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David Price is the favorite player for Tampa-area Jews until they promote Ben L’Chaim from Double-A.  They like to invite Price to mahjong games then haggle over him.  All true.  Oy.  Last year, David Price raised his K-rate, lowered his walk rate, knocked a run and a half off his ERA and won nineteen games.  You say it’s him showing his maturity, I say it’s due to him bending his cap just slightly to avoid the fate of other flat-billed pitchypusses.  Luckily, Price didn’t win the Cy Young.  That would’ve sent Keith Law into a shame-the-BBWAA spiral like no one had ever seen before.  I will draw a mustache on your picture, Mr. Reilly! But, and unless you’re an alien there’s always a but, it wasn’t all peaches and cream for Mr. Price.  His xFIP was 3.99 as he got lucky with home runs allowed and men left on base.  He still pitches in the toughest division and he’s susceptible to someone straightening the bill of his cap just a hair more.  So what do I think of David Price for 2011 fantasy baseball and what makes him a keeper?

In 2009, Price only threw a curveball 3.7% of the time.  In 2010, he bumped that up to 15.6% while taking away his slider.  Whatever the case, it worked.  The percentage of pitches that batters swung at outside of the strike zone against Price was 31.1% in 2010.  The year before it was only 22.5%.  This makes me think unless he takes another left turn, he should be able to maintain his gains in his K-rate.  The home runs will come back though, unless the Rays make their rafters remote-controlled operated.  He’s not a sub-3.00 ERA pitcher.  Not in that division, at least.  Assuming he can give up those extra home runs without it rattling him too much and he can maintain all of his other gains, he’s still going to be a solid pitcher in 2011.  I’d give him a line of 15-9/3.70/1.22/200.  For where you drafted him in keepers in 2010, it definitely makes him a keeper.  In redraft leagues, will have to see where he’s being drafted before I decide how much I’ll be owning him.  Right now, my guess is he’ll be slightly overrated due to his artificially low ERA.

155 Responses

  1. Tony says:
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    in a standard 12teamer i’d see him going around the 7-9th rounds….. he’ll defly be overrated….

  2. Ben says:
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    Grey,

    Price reminds me a lot of Francisco Liriano. Who do you like more going into this season? It seems they are similar pitchers except Liriano doesn’t give up as many homers and bbs. Maybe its his park and division.

  3. RGP says:
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    Speaking of young Startes who appear to have broken through to the realm of legit, who would you rank the following? Any clear groupings? Avoid? Aces?

    Braden, Cahill, Marcum, Clay Bucholz?

    Thanks

  4. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Tony: I think if you can get him after the 100th overall pick you’re probably do the best you can.

    @Ben: Liriano

    @RGP: First two aren’t very good, just lucky.

  5. Terrence Mann says:
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    @Grey: Cahill’s lucky? I don’t think much of Braden but Cahill was one of the five best starters in the AL this year.

  6. Joe says:
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    If you can keep 1-2 in a league where you need 6 sp (already have ubaldo and jered weaver), who do you keep?: Wandy, Jaime Garcia, Ricky Romero, or CJ Wilson

  7. AL KOHOLIC says:
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    jose lopez to the rockies,

  8. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @AL KOHOLIC: Blech, that’s terrible news.

  9. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Joe: Why do you keep anymore SPs? Romero and Wandy…

  10. AL KOHOLIC says:
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    @Grey: yeah,just messes up the ab situation again,jr might play the outfield more id think

  11. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @AL KOHOLIC: Hopefully Lopez plays more 3rd base than 2nd base. But that kinda messes up Mini Mini Donkey. Just a terrible signing.

  12. Simply Fred

    simply fred says:
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    @Grey: You’ve got me FIP-ing my pants with all these pitching stats! :-) Need a little help fitting them into place. For example, a guy like Lincecum:

    Swings-outside-the-strike-zone track 26.9%/26.8%/31.5% (2008/2009/2010). Would expect his K-rate to go up. Yet, it tracks 10.51/10.42/9.79. Just seems that if batters are chasing more pitches he should get more K’s. ???

  13. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @simply fred: I’m not sure what your question is. I don’t swear by FIP or xFIP but when a guy like Cahill has such a terrible K-rate it’s a warning sign. I.e., if a guy can’t strike out a hitter then he relies on other factors. Such as a ball being caught. Hard to rely on balls getting caught.

  14. big o says:
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    @Grey:

    got mine caught once .
    hurt real bad .

    going commando can be hazardous to you health .

  15. big o says:
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    edit *
    your health

  16. Terrence Mann says:
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    @Grey: The Rockies said they were looking for a player to fill the Mora spot on the roster. As inconsistent as they were at 2B and 3B this year, they were pretty much guaranteed to sign a Lopezesque player.

