We’ll be here every week this offseason discussing keepers and prospects – enjoying the MLB playoffs, the fall foliage, and eventually the Polar Vortex and loss of extremities to frostbite (hard to type with nubs).  By the time next March rolls around and we emerge from our hidey-holes, we’ll be well prepared for regular season action with our keeper league teams. I’m admittedly partial to keepers. Currently the only league I’m in that isn’t a keeper is the RCL. Each of the keepers I play in has a different depth and league setting, making each one kind of unique. So while it may be a little lonely around these parts compared to the summer months, I’m really looking forward to talking shop with Razzball nation’s keeper league population.

The plan is to discuss certain players to target, help make keeper decisions between players, and maybe even dabble in some keeper rankings by position. Go ahead and post suggestions for players or topics in the comments. It will help me tailor the posts and make them as helpful as possible. With that, let’s start with some basics that you’ll need to think about if you are joining or returning to a keeper league in 2015…

How many players can be kept?

This is one of the most important factors. The number of players kept can be as few as one or as many as your entire roster. That’s kind of a wide range and it’s what makes ranking and discussing keepers a little tricky. I describe leagues that protect anywhere from 1-12 players as a “keeper” and leagues that protect the majority of their roster as a “dynasty”. Simply put, the fewer players I’m able to protect, the more proven production I’ll want from them. Give me 10 or more players to dance with, and I’m going to be more willing to gamble with my selections.

How long can you keep a player?

It doesn’t do us much good to invest in a lot of prospects and 22-year-old major leaguers not named Mike Trout if we are going to have to throw them back in two years. A lot of leagues let you keep a player for anywhere from three to five years, but there are some that allow you to keep a player for as long as you’d like. The longer the term, the more valuable those really young players can be. Five years gets most players into their primes, but it’s always a bummer to have to throw somebody back just when they start to turn it on at 26 or 27 years old. On the flip side, it’s a pretty miserable feeling to realize you’ve got three years left on a contract for a player that is clearly well past his prime.

What is the cost of keeping a player?

Most of the leagues I’ve come across have some sort of cost attached to protecting players. This is where things get really interesting because now we can start to really look at value. Whether it’s a draft pick or some sort of salary inflation, a “better” player might not necessarily be a better keeper when you consider his cost. For example, even after a terrible season riddled with injury, a $1 Wil Myers that you can keep for 5 years with $5 inflation per year could still be a better keeper than a $35 Matt Holliday at the same inflation rate. Value is where it’s at in redrafts, and that’s even more true in keeper formats.

Is there a farm or N/A system for stashing minor leaguers?

If you only keep a couple players or you have to throw players back quickly, prospects might not be worth much to you. But if your league provides some sort of farm or minor league system where prospects can be stashed without penalty, it adds another dimension. Prospects are fun to dream on, but they are rarely a safe bet. Take a look back through the last ten years of top 100 prospect lists when you’ve got nothing to do one day this offseason. Still, prospects are usually cheap to protect in keeper formats and if you hit on one it’s a lot like hitting the lottery. When rebuilding, they can be good pieces to target. When contending, they make fabulous currency. Which brings us to our last item…

Is your team a contender or are you in a full or partial rebuild?

Rebuild doesn’t necessarily mean you have to nuke your whole team. Sometimes a partial rebuild can be just as effective, where you keep a “core” of young players together but make moves around them to prepare for contention down the road. The one thing that is crucial is that you know your team’s real standing. Many times, loading up on prospects in rebuilds that don’t quite pan out while selling off major league talent just puts a team in purgatory. They get stuck in between. Plans are huge in keeper formats. If contending, don’t be squeamish about selling off prospects. If rebuilding, be ready to weather a season or two of growing pains.

At any rate, there’s a lot to discuss when it comes to keeper formats but we’ve got all offseason to do it. I’m sure there are more league setting variations than we can shake a stick at, so make sure you have a good understanding of your league before taking anybody’s keeper rankings as gospel.

  1. JPoo says:
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    If you had the option to keep 12 without cost and for an unlimited time period, which six would you nix? Arismendy, Xander, Mookie, Cespedes, Puig, Soler, Wong, Dickerson, Pederson, Goldschmidt, CarGonz, JoFer, Kluber, Stroman, Scherzer, McHugh, Keuchel, Latos.

    Especially concerned about the young second base options…

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      hmmm….I would go with Goldy…Xander, Betts, and Wong…Puig, Cespedes, Soler, Cargo, and Dickerson… Kluber, J-Fer, and Stroman

      I could see keeping Pederson over CarGo with all of his injury problems. Other than that, I think you cut the extra pitching and roll with the offense

      • JPoo says:
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        @Mike: Thanks so much, Mike! Now… what if you were an idiot like me and forgot that we keep 10 instead of 12? OY! Which two of those you mentioned would you cut? Sincerest apologies!

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          haha…no worries

          Cargo would get the axe…then I’d choose between Stroman and Dickerson for the final spot. Leaning Dickerson (hitter over pitcher IMO) but you may prefer arms

  2. Eddie the Mush says:
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    I’m in a keeper/contract league. My current contracts coming with me to next season are [email protected] $29, Posey @ $25, [email protected] $23, and [email protected] $5. I have 4 wild cards to bring with me (gained extras through trades) and have the following players and their current prices to consider…each player goes up $5 once kept.
    Options (in order of current thoughts)
    Tulo $24
    Harper $5
    Strasburg $16
    Frazier $5
    Dee Gordon $1
    Arrieta $0

    Which four would you choose? Thanks.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Frazier, Harper, Tulo, Strasburg

      Great values in Arrieta and Gordon though. I see trades in your future…

  3. Curt says:
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    I have a choice between Tanner Roark or Garret Richards, if Richards is healthy, which one would you keep?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Richards

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      anytime…

      My gut says Tanaka if he’s healthy. Alky if there is any doubt that he is not…

  4. Matt says:
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    I need some trade advice for a keeper league (HTH points) that way overvalues SP and HR. There is a penalty for Ks. Here are two trades on the table. Any opinions would be appreciated! I’ll also post on the (later this morning) post.

    #1
    Give J. Zimmerman, R. Soriano, Brittain
    Get C. Davis, Salazar, and either Putnam or Reddick

    #2
    Give A. Jones, R. Zimm, Rondon or Simon
    Get Wacha, Shields, C. Carter

    I’m leaning towards yes on both-my OF will already have stanton, marte, k. davis in 5 OF slots with Carter coming aboard. I’d love some help!

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Both C Davis and Carter hurt with the Ks obviously so I’m guessing you know that going in…

      I think in both deals you are giving up the best players in J Zimmermann and A Jones. They are fair trades, but I’d actually hold…

      I like that you’re using closers as chips though. That’s a great idea. Nice outfield too!

  5. Frank White says:
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    Sup Mike… If the A’s lose and Seattle wins then they would be tied for wild card. Who gets the spot and why??

    • Tigres says:
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      One game playoff, no? But I’ve got Sonny going today, so hoping A’s will pull thru.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      yeah, there are a bunch of game 163 scenarios for Monday…

  6. Tigres says:
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    Mike, great that you’ll be doing this! I was worried I’d have to pay attention to football… I will save the keep X vs Y qs for now and spread them out over the off season.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      awesome…I’m glad it will be helpful

  7. Lville Jim says:
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    13 team all keeper no cash values league. We have 5 n/a spots. Currently holding Gallo, Correa, Sims, and K. Stewart. Although Sims pitched better later in the season he overall regressed and Stewart dealt with a shoulder issue are they still projectable as front end starters or should I look for a possible upgrade in next seasons draft. I will have either the 7th or 8th pick next year.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Tough to project front end starters, and both are still a ways away. The shoulder thing didn’t look serious for Stewart though.

