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It happened again this Saturday. I went out with some pals and gals, like usual — pick a friend’s apartment at which to do some borderline problematic pre-bar drinking, have too much, pick a Manhattan bar that is depressingly similar to the one we attended the night prior, stumble down the subway stairs, meet friends, undereat food, overdrink drinks, over-laugh laughs, flirt with a girl, start enjoying myself, develop a crush, have great conversation, she goes to the bathroom, I check my fantasy team quick, I’m a petulant schmuck for the rest of the night. My fantasy keeper is sucks again.

“I really thought Mike Moustakas would turn the corner this year, Girl, I was so ready to eat delicious moose tacos. I was so ready… so ready. I just want to win so bad, know what I mean? Wait, you don’t care that Moustakas sucks? What the hell do you mean you don’t care about my fantasy team? Well… that’s a turn-off. C’mon guys, let’s go — this place is lame. No, nothing happened. Some people don’t know how to hold a conversation. Yes, I mean her. No, they don’t want you to call them, we’re never hanging out with them again.” It happens to all of us, when you’re fishing for some mind-blowing cosmic exploration with a brunette you’ve liked for weeks and then suddenly burst into metaphorical tears under the overwhelming pressure of your lovable keeper disappointing you night after night — or at least I tell myself I’m not the only one this happens to, especially when I’m left alone, lying in bed, showering my MLB At Bat app with tears,snot, and loneliness.

There’s something beautiful about fantasy keepers and fantasy keeper leagues. They provide hope. Redraft leagues leave you at the risk of flopping, once again, via a crappy draft, and becoming your league’s joke-butt for yet another season. Keeper leagues, on the other hand, can pull you in either direction. You can keep a guy like Moustakas and screw up what was sure to be a successful season (or successful night with the aforementioned femme), or you can keep a guy like Mike Trout and ride the sexy coattails of his sumptuous tuxedo to years and years of easy league domination and uninterrupted one-night stands. When your league constitution states that your league’s outcome “supersedes all other forms of competition: career success, romantic success, video-game success, backyard-sports success, drinking-game success, and success in other fantasy sports” and everyone in your league takes it outrageously to heart, it’s extremely important to choose your keepers wisely and un-Moustakasy.  As part of my new dedication to discover the people who will lead you to success for years and years, I’m your new Razzball keeper guy. That means I’ll be looking at guys currently in the league, not prospects — that’s sha boi Scott’s area and métier. Because it doesn’t take a genius — yes, I am one of those — to tell you that you should keep Trout or Bryce Harper, we’re going to look at young guys you probably got on the cheap and who probably won’t cost too much to keep. Guys you’re presumably on the fence about. Guys you want to retain for 2014, 2015, 2016, etc. Guys you might want to target in the upcoming weeks and before the deadline so you can lock them up for next season or for a late-season playoff run. Think guys in the Moustakas realm (but not him, dear god, not him). I’ll do this as a service to you, my beautiful, wonderful reader, but also so I can at least wake up satisfied with myself at least once in a while. Let’s look to the future, friends, because some of us might already be 2013 history, or some, better yet, are ready to make 2013 history. Let’s take a look at a few guys you want, whether now or later, because for every Moustakas there’s a…

Jason Kipnis, 69.1 ADP in ESPN leagues

It probably appears odd that I’d follow a whole opening about being unable to enjoy a girl’s company with this, but I have a man-crush on this guy. Fortunately, this relationship is a two-way street. It’s not always pretty, and it’s always streaky, but the $15 or #70 draft pick you spent on him this year is sweet value for 15/25 and, eh, .260, from a second baseman. Pundits shoved the whole “he’s not as powerful as he’s appeared” down your throat, but it’s legit.

He had a 14.6% HR/FB rate in his pretty, abridged 2011, a 6.1% rate last year, and sits at 10.8% this season. It could be slightly high, but everything he’s done so far evinces legitimate 15-20 homer power. Even when he’s not crushing like a Matthew Berry grape, his stolen bases come in bunches and can win you that category in any week. He’s extremely underappreciated and is kind of in one of his lulls right now, so go grab. Go. And when you do, never watch him try to hit a lefty slider. Never.

P.S. This.

