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Chat: Paul Sporer

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Thursday February 14, 2013 1:00 PM ET chat session with Paul Sporer.

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Paul and PECOTA help you plan your fantasy strategy for 2013.

Paul Sporer: Happy Valentine's Day!! Pitchers and catchers have reported and all is right in the world again. Now to decide between Allen Craig and Jennifer Lawrence as my Valentine. Hmmm.

GMan (Detroit): Can keep one for a starting pitcher keeper for 2013... Josh Johnson, Jake Peavy, Anibal Sanchez, Lance Lynn... Not opposed to taking a bit of a risk, almost want to keep Lynn, am I crazy?

Paul Sporer: You're not crazy, I *REALLY* like Lynn. Is there no differentiating cost between them? I'd lean Peavy if not, but if you want to go for broke with Lynn, I support it.

Dave (Boston): What are your thoughts on Josh Reddick, do you think his stats can improve in '13?

Paul Sporer: I think 2012 was probably his peak, but it can be repeated. His power plays anywhere (he hit 18 of his 32 in OAK), but he sold out his AVG for it. I think the BB% can rise some as he ages.

rupertoooo (Lorton, VA): Barring an injury to League do you foresee anyway Jansen can unseat League at closer to start the season.

Paul Sporer: Not really, no. They paid that many his money! Still like Jansen as a high-K middle reliever.

BStephen (Wisconsin): Love your stuff!! You are the pitching whisperer, Any hope the brewers find a solid # 2 behind gallardo from the likes of narve son,Peralta,Rogers,Estrada or fiers?

Paul Sporer: Thanks!! I became a big Estrada fan last year and Fiers really impressed me when I watched his games. I think Marco is someone to target.

AJ (Phoenix): Dynasty league, my rotation: Strasburg, Price, Moore, Bauer, Skaggs, Bundy. Looking to grab an elite arm to give me a solid trio. Would you: A) trade Bauer & Skaggs for needs elsewhere and get MLBers with higher ceiling (e.g. Iwakuma) and some draft picks; B) package Moore Skaggs, and Bauer (plus two picks) for the 1-1 (Oscar), S. Miller, Rosenthal, and Wheeler; C) Shoot higher; or D) stand pat?

Paul Sporer: Option B is pretty hot. I'm enamored with that StL system and you're pulling the best of the best from it. Rosenthal is filthy. That said, Moore is ready to dominate this year and we have no idea what any of those guys you're getting will be in 2013. So I'd avoid the temptation and either C or D.

Jennifer Lawrence (On set): Even I would want The Wrench to be my valentine.

Paul Sporer: Thanks for understanding Jen. You're the best.

MeisterNJ (Mendham): First time BP chatter. Last man kept: Moustakas or Bundy? Keeping Longoria, Machado already as well as Kimbrel, Shields, Wainwright, Greinke. Thanks.

Paul Sporer: Welcome! I'd probably go Mous until it's a deep mixed league (14-teams or more w/minor league rosters) because Bundy is such an unknown right now. His future prospects are amazing, but for 2013 I'm not sure he's worth holding in a 10- or 12-team mixer.

Francois (Toronto): What's Trevor Rosenthal's ultimate role, starter or reliever?

Paul Sporer: Ultimate is starter. Could be Medlen-esque in 2013 (though maybe not with one of the greatest 12-start stretches ever, I just mean relieving for the first half and then starting & excelling).

Slevin (Brooklyn): In one of my leagues I have serious interest coming in for my Trevor Bauer. The best offer would consist of something like Bauer and a mid-late first round pick in the prospect draft (14th or 17th) for the 5th overall pick in the prospect draft and either Anthony Rendon or Trevor Rosenthal. Thoughts on fairness of those offers?

Paul Sporer: Tempting. I like both Bauer & Rosy quite a bit. I think the offer is very fair and I'd take Rosy in that scenario.

Alison Brie (Nudist College): I am breaking up with you.

Paul Sporer: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

Allen Craig (Jupiter, FL): Paul, I just wanted to let you know I got your flowers today here at camp. My teammates are a bit jealous, but I appreciate your love despite the fact you let Todd Zola draft me in LABR the other night.

Paul Sporer: No problem, Wrenchy

Keith (Manchester, CT): Thanks Paul. How high are your expectations for 1B Eric Hosmer and Brandon Belt this year after disappointing 2012?

Paul Sporer: Ooh good names. Hosmer's skills didn't crater so despite the disappointment, I'm still optimistic and prefer him to Belt. Belt was probably better than some realize and I think part of his disappointment were unfair expectations. There's some upside in his bat, but it's probably 18-20 HR as opposed to mid-20s as I think too many expected.

Mike (Dover AF Base): Taijuan Walker v. Jose Fernandez. Who you got?

Paul Sporer: Jose!

JL (Chicago, IL): Hey Paul I'm in a deep dynasty league. Current catchers on my roster are Ramos, Derek Norris, and Austin Hedges. Needless to say I'm screwed. I have two first round picks for new prospetcs this year and usually I just go for best prospect available regardless of positional needs. Should I take Mike Zunino or stick to drafting the best player available?

Paul Sporer: Stick to the best. I actually like Ramos this year, though it'll take a while for him to get going as he'll back up Suzuki to start.

Tony (Lunch): What jersey will Curtis be wearing for opening day?

Paul Sporer: Verlander!

Hombre X (Parts Unknown): I just want to put in a plug for your starting pitcher guide (http://paulsporer.com/2013/02/04/2013-starting-pitcher-guide-sample/)... it's really an impressive piece of work. And no I was not offered $20 or a comp copy for saying this!

