Welcome to the first Tout Wars FAAB report of the 2018 season, on it’s 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 3:30 PM ET to discuss the results.
Before revealing the results if this week’s run, I’d like to do what I did with the LABR report and recognize our late friend and Tout Wars veteran Steve Moyer, who once hosted the auctions in his basement. Steve shockingly left us on March 1 as we was about to meet up with the LABR gang at a ballgame. Steve’s team in the American League auction was taken over by his good friend Doug Dennis, a Mixed Tout Wars veteran. Doug wrote a heartfelt tribute to Steve, please check it out as well as considering a donation to help Harmony and Mary, Steve’s daughters.
This week’s report is a little late, we’ll be back on schedule this Sunday. There are five leagues, 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.
|TCahill, Oak||Vlad Sedler 37||Seth Trachtman 5|
|DanNorris, Det||Seth Trachtman 35||Lawr Michaels 10||Larry Schechter 0|
|VReyes, Det||Chris Liss 25|
|EAdrianza, Min||Vlad Sedler 19||Rick Wolf/Glenn Colton 0||Patrick Davitt 0|
|ONarvaez, CWS||Lawr Michaels 15|
|TLincecum, Tex||Chris Liss 14|
|BBichette, Tor||Chris Liss 9|
|HRondon, Hou||Lawr Michaels 5||Vlad Sedler 4||Seth Trachtman 0|
|RTorreyes, NYY||Rob Leibowitz 4|
|BFarmer, Det||Jason Collette 3|
|HIwakuma, Sea||Chris Liss 2|
|RRua, Tex||Rick Wolf/Glenn Colton 0||Patrick Davitt 0|
|ISuzuki, Sea||Patrick Davitt 0|
|RTepera, Tor||Larry Schechter 0|
|NVincent, Sea||Seth Trachtman 0||Chris Liss 1|
|MCanha, Oak||Chris Liss 20|
|BHolt, Bos||Chris Liss 8|
|PAlvarez, Bal||Chris Liss 8|
|CFrazier, NYY||Chris Liss 5|
|CarSmith, Bos||Chris Liss 3||Larry Schechter 0|
|NGoody, Cle||Vlad Sedler 2||Lawr Michaels 1|
|JHoyt, Hou||Vlad Sedler 2|
|DEspinosa, Tor||Chris Liss 1||Chris Liss 0|
|JKelly, Bos||Chris Liss 1||Chris Liss 0|
|TMotter, Sea||Rick Wolf/Glenn Colton 0||Patrick Davitt 0|
|SLeon, Bos||Chris Liss 0||Lawr Michaels 0|
|CFulmer, CWS||Chris Liss 0|
|RBuchter, Oak||Larry Schechter 0|
|ARomine, NYY||Lawr Michaels 0|
|EAybar, FA||Patrick Davitt 0|
|APresley, Bal||Rick Wolf/Glenn Colton 0|
|TNaquin, Cle||Rick Wolf/Glenn Colton 0|
|HSantiago, CWS||Seth Trachtman 0|
|SRomo, TB||Seth Trachtman 0|
I did not place any bids on the first period as I am waiting on the off-chance that Melky Cabrera signs in the AL and was not overwhelmed by the desire to fight for Ronald Torreyes or Brock Holt.
Vlad Sedler snagged Trevor Cahill for $37 as the top buy this first period, and cut David Paulino. Cahill had a terrific April/May last season starting for Arizona before shoulder woes sent him spiraling. He has shown with the Cubs before that that he can be a very effective LH reliever as well. I’d expect Cahill to take 2 starts in the minors and if all goes ok, then jump into Oakland’s rotation. Vlad has a middle-of-the-road starter in a nice pitcher’s park for a modest buy unless something isn’t right, and we will know that soon enough from his minor league starts going in. Other bids on Cahill were $10 and $0 and no one else bid at all.
Seth Trachtman went $35 for Daniel Norris and reserved Nick Tropeano. I might rather have a middle reliever than Norris at this point. Norris has never really progressed as advertised and the Tigers lineup and pen do not offer much support. BaseballHQ.com projects Norris for a 4.72 ERA at the moment. That sounds about right and I think I’d have found a nice, safe ERA/WHIP reliever until some starter struck my fancy. But maybe Seth will catch lightning in a bottle. It was a modest cost in any event. Other bids on Norris were $5 and $5 and no one else bid.
