon Beckham, who will end up being 2b eligible.

    So two questions- is it a good deal for me? And if so, do i have too many Reds as keepers? I could swap out Bruce for Nolasco if need be.

  12. Frank Rizzo says:
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    I’m looking hard at these guys in mocks…
    16. Brian Fuentes
    18. Ryan Franklin
    19. Octavio Dotel
    20. Leo Nunez
    21. Frank Francisco
    22. Mike Gonzalez
    23. Trevor Hoffman

    Are any of them safer than the others jobwise? I know expectations are that Franklin won’t last the year. Who are the safer ones that can be had late in drafts?

  13. Critter Nagurski says:
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    god dammit, I’ve read the $12 salad header before, but never the Donkeycorn one. It made me black out for twenty minutes – that was amazing

  14. @Ian, yo.: Yeah Lowe could be number 2 since he’s been there, but I guess there’s no way to really know. Point being that Cordero is a darkhorse for the 5th bullpen spot if anything, and not someone who figures to get any save opps.

  15. Frank Rizzo says:
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    @TJ: Based on the keepable years I’d probably make the trade of Votto for Kinsler, especially since you have Beckham.

    I’d probably do Nolasco for Bruce too, but it’s just my opinion.

  16. Cain Fan says:
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    Grey, could you rank the top 10 middle relief guys. I typically grab 1-2 at the end of my draft and about 10 or so go overall. This yr looks to have a lot of value at MR (gregerson, thorton, madson, hughes/joba, sherrill, howell, et al). Thanks!

  17. Rhymenoceros says:
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    I like to see K-Rod going up. In most mocks I’ve done, he’s been dropping to round 8 or 9, to which I’ve said, “Yes, sir! May I have another?” He should be fine this year, especially if the Mets sure up the bullpen and avoid a team-wide DL stint, K-Rod should be a’ight.

  18. grandysdandy says:
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    in a keeper league, if heyward is up w/ the club after Spring training…
    how high do you draft him…thinking about using my 7th round pick on him in a 12 team league…

  19. Tony says:
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    @TJ: i’d do that deal for votto, you get to keep him longer and because Kinsler is about as durable as a toothpick house in a tornado….

    I would not throw Bruce in for Nolasco. As much as I like Nolasco this year he can repeat last year as easy as he could step foward. I’ve got alot of faith in Bruce this year….

  20. Tony says:
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    @grandysdandy: how many keepers…. and is it long term keeper or ? depending you may even have to go higher, gotta think about are you competing now, the future, etc…. good luck

  21. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Jon@PBNW: Yeah, Kunz and Storen probably won’t make the team either. Never said Cordero was 2nd in line.

    @Steve: Hehe

    @sean: Last news, Cito said he could open the season using two pitchers as the closer. No word on which two.

    @tyler: Ha!

    @ThePoonTycoon: Cano

    @Irish: None of the three (Jenks, etc.) you mention have job security.

    @TJ: I’d want Votto. I’d keep Bruce.

    @Frank Rizzo: Franklin wasn’t supposed to be the closer last year, lasted the whole year. They’re all closers. There are no safe ones.

    @Critter Nagurski: Glad you regained consciousness.

    @Rhymenoceros: Yeah, I agree.

  22. sean says:
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    @Irish: Job security, my man.

    Frank^2 hasn’t shown he can do it over a whole season and has younger and better options behind him as well as that pain in the ass CJ Wilson.

    Mike Gonzalez is a lefty closer, who on the whole are less reliable than righty fireballers, and he lost his job last year to Soriano. He’s coming to a new team and may have a relatively short leash, especially when Baltimore has a guy in Johnson who has shown he can close out games.

    Jenks seems to be losing speed. Save for Hoffman and Rivera, closers seem to fade as quickly as NFL running backs. The last couple of years he’s been dinged up and ineffective at times. With Thornton and Linebrink behind him, he’s got two guys who could get the job done if he struggles.

    Compare that with Dotel who is basically uncontested for the Rats, Nunez whose got nasty stuff and who Florida much prefers over Meyer, and Franklin, a closer for the team with the easiest road to the playoffs in the NL and who has only got a converted catcher in Motte who has floundered before behind him. Also, notice that your preferred trio all play for teams that are likely to be or eager to be involved in a division race. Huge pressure to be replaced if they blow saves. Not so much on Florida and Pittsburgh.

