The Price of Everything

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the dilemma of owning David Price in an AL only league in which the stats of players traded to the NL don’t count. I’d sent a note to the other owners in the American Dream League offering Price for a power hitter, a catcher preferably, but as a team battling for first place, willing to take any deal that returned fair value and helped my team in some way.

The initial offers—Jason Castro, Derek Norris—seemed potentially doable on July 29th, if I was panicked and certain that Price was going to the Dodgers or Cardinals, but not strong enough to get me to give up in early July the four or five more starts he likely had with Tampa in July, and the not insignificant potential that Price would remain in the American League.

I then came up with an idea that I thought was great. The team that owned Yu Darvish was in last place, below the point threshold that triggers a penalty in the next year’s FAAB. That is, a team loses one FAAB (of 50) for each point it finishes below 35 points. You also gain extra keeper slots for each standings place you gain, from four up to eight.  So a team in trouble has a great incentive to gain points.

My idea was to trade for Darvish, offering Price and James “Some Came Running” Jones, who has ranked second in the AL in stolen bases since he was inserted into the Mariners outfield on May 6th. Price is of equal value if he stays in the AL and no value if he is traded to the NL, which is where Jones comes in. If Price stays in the AL the team gets a huge boost, if he’s traded they still get some points moving up in steals.

The team that owned Darvish were not moved to move him. Part of the problem was that they only had three places to gain in steals, which is nice but not a big deal. And while Darvish and Price have keeper value for 2015, Darvish in all likelihood will be back. Not only might he lose Price this year, but he’d also likely lose him for next year.

At this point I was thinking that I might end up keeping Price. My pitching staff was okay, but it never hurts to have one of the best pitchers in the league on your team. And if I lost him? My staff was still okay, and if I managed it creatively I might even gain points in ERA and Ratio without Price. My lead in wins was big enough I wouldn’t be crushed. I was okay keeping Price, but then Huston Street was traded to Anaheim.

Huston Street

Two teams had $38 FAAB left. No other was close. One was in the second division, but second in saves with a big lead. He had no need for Street. The other was, depending on the day, a point ahead or behind me in the standings, a couple points out of first place. Another closer for him was worth at least three points in saves, plus another potential point or two in ERA and WHIP.

Over at the discussion board at pattonandco.com I suggested that the team who didn’t need a closer might benefit more by buying Street and flipping him than by waiting to see who else is dealt to the AL. A bird in hand and all that. I wasn’t thinking at that time of being the one to get Street, I just didn’t want the team I was fighting to get him. That owner accused me of being self-interested. Guilty.

What I didn’t think of, the other owner did, was trading David Price for Huston Street. The other owner proposed it online, and there was only one reason I could see not to do it. I’m pretty far behind in Saves. Two saves for one point, and then it’s 13 saves to the pack. That’s a lot of ground to make up.

But I decided to go for it, for a few reasons.

Street is a fair value return for Price in 4×4. Did I mention this was 4×4? So far this year Street has earned $24 and Price $20, using Alex Patton’s prices. I don’t expect Street to outearn Price the rest of the way, Price’s first-half ERA was inflated by what seemed to be some bad luck on fly balls. More than usual left the yard. He should have a lower ERA in the last two months.

Important to me, however, is that relief pitcher ERA and Ratio have real value. To date, Price has earned $4.90 in ERA and $7.60 in WHIP. Street doesn’t have nearly as many innings, but he’s earned $4.20 in ERA and $3.90 in WHIP.

But if my per month earnings projection for Price is $5, he’s projected to earn $11 the rest of the way. While Street’s per month projection is $4, so he’s expected to earn $9. But there is some real chance that Price will do his earning in the NL. If that chance is 20 percent, I get a slight edge in the deal. If the odds are more 50-50, which I do, then things look very well today pricewise.

Category-wise, however, the prices are askew. For one, I have a big edge in wins, so Price’s wins (worth $8.70 to date) have helped me out to a decent lead in the category, and don’t mean that much to me at this point. And I have a big deficit in saves, so Streets saves (worth $14.90 so far) might not mean that much to me.

Except, I have a couple of outs, as we say in poker.

For some reason I bought Matt Lindstrom in our auction, and he was the White Sox closer at the start of the year before he got hurt. He is rehabbing now and is expected to be back in the majors in early August. If he is reinstalled as the team’s closer and save 5-10 games the rest of the way, I could actually make up ground.

