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Thread: 2020 NL Only Keeper List

  1. #1

    2020 NL Only Keeper List

    So, we had to cut our rosters down to 25 players, for the winter waiver period (released players whose contracts have not expired may be claimed by other teams, in reverse order of finish, at their existing salaries...and the contract becomes a first year, as if they were drafted in 2020).

    Our league is NL-only, 40 man rosters (25 active, 15 reserve), $280 budget, 5x5 (OBP instead of BAvg). In addition to keeping up to 15 players, pre-auction, a team may protect an additional 3 minor league players, at no salary impact (first year of contract starts when they exceed MLB rookie minimums of 130 AB/50 IP). Hitting inflation tends to run between 35% - 45%, and pitching inflation tends to run between 15% - 25%, depending on the season.

    I think I have a decent list that can compete in 2020, but I'd love a sanity check from the pen. My current roster is listed below, and I've bolded the players I'd keep if the freeze list was due today. Obviously, some of the keeper decisions will be impacted by how players look in spring training (particularly Cespedes, Cueto, Richards and Mahle...along with the setup guys that might accumulate saves). I'm also not opposed to tossing C.Taylor at $12, and taking the $25 (real dollars, not auction budget) hit for releasing a LT contract. Note that A18 players require extension decisions (at $5 per additional season after 2020) I'm leaning towards extending Acuna to $22 for 3 additional seasons (until the end of 2023), and Fried to $8 for one additional season (until the end of 2021):

    Pos Players Salary Contract
    C Stephen Vogt C | ARI $5 A19
    1B Pete Alonso 1B | NYM $8 A19
    2B Chris Taylor 2B,OF,SS | LAD $12 *20
    SS Nick Ahmed SS | ARI $9 A18
    CI Miguel Rojas SS | MIA $1 A19
    OF Ronald Acuna OF | ATL $7 A18
    OF Yoenis Cespedes OF | NYM $9 A19
    OF Starling Marte OF | ARI $46 A19
    OF Victor Robles OF | WAS $8 A19
    OF Michael Taylor OF | WAS $4 A19
    U Gregory Polanco OF | PIT $25 A19
    U Bryan Reynolds OF | PIT $7 A19
    OF Alex Verdugo OF | LAD $2 A19
    P Johnny Cueto P | SF $4 A19
    P Max Fried P | ATL $3 A18
    P Daniel Hudson P | WAS $3 A19
    P Tyler Mahle P | CIN $1 A19
    P Andrew Miller P | STL $10 A19
    P Drew Pomeranz P | SD $1 A19
    P Garrett Richards P | SD $7 A19
    P Caleb Smith P | MIA $2 A18
    P Rowan Wick P | CHC $3 A19
    P Hunter Greene P | CIN $2 MLE
    2B Mauricio Dubon 2B | SF $7 MLE
    OF Sam Hilliard OF | COL $2 MLE

    I'd like to build a plan around adding a top tier 3B/CI (~$45), an anchor SP (~$28), and a closer (~$27)...then fill-in the rest of the roster from there. Top hitters at auction will definitely include Bryant, Rizzo, Villar, Baez, Machado, Goldschmidt, Pham and Castellano. Top SPs will definitely include L.Castillo, Syndergaard, Bauer, L.Weaver & Stroman. Top RPs will include Yates, Jansen and A.Bradley. Others players will be available too...they're just unknown until roster freeze.

    Thanks for indulging! Let me know your thoughts.

  2. #2
    My thoughts:

    - If you think the trade will go through, I'd assume there'll be more PT for Chris Taylor, so I'd be disinclined to release him. I don't think he'll start, but there's a lot of opportunity between Pollock/Turner/Seager injuries, and just general super utility chances. I think there's upside to his counting stats from last year, and just the 8-10 SBs he gets justifies the $12.
    - Even in an incredibly deep league like yours, there's no way I keep a $7 Garrett Richards.
    - I would keep a $3 Rowan Wick. Given Kimbrel's combustible nature last year, Wick could well end up closing.
    - Agree on the one year extension on Fried. If hitting inflation is roughly 40% as you've outlined, I go to $27 on Acuna and contract him through '24 if you can extend that far.
    I'm just here for the baseball.

