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Ryan Braun tested positive for something.  Maybe it was a performance-enhancing drug.  Maybe it wasn’t a performance-enhancing drug just one that causes a positive test.  Maybe he just drank sixteen bottles of Red Bull and made out with a stripper who had a cold sore.  I don’t know.  No one knows, but Ryan Braun.  Some will say whatever he did is unforgivable.  Others will say they couldn’t forgive him after he came out with a line of t-shirts for Affliction.  He’s guilty until proven innocent nowadays and, frankly, I’m fine with that and don’t call me Frank Lee.  Players should know what they can ingest.  Pay me $10 million a year to play a game and I’ll make sure I’m aware of the banned substances.  Did Prince Fielder get a batch of tainted tempeh and Ryan Braun ate it before Fielder could?  Well, that seems impossible; no one eats Prince’s tempeh but Prince.  Whatever comes out, what really concerns us is what are we supposed to make of Ryan Braun for 2012 fantasy baseball? (Is that what really concerns us?  Probably not, but we’re a fantasy baseball site.)

Scenario 1:  Ryan Braun is suspended for 50 games.  The MVPED is found guilty. (Actually, he was found guilty already, but is appealing.)  So if he’s found really guilty, baseball makes him sit shiva for the first 50 days of the 2012 season.  This kills his fantasy value.  Can he return for 112 games and put up 34 homers and 15 steals?  No way, right?  Actually, that’s exactly what he did his rookie season.  Those are still first round numbers.  But you have to have a serious screw loose in your head if you draft a 50-game suspended Braun in the first round.  Or the second round.  Or third.  If suspended, he wouldn’t just be getting called up on game 51.  He’d be returning with a Scarlett PED.  That’ll play in his head for the next four months.  That beat, beat, beating of the cheating man’s heart.  If he has to sit out 50 games, I wouldn’t touch him until the 10th round of 2012 fantasy drafts.  I’d expect a line of 55/20/70/.280/12.  It’s not terrible, but I also could see not drafting him at all.  You won’t be able to DL him so you’ll be wasting a bench spot on a guy that is more or less a 3rd outfielder.

Scenario 2:  Ryan Braun beats them charges like Rocky.  As much as you might want to believe, this seems implausible.  MLB isn’t sitting in a bathroom with a discarded EPT box on the floor waiting for a test to turn blue.  Never the hoo!  If he’s cleared of the clear, then he’s a top 3 fantasy draft pick in 2012 and nothing changes except his determination to prove all you naysayers (yeah, you) wrong.  Again, this sadly doesn’t seem like much of a possibility.  I’m pouring out some Manischewitz for the brother we lost.  Or maybe that’s Manisteroidswitz.

  1. Team Bring It says:

    Hey Rudy,

    What about Braun’s status in a keeper league? Still hold in to him??

  2. Wade Ortega says:

    In a league with playoffs and a 5+ man bench he’s a bargain though. You can draft 1st rounder at discount and play him when it matters …

  3. kangaroo hops says:

    Oy vay. But he doesn’t LOOK like a steroid user!

  4. kangaroo hops says:

    and I think it’s Jewish sports legends.

  5. chatas says:

    @ Grey :

    THAT’s how you want to be remembered ?
    As the guy that’s going around putting the asterisks on pamphlets ??

    Guess that’s better than what you were caught doing to this wall .

    now , at least , we know that you’re left-handed .

  6. TheRealTaz says:

    To echo the first comment, what are your thoughts in keeper leagues? I have him, but he’s hella expensive. (Still, there’s no limits on years so I’m able to keep him forever as long as I can afford him.)

  7. Frank says:

    What about scenario 3 (also the most likely scenario) where he tests positive for a “banned substance” and is suspended for 25 games?

  8. Tony says:

    Grey may I ask why a guy thats a .315+ hitter will hit .280 over the amount of time he’s playing?

    I see him entering game #1 or #51 to be correct and hitting just like he normally would.

  9. FANTHEAD says:

    Tony, I think Grey is saying that if Braun’s playing time is reduced (i.e. if Braun IS guilty) it will also affect his head…hence the lower average and slightly lower other stats. I.e. Braun only hits .315+ in a reduced playing-time scenario if the whole ordeal doesn’t affect him mentally.

