Monday, April 11, 2011

Free Agent Scramble

I normally advocate ignoring the statistical blips of two weeks worth of baseball.  That I savagely violated that rule last season was more symptomatic of my awful roster than a shift in my fantasy strategy.  I've also just now made two moves, though largely for strategic roster purposes which I'd care to publicly explain.

1) Erik Bedard doesn't look good.  He just doesn't.  On top of his reduced stuff, he's pitching in the AL, with the full support of the Mariners offense denying him the scant few wins he might pitch himself into potentially earning.  He was worth what I anticipated to be a 1-week substitute for Brandon Morrow's forearm, though this seems to be stretching well into April, and I'm now forced into absorbing three Bedard outings and taking action before a fourth materializes.

Therefore, coming into the annual bottom-feeder sweepstakes rather late, having already seen Britton, McClellan, Chris Young, Aaron Harang, Chris Tillman, Brandon Beachy, and Jeremy Guthrie swept up, I took the next best unrealistic-early-performance name:  Alexi Ogando

It's amusing to consider that Ogando was briefly considered a potential closer this spring while Neftali Feliz experimented with starting pitching, and now Ogando's in the rotation and to this minute has given up four hits, three walks, and zero runs in twelve innings.  While the first start was against the lowly Mariners, he's presently blanking the Tigers, and that's a respectable feat.  So I'll sit on Ogando until Morrow's available, right?  Well, no, there's a problem.  He's only got RP eligibility, and I now had only four SP players off the DL.  Oops.  So I have to sit on Ogando and go back out and get another starter.

2) I didn't necessarily want to drop Luke Scott.  In our league's format, given 600 at bats, I think he can match the output of, say, a Nick Swisher, which is pretty good for someone who went in the reserve rounds.  However, he's been suffering lately from the day-to-day bug, has hardly played, and isn't necessarily guaranteed a full time starting role even when he is healthy.  With a currently far more impressive Logan Morrison also on the bench, I don't think I need Luke Scott right now, and there's a decent chance he stays in free agency if I change my mind later.

So hello Chris Narveson, my 1-2 week rental from the Brewers.  Narveson was briefly part of my starting lineup last season when all my other emergency replacement starters (Leake, Garcia) were shut down for the season.  His line for the full 2010 campaign was ugly, but I only owned him in the second half.  His post-ASG line:  5-3, 3.89 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 66 K in 81 IP.  His current 2011 line:  1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 14 K in 13 IP.  And he has RP eligibility.  Sure, I'll roll the dice with that.

I'm eventually going to have a sequence of tough decisions to make when both Morrow and Greinke come off the DL, because then I'll have two full-time closers, one full-time-until-who-knows closer, two temporary closers, two RP-eligible starters, and Travis Wood for four active slots and two bench slots.  I guess I can go looking for a better shortstop and try to trade a closer away.

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