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Friday, March 9, 2007

Player Strategy Update - Takashi Saito

Version 3 of the Expert ADP Report just came out, and we have an update on Takashi Saito. He is going in Round 10, on average, in a 12-team draft. I now recommend everyone stay away from Saito as he is going much too early. If you are in a Yahoo! league, however, his Yahoo! rank puts him in Round 18. If he is still there in Round 17 or 18, pull the trigger on him.

If Saito is gone, be sure to target Jose Valverde in Round 17 or 18, as well as Octavio Dotel in the same area. If you aren't able to snag two of those guys, it might be a smart move to grab Ryan Dempster in Round 22 or 23.

Other closers of note include Jason Isringhausen in Round 17, Salomon Torres in Round 19, and Armando Benitez in Round 23. Of those choices, as long as I got Valverde, Saito, or Dotel, I would probably take Dempster in Round 22.

Don't panic if Dempster is gone or if you have another player that is too much of a value to pass up on. Even the intelligence of picking Dempster could be argued considering all of the guys who will get a chance to close this year. If you read the post before this - Fantasy Baseball Closer Rankings - you'll notice that there are tons of Closer jobs that are either still being fought over or will open up due to injury or poor performance.

While Mike Timlin isn't the most talented player, the Red Sox closer is bound to get at least 35 or 40 opportunities to close games and he could be a good choice in the closing rounds of a draft, although his job security isn't very good. I doubt the Red Sox will be relying on Timlin down the stretch. Could a trade for a guy like Octavio Dotel be in the cards, maybe?

The winner of the Marlins job is also bound to get a decent amount of save opportunities with a pretty good offense and some decent starting pitchers. All of their options seem to be more talented than Timlin. Kevin Gregg is the front runner now, but Henry Owens is a great pitcher too should he win the job. Taylor Tankersley was one of my targets in drafts a few months back, so if he should recover well from his injury and take the job be sure to pick him up right away. If Gregg doesn't get drafted and ends up winning the job, makes sure to grab him. He might even be a better option than Dempster in the draft. You're just taking the risk he doesn't close games come April 1st.

Anyway, I think that should be enough Closer talk for a while. I sure seem to have talked a lot about end-game stoppers considering how overvalued I think they are.

Fantasy Gameday for Version 3 of the Experts ADP Report.


Jason M. said...

Timlin is having lingering problems with a strained muscle in his side and will be held back at least a week.

Link to my story:

Having said that, I believe one of two things will happen with the the Boston closer spot -

1. They move Papelbon back to the role. No matter how vehement the organization is about keeping him in the starting rotation, they might not have a choice.
2. They trade for a closer. There are teams out there looking for help. A rumor that has come up time and again involves a trade with the Nationals for Chad Cordero. Don't be surprised if a deal gets done before the end of the spring.

I don't see Donnelly or Piniero closing (sorry Joel Piniero fans). Hansen is raw and young still. The Red Sox would be wise to give him a bit more time in AAA.

Derek Carty said...

Thanks for the link Jason.

With that information, I'll add Pineiro, Donnelly, Hansen, and Papelbon to my rankings, but I would suggest staying away from the whole situation until it is resolved.

I still don't see the Red Sox sticking with an in-house option at Closer, unless they decide they want Papelbon to do the job (and it is a good idea physically for him).