Welcome to the weekly Tout Wars FAAB report, on its new home right here on the Tout Wars site. Each week, we’ll review the free agent acquisitions from all five leagues, with commentary from a league member, as well as yours truly. We changed the timing of the weekly run to 1 PM ET every Sunday, with the report posted later that afternoon so you’ll have time to digest and apply to your own leagues. In addition, I’ll be joining Lawr Michaels and Justin Mason on the Tout Wars Hour on the FNTSY Network every Sunday at 3:20 PM ET to discuss the results.
You can find the complete list of Tout Warriors here. Everyone starts with 1000 FAAB units, less any penalty incurred by finishing below a designated point in the standings. This is a means of keeping everyone motivated to keep playing all season long. The minimum bid is $0. FAAB units can be traded as well as rebated for players released off the DL.
The report will list all winning bids along with unsuccessful tries and contingencies. This provides the maximum level of information to help gauge interest on the players.
The American and National League only formats are 12-team leagues, as is the new points-based head to head league, The Mixed Auction and Draft each have 15 clubs. All the leagues have four reserves with an unlimited DL, expect the head to head league, which allows six reserves.
The headings above each league are links to publicly accessible sites where you can see standings, roster and a complete review of transactions. The initial auctions and drafts can be found here.
|JMFernandez, LAA||Seth Trachtman 212||Jason Collette 131||Larry Schechter 113|
|Rick Wolf/Glenn Colton 78||Mike Podhorzer 1|
|POrlando, KC||Larry Schechter 114||Vlad Sedler 12|
|BHardy, Det||Jason Collette 32||Jeff Erickson 25|
|STravis, Bos||Lawr Michaels 13||Vlad Sedler 12|
|CBassitt, Oak||Jason Collette 12|
|APruitt, TB||Jeff Erickson 7||Jason Collette 2|
|JRondon, CWS||Vlad Sedler 6|
|NFontana, LAA||Jason Collette 5|
|JLoaisiga, NYY||Seth Trachtman 2|
|RStanek, TB||Mike Podhorzer 0|
|DCastillo, TB||Mike Podhorzer 0|
|RGoins, KC||Mike Podhorzer 0|
|MHermosillo, LAA||Larry Schechter 31||Vlad Sedler 2|
|AWynns, Bal||Larry Schechter 16|
|MMorin, Sea||Jason Collette 2|
|TraThompson, CWS||Vlad Sedler 1|
|RTorreyes, NYY||Mike Podhorzer 0|
Patrick Davitt’s Commentary
The big target of the week in Tout-AL was the Angels’ Jose Fernandez. Seth Trachtman landed the former Cuban star with a bid of 212 (1000 budget), almost a third of his remaining units. Fernandez also drew bids of 131 from Jason Collette, 113 from Larry Schechter, 78 from the Wolf-Colton team, 52 from Schechter in a separate move, and a token bid of 1 from Mike Podhorzer. The Angels called up Fernandez earlier this week after Shohei Ohtani was DLed. The Ohtani injury opens some DH opportunities for sore-footed 1B Albert Pujols, in turn opening some 1B opportunity for Fernandez, a perennial .300 hitter in Cuban baseball, who was OPSing over .900 in Triple-A at the time of his callup.
The other premium player was KC OF Paulo Orlando, bought by Schechter for 114, easily outpacing Vlad Sedler’s bid of 12. And if you need any evidence of how tough AL-only format is, ask yourself if there’s any other context in which Paulo Orlando could be described as a “premium player.” Orlando was recalled when the Royals traded CF Jon Jay to Arizona, and will take Jay’s spot on KC’s 23-dud roster (Mike Moustakas and Whit Merrifield excepted) . He figures to get a lot of Jay’s CF ABs and do little with them.
