Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America
2014 (21) | 2013 (25) | 2012 (26) | 2011 (28) | 2010 (12)

2014 Affiliate Records
MLB: [88-74] AL West
AAA: [79-65] Pacific Coast League – Sacramento (2015: Nashville)
AA: [77-63] Texas League – Midland
A+: [85-55] California League – Stockton
A: [55-84] Midwest League – Beloit
A(ss): [33-43] New York-Penn League – Vermont

Graduated Prospects
Marcus Semien, INF (from CWS)

The Gist
The Athletics were in win-now mode in 2014, which prompted them to trade their prized prospect Addison Russell (and to a lesser extent Billy McKinney) to the Cubs for Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel. That left this already light system even lighter, but recent offseason moves have restocked the farm moving forward. By trading Samardzija to the White Sox and Josh Donaldson to the Blue Jays, the A’s acquired four of the ten prospects listed below as well as recently graduated middle infield prospect Marcus Semien. There may not be any “elite” fantasy prospects in this top ten now that Russell is gone, but there are still several players that could be useful fantasy options in the near future. High-A Stockton was loaded with talent and three of the top four on this list played their 2014 seasons on that team.

Top Ten Fantasy Prospects

1. Daniel Robertson, SS | Age: 20 | ETA: 2016

PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB% K% SB CS AVG OBP SLG
642 110 170 37 3 15 60 11.2% 14.5% 4 4 .310 .402 .471

Robertson can hit, and that’s what will carry him to an everyday role in the big leagues. Offensive-minded middle infielders are a good thing in fantasy. The big plus for Robertson this year came in the trade of Addison Russell, who was sitting directly in front of him on the depth chart at short. With Russell gone, it’s possible Robertson assumes shortstop duties for the Athletics at some point in 2016. The 20-year-old doesn’t have much speed for a middle infielder, but evaluators grade his power as average and see a plus hit tool. He’ll face a big jump in competition this year at Double-A.

2. Matt Olson, CI/OF | Age: 20 | ETA: 2016

PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB% K% SB CS AVG OBP SLG
634 111 134 31 1 37 97 18.5% 21.6% 2 0 .262 .404 .543

Olson is a typical “three true outcomes” type with big power and a pile of walks and strikeouts. He’s a good target in leagues that value on-base percentages over batting averages. Even in standard leagues his power will play though. The A’s already have several corner infield options and recently traded for another, so Olson has started taking reps in the outfield to improve his versatility. Like Robertson, Olson will make the jump to Double-A in 2015 as a 21-year-old. Any player that hits close to 40 homers is going to get attention, but if Olson continues to put up big numbers at the next level, he should shoot up prospect rankings. First base is relatively shallow as far as fantasy prospects, which adds to his appeal.

3. Franklin Barreto, SS | Age: 18 | ETA: 2017

PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB% K% SB CS AVG OBP SLG
328 65 90 23 4 6 61 7.9% 19.5% 29 5 .311 .384 .481

Barreto was acquired in the controversial Josh Donaldson trade. It’s always a bad idea to judge trades right after they happen, but it’s particularly true in this case given Barreto’s distance from the majors. Reports consistently mention Barreto’s plus hit tool and that’s what will carry him as he advances. He also has plus speed and enough power to run into 8-12 homers. It’s too early to say if Barreto will be able to stay at shortstop long term, but he’ll likely end up at one of the two middle infield positions, where his offense will be more valuable in fantasy. Dynasty owners have an exciting prospect in this youngster, but need to remain patient as he hasn’t even hit full-season ball yet.

4. Renato Nunez, 3B | Age: 20 | ETA: 2016

PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB% K% SB CS AVG OBP SLG
563 75 142 28 3 29 96 6.0% 20.1% 2 0 .279 .336 .517

Along with Robertson and Olson, Nunez was part of a stacked Stockton team in High-A. He has plus power like Olson, but he doesn’t take as many walks. The A’s have several corner infield prospects, and Nunez could end up as a first baseman eventually. Bringing Rangel Ravelo into the fold further complicates the corner infield situation for guys like Nunez. He was signed as a 16-year-old out of Venezuela and had his first taste of a full season in 2013. In 2014 he saw his strikeout rate improve 5% and his home run total improve by ten. He’ll also make the jump to Double-A in 2015, and that will tell us more about his approach and how his power will play against tougher competition.