Paul Sporer: Thanks! :slides over-sized check for $19.99 across the table:

rupertoooo (Lorton, VA): It seems that every day that passes Hanley Ramirez's value drops. Are you a buyer if you could draft him at a slight discount (say mid-late 3rd round) in a Dynasty League or are you avoiding him as many others.

Paul Sporer: Big buyer! SS/3B elig is sick for 80-20-90-20. Batting avg was down, but I'm OK with that.

Tony (Lunch): Will you be attempting to break the Professors 6+ hour, 300 question, chat record?

Paul Sporer: If y'all keep the questions flowing!!

Jeff Keppinger (Phoenix, AZ): Some fan came up to me today and said, "Sup, Ranch" Why in the hell is someone calling me Ranch??

Paul Sporer: Because that's your new nickname, Kepp. I made it up because you have so much hidden value in fantasy baseball. Hidden Value Ranch.

Joe (Seattle): Just wanted to vent that Yahoo has added like 12 prospects this season, after adding 25-35 the last 2-3 years. You can hear the sound of dynasty leagues closing. What's a good site I can transfer my previous Yahoo league to? ESPN?

Paul Sporer: Or CBS. It's pay, but I really like it and everyone pays like $10 depending on league size. Their decision to take V-Mart's C eligibility was silly to me, but that can be fixed by a commish.

goiter6 (MN (and not a Braves fan)): My impression is PECOTA has been noticeably pessimistic when it comes to Freddie Freeman for the last few years. Example: this year PECOTA has Freeman to 448/335 (slightly worse than last year) when most other systems have him closer to 480/350. Is there something about him that historically hasn't been development friendly (size, poor FRAA numbers, etc)?

Paul Sporer: He's still VERY young so I think PECOTA is tempering excitement as we could definitely see another dip before he becomes what he will be for years.

frankbama (Westminster, MD): We keep $75/7 players max. I already have $10 kept with Morneau and dead weight. I'm going to keep Kipnis (12) and Castro (21), so that's 43. With the remaining, I have options - Dunn (18), Adam Jones (17), Cespedes (15), Scherzer (15) and someone's offering Trumbo for $1. I can also try to trade for VMart who would be 4, but I'm sure I'd have to give up a decent player. One option is Dunn & Cespedes and sell off an Alex Rios for $1, which I've been offered. That the best way to go, or would a combo of the other players work out better?

Paul Sporer: Cespedes & AJones is the way to go for me. Not too hot on Trumbo even at a buck. Love the across-the-board production for Ces & Jones.

Cory (Regina): Hi Paul, looking forward to the Pitching Guide but can't wait, if you had a choice to keep one, Niese or Minor?

Paul Sporer: Six of one, half dozen the other. I like both, but I'll lean Niese who seems to be a bit more polished at this juncture.

Spirou (Montreal): I have a chance to get Jean Segura for Wily Peralta in my Scoresheet league.Would you do it ?

Paul Sporer: I would.

Sara (Tacoma): What's your take on Anthony Rendon? Specifically, where do you think he ends up defensively, and does he even play for Washington, or do they trade him this spring after showcasing him at 2B, SS, and 3B?

Paul Sporer: Adam LaRoche has a two year deal which fits perfectly, because as that's running out Rendon can take 3B and Zimm can move to 1B. I don't think they'll deal him unless they develop a MAJOR need somewhere and there is a MAJOR piece available to fill said hole for more than part of 2013.

Guru (North Pole, AK): JO Berrios or Miguel Almonte in a deep dynasty league ?

Paul Sporer: Berrios. Doug Thorburn, my colleague here & SP Guide partner, was educating me on Berrios the other night so I will transfer that education over to you as an endorsement of him.

Craig (DC): Do you believe the Rangers will risk keeping N. Feliz in the starting rotation open his return or do you believe the closers role is once again in the cards.

Paul Sporer: I doubt he'll unseat Nathan, who was excellent last year, so I think they will use him as a swingman when he returns later this year. If they have a hole in the rotation, I bet he gets a shot, otherwise a power reliever to get him some burn.

AJ (Phoenix): I'm targeting Michael Pineda in a dynasty league. I'm in the position where I can maybe sneak into the playoffs as the #8 seed. Pineda would be great for me because a) his youth/talent makes him a great fit for my young/high ceiling team; and b) He's a potential 2nd half add that I can stash on my DL through the majority of the season. If I am buying, what's a fair offer for him in general (I know rosters would help here, no can do!). If you own Pineda, what are you asking for? Are you selling, or holding?

Paul Sporer: If I'm contending I'd probably sell, but in a dynasty league he still has significant value. Either a top prospect or a solid contributing MLB asset like a Brandon Belt.

Brandon (Connectict): Bigger future: Myers or Taveras?

Paul Sporer: Tavares by a lot. He can be a SUPERSTAR. Myers looks like a Nick Swisher to me which is nowhere near an insult. Swisher has had an excellent career.

SurferDude (Virginia Beach, Va): Chapman or Morrow in a head to head points league, using Chappy in a RP slot?

Paul Sporer: I know getting SPs in RP spots in H2H spots is a very nice advantage so I'd lean that way. Even a league-averageish Chapman ERA/WHIP-wise would play well there plus there's the massive upside still.

Jeff Keppinger (Hidden Valley): Is there a better salad dressing than Ranch? Also, when do you think the Nationals will come to their senses and put Harper in RF?

Paul Sporer: JEFF! You're accepting your nickname, very nice. Why do you care so much about the Nats? Don't you have some calisthenics to get to this afternoon? Not sure when they put him in RF, but it's not like they're putting Delmon Young in RF over him. He'd be better than Werth, but they can leave the vet there for a year.

