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The World Baseball Classic news hit the wire first, “Team USA will add another first baseman; Team Yankees will add another leading doctor in the world of performance-enhancing drugs.”  Team USA added Eric Hosmer, Team Yankees added a guy with a peach fuzz mustache, a B.U.M. equipment sweatshirt and red, white and blue Zubaz who goes by the name, Rick, and graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Phoenix.  Team USA said that whole thing about Votto being a Canadian was total BS, Rick said he trained with Lance Armstrong.  Team USA no longer has Mark Teixeira, neither does Team Yankees.  But Rick’s got a plan.  It worked for Lance Armstrong and A-Rod.  Drink carrot milkshakes and inject horse semen.  “These are my stallions.”  That’s Rick overlooking his kingdom (a musty cellar with bad lightning).  John C. Reilly is in talks to play him.  So, if Te(i)x being hurt is a surprise to you, I wouldn’t want to see you when a cat jumps out of a closet.  He will miss eight to ten weeks after hearing a pop in his wrist.  He might miss more time.  Right now, Cashman isn’t optimistic.  I changed my Te(i)x projections and rankings in the top 20 1st basemen; I don’t foresee me drafting him anywhere.  They’re no longer the Yankees, they’re now the Jankees.  At first base, they’re looking at the craptastic Dan Johnson/Juan Rivera blahtoon or the more likely scenario of Youuuuuuuuuk moving to first and Nunez (and his razztastic defense) over at third.  Will suck for any Jankee LHPs to have Pasta Diving Jeter and Errordo Nunez.  Today, Mets fans are smiling.  If you can’t beat them, pray they join you!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw in spring training for fantasy baseball:

Johan Santana – Probably will miss the start of the season.  The Mets aren’t too worried, saying he could only miss a couple of turns in the rotation.  The Mets also invested with Bernie Madoff.

Zack Wheeler – Yesterday, he threw from flat ground.  I’m confused.  Didn’t Columbus already prove this theory wrong?

Aramis Ramirez – Will miss 7-10 days with a sprained knee.  Looks like he’s already in regular-season shape!

Cody Ross – Out for 2-3 weeks with a lower leg strain.  This never would’ve happened if he didn’t try to stretch out a single into a double first name.  The Diamondbacks are going to go with Rico Sauve Parra to fill-in.  And you thought you had problems.  Previously unreleased audio alert!  Overheard at the Diamondbacks meeting right after hearing about Ross’s injury.  “Do we have any talented prospects to trade for a replacement?”  “Skaggs?”  “I thought we traded him already…  Get Detroit on the line!”

Carl Crawford – Hit off a tee yesterday.  He’s been battling nerve irritation.  Being ready for Opening Day seems unlikely.  Because all of the news about him is regarding his elbow and not his legs, I’d still take a DL-flyer on him, but I’m starting to think we might be lucky to see a 55/8/60/.270/15 season from him.

Brian Wilson – Says he’s about 80% recovered.  The beard is always the last thing to fill in.

Joaquin Benoit – I just went over all the closers the other day.  As you see there, the Tigers shituation is a mess that has a storm cloud bringing in a full-scale Closepocalypse.  The news in all its 3rd-person-ness thinks the Tigers will probably bring in outside help from a FEMA.  The Tigers have already scratched Rick Porcello from their short-term plans to be closer.  The fact that they were even considering Porcello as the closer says all you need to know.   Smile, Tigers, Brian Wilson is available.

Andrew Cashner – Said he should be ready for the start of the season.  When a guy is pegged for an over/under of five trips to the DL, he needs to get off the DL as soon as possible to get back on it.  Right now in the top 80 starters for 2013 fantasy baseball, I got love for Cashner.  That love hasn’t grown with this news.  I’m happy for him, I’m gonna send him a card with some pink frilly shizz, but he’s still gonna miss some time during the regular season even if he starts the year on time.  In case you’ve forgotten about him, here’s your reminder.

Derek Lowe – The Rangers signed him to be a swingman.  Fritz Peterson would be proud.  Rangers could give Lowe some starts, depending on how Robbie Ross pans out.  I think Ross could do well for AL-Only leagues, at least in the early going.  Think April to end of June.  Once the weather clams up in Arlington, I don’t want any of their pitchers.

Kyle Lohse – More news about which team is not going to sign Lohse came out yesterday.  He’s in this weird inverse news cycle.  “Top stories today on Sportscenter are who is Kyle Lohse not going to sign with and what illegal drugs is A-Rod not doing.  Later on, we’ll have some fantasy news with our very own, Snafu Larry.”