Despite missing out on Fernandez, Collette did make two successful bids, landing Blaine Hardy for 32, outbidding Erickson’s 25, and scooping Chris Bassitt for 12. Hardy looked sharp in a couple of wins last week, but looked more like, well, Blaine Hardy in a 6-inning, 5-ER stinker at Fenway Park. Bassitt was sent down moments after being rostered by Collette. Erickson spent 7 to score Austin Pruitt, who has a spot in what RotoWorld accurately called “the dystopia that is the Rays’ pitching rotation.”
Other non-zero bids: Lawr Michaels spent 13 on BOS perennial outlier Sam Travis; Trachtman rolled the dice on NYY pitcher Jonathan Loaisiga for 2, Collette snabbed Angels IF callup Nick Fontana for 5, and Sedler threw 6 in the direction of Chicago reliever Hector Rondon, to catch a share of all the saves to be had in the White Sox’ wins.
Zero-bids succeeded in getting TAM reliever/”opener” Ryne Stanek and reliever Diego Castillo, both going to Mike Podhorzer, who also spent nothing to acquire KC IF Ryan Goins, who will give Mike his money’s worth.
A few other players drew bids but didn’t get rostered because they were second or later choices. Most notable among these might be Michael Hermosilla, an Angel in the outfield in LA. He fetched a 31 bid from Schechter and a deuce from Sedler. Schechter also bid 16 on BAL C Austin Wynns as his fourth choice in a string of bids that started with the successful bid on Fernandez.
Patrick Davitt, Doug Dennis, Rob Leibowitz and Chris Liss sat out the week.
Jose Miguel Fernandez was one of Cuba’s best hitters before defecting from Cuba in late 2015. After toiling in the Dodgers system for a couple seasons, he was released last December. The Angels signed him to a minor league deal in January. The 30-year old infielder was crushing Triple-A, slashing .345/.412/.562. With Shohei Ohtani the hitter joining Ohtani the pitcher on the sideline, Fernandez has been picking up starts at first while Albert Pujols assumes the DH role. Obviously, being old for his level in a great hitting venue/league somewhat dampens Fernandez’s numbers but he’s still well worth the pickup.
Paulo Orlando’s early season woes paved the way for Jorge Soler to emerge. Now Orlando is back, replacing the departed Jon Jay in center. To his credit, Orlando went down to Triple-A Omaha and responded well, slashing .300/.333/.500. He’s not the .792 OPS guy displayed in 2016, but he’s not the .527 version from last season. He’s somewhere in between. Where he settles is a crystal ball answer. That said, playing time is currency, especially in single league formats.
|JJay, Ari||Scott Wilderman 217||Phil Hertz 178||Mike Gianella 73|
|Andy Behrens 69||Craig Mish 53|
|Grey Albright 34||Derek Carty 9|
|JusMiller, Was||Andy Behrens 56||Phil Hertz 0|
|MStrahm, SD||Todd Zola 17||Phil Hertz 7|
|EFedde, Was||Phil Hertz 17||Craig Mish 9|
|JBlevins, NYM||Craig Mish 5|
|KAllard, Atl||Lenny Melnick 2|
|YHirano, Ari||Craig Mish 2||Andy Behrens 0|
|ZBorenstein, NYM||Craig Mish 1|
|RLopez, SD||Scott Wilderman 0|
|SRodriguez, Pit||Derek Carty 0||Phil Hertz 0|
|FPena, StL||Craig Mish 0|
|RMoronta, SF||Todd Zola 7|
|EGoeddel, LAD||Todd Zola 3|
|MTauchman, Col||Phil Hertz 1|
|WSmith, SF||Craig Mish 1|
|JBarnes, Mil||Todd Zola 0|
|MMayers, StL||Todd Zola 0|
|ABlandio, Cin||Derek Carty 0|
|YRivera, Mia||Derek Carty 0|
|DanJennings, Mil||Andy Behrens 0|
Todd’s Commentary and Take
Scott Wilderman decided almost four months of Jay is better than waiting around at the trade deadline. The key will be how much playing time he gets once the walking wounded return. Jay will play against all righties until AJ Pollock and Steven Souza Jr. return. After that, it’s unclear since David Peralta already occupies a lefty platoon role.
