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Right about now is when I expected to start hyping the arrival of Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez.  The 26-year-old Cuban defector reportedly signed with the Phillies in late July, and we covered his potential fantasy impact here and here.  Given the nature of the contract, there was plenty of incentive on the Phillies’ part to push Gonzalez through to the bigs as quickly as possible in order to get him accustomed to performing on a MLB stage.  He was set to be your savior for the H2H playoffs, your last-ditch effort at a late-season roto push.  He easily would’ve been top-two on this list by now, provided he hadn’t already surfaced in Philly.  Alas, folks tend to tread carefully when there’s $60 million on the table.  Reports are now suggesting that some concerns popped up regarding Gonzalez’s elbow, and as of today, he remains unsigned.  It’s a disappointing development, but we’re not gonna see M.A.G. in the bigs this year.  If Philadelphia passes on him, he’ll be free to sign wherever, but whether it’s with the Phillies or elsewhere, Gonzalez figures sign for a much more reasonable sum ($60 mil was a little ridic).

We’ll do one more of these rankings on 8/28, prior to September call-ups.  After rosters expand, there’s not much to see here.

1.  Xander Bogaerts, SS, Red Sox (Previously Ranked #1):  The Red Sox appear to be giving Will Middlebrooks one more chance to redeem himself at the big league level before they turn to Bogaerts.  I’m not-so-secretly hoping Middlebrooks whiffs often in the next handful of ballgames.

2.  Oscar Taveras, OF, Cardinals (#5):  Taveras is still working his way back from a high ankle sprain, but he’s set to return to baseball action this week.  He’ll need to prove he’s 100% in a hurry if he expects to surface in St. Louis this season, but given the 21-year-old’s noted high-end skill set, and also the fact that both Matt Holliday and Carlos Beltran are a little banged up, I’m thinking there’s still a good chance.

3.  Carlos Martinez, RHP, Cardinals (#2):  Did you see Martinez’s start versus LA?  Did you see the movement on those 96 MPH two-seamers?  The location was a little sloppy, but it’s clear that Martinez possesses some of the filthiest stuff imaginable.  It’s likely that the Cardinals will use him for a spot start or two down the stretch, but at the very least, expect to see him back the the St. Louis bullpen for the stretch run.

4.  Travis d’Arnaud, C, Mets (#9):  John Buck is expected to take paternity leave any day now, and word from New York suggests d’Arnaud will be his replacement.  The 24-year-old has missed much of the past two seasons with lower-body injuries, but he’s a polished hitter with immediate upside in the fantasy game, and he’s ready for a look in the bigs.

5.  Mike Olt, 3B, Cubs (#6):  Olt’s not really performing at a level to justify this ranking, but we’re well acquainted with his streaky ways by now.  He might drill 5 homers next week.  You just don’t know with this guy, and you can’t rule out the possibility that he arrives in Chicago and offers a power surge for the final month.

6.  Nick Castellanos, OF, Tigers (#7):  Not much has changed for Castellanos since our last revision.  His arrival seems more likely than most of the others’ on this list, but his fantasy impact doesn’t figure to be too extreme.  Still, he’s a guy you’ll want in AL-only, and one that you should be holding in dynasty leagues.

7.  Archie Bradley, RHP, D’Backs (#4):  I’ve been touting an Archie Bradley call-up for some time now, but his workload has me a little concerned.  Player development philosophies differ from club to club, but given a typical IP increase, I only expect to see Bradley make four or five more starts.  He turned 21 this past Saturday and he’s the highest ceiling pitching prospect in the game.  I  just don’t see the D’Backs risking it.

8.  Billy Hamilton, OF, Reds (Next 5):  Need to make a late push in steals before year’s end?  Billy Hamilton will soon help in that regard, and he won’t need regular plate appearances to do so.

9.  Danny Duffy, RHP, Royals (N/R):  Duffy’s return to the bigs last week wasn’t spectacular, but it wasn’t awful, either.  He’s back in Triple-A at the moment, but the Royals are contenders all of a sudden, and Wade Davis is hardly reliable.  Duffy brings fantasy intrigue in that he features bat-missing stuff.  Expect to see him back Kansas City this season.  Whether that’s as a starter or reliever is tough to say.

