Admit it, you stay at the Luxor because it’s adjacent to the Mandalay Bay at a third of the price (and they have inclinators instead of elevators!).  You see a bottle of Acme Store Brand Tomato Sauce Medley and you think that’s not aftertaste, that’s a persistence of flavor!  Photoshop — bleh!  You have scissors and paste!  Cellphone?  You can yell really loud.  This, friends, is the economy of our times, so why not use some of that thriftiness towards fantasy baseball?  Sure, everyone would like to have ten first round picks and start Miguel Cabrera at their Utility spot, but it’s just not feasible.  You need some cheap alternatives.  Anyway, here’s some players that are going very early in fantasy baseball drafts and their cheap alternatives:

Adrian Gonzalez – Yes, his homers have been trending up, but he plays his home games in Petco and his average is trending down.  He also needed almost 700 plate appearances last year to accumulate 36 HRs.

Cheap Alternative:  Paul Konerko will match Gonzalez in power and be a lot closer in average than you might think.

Brian Roberts – Hey, it’s Grey’s favorite whipping boy.  In 600 ABs last year Roberts hit .296 with 9 home runs and 40 steals.

Cheap Alternative:  Kaz Matsui hit .293 with 6 home runs and 20 steals in only 375 at-bats.  If Matsui can avoid Jockular Sphincteritis, he should be fine late in a draft.

Chris Davis – What no one knew in Port Charles is Chris Davis is really Bill James’s biological son fathered out of wedlock with the au pair.  On next week’s General Hospital!

Cheap Alternative – Mark Reynolds.

Derek Jeter – Shocker, I know.  I wonder if he was butt ugly and got no poontang if he would be as overrated as he is.  Wait, let’s ask Khalil Greene.

Cheap Alternative:  Anyone.  I keed.  Mike Aviles will match Jeter’s numbers.  So if you think you need Jeter on your team, take a deep breath and grab Aviles eight rounds later.

Ichiro Suzuki – Itchy-san is projected for 7/.315/35.  Those numbers make me want Brian Roberts, at least he’s at 2nd base.  Seriously, you people are going to give me an ulcer.  Why do you want to see Grey suffer?  Why?!

Cheap Alternative: Cameron Maybin.  Sure, he may hit .260, but whatever.  Learn to cope, it’ll help you later in life.

  1. Nick says:

    Hey everyone,

    So I’m keeping a close eye on my waiver wire as the closers are slowly starting to disappear and I desperately need to stabilize that position.

    Right now I have Jenks, Devine & Hanrahan. I would like to have 4 on my roster but right now there is not one player I want to drop for a closer that might not even have that role when the season starts.

    The wire looks like this (with someone picking up Gregg yesterday)

    -Cardinals: Motte/Franklin (Motte has had a great spring training)
    -Rockies: Corpas
    -Mariners: Corcoran
    -Marlins: Nunez
    -Rays: Possible sub for Percival, he’s old
    -Brewers: Possible sub for Hoffmans position, again he’s old

    Thats basically in the order I have been watching them. I just don’t know when to make a move & what move to make. I’d like to wait till we hear who is going to be closer in Anaheim so I can drop Devine for someone but who knows when that will happen. I don’t want to drop anyone else on my roster but if I had to for another closer who would it be? & is there any other team I should be watching regarding closer position?

    1B-A Gonzalez
    3B-A Ramirez
    OF-Upton, Pence, Abreu
    BN-Ibanez, T Hunter, J Lopez

    SP-Peavy & Beckett
    RP-Jenks, Hanrahan, Devine
    P-Billingsley, Wainwright
    BN-Bedard & Slowey

  2. @Nick: Jeez your league is shallow. Who sponsors it – The Hills? Given you don’t have an MI slot and you have Utley, I’d drop Jose Lopez. Second recommendation would be Slowey since he’s your 6th SP in a league you cannot start more than 4.

  3. Frank Rizzo says:

    This post is good news…….I think, since I own Davis, Reynolds, and Maybin.

