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Giving invaluable advice is what we do and all you do is sit there eating your cranberry bran muffin and reading it. Over a hundred of you subscribe to the feed, over 2,000 of you stop by daily. As Juan Encarncion might say, “I can’t see you, but I know you’re there.” Without you, it wouldn’t be half the fun. Okay, maybe it would be half the fun, but definitely not three-quarters of the fun. So to repay me, I’m letting you help me with my keeper team.

Caveats you must know:

It’s a NL-only ten team, five player max keeper, standard $260 budget. Scoring categories are: Offensively — Home Runs, OBP, Runs, RBIs, Sbs, Total Bases. Pitching – ERA, Innings, Strikeouts Minus Walks, Saves, Wins, WHIP. I refuse to pay more than $30 for any single player and no more than $100 total on my pitching staff. It’s my oldest keeper league and the winner gets close to two grand, so, ya know, pay attention. Onto the keeper letter to you:

You,

First off, great reading of my site! In the last two years, I’ve traded away Jose Reyes, Prince Fielder, Ryan Braun, Shane Victorino and Hanley Ramirez for nothing. There might be more numbskulled moves, but I’m drunk trying to dull the pain of past blunders. Guess you can also see why I’m soliciting advice. Can’t do much worse! So going into 2008, I have few options. Not “a” few, just few. For $29, I’m keeping Matt Holliday. This is a bargain in our league, or any for that matter. Plus, he falls below my imaginary Mason-Dixon $30 line. Now for the cream of the rest of my crap:

Pedro Martinez at $11. I think he’s got 130 inning/10 wins/ 3.35/good Ks-BB/good WHIP. This seems like a no-brainer to me for $11, but I have my doubts and may wait until spring training’s assessment of the number three man on the Mets.

Jose Valverde at $10. I wish I was able to convince myself not to keep him, but at $10 I’m having a hard time. He’s a nightmare when he explodes, Berkman’s all but said he’s not welcome and I don’t like paying $10 for any closer. I think he could get 35 saves and decent peripherals, but I’m not sold.

Jeff Francis at $12. I don’t think there’s an argument available that could convince me to keep Francis for $12. Believe I can toss him back and not pay more than $10 if I want him again, which I’m not totally against.

Yorvit Torreabla at $5. I’ve sung my praises already for Torreabla. Probably had nice things to say because I’m trying to convince myself he’s worth $5. I’ll probably keep him since I’d like to have catching squared by the draft because the next “great” NL catcher available at the draft may be LoDuca. LoNoThankYou.

Kevin Frandsen at $5. He intrigues me. In little September time as Durham got the bench, Frandsen hit 5 homers and stole 4 bases. Unfortunately, his minors’ numbers say to expect less and he has a lot of minors’ numbers, since he’ll be 26 in May. Still for $5; I might take a flier. Any Giants fans out there that could shed some light on this slap hitter with no speed?

John Patterson at $5. I think I can get him back for close to $5. There you have it; my team sucks.

Yours,
Me

P.S. When’s Bo Bice’s new album coming out? Can’t wait!

Going through this list really depressed me. If anyone has any thoughts, please comment below.

From Around The Web

  1. Herb Urban says:
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    Those are some pretty slim pickings. Holiday, Pedro and Valverde are givens, though I have reservations about the last two. Keep Torreabla.
    I don’t trust John Patterson to stay healthy, but the upside is there. The same can’t be said for Frandsen.

  2. Chad says:
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    I’m not a big Valverde guy either, but you have to keep him at that price.

  3. Scott says:
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    I agree if you have the time waiting to check out Petey in Spring Training is a wise move.

    Assuming he is healthy, you HAVE to bet on Pedro to produce. I think he can do at least what he did last September all year long. Also, it is his contract year and he has never expressed his desire to stop playing. Even more, Pedro will not want to be hidden in Johan’s shadow. He should be a great fantasy value this season.

  4. Jason says:
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    Your Juan Encarnacion comment is tasteless.

  5. Who We Are says:
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    Herb — Don’t you think Patterson can be got for $5 or less at the draft?

    Chad — There’s a five dollar increase every year, which I didn’t mention (didn’t think it was relevant), so I loved Valverde last year for $5, I just know I’m going to get burned this year.