Joe (Seattle): Does Oscar Taveras get a cup of coffee in September?

Paul Sporer: Might not even take that long. As good as their team, it's not a model of health so he could come up before then. If not, then yes, definitely in September.

Donald (Chicago): I really need a SS and could use upgrades at SP. I own Andrew McCutchen in a league that uses LF/CF/RF. I have been offered Starlin Castro, Ian Kennedy, and Glen Perkins (closer for Min.) for Adam Jones, Billy Hamilton, and Michael Pineda. Should I take this deal?

Paul Sporer: It sounds like you're going for 2013 and this deal really aids your 2013 run so I'm on board with it. Tough to give up that potential of Hamilton, but Castro is a blossoming stud in his own right and I've always like Kennedy.

Nick (Albuquerque): Any way you can justify keeping Stanton over Kemp in a keeper league?

Paul Sporer: You can't keep both? I took Stanton 4th overall in a draft so I wouldn't kill ya for it. You don't need to justify it to anyone but yourself so if you prefer Stanton, then do it. Kemp did have offseason shoulder surgery if you need a little more coaxing. :)

The Piranha (VA): PECOTA is extremely bullish on Kyuji Fujikawa to the point that the Cubs would be foolish not name him the closer going into the season. Do you believe Fujikawa's transition to the BIGS will go smoothly and how long before he inherits the closers role from Marmol.

Paul Sporer: If MarmLOL did his MarmLOLiness early and often, it won't take long. That said, PECOTA also like Marmol a good bit.

Javier Vazquez (Puerto Rico): Two part question: Do you believe Washington, DC will be my final destination? 2013 Forecast 12W 7L 4.12ERA 1.25Whip 155K's

Paul Sporer: Not sure the Nats can use you can now. I think a Spring Training injury or three will decide your market. That forecast isn't too bad and of course there's the upside for more.

Al (Denver): Fantasy baseball strategy - plan on going one stud starting pitcher along with anyone & everyone who can strike people out. Made up of middle relief/closers for the remaining pitcher staff. Can that strategy work & be successful?

Paul Sporer: Al, can you expound a bit? You're saying you'll take a stud early-ish then just closers & high-K MRs for your other eight slots? I'm not sure you can compete enough in Ws and Ks with just one SP.

rupertoooo (Lorton, VA): I love using BP's Player Forecast Manager as a major tool during a draft. In your opinion give a couple of players that PECOTA is too Bullish on as well as too Bearish.

Paul Sporer: I like Aaron Hill, Maro Estrada, Doug Fister, and Carlos Santana a bit more. Not quite as high on Anthony Rizzo and I'm nervous about Mike Napoli's hips. Like Shakira's, they don't lie except unlike Shakira's, I don't like what they're saying.

Alex (Anaheim): A friend told me he thought it was unlikely that Trout would be the #1 fantasy player in 2013. Do you agree?

Paul Sporer: Absolutely. That's one of the safest bets available. Not because he's going to fail and be a 20th round guy, but just because projecting the #1 safely is nearly impossible and he's due for some regression.

Chris Sale (Eating a burger, gaining no weight): When does my elbow pop, arm fall off, strong wind blow me over...?

Paul Sporer: Hey man, I'm 6'5/165 and I, too, fear strong winds. Nor do burgers phase me weight-wise. I'm not sure when your arm falls off, but you make my body hurt when I watch you pitch. I'm nervous for you, you Shaggy-from-Scooby Doo-looking son of a gun.

Francis Underwood (Washington D.C. ): I'm running this country!

Paul Sporer: NO SPOILERZ DUDE! I'M ONLY ON EP 11.

Bryan (Baltimore): 10 team 6x6 root (OPS/QS)...6 keepers Stanton, Harper, Altuve, Dickey, Myers... AJones for 17 / AGonzalez 22 / Prince 37... Looking for best auction dollar value (obviously not with Prince, would love to secure prime 1B) Ps - go Curtis

Paul Sporer: I'd go for AJones. I like Gonzalez for a rebound this year, but the $5 savings is definitely enough to sway me toward AJ.

Chris Sale (In-N-Out Burger): Zoinks!

Paul Sporer: Like whoa, Scoob!

ed (the office): Hey Paul, Who should I keep (3 yrs/$6 a year): Rutledge or S. Miller? Our league counts walks as well as 2b/3b. Thanks!

Paul Sporer: That's really tough. I usually lean hitter, but I'm a big Miller guy. I'll take Miller in this instance.

Jacob (Work): Do you think Starlin Castro's numbers will be better than PECOTA projects them? Obviously the system can't take into account that he made a change in his approach at the plate last year and I wondered if it was reasonable to assume the numbers would be better? Thanks!

Paul Sporer: It's not unreasonable. He's still very young so we could still see some up & down spikes before he settles.

Brandon (Connectict): Who has more 40+ hr seasons in their career: Stanton or Harper?

Paul Sporer: Stanton

Spirou (Montreal): Nathan Eovaldi.Been watching all his august-sptember starts and happen to think he's very much under-the-radar.What's your opinion ?

Paul Sporer: He's waaaay under the radar. He was someone I recommended as a spot starter a decent bit late last year. Caught some of his duds, but got the gems, too. Good eye, Spirou, he is one to pay attention to for deeper league players.

cgraham73 (Charleston, SC): What are your thoughts on Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez...what can we expect from them this year in terms or production and fantasy value?

Paul Sporer: I quite like both to be honest, AGonz especially. .300-25-100 for Gonzalez. Don't have a number projection for CC, but I like the idea of gambling on him at a discount.

