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This blog was born out of a Dynasty Rankings thread originally begun in October, 2006 at the Footballguys.com message boards. The rankings in that thread and the ensuing wall-to-wall discussion of player values and dynasty league strategy took on a life of its own at over 275 pages and 700,000 page views. The result is what you see in the sidebar under "Updated Positional Rankings": a comprehensive ranking of dynasty league fantasy football players by position on a tiered, weighted scale. In the tradition of the original footballguys.com Dynasty Rankings thread, intelligent debate is welcome and encouraged.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Baseball: Reds Sign Lefty Affeldt

Good move by the Reds. Here's the original article from Foxsports.com's Ken Rosenthal:

The Reds, striking a bargain with one of the top remaining free-agent pitchers, have reached preliminary agreement with left-hander Jeremy Affeldt on a one-year, $3 million contract, according to major-league sources.

The deal, pending a physical, will be the Reds' third significant pitching acquisition of the off-season. The team previously signed free-agent closer Francisco Cordero and acquired right-hander Edinson Volquez in a trade with the Rangers.

Affeldt, 28, will compete for a spot in the Reds' rotation after spending all of last season as a reliever with the Rockies. He has started in the past and the Reds' far greater need is in the rotation, where they are unsettled beyond right-handers Aaron Harang and Bronson Arroyo.

If Affeldt fails as a starter, the Reds always could return him to the bullpen. The team currently envisions right-hander David Weathers setting up for Cordero and already features three left-handed relievers — Mike Stanton, Bill Bray and Jon Coutlangus.

Either way, Affeldt stands to earn significant performance bonuses in his new contract, one source said. The deal, however, is for a much shorter term than the four years he originally desired.

Two older left-handed relievers received multi-year, free-agent contracts — J.C. Romero, 31, signed a three-year, $12 million deal with the Phillies, while Ron Mahay, 36, signed a two-year, $8 million deal with the Royals.

Affeldt enjoyed a long-awaited breakthrough with the Rockies last season, going 4-3 with a 3.51 ERA in 59 innings. He is 25-27 with a 4.74 ERA in 286 career appearances, including 42 starts.

Rotoworld's take:

Sources told FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal that the Reds and Jeremy Affeldt have agreed to terms on a one-year, $3 million contract.
Affeldt figured to do a lot better on the open market giving his age (28), above average stuff and effectiveness for the Rockies last season, but he overplayed his hand in demanding a three-year deal. That doesn't necessarily make him a bargain for the Reds -- he's been a liability as often as not in his major league career -- but he's worth taking a chance on at this price.

Cliff's Notes scouting report from memory on Affeldt: On the positive side, he's still young at 28, he's fairly cheap, he's a lefty, and he has good stuff. On the negative side, stop me if you've heard this before, he has trouble controlling his above-average stuff.

I agree with Rosenthal: the Reds got a bargain, and my guess is Affeldt chose the Reds because they were willing to give him a chance to try his hand at starting once again. He's performed better as a reliever for much of his career, but he's shown flashes as a starter. For those of you who don't follow the rest of the league quite as closely, Affeldt has a fastball which tops out around 95 mph, which is top-notch for a lefty. He simply walks too many batters to be an effective starting pitcher. Far too many.

Realistically, Affeldt is a poor bet to remain in the rotation all season, but at that price in years and dollars with an intriguing upside, he's worth the gamble. Just as importantly, even if he does flunk out of the rotation, he's a major improvement over Mike Stanton as a bullpen lefty.

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