Thursday, September 09, 2010

2010 A.L. Pitcher Bargains: Non-Top 10 Division

Last time out, I looked at a few American League hitter bargains that aren't in the current Top 10 list. Today, I'll look at the pitchers.

It's much harder to find "obvious" candidates for pitchers who should have been paid more who aren't in the Top 10. The most common thread I can find is that the Top 10 bargains are all starting pitchers, and only Brian Duensing spent significant time pitching out of the bullpen. I always lament how 5x5 leagues ignore middle relievers, but based on the earnings and profits, it makes more sense to pay $2-3 for an endgame starter than it does for an endgame reliever. While you might get a $12-13 season out of a Darren O'Day or J.J. Putz, you're not going to get a $20+ season like you would have from C.J. Wilson or Carl Pavano.

Average salaries are derived from the CBS Analysts N.L. and A.L.-only leagues, LABR, and Tout Wars.

Jered Weaver. Average salary: $15. Earnings to date: $27.
Weaver wasn't the most exciting/sexy pitcher entering 2010, but if you went $1 over market value you had a buying opportunity on your end. Weaver was the ninth best starting pitcher in A.L.-only leagues but only the 17th most expensive starter on the market. While his 2009 was much better than 2007-2008, it's not like Weaver's floor was in negative territory. Considering some of the starters who were paid more (Javier Vazquez, A.J. Burnett, Scott Baker), Weaver should have probably sold for closer to $17-18.

Darren O'Day. Average salary: $0. Earnings to date: $13.
I know I mentioned O'Day above, but I just can't help myself. While I don't expect 5x5 owners to start shelling out big bucks for middle relievers, it's a little ridiculous that both CBS and LABR couldn't dig deep and find $1 in their collective wallets for O'Day. Since Opening Day 2009, O'Day has put up this sick line: 114 IP,  80 H, 30 BB, 94 K, 24 ER, 0.965 WHIP, 1.89 ERA. He's owned in 0.4% of ESPN leagues and three percent of CBS leagues. While some of these leagues are mixed, that's still poor.

I was hoping to find more of these pitchers, but there are only eight other $10+ bargains that don't crack the Top 10 and they don't fit the bill. Pitchers like Colby Lewis, Dan Bard, and Shaun Marcum are great buys in hindsight, but all were unknowns entering the season for different reasons. Neftali Feliz and Chris Perez worked out, but it's always hard to recommend CIWs for over $2-3. Jeremy Guthrie has been a great bargain, but there was nothing in his profile that screamed $14 season.

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