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We had a photo-shoot today at the mag. One of the models — that is, one of the people who were getting their photo taken because they were being featured in our next issue — was a blonde 26-year-old female. Another one of the models was a 28-year-old brunette. Neither was ugly. “Dude, that blonde is so incredibly hot,” one of my office friends said to me as we creeped covetously from a dark corner. “No, sir, she’s not. The brunette, on the other hand…” “You’re an idiot.” “LOL, why? It’s kind of subjective, don’t you think?” “Not really, the blonde has boobs, a nice bod (he did say bod), a cute face — she’s the definition of hot.” Eventually, after some high-horsing from me on the subjectivity of beauty, we agreed to poll the rest of the guys in the office, and whichever guy’s girl got more votes, he’d get $20 (I work in a weird place). This, friends, is where my metaphor goes off track, and where I start comparing guys like Everth Cabrera to beautiful women.

The beauty of keepers is mixing standard fantasy analysis and our perception of how we think baseball players will be perceived by fantasy players. It’s not just, “this guy mashes I want to pick him,” it’s “this guy mashes, how much will my enemies be willing to pay for his mashing?” I agreed on our “girl bet” because I thought that most of the guys in the office would perceive the brunette as prettier — I applied a value to her because of what I thought others would think about her. Unfortunately I screwed up, but fortunately (or maybe not) I study fantasy baseball a lot more than I do girls, so let’s just delve into keepers before I stare at the $20 void in my impecunious wallet and wallow in my geeky lameness. That is, it’s fantasy keepers time.

Everth Cabrera (221.9 ADP, $2 in 2013; will be 150s, $6 in 2014)

Everth is the brunette who then turned into the blonde, then who most thought was the brunette, and will then be considered blonde later. Get it? No numbers game here.

I wrote about Cabrera here, where I praised him for his increase in power, super speed, and overall improvement as a baseball and fantasy player.

“Cabrera’s striking out less, walking more, and is hitting more line drives. Oddly, his HR/FB is higher than ever?” I wonder why.

You can safely assume that Cabrera’s going to be suspended this year — and doesn’t really have much of a reason to appeal, unless he’s hoping to fight that losing “save face” battle that everyone sees right through — but you can’t safely assume that that’ll plummet Cabrera’s stock going into next year.

Cabrera’s main value is in his speed, obviously, an attribute that most people won’t expect to decline via stopping steroid usage, PED injection — whatever you want to call it (if you even think he did use any illegal substances at all). After seeing his improvement in the other facets of his game, and everyone still believing in his speed, Cabrera won’t be perceived as having any lower value than he had going into this year, and I think he’ll be perceived significantly higher. “I pay for his speed, the rest are cherries on top,” people will say, expecting at least some of the new production to be real.

If I had Cabrera and could spare the spot, I’d stash him next year as he’ll still increase in value significantly. I’d definitely pick him up next year, because he’ll be valued way higher than he will be going into 2014.

Chris Archer (Undrafted in 2013; 175, 4 bones in 2014)

How freaking sexy and pretty is this guy? Like, I’d do disgusting things to him (wait, don’t forget about my introduction. Archer’s a girl!). And how awesome is his name? Archer. 6:58 later, I’m back. That show’s awesome.

A top prospect for a few years in the revered Rays organization, Archer’s had some control problems and spoiled cups of coffee in the Bigs. But talk about an awesome last four games: 31 IP, 1 ER, 2 CG, 4 BB, 17 K. A decrease in walk rate and increase in grounders might finally herald Archer’s arrival as the surefooted, reliable starter he was projected to be for the past few years. He’s not as good as his past four games — nobody is that good, and he has a .216 BAbip-against — and his value is really high right now, but if he lets up a few runs before your deadline, know that he’ll be anchored in the Rays rotation next year and his ADP should probably be around 175 next year. If you’ve picked him up, he’d be one of the few pitchers I’d really want to keep going into next year. Also, the Rays kind of have a way to keep their guys healthy unless they get dome-pieced.