  23. airlifting says:
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    i still don’t understand the franklin rating. you have dotel ranked as high as he is entirely based on his K’s and peripherals; franklin had peripherals that were not only totally out of line with his career numbers…they’re unsustainable for anyone.

    under franklin, i would take anyone but the blue jays trio and brandon lyon ahead of him this year.

  24. grandysdandy says:
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    @ grey/@tony

    12 team keeper…we get to keep 6 from year to year for as long as we want (no limit) no $/or round value attached.

  25. Stephen says:
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    “I really wanted the survivors on Lost to call The Others, The Murmurs.” They couldn’t if they wanted to due to infringing upon a book series called A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin. This epic fantasy series is simply amazing. He, Martin, is compared to J.R. Tolkien, namely called, “the American Tolkien.” He has characters named The Others and a group of people/society called the murmurs. Just one of the reasons why Lost is unable to call their actor and actresses “The Others,” and, “The Murmurs.”

  26. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @airlifting: He went the entire season last year being a decent closer, that’s gotta give him a little rope.

    @grandysdandy: I’d consider him around the 9th.

    @Stephen: Wow, didn’t know you dorked out on stuff like that. Nice. Though that wouldn’t be infringing on copyrights.

  27. JoeC says:
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    @Rhymenoceros: I’m curious how the Mets “team-wide DL stint” and lack of a bullpen besides FRod affected FRod’s skills? I mean, really, he was pretty bad.

    Now if you say, “he just had a bad year, but he’s got the skillz to pay the billz”, then I might buy it. But if you say he sucked because Delgado was on the DL… well, I just don’t get that one.

  28. Tony says:
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    @grandysdandy: i’m lost in leagues like that, its hard telling…. if someone else wants to lock him up i’d say they are going to take him right away…. since you’re already keeping 6, the 7th round is your first pick then right….

    tough one…. gotta know your league i guess….

  29. Antrim Warriors says:
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    I like CAPPS late.

  30. Stephen says:
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    @Grey: Yeah, I “dork” out on a lot of nerdy stuff. People think I am dorking out on just baseball and to that I say, “Psssssh. Puhlease. To be a well rounded dork one must diversify their dork qualities over many topics, not just sports.”

    It may not be copyrights, but you know there would controversy over the names. Wouldn’t be worth that kind of time.

  31. JoeC says:
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    @Stephen: Yes, except the 4th book pretty much sucked and the 5th has been MIA for 5 years or so.

    And to bring this back to baseball, I basically see the Lannisters as the Yankees.

  32. JoeC says:
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    @Antrim Warriors: I agree. I think people will be scared off by his 2009 and he’s closing for the Nats anyways, so who cares, right? Well, I do (and you do… together that’s do-do).

    I think he has the skills to be a 30 save closer if he can just avoid the injury bug.

  33. Stephen says:
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    @JoeC: It would have been really hard to follow that third book though. If you remove Brienne and Sam’s chapters, the book becomes much more interesting. I reread all four books one summer and when I got to the fourth I just read each character’s chapters in row. This greatly enhanced the 4th book. Also, the 4th book took about 5 years too if IIRC.

    And yes, the Lannisters are like the Yankees, but I thoroughly enjoy Jaime and Tyrion’s chapters. Cersi on the other-hand (and Joffery) deserves anything and everything they get/got. Baseball related, the Lannisters are like the Cubs, always have high hopes with good players but can never win.

  34. Stephen says:
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    @Stephen: @JoeC: meant to add, like the Yankees but more like the Cubs.

  35. Tom Reale says:
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    @Critter Nagurski: @Grey: The first time I read the “donkeycorn” post…I was just pouring my first cup of coffee, with eye-boogies still intact, spilled the coffee, broke the cup….anyway, one of my favorites yet!

  36. JoeC says:
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    @Stephen: The reason I liked the Martin series is the same reason I love Hamlet (well, one of the reasons I love Hamlet… they are legion): everyone dies. It takes a lot of courage for a writer to kill off a large portion of their stars (although sometimes they do come back…).

    And that’s the last I’ll say on it, because I don’t want to flood the comments with posts on a fantasy series. Plus I’ve probably lost enough man points with my fellow razzballers admitting I like fantasy without the baseball.

  37. JoeC says:
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    Closers I have given up on hating:

    Ryan Franklin: Keep thinkin’ he’s gonna implode and that he’s not worthy of a roster spot, but I swear, he must be dating LaRussa’s daughter or somethin’. I don’t think Franklin will ever lose the closer’s role until you pry LaRussa’s cold dead fingers off the Cardinals.