    We all probably don’t know enough about Braun’s mentality to say one way or another but if you are going to be conservative in this development than it makes sense to regard Grey’s opinion/insight as penetrating insight and I happen to concur with Grey on the matter (Grey matter?)…not that MY opinion/concurring is anything but Peanut Gallery materail….but I’m just sayin’….


  10. FANTHEAD says:

    typo: should have been:

    …if you are going to be conservative in this development than it makes sense to regard Grey’s opinion/insight as PENETRATING….

  11. OaktownSteve says:

    How pissed is Matt Kemp? Or is he saying there but for the grace of God…

  12. Randy BoBandy says:

    MVPED is classic, well done.

    Can’t trust any athlete anymore.

  13. Tony says:

    @FANTHEAD: yeah I dont see if effecting his mental state at all. He’s an athlete. He’s going to go out and HIT. It’s not an injury. Manny came back after his first suspension and went bonkers. Unless the Roids were doing the work, Braun will hit. I dont think Braun’s dropping to the 10th round. I’d say maybe 4th or 5th? Give me 112 games of Braun plus replacement over whatever else i’d probably be getting at that point. In my H2H league we have deep benches and I could deal with him sitting. In a roto league I can see how this could hamper things more.

  14. Brad says:

    @Tony: @Tony:

    That’s a good point Tony. However, we can also look at what happened to Sin Choo after his DUI or whatever it was. He was never the same after that and he at one point admitted that that incident was affecting his performance.

    I personally have no idea what to expect but I doubt I will be willing to take him as high as some, therefore it is unlikely he will be on my team this year.

  15. Brad says:

    Oh and I think it depends on what type of athlete Braun is. Manny was insulated and arrogant to the point that the PEDS didn’t seem to matter to him. For Braun, is that the case? I have no idea.

  16. Eddy says:

    Grey, I’m in a keeper league but my Braun dilemma is a little different.

    The owner already said he is not going to keep him.

    Our league is a 12-team, H2H, OBP keeper league where we can keep one player no more than three years, and each year their round inflates three rounds.

    How high do you take him then? Sure, it’d suck to have Braun on your bench for 50 games, but that’s someone you can keep in 2013 in the 8th round or something, 5th round for 2014, etc!!

    In my case, I already have Votto, CarGo, and Ellsbury as hitters. I can afford to have a mediocre OF spot.

  17. Tony says:

    @Brad: Yeah I agree it totally depends on how Braun handles it. Choo never was the player braun was. He was a meh 20/20 guy. Brauns a 30/30 stud with a possibility for more. Obviously this going to effect his overall numbers, but I think it’s going to be more of a pro-rated total and not a major slam in average etc, i could be wrong. In drafts its all going to depend on where he’s going.

  18. “I’d expect a line of 55/20/70/.280/12. It’s not terrible, but I also could see not drafting him at all. You won’t be able to DL him so you’ll be wasting a bench spot on a guy that is more or less a 3rd outfielder.”

    well, not really. you’re wasting a bench spot on a guy who isn’t anything, for now, but then once he starts playing, if he puts up that line in 2/3 of a season, he’s a first outfielder during that time. in the meantime you can troll the wire and get 1/3 season’s stats from some cody ross.

    anyway, choo is just one guy. who even knows what happened with him. who knows how braun will react. personally i’m gonna assume he’s going to keep being ryan braun until we see different.

    beltre only played 124 games last year and still hit 32 homers. do people regret drafting him? seems unlikely. sure, in that case you could DL him, but is one bench slot really a big issue when you’re talking about this caliber of hitter? good players are good players. downgrade braun some, sure, but to talk about not drafting him at all seems crazy.

  19. Grey

    Grey says:

    @kangaroo hops: Ah, think you’re right.

    @TheRealTaz: How much?

    @Frank: It’s not a scenario.

    @Tony: I don’t see him entering game 51 and hitting the same after this and losing Prince Fielder.

    @OaktownSteve: Was waiting for him to post on his Twitter — revote.

    @Randy BoBandy: Thanks!

    @Brad: Not sure, but it’s good to lean on the conservative side.

    @Eddy: Take him around round 4th or 5th.

  20. TheRealTaz says:


    We get a $100 budget; Braun would cost me $25 this year and it’s raised a dollar every year.

    But I also have Ricky Romero for $2, Dee Gordon and Corey Luebke for $1, Mike Stanton for $2, Trumbo for $1, Beltre for $4, and other potential keepers. So while Braun is expensive I can afford him.

