Chances are that your league is pretty well decided and today is probably the last day to make some final 2013 pickups. If you see anyone on your roster that you know you won’t be keeping or may have limited value next year it’s always in your best interest to drop that player for someone who can provide your team with an extra trade chip or who could even be a surprise keeper next year. In deeper leagues, one of the best places to make a couple of these bets is at the closer position as closer value can spike right before the season as roles are established during spring training.
Today we’ll look at a couple names that could become solid trading chips or keepers before the 2014 season.
If you have been following along all week here at TDG, you have read almost a dozen articles about players that we believe can be quality last minute additions to your roster before free agency ends. If you listened to our advice, you could have very easily turned over your entire roster by now, considering we have covered ever position in baseball. As Noel pointed out in his NL Starting Pitchers post, he and I decided to cover four specific categories when looking for a pitcher to stash. Those categories are 1) Returning from Injury 2) Change of Scenery 3) Sleeper and 4) Prospect.
Continuing this week’s theme of last minute pick ups for keeper and dynasty leagues, Andy Barnes and I have been assigned NL starting pitchers. We agreed to use a common approach and look at one NL starter coming back from injury, one guy who has had (or could use) a change of scenery, a sleeper, and a prospect each. Andy’s piece will run later today.
The Injured Guy – Casey Kelly, San Diego Padres
The Padres might have more starters who could qualify for this designation than any other team I have come across. I could have written about Cory Luebke, Clayton Richards, or Joe Wieland, but Kelly is the guy in whom I am most intrigued. This is partly because of his age – he’s less than a year older than Wieland, but four and six years younger than Luebke and Richard respectively.
For those of you in the midst of a long term rebuilding project, the last few weeks of the season provide a great opportunity. I’ve been able to mine the waiver wire with modest success lately, making small upgrades in some positions and patching holes in others. You might hit a homerun with one of your last minute pickups, but you shouldn’t expect to. It’s all about incremental improvement,
If you’ve been reading my sporadically posted ramblings over the past few months, you’ve probably noticed that my primary focus is on pitching prospects and pitchers in general. I feel that my experience as a mediocre high school pitcher gives me some insight into what makes a successful MLB starter, so it’s fitting that I’ve been tasked with following up Mike Buttil’s piece on AL starting pitchers to target in the final days of the season. Taking a cue from Mike, I chose pitchers who were owned in less than 15% of ESPN leagues.
I don’t think there are any unwritten rules about picking players up during the last week of the season in dynasty leagues. So if it’s okay with Brian McCann, I will move forward with this post and recommend three American League starting pitchers that are widely available and could make decent sleepers heading into the 2014 season. I’ll get the ball rolling this afternoon and my partner and new BFF @80gradewant will put a bow on it tomorrow.
Just a disclaimer, I’m not big on pitching. In fact, most years I would say 75-80% of my staff is plucked from the waiver wire or streamed. That being said, there are plenty of reasons to want good young pitchers on your team, especially the ones that won’t cost you too much to acquire. I decided to use 15% ownership at the four letter word as my cutoff to avoid discussing players that are owned in a lot of leagues, but even with that small number I was surprised to find some of these names. Just goes to show that if you play your cards right and do a little leg work, you can find some nice players on the scrap heap, even at this point in the year. Continue reading
My apologies to those of you who are in shallower dynasty or keeper leagues, as I know my writing tends to skew towards deep leagues, and I’m afraid I’ve revisited that well again here. I don’t have a mixed league under sixteen teams, and my -Only leagues are insanely deep in both major and minor league rosters, so it does affect my writing in that respect.
With that out of the way, I present four players that could be available in deep dynasty leagues that, with minimal investment, could pay off handsomely come next April.
By coincidence or joke, Bret assigned me the third basemen in this week’s team effort to pinpoint players at each position who are worth picking up in your dynasty league before free agency closes on Sunday. I say joke because—since joining the TDG crew—I’ve already spent a large amount of time discussing the prospects of third basemen for 2014 and beyond, most notably Brett Lawrie and Nolan Arenado. (OK, so two out of my first six posts to be exact. But still, 33 percent!)
I wish it was as easy as finding the next Miguel Cabrera, but, sadly, Miggy’s don’t grow on trees. And they almost never jump from first base trees to third base trees.
With apologies to MVP underdog Josh Donaldson, third base was fairly predictable in 2013, with the usual suspects at or near the top. There were some busts (Chase Headley, Lawrie and Pablo Sandoval immediately come to mind), but overall it was a successful year for the gloved men at the hot corner. The names you are about to see are my favorite third base targets in dynasty formats. Each is owned in less than 25 percent of ESPN leagues and they are listed in order of ownership, from highest to lowest.