Aaron Hicks – So far the two most exciting names this spring are playing for the Padres and the Twins.  The classically-trained-in-being-lousy Mastroianni can’t get on the field due to a sore left hammy.  Meanwhile back at the hidden valley ranch, Hicks is hitting everything he sees, and not in a Brett Myers type way.  Our prospect writer, Scott, said of Hicks, “After a rough year in 2011 at High-A, Hicks moved up to Double-A in 2012 and looked like an entirely different player.  The 23-year-old hit .286/.384/.460 with 13 homers, and 32 stolen bases at New Britain.  Most think that a stint in Triple-A will serve Hicks well (to start 2013), but expect to see him in Minnesota at some point.  BTW, am I the only one that has drawn a mustache on my Grey Poupon jar?”  Hmm, didn’t remember that last line.  Mastroianni should be a bench bat and Hicks should be given a whirl by the Twins.  That’s not saying it will definitely happen.  I’d put those chances at about 70%.  It was less than a 5% chance about a month ago.  Hicks has the speed to boost his BABIP, but he’ll need a BABIP north of .350 to hit for a respectable average.  He does have some decent power, which will be made lighter by Hubert H. Homerfree Dome.  If he gets the job/lead off spot, think 81/8/42/.257/25.  For this year, he’s basically a poor man’s Angel Pagan.  I will call him On-sale Pagan.

Ryan Madson – Mike Scioscia told Sirius that Madson won’t be ready to go until mid-April.  In related news, I told Siri to call my mom and it texted the Israeli consulate that I was waiting outside for them.  Now I have the Shin Bet tapping my calls.  Ernesto Frieri is the favorite for saves in the interim.

Dylan Bundy – Should be fine to start the year in the minors after feeling a groin issue.  Of course, Bundy’s gonna feel that, he sits on the couch all day with his hand down his pants.

  1. Jack Full of Hate says:
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    Jerkees!

      • Jack Full of Hate says:
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        @Grey: yankee jankee…jerkee yankees

      • Men-in-Cleats says:
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        @Grey:

        “Donger no more jankee my wankee….”

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Donger no more dingers on jankees…

  2. Eric W says:
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    All I can think about when these yankee bats keep going down is robbie cano. I mean he has gone from a good to great offense last year that has helped him pile up those 100 plus run and rbi numbers over the last few years to a mediocre offense at best. Looking at the yanks depth chart is legit shocking ( http://yankees.mlb.com/team/roster_active.jsp?c_id=nyy ) it honestly looks like something the the Jay’s or O’s were putting on the field 4 or 5 years ago.
    I mean if he had the same team around him and his jersey read Oakland across the chest his run/rbi numbers would be projected in the 80s or 90s. That combined with even a slight drop in power lats say 25 hr’s he is 30 after all I think could turn him in to an expensive Brandon Phillips really quickly with out the 15 to 20 steals. Long story short those pin stripes are blinding people from what could be one of the biggest busts near the top of the draft.

    • Jay29 says:
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      @Eric W: This is your source for depth charts now.

      The thing is, people are reacting like Granderson and Teixeira aren’t coming back. They’ll be back in the lineup before June. So I wouldn’t expect much dropoff from Cano’s counting stats. Maybe 5%. The Yankees still have the pitching to be a .500 team until then. Then they can make a run at the division/wild card in the summer.

      • Eric W says:
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        @Jay29: even sober I stand by my main point that line up is a mess and I dont want any part of some one whos counting stats are a main source of value especially when he is going in the top 6 or 7 picks. However I am embarrassed I sourced mlb .com but I also decided that apparently the stairs was the best place to store a half eaten box of dominoes pizza last night so all in all not the dumbest thing I did. Side note anybody know a trick for getting tomato sauce out of carpet?

        • tenaciousdeucer says:
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          @Eric W:

          “a trick for getting tomato sauce out of carpet?”

          A little bit of fire probably would get that stain right out.

        • Jack Full of Hate says:
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          @Eric W: hard wood floors

        • Jack Full of Hate says:
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          @Eric W: I agree with you on this one, they are old and have this swap meet team of past their prime guys. Maybe they might do something in that joke of a park, but I’ll let someone else take that chance. I like my guys closer to 20 than 40. I would never draft Cano anyway and it’s not like Tex is relevant enough to play everyday even when healthy.

  3. Banana Santana says:
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    I kinda wanna send Old Man A-Ram off to pasture. I tentatively rostered him as a keeper, but I don’t think this season is going to be pretty and he’s overvalued for where I got him. Who’s better value as a replacement in a 10-team 5×5 deep mixed league: Chapman as a 14th rounder, or Samardzija as a 16th? Also keeping Votto, Fielder, Lawrie, Choo, and CarGo.