    Trevor Hoffman: He strikes out no one and throws slower than Jaime Moyer, but he just GETS IT DONE. I give up. You win, Hoffster.

  38. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @JoeC: Yeah, I think people should take the approach that if a guy is anointed the closer job, he’s getting saves until he’s not. Deal with the not getting saves when it happens.

  39. The Dude says:
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    In my H2H keeper (keep 5, 12 teams), I’ve been offered Kinsler + 2nd round pick for Lincecum. In a Roto league I don’t think I’d take this, but being a H2H, does this make sense? What if I could push it up to a 1st rounder?

  40. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @The Dude: It’s fair, if it makes sense with your other keepers, go for it.

  41. Tony says:
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    @Grey: A commentor asked this in yesterdays post and I’ve asked something similar before, but if you had the choice of going say Teixiera/Howard or TEX/Wright or Howard/Wright, which option do you choose? Do you take the two higher ranked mashers or do you take the 1B/3B combo…. we’re talking on the turn picks 12 & 13.

    How hard is it to pass on the two higher ranked big bats if you say the 1B/3B combo…..?

  42. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Tony: Tex or Howard and Longoria. Is that not an option? Then I’d go Howard/Wright.

  43. Antrim Warriors says:
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    off the closer topic….with the numbers projected for Scott Sizemore and Kelly Johnson (80-15-70-(10-15sb))…shouldn’t we all be targeting them every day of the week and twice on Sunday??

  44. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Antrim Warriors: Whatchu talkin’ about? I have been targeting them.

  45. Rabbit says:
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    @JoeC: “Closer I have given up on hating” —

    I really like that concept, and think it can be expanded beyond closers to all players. It’s hard to give up hating on a player, especially if the Hate is based on a guy screwing you over the year before. The usual example is the player you get one year too early, who struggles all year long on your team, killing your stats, then the next year you avoid him like the plague, snicker when someone else picks him, and then the guy puts it all together and rakes. That’s a Hate sandwich on special order. Then there’s the high draft pick who should be the sure thing but he craps the bed because of (1) injury or (2) random suckage. Next year, on someone else’s team, he’s Comeback Playa of the Year. That breeds the Hate like nothin’ else, and it’s hard to get over it.

    Here’s my point (and I do have one): in theory, the successful fantasy baseballer (Grey’s Mom’s term!) is a purely rational, self-interest-maximizer who does not give in to the Hate. (Of course, in theory, Communism works, but whatevs Vladimir.) Baseball players are not like your ex-girlfriend who slept with your brother just to piss you off–they didn’t tank your team on purpose, so you shouldn’t hold it against them. So (cue the Barry White music), feel the Love for David Wright despite the fact that he subverted your HRs last year, feel the Love for Carlos Quentin despite that 2009 second-round pick you wasted on him, feel the Love for Krispie Young despite his general suckage–OK, never mind about Krispie; I think he may very well just suck from here on out. But that’s my fantasy baseball New Year’s resolution: feelin’ the Love, or at least the Moderate Affection, for those players that I know I should give up hatin’. Y’all are my witnesses. Can I get an Amen?

  46. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Rabbit: Great comment. Amen!

  47. Eddy says:
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    @Rabbit:
    Amen brotha’!

  48. Stephen says:
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    @Rabbit: AMEN!!! Excellent post.

  49. sean says:
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    @Rabbit: Preach on

  50. Tom Reale says:
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    @Rabbit: Hallelujah! There’s no crying in baseball and there should be no emotional attachments in Fantasy Baseball. It really has little to do with baseball at all. It’s simply a game of strategy, similar to all other games of strategy. Except, of course, for Joe Saunders. He is a fantasy cancer. You know what Joe Saunders why don’t you go F yourself. You will never be on another one of my fantasy rosters. Ever! I hate you so much and I don’t think I can ever forgive you!

  51. Tony says:
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    @Grey: longo COULD be an option, but i have a guy ahead of me who owns a “longo” jersey and lived in tampa for a couple years LOL… he might go right before i pick, but ya i’d like longo in a combo as well…. i owned wright and howard last year, and that worked out well for me….

    could happen again in 2010.

    AMEN.

  52. peter says:
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    @Rabbit: Amen, Brother Rabbit!