  21. Matt Kemp went 28/19/.249 with 15 CS in 2010 after going 26/34/.297 with 8 CS in 2009. It wasn’t for lack of AB, was only partially luck-induced and many people pointed to his mental state then too. I would agree the mentality of the individual is a factor. Fielder is likely to be gone, so Braun may push too hard to make up for lost time, try to carry the team, etc.

    Regarding prep for the season, Adam Dunn never used to take swings during the off-season and still hit 40 homers. After last year’s performance though, he now says he will. I don’t think there’s ever a guarantee any player we might consider “a lock” will be ready to go, with or without prep time.

  22. Long Bawls says:

    Ironically, now that he’s appealing, he’s much less appealing.

  23. Grey

    Grey says:

    @TheRealTaz: That’s too much for one player.

    @centralohguy: Kemp’s a tough call, but I don’t think it helped his GM said in 2010 he doesn’t play hard or loafs or whatever it was he said.

    @Long Bawls: Hehe

  24. Long Bawls says:

    I guess we shoulda known it was lyin’ brawn. A Jew hasn’t sported that much muscle tone since we were fielding grounders for Pharaoh.

  25. Black Beard says:

    Anyone have any advice on how best to get a fantasy baseball dynasty league off the ground. Any suggestions appreciated, including, but not limited to, website to host, rules, number of teams, etc.

    Thanks guys!

  26. Frank says:

    @grey – i don’t understand how its not a scenario…. first time offenders of prohibited substances are hit with a 25 game suspension, not 50. Tom Haudricourt and Ken Rosenthal have both reported he tested positive for a prohibited substance, not a PED.

  27. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Black Beard: I use CBS for my keeper, have it be 12 teams mixed or 10 teams single league.

    @Frank: That’s the suspension for a stimulant. His testosterone was off the charts, which makes me think a stimulant isn’t even a possibility.

  28. Black Beard says:

    @Grey: How many keepers? Inflation rate?

  29. @Grey: Agree. Kemp’s best month in 2010 was April, where he had more HR and SB attempts than any other month. It was the end of April when Colletti made his remarks, then Kemp tailed off (other than BABIP-inflated AVG in May). To me, that supports the mental state argument, along with his existing Rihannatude.

  30. royce! says:

    Aramis to the Brewers. Any thoughts on the 1B situation in MIL? I’d like to see Gamel get a sustained look. Very small sample size, but his BABIP (.136) and LD% (27.6) show that he was unlucky at the major league level last year.

  31. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Black Beard: 5 to 10 keepers, $5/year.

    @centralohguy: Yup… I remember that cause it was big news here in LA.

    @royce!: Gonna look at it for tomorrow.

  32. Mark says:

    I understand that the Braun news was the big story of the weekend, but to me the more difficult situation that emerged this weekend was the Matt Moore extension. It all but ensures he’ll be in the opening day rotation since they’ll be paying him either way now instead of having to worry about managing his service time. I’m sure this isn’t going to be reflected properly in his ADP, so I expect the more hardcore the league the higher we can expect him to go. So what’s the earliest you’d take him?

    FWIW, my initial reaction is that I’m going to use Strasburg as a barometer, and might even be willing to take Moore slightly ahead of Stras now. Its close, but the kicker is that Moore threw 165 innings last year between the majors and minors, so while he may have some workload restriction it shouldn’t be nearly as stringent as Strasburg’s, especially if the Rays are in the playoff hunt.

    Right now Stras is the 97th player picked at MDC. Am I crazy for thinking about grabbing Moore around the same spot? Moore’s at 214 on MDC, but most of those drafts were done before the extension announcement and I imagine he’ll go way ahead of ADP in my league even after it creeps up.

  33. Taintmist says:

    I’m going to jump in with a question about keeper leagues. How do you deal with lopsided trades with teams buying/selling? As any keeper league nears the trade deadline you have teams shipping off studs for players under great contracts. Last year there was a trade Miggy Cabrera and Longoria for Andrew McCutchen (at good value for 3+ years). Of course, the teams competing for the ring were up in arms. Personally, I see a trade that benefited both ‘franchises’ and if no one could beat the offer for Miggy/Longo when why wouldn’t owner 2 take mccutchen? Any advice?

