Like “sleeper”, “bust” is a nebulous term in which one size doesn’t fit all, but in general, the following relievers have been deemed overvalued by the Yahoo fantasy crew entering 2018 drafts, so buyer beware.
• Here are my two essential problems with Alex Colome: 1) He’s an obvious trade candidate, what with the Rays having an ongoing yard sale, and 2) he’s not actually a special talent by elite closer standards. Colome’s career ERA is 3.14 and his WHIP is 1.22 — respectable ratios, certainly, but not special. He basically pitched to those numbers last season. It’s not at all clear that he’d continue closing games if/when he’s dealt. No need to chase last year’s 47 saves. — Andy Behrens
• Normally I’d suggest ignoring postseason results, but it’s hard to shake just how poorly Ken Giles pitched in October, when he allowed 10 earned runs over seven appearances. Giles had a dominant season otherwise, and it’s possible his slider will go right back to being dominant no longer using the supposedly different World Series baseballs, and it’s certainly a terrific situation (the Astros sport one of the highest win projections ever in 2018 and play in a home park that’s suppressed run scoring more than any other in MLB over the past two years).
But Giles has had control issues in the past (he’s one season removed from posting a 4.11 ERA and 1.29 WHIP), and the Astros have multiple strong alternatives should he falter (his leash can’t be that long given he was pulled from the role during the most important games of the team’s season last year). He’s typically drafted as the eighth reliever off the board, which is too high for someone who looked like he was tossing batting practice the last time we saw him, so I’ll be avoiding Giles at that price. — Dalton Del Don
• Corey Knebel is being priced as a sure-thing closer, going No. 4 at the position in Yahoo leagues and No. 3 at the post in NFBC leagues (even ahead of Aroldis Chapman). That 4.74 BB/9 rate doesn’t worry anyone? It’s obviously foolish to chase a 1.78 ERA repeat from someone with this kind of control, and given that Milwaukee is aggressively positioning itself to contend, I don’t expect Knebel to have a long leash if he hits any kind of trouble.
Two years ago, Knebel was just another erratic guy with an electric arm, searching for a semblance of control (4.68 ERA, 10.47 K/9, 4.4 BB/9) and a role in the majors. He made significant strides last year, but relief pitchers are highly volatile, it’s a variance position. When I start filling this area, I want something safer or something a heck of a lot cheaper. Knebel has done it just once, and there’s a plausible road to him losing his way again. The current price doesn’t make sense to me. — Scott Pianowski