I also have Aaron Loup, who saved two games for the Blue Jays this past weekend (before Casey Janssen was pounded last night). More saves is a big help (my fingers are crossed).

I hope that breaking the lead up to this deal will help illustrate the many different factors that go into dealmaking. I think the biggest one, however, are your league’s rules. This old school AL 4×4 league, the first AL rotisserie league in existence ever, is no longer typical, but then neither are your 6×6 15-team mixed league that doesn’t include teams from the NL west. Or whatever.

Working through how your league works will help you unlock value, and perhaps make trades that help both sides, and give you a better chance to win.

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Just A Bit Outside Link: Tom Emanski and the Wild World of Baseball Instructionals

No, that’s not the title of a long shaggy-dog story by Erik Malinowski posted today at Rob Neyer’s new Fox-affiliated baseball site.

The actual title is Pitchman: How Tom Emanski Changed the Sport of Baseball–And Then Disappeared.

This is not a good title. It’s debatable how much Emanski changed the game of baseball. The telling of the tale shows him to be more of an a striver who ended up in the right place at the right time who happened on a good idea than a visionary who saw something and decided to make it better. But that’s quibbling.

lldvdbox-webI have my own part of this history. In 1986, while Emanski was coming up with the idea of making baseball instructional videos, a baseball coach from Oswego New York and I were–thanks to a video producer named Richard Stadin, who thought this was a good idea, and we were the guys to do it–creating Little League’s Official How to Play Baseball Video. (You can buy it (or learn more) by clicking the box.)

Shot over the course of a week in Union New Jersey, with consulting help from NBC’s baseball director John Gonzalez, and deft production from NBC sports producer David Stern, our Little League instructional was a good-sized hit. Rave reviews in newspapers across the country, the Village Voice loved it, an A grade in Entertainment Weekly and apparently decent sales, led to a tie-in book, which Ted and I wrote for Doubleday, called the Official Little League How to Play Baseball Book.

I don’t know the video sales numbers, but I do know the book sold more than 100,000 copies, and was still selling thousands of copies a year before falling out of print a few years ago. We’re trying now to get it back into stores, and as an e-book. But enough about me.

Malinowski doesn’t nail the story. He never does speak with the modern day Emanski, and clearly never has enough info to make a true mystery about what made this baseball obsessive disappear. Illness? Certainly not shyness, but is he a tax cheat? Does he harbor some dark secret? Or is he just tired and happy to move on? Malinowski has nothing but conjecture, which isn’t very satisfying.

He also fails to do the math to show just how much money Emanski may have made out of his enterprise, which seems like a material part of the mystery (if there actually is a real mystery, apart from his subject’s withdrawal from public life).

Malinowski talks about the Baseball World camp, which was charging kids $100 per week for individualized baseball instruction using video.  That doesn’t sound like  a big money maker, even running full time from April to September each year. And when the video really started selling, they shut the camps down. Money might have been made, but Ermanski didn’t get rich on Baseball World camps.

He also talks about the videos, which were sold via direct marketing on ESPN from 1997 to 2007. But a reality check on the math says ESPN got $10 of the $30 list price. A telemarketing company would no doubt charge a few dollars to process each sale. A credit card company would take a cut. VHS and DVD production and packaging might cost a few dollars per piece, unless the quantities were high (and if they are then the storage costs for inventory would chew into the profits). Plus, there are shipping costs.

It sounds like the productions were bare-bones, so there were no doubt profits to be made, but it’s hard to see how Emanski made $76 Million, as one folktale the story cites implies. If he were clearing $10 a tape, which is possible, Ermanski would have to have sold more than 7 million tapes to have pre-tax profits of $76 million. That doesn’t seem plausible, but then, who knows?

Malinowski does say that the commercial ran more than 50,000 times, which sounds like a lot. But if they sold 100 videos per showing they would only get to 5 million videos, and 100 per showing would be a crazy number for a commercial dumped into time slots when ESPN wasn’t selling real commercial inventory. But, of course I don’t really know.

And still, despite the thinness of parts, I enjoyed the story. Ermanski’s is a tale like many on the periphery of baseball, of the love for the game, of a devotion to getting something done, with all the quirks that come along with the personal approach.

And it’s full of resonance. The section where real players are quoted calling mistakes Ermanskis is lovely, connecting the bigger world to this quirky story. Maybe not 5 million tapes, but the meme is out there if Dustin Pedroia is on it.