10.  Kolten Wong, 2B, Cardinals (Next 5):  Wong has caught a heater at the right time, hitting .333/.429/.556 with 2 homers and 2 stolen bases through his last 10.  There’s no direct route to playing time, but given Matt Carpenter’s defensive versatility, Wong could fall into a 2B role in St. Louis if Carp is called upon to fill a gap elsewhere.

NEXT FIVE:  Kevin Gausman, RHP, Orioles (#10); Taijuan Walker, RHP, Mariners (Next 5); George Springer, OF, Astros (N/R); Jonathan Singleton, 1B, Astros (N/R); Erik Johnson, RHP, White Sox (N/R)

NOTEWORTHY MLB ARRIVALS:   Avisail Garcia, OF, Tigers (#3); Michael Wacha, RHP, Cardinals (#8); Danny Salazar, RHP, Indians (Next 5); Will Middlebrooks, 3B, Red Sox (Next 5); Sonny Gray, RHP, Athletics (N/R); Andrew Lambo, OF/3B, Pirates (N/R); Tyler Skaggs, LHP, D’Backs (N/R)

From Around The Web

  1. The Thumb says:
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    When Billy gets called up, is it reasonable to drop Rajai for him?

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      @The Thumb: Yeah, I think that’s a fair move… both are gonna be primarily bench players, and Hamilton probably brings more SB upside. If you’re really chasing steals, though, why not hold both if you can?

      • The Thumb says:
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        @Scott Evans: Thanks! Seeing that I’ll be nearing my innings limit, I’ll probably just drop my worst starter for him.

        Also, I realize this is down the road, but next year my league will be implementing 2 N/A roster spots, I figure the best/most impactful guys to go after would be Bradley and Taveras right?

        • Scott Evans

          Scott Evans says:
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          Taveras & Bogaerts would be a bit less risky…

          • The Thumb says:
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            @Scott Evans: Thanks! I really appreciate these prospect posts by the way!

      • Alex says:
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        @Scott Evans:

        Not sure how long Rasmus will be out, but he was put on the DL today, with Bonifacio being traded, and Melky being made of glass/on the DL, I would expect Rajai to get a good amount of playing time from here on out.

        • Scott Evans

          Scott Evans says:
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          @Alex: very good point. Rajai figures to be on the field most days — you see that little league-type homer he hit today?

          • Alex says:
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            @Scott Evans:

            I’m a Jays fan, so I watch a lot, unfortunately I’m missing this game, just posting from my phone at school.

            Rajai is such an exciting player though. I wish they’d play him full time, in limited PAs he legitimately always impresses me. He’s pretty much the best base runner in the league, if he can hit like….280 at the top of the order with JB and EE hitting behind him, he could be a huge factor down the stretch imo.

            I know Gose has been pretty brutal this year, but what are your opinions on Kevin Pillar/Gose for the rest of this season? Do you think there’s any value there in a 12 team mixer?

            • Scott Evans

              Scott Evans says:
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              @Alex: Nah, I’m not big on Gose as a fantasy asset… Pillar might help in AVG, but unlikely to do much elsewhere

          • Alex says:
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            @Scott Evans:

            Just saw the highlight of his “homerun”. That doesn’t happen with any other player in the league imo. So much speed. Gives me goose pimples!

            Also…screw Farrell. I’m glad his team lost on the back of a poor managing decision. Walk Lawrie and put in a lefty vs. Lind you dummy, Jays had nobody else on the bench.

            Guess that’s why they pay JF the big bucks rather than me…

            • Scott Evans

              Scott Evans says:
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              Ha!

  2. Willy says:
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    Hey Scott, this isn’t really prospect related, but I need input. I already have JB’s opinion, but want to see what you think too…

    I’m in a pickle right now. I’m in a keeper league (salary based) and i’m just outside of top 3 for money. right now i can gain points in average and SB. I have an offer on the table where i would send Harvey and A Escobar and receive Segura and Estrada… Is this a deal that i should do? I love Harvey and wanted to keep him for several years, or at least until Boras get’s him really big money. Then again, I can certainly keep Segura for several years… Do i do this deal?

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      @Willy: I’m always an advocate of playing to win now, if you can. I think if adding Segura gains you the points necessary to net $$$ this season, then you should absolutely do it.

      • Willy says:
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        @Scott Evans: Thanks Scott… appreciate the input!

