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Mock Auction: 13 Staffers Buy Mixed League Squads

Derek VanRiper

Derek VanRiper

Derek is the Senior Baseball Editor for RotoWire.com, where he's been a two-time finalist for the FSWA's Baseball Writer of the Year award, and winner of the Best Football Article on the Web (2009) and Best Baseball Article on the Web (2010) awards. Derek also co-hosts RotoWire Fantasy Sports Today on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio (XM 87, Sirius 210) from 11a-2p ET on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

LEAGUE PARAMETERS

Mixed League, 5x5 categories, 23-man roster, 20-game requirement to qualify at a position. Each team drafts 14 hitters and nine pitchers. Teams had a $260 budget and had to fill each roster slot with at least a minimum bid of $1.

THE AUCTION

The mock auction was held in late December, using online group chat software. The early auction date produces a number of constraints, the most obvious being that much of the offseason movement of players hadn't been completed. Adrian Beltre had not signed with the Rangers, Zack Greinke wasn't a Brewer, and Matt Garza wasn't a Cub at the time of the auction. Keep these caveats in mind when viewing the results.

THE RESULTS

We had 13 teams in this league, which put a premium on catchers since it was required that each team rostered two, as well as shortstops because of the lack of depth at the position. Various strategies were employed for team construction, which led to an unpredictable market for elite players at most positions. Many of the owners in this auction were aggressive on the early nominations, leading to surprises such as a $49 top bid for Phillies ace Roy Halladay. Hours later, pitching bargains surfaced in Yovani Gallardo ($18), Justin Verlander ($17), Jered Weaver ($11) and Clayton Kershaw ($10).

Sure, everyone loves to own Roy Halladay, but at nearly five-times the cost of Kershaw? This stresses the importance of knowing how much money is left in the auction pool - making the utility of CPA-caliber spreadsheets or the RotoWire Draft Software a must.

It's important to realize that the numbers you see on the rosters below are not absolute. They are the byproduct of a unique system of owners and their respective valuations of numerous players. Further, those valuations are swayed and biased by the events that unfolded over the five hours spent auctioning off the 299 players you see below. Your auction will not replicate what happened in ours, but there's plenty you can learn from these results.

1. Team Construction - In a more shallow mixed format, it's plausible to use the "Stars and Scrubs" method to build your roster. There are plenty of high-upside $1-2 players in the pool to go around and you can use them to complement a nucleus of three-to-five $30-plus players and have just as much success as an owner fixated on spending between $5 and $15 on every spot. Generally speaking, relying heavily on low-cost players for a large number of positions will force sound judgment and action with regards to the waiver-wire. As excited as you might be about the prospects of Brandon Webb returning to form as a $1 player, you have to be ready to cut him if he hasn't regained his velocity by Opening Day.

2. Setting The Market - Some players have very uncertain values heading into the season based on 2010 injuries, disappointment, or simple lack of a proven track record. Huston Street was a potential top-five closer heading into last season. In our auction, he went for $5 - a potential bargain, but more importantly an indicator that his projected value has taken a significant hit because of his health issues last season. Others with uncertain value include - Brian Roberts ($12), Grady Sizemore ($8), Carlos Beltran ($6), Javier Vazquez ($5), James Shields ($3), Josh Beckett ($3), Derrek Lee ($2), and Johan Santana ($1).

3. Position Depth - Starting pitchers really stand out this year as a deep group full of quality talent in the later stages. An excellent rotation could be assembled with a $10-12 ace (Kershaw, Weaver, Hanson) and combination of $1-3 arms such as Brandon Morrow ($3), Colby Lewis ($3), Wandy Rodriguez ($3), Phil Hughes ($3), Jordan Zimmermann ($2), and Gio Gonzalez ($1). While shortstop and catcher have long been trouble spots for those who wait too long, third base has become a position of weakness in the middle tier with Mike Moustakas, Dayan Viciedo and Chase Headley all landing in starting lineups of a 13-team league. Taking these results in the appropriate context should help you determine what strategy you'd like to employ - as well as give you a good idea as to where you can be thrifty and where you should invest on auction day.

