Yesterday, J.D. Martinez was traded to the Diamondbacks for Dawel Lugo, Sergio Alcantara and Jose King, a package that has been described by me as a .280, 40-homer hitter for Okay, Who Cares and So What.  My visions of Yasmany Tomas returning and helping my NL-Only team went from “Hello, what’s your name, Pamela Sue?” to “No, my name is Pamela and I’m suing you for sexual harassment.”  The ol’ 180 in the pants.  Well, I’ll save the rest of my moans and/or groans for my shrink, since this is great news for Just Dong.  That should be a 90 degree turn in the pants for Just Dong owners.  Has he ever hit in Chase Field?  Doesn’t matter, he’s about to love it.  Outside of Coors and Miller, there’s no place I’d rather my player move for hitting and between-inning dips in a hot tub.  (The Coors and Miller hot tubs are gnarly, by the way.  “Did you say swell?”  “No, I said swill.”) For FAAB, I’d go aggressively after Just Dong like he was the last guy to move to the NL, even if he might not be.  He’s a 35-homer guy in Comerica.  In Chase, he could be the equivalent to a 45-homer guy over the final ten weeks.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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We break from the usual 12 dollar salads, donkeys, and hypothermia to breakdown, in basic fashion, the relief rankings for the final 70-plus games.  Why is this helpful you may ask?  Because for trade target reasons or chasing saves for points, you may want guy A over guy B.  With the relief ranks it is as fluid as a clogged sewer drain, because on any given week, the middling type closer can hit bumps in the road and be removed from contention. So if you are using this as a trade commodity in your quest to add saves, my advice is this add the elite only.  Nothing lower than the top-12.  These guys are all nailed on and in an impressive state, barring an injury obviously. Now with that, we also have to realize that trades will happen… and take one reliever from a good situation to a better one, then on the reflexive of that, it can turn one with a job into a set-up situation.  Regardless, here is my stab at the top relief pitchers for the second half of the Fantasy Baseball season.  Cheers!

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The worst news in terms of closers, especially in a situation like Philadelphia, is the word: committee.  I mean, it is kind of like getting free tickets to see the Village People, hell yes they are the Village People.  But do you wanna be known for knowing more than two of their songs?  Nope, not me.  So look at this way, Pat Neshek got the save the other day after Gomez and Mortecia Neris had their turns at the gig.  Now this isn’t a Pat on the back (pun intended for Neshek), because it is still a full blooded committee for a team that ranks in the bottom six in all of MLB in saves, save opportunities, and relief appearances with them having the lead.  Add all that up and it goes back to what I was spitting a few months ago, are saves really worth the rigmarole of dumpster diving for futility?  The problem with that whole “rostering multiple guys for a chance at a save” is all well and good if you are able to roster both or even three guys… and that is the dumbest thing I have ever typed out.  Who in here has a Philly reliever let alone three?  Show of hands?  Yeah, you shouldn’t.  So Neshek is worth a grab while they showcase him for trade value, and Neris is a hold because who knows when a last place team tries to keep it real? Let’s hop on the good foot and see what’s going down with the late-gamers…

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Well, the demise of the active leader in career saves has happened. I can remember the days when he burst on the scene all wide-eyed and rally monkey backed.   That, unfortunately, was a dogs age in closer years.  Hell, most closers now a days are judged by weeks instead of years.  I personally don’t wanna think that he is completely done closing, but I think that he is done closing with the tigers (barring an injury or three).  So now it is the Justin Wilson show.  He is no stranger to high-leverage spots as he has been a critical holds guy for the past three years.  For comparison’s sake, think Tony Watson type of reliever… they even came up together with the Pirates to boot.  So the main question is will Wilson continue as such as the Tigers closer?  I say why not.  Joe Jimenez isn’t ready for prime time yet, or they don’t wanna throw the reigns on him yet.  The team has looked mediocre, and sorta old.  So alleviating Wilson to the closer role does two things: Makes their best reliever in the bullpen the closer, and it gives him even more trade value should the Tigers fall out of the race and eventually sell of some pieces.  Saves are ownable everywhere, and this doesn’t appear to be a committee type thing, so if you own him good on ya.  Let’s see what else is going down on Save Street lately…