    They’ll also be getting a 1B bat. Rumor has it they are after Berkman but I’m crossing my fingers hoping something can be worked out for Napoli.

  17. Jake in Columbus says:
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    @simply fred: His O-Contact also took a big jump going 49.6, 48.8, 56.0 so I’d imagine that could mitigate how many Ks he generated.

  18. Spartacus says:
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    So Grey, The Big Donkey lands on the South Side. What do you think the impact to his value?

  19. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Spartacus: Not much of anything. Maybe a few extra homers.

  20. Simply Fred

    simply fred says:
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    @Grey: Sorry, I confused the issue with the FIP reference. Question was more about more swings outside the strike zone, yet fewer Ks. Looks like Jake explains it.
    @Jake in Columbus: Thank you!

  21. Simply Fred

    simply fred says:
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    @Spartacus: My two bits. Think Dunn see significant gains across the board.

    From facing:
    NL-E opponents who gave up on-average 57 HR to lefty-hitters.
    To:
    AL-C opponents who gave up on-average 69 HR to lefty-hitters.

    From:
    Nationals: 149 HR, 655 R, 634 RBI
    To:
    White Sox: 177 HR, 752 R, 710 RBI

  22. Spartacus says:
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    Cahill was damn lucky!! BABIP of .238 FIP and XFIP of 4.09 and 4.11 versus a 2.97 ERA. A K/9 under 6 and a K/BB of under 2.
    That there is one lucky guy.

    Glad I traded him in my keeper league. Got CC and Sparky Anklebiter for Utley, Cahill and Ackley.

  23. Jake in Columbus says:
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    @Grey: So nobody punted C in that mock? That’s worked out pretty well for me as a way to take another flier on spring training battles.

    Looks like that dude took Bautista 2nd then Butler 5th rather than Carlos Santana, but still, how are the moobs getting drafted in the 6th round on MDC?

  24. Simply Fred

    simply fred says:
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    @simply fred: “on-average HR” is the team HR allowed to lefty-hitters for the season.

  25. Wilsonian says:
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    Mr. Grey sir, I don’t want you to get TOO excited, but I’m finally back on the baseball warpaths and looking towards 2011 in my keeper leagues. I emailed a guy awhile ago regarding the J-Hey kid and what he would want for him. This is a 16 Team, 5 player keeper. I believe I got 6th which would put me at the 10th pick in the first round. Anywho, he finally responded by asking if I would deal him Carlos Santana, because he’s so smooth, for Heyward. He additionally would want maybe my 2nd rounder (I think I’ll counter with 4th to end up at 3rd) and then would give me one of his late round picks.

    If I did this trade, which I would JUMP on, I would end up with Hamilton, Wright, Dunn, Heyward, Lester as keepers. Otherwise it would be Hamilton, Wright, Dunn, Lester, Haren/Smooth/Latos. What do you think? Would a 2nd, 3rd, 4th rounder and Smooth be too much for Heyward and a 14th-ish rounder?

    We have to have pre-draft trades and keepers finalized by 12-20-10.

    Thanks as always, dood.

  26. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Jake in Columbus: Oh, yeah, my bad on the Chuck Santana thing. I was doing something else during the mock and not paying that close attention. I wouldn’t touch moobs anywhere near that. People love that chubby bastard. Color me puzzled.

    @Wilsonian: I’d take Heyward for Santana. Do the trade.

  27. Jake in Columbus says:
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    @Grey: No worries, I was surprised you could get anything typed up while you were crossing off names. I’m slow when it comes to drafts. Was there much chatter? I can imagine a couple of those personalities having plenty to say.

  28. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Jake in Columbus: They were mostly talking about football and I don’t watch that so I tuned it out for the most part.

  29. SwaggerJackers says:
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    @Grey Your draft surprised me a little 1) Did you grab Crawford just because he was still out there? I thought you weren’t big on paying for steals early on? 2) Your whole outfield is basically speed guys. Did you intentionally avoid power in your outfield?

    Why did Travis Snider go so high?

  30. Jake in Columbus says:
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    @Grey: No one took a flier on Bill James’ Kalish projection. :)

  31. RedPanda says:
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    Which one do you choose?

    Lester $6
    Braun $33
    V. Martinez $9
    Liriano $1

    Have A-Gon, Votto, Tulo, Hamilton & McCutcheon already planned to be kept.

  32. Steve says:
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    @Grey: Not sure there’s such a thing as a good time to be touching moobs.

  33. Eddy says:
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    @Grey:
    Just some quick notes about the draft before I have to rush off to work:

    -Behrens, though on autodraft (that’s what the M.I.A was for correct?), came out with a pretty stellar offense. He’s lacking speed, and his SP has too many questions, but the power he amassed was crazy.

