Which teams make the most sense for the remaining free agents?
It’s that time of the year again. Most notable free agents have signed with new teams, while others are closing in on their own agreements. Alas the precious few left on the open market now have days instead of weeks to secure employment before the exhibition season begins. To assist nine of the most noteworthy remaining free agents (read: pass time until something interesting happens), let’s take a look at what they offer and where they may land, with a hand from everyone’s favorite random number generator.
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Janssen, Fuentes, and Thayer are discussed in this week's Value Picks
The debate between the old and new schools as to the usefulness of defined bullpen roles is as strong as ever, and with such a high turnover rate in the early going of this season, both sides have had plenty of fodder to build their arguments. For those of us who partake in fantasy leagues, however, such philosophical pedantry is a mere luxury. Chasing saves, after all, is a dirty game, so let’s have a look at some relievers of interest.
With all of the big-name free-agent closers off the market, how are things shaking out at the end of each team's bullpen?
Now that the Blue Jays have signed Francisco Cordero, all of the legitimate closer candidates are now off the free-agent market. As such, now makes for a good time to check out how things look now that the closer carousel has stopped spinning.
Is there such a thing as a "closer mentality," or can any effective setup man handle the closer role? The BP staff tries to get to the bottom of the matter.
The following is an edited transcript of an in-house discussion that took place among the Baseball Prospectus staff when one of our number solicited examples of unsupportable baseball arguments for an upcoming article. After Kevin proposed "Anyone can close," the thread took off in a new direction.
Questions answered for the Rays and Nationals bullpens, and new ones asked about the White Sox.
Here at Value Picks HQ, we’re back in the swing of things with identifying undervalued assets who are available in 80 percent (or more) of leagues for you to pick up. Of course, if I do my job well, the list here will constantly be shuffling as ownership levels and player performances rise and fall. To that end, our list is split into three sections: guys from the previous week that we’ll be moving on from, guys who are staying with us, and brand new additions. Let’s get started.
With spring training inching toward a close, closer battles are starting to wind down as well.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day, where I admit to the fact that I have the day off of work but may be the only person in the country who is stepping out for reasons that don’t involve either green-tinted festivities or the beginning of the NCAA Tournament. (I’ll watch Boston U get crushed in the first round, and then turn spring training back on, in case you’re wondering.) After a day spent looking at outfielders, we’re back to the bullpen, where there’s much to discuss.
It's time to look backwards in order to get value going forward.
Weird week here at the relievers outpost of Value Picks. As you can tell from the comments in last week's article, I'd expected that we'd be talking about possible closer changes in Houston and Washington, with Matt Lindstrom and Matt Capps having each blown three saves in four outings. Yet since then, Lindstrom's been perfect in converting three saves, and Capps has converted his chances as well, holding off the wolves at least for this week. Plus, two of the other teams we've been talking about - Toronto and Baltimore - haven't even been able to get far enough in games to have save opportunities. So as far as save-chasing goes this week, it's kind of a lean group, and with that in mind we're looking back at past values which could pay off in the near future.
We're welcoming back two previous Value Picks this week in Alfredo Simon and Fernando Rodney. Simon was one of the more successful value picks of the season, as he went from being a minor-league afterthought in April to converting six of seven save opportunities in May before being injured - a nice treat for savvy fantasy owners who were able to wring easy value out of him. Since he's been gone, the Orioles have been even more of a disaster than they were before, and though Will Ohman's been the nominal closer for over two weeks now, he hasn't notched a single save. Much of that is his fault, but not in the way you think. Yes, he blew the only save opportunity he was presented with (though he allowed just one run while doing so), but since he was forced into the 9th inning, the replacements the Orioles have tried in Ohman's old spot have failed miserably, leading to Ohman getting just one chance to actually close a game.
Mike Petriello tries to make sense of the mess in Baltimore, and checks in on last week's picks.
Smell You Later: There's only one man leaving the list this week, and it's for all the right reasons. Manny Corpas has been outstanding as the interim closer for Colorado, ripping off eight consecutive scoreless and walkless innings, picking up four saves in that stretch. With Huston Streetstill limited to bullpen sessions as he battles back from arm and groin injuries, Corpas looks secure in his job for the next few weeks at least. Fantasy players have noticed, as he's now owned in over 42% of ESPN leagues, a nice jump up from the single digit ownership he was at when he joined this list. That no longer qualifies him as a hidden value, so let's hope you jumped on board the train while you had the chance.
Welcome to the Jungle: Fun time to be an Orioles fan, isn't it? After watching Mike Gonzalez get hurt and Jim Johnson get shipped off to AAA before getting hurt himself, it looked like they had finally found a decent relief option in Alfredo Simon. Simon put together six saves and a win in his twelve appearances, most of which he spent right here on the Value Picks list (until "graduating" last week), yet now he's down as well with a strained hamstring. He was joined on the DL by yet another reliever, Koji Uehara, who had also been effective in the short time he'd been healthy.