This week was the calm before the Yordan Alvarez storm, at least in NFBC leagues, where we weren’t allowed to stash him in advance nor were we allowed to bid on him because hadn’t yet played before Sunday. In leagues where he was already stashed, the waiver wire was mostly picked over, at least with perceived big difference makers, though there were a few leagues where Jay Bruce had been dropped the week before and thus was the subject of bidding wars.
Before we talk FAAB, I made another decent-sized trade, this time in my AL home league with RotoWire co-founder Herb Ilk. I’m way ahead in wins and doing well in the ratio categories in this AL-only 4×4 league, but trailing a little in the hitting categories and still had to have Rio Ruiz active at a corner infielder slot. So trading away a starter for a hitter made perfect sense for me. Herb offered Clint Frazier to me for Brad Peacock, but I’m worried a little about Frazier’s playing time once Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton returned. I countered with Peacock for Kole Calhoun, he accepted and we had a pretty easy deal. Herb and I are typically good for a trade every other season – I probably trade with him more than anyone else in the league, though it’s close with Ken Crites too.
AL Tout Wars
As you can see, most of the purchases this week were pretty tame here. Rob Leibowitz had the foresight to add Alvarez a month ago and saved himself quite a few FAAB dollars as a result. As for my two purchases, I’m hoping Sam Travis gets three more games at first base so I can slot him there. My two first basemen (Mitch Moreland and Ryon Healy) are both on the IL and don’t appear to be coming back soon. Meanwhile, here are the first base eligible players available in the league:
No, that’s not a typo. There aren’t any. That’s part of the downside of playing in an unlimited IL league, and it’s also a reflection of the weakness at first base in the AL this year.
Peter Fairbanks has been striking out 40% of the hitters he’s faced in the minors this year, making his major league debut this weekend for the Rangers. He’s a dart throw that I’m hoping eventually moves into a better role by the trade deadline.
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NFBC Main Event
Ugh, what a terrible week for my Main Event team. It was one of those weeks where they collectively stopped hitting, I lost Andrew McCutchen for the season, Willians Astudillo got sent down, my Steve Cishek shares just got diluted, and J.D. Martinez sat out the weekend against the Rays. I picked up Sisco with the hope that he gets a good run of playing time and stays up now that he’s been recalled, and Gomez is there just to have another outfielder after a week where I was short.
NFBC RotoWire Online Championship 1
This is a good news, bad news situation. The bad news was that Cal Quantrill’s start was pushed back to later this week – so my sweet start in San Francisco is now a not-so-sweet start in Coors Field. I’m benching Quantrill as a result.
But the good news is so, so, so good. I have the hammer for Alvarez for next week, and it’s not even close. I have $695 in FAAB remaining, and the second highest amount remaining is $403. I’ve already entered my $404 bid for Alvarez for next week, and now it’s just a matter of him staying healthy and figuring out who I’m going to drop. Right now Steve Cishek is my most likely drop, though it could end up being Quantrill.
NFBC RotoWire Online Championship 2
This team, on the other hand, will emphatically not have the Alvarez hammer, nor is it as well-positioned to compete as my other 12-teamer. I need to take a few chances with my remaining FAAB purchases, to find high upside with less-certain players in order to afford them. Alex Reyes certainly fits that bill – he could end up being great for the Cardinals, or he could end up not even starting for a while.
Holy Overbid Captain! All to pick Zunino back up to replace the man I picked up, Greiner, when Zunino first got hurt. I added Yarbrough in a couple of places this week – I’m suitably impressed from his last couple of starts, while being aware of his shortcomings. In Rays I trust, I guess.
I did a deeper dive on this team earlier in the week, but this week was mostly about plugging a couple of holes. I got Quantrill again in this league, but I’m going to go ahead and use him, having given up on the marginal chance that Steve Cishek or Ryan Brasier might bring me a save. I’ll hope for run support instead, and try to get an extra win despite the Coors Field start.
LABR – Mixed
So this was the only league I’m in where Alvarez was available this weekend, and he went shockingly low – the same as Dallas Keuchel and short of many remaining budgets this week. One caveat – we only have a $100 budget without $0 bids being allowed, so it’s far less granular in this league than it is in the NFBC. I only had $10 left so I didn’t even bother putting in a “keep ’em honest” bid. But it’s worth remembering for next year that this league has a lot of “small ball” bidders.