So it doesn’t matter a great deal that Malinowski doesn’t nail it. Maybe it wasn’t all the story he imagined, at first. Or maybe Ermanski has chosen exile rather than expose himself to the price his past exploits might exact, and his past is fiercely protected.

Maybe that’s why the Crime Dog seems to have wiped his hands of him. (You have to check out the story just to watch the video of McGriff’s commercial pitching the videos.) Whatever. Here’s a window on baseball culture, maybe not the last word, but many other words opening up the broad swaths of something, and suggesting where maybe more of the story lies.

 

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Link: Fantasy Sports Fantasy Story in the Wall Street Journal

Eric Bedard Fishing

Guppy or Shark?

The Wall Street Journal ran a profile last month of a super sophisticated graduate student at Notre Dame who has supposedly made $200,000 in the last year playing daily fantasy games.

Cory Albertson has, according to the story, put together an algorithm that helps him put together many daily fantasy lineups on any given day, which allows him to enter many fantasy contests and overall make him money. Not every day, the story says a couple of times, but overall. He expects to make $1,000,000 this year, he says.

He makes so much money, according to the story, that he went out and test drove a Tesla!

Yes, that’s my snark. There are a few red flags in this story that challenge the writer’s competence or veracity. For one thing, Albertson didn’t buy an expensive car, he test drove one. And he broke the speed limit!

For another, Brad Regan, the writer, blithely reports that Albertson got into the game because a friend started a Daily Sports Fantasy Game last year and waived the fees so that Albertson would help populate the board, making it look like his contests were more popular than they were.

The biggest impediment to winning any gambling game, from daily fantasy basketball to trading stocks as a day trader to online poker to horse racing, is the takeout. That is, you and the other players may put in $100 in money into the pot, but the service rakes some of that for itself, before they pay out some lesser percentage to the winners. That’s how they make money. It should be needless to say, that if your bets are not raked you have a much better chance of winning than if they are.

Regan doesn’t pursue the question of whether Albertson is now subject to the house fees. He doesn’t discuss how much the house usually takes out of a daily fantasy pot when Albertson isn’t playing. He leaves out the single most important piece of the way the business works, while pitching us that Albertson is some new breed of non-gambler who uses data to drive his decisions.

I say Non-gambler because Albertson tries to make the case that betting on Daily Fantasy Sports isn’t a gamble, because he uses his algorithm, which apparently takes all the subjectivity out of it. You can be the judge of that judgment, intellectual and ethical. I say, no wonder Albertson’s religious parents remain concerned about him.

The other interesting bit comes when Andrew Wiggins, who started DraftDay, a daily fantasy game service, talks about the need to get casual players to play. The idea is that the small fish, who might put up a $10 or $20 bid on a daily fantasy team, will drive the growth of the game. That’s what Wiggins wants, because he gets a cut out of every bet made.

But Regan quotes Albertson deftly crushing Wiggins’ dream: The smart guys, Albertson says, will feast on the casual player. This, as Wiggins surely knows (he and I played in a fantasy baseball league that was populated with some professional poker players who feasted on online poker guppies, back in the day before that business collapsed for legal reasons, as well as this inconvenient fact), is surely what will happen.

That imbalance, when heavy advertising is drawing in fresh blood, is one reason that a shark like Albertson and his algorithm might legitimately be doing well. Seasoned players with good data will crush the haphazard random player, the way a card sharp will crush a county fair card game if you give him enough time (but watch out for the rake, it’s going to charity).

Right now daily fantasy sports are a young and growing business. They have appeal to skilled and less-skilled players because of the short results horizon. I can see the appeal, but any smart story about the game should really talk about the way it works, and not pitch some fairy tale get rich quick by working hard line that reads more like a slow pitch PR piece for the industry than the human interest story is is dressed up as.

I don’t know that Cory Albertson didn’t make $200,000 playing daily fantasy sports, and if he did I don’t know for sure that he won because he didn’t have to pay the fees that normal fantasy players would usually have to pay. I do know that this story and its failure to accurately describe the way the games work casts doubt on every part of the story that can’t be fact checked.

 

 

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Ask Rotoman: John F. Kennedy or Kennedy Fried Chicken?