Other purchases were tiny numbers — I am struck by how weak the offense buys were. This reinforces the idea that it is very hard to find worthwhile buys in an AL-only league to replace DL or minors hitters in the early going. Hitters may emerge down the line, but this first transactions period was quite dire.
With only four days this period, this is the perfect opportunity to grab and stash some under-the-radar players and non-drafted prospects from the St. Patrick’s Day auction. Instead of collecting dust for a week, they only have to stay on the active roster for the abbreviated week.
As he often does, Rotowire’s Chris Liss took advantage, snagging Rule 5 fly-chaser Victor Reyes, Tim Lincecum, Bo Bichette and Hisashi Iwakuma. Interestingly, the narrative for each is different. Reyes has to stay in the roster all season, or be returned to the D-backs. The Tigers are rebuilding and may opt to give the solid contact speedster a look. Bichette is a dart throw, hoping he bashes his way onto the Jays, Lincecum is a speculative shot at saves while Iwakuma is expected to return later in the season, offering veteran innings.
|SVanSlyke, Mia||Scott Wilderman 104|
|PErvin, Cin||Scott Wilderman 103||Tristan H. Cockcroft 7|
|BFinnegan, Cin||Grey Albright 86||Andy Behrens 13||Phil Hertz 3|
|PTucker, Atl||Todd Zola 77||Scott Wilderman 72||Andy Behrens 46|
|Tristan H. Cockcroft 12||Grey Albright 11|
|YMunoz, StL||Craig Mish 67||Grey Albright 31||Tristan H. Cockcroft 25|
|CUtley, LAD||Derek Carty 42||Scott Wilderman 61||Tristan H. Cockcroft 12|
|Mike Gianella 2|
|ACole, Was||Tristan H. Cockcroft 25||Grey Albright 13||Phil Hertz 0|
|TBlach, SF||Phil Hertz 14||Tristan H. Cockcroft 25|
|TCingrani, LAD||Steve Gardner 12|
|DDescalso, Ari||Steve Gardner 11||Tristan H. Cockcroft 5||Mike Gianella 0|
|Derek Carty 0|
|RRuiz, Atl||Mike Gianella 10||Tristan H. Cockcroft 9||Grey Albright 5|
|JParker, SF||Tristan H. Cockcroft 5|
|MRojas, Mia||Tristan H. Cockcroft 4||Mike Gianella 2||Tristan H. Cockcroft 1|
|WFont, LAD||Derek Carty 3||Steve Gardner 8|
|KMakita, SD||Andy Behrens 2|
|TWolters, Col||Grey Albright 1|
|KTomlinson, SF||Mike Gianella 0||Tristan H. Cockcroft 1||Derek Carty 0|
|JBlevins, NYM||Derek Carty 0|
|GBlanco, SF||Scott Wilderman 31|
|MMayers, StL||Grey Albright 31|
|PMaton, SD||Grey Albright 13||Phil Hertz 0|
|TBeede, SF||Grey Albright 13|
|CPennington, Cin||Scott Wilderman 11||Mike Gianella 0|
|MSzczur, SD||Scott Wilderman 11|
|JBrebbia, StL||Steve Gardner 10|
|SBrault, Pit||Steve Gardner 8|
|CBettis, Col||Steve Gardner 7|
|JMcGee, Col||Steve Gardner 5|
|DHolland, SF||Tristan H. Cockcroft 4|
|KFreeland, Col||Tristan H. Cockcroft 4|
|AniSanchez, Atl||Phil Hertz 3|
|JWilson, ChC||Tristan H. Cockcroft 1||Phil Hertz 0||Derek Carty 0|
|SAlexander, LAD||Grey Albright 1||Phil Hertz 0||Derek Carty 0|
|JHellickson, Was||Tristan H. Cockcroft 1||Grey Albright 1||Phil Hertz 0|
|AEllis, SD||Grey Albright 1|
|JMathis, Ari||Grey Albright 1|
|PBaez, LAD||Grey Albright 1|
|SMiller, Ari||Tristan H. Cockcroft 1|
|TTelis, Mia||Tristan H. Cockcroft 1|
|VCaratini, ChC||Tristan H. Cockcroft 1|
|WChen, Mia||Tristan H. Cockcroft 1|
|CRusin, Col||Steve Gardner 0|
|AnSuarez, SF||Phil Hertz 0|
|JNicolino, Mia||Phil Hertz 0|
|JTurner, Mia||Phil Hertz 0|
|ODespaigne, Mia||Phil Hertz 0|
|RGsellman, NYM||Phil Hertz 0|
|COGrady, Mia||Derek Carty 0|
|MFeliz, Pit||Derek Carty 0|
I listed a string of pitchers to replace the now-demoted Robert Stephenson. I came out of the NL-only draft with only two solid starters: Stephen Strasburg and Zack Greinke, winding up with Ty Blach, who is now likely to be part of the San Francisco rotation with both MadBum and Shark headed to the DL. Blach was my’ first choice, but then there weren’t a plethora of starting pitching options available.