    Scott — I agree that Pedro won’t want to be in Johan’s shadow, but I think he still will be and in Maine’s shadow. Like that movie Space Cowboys, you want, but sometimes you can’t.

    Jason — At least you were able to read it. Think about Juan.

  6. rudygamble says:
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    i’d suggest going on scouting trips to Florida and Arizona in March b/c you’ll be trading for prospects by June.

    how could you drop the hebrew hammer?

  7. Who We Are says:
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    I did drop Braun. He was in the minors in April and I needed to win now, couldn’t wait. I should’ve waited.

  8. IowaCubs says:
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    How are we to know how to give you advice without other info?

    Ditch Yorvit… you can probably get a cheap $8 J.R. Towles and earn 10 steals from him.

    Frandsen is a career utility player at best and plays in a bad park.

    Is all your pent up anger toward Braun based on your own Brawn shortcomings. I own him in my NL keeper league for $4, so my man crush is well deserved.

  9. Who We Are says:
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    Damn you, IowaCubs, for being perceptive. It’s true; I hate what I can’t have. Hence, the hate on Braun and Kim Kardashian.

    Honestly, I still think Braun’s overrated this year in snake drafts. For $4, you can’t beat that. Actually, I could have if I didn’t drop him. I’m an idiot!

    My league’s too wily to get Towles for $8. He’ll probably go for $12.

    Worse than my Braun dropping, I traded a $7 Hanley for Brett Myers two years ago. A week later Myers Ike Turnerers his wife and I lose him for a month and a half. Even worse, when Aubrey Huff was traded to the Astros two years ago, I traded for him giving up a $5 rookie Prince Fielder. I need a another drink.

  10. Herb Urban says:
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    Do you have to keep five players? I’ve never played in an auction league, but it is hard to get excited about your remaining two keepers. If you get get Patterson cheaper, by all means throw him back. Cheaper options could be around.

    I agree with iowacubs about Towles.

  11. IowaCubs says:
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    Ouch…

    Who else is available? Do you have FABB?

    What about cheapies like Wily Mo or a sleepy cheap Furcal?

  12. Who We Are says:
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    Herb — 5 players is the max, can keep none if I want…

    Since I implemented a never spend more than $100 on pitching from my $260 FAAB(4 years now), I’ve done top 3 in pitching and top 3 overall. There’s pitching to be had in NL-only, hitting is always the issue. My top pitcher last year was a $8 Tim Hudson. (Who by the way can be kept for $13, but I don’t think I’m doing that either.) Patterson’s going back, fo sho.

    IowaCubs — Furcal is on my short list to grab, definitely. Seems to be underrated coming off his bum ankle year.

  13. Brian says:
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    Seems to me that with Holliday as your anchor in that format, you’re already in good shape. (Despite the fact you could have had the top three hitters in the NL if you’d held onto Reyes and Hanley). I’d keep Holliday and Pedro and that’s it. The only reason to keep Valverde is if you have a decent shot at a guy like Rafael Soriano to get a stranglehold on saves. Otherwise, keep two guys, stock up on funds and get your hands on Andy Laroche and Joey Votto. The guys are seriously patient and will give a serious boost in total bases and OBP (not to mention going a long way toward making amends for giving up all of your youth).

    As for Towles, depending on how many guys are gonna go crazy for Geovany Soto, if you get his name in there early, you might steal him.

  14. Who We Are says:
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    Brian — I tend to agree to keep Holliday and no one else. This will free up dollars other teams won’t have. In NL-only, you really can make do with Holliday and a bunch of B-listers on offense. Last year, I finished second and my team was Holliday, Reyes, Andruw Jones and everyone else. (Reyes was gone halfway through and will be missed.)

    Soto, Soriano and LaRoche are taken; Votto will be back in the pot this year as someone paid $29 last year for him and there’s no way they’re keeping him. (They paid $29 to spite someone else in the middle of the season, long story.) I’ll go after Votto, fo sho. But I won’t be as aggressive as some. Cause with the $5 increase every year, you really have to make sure you grab bargains.

    If I keep Valverde, I’ll probably go with a Brian Wilson-type (or simply Brian Wilson) and shoot for 8 points in saves. I don’t think I need to turn saves to 11, if you catch my drift.

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