Rotoman:

Here is my predicament:

I believe in Ian Kennedy! It’s terrible I know. A 4 ERA on the season and a 5.67 ERA over the the last 7 days (this letter was written June 30, since which Mr. Kennedy has had two exemplary starts, allowing two runs in 13 innings, gaining two Wins and striking out 14) doesn’t get many excited. But I can’t get over the fact that he has a 9.67 K/9 on the season and an 11.37 over the past 7 days! If he throws a 6-7 inning 0-2 ER game it’s a gem because he strikes out 7-9 during it.

I guess my question is: Do you see him getting back to 2011 numbers, as we saw at the beginning of the year? Or do you see him regress and be a 2013 Lincecum? (4+ERA, 8.5+ K/9).

“Ianized”

Dear Ianized:

Player performance fluctuates. Some of that is due to a player’s health or physical groove, and some of it is random. Our goal in a player projection is to remove the short-term effects of health and team and ballpark and then isolate the player’s skills from the vagaries visited upon him by luck.

This would be a problem if a player’s career was one of constant skills, but the fact is that a playing career consists of many mini-careers. When young a player is physically strong, but probably not as smart as he can be. He is better equipped to overpower than finesse. When he approaches 27 his physical skills are still strong, and with experience has come wisdom and smarts, which is why so many career years happen about this time. As he advances into his 30s a player’s physical skills deteriorate, but survival skills allow him to add abilities that enable him to hold on.

Predicting a player’s season performance means deciding where he is in his career arc, and also in the mini arcs that really define his career.

20041222-jfk-1073The question here is whether Ian Kennedy, as he approaches 30 years old (this coming December), is still a young enough phenom that can recapture the glories of his year 27 season, when he went 21-4 with a 2.88 ERA? John F. Kennedy. Or is he a savvy enough veteran to improve his game by being smarter rather than better physically, holding on by grit and grimace. Kennedy Fried Chicken.

I think the fact that Kennedy hasn’t achieved the way he did in 2011 this year, despite throwing fewer fly balls than ever before and allowing fewer homers per fly ball than ever before and striking out more than ever before, is a tipoff that 2011 was an outlier. That was the perfect storm of the physical, the mental and the lucky, and it is unlikely that he will repeat that for any extended period ever again. He just isn’t good enough.

That said, right now Kennedy is throwing harder than ever before and striking more guys out. He seems to have changed his repertoire to get more ground outs and allow fewer fly balls, and throwing fewer homers at least in part because of that. He is mixing savvy and physical skills, and whatever good performances he’s putting up can be attributable to being a better smarter pitcher, still with young man skills.

For now, he’s a man with a career 3.97 ERA, a career 3.95 FIP, and a 3.71 ERA on the season, striking out 9.67 per nine innings pitched for a team that is scoring runs at a historic low rate.  He could very well help a fantasy team in the second half of the year, because of the strikeouts and some good but not great qualitatives, but savior status is too much to expect.

He’s more Kennedy Fried than JFK, but I like him.

Politically,
Rotoman

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Trade Opportunity: Finding the right price for Price

Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher David Price (14)In the American Dream League, which is an ancient 4×4 AL only rotisserie league, a player who is dealt to an NL team is lost to it’s ADL owner.

Stats no longer accrue, he becomes a sudden bad memory, and a daily irritant, since the ADL owner may keep him on his reserve list, and where his production is posted daily accompanied by the notation (N.L.).

This leads me to experience a certain panic, because I am the owner of David Price in that league, and offers up something of an opportunity because I am the owner of David Price. Yesterday I emailed all the other owners in the league:

Subject: Trade Opportunity

Because we are approaching the month of July, and what we used to call the inter league trading deadline is looming, my thoughts turn to David Price.

Price is one of the best pitchers in the game, and has had an excellent if star-crossed first half. His Ratio is lower than his career Ratio, his strikeout rate is higher and his walk rate is lower than his career rates (he’s walked just 14 in 124 IP), yet his ERA is the highest of his career. Why? He’s allowed quite a few homers, and his BABIP is outrageous, partly because the Tampa defense hasn’t been as efficient as in the past, but also because he’s been wicked unlucky.

With all of that he’s earned $11 in the first half in 4×4, according to Alex Patton, and is on pace to earn $22. The important thing about that, however, is that he could earn much more than that if some of the bad breaks go his way in the second half.

Alas, we have a rule in the American Dream League that a player traded to the National League is dead to us, and David Price is the player most likely to traded this year before the July 31st deadline.

