Friday, February 5, 2016

2016 Salary Keeper Machinations - Part 2

Click here to look at Part 1, where I discuss the rules of the league as well as my hitters.

Here we go with Part 2. One thing to note: this league uses non-specific pitching slots. The only difference between starting pitchers and relievers is the stats they produce. I can play up to 10 total pitchers, in any combination of starters and relievers.


PITCHERS

Jose Quintana - $11, C
I took a chance on Quintana in a pre-season trade last year. He wasn't terrible value at $6, but now that he's $11, he's definitely not on my keeper list. Plan: Release into draft.

Mike Fiers - $1, B
Fiers was actually in the same trade as Quintana, but I released him during the season, then re-acquired him off free agency for a dollar. He had a lot of ups and downs, but for $1, I'll probably take a flier. Plan: Keep if there's room.

Drew Pomeranz - $1, B
Late in the season, when I realized my best shot at getting enough points to reach 2nd place was with saves, I grabbed every closer I could. Pomeranz got a couple shots at saves late in the year, which was enough for me to go for him. But in 2016 as a back-end starter, even $1 is too much to pay. Plan: Release into draft.

Wade Davis - $6, C
After keeping Davis for $1 last year, I expected to let him go after 2015. But now he figures to be the closer all year for Kansas City, and $6 for a closer with excellent peripherals is a steal. Plan: Locked in as a keeper.

Kenley Jansen - $11, B
Jansen is probably my toughest call among pitchers. His value is certainly high, as a high-end closer. But $11 is a goodly sum. He'd probably cost $15-$18 in the draft, so I think I'll keep him, but he'll be on my trading block. Plan: Keep or trade.

Kevin Jepsen - $21, B
Jepsen was a fill-in closer who pitched well last year, but all that free agent budget I spent on him brought his contract to an ungodly number. Might pay $1 for him in the draft, but also might not. Plan: Release into draft.

A.J. Ramos - $1, B
Easy keep, one dollar for a closer is great value. Plan: Locked in as a keeper.

Shawn Tolleson - $1, B
As I said, one dollar for a closer is great value. Plan: Locked in as a keeper.

Tony Watson - $1, B
I kept Watson last year for $1 as a filler for my pitching staff. I dropped him during the season and reacquired him for $1 again, so I'm looking at a similar player situation. But my team is stronger this year than it was last year. Plan: Keep if there's room.

Joaquin Benoit - $1, B
Benoit is basically Watson except older, with a slightly higher chance of getting a few saves. So, same category. Plan: Keep if there's room.


PITCHERS - MINOR LEAGUES

Jose Berrios
Berrios is a strikeout pitcher who is going to be in spring training this year, with a chance to make the team out of spring. He's got tons of upside, and I'm definitely looking forward to seeing what he can do.

Lucas Giolito
Giolito was kept going into last season by another team, but they found themselves in a roster crunch and waived him, making him available for the midseason minor league draft. I scooped him up, and he immediately became and still is my best starting pitcher asset, even if he doesn't pitch in the majors in 2016.

Henry Owens
Owens was the only minor-leaguer on the team when I took over last offseason. He costs me nothing to keep, so I'll keep him, but he gave up 7 runs on three separate occasions. I'm not optimistic.

Jameson Taillon
Taillon was a big time Pirates pitching prospect, but he's undergone two big surgeries in two years, including Tommy John in 2014. We won't know much until he starts pitching again, but that should happen sooner than later.


KEEPER PLANS 

Now that I've gone through all of my players and given each of them a "plan," it's time to start sorting out what we might actually do this season. Here are all the players I listed as possible keepers, sorted under their various designations.

Locked in as a keeper
Manny Machado, 3B - $21
Mookie Betts, OF - $10
Shin-Soo Choo, OF - $1
Wade Davis, P - $6
A.J. Ramos, P - $1
Shawn Tolleson, P - $1

Keep as long as he doesn't suffer injury setbacks
Jung Ho Kang, 3B/SS - $1

Keep or trade
Alex Rodriguez, U - $2
Kenley Jansen, P - $11

Keep if there's money
Hunter Pence, OF - $15

Keep if there's room
Chris Colabello, 1B/OF - $1
Logan Forsythe, 1B/2B - $2
Mike Fiers, P - $1
Tony Watson, P - $1
Joaquin Benoit, P - $1

Just in looking at this list, I feel like I need to put out some trade feelers. I think all of these guys have value, not to mention my eight minor league keepers. I should have enough salary space to take on an expensive and high-quality keeper hitter, so that'll be my target.

Based on my (lack of) starting pitching, I think I might be looking at another year of riding relievers and hoping to finish 3rd, waiting for my prospects to blossom into something. Obviously the draft will dictate a lot of that, with who's available and how expensive they are. But I've already got a base of at least three closers, with an option for a fourth in Jansen. It doesn't make sense to just get 2-3 solid SPs, because they won't rack up enough wins to make a difference.

If, however, the trade market happens to have some appealing starting pitchers at reasonable prices, maybe I'll head down that road.

So this is where I am right now. As I get closer to the keeper deadline, and as I make transactions, I'll post updates.
"People ask me what I do in winter when there's no baseball. I'll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring."
-Rogers Hornsby

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