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My AL Tout Team

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:

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.

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:

PosLABR teamLABR $Tout $DiffPosTout teamTout $LABR $Diff
CRobinson Chrinos844CTyler Flowers57-2
CTyler Flowers752CRene Rivera642
1BAdam LaRoche2021-11BMiguel Cabrera36351
2BJose Ramirez811-32BStephen Drew220
3BKyle Seager242403BEvan Longoria2228-6
SSBrad Miller410-6SSNick Franklin58-3
CIBilly Butler1315-2CIChris Davis28262
MIStephen Drew220MIJohnny Giavotella303
OFAlex Gordon1821-3OFGeorge Springer2829-1
OFOswaldo Arcia1417-3OFRusney Castillo1618-2
OFCarlos Beltran1213-1OFByron Buxton431
OFRajai Davis12120OFJosh Hamilton45-1
OF/SWCoco Crisp1117-6OF/SWAnthony Gose431
UDavid Ortiz23230UManny Machado1921-2
PKoji Uehara17152PCarlos Carrasco1720-3
PPhil Hughes1314-1PJake Odorizzi1213-1
PColin McHugh1213-1PTaijuan Walker1082
PJames Paxton1091PJames Paxton910-1
PTaijuan Walker810-2PJake McGee810-2
PErvin Santana810-2PDrew Pomeranz862
PJoe Nathan89-1PJoakim Soria68-2
PDrew Pomeranz68-2PWade Davis67-1
PJ.A. Happ220PDaniel Norris24-2

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.