Now, he may not be traded to the National League. There are AL teams in the running for his services, too, but that drop dead rule means he’s about a 50/50 chance to be either the excellent pitcher David Price for an ADL team or null and void.

My team is in the running for the Lukas Cup this year, currently in second place, and is strong enough that I might be able to stay in contention without Price, but it occurs to me that it might make sense to flip him at this point and get half a pig rather than a poke.

Please feel free to make an offer. I’m not really in the market for speed or batting average, in fact I might package some of either or both for a nice power upgrade. I would also consider trading a potential keeper next year, if the price is right. My ideal candidate is a power-hitting catcher, for what that’s worth.

Thanks for reading along, and for your cleverest offers.And enjoy this lovely weekend.

Sincerely,
The Bad K”

So far the letter has elicited a few offers of decent hitting catchers, which tells me I shouldn’t have used that example, and a gag offer of Vidal Nuno, who I was disappointed I didn’t land in the auction.

As I’ve discussed these trades Price’s price has become clearer:

His market price was $30, which included a little discount for the possibility he would be traded. But let’s say he’s a $30 pitcher (since there was also some draft inflation in our keeper league).

Half a season is worth $15. Because he has a 50/50 chance of being traded out of the league, his worth is actually $7.50. But because he actually probably has a month of playing time left in the AL, worth $5, his actual value is somewhere between $7.50 (if he were to be traded today) and $12.50 (if he were to be traded on July 31).

Because I probably just lost Josh Reddick to the DL, I have a hole in the outfield, so I’m looking for an outfielder who cost $25 more than Endy Chavez on auction day, or a catcher who cost $20 more than Carlos Corporan.

One interesting aspect to the ADL this year is our standings, which have bifurcated. There are seven teams between 71 and 56 points, and five teams between 40 and 32. A team that finishes with fewer than 35 points is penalized $1 of our $50 FAAB the next year for each point lower than 35 he finishes.

Plus, teams that finish 10-12 have fewer keeper slots the next year. So there’s a lot of incentive for one of the cellar dwellars to make a big play to climb out on David Price’s arm.  If he were to stay in the AL the rest of this summer, he’ll be a terrific bargain and give a down team a big edge. And might even turn out to be a keeper next year, too, if he signs a long-term deal.

I’ll let you know how things work out.

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Ask Rotoman: How Do I Stay Out of Last Place?

Dear Rotoman:

I’m new to fantasy baseball and am struggling to stay out of last place.

It would appear I need better hitting in every category, especially HRs and RBIs.  What should I look for when trying to make trades?  It’s obvious the available batter with the most HRs on the season hasn’t helped me at all.

Is there someplace I can “learn” fantasy baseball strategy?

Oh, and while I’m in last place and it’s obvious my buddies are all better than me, is it okay that I still talk smack—or is that not protocol?

Thanks,
“Owning Last”

Dear Mr. Last:

At the risk of saying something obvious, something I’ve never done before, every league has someone in last place. There is no shame in it, but you sound rightly interested in allowing someone else to have no shame while being in last. Good for you.

If you’re a beginner and playing against more experienced players, it’s no wonder that you’re struggling. Fantasy baseball, in each of its many styles and flavors, is a game that requires knowledge in at least a few different spheres.

How well do you know baseball? How well do you know the rules and values of your particular fantasy game? How well do you know probability? How able a negotiator are you? These are just a few of the areas that you need to be able to handle to compete. There are more. Many more.

Which doesn’t mean, as a beginner, you can’t have fun. And it doesn’t mean you can’t have some success, too. A goodly portion of success (or failure) in any fantasy season, is pure luck. Lack of injuries and the unexpected breakout seasons of players influence any single year’s winning results, a lot, while even the best player can be destroyed by stars getting hurt or failing to perform for mysterious reasons.

As a beginner you’re not likely to overcome your mistakes, but if you make some smart decisions you may be able to beat out someone else who has had worse luck than you. That’s the first step toward fantasy baseball competence!

There are many places to learn about the game and it’s strategies. I dare say, starting at the early posts here at blog.askrotoman.com and reading forward, following links to my stories at ESPN and MLB.com, will answer a broad range of questions for you about player evaluation, projecting and pricing players, and league ettiquette. (To answer your question briefly, it isn’t really right for losers to talk smack, but it’s fine to participate in the ribbing and shadenfreude that are inherent parts of any game.)