The full results are posted below:

OF
Pos Jeff Stotts Pd Carson Cistulli Pd Andrew Fiorentino Pd Kyle McKeown Pd Kevin O'Brien Pd
C Yadier Molina 1 Geovany Soto 7 Miguel Montero 12 Victor Martinez 23 Matt Wieters 15
C Hank Conger 1 Jorge Posada 3 Chris Iannetta 4 Bengie Molina 1 Mike Napoli 5
1B Ryan Howard 38 Adam Dunn 29 Carlos Pena 6 Prince Fielder 40 Adrian Gonzalez 48
2B Howie Kendrick 4 Brian Roberts 12 Robinson Cano 43 Eric Young Jr. 1 Rickie Weeks 34
SS Ryan Theriot 1 Hanley Ramirez 52 Jed Lowrie 2 Troy Tulowitzki 55 Stephen Drew 8
3B Kevin Youkilis 25 Mike Moustakas 1 Pedro Alvarez 12 Dayan Viciedo 1 Ian Stewart 6
CI James Loney 1 Jose Lopez 1 Ike Davis 1 Brett Wallace 1 Matt LaPorta 1
MI Orlando Hudson 1 Yunel Escobar 1 Gordon Beckham 8 Ian Desmond 2 Omar Infante 1
OF Carl Crawford 46 Matt Holliday 34 Carlos Gonzalez 42 Matt Kemp 34 Ryan Braun 41
OF Jason Heyward 26 Ichiro Suzuki 30 Josh Hamilton 39 Garrett Jones 1 Grady Sizemore 8
Vernon Wells 5 Alex Rios 23 Corey Hart 13 Brennan Boesch 1 Dexter Fowler 1
OF Marlon Byrd 1 Torii Hunter 10 Carlos Beltran 6 Michael Saunders 1 Ben Francisco 1
OF Coco Crisp 1 Jacoby Ellsbury 14 Domonic Brown 2 Trevor Crowe 1 Luke Scott 1
UT Vladimir Guerrero 2 David Ortiz 1 Tyler Colvin 2 Chris Coghlan 1 Jim Thome 1
P Roy Halladay 49 Ryan Dempster 3 Justin Verlander 17 Tim Lincecum 40 CC Sabathia 35
P Cliff Lee 31 Chad Billingsley 7 Jaime Garcia 3 Mat Latos 26 Clay Buchholz 12
P Jered Weaver 11 Colby Lewis 3 Brett Anderson 10 Shaun Marcum 17 Johnny Cueto 3
P Matt Cain 10 James Shields 3 C.J. Wilson 2 Matt Garza 9 Rafael Soriano 15
P Brandon Webb 1 Gavin Floyd 2 Jeremy Hellickson 5 Wade Davis 1 Brian Wilson 15
P Ryan Franklin 2 Mike Minor 1 Wandy Rodriguez 3 Jair Jurrjens 1 John Axford 6
P Leo Nunez 1 Brad Lidge 1 Jordan Zimmermann 2 Kyle Drabek 1 J.A. Happ 1
P Andy Pettitte 1 Francisco Cordero 8 Joe Nathan 3 Daisuke Matsuzaka 1 Jhoulys Chacin 1
P Fausto Carmona 1 Heath Bell 14 Joakim Soria 18 Chris Young 1 Carl Pavano 1
Pos Sam Brylski Pd Mark Stopa Pd Anthony Tynan Pd Kevin Hitt Pd
C J.P. Arencibia 4 Joe Mauer 35 Miguel Olivo 1 A.J. Pierzynski 3
C Rod Barajas 1 Brian McCann 27 Carlos Ruiz 1 Ramon Hernandez 1
1B Joey Votto 46 Justin Morneau 22 Kendry Morales 29 Paul Konerko 15
2B Aaron Hill 4 Ian Kinsler 30 Martin Prado 21 Kelly Johnson 23
SS Alexei Ramirez 18 Derek Jeter 20 Starlin Castro 18 Rafael Furcal 10
3B Ryan Zimmerman 35 Evan Longoria 51 Casey McGehee 7 Aramis Ramirez 18
CI Michael Cuddyer 1 Adrian Beltre 21 Billy Butler 13 Adam LaRoche 18
MI J.J. Hardy 1 Dustin Pedroia 31 Neil Walker 1 Chone Figgins 17