    - I hate seeing Kershaw go so high (sad face)
    - Heyward in the 2nd round?
    - Looks like Choo is no longer underrated
    - Weeks in the 3rd round?
    - Do you see Round 9 for Pedro Alvarez being too high?
    - A little nice to see MMD going a bit lower than last year (though the whole Jose Lopez thing throws a wrench into that)
    - Seeing Weaver go in round 8 makes me wonder if I should continue with the plan of using my last keeper spot on him (round 10). I thought he’d go at least in round 5. “perts not trusting him for 2011?
    -Interesting to see ManRam, ZAmbrano, and FOwler go in the last round.
    -Jeff Erickson has to have the ugliest team imo
    -Great news to see EY Jr. wasn’t even drafted.
    -I’m always under the impression that “‘perts” tend to reach by 1-2 rounds overall; would you say that was the case here?

    What was your general strategy going in Grey? Like SwaggerJackers I’m wondering why the urge for so much speed? With guys like Gardner, McCutch, Crawford, Domonic Brown, and Hawaiin, was there an ulterior motive I’m not seeing here?

    Thanks, I’ll probably be back later tonight to analyze it some more and perhaps try to enter a room to complete my first mock of 2011!

  34. Joe says:
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    @grey:comment #10: i need to keep 12 on my roster: my keepers are: morneau/youk/phillips/kinsler/reyes/ichiro/braun/ubaldo/weaver

    final three spots are between: i. desmond/c. hart/wandy/romero/j. garcia/ cj wilson/ beltran/raul

    was thinking i’d keep hart/desmond/ and one pitcher…i traded a lot of my depth at the end of the season (mainly closers and jimmy rollins for kinsler and desmond)

    it’s a deep league; kinda slighted towards the top teams when i expanded in; 10 teams and keep 12 and roster 2 at each infield position 6 sp and 5 rp required…obp/slg/bb:k ratio/errors/sb-cs are extra hitting categories and baa/k/ip/

  35. brad says:
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    Pads want Aaron Harang? If he goes I know who my new last round pick is gonna be. . .

  36. The Dude says:
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    @Grey: Is Weeks really 3rd round material? I know he took a big step forward last year, but 3rd round?

    If I recall several of these “perts” were drooling over Mauer last year and licking their chops to draft him in the first round. Comical to see him drop to the 5th and to see Posey drafted ahead of him to boot.

    Also interesting to see Carlos Marmol go off the board as the first closer taken.

  37. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @SwaggerJackers: Take this mock with a big grain of salt. It was last minute, it’s the beginning of December, it’s for the Y! magazine not for this site so I felt no obligation to be fully there, was working on something else during it, others said they were using their last year draft sheet… With that said, if this were my actual team, which it never would be, I’d trade Crawford before the season even started since I got Gardner so late.

    @Jake in Columbus: Yeah, don’t think anyone was really prepared for it. Behrens wasn’t even there, he autopicked.

    @Steve: Hehe

    @Eddy: Like I said to Swagger. I wouldn’t put too much into this draft. There were a bunch of head scratchers. I didn’t really have a general strategy for reasons mentioned above.

    @Joe: Hart, Wandy and Romero…

    @brad: Yeah, can’t hurt his value.

    @The Dude: No, he’s not 3rd round material. Yeah, Mauer went really late, kinda silly how far he fell but I’m not sure how much weight you should give to that draft.

  38. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @RedPanda: Lester… Could see the case made for Liriano too.

  39. AL KOHOLIC says:
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    @Grey: i looked twice and didnt see torres selected in your mock,is that correct?

  40. Joe says:
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    @Grey : thank you! I’m surprised you left Ian Desmond off the list but makes sense. I look forward to your posts everyday!

  41. mr baseball says:
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    Now this could be the biggest news of the winter in MLB

    Red Sox getting closer to A-Gone deal

    ESPN Boston’s Gordon Edes reports that Red Sox GM Theo Epstein is “making headway” in a deal for Padres first baseman Adrian Gonzalez.

    Bill James will be predicting 75 homeruns for A-Gone

  42. big o says:
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    @ all :

    you guys are really chomping at the bit ….. asking Grey serious questions
    about a draft that no one was really serious about .

    might i suggest a remedy ?

    somebody organize a mock draft .
    then let’s ask him some real questions .

  43. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @AL KOHOLIC: It wouldn’t surprise me. MDC wasn’t really ready for new baseball mocks yet. A lot of players were missing etc.

    @mr baseball: Wow, that would phenomenal.

    @big o: I like that idea.

  44. AL KOHOLIC says:
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    @Grey: what kind of line you giving torres?90-15-50-270-25 sb,s sound close,

  45. Eddy says:
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    @big o:
    This is the first official FANTASY baseball action since the first week of October when the season ended. It’s hard not to get excited and shoot off several questions when that mock marks the end of that drought.