      • Carnac says:
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        @Grey: Grey’s driving in a fast car with Chapman this year.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Give me one more reason to turn back around…

          • Jack Full of Hate says:
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            @Grey: top down, Chapman riding shotgun with your giancarlo bobblehead on the dash

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              It’s a love mobile, for sure…

          • Carnac says:
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            @Grey: I think we’re talkin ’bout a revolution.

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Was that her third song? I don’t remember that one…

              • Carnac says:
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                @Grey: I think it’s the one where the chorus is “you better run run run,” etc. I took Women’s Socio-Political Folk Studies pass/fail in college, so I didn’t pay close enough attention during the Chapman readings.

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
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                  I think she was homeless in Boston when I went to BU and we shared a brief time at a keg party….

  4. Marty says:
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    Do yoiu drop cano a spot or two in rankings with all the Yankee injuries?

  5. b3 says:
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    Does all the Yankees injuries drop robinson cano’s numbers/value?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @b3: Still nope

      • Jack Full of Hate says:
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        @Grey: if you never have liked Cano and never intended on drafting him does this change anything?

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Probably not…

  6. Wallpaper Paterson says:
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    While driving to work this morning I passed a car with a mustache.

  7. Mr Gray: How did you lay off the reports on Marmol being traded to the Tiggers.. Perfect fodder for the Razzman.. I question, how a team can approach a modern MLB season with just one Left-handed RP… Something is weird there..

    And there are so many fat guys on that team… Half the team cries out for tummy tucks and double chin reductions… They will do well though..

    The Yanks are a sub 500 team this year… They certainly are a Tex-mess, now.. I’m thinking ,they just ride our the lousy contracts and take a beating for a couple years… It would be healthy for everyone in MLB if they did… A Rod should be bought out and retired…

    I hate the Yankees – it’s fun to do it too… Do you???

    IMPORTANT!!! Had a problem with my ESPN teams being listed yesterday… Back this morning … I posted our league on our league MB about my issue…. Have others reported having trouble reaching their teams on ESPN this week??? Is this a normal thingy for ESPN???

    E S T R A D A !!!!!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @T Moore: Yankees haven’t even reached the nadir yet, wait until CC gets hurt mid-season… Not sure what you mean with the ESPN thing? Trouble reaching? Move your chair closer to your computer…

  8. Grilled Cheese Please says:
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    Funny. The younger guys probably have no idea what B.U.M. Equipment shirts were or how popular they were.

  9. hankg says:
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    Grey, I need help finalizing my last keeper spot. The choice is between A. Cabrera at SS or J. Altuve at 2b. I go back and forth on who would be a better choice (and am not in love with either choice). This is a 12-team mixed 6×6 league (OPS is additional hitting category). Thanks.

  10. Beastman says:
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    Grey, what gives? No pull through of Rebecca De Mornay in the article?!

    Fellow Razzballers, there’s still 4 openings in the $50 razzball commenter league I’m running. Standard razzball settings; draft is currently Sunday the 24th at 3 pm EST but can be rescheduled to find a time that works for everyone.

    E-mail for more info or a league invite:
    joshua_eastman@yahoo.com

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Beastman: Rebecca filed that restraining order, member?

      • Beastman says:
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        @Grey: I’m sure the statue of limitations on the restraining order has elapsed. Stalk away!

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Sweet!

    • Jack Full of Hate says:
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      @Beastman: I thought you would be a Tanya Roberts guy?

      how are you doing payment? Paypal or check

  11. Random Collmenter says:
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    Do I keep Beltre in the 6th or Ian Desmond in the 11th of a 5×5 roto league (OBP instead of avg)?

    I know you like Beltre way more, but he’s gotta start falling off at some point, and given Desmond’s age, power/speed potential, and breakout last year, I’m considering him.

    Thanks!

  12. The Vaporizers says:
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    Middle relievers with SP eligibility are huge in my league.

    Does anyone have a list of those top guys this year? Last year they were Ogando, Coke and eventually Doolittle.

      • The Vaporizers says:
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        @Grey: Smokey gave pitchers that have RP eligibility that will be starters. I am in need of the opposite for my league. I need relievers that will have SP eligibility.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Let him know, he’ll do it next week…

    • Steve says:
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      @The Vaporizers: Just to see who was there, I filtered SPs in my Yahoo league and then sorted by the number of Holds they got last year. Notable guys to pop up:

      Brad Lincoln
      Brian Duensing
      Garrett Richards
      Hector Santiago

      And I suppose Derek Lowe could end up being useful, but probably not…

  13. Jay says:
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    Move Braun for Heyward, Strasburg and a 9th round pick. would then keep Votto. Longo Heyward Stras and Verlander.
    5×5 10 tm H2H

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Jay: Sounds solid…

    • tenaciousdeucer says:
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      @Jay:

      How does it work if you get his 9th rounder? Does he get your last round pick by default?