Paul Goldschmidt, 73.2 ADP

How happy are you if you reached a bit for Goldy? In one of my leagues’ drafts I found myself eating pencil deciding whether to pick robotic Goldy or Freddie Freeman. While Freeman is doing just fine, Goldy (I really hate calling him Goldy) wants his 25/15 while in the middle of a sneaky-good Dbacks lineup. You might have paid a decent price, and if in your league you have to pay increased prices every subsequent year it could get steep, but the dude does everything. He’s a .300 hitter, regardless of what his minor league numbers might hint at. His strikeout rate has dropped every year and is inversely correlated with his improving walk rate, and, though line-drive rates are kind of iffy, he has a 28% line-drive rate. If you believe in omens, he literally just hit a grand slam while I was typing that last sentence. He’s been paid, has a .417 OBP, and plays everyday without ailments.

Also, he moves around like a robot. Am I the only person who’s noticed this? He looks like the shy kid in dodgeball who isn’t exactly sure if he’s doing it right and throws a ball somewhere, puts his head down, and furtively scoots over to grab another random ball in the corner. He’d never ask his teammate who has three balls to pass him one. Seriously, watch Goldschmidt play. You’ll know what I mean.

Everth Cabrera is on base and I swear is going to steal his fourth base of the week against me. I just know it. :( :( :( LOL Carlos Quentin lined into a DP. Inning over. I wonder if Quentin is one of the code-names in the Biogenesis list.

Speaking of Cabrera (224.4 ADP) and Biogenesis, the Biogenesis news came out yesterday and Cabrera is on the list, which is kind of disheartening considering he’s actually turning into a legit player rather than merely Roadrunner. By the way, Tony Bosch is definitely one of Miami’s most popular guys that everyone hates. He wants to be cool so badly. He’s so Miami.

Anyway, Cabrera’s striking out less, walking more, and is hitting more line drives. Oddly, his HR/FB is higher than ever? Hmm.

Remember, there’s a chance that this whole Biogenesis suspension thing gets held up in miles of appeals and cases and Bosch doubters and denials and none of the guys on the list get suspended at all… except maybe Ryan Braun. When he thinks about Braun, Bud Selig must foam like I would have if that bat in my house two weeks ago had rabies. Remember this? This is going to be awesome to watch in the upcoming weeks.

So maybe the Cabrera owner in your league is pissed off. Maybe he’s jumping the Cabrera ship and you can pay fifty cents on Everth’s dollar in hopes that he doesn’t get suspended. Everything except this whole PED ordeal is going in Cabrera’s favor. Okay, so maybe he’s not the best keeper considering he might miss the first 50 2014 games, but I’d make a play. If you can suck up 50 games this year and unleash him for your fantasy playoffs, especially on the cheap, why not? Am I nuts?

Target these guys, and soon. Goldschmidt is high, like uber-duper-super high stock right now, but Kipnis and Cabrera are each achievable — especially Cabrera.

I was thinking of doing this column as a one-guy-a-week sort of thing, but ultimately resorted to doing short lists. If you see it in a one-guy, highly detailed form, don’t be surprised.

Follow your keeper dude on Twitter @TerseRazzball. I’m friendly and need friends. I also answer questions because that’s how I assume I’ll make friends.

From Around The Web

  1. Mr. Fister Furbush says:
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    Nice post Terse

    Pick one that you like to start in a points league:

    Mike Leake @CHC
    AJ Burnett@SF
    Julio Teheran vs SF
    Gallardo vs Mia

    Thanks,
    FF

    • Terse

      Terse says:
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      @Mr. Fister Furbush: Sorry, accidentally forgot to click ‘reply’ and added a regular comment. Leake. Giants are too good and Leake actually has better numbers on the road.

  2. DiRo says:
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    Good read as always, glad I loved Goldy as much as you guys. Killing it in my keeper league and regular roto league!

    If you could, would you trade Puig straight up for Harper? I already have Trout and McCutchen so I am trying to get a young studly OF for my keeper league.

    • Terse

      Terse says:
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      @Terse: @DiRo: If you’re getting Harper and giving Puig, do it and do it now.

      • Terse

        Terse says:
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        @Terse: also, thanks!

    • danny says:
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      @DiRo: dude, nobody would accept that offer, that’s not even close

    • DiRo says:
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      @DiRo: @Danny I have super Homeric Dodger and Angel fans in my league…

  3. Terse

    Terse says:
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    Hey thanks!