      If there was a nice hitting prospect I liked at that 7-8 slot, I might be willing to throw back one of the two arms (prefer to keep Stewart)

      • Lville Jim says:
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        @Mike: Thanks, was also leaning towards sending Sims packing if the right player showed up at my pick. As you said earlier, for the most part it’s nothing but a crap shoot.

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          anytime Jim

  8. Jay says:
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    Mike – so glad were getting a regular keeper thread now. Thanks.

    All my leagues are keepers so I’m right there with ya.

    I traded away most of early round picks to go for the title this year and it comes down to today to see how that works out.

    So I don’t pick until the 11th rd. first 5 rds are keepers. I have to choose from freeman arenado puig j upton Stanton sale and Scherzer.
    I’d like to hold onto a pitcher due to my pick situation so I don’t totally miss out on an elite option. I know pitching is deep but still.
    Now my league allows offseason trading as well. My initial thought was being as I have three top OF I could keep freeman arenado Stanton sale and one iof puig or upton. I would try to trade one in the offseason.

    That was prior to the last two weeks of the season. I’m now thinking of holding all OF and moving freeman.
    I don’t like filling my OF as quickly as that would but its hard to throw one back. I know I could get a decent return for one too. But freeman was not that impressive this year.
    10 tm 5 keeps H2H

    WWMD?

    • Jay says:
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      @Jay: no keeper cost or restriction.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Thanks Jay…

      Stanton, Arenado, Upton, Puig, and Sale would be my five.

      Should be able to get back picks by shopping Freeman and Scherzer in the offseason.

  9. Peter says:
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    15 team, 5×5 mixed. Auction ($260). Options: J. Abreu ($27), T. Frazier ($9). M. Melancon ($1), N. Feliz ($1), AJ Pollack ($2), A. Garcia ($4), P. Hughes ($1), C. Owings ($1). I can keep 3, & for only next year. Which 3 do I keep?

    Thanks

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Abreu, Frazier, and Garcia/Pollock. Since it is for next year only I might lean Pollock…

  10. gg says:
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    Hey Mike, glad to see that you’re doing a keeper thread. Thanks for the tips as always.

    In a 10 team H2H – $200 budget w/ steep luxury tax on faab (4 USD to 1 fantasy) if over cap…

    Can keep 10 (salaries increase 10% per year). Salaries below are for next season. Here’s who I would probably keep.

    1b – Goldschmidt – $29
    2b – Dozier – $4
    3b – Frazier – $3
    SS – Baez – $13
    OF – Stanton – $35
    OF – Rusney – $18
    OF – Brantley – $3
    OF – Soler – $3
    DH – Chris Davis – $6
    SP – Ross – $3

    keeping the 10 above would cost 117/200 and I’d only need to pickup a cheap catcher, 4SP and 3 RP, + bench.

    I also have:
    Votto – $3
    Gardner – $3
    Avisail – $3
    Myers – $3
    Pedroia – $6
    Rios – $4

    Am kind of on the bubble w/ Baez but not thinking I’ll do much better in the draft, the best options will be kept, and the scarcity of the position will drive up prices.

    Also not 100% on Rusney at $18, but after the way he’s shown last week he’s too hot to put down, I think.

    as for arms, also have
    Homer – $3
    Wood – $3
    Smyly – $3

    …but having a hard enough time keeping Ross over some of those bats, so couldn’t imagine keeping another upside arm. Maybe Wood.

    Would you hold the 10 I’ve mentioned above or would you swap in/out any of the others?

    Thanks!!

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Thanks GG (nice avatar by the way)

      Those keepers look good, and I agree about Baez. The luxury tax is an interesting quirk.
      Ross at $3 makes the most sense to keep of the arms.

      My only thought would be to consider keeping the $3 Myers over the $18 Castillo. Not sure how aggressive your league is, but that price tag doesn’t feel like as good a value as Myers, and the $15 you save could give you more draft options at pitcher. Can’t go wrong with either player, though.

  11. Wilson says:
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    Hi Mike, about keeper, 3 keepers / forever keeper / no extra cost

    Keeper candidates ?Kershaw , Abreu , Stanton , Rizzo , J Upton , Donaldson
    Pick 3 , thanks,

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Stanton, Kershaw, Abreu

      I wouldn’t argue with Rizzo over Abreu though since he’s a couple years younger and it’s keep forever…

      • Wilson says:
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        @Mike: Yup … It’s hard to choose between Abreu and Rizzo … And it seems Rizzo has much down side so Abreu could be a safer option…

        • Montezuma's Revenge... right now says:
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          @Wilson: i would think abreu is the one with downside, more than rizzo. abreu is the one who had the bad 2nd half, and never had to play against good pitching until this year.

  12. studPL says:
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    Hi,

    How do you rank those pitchers for next season?
    McHugh, Ryu, Cashner.

    Thank You

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Cashner, Ryu, McHugh

  13. Bill says:
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    In a 5 player keeper league (10 teams) where there is no cost, penalty or limit on your keepers. I typically don’t keep pitchers, but think I may need to keep two this year. Who are my best 5 to keep?
    Strasburg
    Kluber
    Trout
    Harper
    Betts
    Longoria
    Baez
    Hosmer
    Heyward
    Wong
    Bogaerts
    Machado
    Gordon

    I’m leaning toward the first 5 listed. Betts will have 2B and OF eligibility in my league. Tough to throw Longoria back though. Through trades I will have picks 9,10, 12, and 15.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Trout, Harper, Machado, Bogaerts, Kluber would be my five with no limits.

      That’s a nice team Bill.

      • Mike

        Mike says:
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        Actually, I’d take Strasburg over Kluber since he’s got two years on him. Tough to choose between those two arms!

  14. Cafuné

    Maxi says:
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    12 team, H2H, daily league, SLG and OBP, no AVG with 5 keepers. I’m about to lose the fantasy championship by a category unless Sonny Gray throws a CG 10K gem.

    I believe this upcoming season will be our last year with these keepers, and our last year doing a snake draft before moving to an auction draft (PUMPED!). Most of our managers live out of the country, so that’s been the hardest part about getting a live auction.

    For my keepers, it’s a bunch of OFs, and we only start 3OF + 2 UTIL:

    Abreu (4) – people said I drafted him too high this year, but I ain’t complaining
    Lucroy (7)
    Céspedes (8)
    Avisail (19)
    Corey Dickerson (25)
    Wong (25)
    Soler (25)

    I’m generally against keeping pitchers, especially with so few keepers but I got some worth thinking about:

    Strasburg (7)
    Gray (20)
    deGrom (25)

    obviously these decisions will be made easier come spring training, just would like some preliminary input. Thanks and have a nice offseason!

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Thanks Maxi and good luck today! I’m guessing the number in parentheses is the round kept…

      since you only have 1 year left with these guys you kind of have to go for it and not worry about the real young guys…

      Abreu, Cespedes, Dickerson, Wong and Strasburg seems like a good five to work with. You’ve got extra pieces to play with so I’d definitely explre some trades too

      • Cafuné

        Maxi says:
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        @Mike: yeah, those are the rounds they will be kept in. do you like wong over avisail? I’m stuck between the two of them…gonna look into trades this offseason for sure

        also, Jose Abreu’s not playing today, was hoping for some Sunday magic.

