Utilizing the 60-day IL to Add Ottoneu Value

Using Injured List spots is a key part of any fantasy league. Knowing who to stash, when to stash them, how long to wait can have a huge impact on your season. For Ottoneu leagues, like with MLB, the 10- and 15-day IL designations don’t impact roster construction. Those players count against your 40-man cap. The 60-day IL, however, does not count against your roster and that gives you an opportunity to carry more than 40 players at times.

As the season winds down, there is an opportunity to use that to improve your roster depth headed into the off-season.

If you are like me, you have been careful about how you use your salary cap in-season, never knowing when you might have a chance to bid on a recently cut star or want to add an emerging prospect. In some of my leagues, needs or opportunities have crept up and I am low on cap, but in others I still have a decent amount of budget available.

Unlike real teams, though, I can’t carry saved money over to next season. If I have $20 of cap space available when the season ends, I don’t get to start 2023 with an extra $20. There are a few ways to use that money. Finding top prospects that are still free agents and scooping up any talent sitting on the wire are two of my favorites, but they have a disadvantage: you have to cut players to make room for them.

Sometimes you have deadweight on your roster you are happy to cut, but not always. You may still be competing or you may just not want to drop certain players because you don’t want another manager to grab them.

And that is where the 60-day IL comes in. If there are players available in your league who are on the 60-day IL, you can use your free cap to add them without needing to clear a spot for them on your roster. When the season ends, the 60-day designation goes away, but so does the requirement that your Ottoneu roster stay at or below 40 players. That means you can go into the off-season with more than 40 players.

Why would you want to go over 40 players, given you have to cut down by the end of January anyway? There are a few reasons. Having more players who are valuable and keepable is always good. Having players that other managers think are valuable and keepable is always good, even if you don’t think those players are valuable or keepable. Having more arbitration targets is good. Basically, if you can hold players at no cost, there is no harm in holding them and – depending on your cap situation – the 60-day IL lets you do that.

The problem is a lot of the players on the 60-day just have no value. Some are pitchers who underwent Tommy John Surgery and won’t be back for 2023 anyway. Some are just not fantasy-relevant. But there are more than 30 players on the 60-day IL right now who I think hold at least some value for the Ottoneu off-season.

Below, I break those players into four buckets:

Get Them On Your Roster

These players have legitimate Ottoneu value and should be rostered. They are potential keepers and, if you get them at the right price, you may be happy to have them. Even if you have to cut someone else to clear the cap space to add these players, I think it may be worth it.

  • Chris Sale – He was snakebitten this year, but one of the best arms in the game when he is on the mound.
  • Tyler Stephenson – He’s an elite fantasy catcher with a bright future.
  • Tarik Skubal – He’ll miss the start of the 2023 season and if we find out he is out until the All-Star Break or later, he may end up a cut, but he’s a worthwhile stash.
  • Michael Brantley – He’s not as young as he once was and you probably can’t count on 150 games – maybe not even 100 – but he produces.
  • Anthony Rendon – He may be back this year, in which case you would have to clear a roster spot for him, but if not you can sit on him all off-season.
  • Jazz Chisholm Jr. – Doubt he is available but if he is?
  • Shane Baz – 2022 was a lost season but the talent is real.
  • Alex Kirilloff – He was performing before he got shut down and I still believe he is a difference maker.
  • Royce Lewis – I think he is risky, and I am probably lower on him than most, but the talent is obvious and he’ll have value regardless of role.

Worth Sitting On

These players are not quite as sure-thing as the guys above, in my opinion, but they have some value. Depending on health updates, playing time situations, and more, they are potentially useful pieces that are worth grabbing now so that you have the option to make a decision with more information in January.

  • Tanner Houck – If he is inexpensive and closing or starting, he’ll be a keeper.
  • Austin Meadows – Again, price and role are unclear, but he is capable of being as valuable as Brantley, just riskier.
  • Jorge Soler – He has been so up-and-down and could be anywhere from a $30 OF to an obvious cut.
  • Joey Votto – You want to bet against him?
  • Walker Buehler – He’s likely out most of 2023, so I don’t think I would keep him, but he’s a big enough name and could be cheap enough to attract arbitration dollars or to have trade value to a rebuilder.
  • Michael King – I have a time putting a middle reliever on the “Get Them” list above, but I debated it for King.
  • J.P.  Feyereisen – See above.
  • Brandon Belt – I am not confident in his health or his performance due to his health, but we know what he can do.

Might Help

I don’t think these guys are keepers. Maybe you do? Maybe another manager does? Maybe they help grease the skids for a trade in the off-season or maybe they end up in such a good situation that their value changes? More than likely, you are adding them now to cut them in January, but there’s no harm there if you have cash to burn.

  • Adam Duvall – I don’t believe in Duvall’s bat as he ages, but someone else might, and there is always a chance he ends up in such a great situation that his value changes.
  • Garrett Crochet – I think he will be a very good RP next season, but likely with few (or no) saves and limited holds, which will depress his value, but that depends on the shape of the Sox roster.
  • Lucas Sims – The Reds closer situation isn’t clear and if he is named the closer, he’ll have value.
  • Adalberto Mondesi – I am not a fan, but there is always hype around him in the off-season and it never hurts to have hype on your roster.
  • Jared Walsh – 2022 was ugly and I would rather buy-low in auction than keep, but a report that his season was hampered by injury or something else could increase his value.
  • Trevor Larnach – I have been high on him for years and I am sure I will be in on him again in 2023.
  • Kenta Maeda – He wasn’t good last year and didn’t pitch this year so I don’t see keeping him, but pitching is always in demand.
  • Miguel Sanó – Think there is a good chance he is done in Minnesota and who knows where he might land if that is the case.
  • Paul Blackburn – It was always a matter of time before his great start faded but maybe someone remembers that start and it influences their arbitration or trade asks.
  • Anthony Desclafani – He is still with San Francisco, so there is still a chance he performs again.
  • Mike Zunino – Was 2021 an aberration or the first of many good seasons?
  • Mitch Garver – Similar to Zunino.

Doesn’t Hurt, I Guess

I don’t really see any path towards keeping these guys and I don’t imagine they help you in the off-season, but there is no harm in holding them if you want to.

  • Tony Santillan – There is talent in that arm but he’s more interesting as a $1 auction target than a $3+ keeper.
  • Danny Duffy – He has some interesting Triple-A numbers and you never know who might get overly excited about a Dodgers project.
  • Ryan Jeffers – Any starting C has at least a little value, right?
  • Corey Knebel – The injury is concerning but the performance is my bigger issue.
  • Drew Pomeranz – I sat on him all year this year because I believe in the arm, but he needs to be 100% ready to go for spring to even think about keeping him, and probably not then.
  • Nate Pearson – We’re beyond post-hype but there is still something there and who knows what the off-season talk track will be.
  • Stephen Strasburg – I doubt there is a return to glory coming but crazier things have happened.

 

 





A long-time fantasy baseball veteran and one of the creators of ottoneu, Chad Young's writes for RotoGraphs and PitcherList, and can be heard on the ottobot podcast. You can follow him on Twitter @chadyoung.

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ahix24member
14 days ago

Spencer Turnbull is a good fit for the Might Help category. Was pitching well before he got hurt, should be fully ready to go before spring training.