    As a Gallardo owner, I’d never advise anyone start him ever — still having velocity problems. Leake has been kind of awesome lately and is striking out guys a bit lately. I’d say Leake.

  4. Steve says:
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    Good read but if anybody didn’t know to target those 3 guys they probaly shouldn’t be in any fantasy baseball leagues.

    • Terse

      Terse says:
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      @Steve: No doubt that they’re on most people’s radars, but between their age/price you paid/steady, solid and clear improvements in some important numbers, they’re to be emphasized.

  5. Terse

    Terse says:
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    And oh yeah… shortly after Quentin lined into that DP, Cabrera proceeded to steal that fourth base.

  6. Racehorse says:
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    Terse,

    What does your crystal ball say about Aaron Hicks? He’s gots tools I galore. I have him stashed on my dynasty league’s minor league roster. The Twins seem determined to keep running him out there no matter what. Not sure if Gardenhire has some twisted bizarro masochistic bent, but he keeps running him out there. What say you?

    • Terse

      Terse says:
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      @Racehorse: Yeah, it’s not pretty right now. Obviously he’s not this bad. He walked a lot more and struck out a lot less in lower levels, which is promising, but it’s not translating. Even in the minors he never quite lived up to his promise. Not a fan.

  7. Fermin's Last Theorem says:
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    Yeah, I’m one of those guys who picked up Trout for $1 last season, so even with inflation, it’ll still only cost $26 to keep him for next season. It’s like Office Space post-hypnotism all the time.

    That said, I can only keep two, and looking ahead for 2014 I’m choosing between a $6 Jean Segura and a $14 Chris Davis. If C.Davis can keep up the Roy Hobbs impression all year, I think I’d have to go that way. Thoughts?

    Oh, and Yahoo 6×6 OPS, for what it’s worth.

  8. Psychedelic says:
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    Am I the only one who noticed every single player on the “list” is Latino except for Braun?

    • Terse

      Terse says:
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      @Psychedelic: I’m picturing an awkward waiting room.

      • Psychedelic says:
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        @Terse: hahaha brilliant

  9. Chris says:
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    Awesome article. Any others you can think of?
    Thank you

    Chris

    • Terse

      Terse says:
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      @Chris: I’ll be doing an article every week. One guy I was considering add in this week’s though is Kyle Seager, who I sort of like

      • Chris says:
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        @Terse: Awesome idea. Thank you…What do you think of holding Taveras for next year (even though he is currently on the DL)?

        • Terse

          Terse says:
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          @Chris: Taveras is special

  10. DoubleHeaders says:
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    Uber duper super idea for a post! One keeper quandry for the DHers is this……

    Cingrani or Skaggs?

    • Terse

      Terse says:
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      @DoubleHeaders: hahaha thanks! The answer is Skaggs. A lot of people don’t think Cingrani can continue to successfully start while throwing fastballs >80% of the time. I’m one of those people

  11. Nelson Santovenia says:
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    Is Motte worth stashing on the DL for next year, or will he be replaced by Rosenthal or Mujica for 2014?

    • Terse

      Terse says:
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      @Nelson Santovenia: If you can spare the DL spot then I would, but don’t have a problem with the drop. Mujica is a temporary fix

  12. TobiasFunkeAnalRapist says:
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    Nice write up, I can only keep five and I know there’s still a lot of baseball to be played but if the season ended right now who would you keep? The players in consideration:
    Matt Moore
    Matt Harvey
    Paul Goldschmidt
    Jean Segura
    Mike Trout
    Andrew McCutchen
    Domonic Brown
    Ryan Zimmerman
    Alex Gordon
    Hyu-Jin Ryu.
    Any input would help, thanks.

    • Terse

      Terse says:
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      @TobiasFunkeAnalRapist: ignoring inflation and all that, in a vacuum: Goldschmidt, Trout, Cutch, Moore, Segura. I like Harvey and Brown, but those five are the clear keeps to me

  13. G Penny says:
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    Great article. Glad to read your words seeing as I have Kipnis and EvCab in my keeper (keep 10 every year) league. It’s also good to hear that appeals and such may mean that we get the rest of the season out of guys like EvCab and Johnny Peralta, whom I also own.