  53. JoeC says:
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    @Tom Reale: Now *that* was a comment.

  54. Swapnil says:
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    Hey greyy( is that ur first name or ur last name or like Pele u just go as grey)…My first day on ur razzball…loved itt…I do have a question on who I thought was a unicorn….

    I have been offered Nate McLouth for Bobby Jenks..
    My OF’s are Holliday Quentin Bruce Hawpe …we play 3 OF and have 2 UTIL spots.. and my closers are nathan, soria jenks and mike gonzalez… this is a non keeper 6×6 with extra categories being OPS and QS… please adviseee… thanxx…

  55. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Swapnil: First name. I’d want McLouth there even if you’re up to your eyeballs in outfielders. Then I’d trade Hawpe for a better closer, or a different piece.

  56. Eddy says:
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    @Grey:
    In reference to Tony’s question, you’d prefer Howard/Wright over Howard/Longo?

  57. Nate Marcum says:
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    @Rabbit: I hear ya brother! I almost have Meth mouth myself from cursing Josh Hamilton last year…2nd round pick piece of trash…..I digress…

    I unfortunately also can suffer from the “Fatal Attraction” picks. You know, the players that you go for each and every year, no matter how many times they let you down. They are also the players that you reach for a little too early, just to have them on your team. For me, my Glenn Close had been Matt Cain, that is until *yes you guessed it cooked rabbit on my plate* Last year! Sure, the first year that Cain goes out and actually pitches like I thought he could have for the past 3 years that I had drafted him.

    All the while that me and Matt had been together, I was secretly digging Matt Kemp. *uh oh Holliday, I must have a thing for matt’s* It was a great time, Kemp hitting the shit out pitches..*No Rhianna, I said Pitches.*

    Now sure, Matt Kemp is completely different, first round talent, young and still getting better, not even in his prime. But I can see a time, hopefully in the distant future, when he is slipping, and I still won’t let go.

  58. giantJJ says:
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    my smack monkey is alex rios. i will reach again this year. i figure some of those 50 double have to clear the fence in the new park.

    funniest thing i’ve ever read, and i laughed for weeks when i read this grey doozie in reference to vladd and his new home in arlington: “he’s the same old fart with that new fart smell”

  59. matthole says:
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    @Grey: 5th rd do you take: jeter, SP1 (Lester, Verlander, Johan), or OF2 (lind?)

    thx

  60. JoeC says:
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    Why will some of Rios’s doubles turn into homers just because he’s playing at a new field (for half his games, at least)?

    Is Chicago (AL) that much better of a hitter’s park than Toronto (AAA)?

  61. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Nate Marcum: Very true and I might have to steal your Rihanna line. I was smacked out on Alex Gordon for like three years. Now that I’ve finally moved passed him, he’ll be great this year. Guaranteed.

    @matthole: Depends what came before, probably Johan.

  62. Roger Dorn's Nemesis says:
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    @Grey: Appreciate feedback from anyone on this one. This is for my 11-team 5×5 keeper league with standard yahoo positions. Right now I’m keeping Zimmerman (5th), Youk (9th), Wieters (11th), Pedroia (16th), Wainwright (17th) & Beckham (22nd). I’m weighing my options on keeping Hamilton in the 4th round. All offseason I planned on letting him go, but after deducting all the other players likely to be kept by other teams it looks like he’ll be the 31st best available player according to the Razz top 300. I don’t like taking a risky guy in the 4th, but between the safety of the stats I can expect from Youk/Zimmerman/Pedroia and the depletion of the normal top 50 player pool due to keepers in later rounds, there seems to be a fair argument for actually keeping him.

    What say you?

  63. giantJJ says:
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    yea joe, i’m under the impression that it is a significantly better hitter’s park. even if i’m wrong, nothing will keep me from making my rios mistake. it’s what i do.

  64. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Roger Dorn’s Nemesis: If you don’t take Hamilton, who would you take? Or would you drop one of the above guys for Hamilton?

  65. Ashley says:
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    Why so low on Andrew Bailey? I see him as a top 10 closer, and would definitely rather have him than Marmol again.

    Enlighten me Grey.

    Part II:

    I have 7 picks in the 1st two rounds (because I’m a genius). Ellsbury is going #1, I have the 2nd pick and will probably take Reynolds because 3B is so shallow. So I’ll have my IF completely covered because I already have Fielder, Kinsler, Andrus, and Weiters. I’ll take a few more hitters (Votto, BJ Upton and Lind?) for a good combo of speed and power.