I also have a site, rotomansguide.com, which is serving as a fantasy baseball resource for beginners and experts.

There are countless articles on the web about playing fantasy baseball. My friends at KFFL have a beginners summary, which talks about many issues for those getting started, and there are many more out there. Not everyone is right about everything, sorting out the good stuff from the lame is part of the process, which will help make what you learn stick.

As to your question about which players to acquire, here are two tips.

1) Specialize. As the season progresses you cannot make up points in every category. Whether you play in a category or points league, focus on the scoring parts of your game in which you have the most potential, and trade off the other categories to improve those. This isn’t going to win you a championship, but it can get you out of the cellar, which is progress.

2) Buy low. Rather than buy the power hitters who’ve hit the most homers on the season, buy the available power (or other category) hitters about whom there were the highest expectations in the preseason. These players were released because they weren’t performing, but unless they’re hurt or have some other obvious problem (they’ve lost their jobs, for instance), you can expect them to play the rest of the way as was expected of them in the preseason.

In any case, welcome to the wonderful world of fantasy baseball.

Sincerely,
Rotoman

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Rest In Peace, Tony Gwynn.

tonygwynncard

One of the so-called immortals.

Talks to another immortal, Ted Williams.

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ASK ROTOMAN: My Team Is Terrible. What Can I Do?

Hello,

I feel like my team is jinxed this year. I have all the underachievers on one team. It’s kind of amazing. Anyways, its a 10-team 7 x 7 league with 4 keepers each year. What would you do with these guys?

Zobrist
Jennings
Myers
Aramis Ramirez
Beltran
Butler
Craig
Segura
and Mauer

They all are playing mediocre or awfully. Not really sure of a move to make here. Thanks!

“Stinky”

Dear Stinky:

I’m assuming your pitchers are okay, since you don’t mention them, but still, this is a bad team because you have mediocre players having bad seasons at every position.

Mediocre, you might mutter, or splutter, trying to come up with a clever riposte, but don’t bother. In a 10-team mixed league, you need to have some stars, and you don’t have any. Look at your list:

Zobrist is maybe the eighth best second basemen. Seven teams have better keystone players.

Jennings, Beltran and Wil Myers were ranked in the 40s among outfielders going into this season. I assume your league rosters 30 outfielders (10×3). We’re talking below replacement level. Good players in baseball, because they have 90 starting outfielders, are not good players in a league your size.

Aramis Ramirez was the 17th best third baseman going into this season. Too old.

Billy Butler was the second best DH, out of three, and probably should have been third.

Allen Craig at first base was in a similar position as Ben Zobrist at second. Bottom three in your league going into the season.

And Joe Mauer ranked seventh among catchers.

In fact, your best player among their peers is Jean Segura, and he ranks sixth among shortstops.

I detail all this not to ridicule, really, but to shine the harsh light of reality on your roster. None of these players is a player you would want to keep for next year, even if they were having a typical year.

Which tells us what we need to know: You can’t wait for a rebound.

You thus have two choices.

1) Try to trade your way to a better team this year. This is a hard thing to do, probably impossible at this point in the year, but a worthy challenge if you like to deal. The secret is to unlock the value you have in mostly name brand players, to make speculative plays on young unproven players who are showing signs of breaking out this year. You might try Gregory Polanco, for instance, who was just called up, if he’s available. For a team so stinky, maybe Rougned Odor would be a good fit.

2) Set up your freeze list for next year. This involves a similar process, but means going for guys who might have value next year. Matt Harvey, coming back from Tommy John, is a illustration of this type of candidate. Risky, but worthless to any team that has him this year, so perhaps cheap now and possibly excellent in 2015.

You know better than I how your keepers are valued in your league. Whichever way you go, and you can combine the two approaches up to a point, be bold and uncompromising. Take risks, but jump only if the possible outcome is excellence. In a league your size, anything less is doomed.

Sincerely,
Rotoman

 

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LINK: Explaining the Singleton Deal

Eno Sarris does a good job explaining how the Astros and Jon Singleton came to a deal that pays him $10M if he busts, and $30 if he’s a success.

How good a job? Don’t take my word for it.

Screenshot 2014-06-07 13.10.22

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LINK: Too Fast, Too Much, Too Young

An excellent story about youth baseball pitching and the headlong rush toward Tommy John surgery. From Bleacher Report.

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