  3. dan says:
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    what’s your outlook on middlebrooks? he looks like he’s figured it out at the plate

    appreciate it

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      @dan: he’s seeing the ball well right now, but he’s still got swing & miss problems, and I suspect that issue will follow him throughout his career… not convinced he’s figured it out just yet…

  4. Mike Jones says:
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    What should I do with Buxton?

    I have been offered Freeman, Cain and Victorino for my Buxton, Trumbo and CJ Wilson in a 5×5 H2H dynasty league. I am in 5th place. Should I pull the trigger?

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      @Mike Jones: Hold

  5. niceguybilly says:
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    Hey Scott,
    What’s happening with George Springer these days? It seems he’s fallen out of your rankings and I was wondering why. His stats are ridiculous! You written before that you believe he won’t be called up by the Astros until mid season next year but do you think he gets a September call up?
    I enjoy your articles and value the opinions of everyone at Razzball

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      @niceguybilly: These ranks weigh both ETA & fantasy impact… Springer ain’t arriving this season… the only reason he still appears in the Next 5 is because if, by chance, I’m wrong, his impact will be rather large.

      Still, don’t expect to see him till next June.

  6. So Sayeth I says:
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    Hey Scott,
    Love the post. This is super helpful for a keeper newbie who has never had to really pay attention to the minors. For my league, H2H 14 team, keeper cost is original draft pick +1 round per year, a first round pick will cost a 1st and a 4th round pick, and a FA pick up costs a last (20th round) pick. So a 2013 6th rounder cost 5th in 2014, 4th in 2013 etc. Also you can keep up to 6 total (2 hitters, 2 pitchers, 2 either type).

    Anyways I already started rebuilding for next year, trading McCutchen (my 2013 1st round pick) for a 1st round pick (probably about 12th overall and giving me 2 in the 1st round next year) and Adam Eaton.

    Here is my team with (next year’s keeper cost)
    C- Rosario (8th)
    1B- Goldschmidt (5th)
    2B- Phillips (4th)
    3B- Gyorko (16th)
    SS- Castro (2nd)
    OF- Harper (1st)
    OF- Soriano (20th)
    OF- Eaton (11th)
    Util- Yelich (20th)
    BN- Leonys Martin (20th)
    BN- Nolan Arenado (20th)
    BN- Alejandro De Aza (20th)
    BN- McLouth (20th)

    SP- Cueto (4th)
    SP- Iwakuma (20th)
    SP- Miller (17th)
    SP- Chris Archer (20th)
    SP- Wheeler (20th)
    SP- Erasmo Ramirez (20th)
    SP- Straily (20th)
    RP- Perkins (15th)
    RP- Holland (12th)

    I was just offered Bogearts and a 9th round pick for miller and a 17th round pick. I know Miller seems to be a surefire ace but I’m high on Xander like you and I’m fantasizing about locking up long term the next Tulowitzki for the cost of a late round pick. I’m also a big Sox fan and this guy knows it.

    With that my keepers would be Goldy, Xander, Yelich, Harper, Wheeler, and Iwakuma?

    • Louis says:
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      @So Sayeth I:

      I’d rather keep Shelby Miller has a 17th rounder, rather than using up your first rounder on Harper…

      • So Sayeth I says:
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        @Louis: Im trading shelby for Bogaerts, not for Harper. I actually might not keep him and try to snag him with my 2nd round pick

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      I like the Xander trade, but I’m not sold on keeping Harper as a 1st rounder. I’d see if there’s a buyer out there for Harper, or let him slide & hold Archer. I like whoever you’re picking 1-14 more than I like Harper.

      • So Sayeth I says:
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        @Scott Evans:

        This is great, makes me feel a lot better about pulling the trigger. Thanks scott!

    • Brian says:
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      @So Sayeth I: I agree with others. Do the deal for Xander. Miller may be an ace in the making, but there’s quite a few top tier SP talent nowadays… and the injury risk, etc.

      But I wouldn’t keep Harper. He’s a stud. Will be a stud. And is every bit deserving of a first round pick in my opinion. But a 1st AND a 4th is a bit steep. Based on your team you grabbed Goldschmidt in the 6th round. That’s a big deal.