  3. #3
    All Star joncarlos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Pittsburgh PA
    I love Richards and I would definitely keep him for 7. I would not extend Fried. I know it seems like a good idea now but I just see too many ways for it to go bad. I can't imagine anything Cespedes can do in ST that would make me want to keep him. Just don't trust him or the LOLMets. I would try to trade Cueto since you just have too much risk. I like Wick too but even with 25 active players, can you really keep Wick, Hudson and Pomeranz all active? I might keep him anyway and just plan to replace him with a FAAB/reserve pick on the weeks everyone is healthy... maybe?

    I'm on the fence about Taylor. I don't think he earns $12 but do you need the spot? Is it worth dropping him if he's going to earn $7?

  4. #4
    Thanks Chance & JC! I appreciate the input, and it's great "seeing" you guys, and "hearing" you talk roto. I miss that!!!

    So this is tough...opposing views from two guys I respect, immensely. How do I parse that??? Fortunately, I have a few weeks before having to make freeze decisions. But, for chuckles, here's my current thinking:

    I like the idea of extending Acuna further, though my decision is based on our league prize structure. In addition to the annual prize pool, we have "Dynasty Standings", based on how a team has finished during the past four seasons. My team has been in the dumps for two straight years, while I positioned to get some young talent that could help me make an extended run. So I'm targeting the best possible finishes to make a run at winning a title AND positioning the team for a Dynasty prize. I think the optimal way to do that is to extend Acuna through 2023, and to do the same with Robles & Alonso, when their extensions are due, next season.

    Fried: Back in the day, I'd extend him two seasons at $13...but there is so much risk with pitchers, I won't consider it unless they're already a stud. I do think he has more upside in his profile, and should settle in as a strong #2 SP. If he takes a step back or suffers an injury, I'll just release him next season and pay the $25 LT contract fee. So the only real risk is the opportunity cost of the additional $5 contract value for this season.

    Richards: Drafted last season with 2020 in mind, and would have had him at $2 or $3...but one other owner plays in an AL-only Mendoza league, and really liked him at the auction. If Richards has a strong spring, the same owner would bid for him again, so I'd lean towards keeping him. If he has a poor spring, and doesn't look healthy, then he's definitely a toss.

    Wick: I like him to get 5-6 saves, even if Kimbrel returns to form...but I'm hoping Kimbrel is in decline and Wick takes the role. Of course, RPs/Saves are fickle, so who knows. I'd like to build a post-auction rotation around one "solid" closer, two or three RPs with saves potential, and six SPs, including one anchor. Hudson/Wick/Pomeranz would be nice to have, but I don't know if I can keep all three on my freeze list. Here again, Spring Training will influence my decision, as none of them are a J.Hader/A.Bradley like surefire keeper as a setup man.

    C.Taylor: I project he'll earn $12 - $15 this year, IF the Dodgers trade both Verdugo and Pederson. If the deal falls apart, I think his projected value is closer to $9 - $12. I have a decent amount of speed built into my keeper list, so the question is whether I can draft a cheaper 350 - 450 PA UT type (he'll log time at 2B, SS, 3B and OF, and our league has a one-game, in-season position eligibility)...or a better full-time hitter for that $12 or so. There is a chance I could get him back a little cheaper in the auction, but we have multiple Dodgers fans in the league who are likely to bid on him.

    Aside from having several question marks, I like the Acuna, Alonso, Robles, Reynolds core (combined salary of $45, after the Acuna extension). Having them should position the team for an extended run...provided I build enough around them, and they can avoid injuries.

  5. #5
    Here is the list of players which can be claimed off winter waivers. Since I have the first pick, I get my choice of whomever I want (assuming the Verdugo situation is resolved by tomorrow, that's who I'd drop). Do any of them look appealing as a potential keeper?

