Every year there are new players that move teams, move roles and thus their value. 2013 is no exception as both free agency, trades and everything in between help dictate fantasy value.
One of the most promising areas of the draft can be to find that late "sleeper" or situational player that can give you value that far outweighs their draft position. Oftentimes you must get a little luck with that choice, but the rewards are so much higher than other possibilities at that draft slot.
This piece is looking to find some of those players whose value has increased or decreased due to their change in role. More often than not this list would include pitchers changing their definitive roles (e.g. middle relief to closer) but there are also some positional players whose value can be altered within a new role.
Raised: Bruce Rondon, RP Detroit Tigers
With the departure of Jose Valverde from the closing gig in Detroit it has left a wide-open competition. Many believe that the hard throwing 22-year-old Venezuela native could be the guy to grab the job. That being said, Leyland is very weary of handing the job right over to Rondon before camp even opened.
When asked if Rondon would get the first shot, Manager Jim Leyland replied:
“No, it’s not like that,” Leyland said. “I’m going to look at all my options, and hopefully I’ll make a decision.
"But I doubt anyone will be anointed the closer out of spring training. It might happen, but I doubt it."
It remains to be seen who will get the closing duties in Detroit, but Rondon's value clearly goes up with this great opportunity to be the closer for a top team in the AL.
Lowered: Tyler Clippard, RP Washington Nationals
After saving 32 games in 37 tries last year with the Washington Nationals, Clippard will now return to his job as the setup man as the Nats inked Rafael Soriano to a two-year $28 million contract this offseason (and that isn't setup man money!).
Much be tough for Clippard after being such a great team player and finding success this past season only to return to his old gig. Maybe Clippard's terrible September had something to do with the signing?
Lowered: Drew Storen, RP Washington Nationals
Like Clippard, Storen (who missed a large part of 2012 with an injury) will lose fantasy value in 2012 with the signing of Rafael Soriano. Storen had 43 saves in 2011 and emerged as a solid young arm (after being drafted 10th overall in 2009) yet this signing clearly lowers his fantasy value.
Slightly Raised: Kevin Youkilis, 3B New York Yankees
Youkilis had a down year and a half, however his keen eye at the plate and reinvigorated motor could prove to be important to the Yankees, especially with A-Rod's future so uncertain and the departure of Eric Chavez.
Although Youkilis played some third base last season (before the emergence of Will Middlebrooks) he was primarily used at first. It will be interesting to see where Youkilis slots into the lineup as there are many left handed bats on the Yankees roster.
Lowered: Joakim Soria, RP Texas Rangers
Soria was a very consistent closer for the Royals throughout his five seasons with the club. He posted more than 100 saves for the Royals and always had solid ratios, however this offseason he signed with the Texas Rangers for $8 million over two seasons. Soria, now 28, will backup the older Joe Nathan and thus lose value as a closer.
Soria could eventually surpass Nathan, who is now 38-years-old, but after Nathan's solid 37-save season last year, he will have to wait until Nathan loses the job.
Raised: Ricky Romero, SP Toronto Blue Jays
Although his position has not 'technically' changed, there was enough change to Romero from this time last year to warrant his name on this list. As a Blue Jays FC, I have covered Romero countless times here, here and yes... here.
The reason for him being put on this list is because his position in the rotation so drastically changed. Has a pitcher ever gone from being the teams ace and opening day starter one year to being the 5th starter on the same team? Well Ricky has done it and quite frankly I think this will raise his value.
He won't be going up against any other aces, and will want to show the world that his 2012 was an injury-riddled campaign and not just because of declining quality.
Target Romero later in your draft as he can sneakily be very valuable (remember he was an All-Star in 2011).
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