5. Matt Chapman, 3B | Age: 21 | ETA: 2017

PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB% K% SB CS AVG OBP SLG
220 23 51 9 4 5 20 3.6% 20.9% 2 1 .246 .291 .401

The Athletics selected Chapman in the first round (25th overall) in this year’s draft. He was also a pitcher, so he has a great arm that should help him remain at third base as he progresses. Chapman saw three levels in 2014, but spent the majority of the year in the Midwest League (A) where he hit .237/.282/389 with five homers. The 21-year-old has average power which could translate into ~15 homers at the major league level. That may not be enough to make an impact in fantasy outside of AL-only leagues or deeper dynasty formats, especially if he is going to call the Coliseum his home park. Chapman should start 2015 with High-A Stockton for his first full season of pro ball.

6. Rangel Ravelo, CI | Age: 22 | ETA: 2015

PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB% K% SB CS AVG OBP SLG
551 72 147 37 4 11 66 10.2% 14.0% 10 6 .309 .386 .473

A fifth-round draft pick from 2010, Ravelo was part of the return for Samardzija. He’s a big man with little speed and not much power – but he can hit. Ravelo has shown good on-base skills and hasn’t posted a batting average under .290 since he was 18. He recently transitioned from third to first base with the Sox but could get more time at both positions with Oakland. Ravelo spent the entire season at Double-A in 2014 and was one of the best hitters in the Southern League. He should be on the Triple-A roster to start the 2015 season. Evaluators seem to think there could still be more in-game power lurking in the bat, but for now he’s a better option in AL-only or OBP formats.

7. Chad Pinder, 2B | Age: 22 | ETA: 2016

PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB% K% SB CS AVG OBP SLG
436 61 116 32 5 13 55 5.0% 22.7% 12 9 .288 .336 .489

Pinder gets points for bringing a little of everything to the second base position, where offensive value is a little harder to come by in fantasy. He’s similar to a Kody Eaves type from the Angels’ system. Pinder was also part of the Stockton crew in 2014 and like them he will get his first taste of Double-A this season. Not to sound redundant, but that jump is considered one of the larger ones from level to level so it’s important to note. Pinder is two years older than the others but he is destined for a position at which the A’s aren’t nearly as deep. With average tools, Pinder makes more sense in deep dynasty formats where the large majority of prospects are owned.

8. Kendall Graveman, RHP | Age: 23 | ETA: 2015

W L ERA G GS SV IP H R ER HR BB/9 K/9 AVG
14 6 1.83 27 27 0 167.1 142 40 34 2 1.7 6.2 .231

Graveman was part of the return for Josh Donaldson from Toronto this offseason. He’s polished and close to the majors – in fact he appears as the fifth starter for the A’s on some depth charts. That’s despite throwing less than 210 total innings in the minor leagues to this point. In 2014, the 23-year-old pitched at four different levels with the majority of his season spent at High-A Dunedin. He even threw a handful of innings for the Jays in September. Graveman has a four-pitch arsenal that includes a plus fastball. He also has above average control and that was evident in his sub-2 walk rate in nearly 170 innings. It’s that control of his stuff that will give him the chance to reach the majors quickly. Put him in the Coliseum and he’ll be fantasy relevant in deep leagues even as a fourth or fifth starter.

9. Sean Nolin, LHP | Age: 24 | ETA: 2015

W L ERA G GS SV IP H R ER HR BB/9 K/9 AVG
4 7 3.43 20 20 0 97.0 79 39 37 6 3.6 8.2 .216

The other arm in the Toronto trade, Nolin could be in the mix with Graveman for the fifth rotation spot in 2015. He throws four pitches including a slider, curve, and changeup. The change is his best offering outside of his fastball according to Baseball America’s scouting report. Arms attached to warm bodies can carry fantasy value when they pitch in Oakland, but Nolin’s ceiling is limited to a fourth starter. His control wasn’t as good as Graveman’s this season but his strikeout numbers were also better. Prior to 2014, Nolin posted walk rates under three per nine, so it’s a matter of getting that good control back in 2015. He’s an AL-only/deep league option like Graveman.