Justin Upton (16.2 in 2013; 50s, $15 in 2014)

Could this suckfest reasonably be the result of the team he’s on? And not in the Marlins kind of way, but in the everyone-on-this-team-strikes-out-so-hey-I’m-just-going-to-swing-for-the-fences kind of way. According to Fan Graphs, Upton’s contact rate, which was at 77.1% last year, has dropped all the way down to 70.6% in 2013. He’s not swinging at bad pitches any more than usual, he’s just swinging and missing too often. After his SO% got as low as 18.7% in 2011, Upton’s back up to 24.9%, which is some sort of nonsensical regression for a 25-year-old in his seventh Major League season.

He’s definitely better than this, and he’s proven to have more power than his 16 homers implies, but he’s not running and not bombing like a non-runner needs to, so I think even his $15 next year could be a bit too much.

I get asked about trades involving Upton often, and I’d stay away from him now and in the long-term.

Alex Rodriguez (233.4 in 2013; never in 2014 or ever again)

Does anyone read Mark Listanti’s awesome “Derek Jeter diaries”? Well, the way A-Rod’s portrayed in those is exactly how I picture him. Also, A-Rod gets vilified as some monster who’s trying to screw the Yankees and their fans like Cameron Diaz. He went to a second doctor?! What an a**hole! Why won’t he just retire and free up the Yankees’ cap room?! He’s an a**hole. He’s going to appeal?! What an a**hole. I don’t believe this, but does anyone ever just stop and think, “hey, maybe this guy just really, really wants to play baseball again and will do anything simply to get back on the diamond.”

Pedro Alvarez (158.5 in 2013; 140 in 2014)

He’s hitting more fly-balls than ever, is striking out more than ever, and has his highest HR/FB rate ever. But that’s exactly what we expect from Pedro Alvarez, who sounds like Mario when Matthew Berry does his impression.

Alvarez’s 22.1% HR/FB is way too high — even for him — and his LD% is keeping his BA at .242 despite the increase in strikeouts. What you’ll get is what you expect: A BA that hopefully won’t murder you and a whole bunch of dingers on a Pirates team that shouldn’t but does hit. What do those numbers and prospects merit? A pick better than 158. I’d definitely deal for him if I needed the pop for this year. That said, he’s definitely not the best keeper, because he won’t be much better than 2013’s price, but there’s slight value to be had.

Follow Terse on Twitter @TerseRazzball and let him know the guys you want him to give his take on. Also, ask him questions so he feels like he has friends. He needs some of those.

From Around The Web

  1. Alex says:
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    Good stuff here

    • Terse

      Terse says:
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      @Alex: hey thanks!

  2. Jack Full of Hate says:
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    why you bringing up Sanfu Larry?

    I always pick the brunette, they try so much harder because they know the blonde gets bonus points for being blonde by everyone else, the brunette gets bonus points from me for not living the lie of being a blonde. But hey, what do I know, I haven’t dated a white girl ever, so there you go.

    with your Twitter pic, i assumed you were still in high school, so is this a summer internship for you?

    • Terse

      Terse says:
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      @Jack Full of Hate: hahaha nope, just look young and have long hair

      • Jack Full of Hate says:
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        @Terse: what was the final tally of the pool?

        do you know who I am on twitter, I use a different name there

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      re: Twitter picture… He’s our most handsomest writer (after me)…

      • Jack Full of Hate says:
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        @Grey: don’t let Tehol hear that

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          I like my guys more wholesome

          • Jack Full of Hate says:
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            @Grey: so how does Giancarlo figure into that, or is he the exception and not the norm?

  3. TheGoods says:
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    Thoughts on these as keepers vs non?

    Brad Miller
    Evan Gattis
    Gyorko
    Sonny Gray

    • Jack Full of Hate says:
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      @TheGoods: I would think Gyorko, Miller, Gray, Gattis. I only put Gattis low because we don’t know what/where he is at next year. Could be a one hit wonder and may be in another un-defined spot. If he gets to the AL as a DH he could be huge. But too many question marks for me.