      I agree with Scott again in keeping Archer instead. He’s a high K guy. Kind of a post-hyper that’s putting it together now. In a good pitchers park even if it is a tough division…

      I was going to say to not keep Yelich too. He probably has more value 2-3 years from now, but ‘the next big thing’ (Archie Bradley, Kris Bryant, Bundy again…) will be in the system before you know it. And by then, you’ll have sacrificed next year’s season too. But looking at your team, he’ll probably be as good a value next year as your other options (maybe Soriano?). Unless you can trade Harper, Phillips, Cueto, or Rosario.

  7. malamoney

    malamoney says:
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    Taveras done for season.

    • Brian says:
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      @malamoney: Grrr…

      • malamoney

        malamoney says:
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        @Brian: Works out for me cause we can keep one minor league player as long as he ends the season in the minors. I have Taveras, Bogaerts, Springer, Sano, Buxton and Syndergaard…

    • TheNewGuy says:
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      @malamoney: Yep ankle surgery. Dang, was looking forward to snagging him for my H2H playoffs.

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      @malamoney: So very sad.

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      @malamoney: right when an opportunity was shaping up for him too…

  8. Zac says:
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    Best pitching prospect who could pull a Harvery/Jo-Fer type year, next year, excluding Bradley Walker, and Tallion.

    • malamoney

      malamoney says:
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      @Zac: Syndergaard, Zimmer, Heaney, Gausman, Wacha…

      • Brian says:
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        @malamoney: Bundy will be back in the mix next year too.

        • malamoney

          malamoney says:
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          @Brian: Late in the season…

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      @Zac: Gausman is my pick, excluding the names above.

      • inertiatic says:
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        @Scott Evans: I wish I had known that a week ago… I packaged Gausman in a Yu Darvish trade that just processed on Saturday. He was a throw in the guy asked for last minute and I could’ve balked, but wanted the deal to go through. I have a ridiculous rotation still, filled with upside, but I hate hearing I threw in that kind of potential. Sad face.

        • Scott Evans

          Scott Evans says:
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          @inertiatic: Oof, yeah he’s no toss-in in a keeper format.

  9. DansUggla says:
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    I have too many keepers for next season but I am hesitant to move without a hedge.
    5×5, $260, standard keeper.

    Machado ($19), Papelbon (N/A) and Clint Frazier ($0)

    for

    Aramis Ramirez (N/A), Kenley Jansen ($9, but I won’t keep him) and Xander Boegarts ($0)

    Do I make this trade? IT doesn’t make me much better this year, but I feel as though I get some return for moving Machado.

    Other keeper options:
    JoFer 10
    Wainwright 14
    Puig 5
    Wil Myers 10
    Freddie Feeman 14
    Cano 32

    THoughts?

    • DansUggla says:
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      @DansUggla: Add BumGarner @ 19 as a possible keeper option too

      • malamoney

        malamoney says:
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        @DansUggla: Machado is best player in that trade.

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      @DansUggla: I wouldn’t trade Machado… no way.

      • dansuggla says:
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        @Scott Evans:
        I have followed your love for machado all season, I can only keep 5 next year!
        Xander would not count towards the 5.
        Machado might not produce in all 4 cats until 2015, should I make the move if it betters my chances for a title?
        Another move is:

        Machado, medlen and mclouth

        For Arenado, Votto and Felix Hernandez.

        Thanks Scott.

        • Scott Evans

          Scott Evans says:
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          @dansuggla: That’s a much more reasonable package than the original… if this puts you in position to win this year, then you should consider it, but also consider the fact that Machado is probably the best young player in the game… and shortstop eligibility should arrive by 2015.

  10. low walk high k says:
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    Just wanted to say thank you. Your material is consistent, well researched and my favorite articles n the industry (greys dailys are 2nd lol). Such a needed column in the fb world. Appreciate ur work.

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      @low walk high k: many thanks, man! appreciate the kind words.

  11. TheNewGuy says:
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    Shame about Bradley, think I can agree with you though, don’t think teams normally bring their big prospect arms up for a September cup of coffee usually do they, just big bats.

    Think with a big ST he could start the year in the bigs though? And if so would you promote him immediately in a keeper, or maybe see how he gets on his first few tries.

    Seems the bats in line for a callup are a bit down though, aside from Bogartes, if we don’t see Springer or Singleton this year.

