Liss' AL Tout Wars Team

Liss' AL Tout Wars Team

This article is part of our MLB Observations series.

The American League Tout Wars auction took place today. It's a 12-team AL-only $260-budget auction league with the 23 roster spots, but with a couple quirks: We use on-base percentage instead of batting average, and instead of five outfield spots we have four and a swingman slot which can be a second utility or a 10th pitcher.  

Here are the results: 

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And reserves: 

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My Picks (in order of acquisition):

$10 – Bobby Witt, Jr, SS, Royals– This was a strange first buy. I have no special insight into Witt. Someone brought him up for $5, and I knew $6 was a good price. But he got pushed up to $9, and I kept going. It sounds like the team wants to keep him in the majors, and if that were a done deal he'd probably have gone for $16 or so, given the power-speed combination.

$29 – Lucas Giolito, SP, White Sox – I wasn't interested in Giolito per se and was just moving the bidding along when he stuck at $29. The same thing happened to me last year with Gerrit Cole at $37, and I won the league. Giolito is at minimum a $35 player in an AL-only format. 

$33 – Kyle Tucker, OF, Astros – I was aggressive here because my strategy is to spend two-thirds to three-quarters of my budget on star players and wait until bargains arrive later in the draft, and I hadn't spent enough money. Tucker fit the bill, though this was full price. 

$27 – Tyler Glasnow, SP, Rays – He has to say healthy, but I'm getting a Randy Johnson-when-he-finally-put-it-together vibe.

$28 Gleyber Torres, SS, Yankees – He was a target. A player in his prime hitting in the middle of a loaded lineup. 

$22 Jose Altuve, 2B, Astros – I like Altuve to bounce back this year, and this was a decent price for an everyday player even if he only has a handful of steals. If he hits leadoff or runs more, it's cheap. 

$24 Yordan Alvarez, UT, Astros – I didn't mean to buy three Astros, but I like Alvarez who just needs to stay healthy to vastly out-earn his cost. The utility-only qualification is less of a negative in this league with the extra swing man spot. 

$11 Greg Holland, RP, Royals – Holland was a target. He's more locked into the role than far more expensive closers, and I always prefer the veteran warhorses with experience. 

$12 Jared Walsh, 1B, Angels – I have no idea if this was a good buy, but I needed a corner, and apparently Angels Stadium is now a hitter's haven for lefties. 

$6 Cristian Javier, SP, Astros – Total accident. I assumed he'd go for $10-$12, so I brought him up at $6, and he stuck. I'm good with the discount though. 

$8 Isiah Kiner-Falefa, 3B, Rangers – He's ostensibly the starting shortstop, but he qualifies at a corner spot. He steals a few bases too. 

$9 Matthew Boyd, SP, Tigers – I like Boyd, who was pitching hurt last year, to bounce back. I probably should have let him go at $8, but pushed it to $9 out of stubbornness. I'm fine with it, but it was slightly undisciplined. 

$7 Amed Rosario, SW,  Indians – He only qualifies at SS, and he made three errors in his outfield debut, so he could wind up in a utility role. And $7 was probably an overpay. But if Rosario sees even 400 at-bats, he'll have double-digit homers and steals. It also clogged my swing spot because I already had three middle infielders and a DH. 

$10 Manuel Margot, OF, Rays – He's a good source of steals and is having a strong spring. It was a lot of money for this stage of the auction, but that was the going rate. 

$4 Chris Sale, SP, Red Sox – I was surprised when this bid stuck. If Sale makes it back even by August 1st, this is too cheap, especially with a DL slot in which to stash him. 

$10 Maikel Franco, 3B, Orioles – This was my last real bullet – I was left with a $4 max-bid after this, but Franco should start and could easily hit 30 HR in that park. 

$2 Luis Severino, SP, Yankees – See, Sale, Chris. 

$1 Kyle Higashioka, C, Yankees – I was looking for a $1 catcher, and he was one, Gary Sanchez is a poor defender, too, and Higashioka will hit in a good lineup. 

$2 Yoshi Tsutsugo, 3B/OF, Rays – He'll be in the outfield rotation, could hit 20 homers if he gets the at-bats and is now taking reps at first base. 

$1 Adley Rutschman, C, Orioles – Mega-prospect could be up in May or September. Worth the gamble at this point. 

$2 Nomar Mazara, OF, Tigers – Former prospect should have a chance to compete for at-bats in a below-average Tigers outfield. 

$1 Alex Cobb, SP, Angels – I got sniped on Ian Kennedy, whom I expect to close for the Rangers, so I settled for Cobb who was good once, has gained velocity and should win a rotation spot. 

$1 Mike Foltynewicz, SP, Rangers – He has his velocity back and should win a rotation spot. 

R Carlos Rodon, SP, White Sox – He's competing for a rotation spot and throwing well this spring. Plus I needed extra pitchers with Sale and Severino on my DL. 

R Julio Teheran, SP, Tigers – I once said I'd rather live in Tehran than roster Teheran, but here I am, taking him in the reserve round. Teheran's velocity has also been up this spring. 

R Josh Lowe, OF, Rays – A speedy prospect who could take over once Kevin Kiermaier inevitably gets hurt. 

R Zack Collins, UT, White Sox – He could win the backup catcher job and see work at 1B/DH. Moreover, it's not like Andrew Vaughn has the DH job locked up. 

Roster By Position:

PosPlayer$
CKyle Higashioka1
CAdley Rutschman1
1BJared Walsh12
2BJose Altuve22
3BIsiah Kiner-Falefa8
SSBobby Witt10
CIMaikel Franco10
MIGleyber Torres28
OFKyle Tucker33
OFManuel Margot10
OFYoshi Tsutsugo2
OFNomar Mazara2
UTYordan Alvarez24
SWAmed Rosario7
PLucas Giolito29
PTyler Glasnow27
PMatthew Boyd9
PCristian Javier6
PChris Sale4
PLuis Severino2
PAlex Cobb1
PMike Foltynewicz1
PGreg Holland11
RCarlos Rodon0
RJulio Teheran0
RJosh Lowe0
RZack Collins0

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Chris Liss
Chris Liss is RotoWire's Managing Editor and Host of RotoWIre Fantasy Sports Today on Sirius XM radio.
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