There’s nothing available in terms of starting pitching. Instead, I opted for Matt Strahm in the event he gets another lengthy effort in a bullpen game. Phil Hertz and Lenny Melnick opted for a couple of minor league arms that could contribute later in the season. Fedde already made a spot start while the Braves have shown they’ll promote their prospects in a season they’re showing signs of hanging in to the end.
|JProfar, Tex||Bret Sayre 112||Zach Steinhorn 78||Scott Swanay 34|
|Scott Engel 2||Al Melchior 0|
|Jeff Zimmerman 0|
|JSoria, CWS||Scott Engel 81||Al Melchior 62||Scott Pianowski 55|
|Tim Heaney 46||Zach Steinhorn 42|
|Scott Swanay 36||Ray Flowers 21|
|Jeff Zimmerman 0|
|ACobb, Bal||Bret Sayre 71||Derek VanRiper 22||Fred Zinkie 13|
|HRondon, Hou||Tim Heaney 66||Scott Swanay 36||Derek VanRiper 22|
|Ray Flowers 19||Tim McLeod 6|
|RGsellman, NYM||Scott Engel 46||Tim Heaney 46||Derek VanRiper 37|
|Jeff Zimmerman 34||Ray Flowers 19|
|JBauers, TB||Tim McLeod 39||Tim Heaney 16||Al Melchior 12|
|SGaviglio, Tor||Scott Swanay 36||Scott Engel 6||Jeff Zimmerman 3|
|Fred Zinkie 0|
|BHolt, Bos||Scott Swanay 28||Jeff Zimmerman 0|
|AnSuarez, SF||Derek VanRiper 27||Fred Zinkie 26|
|SWright, Bos||Fred Zinkie 26||Scott Pianowski 4||Scott Engel 4|
|JusMiller, Was||Scott Pianowski 25|
|KMarte, Ari||Derek VanRiper 22||Al Melchior 6||Jeff Zimmerman 0|
|BMcCarthy, Atl||Derek VanRiper 22|
|LBrinson, Mia||Ray Flowers 19||Tim Heaney 3|
|AniSanchez, Atl||Fred Zinkie 16||Scott Engel 2|
|JHicks, StL||Scott Pianowski 13||Tim Heaney 0|
|JKang, Pit||Tim Heaney 6|
|JPirela, SD||Jeff Zimmerman 4||Derek VanRiper 7|
|TKemp, Hou||Scott Engel 3|
|KMcCarthy, KC||Tim McLeod 2|
|DCovey, CWS||Al Melchior 1||Derek VanRiper 17||Scott Engel 15|
|SMiller, Ari||Jeff Zimmerman 1||Tim Heaney 36||Derek VanRiper 1|
|JIglesias, Det||Al Melchior 0||Jeff Zimmerman 0|
|GAllen, Cle||Al Melchior 0||Tim Heaney 3|
|CStratton, SF||Bret Sayre 51||Derek VanRiper 17||Fred Zinkie 6|
|KYates, SD||Tim Heaney 46||Scott Swanay 28||Jeff Zimmerman 3|
|Derek VanRiper 1|
|PBlackburn, Oak||Scott Engel 5|
|JJay, Ari||Tim Heaney 3||Scott Engel 2|
|DTravis, Tor||Derek VanRiper 3||Jeff Zimmerman 0|
|JMFernandez, LAA||Jeff Zimmerman 1|
|YSanchez, CWS||Jeff Zimmerman 1|
|DCastillo, TB||Derek VanRiper 1|
|DWinkler, Atl||Derek VanRiper 1||Tim Heaney 0|
|CMoran, Pit||Tim Heaney 0|
|PSandoval, SF||Tim Heaney 0|
|SCishek, ChC||Tim Heaney 0|
|DSteckenrider, Mia||Jeff Zimmerman 0|
|JAdam, KC||Jeff Zimmerman 0|
|JWendle, TB||Jeff Zimmerman 0|
|RBleier, Bal||Jeff Zimmerman 0|
|WDifo, Was||Jeff Zimmerman 0|
Jeff Zimmerman’s Commentary
What started out as a bland FAAB week turned into a trade fest sparked by a Ron Shandler rebuild. Ron has been at or near last place all season. A couple hours before our FAAB ran, he sent out an email putting his entire team on the block and offers must have come pouring in. I know I sent a few So far, he’s traded away Joey Votto, Carlos Gomez, Zack Godley, and Khris Davis in moves with Bret Sayre and Al Melchior. In return, he’s got Joc Pederson, Patrick Corbin, Luis Valbuena, Lance McCullers and C.J. Cron. Ron’s original team had a stars-and-scrubs approach. When a few of his stars turned into scrubs (Votto, Buxton, and DeJong), his offense struggled. He had many spots to fill, so he traded his stars to fill in some roster voids.