    On the case of the Razzball mock draft, count me in. Though keep in mind that whoever creates the draft has to have an paid MDC account.

  46. big o says:
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    @Eddy:

    not absolutely sure about this , but ,

    i think we can play for free , on a limited use/basis , if we agree to use mdc’s 5×5 , 12-team , roto set-up .

    of course , that would mean that we’d have to use mdc’s default settings ,
    which include 2 (two) catchers .
    in the past , this requirement has met with some opposition from razzers .

    if such a mock were to be organized , i would like to participate , provided
    it started 10 pm , or later , east coast time .

  47. EDUB says:
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    Great to know that employees of Yahoo autopicked a mock draft their company was publishing. That’s quality content right there.

  48. mic says:
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    im down to draft too…

  49. Howard says:
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    @Grey I’m surprised that EYJ wasn’t drafted in the mock. Do you think he’s a viable pick in a 12 team league?

  50. Steve says:
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    Padres-RedSox deal for A-Gonz is close, according to Twitterland…

  51. Steve says:
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    Make that very close.

  52. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @AL KOHOLIC: Sounds close.

    @Howard: Definitely, I like EYJ.

    @Steve: Wow, that all but decimates the Padres offense.

  53. big o says:
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    @Steve:

    negotiations seem a bit complicated
    and might not be as close as twitterland has suggested .

    a) winter meetings are still 5 days away
    b) rumor of ellsbury , kelly and 2 others being traded might be predicated
    on sawx signing crawford
    c) no “c”
    d) beltre “offer” being held in reserve (boras ?)
    e) apparently sawx want to secure a-gon , long-term , (6 yrs/120 mil)

  54. Steve says:
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    @big o: Oh, I don’t know about any of that, but some journalist from SD (and his sources) seem pretty confident that it’s imminent.

  55. big o says:
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    @Steve:

    buster olney confirms your sd source’s tweet .
    pending physical .

  56. Eddy says:
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    @big o: @Steve:
    Dan Hayes from SD says it’d only include minor leaguers from the Boston farm. Casey Kelley would be one of them. And that AGon is currently in Boston.

  57. Simply Fred

    simply fred says:
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    2008-2010 AWAY:

    Player A:168/70/192/.310 (242 GP)

    Player B: 180/68/187/.318 (233 GP)

    Player A moves to a team that produced +22% R and +24% RBI over his current team for 2010.

    Player A: A. Gonzalez
    Player B: Pujols

    Let the hype begin!

  58. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @royce!: Yeah, seems pretty obvious but graphs are fun.

  59. Al Swedgin says:
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    @Jack: don’t think they’re getting Kalish. It’s Kelly, Rizzo, and two lessers, I believe.

  60. Jake in Columbus says:
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    @Jack: I forgot Kalish probably won’t see much PT in BOS until Cameron, Drew and/or Ellsbury get injured again, so he probably isn’t worth drafting unless he does happen to get dealt.

    I nabbed some Boston butt today too, but I’m talking BBQ. Found a recipe for 24 hour oven roasting, which beats checking a grill in the snow or going without.

  61. Jake in Columbus says:
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    @simply fred: Wow, no kidding. Further good news is Youk should definitely regain 3B eligibility.

  62. Steve says:
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    Seeing a couple of suggestions that A-Gonz is going to turn into a 50-55 HR guy now.
    Really?

  63. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: Yeah, that seems pretty ridiculous.

  64. Simply Fred

    simply fred says:
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    @Grey: Ridiculous? Given his track record (3 years NOT a small sample size) averaging 23 HR on the road AND headed to a lefty-hitter friendly AL-E, hardly ridiculous. There will be many believers. The elephant in the room is the shoulder surgery. That playing into your assessment? What are the prospects from his surgery?

  65. Tony says:
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    @simply fred: fred i see your eyes lighting up.

  66. mr baseball says:
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    Report: Adrian Gonzalez traded to Red Sox

    The Red Sox and Padres have agreed to a deal that will send Adrian Gonzalez to Boston, according to ESPN’s Buster Olney.

  67. mr baseball says:
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    The Red Soxs signed the wrong player – as we all learned from the Giants that good pitching wins championships – Cliff Lee is the prize

  68. mr baseball says:
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    Looks like the Yankee will be in panic mode

  69. mr baseball says:
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    Report: Jeter deal three years, $51 million – looks like the hot dogs will be going up at the stadium

  70. Simply Fred

    simply fred says:
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    @Tony: No, trying to convince you that Agonz is this year’s Bruuuuce! :-)

  71. Simply Fred

    simply fred says:
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    @Tony: Gonz just drafted #11 overall at Couch Managers. Temperature is rising.

  72. Simply Fred

    simply fred says:
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    @Grey: See you have a post for Agonz going Monday. Can wait.