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          Bummer about Abreu…

          I like Avisail a lot as well and wouldn’t argue if you wanted to keep him over Wong. I was looking at position with everything else being equal…

          • Cafuné

            Maxi says:
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            @Mike: sonny gave me that CG!!! but I still lost on Ks by 4 and HRs by 1

            placed 2nd in two leagues and I’m looking forward to joining an RCL next year

            now it’s time to enjoy some playoff baseball and pray that lester takes down “big game” james…any idea why he’s called that? can’t be that important…

            • Mike

              Mike says:
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              nice job! RCLs are awesome

  15. Brown L says:
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    Hey Mike, thanks for all the great content this season!

    I’m at the end of a big flameout year in my keeper league (keep 7, no time limit of penalty) and I grabbed a bunch of young players at the end of the year. Any ideas as to who’s worth keeping?

    No brainer keepers (4): Adam Jones, Corey Kluber, Josh Donaldson, Jose Bautista

    Injured former studs: Carlos Gonzalez, Prince Fielder

    The pile: Alex Cobb, George Springer, Avisail Garcia, Javier Baez, Danny Santana, Kenny Vargas, Wil Myers, Kolten Wong, Jake Arrieta

    Any thoughts? Thanks again!

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      no problem, Brown…thanks for reading!

      you’ve definitely got some good players to choose from…

      I’d go with Springer and Myers in the outfield, then Baez up the middle. You can package some of those young pieces together to get some more studs

  16. Peter Nincompoop says:
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    Long time no comment, but I’m slowly starting to reemerge from the terrible season that was 2014. Riddled by injuries and in last place for 2/3 of the season, I started selling off my healthy veterans to contending teams in a complete rebuild for the future. Ended up with the best record over the last six weeks and winning the consolation bracket, and the #1 pick in next years draft. Anythehoo, I’m in a 10-team, H2H, 6×6 scoring league where you get to keep 6 players with the competitive balance restriction that you MUST keep at least two hitters and two pitchers.

    Although I don’t like keeping three OF’s, right now I have three no-brainer keepers of Stanton, McCutchen and Harper. I have one more hitting keeper position to fill and having a difficult time deciding between Machado and Arenado. Decisions don’t need to be made till January, so I can always wait and see how Machado’s knee injury plays out, but there’s interest in both and I’d like to move one instead of just losing him to the draft pool. Which direction would you go?

    On the pitching side of the equation, I have Chris Sale as one of my pitching keepers and then the fight for the other spot is extremely difficult. I could always package Machado/Arenado and a pick(s) and try to get a top-flight arm like Strasburg or Felix (already been approached on that type of a deal), but as it stands right now here are the five guys I need to select one from: Wacha, Wood, Latos, Gonzalez and Miller. Leaning towards the combo of Sale & Wacha, but interested to here your advice.

    Thanks for what you do, in addition to starting up a keeper-league thread for all of us with nothing to do anymore with the fantasy baseball season over.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Thanks Peter…I had a similar tough decision between those two guys and I went with Arenado since his price was a little cheaper and the Coors factor. I think it’s really a coin flip between the two, with Manny being a little younger. I’d say see which one of the two brings back more in a trade and just keep the other. Love both players…

      I’d go after a top arm like Stras or Felix with your extra pieces if that’s on the table…

      The other arms are solid but I’d rather have another ace

      • Peter Nincompoop says:
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        @Mike: Thanks Mike. Appreciate your feedback as always.

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          anytime

          • Montezuma's Revenge... right now says:
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            @Mike: you forgot to include the very real worry about machado’s injuries, i would think that alone would move arenado over him.

            • Mike

              Mike says:
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              that’s a concern for sure. He’s young enough to bounce back, but it could be the difference

  17. BSW says:
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    Do one game playoffs count in espn leagues? I feel like they used to but don’t anymore.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      I think they do. I remember stocking up on players one year for the game 163…not sure if they’ve changed it since then. Guessing they would throw up one of those banners on the league home pages…

  18. manormachine? says:
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    Dynasty league questions:

    Here are the players I’m on the fence about cutting ($260 budget)

    Wily Peralta $3
    CJ Wilson $9

    Cut one of:

    Josh Hamilton, Khris Davis, Marcel Ozuna (all $1)

    Kolten Wong $3 or Neil Walker $1

    Also, I can keep Hunter Pence for one more year at $2 or extend him for two years at +10 or three more years at +15.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Prefer Peralta to Wilson at that price in a dynasty

      I’d cut Hamilton and Walker of those two groups

      Pence for one year at $2 seems like the best play unless you would have the option to still cut him if you went with the +10 contract

  19. SwaggerJackers says:
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    Keeper leagues are awesome. Here are some players I’d like to see featured on during the offseason:

    Baez
    Dickerson
    Rusney
    Myers
    Polanco
    Betts
    Wong
    Duda
    JD Mart
    Arrieta
    Pineda
    Stroman

    Here is my obligatory keeper question:

    OBP instead of AVG, QS instead of W

    Keepers increase in price by $3 each year. Please pick 5:

    Rizzo ($23)
    Altuve ($21)
    Abreu ($14)
    Carlos Gomez ($14)
    Bautista ($13)
    C-Dick ($4)
    Arrieta ($4)
    Stroman ($4)
    Mesoraco ($4)

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      nice…interesting names there

      I’d go with Rizzo, Abreu, Altuve, Gomez, and Bautista

      • SwaggerJackers says:
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        @Mike: Interesting. I’m a little surprised you’re in favor of the two guys over $20. They’ve both solid but don’t represent a ton of value.

        Then again, I could be undervaluing them.

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          I don’t think you’re undervaluing them, I just prefer to go with the five best players with only five keepers…and their prices aren’t crazy assuming its a a standard 260 budget, so I didn’t even blink at their prices…

  20. Kerry Klug

    Kerry K says:
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    I’m looking to keep 3 of these 4. Which 3 would you keep in their round?

    Abreu (10th round)
    B. Hamilton (13th round)
    Puig (15th round)
    R. Castillo (20th round)

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Abreu, Puig, Hamilton

      • Kerry Klug

        Kerry K says:
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        @Mike: Thanks for your advice! What if I could trade B. Hamilton for a 6th round pick from someone else? Would Castillo be worth it?

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          anytime…no knock on Castillo, but I’d still want Hamilton

  21. Logan says:
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    Keep 10… No restrictions
    My 10: x. Bogaerts, Machado, votto , segura, w. Myers, g. Polanco, Braun , cespedes, hosmer, carlos correa…. Other options: pujols, josh Hamilton, Matt Adams, joe Mauer, Brandon belt, d . Jennings, z. Greinke, s. Gray, m . Wacha, tanaka, j. Shields

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      I think you’ve got the right ten.

      Might consider an arm like Gray or Tanaka over one of the older pieces like Votto/Braun, or at the very least consider packaging them in trade to upgrade. They aren’t bad players, just on the wrong side of 30 now…something to consider

  22. manormachine? says:
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    Couple of questions about my dynasty league:

    Keep Wily Peralta at $3? Or is he not a top 100 pitcher?