10. Raul Alcantara, RHP| Age: 22 | ETA: 2017

W L ERA G GS SV IP H R ER HR BB/9 K/9 AVG
2 0 2.29 3 3 0 19.2 17 5 5 0 2.3 4.6 .250

Unfortunately, Tommy John surgery hit the pause button on Alcantara’s development after only three starts. Prior to the injury and the trade with Toronto, Alcantara was Oakland’s best arm with a plus fastball, plus changeup, average slider and curve. He was part of the return for Andrew Bailey from Boston way back in December 2011. Like a lot of other TJS pitching prospects, this presents a buy-low opportunity for deep dynasty league owners that can afford to stash injured arms. His upside is a #3 starter if he can return to his pre-injury form.

Athletics Previews: 2014 | 2013

AL Top 10 Prospects Index

 
  1. Baezaworldseries says:
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    1.You think Graveman will have any chance to break camp with the A’s? Or is he more of a mid/late season call up?

    2.Weekly 12 team 13 keeper points h2h league. Do you prefer to own aces or play matchups with your SP?
    Thanks Mike.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      1. Yes, I think he’s got a chance at the 5th spot to start the year. Nolin in the mix too.

      2. If I can get my hands on an ace in keepers at a good price I will, but it is one big arm tops.

      The rest of my staff is typically arms that cost 5 bucks or less with a standard 260 budget. In-season I am usually streaming two or three spots by July.

  2. bdub says:
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    Need to keep 6 in 12 team H2H.
    Rizzo
    Dozier
    Baez
    Soler
    JD Martinez
    Arrieta
    Tanaka
    Sale
    Harvey
    Thanks –

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Rizzo, Dozier, Baez, Soler, Sale, Harvey

  3. Swfcdan says:
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    Despite the trade still not many names I’ve heard of, to put it lightly… How many of these guys would actually rank in your top 50 and top 100? Ive never even heard of Robertson who is no 1.

    Those trades make me kinda wonder which top prospects list Billy was looking at…

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Yeah, probably none in top 50, but I think you could make a case for top 100 with Robertson, Olson, and Barreto.

      • Swfcdan says:
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        @Mike: Pretty lame return for Donaldson and the rest isn’t it. Who are we to question the Beaner but it certainly doesn’t look great on paper…

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          Yeah, I mean it’s certainly a controversial trade and a good one to debate, but it’s probably not fair to judge any trade with a knee jerk response – especially when they involve prospects.

          • Swfcdan says:
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            @Mike: It can be argued it is fair as you can judge prospects by prospect rankings. That said Billy’s so crazy he might have a totally different set of prospect rankings than the rest, looking for different skills to everyone else. So I guess we can’t judge Billy’s trades.

  4. Yescheese says:
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    What’s your evaluation on the 2B from the equally bizarre Brandon Moss trade?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Well, I have to admit I had never even heard of him and I live an hour south of Cleveland. From what little I’ve read the only tool that stands out is his hit tool with everything else being fringe average. Maybe he runs into 8-10 homers, but he’s already 24 and sounds like 2B is his only position. Tough to see him being a good fantasy target and Pinder seems like the better bat.

  5. Dave says:
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    Hey Mike, am i crazy to trade starlin for segura in dynasty? or should i wait to see if starlin becomes arod?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Not sure about becoming A-Rod but I would prefer Castro to Segura in dynasty. You’re not crazy to consider it, but I’d hold.

  6. Big Magoo

    Big Magoo says:
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    Hey Mike, just wanted to get your thoughts on the Rays/Pads/Nats deal that just went down, particularly regarding Trea Turner. Think he could be a solid replacement for Desmond in real life by 2017 (or maybe even 2016?), and what about his fantasy prospects?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Turner’s best tool is his speed – it’s plus plus. Sounds like he can stick at short and replace Desmond. Fantasy wise, I’m not sure about him since there’s not much pop. Maybe more of a SAGNOF type that hits and steals bases from the top of the lineup.

      Souza is a nice player and ranked high on the Nats list prior to the trade. Outside of those two I don’t think there were any “impact” guys for fantasy other than Myers of course.

      • Big Magoo

        Big Magoo says:
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        @Mike: Yeah, I went back earlier and looked at your Souza writeup from the Nats prospect post. I think that he makes for a nice sleeper pick in the late rounds next year. Love the power/speed combo, even if the batting average might be a bit iffy.