    Player Salary
    Trevor Bauer SP | CIN $77
    Nick Castellanos RF | CIN $67
    Paul Goldschmidt 1B | STL $52
    Manny Machado 3B | SD $51
    Shane Greene RP | ATL $51
    Jay Bruce LF | PHI $50
    Joey Votto 1B | CIN $45
    Anthony Rizzo 1B | CHC $45
    Aaron Nola P | PHI $39
    Kevin Pillar OF | SF $33
    Edwin Diaz P | NYM $33
    Jean Segura SS | PHI $32
    Lorenzo Cain OF | MIL $32
    A.J. Pollock OF | LAD $32
    Matt Carpenter 3B | STL $32
    Wil MyersLF | SD $31
    Andrew McCutchen OF | PHI $30
    Kenley Jansen RP | LAD $30
    Mike Yastrzemski LF | SF $29
    Ryan Braun 1B,OF | MIL $27
    Robinson Cano 2B | NYM $27
    Eric Hosmer 1B | SD $26
    Sean Doolittle P | WAS $25
    Brian Dozier 2B | WAS $25
    Ender Inciarte CF | ATL $24
    Raisel Iglesias P | CIN $22
    Jake Lamb 1B,3B | ARI $20
    Chris Archer SP | PIT $19
    Buster Posey C | SF $18
    Corey Dickerson OF | MIA $17
    Francisco Mejia OF,C | SD $15
    Scott Oberg RP | COL $13
    Brandon Crawford SS | SF $13
    Jarlin Garcia RP | MIA $11
    Ryan Zimmerman 1B | WAS $11
    Jose Quintana SP | CHC $11
    Scott Schebler CF | CIN $11
    Mike Leake SP | ARI $11
    Jonathan Lucroy C | CHC $10
    Jon Lester SP | CHC $10
    Greg Holland RP | ARI $10
    Franchy Cordero OF | SD $9
    Billy Hamilton OF | ATL $8
    Steven Duggar CF | SF $8
    Melky Cabrera RF | PIT $8
    Jeremy Jeffress RP | CHC $8
    Pedro Baez RP | LAD $8
    Cory Spangenberg 2B | MIL $8
    Adam Jones RF | ARI $8
    Kevin Kramer OF | PIT $7
    Jon Duplantier RP | ARI $7
    Taijuan Walker SP | ARI $7
    Josh Rojas LF | ARI $7
    Vince Velasquez SP | PHI $7
    Kyle Farmer 2B | CIN $7
    Yasmany Tomas DH | ARI $7
    Antonio Senzatela SP | COL $7
    Daniel Ponce de Leon SP | STL $7
    Cal Quantrill SP | SD $7
    Corey Ray CF | MIL $7
    Ben Gamel LF | MIL $7
    Albert Almora CF | CHC $7
    Elias Diaz C | PIT $7
    Trevor Williams P | PIT $6
    Alex Young P | ARI $6
    Kevin Gausman SP | SF $6
    Peter Lambert SP | COL $6
    Ty France 3B | SD $6
    Bryse Wilson SP | ATL $6
    Michael Wacha SP | NYM $6
    Tony Wolters C | COL $5
    Mickey Moniak OF | PHI $5
    Joe Ross P | WAS $5
    Gerardo Parra RF | WAS $5
    Greg Garcia 2B | SD $5
    Zack Brown SP | MIL $5
    Domingo Leyba 2B | ARI $5
    Austin Slater RF | SF $5
    Tyler Nevin 1B | COL $5
    Kyle Muller SP | ATL $5
    Reyes Moronta RP | SF $5
    Yoan Lopez RP | ARI $4
    Derek Dietrich 2B | CIN $4
    Rajai Davis LF | NYM $4
    Zach Green 3B | SF $4
    Donovan Solano 3B,2B,SS | SF $3
    Dereck Rodriguez P | SF $3
    Jose Quijada RP | FA $3
    Logan Webb SP | SF $3
    Caleb Ferguson RP | LAD $3
    Jeurys Familia RP | NYM $3
    Jimmy Nelson RP | LAD $3
    Daniel Descalso 2B | CHC $3
    Hernan Perez 2B,SS | MIL $2
    Jason Vargas SP | FA $2
    Kyle Freeland SP | COL $2
    Robert Dugger SP | MIA $2
    Cole Tucker SS | PIT $2
    Takahiro Norimoto P $2
    Yoshitomo Tsutsugo OF $2
    Yimi Garcia RP | MIA $2
    Touki Toussaint RP | ATL $2
    Danny Hultzen RP | CHC $2
    Yonathan Daza CF | COL $2
    Pablo Reyes RF | PIT $2
    Lucas Sims RP | CIN $2
    Javy Guerra RP | SD $2
    Curt Casali C | CIN $2
    Rangel Ravelo 1B | STL $2
    Victor Victor Mesa CF | MIA $2
    Hunter Strickland RP | WAS $2
    Blake Parker RP | PHI $2
    Adbert Alzolay SP | CHC $2
    Shaun Anderson SP | SF $2
    Genesis Cabrera RP | STL $2
    Nick Martini LF | PHI $2
    Edwin Rios 1B | LAD $2
    Lane Thomas CF | STL $2
    Fernando Rodney RP | WAS $2
    David Freese 1B | LAD $2
    Jimmie Sherfy P | ARI $1
    Jeremy HellicksonSP | WAS $1
    Phillip Ervin LF | CIN $1
    Junior Guerra RP | ARI $1
    Dillon Maples RP | CHC $1
    Sam Selman RP | SF $1
    Devin Williams RP | MIL $1
    Luis Perdomo RP | SD $1
    Adam Wainwright SP | STL $1
    Wade Davis RP | COL $1
    Luis Torrens C | SD $1
    Raudy Read C | WAS $1