    Keep Hunter Pence for one more year at $2 or extend him for 2 more years at $12 or three more years at $17?

    Which player to cut? Josh Hamilton, Ozuna, or Khris Davis?

    Neil Walker for $1 or Kolten Wong for $3

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      hmmm…I think I got you above in the previous comment…

      Peralta, Pence for one more year, cut Hamilton, I’d keep Wong in dynasty but it’s a coin flip

  23. manormachine? says:
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    Sorry my computer froze and I didn’t think my comment went through. If I cut an extended player early, then I’m still on the hook for half his salary, so maybe no extension for Pence.

    Thanks for the input, don’t have to make these decisions for months, but what else am I going to think about all winter?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      yup no worries…

      Makes sense on Pence…

      ha! exactly

      • manormachine? says:
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        @Mike:

        Is it Pence’s age? He’s not flashy but I always think of him as a mini Goldschmidt: someone who plays every day, is consistently good, and who will always find a way to fill the stat line even when he has an off day.

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          yeah, the age is the only thing that would make me hesitate to lock him up longer than year to year. Plus at least a part of his value is in his legs and that can fall off a cliff quickly

  24. Eddie says:
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    I’ve got a tough situation. I have SO many options for keepers but can only keep 2 (might change to 3).

    Obviously I’m keeping Abreu (8th round.

    Other options are:

    Rendon (22nd round)
    Adam Jones (3rd round)
    Rizzo (9th round)
    Blackmon (21st round)

    What do you think?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Rendon is the best value, but I think Jones is the best player. If you only keep two, I would keep Abreu and Jones. Keep three and I think you go with Abreu Jones and Rizzo.

      • Eddie says:
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        @Mike: I agree with your suggestion. However, keeping Rizzo would just lock-up that UTIL spot for me. IDK I feel like I couldn’t really go wrong either way.

        Having The Grande Dolor is enough! haha

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          makes sense. In that case I think Abreu, Jones, and Rendon is a nice haul too

  25. J-FOH says:
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    One of my favorite pieces you did this year. I’ve had long discussions with my friend about what is the right way to do a keeper league. Just an opinion, you should do another one of these in February when people are setting them up?

    What is the best provider to play keeper leagues in? I know in Yahoo, you can’t make off season moves so you have to trade your keeper in season so you don’t lose them in your final year. Or that is my understanding.

    I think coverage of the different providers could be helpful for readers to find the best place to host.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
      (link)

      Thanks J-FOH! I’ll keep that in mind for February…

      Two of my leagues use Fantrax and it’s is fantastic. The draft software was still in beta this past spring but it should only get better. They have literally every player majors and minors, even guys like Rusney were in there long before the other platforms this year. To me, having the players available for pickup is huge. There is one dynasty that I just joined that is really deep and they use Fantrax now for the same reason.

      Really frustrated with CBS this year, who still hasn’t added guys like Manuel Margot and Rafael Devers to their database (decent prospects for Boston that could easily be added in dynasties).

      I like the idea of doing a post on the providers. I have never used Yahoo though.

      • J-FOH says:
        (link)

        @Mike: sounds like a cool site to use. we should do some cross promotion with fantrax.

        I’ll remind you in the off season

        • Mike

          Mike says:
          (link)

          cool beans

          • J-FOH says:
            (link)

            @Mike: “cool beans” how dated are we today because that was really boss

            • Mike

              Mike says:
              (link)

              ha! Now you’ll have to excuse me…ALF is on and he’s about to try to eat another cat

              • J-FOH says:
                (link)

                @Mike: I love Jews from space. Mel Brooks hit a home run with that concept

                • Mike

                  Mike says:
                  (link)

                  No doubt. Love Brooks!

                  • J-FOH says:
                    (link)

                    @Mike: did you catch my History of the World Part 1 gif last week?

                    • Mike

                      Mike says:
                      (link)

                      Yup, loved it!

                  • J-FOH says:
                    (link)

                    @Mike: that’s what my aim was, make the other writers laugh. Now I have to figure what to do with myself now that the season is over. Are you taking a break or starting off season now?

                    • Mike

                      Mike says:
                      (link)

                      Heading right into prospects and keepers for the offseason

                  • J-FOH says:
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                    @Mike: I have really dropped off in prospect knowledge these days. When there was less hype and I had to look on my own I had a better grasp, but now that there is 50 flavors of prospect coverage I have to be weary of what I read.

                    • Mike

                      Mike says:
                      (link)

                      yup, tons of info out there

      • goodfold2 says:
        (link)

        @Mike: my 30 man dynasty is in fantrax, it’s only site i’ve ever seen even close to how good it is for this.

        • Mike

          Mike says:
          (link)

          nice…yup, hands down best for deep dynasties like that

  26. Lemmingness says:
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    Points league, keep X number of players (up to 5) and give up first X draft picks.

    Am I crazy to consider keeping Lucroy over Adam Jones? Standard ESPN points scoring, Jones was the 14th best OF by overall points and 26th best OF by points per game. On the other hand, Lucroy (along with Posey and C.Santana) was far above the rest of the catchers in points scored.

    My other four keepers are Darvish, Scherzer, Abreu, and Brantley (The plan is to try to flip at least one of Scherzer/Darvish for hitting)

    • Lemmingness says:
      (link)

      @Lemmingness: I guess it’s that I’m thinking it’s easier to find value at OF than it is to find value at C.

      • @Lemmingness: you gotta keep Jones here, right? Jones is a first rounder and plays everyday. LuCroy is great but is really more of a fourth round guy. I would keep Jones.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
      (link)

      unless it’s a 2-catcher league or a league that is deep, I think you keep Jones over Lucroy

      • goodfold2 says:
        (link)

        @Mike: since at least some, if not all of these type things:
        1. Jones is better player
        2. catchers play less games and are more likely to get hurt
        3. All Razzball rankings will have Jones higher

        • Mike

          Mike says:
          (link)

          yup,hard to justify keeping Lucroy over Jones…would have to be a format that really puts catching at a premium

  27. Khen says:
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    8 Player Keeper League, no restrictions on anything:
    Gomez
    Brantley
    Braun
    Frazier
    D. Gordon
    A. Gonzalez
    V. Martinez
    X. Boegarts
    M. Betts
    J. Fernandez
    M. Bumgarner
    A. Cobb
    Z. Wheeler
    Y. Ventura

    Having to pick 8 out of this group right now I would be leaning to Gomez, Brantley, Frazier, Fernandez, Bumgarner, Braun, A. Gonzalez, D. Gordon. Any changes to that in your opinion?

    • Alan says:
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      @Khen: Gotta go Xander or Betts over Braun. Dude is 20 hr, 10 SB 280 hitter. Those dudes could do it too and one is SS elig and one could become 2B elig. Nice list though.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
      (link)

      agree with Alan. I’d keep Bogey over Braun. Nice team

  28. Alan says:
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    Good stuff Mike. Am I crazy to keep Arrieta as my fifth keeper over guys like Chris Davis, Ortiz, Lester, Jose Fernandez, Kyle Seager? Already have cano, polanco (free doesnt count), freeman, dickerson and justin upton.

    7×7 yahoo roster (1o batters, 2SP, 2RP, 3P, daily moves) K/9 instead of Ks. OBP/SLG/Holds/QS.

    Arrieta’s K/BB and is elite and FIP is 2.26, pretty much better than Scherzer. 27%plus K percentage.