Ted (Austin): I'm about to shop Edwin Encarnacion. What's a reasonable return if I am looking for SP?

Paul Sporer: The Phillies studs, Darvish, Wainwright... so just below the top of the heap.

dangor (New York): What do you think of position scarcity this year versus other years? In straight drafts, does it really make sense to take one of the Big 3 pitchers instead of a big bat? In auctions, are you more of a Stars and Scrubs or Spread the Risk?

Paul Sporer: I think catcher is super-deep this year, espec in 1 C leagues. I like 2B more than others. SS is painfully thin. OF is often characterized as deep, but many forget that most leagues need 5 per team plus some will be used at utility and some OF qualifiers will sapped up at 1B/CI, etc... I wouldn't take JV-Kersh-Price over a big bat personally.

I go with a stars/scrubs approach usually and in auctions, I'm more inclined to go for an ace because it won't cost me a hot bat.

Jon (Texas): Now that it appears the Rangers won't be adding any position players before the season, do you foresee a full-time role for Leonys Martin in center? Or will he split time with Craig Gentry? I assume Jurickson Profar will start the year in AAA. What about Mike Olt?

Paul Sporer: I think Gentry still gets some burn. He did well vs. LHP and his D is awesome. I think both start in AAA barring injuries.

JL (Chicago, IL): Domonic Brown - Any hope for this year (and beyond)?

Paul Sporer: Yes, I'm still modestly hopeful. They keep jerking him around for some reason, but he's only 25. Don't go crazy, but as a late upside pick, you can do much worse.

Now Playing: Backseat Freestyle - Kendrick Lamar

Giancarlo Stanton (Locked out of Paradise): Please tell Loria to trade me. I'm going to become the new Dan Marino here.

Paul Sporer: Passing the easy Marino joke to say that I really hope you're extracted from that mess soon, too.

Matt (NJ): Looking for a low end roto third baseman. Thoughts on Trevor Plouffe? I know he was up and down last year but would you count on him for 20 homers? Any better suggestions from that position that would be a nice very low end guy (very deep league) to provide some value? Thanks so much Paul!

Paul Sporer: I like where your head is at with him. 18-20 is definitely doable. He has the job which is a big help. I like Callapso, too. Doesn't do any one thing extraordinarily well, but solid & has the job, too. Matt Carpenter doesn't have a job yet, but I like him a good bit, too.

Tony (Lunch): What kind of numbers can we expect from Salvador Perez this season? How about at his peak?

Paul Sporer: He just keeps showing us more, huh? First it was the AVG then the HR last year. 14 HR - .290 AVG this year. Looks like he can be a 20+/.310 rake at his peak, but at 23 that may be some time away.

Charlie (PA): Do you think Gyorko wins the 2B job? I know there are concerns about his glove there

Paul Sporer: With a big spring, he can, but I'd take the conservative route & bet against it.

The old professor (Jupiter fla): 12 team keeper league h2h points..Allen Craig or AGon?

Paul Sporer: Old Professor, you must be new to the Paul Sporer Experience. :) Joking aside, it's Craig for me. Love that dude.

Tony (Lunch): Can you explain minor league rosters for deep mixed leagues? Of all you've seen what format works best, and how does it work?

Paul Sporer: Some non-dynasty leagues add a 3, 5, 7 (or even more if they want) minor league taxi squad which is basically a reserve squad of minor leagues separate from the main roster.

Gordon Beckham (Kappa Sigma): Want to come to my frat party this weekend?

Paul Sporer: Totes brah.

Shawnykid23 (CT): Give us a little preview of the SP Guide...How about 1 breakout SP in each league??

Paul Sporer: Some might see Samardzija's 2012 as a breakout, but I think that was merely a taster. I've been on the Derek Holland train for a while, but I still believe. Lefties take a bit longer and the talent remains plentiful.

AJ (Phoenix): Following up on Craig's Feliz question: do you see the Rangers using Feliz in the closer role in 2014 or do they continue the SP transition/experiment?

Paul Sporer: I think it would depend how things go at the end of this year (if they go). If he looks like trash in 5-6 spot starts in Aug/Sept, then I think it's game over with being an SP.

Brandon Belt (Giraffe Cages (San Diego Zoo)): Help, I stuck here in SoCal and need to get to spring training!. But while you're at it, riddle me this: With it being official that Trout will man LF and Bourjos man CF, will Trout start enough games in CF to qualify there (10 played, 5 started), and if so, for how long into the foreseeable future?

Paul Sporer: Probably so just because he's so good at CF. As for how long, it will depend on Bourjos' bat.

JoeTinker (Vermont): How much (if any) truth is there to the old adage that you can't really teach a curveball--that at some point it's either "in the wrists" or it isn't?

Paul Sporer: I'm not sure I agree with that adage. However, as an amateur scout trying to get better daily, I'm probably not the BEST one to ask that question of.

BJ (Bahston): Dynasty league free agency! Choice 1: Multiple one-year deals on low-quality arms, ie. Dempster, Arroyo, Maholm Choice 2: 3 year deal for Beachy Choice 3: 3 year deal for M. Estrada Which should I go with? I do need multiple spots in my rotation filled, but need to decide to pursue one large deal, or multiple smaller deals. Thanks

Paul Sporer: Not a fan of long-term deals on SPs because they're ALL ticking time bombs. I'd rather roll the dice on Dempster and even Maholm. Not Arroyo. #gross

The Dude (Newington): What are some of your favorite periphals to use when building a staff?

Paul Sporer: I'm a strikeout whore. If they can miss bats, I'm interested. Also a big fan of groundballs. Flyballers aren't inherently bad, though, especially if it's weak FB contact like Cain/Weaver because that means a low WHIP thanks to lower hit counts. But Ks and GB is the way to go for me.

