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March 26, 2013

Fantasy Auction Values

Sixth Edition, March 26

by Mike Gianella

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Between some of my reactions to the prices at Tout Wars and a long list of injury news, it was an incredibly busy week for pricing updates. Below is a list of the most significant changes made this week.

National League Hitters

Hanley Ramirez $18 (previous: $30)
Hanley’s WBC thumb injury is expected to knock him out of commission until late May. This new bid takes his 2012 production and prorates it for the number of games he will play assuming a late-May return.

Cameron Maybin $19 (previous: $17)
Maybin went for a whopping $25 in Tout Wars on Sunday. While I think that’s way too high, I do believe there is more upside in Maybin’s price than the $15 paid for him in both CBS and LABR.

Pablo Sandoval $19 (previous: $22)
Sandoval is battling a bone spur in his elbow and probably won’t be ready for Opening Day. The price may need to drop again depending on further developments with the injury. Bruce Bochy is adamant that Sandoval will be ready, but I have my doubts.

Ryan Ludwick $14 (previous: $12)
I moved Ludwick up a couple of dollars after taking a closer look at his performance last year and his power potential in Cincinnati.

Domonic Brown $13 (previous: $11)
I keep moving Brown up, but this is probably about as far as I’m going to go. There is still some risk in Brown’s profile and outfield is deep in the National League.

Gerardo Parra $12 (previous: $7)
Adam Eaton $10 (previous: $16)
Eaton’s injury leads to a direct flip-flop for the two Arizona outfielders in the rankings. This might be a little high for Parra, but even as a straight fourth outfielder in NL-only formats, he still had the potential to earn $15.

Jordany Valdespin $7 (previous $4)
Collin Cowgill $6 (previous: $4)
Mets manager Terry Collins said that Valdespin will start at second base on Opening Day and that he’ll see a good amount of time in the outfield once Daniel Murphy comes back. I believe Valdespin is stretched as a starter, but on the Mets, he could pick up a sizable chunk of playing time. Cowgill moves up due to additional anticipated playing time as well.

Ian Stewart $3 (previous: $5)
Stewart won’t be available for Opening Day. He might be a bargain at this price, but there is a lot of risk and we have a significant amount of performance data that tells us not to chase.

Darin Ruf $2 (previous: $4)
The Phillies optioned Ruf to Triple-A. He could be up at some point, but for now, you’d be wise to bid with caution.

These hitters were specifically adjusted due to my price being significantly higher or lower than the LABR/Tout Wars market:

Justin Upton $32 (previous: $30)
Bryce Harper $31 (previous: $29)
Andre Ethier $19 (previous: $21)
Josh Rutledge $14 (previous: $12)
Tyler Colvin $10 (previous: $8)
Chris Nelson $8 (previous: $11)

National League Pitchers

Kyle Lohse $9 (previous: no bid)
Wily Peralta $1 (previous: $4)
Mike Fiers $7 (previous: $9)
Lohse signed with the Brewers yesterday, and since this is breaking news, the $9 is a placeholder bid. The assumption is that Peralta will be slotted into a long-relief role, though late rumors yesterday mentioned Mike Fiers as a possibility to lose his rotation job instead of Peralta.

Aroldis Chapman $22 (previous: $17)
Jonathan Broxton $2 (previous $11)
Chapman will close for the Reds and is the second-best option in baseball behind only Craig Kimbrel. Broxton moves down significantly without the potential to earn saves.

Zack Greinke $18 (previous: $15)
I moved Greinke down last week, but based on the current health reports I’m moving him back up somewhat. There is still a good amount of risk here, though, and I’d be wary of anchoring my staff with Greinke.

Brandon League $13 (previous: $11)
As the Dodgers closer, League should be priced a little higher than he was, even with Kenley Jansen in the fold.

Roy Halladay $13 (previous: $15)
I’m extremely fearful of Halladay. He might wind up being a significant bargain at this price, but I suspect the ceiling on Doc this year is $20 and not $30.

Dan Haren $12 (previous $14)
Haren moves down a couple of dollars simply based on preference. If you believe that he is 100 percent and will remain healthy all year, this bid should be moved up quite a bit.

Jason Motte $10 (previous: $19)
Mitchell Boggs $6 (previous: $1)
Trevor Rosenthal $6 (previous: $3)
Motte was diagnosed with a “mild” elbow strain, but anytime you hear about bad things going on with a pitcher’s elbow it should give you pause. Motte went for $12 in Tout Wars after going for $20 in LABR. This could be a bargain, but there’s enough uncertainly to make Motte one to avoid for me. Boggs is the short-term option for saves, but Rosenthal could be the long-term option if Motte’s injury proves to be more serious. If Rosenthal doesn’t get saves, he’s still a good guy to own for the rate stats and the strikeouts.