    But then I was thinking about loading up on elite closers and punting SP. There’s only a 7 IP weekly min. If I can get Broxton and Nathan/Rivera before the rest of the league knows what hits them? Then I could get hopefully get a 3rd top 10 closer and a 4th solid closer to round things out. Hopefully I’d be able to take SV/ERA/WHIP each week. Good idea?

  66. Roger Dorn's Nemesis says:
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    @Grey: I wouldn’t have to drop any of my other keepers to keep Hamilton. It’s just a matter of keeping a draft pick in the 4th round vs. keeping Hamilton in the slot. We haven’t decided draft order yet, but I’m thinking that my 4th pick will almost certainly be in the high 30s.

  67. Eddy says:
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    Hey Grey, just did a 12 team mock (12th pick). There were only about four participants by the time the draft ended, but whatever.

    BTW, the Edwin Encarnacion and Feldman picks were on autopicks unfortunately.

    C- Mike Napoli (14)
    1B-Ryan Howard (1)
    2B- Asdrubal Cabrera (9)
    SS- Everth Cabrera (16)
    3B- David Wright (2)
    MI- Ian Stewart (12)
    CI-Alex Gordon (17)
    OF- Jayson Werth (3)
    OF-Curtis Granderson (4)
    OF-BJ Upton (5)
    OF- Julio Borbon (10)
    OF- Travis Snider (19)
    Util-Cameron Maybin (22)

    SP- Josh Johnson (6)
    SP- Cole Hamels (8)
    SP- Chad Billingsley (11)
    SP- Ervin Santana (18)
    SP- Johnny Cueto (20)

    RP-Francisco Rodriguez (7)
    RP-Carlos Marmol (13)
    RP-Brian Fuentes (15)
    RP- Octavio Dotel (21)

    Bench-Edwin Encarnacion (24)
    Bench- Phil Hughes (25)
    Bench- Scott Feldman (23)

  68. majortommy says:
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    @Tom Reale: I second the Joe Saunders comment, you won’t hurt me again!

  69. sean says:
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    @Eddy: Mocks have little to no value when you’re picking against the autodraft. All it does it instill false value in the default rankings…

  70. Eddy says:
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    @sean:
    Yea, I let go of some anger on the managers in there. There were two dudes who dropped out after the first two picks. I don’t understand the point of that.

    I obviously take these mocks with a grain of salt because half the guys there will be gone by Rd.15.

  71. Grey

    Grey says:
    (link)

    @Ashley: I don’t trust Bailey to do it again. Perhaps foolishly. He can be absolutely fine and he’s still a donkeycorn, so it’s not like I wouldn’t own him. But I’ve seen him go way higher than I’d draft him.

    Part II: I’m assuming this is H2H. You’re punting Wins and Ks every week? Not crazy about it, but it can be done. If one of your closers gets hit one week, you could lose ERA and WHIP and then be in real trouble.

    @Roger Dorn’s Nemesis: Ah… Then keep him.

    @Eddy: Upton and Borbon seems like too much of the same thing, which makes you light on power even with Howard. Your pitching looks fine.

  72. sean says:
    (link)

    @Ashley: Totally unintentional that one of our three girls posts comment 69? I think not.

    Having said that (great bit in Curb about that phrase btw), I think two things are bad for Bailey.

    First, he gained the job because of a fortuitous situation with not one but two guys going down ahead of him last year. Devine was slated to be the closer and Ziegler took over as closer in his rookie year of 2008. With Ziegler and Devine back in the picture and Wuertz showing that he’s more than capable of handling 9th inning duties, there are just too many options in that bullpen if he should have anything indicating a sophomore slump. And if he does slump, it could take some time, or forever, for him to regain the job.

    Second, if he does pitch well, you can’t forget that it’s Oakland. Beane is never hesitant to trade away arms. And with a crowded bullpen, Bailey may be a chip that needs to be wagered to bring in some much-needed offensive talent. Plus, Oakland just makes strange managerial decisions.

    The problem for me is that these two things add up to Bailey having just as good a chance of losing the closer duties as he does repeating 2009.

  73. Steve says:
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    @Ashley: I went relievers-only in an H2H league a couple of years back, and it worked out OK (I made the playoffs, which is all you can ask going in, right?).