    Thanks!

    • Mike

      Mike says:
      (link)

      thanks Alan

      I think Arrieta is legit, but I’d still take Seager or Jo-Fer over him…

      • MB says:
        (link)

        @Mike: Thank you

        • Mike

          Mike says:
          (link)

          no problem

  29. Brian says:
    (link)

    Thanks for all that you do on this site! Very helpful this season (finished 2nd for the 3rd time in the last 5 years).

    It’s early, but I’m thinking ahead. We can keep up to 9, but no minimum. No limit on how many times you can keep someone.
    Weekly H2H points league, pitching heavy (2 start pitchers are the key, so most teams load up their bench with SP’s). no K penalty, high BB and HR guys are key, SB’s are a nice bonus, but steal only guys don’t get played.

    no brainers:

    Kershaw
    Rizzo
    Bautista
    Desmond

    than I have some decisions to make:
    Braun has been on my team since I got him on waivers, but I think it’s time to let him go.
    Instead I can choose from:
    Soler
    Myers
    JD Martinez (is he for real, is the question…)

    Carpenter? (He’s probably more likely to be the 2014 version than the 2013 version going foward, which means no keep)

    Then I want at least one more stud to pair with Kershaw:
    Cole is a definite
    Stroman
    Cobb
    Fister

    I should probably keep 6 bats and 3 arms, or maybe 5 and 4
    right now I’m leaning:
    Kershaw
    Bautista
    Rizzo
    Desmond
    Soler
    Cole
    Stroman
    Cobb
    Myers or Martinez

    • Brian says:
      (link)

      @Brian: Oh yeah, I also have DeGrom. he came out of nowhere, so I’m questioning if he can do it again, but his #’s look great.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
      (link)

      thanks Brian…glad it was helpful!

      you mentioned pitching heavy, so I can see why you’re willing to go with a few more arms

      I think I’d go with…

      Bautista
      Rizzo
      Desmond
      Soler
      Myers

      Kershaw
      Cole
      Stroman
      DeGrom

      I think since there is no limit to the keeper term, you should go with the younger arms with all else equal

      • Mike

        Mike says:
        (link)

        …although Cobb and deGrom are the same age, which I was kind of surprised by…

        Cobb and deGrom are a coin flip. Might still lean deGrom because of the NL

        • Brian says:
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          @Mike:
          Thanks. Cobb/DeGrom might be a toss up. They are about the same age, but Cobb has more of a track record. After a slow start/injury, he pitched great in the second half (until the last game, which hurt my chances…). DeGrom didn’t even pitch well in the minors, and came out of nowhere, so I feel like he’s a bit riskier. I could see that being his best season. Though Cobb hasn’t played a full season yet, and definitely has an injury risk. tough call.

          So you still like Myers? He was soooooo bad this year, but it could quite possibly be a soph slump. Look at how Rizzo bounced back this year, and I’m glad I stuck with him after how bad he was last year. He could be even better in the near future surrounded by Bryant and Soler (hoping they go 3 – 4 – 5 with them).

          thanks!

          • Mike

            Mike says:
            (link)

            yup, I’m still a believer in Myers. I think you take the goose egg this season and hit the restart button with him in 2015

            from a Rays MLB blog…
            “If there is a bright side to Myers’ injury, it is the fact that the time off has allowed his left hand to heal. Myers injured the hand while sliding in the sixth game of the season and never quite felt right, which could be seen as being a factor in the numbers he had accrued — a .227/.313/.354 slash line, five homers, 25 RBIs — by the time he went on the disabled list (with the right wrist fracture).”

            Basically, he was kind of injured before he was injured (from game 6 on) so I want to see what he does with two healthy hands and wrists before I chalk him up as a bust. Could still be that 25 HR, 90 RBI guy we thought he was…

  30. Swfcdan says:
    (link)

    Love the idea Mike, very worthwhile addition! Im a big keeper league fan (it’s all I play in nowadays).

    Keeper rankings really will be a tough, but fun challenge. But worth a try! I guess it’ll simply be based on age, current production, potential, and positional value. Then we can make up our own minds depending on our league specific stuff (cost, no of keepers etc).

    Will throw a quick one your way. Have a lot of good potential keepers on one team but only a max of 8 each year, but I have a few burdens already contracted (shows the risk of long term deals!):

    Kipnis signed through ’15 for $12
    Crush signed through ’16 for $12

    Not so much the price but the keeper spot they are taking up is the problem. Sure both could bounce back but im not sold on either totally doing so. Im going to try and shop both this offseason but who would you rather deal? Do you think either will bounceback big time?

    • Swfcdan says:
      (link)

      @Swfcdan: Oh yeah and its an OBP (over AVG) league so makes Davis more palatable (dunno what people in AVG leagues did with him this year….).

    • Mike

      Mike says:
      (link)

      Thanks Dan…

      I’d take Davis and shop Kipnis. Not sure if one is necessarily more likely to bounce back, but the power is at a premium and Davis is almost a 30 HR guy with his eyes closed…

      • Swfcdan says:
        (link)

        @Mike: Thanks, yeah Kip really fell of a cliff this year, dunno what the hell happened to him as he never hit the DL. Very strange for someone with proven years and still in his prime, find it hard to decide if it was an off year or is he just not that good.

        One more as im greedy, Matt “Fatt” Adams. Was giggling like a schoolgirl at having him on my farm last offseason but then he was, well….meh all year. Now I have to decide what to do with him, similar to the other guys do you think he can rebound to 25 bombs, (maybe the sophmore slump returning!), or would you try and deal him away for whatever you can get?

        • Mike

          Mike says:
          (link)

          I think there is something to the injury question about Kipnis

          I wouldn’t sell super low on Adams, but I’d explore offers, yes. Kind of like Davis, power is a premium so those 25 bombs are useful still

  31. Fabio says:
    (link)

    20 teams dynasty in its 1st season, 50 players, unlimited keepers. at which spot do you start drafting Buxton, Bryant, Correa and the likes?
    thanks

    • Mike

      Mike says:
      (link)

      I started playing in a 20-team dynasty with other writers this past season. We had our first draft (keep 35 of 40-man rosters forever) coming into 2014 and this is where those guys went as a reference…

      Taveras and Buxton went in the 2nd round
      Baez in the 3rd
      Bryant in the 4th (imagine he would go much higher after the monster season)
      Correa went in the 4th too

      Honestly, your draft will probably take shape as it goes on, and once one prospect gets scooped, others will Domino (at least that’s what happened in our league). I chose not to take prospects too early and still ended up with guys like David Dahl, JP Crawford, and Archie Bradley. By waiting a little longer on prospects, I was able to get guys like Castro, Rendon, Heyward and Arenado (guys who were still young but in MLB)

      • Fabio says:
        (link)

        @Mike: thanks Mike, I didn’t think they could go THIS high

        • Mike

          Mike says:
          (link)

          anytime..yeah we were surprised too during the draft

  32. RazzbALL or nothing says:
    (link)

    Love this keeper thread! Two questions…

    1. Does Chris Owings have a shot at being a top 14 SS next year?
    2. What do you think about Mike Olt – will he ever hit for a decent enough average to be mixed-league relevant in a 14 team league (no CI spot) in the next 2-3 years?

    I have farm rights to both of these guys, so I can use my last two draft picks on them for the next 3 years. I’m thinking yes on Owings and no on Olt. Wanted to hear your thoughts. Thanks, Mike.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
      (link)

      thanks!

