After last week’s FAAB-a-palooza, this was a calmer week, but each week important players reveal themselves. It’s an obvious point, but so often it’s the under-the-radar pickups that really pan out and not the high-dollar guys. Witness anyone that’s picked up Tommy La Stella or Jarrod Dyson so far this season. So who’s going to be this week’s Dyson or La Stella? Or this week’s Erick Fedde, a two-step starter that provides a win and good ratios? Let’s take a look at who was added in each of my FAAB leagues this week.
AL Tout Wars
While I picked up Derek Fisher and Casey Mize this week, the big move for me was a trade with Larry Schechter. I needed starting pitching help, Larry needed offense having lost both Khris Davis and George Springer to the IL. So I gave Larry two options:
A: Griffin Canning for Josh Reddick
B: Shane Bieber for either Alex Gordon or Shohei Ohtani, plus either Dawel Lugo or Luis Rengifo
Larry selected Option A, so we had ourselves a deal. I’ve found that if you want to get a trade made, you need to be willing to make the first offer, and contrary to conventional wisdom, go ahead and offer what you’re willing to accept, instead of trying to “win” the trade first and being willing to move down to what you’re willing to accept. Give your putative trade partner some credit – he or she isn’t an idiot and shouldn’t be treated as such. They’re probably also very busy and don’t want to waste time with the back-and-forth nature of negotiations. You don’t necessarily have to issue a take-it-or-leave-it offer, but playing all those negotiation strategies like “never make the first offer” or “never start with your best offer” work less frequently than you’d think. And what’s your aim anyhow? Is it to win every trade you make, even if it’s only one trade? Or is it to get the deals done that you need to make, and get those players on your roster sooner? Sometimes you’ll lose a deal, but even then it’s possible that you still benefit from getting it done even if the other guy got more value. That’s especially true in a categorical league.
As for Fisher, he’s going to play roughly 2/3 of the time while Springer is out, unless the Astros reverse course and call Kyle Tucker up. He’s not great, but showed some signs of improvement at Triple-A this year, and of course he’s situated in a good lineup. With Mize, this is a stash on my active roster for a week in hopes that Mize gets the call later in the season, and I get a high upside starter along with my other stash, Matt Manning.
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Last week was Austin Riley Fest, so this week I was laying low, putting in a bunch of low priced bids on a handful of outfielders to replace the injured Brandon Nimmo, who went on the IL with a neck injury that’s been bothering him for a month. After the fact it was revealed that he has a bulging disc in his neck, which sounds rather long-term to me, and I needed the OF at-bats in his place. My top three choices were Mark Canha, David Fletcher and Jackie Bradley Jr., but I was outbid on all three. I was happy to get my fourth choice, Harold Ramirez of the Marlins, for only $1. I’m hoping that Ramirez can give me a little bump in average, runs and stolen bases while batting second for the Marlins, though I fear that his run total won’t be great on such a bad offense.
NFBC Online 1
No bids here, in part because I’m not yet ready to give up on Ryan Brasier or Robinson Canó. But I have some regret in seeing Cavan Biggio go so cheaply to Steve Brunn, especially because he needs an offensive upgrade and got him for next to nothing.
NFBC Online 2
This team, on the other hand, I have a little bit more urgency to act albeit without much of a budget. I didn’t have a second-base eligible alternative to Robinson Canó, and I’m lower in the standings. Brasier was my best option to cut for Frazier, whose Pirates play eight games this week. I figure I should probably get at least six games out of him this week, including four in Great American Ballpark.
Ugh, this was sub-optimal. I got outbid on every single one of my targets, and I’m dropping in the standings in my league, from second to fourth in the last week, while Kenneth Le from Elite Fantasy is pulling away from us. I just lost Andrelton Simmons for a lengthy period, and couldn’t replace him on my roster, though I did have a replacement for my active lineup at least.
I’m curious to see what the Diamondbacks’ plans are for Kevin Cron. He was slugging over .800 in Triple-A, and Christian Walker is in the throes of a slump. But including Monday’s game, at Coors Field no less, he has started just one game out of four since his promotion. Why call him up unless you plan to play him? I’m sure he doesn’t mind getting a Major League salary, but this is still frustrating.
Again, no bids here – I purposefully held out this week, with only $12 remaining in FAAB and no empty spots to fill. I did, however, make a huge trade with Razzball’s Rudy Gamble at the start of the week last week, trading Rhys Hoskins and Kenta Maeda for Adalberto Mondesi and Marwin Gonzalez. Gonzalez is pretty useful for me especially, given my lack of FAAB dollars, in that I can get him in a lot of different spots. The only problem is that he’s off to a slow start, and the Twins are starting to get healthier with Miguel Sano back. Once Nelson Cruz returns, playing time might be a problem for Gonzalez. But Mondesi is a big addition for me – stolen bases are my one weak offensive category, plus I don’t lose a ton of ground in the power categories where I’ve built up a good lead. Rudy was another owner that was easy to trade with – I’m finding it easier, rather than harder, to trade in industry leagues these days.