    Grey is right, however. If one of your guys gets hit, it can be tough to come back, not to mention the accompanying spiral of despair as your closer gives up 4 earned without recording an out…

    Depending on your roster set-up, RPs who have SP eligibility are particularly handy.

  74. Grey

    Grey says:
    (link)

    This is why we have only two girl readers.

  75. majortommy says:
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    @Grey: Like the God Father said,
    “Baby it’s a Man’s world!”(was talking James Brown not Vito Corleone)

  76. Dingo says:
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    @Stephen: I know I’m far too late to join the dork party, but I don’t think there’s a group of people called “The Murmers” in Martin’s books. Could you possibly be thinking of “The Bloody Mummers”?

    Aaaaaaaaaaaaaand, I’m done.

  77. JoeC says:
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    @sean: I’m an A’s fan, so I watch them pretty closely. Everything I’ve read has given me full confidence that Bailey will be the man in the 9th, barring injury or an absolute collapse.

    I’m glad Grey is lowering his price (at least in our Razzball leagues) and I will happily take Bailey as a #2 closer (and I usually don’t take A’s players, because they have a bad habit of sucking).

  78. Roger Dorn's Nemesis says:
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    @Grey: As always, thanks for the quick response.

  79. Lava says:
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    @JoeC: However, Devine is the real closer in waiting, provided he can stay healthy. Over Wuertz and Ziggy.

  80. tooms says:
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    Hey Grey, I really wish you did an article about your top 20 for a league that have holds as a category.. not just your top 20 middle relievers list, but a list that focused more on holds guys themselves. Ever think of doing that??

  81. Moth says:
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    @JoeC: I’m a big A’s fan myself and I only have confidence in one thing. Any young player I get excited about will end up on the 15 day DL……..30 day DL……….60 day DL………..90 day DL. no matter how small the injury seems at first.

    That said, being a big fan I might draft Bailey, Devine, & Ziegler.

  82. brad says:
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    @Grey: definitely a bit offensive to my internal feminist. . . . but i think we’re like the group of d&d nerds in high school. sit around talking about George R.R. Martin and EverCab all day, and when a girl shows up we’re like, “69 heh heh.” Hopeless. . . but harmless.

    Also. . . http://sports.espn.go.com/fantasy/baseball/flb/story?page=mlbdk2k1030qrockies damn Brendan Roberts is slurping up Ian Stewart at ESPN.

  83. Steve says:
    (link)

    @tooms: I play in a Holds league, and I reckon if you combine Grey’s top 20 MRs with any other 7th or 8th inning guy with strong K rate and good WHIP, you should be fine.

    Holds are all over the place in-season. The Padres have a factory under Petco that produces them.

  84. Grey

    Grey says:
    (link)

    @majortommy: But it’s nothing without a woman or a girl.

    @tooms: It’s coming tomorrow afternoon from Smokey, our middle reliever writer.

    @brad: Nice, he’s going to hit .290!

  85. Cheese

    Cheese says:
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    @Grey: Grey, my draft order was just released and I’m picking 16th in a H2H 8×7 yahoo league. Categories are H, R, RBI, AVG, HR, SB, BB, SLG for batters and CG, W, ERA, WHIP, K, SV, HOLDS for pitchers. So I get the 16th/17th picks. What strategy would you take here? I’m sure a 1B will fall to me, so with this league I’m taking Miggy, Teixeira, Howard, Fielder in that order. Then what if Longoria and/or Wright are there? Or Holliday? Okay, pretend I haven’t said anything… what kind of combo would you be looking to take here? (5OF, 1CI, 1MI, 2C)

  86. Grey

    Grey says:
    (link)

    @Cheese: Fielder, Tex, Howard, Miggy, in that order. Then Wright, Longoria, in that order.

  87. JoeC says:
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    @Moth: What, did you draft Eric Chavez multiple times at a high position? Somebody’s obviously hurt you in your past. Was it Jose Reyes? :)

    I don’t think Ziegler is very likely to get an opportunity to close, simply b/c he doesn’t have closer stuff (closers don’t have WHIPs of 1.50). I think Wuertz and Devine will be next in line.

    I do think it’s all a moot point though. Bailey is young and strong and has a good minor league track record. Personally, I think he’s one of the 10 best closers in baseball. I expect to own him in a lot of leagues (although not my main one, because it’s full of A’s fans).