Wade Miley $10 (previous: $12)
Miley is suffering through a tired/dead arm. He’ll probably be okay, but the low prices in LABR/Tout Wars mean that you can most likely get him at this price.

Julio Teheran $6 (previous: $4)
A strong spring combined with Teheran’s ceiling pushes his bid up a couple of dollars.

Jacob Turner $3 (previous: $5)
Turner went for $1 in CBS and $2 in LABR. If you want him, this price should do it.

Johan Santana $3 (previous $5)
Santana’s timetable continues to get pushed back. His status for 2013 looks more and more uncertain as we close in on Opening Day.

Zack Wheeler $3 (previous $5)
Wheeler will be great long-term, but $6 was a lot for a pitcher who won’t start 2013 in the majors and whose timetable for promotion is entirely unknown.

American League Hitters

Victor Martinez $17 (previous $19)
I have to give Peter Kreutzer of askrotoman.com credit on this one. He studied the likelihood of hitters past a certain age returning to form after missing a full season. These players didn’t do particularly well, with only one, Danny Tartabull, even remotely returning to form. Seventeen dollars is still an aggressive bid; I just didn’t want recommend paying close to $20.

Michael Saunders $15 (previous: $17)
There is some trepidation about Saunders, so I moved him down to reflect his market. I still like Saunders as a sneaky power-speed option in 2013.

David Ortiz $14 (previous: $16)
Ortiz won’t be ready to go Opening Day and his advanced age concerns me.

Derek Jeter $12 (previous: $15)
Jeter won’t be ready on Opening Day, either. His health is more and more of a question, and my certainty that he will play a full slate of games diminishes as the season gets close.

Andy Dirks $11 (previous: $9)
With the Tigers cutting Brennan Boesch, Dirks has cemented a job in Detroit’s outfield.

Mark Teixeira $10 (previous: $12)
Another week, another downgrade for Teixeira. Unless I hear any more concrete news on his health, though, I won’t move him down further.

Justin Smoak $9 (previous: $7)
Smoak has been having a strong spring and will get least one more chance to live up to his untapped potential. As a post-hype sleeper, a $9 bid is more realistic in AL-only formats.

Stephen Drew $8 (previous: $11)
Drew’s concussion might not be a significant issue, but concerns about his general health will push his price down. He went for $4 in AL Tout Wars.

Vernon Wells $6 (previous: $1)
Wells has the opportunity to pick up a solid chunk of at bats on an ancient Yankees team. Even if he isn’t starting all year, he should find his way into the lineup a fair amount of the time.

Tyler Greene $1 (previous: $8)
Ronny Cedeno $3 (previous: no bid)
Greene was cut by the Astros and is out of options. Cedeno is his replacement.

Wilson Betemit $1 (previous: $4)
Nolan Reimold $7 (previous: $4)
Betemit suffered a grade-two or -three PCL tear today and will most likely miss a significant portion of the season. I’m not certain that Reimold is going to be the greatest beneficiary, but barring a trade, he would seem to have the most to gain.

These hitters were specifically adjusted due to my price being significantly higher or lower than the LABR/Tout Wars market:

Jason Kipnis $23 (previous: $21)
Alcides Escobar $22 (previous: $24)
Kyle Seager $18 (previous: $16)
Lance Berkman $10 (previous: $8)
Jarrod Saltalamacchia $9 (previous: $7)
Carlos Pena $7 (previous: $9)
Josh Donaldson $6 (previous: $3)

American League Pitchers

R.A. Dickey $20 (previous: $18)
I’m convinced that Dickey will hold a fair amount of his value in 2013, so I decided that the $18 price was too low.

Jon Lester $18 (previous: $16)
I finally caved and added a couple of dollars to Lester’s bid based partly on his strong spring, but mostly because of his performance prior to 2012.

Chris Perez $12 (previous: $10)
The health reports look positive and Perez should be ready on Opening Day or shortly thereafter.

Casey Janssen $9 (previous: $12)
Sergio Santos $5 (previous: $3)
The Blue Jays are saying Janssen is fine and ready for Opening Day, but reports on his velocity are of some concern. Santos moves up again based on these concerns.

Grant Balfour $12 (previous: $9)
Balfour’s timetable also looks good and his price has been moved up accordingly.

Phil Hughes $6 (previous: $9)
Back injuries and starting pitchers make me nervous. Down goes Hughes.

Ivan Nova $6 (previous $4)
A closer look at Nova’s high K/IP rate last year tells me that he was a little low for 5x5 formats.

This pitcher was specifically adjusted due to my price being significantly higher or lower than the LABR/Tout Wars market

Anibal Sanchez $11 (previous: $9)

Mike Gianella is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
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