Ron’s strategy is a desperate move and I applaud him for it. His current approach isn’t working so he’s trying to get the pieces to be competitive. All teams should be making similar moves. I know I am. Currently, I have 69.5 of a possible 75 offensive points and have little room to move up. And then there is my pitching with where I’m between 12th and 14th place in Saves, WHIP, and ERA. I’ve been trying to move some hitting for pitching even to the point of offering Mike Trout. I’ve made a small move getting Josh Hader for Cesar Hernandez but if I’m going to make up the 20 points to first place, I’m going to need to make a significant move. At this point in the season, team’s need to come to grips with what they need to win (or finish in the money) and make it happen. Big changes, especially in mixed leagues, aren’t going to happen in last couple months.
As for the waiver wire moves, it was a standard week with owners filling their needs. Scott Engel took a chance on getting a few Saves by picking up both Joakim Soria and Robert Gsellman. Tim Heaney (with Jung-ho Kang) and I (with Andrew Miller) rolled the dice for a future return by accepting a big zero for this week since any new acquisition must be in this week’s starting lineup. While they will take up a spot, it was a chance to roster them and do so on the cheap ($6 for Kang and $1 for Miller). Besides Miller and Kang, owners may want to pick up the Jorge’s, Polanco and Bonifacio, before they return from their suspensions.
Todd’s Commentary and Take
Big thanks to Jeff for volunteering to help out with the Mixed Auction league the rest of the season. Jeff is a great player whose analysis is next level.
Let’s play rank the closers. The contestants are Joakim Soria, Robert Gsellman and Hector Rondon. If all you want are saves, Soria is likely to be the best option, though he’s a trade candidate. Gsellman could be the best pitcher of the trio, but it’s unclear if he’ll be used in the traditional closer role. The Astros continue to show a lack of trust in Giles. I have to believe they’ll be looking to finally solidify the ninth, especially since Charlie Morton is beginning to show cracks in the armor. Rondon isn’t the guy – that person probably isn’t in the organization.
|HRondon, Hou||Scott White 38||Adam Ronis 24||Tom Kessenich 3|
|RGsellman, NYM||D.J. Short 35||Adam Ronis 12||Tom Kessenich 3|
|Rudy Gamble 3|
|DCovey, CWS||Greg Ambrosius 21||Tom Kessenich 1|
|GoHernandez, SF||Gene McCaffrey 4||Tom Kessenich 1|
|JBauers, TB||Tom Kessenich 2||Ray Murphy 1|
|LBrinson, Mia||Rudy Gamble 2||Ray Murphy 1|
|AAltherr, Phi||Ray Murphy 1|
|DGerman, NYY||Tom Kessenich 1|
|MLeake, Sea||Tom Kessenich 1|
|SGaviglio, Tor||Greg Ambrosius 11|
|RGuzman, Tex||Tom Kessenich 2|
|DPalka, CWS||Rudy Gamble 2|
|AniSanchez, Atl||Tom Kessenich 1|
|CMoran, Pit||Tom Kessenich 1|
|TKemp, Hou||Tom Kessenich 1|
|AGordon, KC||Gene McCaffrey 0|
|JPirela, SD||Gene McCaffrey 0|
Todd’s Commentary and Take
The mixed draft league also focused on closers. To be honest, there hasn’t been as much turnover at the spot this season as previous campaigns, forcing decent bids on those that do emerge. It’s just part and parcel to the saves game. Some want to eliminate it from our game, I’m still torn. Holds aren’t the answer but this is a story for another day.