    But what peaked my interest was Kaz Matsui. My starting 2b is Jose Lopez and I have Fontenot as a backup. Believe it or not, Kaz is on our waiver wire. I hate to let go of my Cubs and have a small crush on Fontenot, but would Kaz be a better option? He gives me some categories that Jose wouldn’t.

  4. Tony says:

    @Nick: I’d just try and wait to see how things play out. If you have to drop someone i’d almost say slowey? I’d hate dropping Lopez, even tho you have utley… all the RP’s you listed are snatched up in my league, the main closers plus most backups are taken! How many team league is this? 8-10? Motte might be the best bet outta the group listed, but to be honest all of them are by committee or has an injured closer thats on the mend and almost back….

  5. Frank Rizzo says:

    In other news…….Scott Lewis has been given the #4 starter spot in Cleveland. Is he now relevant?

  6. IowaCubs

    IowaCubs says:

    Who is a better crappy endgame closer pick: Manny Corpas, Leo Nunez, Chad Cordero or Chris Ray?

  7. IowaCubs

    IowaCubs says:

    @Rudy Gamble: “Who sponsors it – The Hills?” Very nice.

  8. Doc says:

    @ Iowa — Ray has pitched well this spring and Corpas could start the season as the closer. I’d probably go Corpas, then Ray. Not sure about Nunez, looks like Lindstrom is coming back soon. Cordero just looks too weird.

  9. Baron Von Vulturewins

    Baron Von Vulturewins says:

    @IowaCubs: I’m having the same question. I really like Ray as a last-round pick and I think he ends the season with more saves than Corpas but… you gotta go Corpas here, I think, if both are available.

    Oh, Huston Street, where have you gone?

  10. IowaCubs

    IowaCubs says:

    @Doc: @Baron Von Vulturewins: Yes, these are my thoughts, too. My heart is with Ray, but my head is with Corpas. I’m in a slow draft, so if both come around to me, that’s a CLOSER WIN!

  11. Baron Von Vulturewins

    Baron Von Vulturewins says:

    @IowaCubs: Is this the same draft you asked about yesterday? What is this, draft-by-mail?

  12. Tony says:

    i SNAPPED up nunez when the lindstrom rotator cuff deal broke… looks as if lindstrom is progressing and its not as bad as it seemed? closers are a dime a dozen and by game 1 they’lll flip flop again… i’m holding on nunez til i hear word otherwise….

    Plus i stacked my offfense and bench to the point i should be able to deal for a closer, just depends on your league…

  13. Tony says:

    commenting on the actual article we’re posting under…. how much does ichiro’s value go up in a H2H league that has 10 hitting cats. It breaks down singles, doubles, trip, HR’s, SB’s, avg, runs, rbis, K’s, and BB….

    I mean its awesome he hits for high average, and gets you tons of hits, but pretty much he’s going to boost your singles totals, not much else in the hitting stats, and get you SB’s?

  14. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Frank Rizzo: Lopez can be traded and then you can pickup Kaz, if you like. I wouldn’t drop a guy that should be able to fetch something in a trade.

    @Frank Rizzo: I like Anthony Reyes better, but Lewis is worth a flier if you have room.

    @IowaCubs: Ray, Corpas, Cordero, Nunez, in that order.

    @Tony: He’s overrated and if he loses one step as he gets older, all of those infield hits become outs.

  15. Frank Rizzo says:

    @Grey: Thanks for answering Grey. I wasn’t considering dropping Jose Lopez for Kaz, since Lopez is my starter. I was considering dropping Fontenot for Kaz.

  16. Nick says:

    @Rudy Gamble: My league is 10-team H2H. & technically you can have 5 starting pitchers start but I definitely want to fill up 1 or 2 of those 3 ‘P’ slots with Closers.

    Quick question to anyone who has played H2H on Yahoo, can you change your roster daily or do you have to set it at the beginning of the week?

    I hate to drop J Lopez since he has 1B & 2B eligibility

  17. IowaCubs

    IowaCubs says:

    @Baron Von Vulturewins: It’s the slowest, most painful draft I’ve ever been a part of. It’s like papercuts to my eardrums bad.