  34. Taintmist says:

    @mark: Moore actually threw around 175 innings last year. ~10IP in the playoffs. He’s close to a full workload.

  35. Mark says:


    Good point, forgot to include that.


    Why don’t you think Moore compares to Strasburg? The only difference I can really see (aside from the fact that Strasburg pitched in college instead of the low minors and is right handed) is that Strasburg had dominant command before surgery, but I don’t really see any reason to assume that just because the raw stuff is back that the command is back. Meanwhile, command was a bugaboo for Moore early in his career, but its pretty steadily improved. I wouldn’t expect a sub-2.00 BB/9 or anything, but I would be surprised if it was over 3.50. His other numbers in the minors have been video-game like, up there with the best prospects of our generation. Most guys who put up numbers like that succeed, and many almost immediately. I wouldn’t take a risk on him in a league I thought I could win by playing risk-averse, but that’s not the case in the really tough leagues. He’s someone I’m definitely willing to take a plunge on and invest some serious risk with now that its clear he’ll pitch virtually a full season. Even as a 8th or 9th rounder, yes he’s risky, but he still has pretty massive profit potential. At pick #100, he’d be something like the 25th-30th SP off the board, in the same range as Beckett, Zimmermann, Strasburg, Pineda, Cueto, and C.J. Wilson. IMO he has more upside of anyone in that group aside from Strasburg, and assuming he throws 180+ IP, could well be a Top 20 pitcher.

  36. Mark says:

    @Grey again:

    FWIW, I agreed with your post when it looked like he might get Desmond Jenningsed, but part of that was that June 1 was the earliest he was likely to get called up, and there was risk it still wouldn’t be for a month or two after that. The extension makes a huge difference. Unless there’s an extenuating circumstance (such as an extenuating elbow ligament, knock on wood), he’ll be in the rotatation to start the year now. Even if that’s only 30-40 more innings, that could be 50 extra Ks, a few extra wins, and quite a bit more weight to those ratios, plus you don’t waste a spot on your roster for a few months hoping for some news on when he’s coming up.

  37. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Mark: You’re talking about taking him where there is no potential profit. He has the upside of Beckett or CJ Wilson or others mentioned, he is not them after less than 20 MLB innings.

  38. OaktownSteve says:

    @all the Matt Moore comments:

    I think the K/9 scores are like big boobs on a chick…Is this some sort of a bust? Yes it’s very impressive…you can’t help but get a little excited when you see that stuff.

    I would say a guy with those kind of minor league numbers plus the little taste he gave the Yankees makes him pretty interesting. I think he’ll pitch more than 150 innings. I could see them stretching him to right around 200. Maybe 180.

    Grey I think you’re pretty much on point. I’d say his upside is like 80% of Lincecum 2008, which would be 17 wins and 212 Ks and that’s almost exactly CJ Wilson 2010.

    But that’s UPSIDE. My main problem with a draft that high is not ceilng. It’s risk. There’s no track record. The guy hasn’t even been on one tour around the league. Guys get a book on him. He tips his breaking ball. He gets shelled one time and he loses his nerve. You can’t be sure what’s going to happen.

    Still, in a winner take all league or a superleague format where you need some lottery picks, I’d take a look not too much later than pick 100 depending on how pitching is falling.

  39. Cole says:

    I read that league arbitrator Shyam Das is going to be hearing the Braun case. C’mon Shyam do a fellow tribe member a solid!

  40. Grey

    Grey says:

    @OaktownSteve: Yeah, exactly. That’s upside. Could happen, but I’ll take a guy that’s done it before I’m drafting on upside.

    @GopherDay: Cool

  41. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Cole: Ha! Try and find an arbitrator that is a non-tribe member.

  42. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Steve: This just sounds like posturing to save face. If you would’ve taken less money, then take less money and don’t say it after the fact.

  43. chata says:

    pedro alvarez has some competition .

  44. Bkradz says:

    I have been offered Braun and Christian Yelich or ter Skaggs in a 6×6 keep 8 format. I have mccutchen and Justin Upton I. The outfield already but we differentiate between the 3 spots. With moustakas at 3rd do I go for Braun or take a chance on Hanley.

  45. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Bkradz: Hanley… Take followups to my newest post.

  46. Bkradz says:

    Does having machado on my minors change anything or do you think Hanley is just more productive overall.

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