    • Terse

      Terse says:
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      @TheGoods: Dislike Gattis, Gyorko is unexciting. Sonny Gray is really interesting but I’d be hesitant to keep him unless I have plenty of spots to spare. I kind of like this Franklin/Miller dynamic the M’s have going on. I like him.

      • Jack Full of Hate says:
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        @Terse: I think Gyorko breaks through next year, Miller and Franklin are going to be this era’s Whitaker and Trammel

  4. Benny says:
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    Who would you rather have in a dynasty league. Neither of these guys is going to help much for the remainder of this year, so I’m strictly looking at 2014 and beyond. Cueto or Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez?

    • Terse

      Terse says:
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      @Benny: Definitely Cueto

  5. shibboleth says:
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    Hey Terse, my team keeps 5 in the round drafted. Many protected names so aside from Segura in the 17th I’m hurting for keeper bats of value.

    12-team, 29-round OPS league. Do Kendrys Morales or Pedro Alvarez in Rd 10 do anything for you? Or should I gamble on someone like Rendon in Round 14?

    • Terse

      Terse says:
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      @shibboleth: I like Alvarez there in the 10th, I think he’ll just keep on swatting until his dying days. Not high on Rendon and he’s really biting the dust recently, but a lot of other Razzwriters would disagree. No Morales. Pedro is my fave of the three, definitely.

      • shibboleth says:
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        @Terse: thank you sir!

        • Terse

          Terse says:
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          @shibboleth: you got it

  6. shmikey says:
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    How do you feel about Will Middlebrooks? Is he ever going to make it back up to Boston? Would you EVER keep him?

    • Terse

      Terse says:
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      @shmikey: Hello Shmike. I do like him and think he’ll produce at some point, wouldn’t pay much for him, though………….

  7. Mike

    Mike says:
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    Great post as always, Terse, and thanks for your Twitter advice re: Braun. I was just curious what your philosophy is about keeping guys in that $45-50 range in a regular old 260 budget league? I recently turned over a $47 Cano to a contender in return for some younger cheaper pieces and I can shake the feeling that I made a bad call. When does the price become too high for even top ten players like Robbie?

    • Terse

      Terse says:
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      @Mike: Shake that feeling, Mikey. 47 bones is a butt load, especially for Cano. He’s not worth that. Low 40s MAYBE for a top 5 guy. All subjective, of course, but you made the right decision.

      • Mike

        Mike says:
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        @Terse: Thanks dude, wheeling and dealing in a keeper gets tricky…your posts and advice are really helpful

        • Terse

          Terse says:
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          @Mike: Thanks, and no prob!

  8. Mr. April says:
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    Starting to think about my keepers for next year.

    I’ve got Paul Goldschmidt (7th) Desmond Jennings (15th) Pedro Alverez (22nd) Marte (15th) Nick Franklin (23rd) Mike Minor (13th) Zach Wheeler (23rd)

    I get to keep 5. Seems like Goldy/Jennings/Pedro/Marte are no-brainers but as good as Franklin has been I can’t help but think I’d rather have Minor or Wheeler. Your thoughts?

    Thanks in advance…

    • Terse

      Terse says:
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      @Mr. April: I really like Minor, but I like Franklin even more. Decent pop from an MI position. I don’t loff Wheeler much. I’d go with Franklin.

  9. Shake N Bacon says:
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    Probably half of those Upton keeper trade questions came from me. Sorry about that.

    I make a point to try and watch all the at bats I can of my core keepers and I feel like the eye test can tell you a lot that stats don’t necessarily do. The one reoccurring problem I was seeing with Upton was his swing and misses at fastballs down the middle from his belt up. He was late every time. It was weird. Maybe he just sits on off speed stuff when he’s down in the count. I don’t know.