Jim (PT Conferences): 2 Catcher league. Trying to talk myself into gambling trading for Tyler Flowers as my #2 as he's only $2 in $260, 5x5 OBP format league. What kind of value do you see Flowers having in '13? Thanks...

Paul Sporer: I don't LOVE him, but for $2 as your #2, it's not bad. It really depends what you're giving. He should earn the $2, but maybe not too much more.

The old Professor (Jupiter fla): So much love for The Wrench...so,little time!...I can keep 8 in a keeper league..Craig ( with of eligibility) ,Profar,Machado,Reyes,Wright, Hayward, Goldschmidt, King Felix and Greinke..who do I say goodbye to?

Paul Sporer: Gotta go with Profar, unfortunately. He doesn't have a job and the rest of those guys are just too darn good.

David (Ann Arbor): Release dates for SP Guide and for PECOTA 10-year projections?

Paul Sporer: Aiming for March 1st, and I'm not sure re: 10 yr proj. Soon, though.

Tony (Midwest.): What do you think is a safe amount of drinking prior to a draft? During it?

Paul Sporer: Everyone has their own limits, but I wouldn't want much of a buzz going because you could start making bad decisions. Kinda the same with poker. You don't want to impair your peak decision making. I choose not to drink during either.

Ernie (Cinci): I leaning towards getting MLB.TV this year. Have you purchased MiLB.TV before, worth it?

Paul Sporer: DO IT! No, but only because I spend so much time watching MLB games that I just wouldn't have time to utilize it.

R.A. Dickey (Growing a Manly Beard): 1) Will my beard ever be as epic as Jason Motte's? 2) Is there a better time to sell high on me?

Paul Sporer: 1 & 2) Probably not.

Julio (HEB in San Antonio): Cooking lobster (4 1st time)for the Mrs, baked, steamed or Boiled?

Paul Sporer: http://www.culinaryphilosopher.com/seafood/simply-the-best-way-to-cook-a-lobster/ good luck!!

The Piranha (Amazon River): Name a couple of SP which fall outside the top 75 that could end up inside the top 50 this year.

Paul Sporer: Ricky Romero, Shelby Miller, a healthy Scott Baker, Alex Cobb, Marco Estrada

sitdancer (Dc): Who should I drop in my upcoming draft (I am thinking longer term in a keeper league): Daniel Norris Taylor Guerrieri J.O. Berrios Addison Reed Nolan Arenado Jedd Gyorko I need to drop at least two, but I will probably find better value than these guys in the 3rd and 4th rounds of the draft as well.

Paul Sporer: Berrios & Norris. Nothing against their talent, they're just the biggest risks among this list.

Aroldis Chapman (Warming Up): How do you see my transition into the rotation going?

Paul Sporer: Not as well as most. I want it to go brilliantly like Chris Sale's, but I keep coming back to a 4.00 ERA and a ton of Ks.

Ratcatcher (Barsoom): 10 team NL-only keeper league - with Houston leaving is the talent pool shallow enough to consider keeping Pacheco/Juan Francisco/Matt Carpenter?

Paul Sporer: in the order you've listed them with little space between 'em.

Jim (Seattle): Thanks for chat Paul, can't wait for my SP guide.....so here is a backend rotation Q: who do you like more, Andy Pettitte or Ricky Nolasco?

Paul Sporer: No prob, Jim. Thanks for joining! I'd take a shot on Pettitte. Show some nice stuff in his short 75 IP sample last year, but if it doesn't work out there'll be plenty of Nolascos on the wire.

Tony (Work): Big Time Timmy Jim going to be elite ever again?

Paul Sporer: Definitely *can*, but I wouldn't bet on it just yet. His cost has come down to about the 9th round in NFBC which is a fair price for his filthy upside.

Jonah (Phoenix, AZ): I have an intense dislike for Miguel Cabrera that burns as bright as your (and my) love for Allen Craig. That said, should I avoid Miggy in my auction, or go after if and trade him after the draft?

Paul Sporer: I never let my personal disdain cloud my fantasy judgment. I'd even roster Jonathan Papelbon. Why not just go for Braun, Stanton, Trout, Kemp types instead of having to worry about finagling a trade?

Kevin (North Shore): How will the SP Guide be delivered/available?

Paul Sporer: PDF will be emailed & March 1st remains the target date.

Tony (Iowa): Who is this years Wade Miley? Todd Frazier?

Paul Sporer: Robbie Erlin, Josh Vitters

justarobert (Santa Clara, CA): How much do you buy PECOTA's projection for Roy Halladay? (Fantasy angle: because of odd (linear-weights-like points, 18-team mixed) league structure, I need to decide between keeping Jose Reyes and Halladay. Prado would be Plan B at SS, and my rotation is not so deep.)

Paul Sporer: I lean toward agreeing with it. I'm betting on a return. With Prado's 13 games giving him SS qualification in your league, I'd stick with him and keep Halladay. Reyes is great and SS is thin, but having Prado there is a nice little wrinkle since most leagues require 20 games.

Dan Vogelbach (Lunch for the day): Do you think Xander Bogaerts cans tick at SS for 5 years? 10 years?

Paul Sporer: Maybe, probably not.

BJ (Bahston): Thanks for answering my previous question, I really appreciate it. I guess I just can't stomach having Dempster and Maholm on my team. Especially because my team is on the downswing and probably won't compete this year, it may make more sense for me to go with one of the longer term deals. If you did have to take Beachy or Estrada for the next three years, who would you go with? Thanks very much

Paul Sporer: I love Beachy, but we have no idea how he'll return & his track record isn't exactly lengthy, so I'd have to lean Estrada.

