This is our Easter Sunday 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.
In a busy week in the AL, 21 players received bids.
The scuffling Red Sox brought up top prospect Michael Chavis and give the third sacker his first start at second base. Jason Collette did not fool around, dropping $303 for the acquisition. The second-highest offer was $104 in the blind bidding process.
Chris Liss of RotoWire likes new White Sox center fielder Ryan Cordell enough to bid $135. The 27-year old has an uneven minor league history, but can lock down regular playing time with performance. Cordell is off to a good early start.
25-year old starter Erik Swanson was called up by the Mariners and made a strong first impression, with just two baserunners (including a solo home run) in six innings against the Indians. His stay could be longer than a cup of coffee.
Though only 13 players were acquired this week, the big money came out Sunday night.
When a rash of injuries occur, opportunity is created for others. Such was the case with the Pirates this weekend, as Bryan Reynolds and Cole Tucker were pushed into the starting spotlight for the hottest team in baseball after a horrific outfield collision between Erik Gonzalez and Starling Marte.
Shortstop Tucker has been leading off and has begun his career with a double and home run in two games. The speedster seems to have the better chance of securing a long-term job at this point. Switch-hitting center fielder Reynolds is 4-for-6 with a double and could be worth a stash for later in the season.
OK, what are the odds that two owners would bid exactly $326? Well, that happened with Tucker. Lenny Melnick edged Grey Albright by the narrowest of margins – standings tiebreaker. Reynolds went to Scott Wilderman for $79, based on what appears to be a shorter shelf life.
Jerad Eichkoff is back from the minors and made Sunday’s start for the Phils at Colorado. The right-hander carried a shutout into the sixth before allowing four runs and taking the loss. Tristan H. Cockcroft of ESPN submitted the winning bid of $107.
31 players purchased this week is impressive, especially considering four owners stood pat.
Top dollar went for new Seattle closer Roenis Elias, who slipped through unpurchased last week. With Hunter Strickland out at least two months, Elias looks to be in the driver’s seat – at least until summer – or Anthony Swarzak takes it away. The winning bid was $89, placed by Scott Engel.
Cole Tucker drew considerable attention in Mixed Auction, with the top offer placed by Tim Heaney for $67.
At $62, my choice as the player of the prior decade, Albert Pujols, joined the roster of Zach Steinhorn. Interestingly, Zach benched Pujols’ Angels teammate Justin Bour in the process.
27 free agents joined Mixed Draft rosters this weekend.
Leading the way is Tucker, the most popular Tout acquisition this week, taken in all four leagues in which he was eligible. Seth Trachtman made the top Mixed Draft bid of $185 for the new Pirates shortstop and leadoff man.
Outfielder Dwight Smith Jr. of Baltimore is coming off a big week, with seven RBI in six games. The only yellow flag is a quad injury suffered on Sunday. New owner Peter Kreutzer has to be hoping his $177 went to a player only sidelined for a short period.
Eickhoff was the third player who fetched more than $100 this week, with Kruetzer dropping $123 for the new-old Phillies starter for a tidy total of $300 on this latter pair.
Head to Head
21 is the number of new free agent acquisitions in the Head to Head League this Sunday.
The most expensive player is new Atlanta starter Mike Soroka, who was acquired by Clay Link of RotoWire for $102. The right-hander made a strong season debut this week, but with the wealth of rotation talent the Braves have, Soroka’s leash could be short.
Two of the four top acquisitions in the league this week went to Alex Chamberlain for a total of $150. $85 was deployed on Oakland’s Frankie Montas, with $65 spent on the aforementioned Seattle starter Erik Swanson. Four starts into the season and the 26-year old right-hander has a 2.70 ERA with a WHIP under 1.00 and better than a strikeout per inning.
Cole Tucker was picked up by Ralph Lifshitz for $77.