    Anyways, I moved him before the All-star break and was worried about dealing him at that point. I’m feeling a little better about it now since he has still yet to get out of his funk and go on a homerun surge.

    So onto my question: Who would you rather have in a keeper league going forward, same price, keep as many years as you want – Carlos Gomez or Wil Myers? I’ve seen a mixed bag of expectations for Wil with one L (what is that all about anyways???).

    • Terse

      Terse says:
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      @Shake N Bacon: Despite being older, I think you gotta go with Gomez because of the speed — maybe even the same kind of power.

      And seriously, I have no idea why he has 1 L, but i kind of like it.

      • Shake N Bacon says:
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        @Terse: Yeah I like the steals from Gomez. Myers’ price tag is probably higher than I’d want to pay in the keeper league anyways. I’ll enjoy Cargo 2.0 for a while.

          • Shake N Bacon says:
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            @Terse: And Upton hits two homers last night. WTF! He must’ve heard about me bad mouthing him.

            • Terse

              Terse says:
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              @Shake N Bacon: haha, we know he has the power. it’s the average that’s so disappionting

              • Shake N Bacon says:
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                @Terse: Yeah, I don’t think he’ll ever cut down on the strikeouts to keep that average up. Who knows.

  10. Jay says:
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    so possible keeper moves here. 10 tm h2h 5×5 league.

    Trying to go for it and plan for next year at the same time. my current keepers are Votto, longo, Stanton, Stras burg and then either Heyward or Cespedes.

    I want to acquire Machado for shellfish reasons. I have a current offer that has me moving Cespedes and my 6th rd pick (1st after keepers) and i get back machado and McCann and a 12th rd pick. I’m ok with lossing the pick because i did the same thing last year and still cam out of the draft with one of the better teams and with careful timely management (hat tip to the wonderful content found at Razzball) find myself in second place.

    i just lost Yadir as well. I think its a good move for me. I can also explore the possibility of moving Longo to replace some picks. I have some serious interest in Longo right now and I told the manager that Longo will cost at least a 6 and an 8 rd pick and I can get one of Anibal, Burnett, or Iwakuma along with that. (longo would go with one of my three closers)

    When all is said an d done what do you think of it in its entirety?
    Thanks man – and I agree the brunettes take it.

    • Terse

      Terse says:
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      @Jay: hahaha for sure on the brunes dude.

      Very good job on coming out of the draft alright despite not having that pick, but you can’t rely on that happening again. If you really don’t carea bout losing that pick and make that trade, then trade Longo to get some of those picks back, your overall trade would be:

      Cespedes, Longo for Machado, 3rd rounder, Iwakuma. That ends up being a really close one.

      then it leads you to: do you trust Heyward? Do you want to keep him?

      McCann is a wash and useless. Find Catcher help on the wire, as Yadier will only be out for 15 days — no structural damage reported.

      God this is tough, but I thin I’d sit tight and woudl actually try to move Votto for some nice value.

      • Jay says:
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        @Terse: yeah moving Votto would be tough. My main goal is to acquire Machado, as this could be my only chnace. I’m pissed about it because early on in the season i actually traded machado FOR heyward and have been kicking myself ever since. Although, the other manager did mention about Heyward. I could see if perhaps he’d willing to swap back and then i wouldn;t lose the pick and so on

        • Terse

          Terse says:
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          @Jay: I’d definitely do that

  11. J b says:
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    Would you trade upton for Stanton?? What do you think Stanton will do rest of season

    • Terse

      Terse says:
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      @J b: I don’t like either. But I guess I’d go with Stanton ROS.

      • J b says:
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        How about Holliday over both j up and Stanton??

        • Terse

          Terse says:
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          @J b: Holliday.

  12. Jon says:
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    I’m in a league where everyone keeps SP. I’m prioritizing hitters but I can still probably keep 3-5 of these guys:

    Masterson, Medlen, Cashner, Tillman, Milone, Porcello, Alex Wood, Delgado, Cobb

    Mind to rank top 5 keepers?