Tony (Midwest): But the peer pressures! Also, what if I'm using it to my advantage (i.e. getting fellow owners drunk)?

Paul Sporer: Just make sure it doesn't backfire and you get sloshed ending up with Nick Blackburn on your team.

Tony (Work): Kate Upton's back on the market. Does this help or hurt Verlander's numbers? How about your numbers?

Paul Sporer: He showed no ill effects to the rumors so she must not be the trainwreck that Rihanna is. Now I finally have a shot. She's wonderful.

Carlester (The Present): AL only bottom feeding, who you got: Blanton, Santana, Norris, Danks, Niemann, Lackey, Harrell, Quintana

Paul Sporer: Niemann, Blanton, Danks, Lackey, the Stros, Santana, Q

Jim (at the gym): Who would you rather have in a 2 catcher 5x5 OBP league ($260): Napoli at $15 or Flowers at $2? I see both as risk/reward types. What are your thoughts on production for each? Thanks...

Paul Sporer: I'd rather risk it on Napoli despite hip concerns. OBP helps a lot. If he's healthy, he's going to be very good (not necessarily 2011, but still very good). Flowers is kinda whatever. He's going to be a $5 dollar player

Craig (St Paul): Paul, When do Hicks & Arcia get entrenched in the Minn OF ? Out of Spring Training or by mid summer ?

Paul Sporer: Summer at earliest and it's take A LOT given that neither has hit Triple-A. Mastroianni and Parmelee are going to get a shot to stick with Willingham.

Grout (SD): Hi Paul, thanks for the chat. For a deep keeper lg that's 20*35 with options to play two catchers, who do you decide to keep for $2: Hanigan or Iannetta? Or Neither? It's yet keeper dealine and only FA in the pool Mike Napoli probably won't last until my pick (late first round.)

Paul Sporer: You're welcome. Thanks for joining. Iannetta is my choice there. Hanigan is a much better *real* player.

Mateo (Reno): Billy Hamilton and Delino DeShields have some game-changing, fantasy championship winning caliber speed. Do they have the hit tool to succed at the MLB level (becoming 2-3 category studs), or are they pinch runners?

Paul Sporer: Definitely not *just* pinch-runners. They're both a ways out so it's too early to say. I think both have the bats to be everyday guys without issue. Whether they're 1 hitters or 8/9 hitters is the real question.

Kate Upton (Michigan): Hey Paul, just wanted to let you know that I'm no longer seeing Justin. http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/blog/eye-on-baseball/21703459/urgent-kate-upton-says-shes-not-dating-justin-verlander

Paul Sporer: LOL at the SEO action at the end of that blurb. Alas, I knew that and I'm currently seeing Kate wants to come to one of my auctions and rub my shoulders as I get bid up by some jerk on Allen Craig and end up paying $38 for him.

Jeff (MN): Thoughts on Trevor Plouffe holding down the third base job and crushing bombs?

Paul Sporer: Should be able to do just that. Another 20+ should be no problem.

Shawnykid23 (CT): Which pick(s) stood out to you (for good or bad) at LABR earlier in the week?

Paul Sporer: I liked Lynn in the 14th, Utley in the 8th; didn't care for Eaton in 15th or Howard in the 7th.

Tony (Dreaming of April 1): Is Adam Eaton going to live up to the hype? A player can't really be a sleeper if he's on everyone's list.

Paul Sporer: Unlikely to live up to the hype because I'm sure some think he'll hit >.300 with 40 SBs, but should get on base, steal plenty, and score some runs in that offense.

Adam (Rochester, NY): Over the next 4 years, please rank Austin Jackson, Middlebrooks, Headley and C. Santana for general overall production. Thanks.

Paul Sporer: Santana, AJax, Headley, and Middlebrooks. I'm really close on Headley & AJax, I just want to see another year of at least 2012-esque production from Headley, specifically the power.

Jake (Kansas): What prospect that will spend the majority of the season in the minors are you most excited to see play (and you cannot pick the obvious answers like Bundy, Taveras, or Hamilton!)?

Paul Sporer: Francisco Lindor (CLE) or Brian Goodwin (WAS)

Al (Denver): Along with the stud starter, I hope to have a couple end of draft type starting pitchers as well - maybe mix in an Estrada, Bundy, J.Fernandez, Rosenthal types. 2 or 3 of those. It's a 20-team league so you have to really weigh your strategy.

Paul Sporer: I like those guys, but Estrada is the only certain SP for 2013 in the MLB. I like the idea. Rosy is awesome and there are definitely plenty of cheap stud MRs.

Thinking of getting one (Work): Is Curtis a Beagle??

Paul Sporer: Yes and he's AWESOME!!!

Marv (Newfangleburg): Looking to win a dynasty league from 2015 until the sun blacks out. Trade Hanley and Wright for Prince, Billy Hamilton and Bubba Starling? Prince and Billy sound good. Bubba seems like too much risk for two big names like Wright and Hanley. Talk me down, Mr. Spacey, er, Sporer.

Paul Sporer: It's pretty fair, but I'd still try to extract a more sure-thing than Starling. It basically becomes Prince canceling one of Hanley or Wright then Hamilton & Starling for the other, which I wouldn't do.

Dennis (Lafayette): Who do you like more: Trevor Bauer or Tyler Skaggs? Where would you rank Jameosn Taillon in that trio?

Paul Sporer: I'm a big Skaggs guy. Taillon last of those three. Very close on Bauer/Skaggs

Biz Markie (Tacoma): I'm in a mixed keeper league where every year more pitchers get kept than I would expect. How should I react to this in choosing my keepers?