  18. Baron Von Vulturewins

    Baron Von Vulturewins says:

    @IowaCubs: What’s the timetable? Does each team have 24 hours to choose?

    They know the season starts in like a week, right? Get a move on!

  19. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Frank Rizzo: Eh, you’re fine.

    @Nick: You decide if it’s daily or weekly changes.

  20. Tony says:

    @Nick: My yahoo H2H league is daily transactions, i really don’t like weeky deals…. you gotta pay more attention in daily leagues.

  21. sean says:

    Brandon Lyon’s grip on the closer role weakening after allowing four consecutive HRs? I guess Rodney has been just as bad recently though…

  22. Grey

    Grey says:

    @sean: Yeah, Lyon’s still the closer. But he’s obviously not the safest one out there. He could still get 30+ saves though.

  23. James says:

    I go to the Luxor for Carrot Top.

  24. Grey

    Grey says:

    @James: My man is buff.

  25. James says:

    @Grey – and his face is scary to look at, but his show was pretty solid. Apparently, he gets a lot ass, which is cool as well.

  26. Colin says:

    Grey – What are your thoughts on Anibal Sanchez in NL only leagues? I know he’s had injuries, but just 2 years ago he had a pretty good year and seems fine in spring.

  27. Grey

    Grey says:

    @James: That’s always cool.

    @Colin: Rudy likes him more than I, but it’s hard to go wrong in NL-Only leagues. They’re so deep as it is. As long as you’re not dropping anyone worthwhile, why not?

  28. Colin says:

    As I’ve mentioned before, all 8 keepers of mine are hitters, and I’m drafting Fielder and Beltran with my first 2 picks. I’ll be looking at pitchers like Sanchez as my 4th or 5th starter. I’m going to try to grab a couple Ryan Dempsters this year.

    Looking at Sanchez’ K rate…2 and 3 years ago, it wasn’t that great but last year (in 51 IP) he was 1 k from 9/9 k rate…why do you think that was? Did he have a new pitch last year?

  29. @Colin: I don’t see any major changes in his velocity or pitches. The projections have him more as a 7.5K/9 IP guy which seems to fall in between. I like him as a low risk/solid upside guy in NL-only leagues or really deep mixed leagues.

  30. Colin says:

    LoL…of course as I was writing this, Sanchez gets destroyed by the Orioles.

  31. AL KOHOLIC says:

    dont hear much about the braves rookie hanson,,starting in minors but with glavine im wandering if he`s worth stashing

  32. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Colin: I wouldn’t lend too much credence to that.

    @AL KOHOLIC: I don’t think he’s back for a while.

  33. AL KOHOLIC says:

    thanks, i need to make a few moves and didnt want to hold a needed spot on him,,what about saunders,he should start opening day at home against oak. ,keep him for a start or drop him for backups,i know you hate him and i dont project a great year but oak.??

  34. Grey

    Grey says:

    @AL KOHOLIC: Keep for Oakland and see how he does, but I don’t like him at all.

  35. Love the call on Konerko. I think AGonzo is turning into a better real baseball player, increasing his BB% and other stats ever so slightly, but it’s not really going to show in fantasy, not on that team, not in that park

    If you supplement Paul Konerko with Hank Blalock when he’s at home against righties, I think you will get better production than Gonzo.

    Gonzo could have a great year, with fangraphs valuing him at $20m, but we don’t adjust for parks in here in fantasyville.

    If he gets traded though, I’d say he’s borderline top 5 1b.

  36. AL KOHOLIC says:

    im weak at sb`s, 12 team 5×5 latin 9 league,,bourns out there but i dont see pulling another in his favor ,any sleeper guys capable of 30+ out there

  37. JPH says:

    Would you give up Purple Rain Fielder for Alexei Ramirez?I currently have Kelly Johnson at 2nd and a bench consisting of Cruz/Spilborghs.

  38. JPH says:

    @Grey: He offered Alexei Ramirex/ Francisco Rodriguez for Fielder…still hold tight?

