The last twenty comments in true blog fasion, with the links to their authors and the player commented upon.

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Chris Archer Tampa Bay Rays

Since he's been available in the auction in my league, he's never turned a profit. He's always gone for an exceptionally high price.  The deterrent this year is he could easily be dealt to the NL and only earn stats half the year.

Eugene Freedman EugeneFreed

Sneak preview: six picks, no pans in Rotoman's Guide.

Alex Patton Alex
Jake Arrieta Chicago Cubs

Sneak preview: four pans, no picks in Rotoman's Guide.

Alex Patton Alex
Pat Neshek Philadelphia Phillies

Back to Philly on a 2-yr deal in the 16M range. 

Setup/Closer type of money.  Probably the backup for Neris.

mlbtr reports:

Nightengale has the details on Neshek’s contract (via Twitter): It’s worth $16.25MM and includes a $4MM signing bonus. He’ll make $5.75MM in both 2018 and 2019, and he’ll collect either $7MM or a $700K buyout in 2020.

Kent Ostby Seadogs
Anthony Rizzo Chicago Cubs

Slugged .507 against righties and .507 against lefties.

Slugged .508 in the first half and .506 in the second half.

Alex Patton Alex
Tyler Chatwood Chicago Cubs

Hmm. Buried in parens in an article today at BP:

(There’s also a crazy incentive in Chatwood’s contract: his salary in 2020 jumps up by $2 million if he receives a Cy Young vote in 2018 or 2019, and it jumps up by $4 million if he receives a Cy Young vote in both of those seasons. An enterprising member of the BBWAA with a lucky ballot draw, no moral compunction about shipping off an unearned fifth-place vote, and Chatwood’s agent’s contact info could very easily work out a neat little deal in order to enrich both himself and the Cubs’ newest starting pitcher. I think a 50/50 split would be fair to both parties.)

OTOH, the Cy Young ballots, like those for MVP, are made public now.

Alex Patton Alex
Giancarlo Stanton New York Yankees
Alex Patton Alex
Brandon Morrow Los Angeles Dodgers

Brandon Morrow (P) CHI-N - Dec. 10

Morrow agreed to a two-year deal with the Cubs on Sunday, Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports  reports.

ROTOWIRE RECOMMENDS: Morrow is coming off a magnificent season with the Dodgers and will provide a much-needed reliable option at the back end of the Cubs' bullpen. In 43.2 innings of relief in 2017, the veteran righty posted a 2.06 ERA (1.55 FIP) with a 50:9 K:BB. The Cubs' closing situation is still in a bit of flux after Wade
Davis declined his qualifying offer and elected free agency. Morrow could at least
be in the picture for saves, if not the top option, by offseason's end.

Alex Patton Alex
Luke Gregerson St. Louis Cardinals

Luke Gregerson (P) STL - Dec. 10

Gregerson agreed to a two-year, $11 million deal with the Cardinals on Sunday, Ken
Rosenthal of The Athletic reports.

ROTOWIRE RECOMMENDS: Gregerson posted a sub-3.50 ERA in each of his first eight major-league seasons but took a step back in 2017 as he accumulated a 4.57 ERA over 61 innings of relief with the Astros. His regression was mainly attributable to
the fact that he struggled to keep the ball in the park, surrendering a career-high
13 home runs. He'll likely mix in as a late reliever for the Cardinals in 2018 with
the potential for some save opportunities.

Alex Patton Alex
Michael Conforto New York Mets

Michael Conforto (OF) NY-N - Dec. 10

Conforto (shoulder) likely won't be ready to play by Opening Day of the 2018 season
in the estimation of general manager Sandy Alderson, Anthony DiComo of reports.

ROTOWIRE RECOMMENDS: Conforto is still a few months away from resuming baseball activities following his early-September surgery to repair a torn posterior capsule in his left shoulder. A clearer picture of his timeline will come into focus once
he's able to resume baseball activities, but Conforto may open the season on the
disabled list.

Alex Patton Alex
Giancarlo Stanton New York Yankees

I tend to agree with scotts.  2018 might be a good year to look hard at the $15 players, who might magically become $8 players in the auction.

Mike Dean TMU2009
German Marquez Colorado Rockies

Here are their strike percentages if you include swings at out of zone pitches.

Marquez 66.8%

Strasburg 68.9%(led NL)

Kershaw 62.6%

Wacha 64.8%

Scherzer 66.2%

van wilhoite LVW

Led the league in % Pitches in Strike Zone. By a substantial margin, in fact.