    1 – In that very same keeper league, I am being offered his Scherzer and Dom Brown for my Strasberg. My immediate impulse was to take the deal, because I’m a big believer in Mad Max, and because Dom is going off (I’m expecting regression, but this can’t all be a fluke, can it?) Now, I know he is trying to sell high on Brown and buy a touch low on Stras (seeing as he is on the DL atm). The only thing that gives me pause here is the fact that it’s a keeper league and Stras may be the best in the game for the next 8 years and I may look like an idiot. But I really think Scherzer is for real and DB more than makes up any distance between them that may be left over. Your thoughts? (I should also mention that the league doesn’t count WHIP, but does count K’s, W, ERA, CG, QS.)

    2- In my other league (only 2 yearly keepers) I have Goldy. But I was planning on keeping CarGo and Tulo or CarGo and an ace pitcher like Wainwright/Shields/Peavy/Scherzer/Samardz.. Would you keep Goldy over Tulo or over one of those pitchers?

    Thanks in advance.

    • Terse

      Terse says:
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      @G Penny: I like the Max/Dom side because look at Scherzer’s past 3 years: 195.2 ip, 195, 187.2. You get yourself a horse, which could allow you to wait a couple rounds longer on pitching in future drafts. I buy Brown’s batting average more than his power, actually, though he does have power. You wouldn’t be crazy to pull the trigger. Besides, it’ll help this season.

      #2 Tough. Tulo is SS, of course, which is shallower than 1b, but I’d still expect an injury at some point, though I hope I’m wrong. Having two injury guys like cargo and tulo is scary. Personally, Goldschmidt. With those three choices, def don’t go with a pitcher

  14. Hank says:
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    Can only keep 3

    Trout, Kershaw, Stanton, segura, goldscmidt

    • Terse

      Terse says:
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      @Hank: trout, goldshiz, kershaw

      • Dan says:
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        @Terse: Interesting. I totally would’ve went trout, stanton, segura

        • Terse

          Terse says:
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          @Dan: you wouldn’t be crazy to, but Kershy is a top-2 pitcher if not #1.

        • Hank says:
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          @Dan: i like stanton more but the downside to Stanton is his injury proneness.

          • Dan says:
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            @Hank: very true, I find myself awake at night worrying about his injuries. i think the potential for 50 hr seasons just has me all googoogaga

      • Hank says:
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        Cool thanks

  15. Mike says:
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    Segura or Everth Cabrera in a dynasty?

    • Terse

      Terse says:
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      @Mike: if you have both? segura

      • Mike says:
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        @Terse: yup i have both.. what do you see Segura being for the next few yrs? Top3-5 SS?

        • Terse

          Terse says:
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          @Mike: not that high. 7-10 more likely. power isn’t real, speed is

  16. Joel says:
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    Would you trade Goldy for Braun right now? Its a 5 year keeper league and this is year number 2.

    • Terse

      Terse says:
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      @Mike: @Joel: yes

  17. inertiatic says:
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    12 tm H2H keeper league. Considering only their stand alone value, not my team needs, would I be a crazy man to give up Hamels and Cingrani for Wil Myers? Is he another Harper in the making?

    • inertiatic says:
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      @inertiatic: amendment; I’m getting Myers and an aging RP, likely Nathan or worse.

      • Terse

        Terse says:
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        @inertiatic: he’s not another harper in the making, no one is. I reluctantly say to keep hamels. proven success>prospect status

        • inertiatic says:
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          @Terse: thank sir I needed to be pulled from the ledge. Damn that prospect nookie!

  18. One Man Crusade says:
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    I like Braun’s speech almost as much as Rafy’s finger waving at the congressional hearing.

  19. SwaggerJackers says:
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    Who’s the better keeper between Beachy and Wheeler?

  20. The Guru

    The Guru says:
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    Welcome aboard, Terse. Looking forward to more.

    • Terse

      Terse says:
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      @The Guru: thank you sir

  21. David says:
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    Which one would you choose, Sandoval or Bruce? Thanks .

    • Terse

      Terse says:
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      @David: bruce

  22. Ryan G says:
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    Well, its refreshing to see two guys i have topping the list!!!

    Got Goldschmidt off waivers last year and he is a permanent 13th round keeper

    Got Kipnis for an 8th round pick right before our draft from a guy gambling on keeping Ike Davis instead. Kips a 14th rounder.

    Funny thing is it was the same guy who dropped goldschmidt last year…

    • Terse

      Terse says:
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      @Ryan G: haha poor guy

      • Ryan G says:
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        @Terse: he found a way to beat me in the finals last year so its not all bad. Im just glad i got kips before i was forced to gamble on hosmer or lawrie…

        Good write up!