  73. @Grey:

    Take the mock with a grain of salt? I think I’d need a hit of acid to take Jason Heyward #13. Oh and Berkman to the Cards. Its gonna be an adventure in RF I guess, but their lineup looks nice.

  74. @Steve:

    As for Cliff Lee being the prize, I think logistically the Sox cant put more big money into pitching after pissing it away on guys like Lackey and a suddenly iffy Beckett.

  75. Ups wrong arrow.

  76. Tony says:
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    @simply fred: haha…. hey i touted bruce, but didn’t own him, someone had to take him too early and SAVE ME…. i snagged him in my other league and moved him, too bad he went nuts shortly there after at the end of the year, haha, couldn’t win….

    agon in Boston is going to be a major boost in value…. i can definitely see him in the first round now… he had major power in petco, now in the red sox little league field half the year? uh ohhh….

  77. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Elijah: Why does their lineup look nice?

  78. Eddy says:
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    @Grey:
    I took the final spot in a mock draft with Tim Mcleod from RotoRob, Ivar Anderson from FGD and several other readers of those sites.

    At 7pm EST Razzball Nation shall be represented.

  79. Eddy says:
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    @Grey:
    Btw, who do you favor more in 3B, Zimmerman or Youk with his newfound protection?

  80. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Eddy: Zimmerman

  81. VinWins

    VinWins says:
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    @Grey: I’m guessing Elijah is liking the idea of Berkman’s bat between Pujols and Holliday.

    As a Cards’ fan, I’m hopeful, but not too excited.

    By the way, from Roto Times: the Cardinals will have him play left field and move Matt Holliday to right field, according to Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated.

  82. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @VinWins: Break up the righties, you mean? Yeah, I guess that’s okay. I’d always prefer to pitch to Berkman though.

  83. GopherDay says:
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    So I got back from a long weekend without any time to check sports.

    My trade of Pujols and Harper for A-Gonz and Kershaw in my dynasty league is looking better and better now!

    Looking at the results from your mock, it looks like Kershaw is going to be expensive in redraft leagues. Gotta keep him for a 6th round in a 12 teamer right?

  84. VinWins

    VinWins says:
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    @Grey: Good point.

  85. Steve says:
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    A-Gonz may not be A-Gone quite yet. Sox apparently want to nail a contract extension down before going through with the trade – and that hasn’t happened as yet.

    Vibe seems to be it will get done, though.

  86. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @GopherDay: Depends on your other keepers.

    @Steve: Yeah, I think it happens.

  87. Elijah says:
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    @Grey:

    Basically Im saying its an offense-only move on Berkman.

  88. Elijah says:
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    @Grey:

    SI.com’s Jon Heyman reports that the Red Sox and Adrian Gonzalez could not agree to a contract extension and the deal has fallen through.
    Boston reportedly couldn’t come to an agreement with Gonzalez on a contract extension by Sunday afternoon’s deadline. Heyman reported that Gonzalez asked for an eight-year extension while Boston didn’t want to go beyond six. The Padres said Thursday that they wouldn’t field more offers for Gonzalez if this trade fell through

  89. Elijah says:
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    I dont think its totally dead yet but its looking iffy now.

  90. Elijah says:
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    Oh BTW, if it was missed, I noticed last nite Dominic Brown was sent home from Winter Ball after starting going 2-29. Probably just homesick but its perhaps a reason to dampen the hype a bit.

  91. Steve says:
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    @Elijah: @Grey: Now this is kinda what Grey and I were discussing the other day.

    Isn’t there a case here for AG to say, “Well, it’s not quite what I was after, but it’s still more than enough money – and it is the Red Sox I’ll go for it.”

    ?

  92. Elijah says:
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    @Steve:

    Maybe the Sox are thinking Ryan Howard and AG thinks hes closer to Tex money?

  93. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Elijah: Wow, that was a short tenure on the Red Sox. Maybe the Jose Lopez deal can fall through too.

  94. Steve says:
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    @Elijah: @Grey: There’s some Twittering that if he plays out the year in SD, he’ll really be able to cash in this time next year.

  95. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: Makes sense, if not the tad bit greedy. If there were Padres fans (besides royce!), I’d wonder how they feel. They still have offense, but they’re also not going to get anything for him in return except maybe a draft pick.

    EDIT: Word.

  96. Steve says:
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    @Grey: In a similar vein, it seems that Werth is close to a deal with…

    the Nationals.

    Don’t any of these guys want to win? Maybe have their deeds actually count for something?

    Guess it’s why I’m not a sports agent.

  97. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: Can’t say that about Greinke, who said he’d accept a trade anywhere. <– Ha!

  98. Steve says:
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    @Grey: I guess when you play for the Royals, anywhere is a pretty attractive option.