Marquez 52.0

Strasburg 48.9

Kershaw 48.1

Wacha 48.1

Scherzer 47.3

He's keeping good company.

But the vast majority of pitchers throw more strikes than balls -- it's almost a job requirement -- so I assume this metric from BIS (in the Handbook) counts errant pitches that batters swung at as balls out of the zone.

Alex Patton Alex
Anthony Rizzo Chicago Cubs

Led the league in HBP (24), the second time he's done that in three years.

He crowds the plate, stands his ground, but keeps his hands and elbow out of the line of fire.

He got plunked by lefties 10 times in 150 AB.

Alex Patton Alex
Jed Lowrie Oakland Athletics

It would appear that the secret to his doubles splurge was an abrupt shift back to hitting the ball in the air.  Lowrie had the third lowest GB/FB Ratio in the league last year (0.68), behind two far more muscular hitters, Joey Gallo (0.51) and Kyle Seager (0.61). Seager hit 33 doubles and Gallo hit 18.

Alex Patton Alex
Giancarlo Stanton New York Yankees

I don't think Altuve and Trout are going to cost any less in an AL league. Owners will likely spend wildly for the big players, and then there will be bargains for those who are patient.

Player movement is just getting started, so I wouldn't assume the AL is going to get all the good players. Castro going to Miami in the Stanton deal at least gives the NL something back.

Scott Shea scotts

This depressing analysis, for a lot of us, by Joel Sherman in the New York Post today:

The Marlins, with little leverage, were still trying to maximize Stanton — get the best prospect package and remove as many dollars as possible. But as one executive who checked in on Stanton told The Post: “If the Marlins miss the window, they are going to die having this guy on the books. He can play poker with his no-trade clause. They can’t with their threats. They are never going to have a better season to trade him off of than the one he just had. If they don’t trade him now, they ae [bleeped].”

A Yankees requirement in acquiring Stanton is that it would not prevent them from meeting their vow to get under the $197 million luxury-tax threshold in 2018. Stanton would cost $25 million toward the luxury tax. The Yankees would want to ship Jacoby Ellsbury as an offset since he costs $21.86 million. But Ellsbury has a no trade clause and as of late Friday night had not been asked to waive it.

A combination of Starlin Castro and Chase Headley would cost $21.6 million toward the payroll. If the Marlins took that duo and paid down Stanton about $4 million a year, then the Yankees would be in the same situation with the tax they are now. They can play Gleyber Torres at second and try to re-sign Todd Frazier to play third.

The Yankees also would not be willing to surrender top prospects, but one of Jeter’s main lieutenants, Gary Denbo, ran the Yankees’ minor league system the past few years and will be familiar with the team’s best second- and third-level prospects...

Alex Patton Alex
Josh Hader Milwaukee Brewers

Somebody at Rotowire is working hard for his Christmas bonus.

Josh Hader (P) MIL - Dec. 8

GM David Stearns said Friday that the Brewers are still evaluating whether to use
Hader as a starter or reliever in 2018, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.

ROTOWIRE RECOMMENDS: One thing Stearns is confident about is that Hader "is going to be put in a position to accumulate innings," whether that be as a starter or
a multi-inning reliever, which is no surprise given Hader's arm talent. While the
Brewers will be looking to maximize Hader's innings, and he was a highly-regarded
starting pitcher prospect just an offseason ago, he did throw only 99.2 total innings
in 2017 across all levels, so he would inevitably wind up in the bullpen at some
point even if he heads into the season as a starter. With that in mind, the Brewers
must weigh if it's worth even trying Hader in the rotation, especially when considering
just how dominant (12.84 K/9, .156 BAA) he was working in relief last year. With
Hader facing a theoretical innings limit as a starter and not in the mix for saves
as a reliever, he will likely be only a fringe option in standard league formats.
However, even as a full-time reliever he will stand a good chance to hit 100 strikeouts
while providing quality ratios, so he can still provide some sort of value in any
role for fantasy owners and the Brewers alike.

Alex Patton Alex
Giancarlo Stanton New York Yankees

Eugene -- I agree that it does shift the salary structure in both leagues.

AL hitters will go down in value. Established NL hitters will increase although from a roto point of view Gordon is more of a hit to SB values than Stanton to HR values.

Kent Ostby Seadogs

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