        • Terse

          Terse says:
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          @Ryan G: huge thanks! much appreciated

  23. keepermustard says:
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    Thoughts on keepers to target going into 2014? Pick 5, or 3 more after Harper/Castro

    Bryce Harper (obvious)
    Starlin Castro (obvious)
    Allen Craig
    Freddie Freeman
    Brett Lawrie
    Starling Marte
    Jason Heyward
    Wil Myers
    Billy Hamilton

  24. nightpandas says:
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    Nice article….

    Who would you keep in my 15 team, keep 9 league:

    Konerko
    Kinsler
    Aramis
    Segura
    Braun
    Fowler
    Choo
    Rollins
    Rendon
    Scherzer
    Dickey
    Medlen
    H Bailey
    Straily
    Wacha
    Archer

    Any of these youngsters worth grabbing instead: Singleton, B Hamilton, Castellanos, Hultzen

    • inertiatic says:
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      @nightpandas: kinsler, segura, Braun, Choo, scherzer, wacha, Medlen

      Then it’s down to how they finish the year. Fowler should be in there, Rendon maybe. Dickey could still be okay but he’d be a better sell high if he ever gets his shizz together.

      definitely want singleton though. He can win SB by himself.

    • Terse

      Terse says:
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      @nightpandas: Segura, Braun, Fowler, Scherzer, Choo, Bailey (like him), straily, aramis, wacha

  25. jjj says:
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    which side do you like in this trade:

    Wainright, swisher, vicorino, chapman for
    Hellickson, Braun, marte, valverde??

    • Terse

      Terse says:
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      @jjj: This is kind of tough. Assuming it’s a keeper league: Braun side. But if it’s redraft, Swisher side, but barely

      • Pub says:
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        Thanks. I went Braun. My pitching has been lights out my offense terrible, thanks Ike, Avila and aybar for your great start

        • Terse

          Terse says:
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          @Pub: If you needed the offense then good decision

  26. Wake Up says:
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    Well played bro…well played…

  27. Oz says:
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    I hear Carlos Martinez is being stretched out in AAA to start for STL. Any chance he starts this year? He has such nasty stuff, it was a shame they used him in long relief. Thanks.

    • Terse

      Terse says:
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      @Oz: Tough to say. Maybe with an injury, but Lyons has been decent and Carpenter could come back. Westbrook is surprisingly close, too.

      • Oz says:
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        @Terse:

        Hmm, ok Yeah i’ll keep an eye on the situation very closely. I’m in a h2h points dynasty (mostly, keep about 24/38 players) league. I already have Wainright, Wacha, and Carpenter on the d/l but I’m just infatuated with Martinez’s potential. I’m so proud of myself for getting on the Wacha Wacha train 2 weeks before anyone else… It’s just too bad women don’t find my 6th sense about fantasy baseball pitcher prospects to be sexy…

        • Terse

          Terse says:
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          @Oz: If women found fantasy baseball and Call of Duty success sexy, I’d be Wilt Chamberlain.

          • Grey

            Grey says:
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            HAHAHA

  28. Shake N Bacon says:
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    Terse nice article. I’ll be reading keeper league posts every week now.

    So two keeper league hypothetical questions for you:

    Who would you rather have in a keeper league from this point moving forward:

    Longoria or Machado

    J-Upton or Harper (assuming he doesn’t need knee surgery)

    • Terse

      Terse says:
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      @Shake N Bacon: Machado — he’s uber glorious. Harper — he’s uber Harper.

      • Shake N Bacon says:
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        @Terse: Thank ya kindly.

        I agree with you. Been trying to deal for both of those guys, but no luck yet. Something about Upton just worries me. Not enough to sell low on him though.

  29. Eric says:
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    Keeper league with no rules how long you can keep a player and do not have to give up a draft pick…I have Machado the team with Goldy wants him, who is more valuable/who would you wather have long term…Machado or Goldy?

    • Terse

      Terse says:
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      @Eric: Many would argue Machado, but Goldschmidt is displaying too much power. I’d say Goldschmidt because he’s already showing a tool that Machado hasn’t shown yet in the pros. I’m not saying I don’t think Machado will have that power, but Goldy’s already showing it.

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