        Myers still has some upside, but I’ve always thought that he’s been overvalued in fantasy because of his prospect status. Might fall a bit in drafts though due to his poor season and now the move to PetCo.

        It’s always a nice bonus to get some steals out of your MIs in fantasy, which is why Turner looks like he could be useful down the road. Thanks, Mike!

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          Anytime, Magoo. I agree with all of that.

          I’m pretty high on Myers in keepers and dynasties. Not sure where I’d take him in a standard redraft yet.

  7. goodfold2 says:
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    somebody is trying to move l.encarnacion for a 5th round pick. i’m thinking he’s worth more than that? i would still have 7 picks this year (mostly after the 2nd round, so flyers all, mostly for pitching depth).

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Sure, I’d throw a fifth round pick at Encarnacion in that 30-teamer. He’s a lotto ticket but that’s what you would be getting with a pick that late anyway. Ranked right there with Devers in that 2013 int’l class…

  8. goodfold2 says:
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    you appear to be doing these at a rate of 1 per week on wed. what are the next 4 teams you are doing (i won’t ask about those since i’ll see them anyway before my draft picks start). After that i’ll ask about the other teams going off BA’s lists (they are done with AL), so the easy questions will revolve around AL teams. With the remaining NL teams that you haven’t done those will take longer since my only lists will have to come from Scott’s posts last year. i’ll also i suppose include guys drafted in top 150 picks in case they make these lists.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      TB, SF, CLE, CIN, ARI, TOR, LAD, NYY, BAL, COL, NYM, TEX, KC, STL, SD, HOU, CHC, MIN, BOS, PIT…

      Likely twice a week at some point to be done before season starts

  9. goodfold2 says:
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    BOS from last year are all owned. also from this year’s BA list everybody except Rusney owned. i’m gonna go ahead and assume that rusney isn’t around when i pick though. so do any of these move into your top 10 for BOS, or do i just ignore BOS? Also if they do move into top 10 where.
    chavis SS
    kopech RP (i don’t know if they project as SP or RP so i’ll just put their throwing hand)
    travis 1B
    cosart RP
    mcavoy RP

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      I don’t foresee them being top ten

      • goodfold2 says:
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        @Mike: opps, i forgot about the easiest thing to forget about, internationals. no other of those for BOS in their top 10

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          Nah. Outside of Lara, Hernandez, and Rondon the Yanks gobbled up most of those this past year I believe.

  10. goodfold2 says:
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    ok, in the case of MIN, all of the BA/Scott last year top 10 list players are gone, except these two drafted this year
    gordon SS (6th)
    birdie RP (7th)
    Do you agree with those guys being in those spots? Should any international or cederoth/clay/reed get added into this top 10? If not looking like BOS/MIN gonna be easy to navigate.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Yup, that makes sense to me. I might have Gordon a tad higher and Burdi lower, but I don’t see the international guys cracking the list since it’s a pretty strong system.

  11. goodfold2 says:
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    with HOU, do you agree with b.phillips at 6th?
    2. how high does aiken fit?
    3. do any of these make the top 10?
    fisher OF
    reed 1B
    davis 3B
    mengden RP

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      1. sure, that 6-8 range likely for Phillips
      2. Aiken won’t be eligible for the list since he didn’t sign
      3. Fisher and Reed possibly, Davis and Mengden likely aren’t

      • goodfold2 says:
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        @Mike: if he is eligible to be in our league’s draft though, where would aiken be? I’m finding out right now if we can draft aiken (it’s probably a moot point as he’d be very likely drafted ahead of my first pick)

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          Oh gotcha…hmmm, well he’d be up there with Rodon and Kolek, and they are both Top 50 guys.

          • goodfold2 says:
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            @Mike: ok, so no chance for me to get him then anyway.

            • Mike

              Mike says:
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              probably not. If your league makes him eligible I’d guess he’d go in the top thirty picks given how deep your rosters are

              • goodfold2 says:
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                @Mike: he’s not eligible till he signs, like you thought. he’ll likely be a ridiculously priced midseason break bidding war player, where some team with no chance breaks their team up and spends at least 30 mil to get him. we get the money back in the succeeding season as long as we keep our bidded player wins in active roster for ROS. It’s how i won Drury last all star break.

