Following is our weekly report, summarizing the top free agent bids in each of the five Tout Wars leagues, with links to the detailed bidding action following our 8 p.m. ET deadline each Sunday evening. All prices are on a $1000 base.
After you scan the detail below, please join our live chat, starting at 9 p.m. ET Sunday evening, to discuss these results with Todd Zola of Mastersball and other Touts.
What American League lacked in quantity, with just nine free agents added this week, they made up for in quality. New Rays first baseman Nate Lowe caused Mike Gianella of Baseball Prospectus to make a directory assistance call for $411. Next-closest was $373.
Cool name of the week (or season), Skye Bolt of Oakland, joined the roster of Nando DiFino of The Athletic for $122. The 25-year old outfield prospect was off to a nice start at Triple-A Las Vegas, though his route to playing time with the A’s is unclear.
As you can imagine, one of the Reds’ call-ups this week was already owned, Nick Senzel. On the other hand, despite the highest OPS in Triple-A, utilityman Josh VanMeter did not register on any top prospect lists. That didn’t matter, as bidding was strong, despite an unclear playing time situation. My aggressive $57 bid was obliterated by Todd Zola’s winning offer of $273. That is the last time I go on his Sunday afternoon SiriusXM show!
Outfielder Mike Gerber is the next in line in the seemingly endless outfield trials in San Francisco. The former Tiger drew multiple offers, with the top being $111 by Andy Behrens.
With long memories, the NL Touts avoided well-traveled Mets starter Jason Vargas during April, but after the 36-year old lefty strung three strong starts together, Scott Wilderman of onRoto jumped in for $68.
Click on the link below to see the other dozen winning bids as well as the also-rans, too.
Of the 23 players to be purchased this week in Mixed Auction, Lowe drew the most FAAB by a significant amount, going to Derek Van Riper of Rotowire and The Athletic for $247. The next-closest offer was a more conservative $139.
The only other player drawing a bid for more than $37 is Derek Dietrich of Cincinnati, acquired by Brent Hershey of BaseballHQ for $89. Amazingly, the former Marlin had to come to camp on a minor league deal but his early-season power display is forcing his way into the regular playing rotation for the last-place Reds.
Across the 17 players purchased with FAAB this week in Mixed Draft, spending was muted. Top money was $77 for presumed Baltimore closer Mychal Givens, who received no save opportunities until April 24, but has converted three since. Anthony Perri is Givens’ new owner.
$65 put Lou Trivino of Oakland on the roster of D.J. Short. The right-handed reliever is back after missing time with a thumb injury and has been very dependable overall, with 12 of 13 scoreless appearances this season. With A’s closer Blake Treinen dealing with elbow discomfort, Trivino’s role could expand.
Likely, Tim McLeod has been watching top Astros prospect Yordan Alvarez rake in Triple-A and decided not to wait, paying $51 and a week of likely empty stats for the right to stash the outfielder until he is called up.
Lowe fetched $63 from Rudy Gamble of Razzball.
Head to Head
Finally! We find a league in which new Reds outfielder-infielder Nick Senzel was unowned. That changed with Ralph Lifshitz’ winning $420 offer, the highest amount paid for any free agent across the five leagues this week. If one is going to spend big, could there be a better investment?
Jack Ciely dropped an even $300 on two players. Lowe led the way at $174, joined by new Angels starter Griffin Canning at $126. The latter, a 22-year old right-hander, has reached the majors inside of two years after being drafted. Though Canning yielded three home runs in his MLB debut, his future is bright.
Lifshitz also added assumed new Rangers closer Shawn Kelley for $77. The door seems wide open after Jose Leclerc was removed from Texas’ ninth-inning role and Kelley received and converted the first opportunity.
In all, 15 players were purchased this week, with full bidding details viewable via the link below.