  99. Steve says:
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    @Grey: Werth got 7 years, apparently.

  100. Steve says:
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    @Steve: And $126M.

  101. Steve says:
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    That sound you can hear is Carl Crawford rubbing his hands with glee.

  102. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: re: Carl — Ha! That’s an insane contract for Werth.

  103. Steve says:
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    @Grey: Nationals showing that they can hang with the big kids?

  104. Steve says:
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    GMs all around baseball going apeshit apparently. Olney comparing it to the Kevin Brown deal in terms of annoyance generated.

  105. royce! says:
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    @Grey: Fortunately, the fans don’t have any say in it, because the general consensus is that SD should not trade Gonzalez and should resign him. SD fans aren’t the best informed fans, though.

    I really liked this trade for SD. Made me think the future looked pretty bright. It wasn’t a steal, but it was quite fair. Hopefully it won’t fall through, though everything I’m hearing indicates that it’s likely to fail.

  106. Steve says:
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    @royce!: Wouldn’t you expect a decent major-leaguer to be part of the deal?

  107. royce! says:
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    @Steve: Not really. I don’t think that having a decent major leaguer for 2011 would help the Padres field a contender as much as grabbing a bunch of top prospects with 2012/2013 ETAs. That is, I don’t have great expectations for 2011, so I’d prefer that they work on improving in the future. All last year I feared that the Padres unlikely success would cause them to lose out on getting anything worthwhile out of their best trade chips, and the more time that passes without a trade, the more likely that becomes.

  108. Tony says:
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    @Steve: i would think…. its wild the pads will accept a deal with 3 unknowns no matter how highly they’re touted… sure they could turn into major pieces and the trade sways in their favor, or they could all never play a big league inning and they just deal away an elite slugger…?

  109. Eddy says:
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    @Grey:
    Monday’s post pretty much did a 180 huh?

  110. royce! says:
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    @Tony: Also, I think this is just how a small market team has to play. Or at least that’s the received wisdom.

  111. Black Beard says:
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    Werth or A. Rios next year (6×5 +OPS)?

  112. Steve says:
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    @royce!: Sounds like a fair assessment.

    Small market teams are obviously at a disadvantage in these situations (and always have been) – do you think this is something that needs to be evened out by MLB somehow?

  113. royce! says:
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    @Steve: I don’t. Partially because attempts to even the playing field often lead to unintended consequences (http://blogs.forbes.com/mikeozanian/2010/12/01/salary-caps-have-widened-the-money-gap-in-pro-sports/ ), but mostly because I want to have an explanation for why my teams are perpetual underdogs. Seriously, if every team was allotted X dollars fro salaries, a team would only be an “underdog” if they were not good compared to the team they were playing, and they would no longer have the deep pockets of their competition to blame. I love it when a team like TB builds a contender.

  114. @Steve:

    If it were up to me…they would increase the revenue sharing a bit more. It would help the low-end teams without really impacting the upper tier teams, as they would end up being able to land the Arods of the league without paying 30mil a year.

  115. royce! says:
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    @Steve: @Elijah: Yeah, actually, I agree with Elijah. A small increase could be justified. I changed my mind after thinking about how terrible it must be to be a Pittsburgh or Baltimore fan. Not that it’s fair to blame their woes entirely on salary discrepancies (before free agency and insane contracts, there were many teams that sucked for a lot longer than Baltimore has), but I’m sure they would appreciate a little more pocket money.

  116. @royce!:

    It’s not suggesting it should be an even field…but right now the BEST a small market team can hope for is to have a few real bad down years, collect some elite prospects, have a 2-4 year window of contention…watch those elite prospects leave, then try to rinse and repeat. This does allow them to compete at spots, but its pretty hard on the fanbase when its a forgone conclusion their favorite players are going to be playing elsewhere, often for their rivals. Tampa’s a nice story, but do you really think they can retain Longoria and Price longterm? They will be gone just like Crawford, its just a matter of when. It would be for the best if the smaller market teams could at least retain a couple signature players that kids could grow up with and adults could buy their unis without them sold at the local used clothing store in a few years.

  117. Eddy says:
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    @Elijah:
    You just summarized the Florida Marlins organization in one paragraph.

  118. Red sox blinked, going to take the A-Gone deal without a contract. I think the Werth deal shocked them into the reality that signing Crawford for 140 million or more was not going to be the answer and as the team stood they would have a hard time making the playoffs next season.

  119. Steve says:
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    Hold the phone. A-Gonz deal is done.

    For three (the three guys already mentioned) or four players, depending on who you read.

  120. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @royce!: Yeah, I think it’s good for their future. They can’t and shouldn’t try to hang offensively. They should just win 2-0 games.

    @Eddy: Now a 360.

