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

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Dan Vogelbach Seattle Mariners

Note the Hard%.

On the other hand, they may shift the third baseman as well as the shortstop over to the second base side when he bats.

Alex Patton Alex
Mychal Givens Baltimore Orioles

I've got Givens at $2 and am obviously keeping him.

Apparently Wise Guy equates an 'opener' with a starting pitcher. The opener is a relief pitcher, not a starter, so his argument makes no sense.

As does his argument to dump saves and wins. I hear people who play 5x5 complaining all the time that middle relievers get no love. They're buying starting pitchers to chase the K's and Wins. My solution: drop K's and go back to 4x4. The middle relievers have always been appreciated in 4x4: good ERA, Whip, possible save sources. I've got nothing against the Runs category, but the hitting and pitching categories should probably be equal.

Old school, baby! Back to the future...

Scott Shea SJS
Dan Vogelbach Seattle Mariners

Daniel Vogelbach (1B) SEA - Feb. 19

Vogelbach reported to camp noticeably trimmer Monday and will compete with Ryon Healy for starting first-base duties during camp, Greg Johns of reports.

ROTOWIRE RECOMMENDS: Vogelbach didn't provide a number for his weight loss, but manager Scott Servais came away impressed with the 26-year-old's body transformation while he faces an important battle this spring. In addition to vying for the top spot on the depth chart at first base -- for which he enters camp as the underdog -- Vogelbach may need to perform well this spring just to keep his spot on the 40-man roster. Vogelbach is out of minor-league options and the lack of defensive versatility he provides may make it difficult for the Mariners to justify keeping him around as a bench piece.

Alex Patton Alex
Miguel Sano Minnesota Twins

Miguel Sano (3B) MIN - Feb. 19

Sano was spotted Tuesday with a boot on his right foot to protect the laceration on his heel, Phil Miller of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.

ROTOWIRE RECOMMENDS: While players often use walking boots when tending to sprains, bone or ligament damage pertaining to the foot, Sano appears to be using his mainly for precautionary purposes. Since the cut on the back of his foot is fairly sizable and keeps reopening, Sano will use the boot to keep his bandaging over the wound in place. The Twins could limit Sano's fielding and baserunning work early in camp as a result, but the injury is nothing that should jeopardize his availability for Opening Day.

Alex Patton Alex
Josh Reddick Houston Astros

Josh Reddick (OF) HOU - Feb. 19

Reddick worked off a batting tee placed on the outer third of plate Monday, Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle reports.

ROTOWIRE RECOMMENDS: Reddick endured his worst season in 2018 -- his .718 OPS represented a drop of 129 points from the previous season. The problem, according to Reddick, was a focus on the inner third of the plate. That led to more extreme shifts because he wasn't a threat to hit the other way. The 31-year-old outfielder pulled 36 percent of his batted balls in 2017, when he had a career-high .847 OPS, but his pull rate increased to 45 percent in 2018. The left-handed-hitting Reddick is expected to open the season as the starting right fielder, but with top position prospect Kyle Tucker on the precipice of the majors, Reddick could quickly lose plate appearances if he shows no improvement in terms of plate coverage.

Alex Patton Alex
Mike Moustakas Milwaukee Brewers

Comeback from ... the 3rd best WAR season of his 8 year career?

Phil Ponebshek Texpope
Jonathan Gray Colorado Rockies

Jon Gray (P) COL - Feb. 19

Gray said Monday that he reported to camp at 235 pounds after dedicating himself to heavy lifting in the offseason in addition to "eating anything and everything," Patrick Saunders of The Denver Post reports.

ROTOWIRE RECOMMENDS: Gray tipped the scales at as few as 209 pounds at one point last season, so his weight increase is fairly significant. While adding that kind of mass could been seen as a negative development for most players, it may be beneficial for the 6-foot-4 Gray, who boasts the frame to carry the extra pounds. Rather than any change in his physique, Gray's ability to bounce back from a rough 2018 campaign may hinge on his ability to gain more mental focus in tight spots. Opposing batters slashed .306/.379/.506 against Gray when at least one runner was on base last season, saddling him with a subpar 67.9 percent strand rate. The Rockies are tentatively penciling Gray in as their No. 4 starter behind Kyle Freeland, German Marquez and Tyler Anderson.

Alex Patton Alex
Mychal Givens Baltimore Orioles

"Every time a team uses an "opener" that's one more game that the starter can't win "

Did he notice that 
Ryan Yarbrough won 16 games last year?