OF B.J. Upton 17 Angel Pagan 1 Jayson Werth 19 Jose Bautista 29
OF Carlos Quentin 8 Travis Snider 1 Jay Bruce 24 Shin-Soo Choo 30
OF Jose Tabata 7 Nyjer Morgan 1 Andrew McCutchen 21 Carlos Lee 15
OF Jason Bay 5 Rajai Davis 1 Brett Gardner 5 Chris Young 14
OF Desmond Jennings 1 Ryan Ludwick 1 Logan Morrison 1 Michael Bourn 15
UT Mitch Moreland 1 Mat Gamel 1 Mark Reynolds 11 Magglio Ordonez 2
P Zack Greinke 29 Phil Hughes 3 Adam Wainwright 28 J.J. Putz 13
P Josh Johnson 26 Josh Beckett 3 Trevor Cahill 12 Yovani Gallardo 18
P Chris Carpenter 22 Ervin Santana 3 John Danks 8 Javier Vazquez 5
P Cole Hamels 22 Ricky Nolasco 2 Clayton Kershaw 10 Bronson Arroyo 1
P Brandon Morrow 3 Ian Kennedy 1 Huston Street 5 Brett Myers 1
P Scott Baker 2 Joe Blanton 1 Roy Oswalt 7 Clayton Richard 2
P Derek Holland 1 Johan Santana 1 Daniel Hudson 6 A.J. Burnett 1
P Craig Kimbrel 2 David Aardsma 1 Jorge De La Rosa 2 Matt Capps 2
P Andrew Bailey 4 Jose Valverde 2 Jonathan Sanchez 2 Tommy Hunter 7
Pos Bernie Pleskoff Pd Kevin Payne Pd Jeff Erickson Pd Derek VanRiper Pd
C Jesus Montero 1 Russell Martin 12 Buster Posey 20 Alex Avila 1
C Ryan Doumit 1 Kurt Suzuki 1 Carlos Santana 23 Jonathan Lucroy 1
1B Miguel Cabrera 43 Albert Pujols 51 Aubrey Huff 2 Mark Teixeira 38
2B Dan Uggla 23 Brandon Phillips 23 Chase Utley 28 Ben Zobrist 13
SS Alcides Escobar 6 Jose Reyes 29 Elvis Andrus 21 Jimmy Rollins 28
3B Michael Young 16 Pablo Sandoval 16 David Wright 41 Chase Headley 1
CI Lance Berkman 2 Derrek Lee 2 Alex Rodriguez 35 Gaby Sanchez 1
MI Asdrubal Cabrera 2 Miguel Tejada 1 Danny Espinosa 1 Sean Rodriguez 1
OF Nelson Cruz 30 Colby Rasmus 25 Nick Swisher 11 Andre Ethier 27
OF Juan Pierre 11 Curtis Granderson 7 Nick Markakis 10 Justin Upton 25
OF Delmon Young 9 Andres Torres 2 Michael Stanton 15 Shane Victorino 10
OF Alfonso Soriano 4 Manny Ramirez 1 Drew Stubbs 11 Hunter Pence 14
OF Bobby Abreu 4 Adam Lind 2 Austin Jackson 2 Denard Span 4
UT Jason Kubel 1 Adam Jones 4 Freddie Freeman 1 Julio Borbon 1
P Mariano Rivera 17 Felix Hernandez 45 John Lackey 3 Jon Lester 28
P Aroldis Chapman 8 David Price 20 Tommy Hanson 12 Dan Haren 24
P Ubaldo Jimenez 35 Chris Perez 8 Ted Lilly 2 Jonathan Papelbon 15
P Rick Porcello 2 Drew Storen 6 Carlos Zambrano 2 Max Scherzer 19
P Francisco Liriano 17 Hiroki Kuroda 1 Gio Gonzalez 1 Ricky Romero 4
P Jonathan Broxton 6 Justin Masterson 1 Tim Stauffer 1 Brian Matusz 1
P Tim Hudson 6 Homer Bailey 1 Edwin Jackson 1 Matt Thornton 1
P Neftali Feliz 9 Koji Uehara 1 Francisco Rodriguez 1 Bobby Jenks 1
P Madison Bumgarner 6 Bud Norris 1 Carlos Marmol 16 Carlos Carrasco 1