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Tip Drill: Pricing the pitchers

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I originally wasn't going to do any March prices for baseball, but after a flood of e-mail asking for them, I'm caving to the masses, at least on the starting pitchers. Other positions, we'll see. Offer your intelligent disagreement in the comments and we'll tighten this list together.

The prices assume a 5x5 format, as always (even the Flintstones laugh at 4x4), and players at the same price are essentially even. At the end of the day what matters is how the players relate to each other; don't get hung up on the base price listed. Season to taste for your own leagues and needs.

$31 Tim Lincecum, Giants
$30 Johan Santana, Mets
$29 Brandon Webb, Diamondbacks
$27 Roy Halladay, Blue Jays
$27 Jake Peavy, Padres
$27 Cole Hamels, Phillies
$26 Dan Haren, Diamondbacks
$25 CC Sabathia, Yankees

In a perfect world you'd like to get one of these eight to front your staff. Don't listen to the doomsday calls on Sabathia, the same people have been carping since the early part of the decade and they haven't won yet.

$23 James Shields, Rays
$22 Roy Oswalt, Astros
$21 Josh Beckett, Red Sox
$21 Francisco Liriano, Twins
$21 Chad Billingsley, Dodgers
$20 Jon Lester, Red Sox
$20 Javier Vazquez, Braves
$19 Ricky Nolasco, Marlins

I'm starting to realize that I like Vazquez and Nolasco more than most, and I'm fine with that. Honestly, I have no idea what to do with Liriano. Neither does anyone else.

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$19 John Lackey, Angels
$19 Cliff Lee, Indians
$18 Felix Hernandez, Mariners
$18 Derek Lowe, Braves
$18 Daisuke Matsuzaka, Red Sox
$17 Edinson Volquez, Reds

The pundit backlash against Dice-K is getting a little ridiculous. Sure, there's a case against him and that 2008 ERA isn't real, but this isn't John Wasdin. Swim against the current and collect your win. Lowe is welcome on any staff if you have 2-3 better options already, but he shouldn't be your lead singer. Volquez and the rest of the Cincinnati pitchers will appreciate having a real defensive outfield this year.

$16 Matt Garza, Rays
$16 Kevin Slowey, Twins
$16 Josh Johnson, Marlins
$15 Zack Greinke, Royals
$15 Yovani Gallardo, Brewers
$15 Scott Baker, Twins
$15 Ryan Dempster, Cubs
$15 Justin Verlander, Tigers
$15 Adam Wainwright, Cardinals
$15 Scott Kazmir, Rays
$14 Ted Lilly, Cubs
$14 Matt Cain, Giants
$14 Erik Bedard, Mariners
$14 A.J. Burnett, Yankees
$14 Rich Harden, Cubs

Someone's probably going to ask me why there's a $3 difference between Nolasco and Johnson and I'm not sure I have a good answer. I'll sign off on most of this Florida staff. Slowey and Baker are another pair of similar teammates; whoever goes second is the value play. You won't get a higher Kazmir rank out of me; yeah, he's got nasty stuff, but he has no clue where it's going and it's hard to win ballgames when you're out of the action by the middle of the sixth inning.

$13 Joba Chamberlain, Yankees
$13 Brett Myers, Phillies
$13 Aaron Harang, Reds
$12 Carlos Zambrano, Cubs
$12 Ervin Santana, Angels
$12 Randy Johnson, Giants

There's no innings-upside to Chamberlain, unless the Yankees make some sort of panic move in mid-season. Zambrano's plummeting strikeout rate scares me away.

$11 Paul Maholm, Pirates
$11 Mike Pelfrey, Mets
$11 Gavin Floyd, White Sox
$11 Chris Carpenter, Cardinals
$11 Chris Young, Padres
$10 Ubaldo Jimenez, Rockies
$10 Oliver Perez, Mets
$10 John Danks, White Sox
$10 Jair Jurrjens, Braves
$9 Mark Buehrle, White Sox
$9 Jered Weaver, Angels
$9 Chien-Ming Wang, Yankees
$9 Gil Meche, Royals
$8 Wandy Rodriguez, Astros

Maholm's having a very tidy spring and here's an additional, sneaky reason to like him. More strikeouts from Pelfrey would be nice, but the large park and the NL environment offer a safe floor. You want to talk me into a higher price on Wandy, go right ahead, I'm listening. Buehrle hasn't looked good this month and he's going to miss his next turn, but he deserves the benefit of the doubt off his track record.


