ASK ROTOMAN: A Real Keep Question!

I’m in a 13-team NL-only 5×5 $260 keeper league. We can freeze up to 9 players. List is due Sunday.

I am definitely keeping: Pollock $16, Domingo Santana $2, S Casilla $4, Joe Ross $2, R Iglesias $1, Nola $1.

I need to choose 3 more from the following: Rendon $22, E Suarez $19, Span $13, Kang $7, Peraza $1, H Strickland $2. I’m honestly stumped. Who would you select, Rotoman? Thanks in advance for your time.

“Old School”

Yeah, this is living. Deep league keepers are challenging, and raise all sorts of questions keeper questions that involve only stars don’t. Who would you keep? Mantle or Mays? There is an answer, it’s worth discussing for about 30 seconds before saying, Mays! But really, you’re making me jealous either way.

In deep leagues, one has real decisions to make, and can use expert league prices to start to find answers. Here are your possibles, with their freeze prices compared to their Tout Wars prices:

Rendon: 22, 23 in TW, +1
Suarez: 19, 12 in TW, -7
Span: 13, 14 in TW, +1
Kang: 7, 15 in TW, +8
Peraza: 1, 7 in TW, +6
Strickland: 2, 4 in TW, +2

Step 1, the easy way, would be to declare that Kang, Peraza, and Strickland are the three biggest bargains and be done with it. And you could do that, and it could work out.

Kang, Peraza, and Strickland are also your cheapest choices, and we haven’t yet factored in inflation. I have no idea how much inflation you have, but let’s say it’s 20 percent (a guesstimate based on the prices of the guys you are keeping). Let’s increase the Tout Wars prices by 20 percent and run the chart again:

Rendon: 22, 28 inflated in TW, +6
Suarez: 19, 14 inflated in TW, -5
Span: 13, 17 inflated in TW, +4
Kang: 7, 18 inflated in TW, +11
Peraza: 1, 8 inflated in TW, +7
Strickland: 2,inflated 5 in TW, +3

Once you insert the inflated dollars to your expected draft prices, things get a good deal murkier.

Kang is your obvious keep, even though he’s expected to miss the first month of the season. Your price is good for him and he’s worth holding onto.

Peraza went for $7 to Todd Zola in Tout Wars. Todd was looking for upside buys on which to spend his money late in the auction, when he had the hammer. Peraza is fast and young. He could start the season in the minors, and may not be eligible to be drafted/kept, or he could start the season in center field, subbing for the hurt Billy Hamilton. Then what happens when Hamilton gets healthy?

Span is a solid player at a solid price.

Suarez is a solid player at a bad (for you) price.

Strickland isn’t the closer in San Francisco now, and may not be this year. I think he’s a good closer-in-waiting type to roster, appealing because you already have Casilla and because he could be asked to step up and he has the skills to do the job, but that means he should still be fairly cheap in your auction.

Rendon is healthy, coming off an injury-plagued and disappointing season. He’ll be 26 this year, still young and likely to be very productive. He’s had injury problems all his career, in the pros and college, so you can’t disregard that, but at $22 you get a fair price for him that looks better in an environment of inflated prices.

I would keep Rendon, Span and Kang, they offer pretty sure and solid production, and try to pick up Peraza and Strickland in the endgame. Their prices should not be as inflated as much as the bigger-priced players. And if you don’t get them you’ll find worthy alternatives in your draft pool.