                • Mike

                  Mike says:
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                  Gotcha. Seems like there are always a few nice pieces in those midseason bids. I landed Ketel Marte for a few million last year. Lost out on Pompey, who went for more than I could afford.

                  • goodfold2 says:
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                    @Mike: i think pompey went for around 26 mil or more in july

                    • Mike

                      Mike says:
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                      18M in my league. I had 5M to bid with and took over the team with two days to prep for the midseason auction. It was wild!

  12. goodfold2 says:
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    after not enquiring into how i could’ve traded a 4th round pick (weak value) for holliday/panda/moss (teams that owned this guys weren’t tagging them, and thus were pretty much willing to take ANYTHING for them), i have a werth for my 3rd rounder next year? I would have to untag Legares and either franchise or restrict Werth. I need homers on this team. I would NOT franchise Werth, since i’d have to spend 21 million this year on him (not worth that). I’m guessing Legares could be won in bidding pretty damn cheaply anyway. Only worry is if Werth gets bid up too much i would have to let him go, but if it was over 10 mil i’d get a supplemental 1st rounder. I would probably be willing to spend up to 10 mil on werth. that sound about right?
    2. now that ervin signed for 13.5 mil, is it worth franchising him for that price (and making sure i have him) or gambling that he won’t be bid up that much in our league and restricting him?
    I already used a franchise tag on beltre for 18 million. I can either have 2 restricted or 1 restricted and 1 more franchise at this point. Legares would be cheap as hell, but i have a lot of steals already, but few homers.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      I’d take Werth for a year if all he costs you is a pick. I agree you might be able to reacquire Lagares.

      Santana is a tough one. Kind of like “bird in hand”. If I remember right, your team is in pretty good shape for pitching, but I would still franchise him for that price.

      • goodfold2 says:
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        @Mike: turns out here is table for which supplemental pick you get if you don’t match your restricted guy’s bid.
        over 15 mil 1st and 2nd rounder.
        12-15 mil 1st round
        9-12 2nd round
        goes down 1 more round every 3 million till 3 and under are 5th rounder. roster with werth (assuming if he gets bid above 12 mil i take the 1st rounder and let him leave)
        C -d’arnaud .4 mil
        CI- Beltre 18 mil
        CI –
        MI – segura 6.4 mil
        MI alcides 3 mil
        OF – leonys 3.1
        OF – a-jax 6.4
        OF -werth 10mil (that’s a guesstimate)
        Util –
        BN (3 guys, ,maybe 4)
        SP – ervin 13.5
        SP – Sale 6.425
        SP -Liriano 11.5
        SP – Quintana 6.4
        SP – Hale .4 mil (and since ATL is giving up this year, he has a job right now)
        SP – (or 2 more)
        RP – Melancon 6.421
        RP – Fien .4
        RP (X 4, or 5 more)
        problem here is that i would be left with only 8.05 mil left over to spend on 10 players. Miminum contracts being .4 mil, this is a lot of awful RP and 2 offensive starters. I could, of course gamble on one or both of werth/ervin costing a good amount less than 10 and 13.5 million of course, and give 1 or both restricted contracts. Bascially if Beltre sucks and my team is out of competition i should trade him for cap room. Should i just restrict these 2 and get ready to lose one of them for picks if they get expensive (if one which one)

        • goodfold2 says:
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          @goodfold2: also, i could get lucky and some of my minors guys get called up this year, they only cost .4 when they are active.

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          Sure, restricting both works too. I think Santana is the guy I would let walk for the picks.

          • goodfold2 says:
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            @Mike: will do, thanks.

            • Mike

              Mike says:
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              Anytime

  13. Alex says:
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    Mike, thanks in advance.

    I have a chance to trade for Drew Stubbs in daily fantasy for TJ House. Do the deal? Afraid he leaves Colorado.

    5×5 roto dynasty

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      This is kind of tricky. I don’t mind Stubbs, but he is better against lefties and you may end up needing a platoon partner for him for when he doesn’t start in their crowded outfield. Plus he is getting older and may start losing some speed.

      On the other hand, House is a nice sleeper arm and only 25, but no lock for a job with Salazar and Floyd in the mix.

      I’d lean House on this one.

      • Alex says:
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        @Mike: Thanks man

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          anytime

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