      1. yes, he’s got a shot. nice mix of power and speed with Owings…
      2. I’d agree with you on Olt. He needs the opportunity for regular at bats and I’m not sure he’s much different than a lot of all-or-nothing guys you can get in free agency in a mixed league. That said, some guys can really make big adjustments and figure things out as they develop (JD Martinez)

  33. Jay_0321 says:
    (link)

    Hey Mike,

    Great thread and glad to chime in. Not sure if you know or not, but I am an Area Scout and Dir. of Player Develoment fo the KC Royals. Too bad my amateur scouting ability doesnt do jack for my fantasy prowess! Ha!

    I have been in a league for 10 years with old college buddies and we have a pretty unique setup.

    Players can only be kept if drafted after 5th rd.

    We keep 10 total players. Of which, 3 players can be kept as franchise players. A player becomes a franchise player once he has been kept for 3 years. He either needs to be kept on the third year, traded or sent back.

    We use a color system:
    Blue- players with rookie eliibility for the following season. This is obviously a one year holding pattern.
    No color – any player who has never been kept.
    Green – a player who has been kept one year.
    Orange – a player who has been kept two years.
    Red – a player who has been kept the maximum three years. There are three designated spots. This player is either franchised, traded or thrown back.

    This season wasnt the best for me as I finished 8th. I made the playoffs, but was beat 6-4 in the first round.

    My roster going into the season.
    Blue:
    Gray
    Gyorko (traded Rizzo for Gyorko….UGH!)

    No color:
    Segura

    Green:
    E5

    Orange:
    Adam Jones
    Strasburg
    Chapman (elected to keep him over Donaldson….second DOH!)

    Red:
    Cutch
    Pedroia
    Tulo

    I tried to mortgage the farm to win in the playoffs, but it bit me in the ass anyway.

    I traded Adam Jones, Jon Lester and Strasburg for Stanton and Lucroy and some other role players.

    Going into next season I need some advice.

    My final roster:
    Mesoraco – drafted – never been kept
    Lucroy – acquired in trade – never been kept
    E5 – will be Orange
    Gyorko – eligible to be kept for 3 years
    Tulo – franchised player
    Danny Santana – going to keep as Blue
    Frazier – drafted – never been kept
    Flores – Blue eligible
    Brantley – drafted – never been kept
    Pollock
    Cutch – franchised
    Arcia
    Pearce
    Rosario – drafted – cannot be kept
    Plouffe
    Teixeira
    Napoli
    Khrush
    Arrieta – drafted – never been kept
    Buehrle
    Eovaldi
    Gee
    Rodney
    Chapman
    Melancon
    Janssen
    Petricka
    Jordan Zimmermann – drafted – cannot keep
    Gray – Blue – eligible to be kept 3 years
    Fiers
    Smyly – drafted – never been kept.

    The dilemma is that I can only keep a total of 10.

    So far for next season its:
    Blue:
    Santana
    Flores

    No color:
    Mes/Lucroy
    Brantley
    Frazier
    Gray/Arrieta/Smyly

    Orange:
    E5

    Red:
    Cutch
    Stanton
    Tulo

    Who should I roll with?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
      (link)

      didn’t know that…very cool! I just picked up a copy of Art Stewart’s new book and looking forward to reading it…

      interesting league…hopefully I’m reading it correctly, but I think I’d go with –

      Cutch, Stanton, Tulo, E5, Brantley, Frazier, Santana, Gyorko, Arrieta, and either Pollock or Davis in the last slot.

      If it’s a 2-catcher league, I’d keep Lucroy over the last two outfielders mentioned…

      • Jay_0321 says:
        (link)

        @Mike: 10 teamer, 5×5 w/OBP. You dont like Gray, Smyly, Mes, Lucroy or Flores? Its a single catcher league.

        • Mike

          Mike says:
          (link)

          Is it Sonny? I’d take Sonny instead of Arrieta. I got confused thinking it was Jonathan Gray with the blue rookie thing…

          Lucroy’s great…I just don’t usually keep catchers in 1-catcher leagues…same applies to Mes

          Flores is a good young player, but I like Gyorko and Santana better for MI

  34. is it 2015 yet? says:
    (link)

    Keep 5 in a 12 team roto 7×7 (obp, slugg, innings, losses) league with no cost or restrictions. Besides 5 of the below I’ll also have Oscar Taveras and Marcus Stroman promoted off my MiLB farm. We start a CI, no extra MI, 4 OF and 2 DH so premium on CI and OF.

    Miggy Cabrera*
    Andrew McCutcheon*
    Michael Brantley*
    Carlos Gonzalez
    Todd Frazier
    Adam Wainwright
    Madison Bumgarner
    Jake Arrieta
    Jacob deGrom

    Thanks razzball, 2 championships in a row!

    • Mike

      Mike says:
      (link)

      Congrats!

      Miggy, Cutch, Frazier, Brantley, and Cargo

      • is it 2015 yet? says:
        (link)

        @Mike:

        lol. Saw that coming. guess we’ll see what happens with carGo. A bit tired of him working against owners instead of for them. Thanks again.

        • Mike

          Mike says:
          (link)

          ha, no problem. I’d throw Bumgarner in his place then.

  35. das coffee frau says:
    (link)

    hey mike,
    Can keep 6.
    Keepers are by rounds and can be kept as long as you wish (increased by 3 rounds each year kept). Multiple players can be kept in the same round they just bump down 1 round (i.e. if you have 2 keepers in round 1, ones in round 1 other one gets bumped to 2, etc.)

    that said, stanton (1), goldy (1 or 2 if keeping stanton), miggy (1 or 3 if keeping both stanton, goldy), machado (21), donaldson (24), polanco (22), altuve (8), brantley (18), arrietta (27), avisail (27)

    Thanks for doing this!

    • Mike

      Mike says:
      (link)

      anytime…great keepers

      I’d go Stanton, Goldy, Miggy, Brantley, Donaldson, Altuve

      Originally I had Machado in there instead of Brantley cause love the value in Machado, but that would give you four corners and only one outfielder and there is great value in Donaldson as well at 24

      • das coffee frau says:
        (link)

        @Mike: thanks – yeah thats how i was leaning too. We play with 2 Utils and I hate to give up machado, but with the injury and such, i was leaning that way.

        in a followup, would you trade donaldson for the first pick of our draft (that would mean I could keep 7 in essence).

        Meaning – would you keep the 6 you outlined (since donaldson is pretty much a slam dunk at 24th round) or move him and keep machado and Polanco in addition to the other 5 (sans donaldson)

        • Mike

          Mike says:
          (link)

          that’s interesting..I could definitely see trading Donaldson and keeping Machado…

  36. Corey says:
    (link)

    Keeper/auction H2H league. 10 teams. Keep 5. 21 man roster.

    I’m thinking:
    Goldschmidt $21
    Baez $1
    Arenado $1
    Stanton $47
    Lester $12

    Other options:
    Altuve $7
    Springer $12 (I’d have to trade Lester for him)

    • Mike

      Mike says:
      (link)

      I’d keep Altuve over Lester if it was me, but agree with all the rest…nice keepers

      • Corey says:
        (link)

        @Mike: thanks. Would you keep Altuve over Springer? I figure if I save money on HRs by getting springer, I can use those savings to get Altuve (or another AVG/SB 2B or SS – with baez taking the other one) albeit for something more like $25. I don’t think I could get a player with springer’s power for $25.