Phil Ponebshek Texpope
Aaron Nola Philadelphia Phillies

I keep plugging the Wise Guy at The Athletic. But do I actually subscribe to The Athletic?

I do not.

I mean, do I really care about the Whitecaps FC?

I do not.

But... but... I would like to read the rest of this article:

Alex Patton Alex
Mike Moustakas Milwaukee Brewers

Comeback Player of the Year?

Alex Patton Alex

The fine print in his new contract (from BP):

  • 1 year/$10M (2019), plus 2020 mutual option. Signed by Milwaukee as a free agent 2/20/19. 19:$7M, 20:$11M mutual option ($3M buyout). Award bonuses: $0.1M for MVP ($75,000 for second place in vote, $50,000 for third). $50,000 each for All Star, Silver Slugger, Comeback Player of Year, Hank Aaron award, WS MVP. $25,000 each for Gold Glove, LCS MVP.
Alex Patton Alex
Manny Machado San Diego Padres

If you were choosing between 3 similar situations---teams thinking they will compete soon---and roughly equivalent money, where would you want to live, Philadelphia, Chicago, or San Diego?  Manny went for the beach.  He's no fool.

Mike Landau ML-
Mychal Givens Baltimore Orioles

The Wise Guy, writing for The Athletic:

Mychal Givens  All these teams dumping - I'm not sure how many but probably
five and as many as ten - creates a larger lower class of closers. More roto
teams are going to have Saves trouble, as if there weren't enough already.

As far as I'm concerned we should drop
Saves as a category and replace it with nothing. A 5x4 game. Nine suits

While we're at it, we should replace Wins
with Innings Pitched. We want a quantitative yardstick and that's what IP is.
Why go to a derivative? And besides all the well-known luck factors in Wins,
starting pitchers get fewer and fewer of them. Just five years ago starting
pitchers were still winning 35.1% of all games. Last year it was down to 31.1%,
and will undoubtedly go below 30% this year and probably way lower. Every time
a team uses an "opener" that's one more game that the starter can't
win The stat has outlived whatever usefulness it had. 

As for the Givens situation, are the
Orioles capable of winning more than 67 games, coming off 47 games last year?
Not until they get some good players, and depending on your standards you can
argue that they have no good players. I mean, Jonathan Villar and Trey Mancini
are the big bats. Their pitching staff consists of a few question marks and a
lot of resounding no's. Even if a few things go right, 100+ losses are a
virtual guarantee. Therefore owning Givens is asking for Saves trouble. He will
go long periods with few or no Opps. Furthermore, his usage almost has to be
erratic, and that's the last thing Givens needs, prone to wildness as he is.
Your hope in owning him is that he gets traded into a closer role, which is
doubtful. Save yourself the aggravation. Even in AL leagues he has to rank at
the bottom of known closers.

Alex Patton Alex
Lorenzo Cain Milwaukee Brewers

I wonder how Marquis Grissom’s earnings when he swiped 50-60 bases compared to Cain’s last year. I bet it is close given the scarcity of SBs these days.

joel schreier jschri
Yu Darvish Chicago Cubs

The Wise Guy, writing for The Athletic:

Yu Darvish  Arthroscopic procedure to remove damaged tissue in his
elbow, which leaves open the possibility of future TJS. Yu is expected to be
ready for spring training. With good news he's going to climb up draft lists
but may still be a bargain. You would probably have to make him your #2 SP and
that is risky. If I did I would take another SP right away. If the spring news
is bad, like he's going to miss any time at all, I will back way off. Assuming
normalcy, $18.

Alex Patton Alex
David Dahl Colorado Rockies

That's the algorithm value.  A .291 BA and 11 SBs have good value in this day and age, and 25 HR doesn't hurt.

Among NL regulars in 2018 those would rank him 12th in BA, 16 in HR, and 19 in SB.

FWIW, that algorithm projection looks a LOT like his career #s to date.

The bid in the Guide is $18.

Phil Ponebshek Texpope
Hanser Alberto Texas Rangers


Frank Smith Pancho
Josh Osich Baltimore Orioles


Frank Smith Pancho
David Dahl Colorado Rockies

Wow, projected to earn $29 in 4x4 in only 129 games.

Bryce Harper Washington Nationals

I'm wondering if the Machado signing ends up prolonging Harper's search for a perfect contract, rather than hastening it.

Because now it seems as if Harper HAS to have a bigger number than Machado.

And given their comparative value over the years, particularly that Machado's career is a lot less "lumpy" in terms of WAR ... The market might just not be ready to give him as much money. And I could see him holding out a lot longer trying to get it.

Phil Ponebshek Texpope

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