    @Steve: Guess the Gonzalez post is back on.

  121. Steve says:
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    @royce!: @Elijah: Good summation there, you two.

    Yeah, I don’t think it’s right to artificially manipulate the market, and in the end a team has to stand or fall on its merits, but it’s also not right (nor good for the game as a whole) that a team like the Pirates (say), could get every financial and recruitment decision 100% right, and still never get anywhere.

    Oh – and Marcum to the Brewers.

  122. Steve says:
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    Oops. Grey – can you delete #128 if you’re able?

  123. royce! says:
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    @Elijah: I agree that those are the negatives of the current state of small market teams, but I don’t know of a reasonable way to resolve it.

  124. @Grey: @Steve:

    As far as Gonzalez goes, I think the 1 year thing isn’t the worst idea for the Red Sox. It keeps them in contention next year, they get one year to evaluate if they actually do want to break the bank for him, and worst case at least they got him for a year plus recoup something in the draft if he leaves in FA.

  125. @royce!:

    Like I said, just bump up the revenue sharing to somewhat narrow the gap between the richest and poorest teams. It wouldn’t solve the inequity problem, but to me that’s not the issue. It would allow teams to retain signature players more readily. The problem is as it stands now, what Tampa fan wants to drop $100+ on a David Price Jersey so they can burn in the grill 4 years from now when he goes to NYY? How many kids are going to be heartbroken when Longoria is in California? No one is saying everything should be equal, but back in the day, even teams like the Brewers could have their Yount’s and Molitor’s stay with the team and give the fans a reason to make an emotional investment.

  126. Black Beard says:
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    @Elijah: I read somewhere that the Red Sox might actually be trying to dip under the luxury tax for 2011. With A-Gonz’s current salary they would likely clear it. If they extend him after opening day, the salary will be accounted for in 2012. Not sure how accurate any of that might be.

  127. @Black Beard:

    They have made some bad moves recently…maybe they feel the need to retrench a bit. You can’t out-Yankees the Yankees. The midseason Beckett extension was baffling at the time, now ridiculous in retrospect. I never cared for the Lackey signing at the time either. To me he was clearly already on the downside of his career. I don’t think his stuff pairs well with Fenway either.

  128. @Steve:

    I would hope the Jays are getting something real good for Marcum, otherwise its a head scratcher.

  129. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: I liked #128. Good points. Oh, well.

  130. GopherDay says:
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    @Elijah: Brett Lawrie is pretty good I hear…That seems like a lot for Marcum. I have him in my dynasty league. I like the move to the NL.

  131. Steve says:
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    @Grey: #129 was just as good (emoticon) but with added Marcum.

    @Elijah: Brett Lawrie who (it says here) is the Brewers’ #1 prospect.

  132. royce! says:
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    @Elijah: I agree with you. There are always going to be richer and poorer teams, but the difference between the richest and poorest team, when it comes to salaries, should not be as great as it is now.

    Interesting that you bring up Longoria, though. He has a relatively long term contract, and the Rockies seem to have followed the Rays lead and signed Tulo to a similar long term contract. How do you feel about these sorts of contracts as a counterweight to the big $ teams ability to draw away talent? I don’t think it’s optimal, but it’s interesting nonetheless.

  133. @royce!:

    It’s fine until those guys get hurt and your whole franchise is F*ucked for the duration of the deal. What happens if Tulo, a constant injury worry, tears up his leg for good in spring training? The Rockies will be ruined for a decade.

  134. Hmm I guess the feeling in Milwaukee is he would be stuck behind Weeks anyways. His #’s arent too exciting until you project him at 2b. If they move him to the OF they are pretty blah, at least from a fantasy standpoint.

  135. @Steve:

    I kinda like it for the Brewers…they HAD to find another quality starter to be a realistic playoff team, they got one, and the chip they gave up was stuck behind a guy who had a monster year last season. Yah they could have moved him to the OF but then it devalues his bat in terms of VORP and retards his progress by making him relearn a new defensive spot.

  136. royce! says:
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    @Elijah: So much pessimism…

  137. royce! says:
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    @Elijah: Seriously, though, clearly you’re not a fan of that new tactic…so how much more money should the richer teams share with the poor teams, in your opinion? And should the poorer teams be required to spend that money on players, rather than just keeping the $ in profit? I remember some anger against the pirates a couple years ago for having been very profitable while fielding a terrible, cheap team, and I’m not sure how to avoid that.

  138. @royce!:

    Um..just saying, Tulo can’t be considered anything but an injury risk. Its a do or die gamble for the Rockies. I hope he’s fine but his track record speaks for itself.

  139. @royce!:

    Like I said, its a good tactic, until its not. Its really the only choice these teams have, so I do think its good for them; a necessary gamble. When taking a risk is the only left way to succeed, its no longer a just a choice, its the option to have to take to have any shot at a title. On the other hand, a team like NYY just eats the Giambi or Pavano deals and reloads next year or the year after. It’s a totally different paradigm.