  88. giantJJ says:
    (link)

    grey, who do you see as first in line to close after bailey? if it’s up in the air i will avoid those candidates. i could see drafting bailey, wuertz and zeigler because they all have good peripherals, but if i drafted all 3 of those oakland relievers and devine won the job, i would snap.

  89. Cheese

    Cheese says:
    (link)

    @Grey: Okay. Now let’s say Wright and Longoria are gone. What position should I target? Or should I just take the best available player? I read your blog about pairings, and you say to pair a 1B with Longoria/Wright/Kinsler/Tulo. Hypothetically, let’s say those guys aren’t available (strong possibility)… who’s next off the list?

  90. Moth says:
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    @giantJJ: barring 3 injuries Wuertz won’t close.

    @JoeC: I’ve been burned more as a fan than in fantasy by the likes of Chavez, Crosby, Ellis, Street, Harden, Duchscherer, Devine.

  91. Grey

    Grey says:
    (link)

    @giantJJ: I wouldn’t back him up out of a draft. If something happens to Bailey, then I’d grab someone, not before.

    @Cheese: I’d just continue down my top 20. So Holliday, etc. If you take Reyes or Crawford, then that changes things you do next. You’d need a Zimmerman, Lind type.

  92. giantJJ says:
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    grey, i’m in a 20 team mixed, 28 player roster. wuertz and zeigler will be drafted by someone if not me.

  93. Grey

    Grey says:
    (link)

    @giantJJ: Sorry if you don’t specify, I assume 12 teams. I’d draft Wuertz.

  94. Iceman says:
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    Mike Adams is next in line for saves behind Bell. Just eff why eye.

  95. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @sean: Yeah, I’m beginning to think it’s better to draft in February before everyone touts the guys I’ve been talking about since December.

  96. mrbaseball says:
    (link)

    my 20 team dynasty team – I am three away from picking in draft – grey please put together your top 3 here – and who should i drop

    Jarrod Saltalamacchia
    (Tex – C)

    Joey Votto
    (Cin – 1B)

    Casey McGehee
    (Mil – 2B,3B)

    Adrián Béltre
    (Bos – 3B)

    Jhonny Peralta
    (Cle – 3B,SS)

    Matt Kemp
    (LAD – OF)

    Carlos Quentin
    (CWS – OF)

    Shane Victorino
    (Phi – OF)

    Cameron Maybin
    (Fla – OF) ultilty

    Ian Desmond
    (Was – 2B,SS)
    bench

    Scott Podsednik
    (KC – OF) bench

    ———————————————————-

    Chad Billingsley
    (LAD – SP)

    Ubaldo Jiménez
    (Col – SP)

    Wandy Rodríguez
    (Hou – SP)

    David Aardsma
    (Sea – RP)

    Heath Bell
    (SD – RP)

    Brandon Morrow
    (Tor – SP,RP)

    James Shields
    (TB – SP)

    Clay Buchholz
    (Bos – SP)

    Madison Bumgarner
    (SF – P)

    Jonathan Sánchez
    (SF – SP)

    Justin Smoak
    (Tex – 1B) NA

    Scott Sizemore
    (Det – 2B)

    Akinori Iwamura
    (Pit – 2B)

    Chase Headley
    (SD – 3B,OF)

    Joe Thurston
    (Atl – 2B,3B) NA

    David Freese
    (StL – 3B)

    Carlos Santana
    Catcher
    Cleveland Indians

    Mike Cameron
    (Bos – OF)

    Juan Pierre
    (CWS – OF)

    Drew Stubbs
    (Cin – OF)

    John Mayberry
    (Phi – OF)

    Jordan Schafer
    (Atl – OF)

    Fernando Martinez
    (NYM – OF)

    Desmond Jennings
    (TB – OF)

    Justin Masterson
    (Cle – SP,RP)

    Kyle Drabek
    (Tor – SP) NA

    might be others added by yahoo – I am not sure

    these were the players drafted

    Stephen Strasburg (Was – SP)
    Jason HeywardNA (Atl – OF)
    Aroldis Chapman (Cin – SP)
    Jered Weaver (LAA – SP)

  97. mrbaseball says:
    (link)

    Jonathan Sánchez
    (SF – SP) is my last player on team

  98. Paulie Allnuts

    Paulie Allnuts says:
    (link)

    @sean: @Grey:

    Either rotoauthority has invented the wheel simultaneously along with you, or perhaps they peeked. Murmuring Klarabell the Lost would do much better if he peeked a bit as well. But I perceive that hubris has the best of him, and he actually thinks that he knows what he is doing. At least those who plagiarize realize that someone else knows a bit more then they do. Which is why I use your list. Most of the time…

  99. mrbaseball says:
    (link)

    testing for posting

  100. Cheese

    Cheese says:
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    @Grey: Ortiz has 1B eligibility in my league… would you consider drafting him? If so, around what round?