  39. I actually want Konerko in my league, but the team that has him missed the draft and its his first year in fantasy.

    Is it fair to offer him Gregg (if he’s announced as the closer) for Konerko if he is on his bench, he has berkman at 1b, chipper at 1b/3b, ortiz at util, and laroche also on bench? His only closer is BJ Ryan

    I know you should be cutthroat for wins, but I don’t wanna rip off a first timer and give him no incentive to follow.

  40. AL KOHOLIC says:

    iyi capitan,,bourn again i shall be,,maybe sober this time,lol,im grabbing twins cassilla,he has 4 sb this spring think he gets 30??

  41. Grey

    Grey says:

    @JPH: You realize Johnson to Alexei is only a 10 HRs upgrade, right? Who’s going to be your 1st baseman? Do you need saves?

    @bpasinko: That’s fair if Gregg’s the closer.

    @AL KOHOLIC: At 2nd, he’s safer. Sure, go Casilla.

  42. JPH says:

    @Grey: He swapped Rodriguez out for Heath Bell…

  43. JPH says:

    @Grey: I have Morneau at first, Fielder was my utility and I had Cruz/Spilborghs on bench.

    I do need saves but I don’t know if I want to give up Fielder. I might as well drop Maine/Spiborghs and pick up Motte/Corpas or Corpas/Gregg

  44. AL KOHOLIC says:

    great ,dont know how you do this non stop,but im glad you do thanks again,,

  45. AL KOHOLIC says:

    one more,,catchers,,reds hernandez spring stinks,,him,laird or colorado`s baker

  46. Grey

    Grey says:

    @JPH: I think you can do better for Fielder.

    @AL KOHOLIC: R. Hernandez.

  47. AL KOHOLIC says:

    thats who i have now,,ill stick with him,REDS fan anyway,sice Kentucky has no team,we call the reds home team,years of pain but IF the pitching comes around,we will see some light

  48. Adam says:

    Who do you take at the end of a deep mixed league draft (i’m already decent in saves aka I can sit on someone even if they arent closing right away): Perez, Motte, Ray, Gregg, Ziegler, Devine

  49. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Adam: Motte, Ray, Ziegler, Gregg, Devine, in that order. And I think they should all be owned.

  50. Adam says:

    I agree. These guys are going sleeper happy at the end and ignoring guys that can help immediately.

  51. Is Motte pronounced like the apple sauce or like the river around a castle, I’ve heard both.

  52. AL KOHOLIC says:


  53. Steve says:

    @AL KOHOLIC: Amen to that.

  54. HardLuckSchleprock says:

    @bpasinko: It’s Motte, like the Hoople.

  55. HardLuckSchleprock says:

    @HardLuckSchleprock: Hey, you’re not me, you’re my alter ego…….get back in the pit.

  56. papasmurf says:

    lol @ khalil greene

  57. Josh says:

    Coco Cordero Alert Level: Red

  58. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Josh: Hmm… Maybe he is injured. Weather would be his backup. Maybe Bray, but I doubt Dusty goes to Bray.

  59. Moonlight's Grahams says:

    Paul Konerko? Are we talking about the same guy? Looks and runs like he’s 43? The guy who last year never had a batting average higher than .247 at any point in the season? He did hit 22 homers, but 9 came in September. Waiver wire wait ’till he heats up then be prepared to drop him in a week or so. I’m not sure I consider his 57 fewer RBIs a bargain.

  60. Baron Von Vulturewins

    Baron Von Vulturewins says:

    @Moonlight’s Grahams: Best case scenario: Konerko ’09 = Delgado ’08.

    Everyone was saying the same of Delgado last year — looks old, washed up, lost his batspeed. Konerko’s not that old yet and he showed in September he still has skills. Could be a nice late round addition. If he tanks, he won’t have cost you much.

  61. Kevin says:

    @Grey: I was saying that Behrans was copying you, not the other way around. You know this is the first thing all of the big bloggers read everyday.

  62. ep says:

    Great post. I agree with all of the cheap alternatives except Konerko.
    Just don’t like him anymore. Wouldn’t pick him anywhere.

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