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$7 Max Scherzer, Diamondbacks
$7 Joe Saunders, Angels
$7 Fausto Carmona, Indians
$7 David Price, Rays
$6 Manny Parra, Brewers
$6 Johnny Cueto, Reds
$5 Kenshin Kawakami, Braves
$5 Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers
$4 John Maine, Mets
$4 Ian Snell, Pirates
$4 Chris Volstad, Marlins

Parra has the stuff to jump a tier or two as the season goes along. Snell will drive you nuts sooner or later but you can't deny his strikeout upside. Grab a 2-iron before you step in against Volstad.

$3 Sean Marshall, Cubs
$3 Randy Wolf, Dodgers
$3 Jordan Zimmermann, Nationals
$3 Bronson Arroyo, Reds
$3 Brandon Morrow, Mariners
$3 Justin Duchscherer, Athletics
$3 Tommy Hanson, Braves
$2 Todd Wellemeyer, Cardinals
$2 Jonathan Sanchez, Giants
$2 John Lannan, Nationals
$2 Jeremy Guthrie, Orioles
$2 Hiroki Kuroda, Dodgers
$2 Dave Bush, Brewers
$2 Armando Galarraga, Tigers
$2 Anthony Reyes, Indians
$2 Anibal Sanchez, Marlins
$2 John Smoltz, Red Sox
$2 Brad Penny, Red Sox

If you're in a deep league with large bench space, you have my permission to attack Hanson more aggressively.

$1 Yusmeiro Petit, Diamondbacks
$1 Trevor Cahill, Athletics
$1 Sean Gallagher, Athletics
$1 Ryan Rowland-Smith, Mariners
$1 Neftali Feliz, Rangers
$1 Kyle Lohse, Cardinals
$1 Joe Blanton, Phillies
$1 Jesse Litsch, Blue Jays
$1 Jeremy Bonderman, Tigers
$1 Jamie Moyer, Phillies
$1 Edwin Jackson, Tigers
$1 David Purcey, Blue Jays
$1 Clay Buchholz, Red Sox
$1 Cha Seung Baek, Padres
$1 Brandon McCarthy, Rangers
$1 Andy Sonnanstine, Rays
$1 Andy Pettitte, Yankees
$1 Andrew Miller, Marlins
$1 Aaron Cook, Rockies
$1 Phil Hughes, Yankees

A dollar and a dream. Baek is an intriguing deep-league play, working in Yellowstone Park. Mike Salfino can defend Jackson far better than I ever could.

$0 Vicente Padilla, Rangers
$0 Tim Wakefield, Red Sox
$0 Tim Redding, Mets
$0 Pedro Martinez, Free Agent
$0 Nick Blackburn, Twins
$0 Micah Owings, Reds
$0 Josh Geer, Padres
$0 Jorge De La Rosa, Rockies
$0 Jorge Campillo, Braves
$0 Garrett Mock, Nationals
$0 Dana Eveland, Athletics
$0 Chan Ho Park, Phillies
$0 Carlos Carrasco, Phillies
$0 Brian Bannister, Royals
$0 Braden Looper, Brewers
($1) Kevin Millwood, Rangers
($1) Jon Garland, Diamondbacks
($1) Jake Westbrook, Indians
($1) Homer Bailey, Reds
($1) Brian Moehler, Astros
($1) Barry Zito, Giants
($2) Jason Schmidt, Dodgers
($2) Daniel Cabrera, Nationals
($3) Jarrod Washburn, Mariners
($5) Scott Olsen, Nationals

When Olsen's name comes up on the screen, it's time to put a wrap on it.

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Images via Associated Press

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