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My Keeper Roster

My favorite fantasy baseball league is one I do with a friend and have been in for years.  It's a keeper league that uses a live auction.  Standard 5x5 categories with no bench, 14 hitters, and 9 pitchers.  If a guy hits the DL you get an injury replacement.  Our draft is March 9th, and our keepers are due soon.  Each team gets up to ten keepers, so inflation is huge.  Often, top and mid-tier players are priced at double the dollar values you might have for a non-keeper league (and this is reasonable given the amount of talent kept cheaply).

I have a very pitching-heavy team, but was unable to strike any deals for position-playing talent this winter.  Typically I am better at acquiring good pitchers off the waiver wire rather than position players.  Here is the look of my team currently:

C - Jarrod Saltalamacchia - can keep for $4
C - Ramon Hernandez - can keep for $13
1B - Lance Berkman - can keep for $23; free agent after '08
2B - Howie Kendrick - can keep for $4 and lose after '08, or give a raise at $4 per additional season. So if I want him through '09 I have to pay $8 for him in each of the '08 and '09 seasons.
SS - Julio Lugo - cannot keep
3B - Alex Gordon - can keep at $10
CI - Kevin Youkilis - can keep at $4
MI - Kelly Johnson - can keep at $5
OF - Carlos Beltran - can keep at $41 and lose after '08, or give raise at $4 per year
OF - Manny Ramirez - can keep at $43
OF - Chris Young - can keep at $4
OF - Corey Hart - can keep at $4
OF - Mark Teahen - can keep at $13
DH - Felix Pie - can keep at $4
SP - Chad Billingsley - can keep at $4
SP - C.C. Sabathia - can keep at $32
SP - Jamie Shields - can keep at $4
SP - Javier Vazquez - can keep at $4 and lose after '08, or give a raise at $4 per year
SP - Felix Hernandez - signed through '09 at $12 per season
SP - Rich Hill - can keep at $9
SP - Jeremy Guthrie - can keep at $4
RP - Kevin Gregg - can keep at $4
RP - J.J. Putz - can keep at $4 and lose after '08, or give a raise at $4 per year

So I ask of you: which ten to keep?  Here are my initial thoughts to consider before you advise.

  • I am unlikely to keep Salty, Ramon Hernandez, Gordon, Youkilis, Teahen, Pie, Guthrie, or Gregg.  Some of you may suggest keeping Gordon and/or Pie but from experience I can get these guys again at similar prices in the auction.  And I'd prefer sure things in my offense, for the most part.
  • I am likely to choose just one of Kendrick/Johnson.  Kendrick has the name value, but lacks power and a good spot in the batting order.  Johnson comes out higher in my dollar values and could lead off for the Braves.  I am leaning toward KJ.
  • In this league, Berkman at $23 is good value, as is Sabathia at $32.  I am likely to keep both.
  • Beltran at $41 at least deserves some consideration, as top tier talent is scarce in this league and he's a five category guy.  Manny at $43 is probably a pass.
  • Hart and Young are pretty much locks to be kept.
  • It would be really hard to not keep any of Shields, Vazquez, Felix, Hill, and Putz.  I hate to lock in six of nine pitchers since I'm good at finding them, but these are all great value.  Billingsley would normally be kept but with six pitchers already he's questionable.
  • If I sign Putz and Vazquez through '09, I'm at $73 for six pitchers.  I'd prefer not to spend more than $80 on pitchers, so the other three would be late bargain picks.
  • Overall, I am leaning toward keeping Berkman, Johnson, Young, Hart, Sabathia, Shields, Vazquez, Felix, Hill, and Putz.  What would you do?

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