    • TheNewGuy says:
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      @TheNewGuy: Also heard that Wheeler won’t be getting shutdown this year. Pretty suprising, but im worried that Cole and Shelby will get shutdown in my non-keeper so would you try and send one for Wheeler?

      • Scott Evans

        Scott Evans says:
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        @TheNewGuy: I think all three of those guys will finish the season in their rotations… Cards have been pacing Shelby out & Bucs are confident in Cole’s ability to hold up.

        • TheNewGuy says:
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          @Scott Evans: Really, sweet. Please tell me Jo-Fer and Harvey will be getting shutdown though….took Greys advice at the time and dealt them for Anibal and Bucholtz- seemed like a good idea at the time!

          • Scott Evans

            Scott Evans says:
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            @TheNewGuy: I’m pretty sure Jo-Fer will be capped… haven’t heard anything definite on Harvey…

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      @TheNewGuy: I doubt we see Bradley till next June, but can’t rule it out…

      • TheNewGuy says:
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        @Scott Evans: Thats sucks, means I can’t use him till 2015 then…and I’ve been hellbent on keeping him despite getting lots of offers.

        Why then does the likes of Shelby and Jo-Fer (almost) start the year in the bigs outta ST, what is the difference? I know with arbitration it makes sense from a MLB club to call a guy up midseason, but we see guys making clubs outta ST all the time…just prove themselves to be totally ready so their club has little choice?

        If any prospect’s got a shot at making the team outta spring training, then Bradley’s gotta be right up there.

        • Scott Evans

          Scott Evans says:
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          @TheNewGuy: True, if anyone can do it, it’s Archie… in the other cases, though, Shelby’s service time clock had already been started in 2012 & the Marlins don’t care too much about service time… With Archie, it really boils down to Arizona’s philosophy & available resources.

  12. English says:
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    Just been offered Tyler Glasnow and Alex Presley for Brandon Crawford in a keeper where I’ve already got Asdrubal Cabrera signed up for the next three seasons.

    I’ve got to do that right?

    Guessing it’s probably worth it for Glasnow anyway but what do you think of Presley going forward?

    Thanks as always Scott.

    • English says:
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      @English: He also has Alan Hanson and Andrew Heaney who I might be able to pair up with Glasnow?

      • Scott Evans

        Scott Evans says:
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        I’d do it for Glasnow, alone, but if you can get Hanson or Heaney included, that’s a much sweeter deal for ya… Definitely go for that instead of Presley, who seems like not much more than a good 4th OF IMO… Hanson & Heaney are close, but perhaps go for the hitter, as there’s less risk.

        • Zac says:
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          @Scott Evans: What’s glasnow’s eta?

          • Scott Evans

            Scott Evans says:
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            @Zac: 2015

        • English says:
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          @Scott Evans: He wasn’t having that so had to settle for the original trade to make sure I got Glasnow. Still pretty happy I got the better side there.

  13. chris j. says:
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    Scott,
    Getting close to playoffs in my $$ dynasty league where my RF, Stanton has been killing me. I have to pick up someone to rotate in with him and possibly play in the UTIL spot as well. We have limited moves, so I cant add/drop/stream. The RF options out there are:
    L. Martin, O. Arcia, A. Garcia, LJ Hoes, W. Venable, and M. Byrd.
    I am definitely competing for the money, so who’s the best ROS?
    What about best dynasty option?
    Thanks for any insight -

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      @chris j.: I think the best upside is with either Arcia or Garcia… I probably lean toward Oswaldo. I think he’s your best dynasty league option, too.

  14. ROLFAMLO says:
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    Everyone give a warm welcome to Kolten Wong!

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      @ROLFAMLO: Rough debut, but I’m a believer for the long-term.

  15. TheNewGuy says:
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    Wongs got the call.

    Wong or Gyorko in a non-keeper? Need more speed than power.

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      @TheNewGuy: Wong might net you a handful of steals, but nothing crazy. Still might be worth a shot if you’re chasing steals…

  16. Buzz RebuildingYear says:
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    Sonny Gray or Danny Salazar for ROS impact? I’m leaning Gray — he doesn’t seem to have any workload restraints, and his projected matchups the rest of the way are pretty appealing. Thoughts?

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      @Buzz RebuildingYear: Gray. Pitching in the Coliseum only helps matters…

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