        • Mike

          Mike says:
          (link)

          no problem…you know what guys go for in your league better than I do. If Springer is a better value than Altuve then that’s a fine keeper as well…I’m just not big on keeping the arm with only 5 protected

  37. FMFBL says:
    (link)

    This is a great thread for those of us continuing the obsession. Our league we can keep 4 and you sacrifice the round (in 2015 draft) they were drafted in 2014. All FA or waivers automatically become last round keepers. 6×6 OBP is a category.

    Kipnis (5)
    Crush (14)
    Donaldson (22)
    Ozuna (22)
    Starlin Castro (22)
    Mesoraco (22)
    Betts (22)

    • Mike

      Mike says:
      (link)

      nice…

      I’d keep Donaldson, Castro, Betts, and Ozuna. Mes is tempting but I don’t usually keep catchers in 1-catcher leagues, especially with only four kept. Crush at 14 is tempting too but the other four are better values I think

  38. benson says:
    (link)

    Thanks for the advice Mike.

    My Yahoo league’s set up such that you pick up a player and the change is reflected the next day. Does anyone know what happens if you pick up players on the last day of the season? Are these players considered on your final roster or not? I only care because I’m in a keeper league and don’t want to get my hopes up for Matt Harvey if I can’t keep him. It’s weird that it even lets you do it if they don’t end on your roster.

    Also what 4 would you keep in a 5×5 (OBP, not AVG & QS, not wins) if given the following choices and rounds for next year:
    -A. Rizzo in the 9th
    -G. Richards in 16th or 17th
    -B. Hamilton in 15th
    -M. Machado in 14th
    -S. Perez in 10th (won’t he be here anyways next year)
    -C. Santana in 6th (ditto as Perez)
    -J. Baez in 16th/17th
    -J.D. Martinez 16th/17th
    -Rusney Castillo 16th/17th
    -X. Bogaerts in 12th
    -M. Pineda in 16th/17th
    -Y. Ventura in 19th

    • Mike

      Mike says:
      (link)

      anytime…not sure about the rosters on Y! but on ESPN you can still add players as long as the little + icons are there and they are part of the roster that carries over into the next year

      my gut says Rizzo, Machado, Bogey and Hamilton

  39. matt says:
    (link)

    Just won my first baseball championship in my keeper league but I had to pay for it…so now I’m deciding who I might want to keep for next year. It’s a 10 team h2h category league we can keep 4 guys but 1 has to be either a pitcher or hitter and you can keep a player for 4 consecutive years before you either trade them or let them back into the pool. I went a little trade crazy this year and over payed in trades but it worked out. Because of that I don’t have a pick until the 5th round and even then I only have 4 picks in the first 10 rounds. So here are the guys I’m thinking about keeping jose Bautista adam jones Ian desmond David price madbum and kluber. Those are my top 6 guys I’d like to keep. Which 4 would you keep based of my situation?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
      (link)

      Congrats on the championship! That’s what it’s all about…

      I’d keep Jones, Bautista, Desmond, and Bumgarner

  40. Montezuma's Revenge... right now says:
    (link)

    keep 6, obv upton/goldy/cobb/arenado, who’s next 2 out of soler/gordon (KC)/ozuna/revere/vargas
    2. keep 5 already going rizzo/freeman/arenado, which 2 more out of desmond/billy H/soler/braun/calhoun. if billy H wouldn’t have been so horrible in 2nd half it would be him easily, since with these keepers i’m quite weak at steals.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
      (link)

      I’d go Soler, Ozuna in the first league

      2. Soler, Hamilton. I could see taking Desmond over Hamilton and going the cheaper route on steals, but I’d hate to go into a year with just one outfielder…

      • Montezuma's Revenge... right now says:
        (link)

        @Mike: if braun comes back healthy does he move back into this in league 2#? these are prelim questions, as i don’t have to make these decisions till sometime in march.

        • Mike

          Mike says:
          (link)

          If he’s 100% I think you have to put him in the discussion, yes

          • Montezuma's Revenge... right now says:
            (link)

            @Mike: i have another league where i had to make keeper decision back at end of august (me and comish, he trusts me, is starting to allow march decisions on this stuff), and kept braun, but if he’s limited by injury that is one spot where comish won’t fault making a change. that league is a 12 teamer with 4 keepers and if not braun who?already have
            rizzo/donaldson/upton/braun, with other good options being kluber/dickerson/cobb/f-her

            • Mike

              Mike says:
              (link)

              early decisions make it tough…If you’re only keeping 4 I might go with the bat in Dickerson…although F-Her is a keeper worthy arm even with limited protects IMO

  41. Pawtucket Patriot says:
    (link)

    10 team, H2H league 8×8 (OBP, SLG, K’s + QS, L, HR allowed. Don’t mind the wonky categories. Keep 5 w/ no limit, first five rounds are keeper spots:

    We have off-season trading, so could flip guys I don’t keep or can get value for in return for draft picks, these are the options…

    Stanton
    Kershaw
    Tulowitzki
    Jose Abreu
    Edwin Encarnacion
    J. Upton
    Ellsbury
    Darvish
    Kipnis

    Questioning my faith to the fantasy Gods after finishing 5th this year… but I digress… what 5 you got in your book???

    Thanks!

    • Mike

      Mike says:
      (link)

      we’ll get em next year…

      Stanton, Kershaw, Tulo, Abreu, and Upton would be my picks

  42. Lee says:
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    Hi Mike – Who would you keep here? Keepers are chosen as 2 from the 4 keepers from 2013 (counted as rounds 1-4 in 2014), 1 from round 5 – 10, and 1 from 11 – FA. Then in 2016, I would pick 2 of the 4 kept here and start the process over. Only listing somewhat possible options. I am listing in the order I am thinking right now, but not sure, especially for 5-10 and 11-fa. Thanks!

    1-4 – pick 2: Wainwright, Upton, Ortiz (with 1B elig), Pujols, Posey
    5 – 10 Pick 1 – Donaldson, Scherzer
    11 – FA – Pick 1 – Rendon, Polanco, Yelich, Tyson Ross

    Also, would like to hear your opinion on this: I traded Springer (round 22) and Madbum (round 6) for Wainwright (other guy’s 1-4 keeper) and Yelich this year. Would Springer have been a better pick for 2015 than whoever you think for 11 – FA above, and same question for Madbum for 5-10 pick. Would also mean not picking Adam for 1-4.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Upton, Posey

      Donaldson

      Rendon

      I’d be happy with Rendon over Springe and Donaldson over MadBum so I think you did okay there…

      • Lee says:
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        @Mike: Thanks Mike. Greatly appreciated. Just curious on your thoughts on why not to keep Wainwright over Posey.

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          i usually go hitter over pitcher when you’re only protecting a few players..I think Kershaw and Felix are exceptions…

          not in love with Waino going forward at 33 years old either if that makes sense

          • Lee says:
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            @Mike: Yeah, makes sense. Don’t love keeping Posey each year as a catcher every year (which is why I made the move for Wainwright). Ortiz and Pujols gave me great production this year, but don’t really want to roll the dice on them again.

            • Mike

              Mike says:
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              I give a little more value to Posey than other catchers since he can be slotted at 1B too. Could see giving Pujols one more spin but it’s a little risky given his age.