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Sign says, ‘Don’t stay away, fools,’ cause Cody Bellinger rules!  No?  Okay, go to sleep.  “Go to sleep” is my new favorite thing I say that my Cougar can’t stand.  She’s like, “Why are you excited?”  Rather than saying, “I’m excited because Cody Bellinger was called up,” I say, “Go to sleep.”  Is that bad?  I feel like her reaction is like the step before divorce.  “Baby, we’re good, go to sleep.”  “It’s 4 o’clock on a Tuesday.”  “Yeah, go to sleep.”  And then we’re divorced.  You know who isn’t divorced?  Cody Bellinger!  Okay, I’m talking crazy, but I’m excited, you get it.   In 18 games of Triple-A, he was hitting .343 with five homers and seven steals.  I will now cackle maniacally.  Who is this guy, Justice Eric Ruth Thames but with speed?  I can’t even.  *puts handkerchief to forehead, and faints*  Oh, thank you for catching me in my dream state, Giancarlo.  This is funny (not funny), Bellinger had three homers last year in Triple-A.  Guess how many games?  Oh, three.  Three games!  I wanna project him over five months for 17 HRs, 20 SBs, and .280, but feel like that is too conservative, that’s how crazy I am for him.  Yes, you should absolutely grab him.  Where will he play when Pederson returns from the DL?  Not sure, but worth grabbing him now to see how the Dodgers handle it.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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The City of Brotherly Love opened up its sweaty arms, where the hair is growing weirdly on the backside of the biceps, and said, “Come here, and get some of these meatballs that Clay Buchholz is throwing.”  Yoenis Cespedes hit his 2nd, 3rd and 4th homers (4-for-6, 3 runs, 5 RBIs).  In Philly, they say he hit three wiz wits and a Tastykake; Neil Walker (2-for-5, 1 run) had a Tastykake and a dollop of light cream cheese; Asdrubal Cabrera (4-for-6, 3 runs, 2 RBIs and his 1st homer) had a wiz wit, a Tastykake and three dollops of light cream cheese; Lucas Duda (4-for-6 and his 2nd and 3rd homers) had two wiz wits, a Tastykake and a dollop of the good stuff that is like curdled mother’s milk.  Yoenis started off slow, which is a ludicrous thing to say, he has four homers in eight games.  He’s on pace for 80 homers.  I mean, you really need to take a lesson from Uncle LL, and chillllllllll.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Moogly-boogly!  It’s been a long winter.  The Buy/Sell Column’s back, helping you know when the hell you’re supposed to stop working early on Friday.  During the offseason, while you were diddling and thinking about how your middle school nickname was Skidmark, I, The Buy/Sell Column was re-reenacting scenes from Moonlight with puppets in the BBQ Belt of Alabama because I’M HARDCORE!  You want some Rip Taylor-wannabe, throwing confetti at your feet or you want a Buy/Sell Column that simulates puppets having hand-sex on a beach to a very anti-puppet sex audience!?  Like Jose Altuve trying to get the Cocoa Puffs, you want the latter!  Okay, enough of the hubbub on the tomfoolery, I’m in on Tyler Saladino.  Last year, Saladino had eight homers and 11 steals in only 298 ABs while hitting .282.  One year in the minors, he stole 38 bases, and, one year in the minors, he hit 16 homers.  Put that together, and you have Francisco Lindor!  Okay, kidding, but he’s hitting leadoff, is eligible at 2B and SS, and can get a few homers while also stealing some bases.  And I’m not excited about him simply because I named one of my puppets in Alabama, Tosser Saladino.  My love for Saladino did not start when I heard he had a brother named Cucumber Saladino.  Wrong, I don’t love Saladino simply because I’m in LA and I picture him topped with wheatgrass.  Eff your wheatgrass, Los Angeles!  Anyway, here’s some more players to buy or sell this week in fantasy baseball:

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I think this will conclude this year’s rankings for all players, but with the way closer roles can change between now and Spring Training, finishing will be bountiful. There seems to be a big difference among experts in the top-10, and I am no different.  Also, the bottom tiers for the rankings are a “wait and see” proposition, as there are easily 7-8 teams with a closer by committee situation, or at best, a closer who is a retread of a retread.   Everyone knows who you are Fernando, you don’t have to stand up and raise your hand or shoot an arrow fictitiously at me.  So as we approach draft season and beyond, use this list for now, because the situations will be fluid from here on out.  As I promised two weeks ago, you will get a new list every two weeks, with a holds post (no it won’t be in different color for people who just skip the preface of an article) in betwix.  Get excited folks! Spring is sorta here, and with that comes all of Grey’s rankings, my closer and bullpen stuff, and basically every tool under the sun to help you be the best you can be.  Now get out there and win one for Flipper!

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Some day somebody’s gonna make you want to turn around and say goodbye.  Until then baby, are you going to let them hold you down and make you cry? Don’t you know?  Don’t you know things can change, things’ll go your way, if you hold on for one more day.  

That music of genius was brought on by a smooth impromptu karaoke session in a West Boston saloon.  It was me and Ralph and a girl who was paid by the dollar to talk to us about her kid.  It’s all a true story.  Fun times were had, and at the time I didn’t realize how correlative the song was back then to this particular stat category and one that is by far my favorite to talk about.  Funny, it only took a Wilson Phillips song on the drive home from work to reminisce about Boston, Ralph, and relief pitching.  I love the stat, not everyone uses it, but I still love it nonetheless. If your leagues uses it, cool, well I will be your every other week destination for giving you the low-down on the hold situations going across the MLB.  So get comfy, with a week to go until Spring Training starts, and the full extent of the 2017 season yet to play.  You will get sick of me, in say… 30 weeks.  So get comfy on your favorite porcelain fantasy reading chair and welcome to a brand new year!

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That is probably the worst word when it comes to drafting or even trusting in a reliever in a bullpen for fantasy.  The guy could be a tax evader, steal lollipops from kids, or never wash his hands after using the lavatory.  It still wouldn’t matter, the stigma of being placed into a committee is just awful come draft day.  This happens every year when bullpens usually light on talent get paired down to barely usable pieces, or when players return from injury and are an unsure thing.  Then again, you get a weird situation like that in Cleveland…  It’s very familiar to last year’s draft day conundrum with that of the Yankees.  Both Cody Allen and Andrew Miller are draftable and draft worthy within the first 150 picks or so.  That number increases for players in “Net Saves” and Holds leagues, because they will steal from each other but on the positive end, one will get a hold and the other the save, and vice versa.  The only problem is that Cleveland, after being in the World Series, is a hot button team and both players have some helium to their names, Miller especially.  So drafting both is a good idea, stats-wise, but bad for team building it’s structure in other areas.  So my best advice is to look elsewhere, yes the stealing thing I mentioned helps you in leagues that contain Holds, but in leagues that don’t, it could be a sticky situation of frustration over saves.  Last year down the stretch, Miller wasn’t the closer very frequently.  Allen steered that ship.  This year, I think the secondary stats: K’s, ERA, WHIP, will all be there, but the counting stats will be split.  And since I talk about saves and holds, I am most definitely referencing the saves here.  So with their respective rankings spread between 100-130 for both guys, I think the best offense, or with a committee situation, is to grab someone ranked in same neighborhood guys like Ken Giles and Kelvin Herrera.  You may thank me later, but I do occasionally deserve the bird.  So instead of just going into the rankings this far into preseason, here is a cool little chart for you to reference. I will update this chart all preseason and will add some sleeper posts for both closers and holds.  So enjoy my friends!

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