This article is part of our AL FAAB Factor series.
Welcome to the first regular-season FAAB cycle in 10 months. It sure feels good to have real, live MLB games to analyze. I'll be your replacement Erik to guide you through this week's list of potential pickups.
FAAB seems sure to be quite a battle this season. On the one hand, there are only 58 games left, meaning we should all have the same sense of urgency we'd have if we were in striking distance of the league leader in late July. On the other hand, tiny samples are just as irrelevant as ever from a predictive perspective, meaning we should be as stoic in the face of surprising early performances as we'd normally be in late March. Ultimately, the players who strike the correct balance between urgency and patience will be those who are the most successful this season.
As a reminder, this is our weekly look at American League free agents. We have two goals for this article:
1. Identify likely free agents and discuss their strengths and weaknesses.
2. Estimate how much of your $100 starting free-agent budget you should bid on them.
We've incorporated grids into the FAAB articles, so users can easily see at a glance how certain players stack up against others and how much they should command in a variety of formats.
The grids, which are sortable by column (click on the header), include a very basic "player grade" column. This serves as a reflection of a player's skills and role on an