    • Terse

      Terse says:
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      @Jon: Cobb, Delgado, Milone, Masterson, Cashner.

  13. Dan says:
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    Your ranking of following SP for keepers?
    Bumgarner, Mike Minor, James Shields, Jered Weaver, Masterson, Hamels, Burnett, Ogando

    Thanks!

  14. Yeshcheese says:
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    Rank as 5×5 12t Keeper, N Aoki J Heyward C Yelich B Lawrie. I know knee jerk is Heyward but I’m honestly thinking he’s the worst of the group…

    • Terse

      Terse says:
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      @Yeshcheese: hahaha I understand your frustration — I’m a Heyward owner too.

      It’s gotta be him though:

      Heyward, Yelich, Aoki, Lawrie

  15. TobiasFunkeAnalRapist says:
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    12 team H2H category keeper league, keep 5. Was offered Gio and Beltran for my McCutch and Ryu, it didn’t seem that bad but I said no since it’s a keeper league. Good move right?

      • TobiasFunkeAnalRapist says:
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        @Terse: I’m afraid I blue myself prematurely…

  16. Pops says:
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    Hi Terse,
    10 team keep 10 players with no penalties. 5×5 plus— H—TB—OPS
    I plan on keeping Braun–Cargo–Myers–Hamilton–Longo–Pujols
    other possibles–Marte–Kendrick–Cuddyer–A Cab–Gardner.

    Pitchers I’m keeping–Bumgarner–Zimmerman–Latos–Samardzija
    other possible is –Ryu

    Your Thoughts Please—Also whar if E Cab or Cruz show up on waivers? Like Pujols did.

    Thanks

    • Terse

      Terse says:
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      @Pops: I like Marte more than I like Pujols — not even sure if Pujols will be health beginning next year. How much are you paying for Braun? did you spend a first-rounder on him this year? If so, I wouldn’t keep. Definitely interested in Everth Cabrera. Like your pitching as is.

      No prob bod

      • Pops says:
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        @Terse: Altuve and Andrus are available on waivers. Would you do anything with them? I’ll probably be able to draft them next year. We don’t pay anything for our keepers. Drafted Braun first in 2012 and won the championship with him. We decide on keepers next March. So I will be able to revisit this, and come end of season I can pick up the Taveras and Yelichs etc. so that I can make my decisions harder. LOL Is keeping 6 hitters and those 4 pitchers a good idea?

        • Terse

          Terse says:
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          @Pops: I’d go for another hitter or two. Get rid of Samardzija for Taveras, and even Latos for Yelich if Yelich hits — don’t think he will just yet though. I’d definitely want Taveras, though.

  17. Matt says:
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    In a keeper league, I’ve been offered Ecab for Kinsler. I’m out of any contention for this season. Who do you like better as a keeper? (I was pretty sold on taking Cabrera until reading Scott’s post that ranked Kinsler as a top 50 keeper.)

    • Terse

      Terse says:
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      @Matt: ECab, especially if Kinsler continues to run like he is this year — that is, crap. He’s got more pop than this, but he also won’t always be playing in Texas.

  18. Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:
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    in your story, it’s not your lack of researching girls that led to you losing that bet, it’s not doing enough research on the aesthetics of the guys in your workplace, or maybe guys of that age in general. i’m pretty sure with what pedro from pittsburg is doing right now there’s no way you get him around 140 anymore. Upton at 50 if he keeps up what he was doing before Mon of this week is believable. I’d cum in my pants though if i could actually get Upton this low (same way i felt when i got Goldy right around his Yahoo adp this year at 43rd).

    • Terse

      Terse says:
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      @Aubrey Plaza’s Pillow: Research is a broad term, Aubrey.