  6. #6

    - Wasn't aware of the long term league structure, so your extension plan on Acuna makes sense. Though I love him in a NL-only league; I'd still go to $27 in a league with your inflation. Think of how great of a trade chip he'd be if for some unusual reason you're not in contention in his contract year. I just couldn't resist. But that's me, and likely a weakness on my part.
    - I'll most politely continue to disagree with joncarlos on Richards. I'm firmly convinced, much like Gubicza, his elbow can not stand the strain of his premium slider. And with no slider, Richards is most likely a liability. If I were to take a chance on a high-risk SP, I'd go get Jimmy Nelson from the waiver pool for $3, drop Richards, and save the $4. With your team being as good as it is, I'd not take the chance on either.
    - Agree with your thinking on Fried.
    - I'm not sure keeping 3 relievers plus a stud closer is a bad strategy in today's pitching environment. Especially if you're willing to extend to get Hader, which limits your K downside. They'll likely give you plus ratios, acceptable K's, and a decent saves position.

    Per the waivers list, the only two that really caught my eye were Jimmy Nelson at $3 and Mejia at $15. With a less robust keeper list than you have, I'd consider either, but I don't think either are a fit for you
    I'm just here for the baseball.

  7. #7
    I split the difference and selected Jimmy Nelson with my waiver pick, releasing Vogt. I wanted to drop Verdugo, but until MLB confirms the transaction, I'm not exposing him to be selected by another owner.

  8. #8
    Journeyman Hammer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    at the right hand of the Father
    I would release Taylor.
    I would keep Richards.
    I am shopping Cueto and Caleb. Too much risk with all of your SP. I would like to reduce that.
    No extension on Fried. I hate extending non tier 1 SP.

    Good luck D. Hope all is well.
    After former Broncos quarterback Brian Griese sprained his ankle and said he was tripped on the stairs of his home by his golden retriever, Bella: “The dog stood up on his hind legs and gave him a push? You might want to get rid of that dog, or put him in the circus, one of the two.”

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Hammer View Post
    I would release Taylor.
    I would keep Richards.
    I am shopping Cueto and Caleb. Too much risk with all of your SP. I would like to reduce that.
    No extension on Fried. I hate extending non tier 1 SP.

    Good luck D. Hope all is well.
    PETE!!!!!!!!!!!! What’s up man? It’s been waaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyy too long! I hope all is going well with you, too!

    (I never realize how much I miss this place until I come back. RJ is the best community around!)

  10. #10
    "Who are three RJ prodigal sons who have returned pretty recently posting on the same thread, Alex?"
    have entered 37th yr in 11-team-only NL 5x5 in 2021 after a year off
    won in 2017 15 07 05 04 02 93 90 84


    SP Nola 32, SGray 16, TWalker 10, Gant 2, KHKim 2, AWood
    RP Givens, Doolittle, Floro
    C Stallings 2, Casali 1
    1B Vogelbach, 3B Segura 17, CI Fuentes 13, 2B Maton, SS TTurner 44, MI Gregorius 17
    OF Blackmon 32, Pollock 17, Cain 14, Bader 1, Daza 1, UT Votto 10-IL
    IL/min - Ps Carrasco 16, Neidert 5, Soria 4, Price 3, Graterol 2, Knebel; Hs Solano 2, ERios 2, DuFowler

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