A couple weeks ago I wrote up the AL-only LABR auction wherein I waited forever to buy players and had to take the available bargains later in the draft. This morning, in my AL-only Tout Wars auction, the room could not have been more different. (For full rosters, click here.)
The LABR group was so aggressive, I couldn’t in good conscience roster players until people largely ran out of money. The Tout group was so passive, I spent most of my money in the first-five nomination orbits and price enforced on several more.
For example, I jump bid Evan Longoria – who I didn’t even want – to $22, and shockingly it stuck. I was honestly just moving the bid along, not even price enforcing because I assumed he would go for $25-$28 (he went for $28 at LABR.) Tout is an OBP (instead of AVG) league, so there’s some difference in values (Adam Jones is rightly discounted in the Tout format, for example, but Longoria (.351 career OBP) is *more* valuable here, not less.)
I also jumped Carlos Carrasco (who went for $20 in LABR) to $17, and that too stuck. While Carrasco is risky even at $17, it’s rare for a pitcher on whom there’s been no bad news to go for that much less, early in the auction. If anything the loss of Marcus Stroman from the pool and injury to Alex Cobb should have pushed up the prices of the few remaining pitchers in that tier. I talked about the overall landscape with Kyle Elfrink and Ray Flowers on Sirius XM (audio).
Because I had spent heavily on high-priced players early, I took some risks late. One of them, Byron Buxton for $4, was roundly ridiculed on Twitter:
— Peter Schoenke (@PeterSchoenke) March 21, 2015
Of course, this after Schoenke (our Twins beat writer) suggested Buxton as a plausible post-Super 2 call-up given the Twins lack of CF options on our SXM show Friday. Salfino and Peter prefer Buxton as a reserve pick to a $4 player – but wouldn’t we all love to get the upside guys we want at zero risk! If there’s a decent chance Buxton plays for 3.5 months, I’m in for $4. If, as some allege, he has virtually no chance to play until September, then it’ll be a bad buy, and I’ll just blame Schoenke for misleading me.
I also bought Josh Hamilton for $4 – I’m assuming his shoulder injury and suspension won’t collectively cost him more than a third of the year. What remains of the person and player he once was remains to be seen, but he’s been an addict for a long time and still won an AL MVP award, so I gambled on him. I also bought Rusney Castillo for $16 – he’s healthy again, and while he might not start the season with a job (or even a roster spot), I don’t think it’ll be long before he’s playing every day.
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My other aims were to skimp on MI (I’m fine with Stephen Drew for $2 and Nick Franklin for $5 – both of whom should have starting jobs – but wasn’t thrilled Johnny Giavotella, whom I bought with my last $3, hurt his thumb not one hour after the auction) and to fill my team with lower-priced high-upside arms. I’m happy with the group I got behind Carrasco.
The other exercise in which I like to engage is to see how much my LABR team went for in Tout (and vice-versa.) The OBP/AVG switch skews things slightly, I skewed things by buying some of my own players and minor injuries to Castillo and Koji Uehara also are a factor (but cancel each other out in this case), but here’s a side-by-side comparison:
|Pos||LABR team||LABR $||Tout $||Diff||Pos||Tout team||Tout $||LABR $||Diff|
|C||Robinson Chrinos||8||4||4||C||Tyler Flowers||5||7||-2|
|C||Tyler Flowers||7||5||2||C||Rene Rivera||6||4||2|
|1B||Adam LaRoche||20||21||-1||1B||Miguel Cabrera||36||35||1|
|2B||Jose Ramirez||8||11||-3||2B||Stephen Drew||2||2||0|
|3B||Kyle Seager||24||24||0||3B||Evan Longoria||22||28||-6|
|SS||Brad Miller||4||10||-6||SS||Nick Franklin||5||8||-3|
|CI||Billy Butler||13||15||-2||CI||Chris Davis||28||26||2|
|MI||Stephen Drew||2||2||0||MI||Johnny Giavotella||3||0||3|
|OF||Alex Gordon||18||21||-3||OF||George Springer||28||29||-1|
|OF||Oswaldo Arcia||14||17||-3||OF||Rusney Castillo||16||18||-2|
|OF||Carlos Beltran||12||13||-1||OF||Byron Buxton||4||3||1|
|OF||Rajai Davis||12||12||0||OF||Josh Hamilton||4||5||-1|
|OF/SW||Coco Crisp||11||17||-6||OF/SW||Anthony Gose||4||3||1|
|U||David Ortiz||23||23||0||U||Manny Machado||19||21||-2|
|P||Koji Uehara||17||15||2||P||Carlos Carrasco||17||20||-3|
|P||Phil Hughes||13||14||-1||P||Jake Odorizzi||12||13||-1|
|P||Colin McHugh||12||13||-1||P||Taijuan Walker||10||8||2|
|P||James Paxton||10||9||1||P||James Paxton||9||10||-1|
|P||Taijuan Walker||8||10||-2||P||Jake McGee||8||10||-2|
|P||Ervin Santana||8||10||-2||P||Drew Pomeranz||8||6||2|
|P||Joe Nathan||8||9||-1||P||Joakim Soria||6||8||-2|
|P||Drew Pomeranz||6||8||-2||P||Wade Davis||6||7||-1|
|P||J.A. Happ||2||2||0||P||Daniel Norris||2||4||-2|
So essentially, my LABR team cost $285 in Tout, and my Tout team would have have cost $275 in LABR. That doesn’t mean these teams won’t implode, but it makes me feel reasonably confident about my reads of the two rooms.