      Also, I don’t think Alvarez will shot up that high because A) A lot of people don’t buy it and are scared of Adam Dunn years and B) He’s a 1-tool guy and that’s all he’ll ever be.

  19. Rags says:
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    NL only roto keeper league:

    Would you give Marte @ 10 and Taillon (doesn’t take up a roster space until called up, then can be kept for 10 for two years) for

    1) Choo @30, Upton @ 33, Uggla @ 18 and Ian Kennedy (unkeepable)
    2) add a supplementary Minor League Pick for Votto, Sandoval, and Minor @ 19
    3) or add Rendon @ 10, Trevor Story (same as Taillon), Roman Quinn (same), and a minor league pick for package 1, but replacing Kennedy with Samardizja @ 10 for two years or @ 15 for three.

    • Rags says:
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      @Rags: There’s no bench except for Minors and DL’ed players, so I would have to start Kennedy wherever he pitches, not only at home.

    • Rags says:
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      @Rags: @Rags: Also, it’s OBP league, so Uggla’s BA isn’t that painful.

      • Terse

        Terse says:
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        @Rags: haha, thanks for making this explanation so clear-cut. I thin I’d stay put

        • Rags says:
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          @Terse: Thanks for the response. I’m in a tough spot, where second and third and maybe fourth place are all clumped together (i’m in second by 2.5 points) but I’m behind first by 17.

          The choo, uggla, upton move is less about keeper value for next year than going for it now. But I can’t decide if i’m so far behind that it doesn’t really matter and I should just play for second. I’m behind in HR, RBI, OBP, and Ks, hence trading lead off guys for sluggers and OBP guys.

          If it weren’t for devoting so much of my auction budget to Weeks, BJUpton and Braun, I’d probably be in first. :(

  20. Bourne says:
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    That is the harshest review I have read in Justin. I traded cargo away for upton and Gardner a month ago. Based on our strange keeper rules based on end of season rankings both are a lot cheaper, but I’m hoping that solidified my outfield.

    • Terse

      Terse says:
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      @Bourne: I’ve read worse

  21. JoeMorgan'sMustache says:
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    Just a quick questions for you, based on auction keeper values. This is how I think, and I wanna see if you feel the same way. In deeper leagues, say 14-16 teams for instance, studs are and or should be worth even more…correct? Let’s just say average the price for Trout in a standard league is around$50, give or take. My thoughts would be in say, a 16 team league, he is justifiably “worth” $60, or so…again give or take.

    The deeper the leagues get, obviously the more garbage that has to be rostered and or started. So, the studs to me mean even more. Is my thinking in this correct, or am I off base? For instance in a 16 team keeper, where we keep 5, I have Miggy who is now up to $57..in a league like that my thinking tells me he is worth that. I see him and Trout in a tier of their own of course. Cano and Braun were each kept in there at $52, just to give you examples of perceived value.

    In my yearly 14 team league, 6×6 ( .OPS and Holds added) Trout went for $61, Miggy $58, and then Braun and Cano went for $54. Just throwing some other examples out there real quick.

    So, say you agree with my thinking on this, what would be a good general rule as far as dollar value increase in relation to league depth? I know settings come into play, but let’s just say 5×5, although I generally play in 6×6. Would something like a $5 increase in player value from say a 12 to 14 team league be reasonable? Just as a rule of thumb type thing. Looking forward to your thoughts.

  22. Brandon says:
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    if you get to keep 5 guys from this list who would you keep? its a yahoo 10 team standard h2h category..

    posey, freeman, B Phillips, H Ramirez, J Reyes, X Bogaerts, S strasburg, J Cosart, H Ryu, C Archer, Z Wheeler

  23. Snarf says:
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    I’m thinking keepers this year. Pick 3 out of:

    -Adrian Gonzalex
    -Jean Segura
    -Heyward
    -Bruce

    I get them for 3 more years with the exception of Heyward

    • Terse

      Terse says:
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      @Snarf: It’s Heyward, Segura, and Bruce

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