Dylan Covey is an intriguing pickup. A few weeks ago on one of our Rotowire podcasts, Derek VanRiper pointed out Covey has been working with more velocity. Obviously, not everyone adding a tick or two to their heater becomes a new pitcher, but it gives us a reason to track those who do. Covey could still turn into a pumpkin. However, in today’s game, we need to pay attention and hope we choose wisely.
|YMoncada, CWS||Jake Ciely 137||Jeff Mans 79||Dr. Roto 12|
|BHamilton, Cin||Jeff Mans 88|
|BHardy, Det||Justin Mason 65||Peter Kreutzer 8|
|CBuchholz, Ari||Justin Mason 55||Jake Ciely 47||Jeff Mans 16|
|Michael Rathburn 12||Howard Bender 12|
|Dr. Roto 10||Peter Kreutzer 7|
|Paul Sporer 1|
|SGaviglio, Tor||Justin Mason 45||Andrea LaMont 18||Peter Kreutzer 14|
|Jeff Mans 8||Paul Sporer 1|
|SWright, Bos||Justin Mason 45||Paul Sporer 24||Andrea LaMont 22|
|Peter Kreutzer 14||Michael Rathburn 13|
|Dr. Roto 10|
|MMuncy, LAD||Michael Rathburn 43||Dr. Roto 24||Howard Bender 18|
|Andrea LaMont 18||Paul Sporer 11|
|JPederson, LAD||Jeff Mans 31||Andrea LaMont 31||Dr. Roto 10|
|Michael Rathburn 7||Paul Sporer 6|
|Howard Bender 6|
|DDescalso, Ari||Jeff Mans 27|
|JLyles, SD||Howard Bender 18||Paul Sporer 2|
|RGsellman, NYM||Jeff Mans 16||Andrea LaMont 3|
|KMarte, Ari||Howard Bender 12|
|JKipnis, Cle||Howard Bender 8||Jeff Mans 27|
|JVargas, NYM||Howard Bender 8|
|LGohara, Atl||Jake Ciely 7|
|DCovey, CWS||Peter Kreutzer 7|
|RGrichuk, Tor||Andrea LaMont 3||Paul Sporer 3|
|DDietrich, Mia||Paul Sporer 3||Jeff Mans 19|
|RTepera, Tor||Andrea LaMont 3|
|MMaldonado, LAA||Jeff Mans 1|
|APruitt, TB||Dr. Roto 1|
|TRichards, Mia||Paul Sporer 1|
|DFowler, StL||Jeff Mans 19|
|JHeyward, ChC||Jeff Mans 19|
|PBlackburn, Oak||Peter Kreutzer 7|
|JShields, CWS||Howard Bender 6||Jeff Mans 1|
|JPeraza, Cin||Jake Ciely 5|
|DHess, Bal||Peter Kreutzer 2|
|AAltherr, Phi||Jeff Mans 2|
|BSuter, Mil||Jeff Mans 2|
|JJay, Ari||Jeff Mans 2|
|YMunoz, StL||Jake Ciely 2|
|JHicks, StL||Paul Sporer 1|
|JMurphy, Ari||Jeff Mans 1|
|NHundley, SF||Jeff Mans 1|
|RMartin, Tor||Jeff Mans 1|
This could be the first week the H2H league was the busiest. Part is the availability of some potential difference makers like Yoan Moncada and Billy Hamilton, some is owners like Jeff Mans taking stock of his team and filling holes while some is Justin Mason looking to take advantage of the limited two-start options this week by loading up on them.