      • Jay says:
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        @tenaciousdeucer: we agree to pick he gets back. but yes the idea would be to get as close to the last pick as possible.

  14. Commish Cauda says:
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    20 team H2H-Points dynasty league

    I’m defending champ with a team poised to repeat. I have a ton of power already. Looking for some speed or simply take value. Slim pickings in the draft.

    Ichiro
    Cuddyer
    Michael Brantley

    Stats say Ichiro. Win-Now mode says Ichiro. Just not a very good investment for the future.

    What say you? Thanks.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Commish Cauda: The other guys aren’t that amazing investments in the future either…

      • Commish Cauda says:
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        @Grey:
        Stubbs?

  15. LagunaBobbyI says:
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    @Grey…I hit you up with an overly confusing keeper question a few days ago. Well, I joined a new keeper league with the exact same rules; snake draft, after year 1 each team can hand out 20 contract years to as few or as many guysas they please on their roster. No minimum or maximum amount of players have to be kept (i.e. can keep 10 players for 2 years each, 2 players for 10 years each, 1 player at 10 years and 2 at 5 years, etc.). 11 team league, I have the #9 pick. 5×5 roto league, roster positions include C, 1B, 2B, SS, 3B, CM, MI 4 OF, 2 extra hiteers, 8 Pitchers and 4 Bench spots. Knowing you can keep a guy for say 5, 6 or 7 years if you want, how would you rank the following names?? Harper, Stanton, Prince, J Up, Strasburg, Pujols, Longoria, CarGo. As always, thanks for the input, much appreciated!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @LagunaBobbyI: Stanton, Harper, Upton, Longo, Pujols…

  16. Wilsonian says:
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    Does Lawrie’s sore side/vagina worry you at all? I’m keeping him in a 16 team H2Her. My only other option is Ian Desmond, but I have Tulo already (we do have two UTIL spots). Do I swap Lawrie for Desmond? Decisions, decisions…

  17. marti says:
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    Who’s the safest 1st basemen out of pujols, votto and fielder this year?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @marti: Like fire prevention? Fielder…

  18. Ryan Gosling says:
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    Hey girl-
    I have to keep four. I have Pujols in the first round. Hamilton in the 3rd. Beltre in the 5th. Castro in the 5th, Strasburg in the 6th. Morrow in the 11th. Harper in the 20th.

    Thinking Harper, Pujols, Strasburg but I can’t decide between Beltre or Hammy. What would you do? Thanks.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Beltre

  19. Hicks in an OBP league = Carl Crawford 2005?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Why do you say that?

  20. mookiewilson says:
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    In a 15 team 5×5 leauge I have Miggy, Stanton and Price as keepers. What type of player do you think I should be targeting for my first pick? Speed middle INF or another power bat at 1B maybe? Without knowing who’s available what names come to mind?

    Thanks!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      1B is ideal…

  21. Big AL says:
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    It’s time for the Yankee reality show. Hosted by Yogi Berra and his interpreter. Today in Jankee land Tex goes riding into the sunset with a wrist pop injury. Rumor his it Cano is on the juice and is looking at a 50 day vacation. Youk is slotted to hit cleanup and wants extra money for plastic surgery so he can look like Mickey Mantle. A-Rod is saying his roid pills he keeps in his aspirin bottle may have gotton into Cano’s locker by mistake. Actually believable, but look at Cano’s stats.Had to be on the juice. Jeter’s artificial ankle is getting wonky and there are loud moans coming from George Steinbrenner’s grave. I think they have a hit on there hands. Going to run during the actual games so you don’t have to watch the real team. It’s gonna be all the rage in Boston.Wicked Good times up there.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Ha! As long as the guys who did last year’s Marlins reality show aren’t involved…

  22. Travis says:
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    Auction post Tomorrow?

  23. Adam says:
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    Love the work you guys do, but I’m not a fan at all of the new podcast. Don’t like the QUICK HITS from multiple analysts, don’t like the constant background music, and HATE that I feel like I’m listening to some schticky local radio station with the altered vocal transitions.