  101. mrbaseball says:
    (link)

    @sean: Yeah, I’m beginning to think it’s better to draft in February before everyone touts the guys I’ve been talking about since December. for you grey – drafting at the end of October would be even better – I would like to rock right now in my league instead of two weeks from now – they will learn much in the next two weeks

  102. Grey

    Grey says:
    (link)

    @mrbaseball: Is that your team or the players you’re choosing from?

    @Paulie Allnuts: Hubris, for sure.

    @Cheese: Sure, 13-15th rounds of a 12 team league.

  103. mrbaseball says:
    (link)

    THESE ARE THE PLAYERS I CAN PICK – I AM NOW NUMBER THREE TO PICK IN DYNASTY LEAGUE

    Justin Smoak
    (Tex – 1B) NA
    Scott Sizemore
    (Det – 2B)
    Akinori Iwamura
    (Pit – 2B)
    Chase Headley
    (SD – 3B,OF)
    Joe Thurston
    (Atl – 2B,3B) NA
    David Freese
    (StL – 3B)
    Carlos Santana
    Catcher
    Cleveland Indians
    Mike Cameron
    (Bos – OF)
    Juan Pierre
    (CWS – OF)
    Drew Stubbs
    (Cin – OF)
    John Mayberry
    (Phi – OF)
    Jordan Schafer
    (Atl – OF)
    Fernando Martinez
    (NYM – OF)
    Desmond Jennings
    (TB – OF)
    Justin Masterson
    (Cle – SP,RP)
    Kyle Drabek
    (Tor – SP) NA

    might be others added by yahoo – I am not sure

    these were the players drafted

    Stephen Strasburg (Was – SP)
    Jason HeywardNA (Atl – OF)
    Aroldis Chapman (Cin – SP)
    Jered Weaver (LAA – SP)

    THIS IS MY TEAM IN 20 TEAM DYNASTY LEAGUE

    Jarrod Saltalamacchia
    (Tex – C)
    Joey Votto
    (Cin – 1B)
    Casey McGehee
    (Mil – 2B,3B)
    Adrián Béltre
    (Bos – 3B)
    Jhonny Peralta
    (Cle – 3B,SS)
    Matt Kemp
    (LAD – OF)
    Carlos Quentin
    (CWS – OF)
    Shane Victorino
    (Phi – OF)
    Cameron Maybin
    (Fla – OF) ultilty
    Ian Desmond
    (Was – 2B,SS)
    bench
    Scott Podsednik
    (KC – OF) bench

    Chad Billingsley
    (LAD – SP)
    Ubaldo Jiménez
    (Col – SP)
    Wandy Rodríguez
    (Hou – SP)
    David Aardsma
    (Sea – RP)
    Heath Bell
    (SD – RP)
    Brandon Morrow
    (Tor – SP,RP)
    James Shields
    (TB – SP)
    Clay Buchholz
    (Bos – SP)
    Madison Bumgarner
    (SF – P)
    Jonathan Sánchez
    (SF – SP)

  104. Grey

    Grey says:
    (link)

    @mrbaseball: Sizemore, Headley, Masterson, in that order.

  105. mrbaseball says:
    (link)

    got it thanks

  106. matthole says:
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    @Grey: does the reyes and beltran interviews/investigation with the illegal meds distributor imply that they were roid users?

  107. Grey

    Grey says:
    (link)

    @matthole: HGH… That’s what they’re investigating.

  108. matthole says:
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    @Grey: and they still couldnt win…..losers

  109. matthole says:
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    @Grey: u think thats why they got injured? prob delgado too with his amazing second half HR tear a few yrs back

  110. Grey

    Grey says:
    (link)

    @matthole: *shrugs* No idea… Maybe.

  111. Swapnil says:
    (link)

    Thanks Grey…
    Bobby Jenks – Nate Mclouth Trade accepted!!

  112. saw a report this morning that the Twins are aggressively scouting Heath Bell (link provided). do you have a feeling on Gregerson vs. Adams should Bell get traded before April?

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