  43. Swfcdan says:
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    Hi Mike reading through some of your responses it is clear you absoultely adore Bogaerts for next year and beyond. He was very streaky this year, seemed to have a good start and finish with little in between. Do you think it will all come together for him as soon as ’15, can he can reach 20-25 bombs next year with an okay AVG?

    Another keeper I have very cheap on the same team is Mookie Betts, love love luurve him going forward. This is a guy I think can go 30-10 immediately and post a good AVG you agree? He just mooks totally legit at the plate, contact and plate discipline.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      re Xander: 15-20 is possible if things break right for him. Not worried about his average

      good average and speed from Mookie is fair to expect…could get some pop there too

      Both players are very good keepers moving forward IMO

      • Swfcdan says:
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        @Mike: Thanks. Just saw you were taking Bogey over other established guys in some of the questions above. Guessing thats more due to his long term potential then?

        Mean 10-30 obviously for Mookie, the league counts OBP too which is great as he could be a walks machine.

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          yeah, I’ll take a guy like Bogey in an unlimited keeper over a vet with better 2014 stats for sure…

          agree on Mookie

  44. David says:
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    Hey Mike,

    I am in a 6×6 (ops, holds) keeper league. We are allowed to keep up to six players. Once the players are kept, they may be kept forever.

    Which of the following players would you keep?

    Giancarlo Stanton
    Jason Heyward
    Javier Baez
    Chris Dickerson
    Kris Bryant
    Kole Calhoun
    Devin Mesoraco
    Justin Verlander
    Alex Cobb
    Matt Harvey
    Jordan Zimmermann

    I appreciate all of the help!

    • David says:
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      @David:

      Also…I have Jorge Soler too.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Stanton, Baez, Bryant, Heyward, Soler/Dickerson and Harvey would be my picks

      I’d lean Soler over Dickerson due to their ages, but that’s a preference. Can’t go wrong with either, especially with Dickerson getting 80 games at Coors

      • Mike

        Mike says:
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        I could see giving the nod to Dickerson over Heyward too. I’m kind of a Heyward fan though…

  45. Redsuns says:
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    5 Keeper league, no restrictions or costs on anything.
    Kershaw
    McCutchen
    Gomez
    Puig
    Encarnacion
    Rendon
    Zimmerman
    Dozier
    Blackmon
    Arrieta

    5×5 set up. I kept the first 5 last year, but scored some gems in the draft and free agency. I’d be comfortable keeping all 5 again but I think I wanna squeeze in Rendon, maybe for Enc

    Any input would be much appreciated!

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      I like the idea of replacing E5 with Rendon

      Kershaw, Cutch, Gomez, Puig, and Rendon are a really solid 5

      • Redsuns says:
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        @Mike:
        Thanks a lot! I love e5 but his hammy injury scared me off of him

        Thanks again

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          anytime

  46. russ says:
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    which 7 of these players would you keep……
    im not as high on xander as you he really struggled this year…
    jose abreu xander baez wong polonco soler upton hamilton machado tanaka… all are 2018 contracts except machado 2016, xander 2017 thanks….

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      tough choices…I’d go with Abreu, Machado, Bogey, Upton, Hamilton, Yelich, Soler

      …if Bogey doesn’t do it for you I could see swapping him out for Baez

      I also think Polanco and Soler is kind of a coin flip..I just prefer Soler

  47. russ says:
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    sorry yelich too……

  48. Raoul Duke says:
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    Mike, I was hoping to get your opinion on who you would keep in a 14 team keeper league 5×5. You can keep 7 players for as long as you would like with no penalties. We are also allowed 6 minor league slots in which I have stored Xander Bogaerts, Javier Baez, Oscar Taveras, Rusney Castillo, Dylan Bundy and Lucas Giolito. The list of players I am choosing from for my 7 keepers includes:

    Mike Trout
    Troy Tulowitzki
    Anthony Rendon
    Matt Harvey
    Devin Mesoraco
    Todd Frazier
    Kolten Wong
    Tyson Ross
    Alex Cobb
    Yordano Ventura
    Marcus Stroman

    Thanks for your help.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Hey Duke….

      Stacked team, nicely done

      I’d roll with Trout, Tulo, Rendon, Frazier, Harvey, Ross, either Mes or Stroman in the last slot

      I hate to keep a catcher but I’d also take a bat over the arms…

      You could also shop Wong (and maybe even Tulo) since you have Bogey and Baez coming up

      • Raoul Duke says:
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        @Mike: I like the idea of shopping Tulo, but it is hard to get someone to offer equal value based on Tulo’s injury history. I am high on Bogey as well though. I am a little worried about a correction to Frazier’s statline based on his past results, and Ross being shutdown early with a forearm issue is a little concerning considering it wouldn’t be the first time that series of events ended up with TJ surgery. I have to admit I am a Royals fan, so I was hoping you would tell me to keep Yordano Ventura, but it is probably best I got the opinion of a unbiased person. He does have a tendency to walk too many batters. And there is always the concern of both Ventura and Stroman’s small stature. Thanks again for your opinion.

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          anytime…you bring up a lot of good concerns, unfotunately none that make the decisions any easier for you

  49. Mark says:
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    Hi, long time reader, first time commenter
    12 team standard league, 8 keepers. No cost and can keep forever:
    Strasburg
    Teheran
    Cobb
    Arrietta
    Wood

    Springer
    Rendon
    Soler
    Polanco
    K seager
    Pederson
    Calhoun
    R Castillo
    Gallo
    Segura
    Pollock
    Choo

    The only ones I am certain on are springer, rendon, seager and strasburg
    Thanks

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      lot of younger guys there…Soler and Polanco, might go Calhoun or Pollock with the next slot, then Teheran

      could make a case for Segura since you’re not keeping any MI at the moment, but I’d roll with the outfielders and redraft MI

      • Mark says:
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        Thanks :)
        Yeah inherited the team this time last year, previous owner had left it in a terrible state including drafting Miggy #3 overall but then trading him mid season for choo and trumbo! So basically had 1 top 60 hitter on the roster so my keepers were rubbish, so decided to go really young in the draft in hope of hitting on a few.

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          ouch on Miggy, but you’ve done a nice job getting some young MLB ready guys

  50. Jack says:
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    Just found your site. Love it and wish I knew about it last year.

    My season was real poor and I ended up trading players away for younger players I thought would be good keepers. I am in a 15 team 5×5 league. I can keep up to ten but don’t think I am saving enough to keep that many. Your advice would be appreciated.

    I have three I must keep:

    Danny Salazar $7
    Trevor Rosenthal $7
    Adam eaton $7

    Here is the rest to pick from:
    Vogt, Stephen $5
    Franco, Maikel $5
    Arcia, Oswaldo $5
    Castillo, Rusney $5
    Martinez, J.D. $5
    Castro, Starlin $5
    Schafer, Jordan $5
    Arrieta, Jake $5
    Collmenter, Josh $5
    Duffy, Danny $5
    Lackey, John $5
    Odorizzi, Jake $5
    Sanchez, Aaron (will he close?) $5
    McGee, Jake $5

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Awesome! Glad you found it…

      Castro, Martinez, Castillo, Arcia, Franco, Arrieta,

      could probably flip a coin between Sanchez, Odorizzi, and Duffy for that last spot

      • Jack says:
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        @Mike:
        You are a great American.

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          ha thanks Jack

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