    If you compare it to something like poker, the guy with a smaller stack of chips will be forced at some juncture to take risks the big stack doesn’t if he wants to win. It’s the smart move for the smaller stack, but only because they are at that disadvantage, not that it’s the ideal strategy in a general sense.

    I agree with you teams like the Pirates are an issue. But as the Marlins have shown at times, no matter how low you think their salaries are, they can find ways to be even cheaper.The only way to solve that problem is to use the system they use in pro soccer where you have tiering, and the loser teams like Pitt simply get demoted to the next lower level which will never happen in baseball.

  140. @royce!:

    And just beacuse I’ve already pondered this topic at length…there’s obviously more here than just relative financial bases. To me, that’s the least of the Rockies worries. The fact that play 81 games at 5,000 feet puts them at a disadvantage no other team has in trying to shape and maintain a proper pitching staff.

    #1, they just are going to struggle with the extra # of pitches their staff is forced to throw over a season versus the Giants. That wear and tear not only leaves their staff vulnerable to overwork, but increases the chance of injury.

    #2 Not only that, but they really can’t use the type of pitchers a team like say, the Cardinals utilize. When the ball sails like it does, you need to miss bats and rack up K’s, not pitch to contact. This reduces their options in the draft and free agency by reducing the talent pool they can choose from wisely. You can see they have tried to assemble a staff of strikeout-type guys but its just hard. There’s not many guys like Ulbaldo around to pick from.

    Basically, when you evaulate ‘equality’, you have to examine more than just money, pitcher’s parks are an advantage as described, favorable legacies and/or lifestyles are an advantage (Think Pinstripes or Hollywood vs playing in KC), and asymmetrical parks can give an advantage if you tailor you club towards them (Like lefties in Yankee Stadium). A smart owner and/or GM considers or should consider all these elements and then some.

  141. royce! says:
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    @Elijah: I agree. Signing a long-term deal with a player that’s so injury prone may not be the best idea.

    @Elijah: Re: the gambling paragraph- makes it all the sweeter when you win, right? The frustration of rooting for a team with a small payroll can’t compare to rooting for a team that shells out considerable cash every year yet either putzes out in the playoffs or doesn’t even make it.

    But I’m a terrible poker player- I play in a weekly game, and either leave with a huge stack or nothing, because I’ll often make ill-advised bets because I think it’ll be hilarious if I win (it helps that the stakes are so low).

    I don’t know much about pro soccer- does the tiering system help counter the rich team/poor team issues?

  142. @royce!:

    Absolutely. That Dbacks win over the Yankees was very sweet. I wasn’t even really a fan of theirs until then. Of course you still get disgusted when the team makes stupid moves. On the other hand, its harder for someone like Grey who is cognizant of what I’m rambling on about to have the same thrill when the Yankees win a title with their huge payroll surplus even if he’s a Yankees fan.

    In soccer…its like a pyramid…On the top (Premier League) you might have the best 8 teams in a division. Below them, 2 8 team divisions, and below them 4 8 team divisions, and so on and so forth. Each season, the best teams from the 2nd tier divisions will replace the worst two teams in the Premier league, and the same on down. So it’s a constant fight to stay competitive or lose your Premier postion and accordingly the prestige and extra revenue of being one of the best teams in the world. A team like the Pirates might not only lose their Premeir status, but continue to fall down lower and lower even to the point where the team disbands and ceases to exist. It’s certainly been known to happen. Very Darwinian.

    That system has its own problems, but there’s certainly no worry of teams tanking it for profit, other than the occasional strategic retrenching with the aim to rebound back up.

  143. Simply Fred

    simply fred says:
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    @Grey: Hey, noticed in your mock that you apparently drafted two 2B (Kinsler/Espinosa), no SS. Doesn’t appear that either has SS eligibility. Looked like the other managers were properly filling each. What were your thoughts? (What am I missing?)

  144. Simply Fred

    simply fred says:
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    @Grey: Nevermind. I see that MDC lists him with SS eligibility. He won’t qualify there for 2011. Seems inappropriate an misleading (not a real option at SS).

  145. Steve says:
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    @simply fred: I think it means he was discussing BBQ with me instead ;-)

  146. The Dude says:
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    @simply fred: He did have 115 starts at SS in 2010 as a minor leaguer – so he should still retain SS status for 2011 in most formats.

  147. Simply Fred

    simply fred says:
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    @The Dude: Thanks. Good to know other formats accept minors. I don’t think ESPN does. Since he had 20+ in MLB last year at 2B, I think that’s it (unless, of course, MLB lists him as SS as primary position for 2011).

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