Paul Sporer: Depends how much success you've been having despite this change. I still lean hitter over pitcher when all else is equal and I probably wouldn't change just because more SPs are kept.

Crab Cake (Baltimore): Paul, Any chance Henry Urrutia takes over the LF black hole in Baltimore within the next year ?

Paul Sporer: It's a longshot.

Ratcatcher (Narnia): Any thoughts on what we might see out of Skaggs or Casey Kelly this year?

Paul Sporer: I like Kelly more because of ballpark and lack of competition. He should start in AAA, but should make it up in early summer if he success in AAA. If Skaggs beats out Delgado for the 5th spot, I'd change my tune a bit on his short-term prospects, but I'm not sure. ARI has an embarrassment of arms with 7-9 ready or on the cusp, plus Daniel Hudson in the wings. That damages Skaggs' 2013 outlook a bit.

captnamerca (FL): Jealous that a guy in my dynasty points league just got Craig, Austin Jackson and Matt Harvey for Stanton and JR Graham. Tell me who won that, so I can cover my sour grapes with taunts for the loser.

Paul Sporer: I'd still take the Craig side and not just because of my known love of his game. It's a fair trade so I'm not sure you can crush anyone. The guy getting Stanton paid the premium that a stud like that costs in a league where you get to keep him forever.

nictaclacta (Phoenix): Help! Get to keep two of the following: Jose Fernandez; Mike Olt; Mike Zunino; Nick Castellanos; Xander Bogaerts. Thank you.

Paul Sporer: I *really* like Fernandez, but he's 20 who hasn't passed High-A yet. I have to go with Olt and flip a coin between Bogaerts and Casty, probably leaning Bogy because of SS.

Jeff (Santa Fe): Great buy lows this year: V-Mart, Lincecum, Rivera, Crawford, Werth, Tulo (maybe "low"). Any others?

Paul Sporer: Those are among the best (though Tulow is still costing a premium, usually early 2nd is the best price). Going deeper I like Romero, Utley, Gardner, Halladay, and Avila

RWarriors13 (Central IL): Deep Keeper League with a MiLB system. Can keep max 5 Minors. We have: Profar, Sano, S. Miller, Hultzen, Cole. Do we drop one, and if so who? Or so we keep these 5 and forfeit the 6th pick in the 2013 draft next month?

Paul Sporer: Sano has great upside, but he's so far out. Will he be there with the 6th pick? Maybe just cut him and get him back if he's the best available and some of your other targets scooped. If there is no one AMAZING you're targeting at 6, just keep em all.

J.R. (South Bend): Highest WAR this season: Justin Upton, B.J. Upton, Kate Upton?

Paul Sporer: Kate's road numbers, especially in Antarctica give her a huge edge. Justin right there, though.

Hilarious Reference (Pithyville): In a 10-team MLB league, 6x6 (OPS and QS), 1 C. I'm keeping Trout, Stanton, Kershaw. Two more from: Chapman, CSantana, Bruce, Butler, Desmond, Machado, Matt Moore. Am I crazy to want Santana and Moore?

Paul Sporer: You're not crazy at all. I'd take those two, too. Bruce or Butler over Moore is probably the more conservative route to take, but I like the gamble with Moore.

GC (Lexington, KY): Will this be the year for T. Snider?

Paul Sporer: Yes!!! I mean, I hope. Let's be honest, probably not, but the cost is low enough to see if it is.

Shawn (My Desk): In general, What's your pitcher strategy in H2H (can't get leaguemates to switch to roto). I usually prefer to draft hitters early, wait on SPs, and wait even longer on RPs.

Paul Sporer: That's exactly how I'd play it. I think the Cardinals youngsters should be among your targets since they have RP eligibility yet two and maybe all 3 will be starting: Lynn, Miller, and Rosenthal.

Tony (Des Moines): Who are the top 5 prospects come next offseason?

Paul Sporer: I'm not near the prospect guru that Parks & his crew are, so please keep that in mind with respect to this list: Bogaerts (BOS), A.Sanchez (TOR), Yelich (MIA), R.Liriano (SD), Goodwin (WAS)

Baltimore Bob (NY): Do you think Bundy can break camp with the O's? If not, what's the soonest he arrive in the bigs?

Paul Sporer: Not betting on it. June.

bateman19 (Boston, MA): With SP being so deep this year, would you risk parting with a stud closer (Jason Motte) for a 2/3sp like Jordan Zimmerman?

Paul Sporer: I would, yes. Motte is my #2 closer, but Zimm is a favorite. I think he's fantastic.

AJ (Phoenix): Explain your and Jason's choice to go with Harper in Rd. 1 in LABR. And not getting The Wrench? Unforgivable.

Paul Sporer: No one remembers who finishes 2nd let along 6th. Harper is a go-for-broke pick, as is Longo. When Stanton didn't fall, it was a shift to Harper.

Tony (Trying to Keep You Chatting): Might be a long answer, but can you list your Ranch Team for the best hidden value (or best bang for the buck) players for 2013?

Paul Sporer: I'll prob have to write about that either here or at PaulSporer.com -- stay tuned

bateman19 (Boston, MA): Thoughts on Matt Garza this year? Seems very underrated (if healthy).

Paul Sporer: 100% agree, definitely someone I'm targeting.

Sky (The Roc, NY): Paul, how's positional scarcity shaking out this year? Any major differences between AL and NL leagues? I've seen some say 3B is deeper than 1B -- you agree?