    Was a HUGE supporter of the laid back style you guys had last season. Much prefer just the casual conversations between you, Rudy, and Nick. This ADD podcast gets low marks from me.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      I hear ya, notes are being passed on to Nick and the radio producer…

      • Carnac says:
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        @Grey: On the other hand, Pedro from Pittsburgh couldn’t get enough of the cuts and Alyssa from Los Angeles loved the quick hits.

  24. Poo Holes says:
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    Greyson. my man…

    I’m finally back again and ready for another season of the greatest fantasy sport in existence.

    I just got an offer of picking up my choice of a team in a 16 team 5×5 H2H league with saves + holds as a category. Of the options available, one stands out in particular because it has Cano, Bruce, Butler, J-Up, Sandoval, Rollins, Yadier, etc. but whoever drafted this team went RP crazy. The only starters are Peavy, Masterson, and Brett Myers(?), so I’m stuck with guys like Jim Johnson, Ax-man, Clippard, Kenley, Guerra, and Sergo Romo.

    Worth it to pick up this team and drop/trade guys for pitchers or try to look at a more balanced roster?

    P.S. – Glad to see you still have your comedic touch!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Welcome back, Mr. Holes. Try to find a more balanced roster…

      • Poo Holes says:
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        @Grey: Bats, Cutch, Ike, RIckie, Jeter, Eithier, Cuddyer, Sparkakis, Yunel…Price, Hamels, Buchholz, Wandy, Nolasco, Nathan, Putz…

        How could I miss that one?

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Not terrible…

          • Poo Holes says:
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            @Grey: For a 16 team dynasty, I’ll take that over the other options.

  25. Spike Owen says:
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    Grey – love the site, thanks for all the work you and the crew do.

    Drafting question for you (and others):

    5×5 12 team keeper league

    My 5 keepers are: Ryan Braun, Andrew McCutchen, Jose Reyes, Dustin Pedroia and Paul Goldschmidt

    Thanks to some good trading, I also have the 1st overall pick and then nothing til the 24th overall.

    I’m looking for advice on who to take 1st overall. Available players that I can make a case for are:

    Jay Bruce: Power is power, and with all those rumours about Braun, having a 3rd solid OF can’t hurt.

    Shin-Soo Choo: I like guys with good averages who are well-rounded. Braun point applies here too.

    Ben Zobrist: Flexible eligibility – good coverage for both Reyes and Pedroia, who get hurt at the drop of a hat.

    Pablo Sandoval: Last available member of your 3rd tier of third baggers. Would complete my starting infield around the horn.

    Cole Hamels/Madison Bumgartner (I lean towards Hamels): Five keepers provide solid offense, so can nail down one solid pitcher then punt for the rest of the draft until it’s time to draft Estrada and Harvey.

    Thoughts? I think I’m leaning towards Bruce, but would welcome other perspectives…

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Sandoval

  26. Wake Up says:
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    You can shin bet that AIPAC is secretly involved somehow…you can also shin bet that shin bets are rarely made with splints…

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Down the street from me, Shin Bet also happens to be the chef at Lucky Broccoli…

      • Wake Up says:
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        @Grey: But you call him David?

  27. Jay says:
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    16 team H2H expanded cats included 2B, 3B, BB, IP, HLD, QS. 8 Keepers MUST Keep at least 2 P’s.
    Keeping Cano, McCutchen, Zimmerman, Encarnacion, Cliff Lee, Wainwright. Pick last two

    Lawrie, Alex Gordon, Sabathia, Assdribble Cabrera.

    I also have the third overall pick after keepers so would most likely try to draft one of the left outs back.

    thanks

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Gordon, Lawrie

  28. 2 Cups 1 Braun says:
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    Hey Grey : Is there any way to do a projected starters post for all teams before the season starts? Be a good idea to have a clean look at who some of the NL 4th and 5th starters would be for late round flyers/targets.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Every Monday Tom has been doing a position battle post, hitting on some of those…

  29. Grey

    Grey says:
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    THERE’S A NEW POST FOR FOLLOWUPS FOR ME

  30. mooseknuckles says:
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    Hicks jacked 3 Homers today.

  31. Slava says:
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    12-team Standard Yahoo 5×5 keeper (3 year max) with an extra MI and Util slot.

    Do I keep Zobrist or Choo as my last keeper? I was thinking Zobrist due to MI slot, but really think Choo will outperform him this year. I don’t see Choo or Zobrist slipping to me in the 3rd round (1st & 2nd are going to be top 30 players) so unless I can trade for one of them I’d basically lose any chance of owning them. So if you had to pick one for this year and next, who would you take?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Choo

  32. Doc Wolf says:
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    Better value pick….Moustakas in the 9th round or Injury Houndgoria in the 1st round?

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