Paul Sporer: C in the NL is ugly. SS all around is tough, but better in the NL. I do think 3B is quite deep and the case for its depth over 1B is strong, IMO.

Jeffrey (Madison): Bauer worth keeping in a 14 team mixed league for $3? (Can keep 2 pitchers, 2 hitters).

Paul Sporer: In a vacuum it's OK, but my guess is you have better options.

michaelmcduffe (ottawa): Chris Johnson and Juan Francisco will have over 200 strikeouts between them. They don't know what a walk is. They both can't field. Edward Salcedo is at least two years away and his ceiling is likely to be another Johnson or Francisco himself. I really like Atlanta's chances this season so when this 3B inadequacy becomes all too apparent by June 15 what will Atlanta do?

Paul Sporer: If that's their biggest hole and it bats eighth, they can live with it, but if it becomes too big to deal with then they still have prospects to deal away for a D-first, league average or just below bat at 3B. Can't think of a specific name right now, but options will emerge. I think their tandem will be fine, though.

Julio (San Antonio): in a daily holds league SP eligle relivers become hidden gems got any insight on who they might be this year? Capuano, Ja Happ?

Paul Sporer: At first I thought you meant RP eligible SPs like Lynn, Estrada, Medlen, Iwakuma. But you're talking guys who were starters but might be pushed into the pen? Trying to think of more besides the two you named. Maybe Collmenter? But he's not all that awesome.

Tim Toe (St. Louis): Thanks for taking the question. What is your take on John Jay? I got him in a 5x5 NL Keeper League for $10....Is there any upside value at that price? Thanks !

Paul Sporer: Yes, even a 2012 repeat would be worth about 2x that probably.

Mike (Seattle): Carl Crawford for Anibal Sanchez. Which side do you like more?

Paul Sporer: Usually lean hitter in these, but I think Sanchez has enough of an advantage with CC's uncertainty. I like CC, but wanna see it before going with him over Anibal.

BWooster (Helsinki): AL 12 team auction with FAAB, how much shoul I allocate for OF, P, C and rest?

Paul Sporer: I wouldn't worry about being that fine ahead of time. Focus on a hitter/pitcher split and go from there. take a look at this - http://www.advancedfantasybaseball.com/2011/03/building-your-auction-budget.html

Shawn (The Office): Dinner?- Chili Verde or Burrito/Enchilada combo (Company's paying)

Paul Sporer: Burrito/Enchilada!

Bart (St Louis): Paul, Thoughts on Matt Carpenter winning the 2B job in StL and then qualifying at 1B, 2B, 3B & OF.

Paul Sporer: Big fan of him. They asked him to work on his 2B D all offseason with a chance to win the job. I think spring will dictate it. His bat is WAY better than Descalso's so he only needs passable D.

DF (Wilmington, N.C.): How much upside is there for Zack Cozart? This is a keeper league, and Cozart is under control for cheap 2 more years, then arb-eligible.

Paul Sporer: I think he could hit .265ish with 20 bombs, so a bit of upside from last year. Def worth keeping giving SS scarcity.

Ratcatcher (R'lyeh): 10 team keeper 4x4 NL-only league - what's the definition of a "worth hanging on to at $10" player? Who's the example?

Paul Sporer: Jordan Pacheco, has some good positional eligibility and does enough to be worth it. Not great, little upside.

Dan (Brooklyn): In an AL-only Scoresheet, do you like for my final keeper: (1) Iannetta as the short half of a C platoon with Jaso, or (2) Yunel as the short half of a MI platoon with Kipnis? (In scenario 2, Zobrist slides from SS to 2B vs. LHP.)

Paul Sporer: Yunel.

Neil Carter (London): Have last pick in the 1st round of a 14 team head-to-head with OPS as an extra category. If the batting options out there at 14/15 are Tulo, Bautista, Beltre, Longoria, should I even think of taking a pitcher as well as a bat?

Paul Sporer: I wouldn't personally. Is OPS the extra category making it a 6x5? If there isn't also an extra pitching category, then I'd definitely avoid SP in the 2nd round.

Julio (San Antonio): Yeah guys like Doolittle and Iwakuma last year that had great splits and were stocking stuffers when it comes to K's when you had SP slots open. This requires constant upkeep but allows you to pick up a few k's a couple of wins and dominate HOLDS, could make the difrence in Head to head category leagues. Cashner & Collmenter could be guys. Only play them in big parks against week oposition.

Paul Sporer: Play Cashner always, he's a beast. Check to see if Rosenthal has SP elig. bc he'll be an RP to start.

Mitch (Toronto): Do you think Trevor Bauer will be more receptive to constructive criticism in Cleveland: Tone down the depth/size of his arsenal and use what works best? Can he harness the control/command and lower those BB/9?

Paul Sporer: It'll probably depend on his success. Cleveland knows what they're getting so they should be willing to meet him in the middle. There's no sense in pissing him off, but by the same token he needs to understand that if it doesn't work, a change is in order.

Bill Murray (Isle of Palms, SC): NL only keeper league..260 budget/23 players.....Looking at my last carryover...I got McDonald at a $1 and Venable at $4...who you think would give me the best return?

Paul Sporer: Venable. I like J-Mc, but Venable is a nice little player.

Paul Sporer: Thanks to everyone who joined, we last four hours. Next time, we chase The Professor's 6-hour marathon down. Happy Valentines Day: Scarlett Johannson, Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton, Allen Craig, Giancarlo Stanton, Austin Jackson, Miguel Cabrera, Max Scherzer, Justin Verlander, Trevor Rosenthal, Rickey, Romero, Cole Hamels, Jason Heyward, Paul Goldschmidt, and Jordan Zimmerman!!


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