Now a note from defending league champion, Grey Albright from Razzball.
Won Brandon Finnegan for $86, though I guess I could’ve bid $14 on him and still won him. C’est la vie, as they say in France. Fantasy Baseball is very popular in France, by the way. They’re still bidding on Jeff Francoeur there. Anyway! I lost Jeff Samardzija to a pectoral strain, so I needed a starter. Brandon Finnegan sustained a biceps strain early on in Spring Training, but is progressing well in his rehab. Hopefully, him or Samardzija return to give me 120+ innings, anything over that at this point would be icing.
It was a little surprising to see Scott Wilderman, proprietor of our host site, OnRoto open the wallet on a couple of marginal players, especially since he nearly caught me a couple years ago (pardon the #humblebrag) by picking up serious reinforcements at the MLB trade deadline.
It’s early, but effort not to finish in 11th like last season is off to a lucky start before a pitch has been thrown. Not liking any of the end-game middle infielders, I dropped $7 on Scott Kingery, expecting him to sit on reserve for awhile. He obviously made the team, joining fellow Phillies Cesar Hernandez, Maikel Franco and Aaron Altherr on my squad. Collecting so many Phillies was not by design, though acquiring Kingery as a Hernandez hedge was part of the consideration. Even if all my other Phillies lose time, I think I still benefit from Kingery’s early arrival.
In addition, my $4 Brad Boxberger is now the Dbacks closer, though it remains to be seen for how long.
On the other hand, my $6 David Dahl gambit didn’t come through, though I suspect I’ll get my money’s worth by season’s end. To replace the Rockies outfielder, I dropped $77 on Preston Tucker, expected to play a lot while the Braves pretend Ronald Acuna needs more time on the farm. If he doesn’t anything at all, Tucker could push Nick Markakis for playing time. With my poor 2017 finish came a big FAAB reduction penalty, so I’ll be aggressive early since I can’t be a player at the MLB trade deadline.
|EEscobar, Min||Jeff Zimmerman 46||Derek VanRiper 11|
|SRomano, Cin||Al Melchior 42|
|JLowrie, Oak||Bret Sayre 37||Scott Pianowski 3|
|DVogelbach, Sea||Bret Sayre 27|
|YHirano, Ari||Tim Heaney 26|
|NKarns, KC||Zach Steinhorn 22||Scott Swanay 13|
|ARamos, NYM||Bret Sayre 18|
|CSpangenberg, SD||Ron Shandler 18|
|VVelasquez, Phi||Scott Swanay 13|
|KGraveman, Oak||Fred Zinkie 7|
|TWilliams, Pit||Derek VanRiper 0|
|DDietrich, Mia||Scott Pianowski 0|
|FCervelli, Pit||Scott Engel 0|
|JEickhoff, Phi||Scott Swanay 0|
|AMondesi, KC||Jeff Zimmerman 42|
|ACashner, Bal||Al Melchior 23|
|MGonzales, Sea||Al Melchior 21|
|IKennedy, KC||Zach Steinhorn 18|
|LChisenhall, Cle||Ron Shandler 18|
|NMarkakis, Atl||Ron Shandler 12|
|AJackson, SF||Ron Shandler 5|
|GParra, Col||Ron Shandler 5|
|CRasmus, Bal||Ron Shandler 1|
|HRenfroe, SD||Ron Shandler 1|
|AGarrett, Cin||Tim Heaney 0|
|DanNorris, Det||Tim Heaney 0|
|JoeSmith, Hou||Scott Swanay 0|
|LPerdomo, SD||Tim Heaney 0|
|MBoyd, Det||Tim Heaney 0|
|ODespaigne, Mia||Al Melchior 0|
|PNeshek, Phi||Scott Swanay 0|
|TKahnle, NYY||Scott Swanay 0|
|TMahle, Cin||Tim Heaney 0|
|TomHunter, Phi||Scott Swanay 0|
|TRoss, SD||Scott Swanay 0|
|YPetit, Oak||Al Melchior 0|
This week’s commentary is courtesy of Scott Swanay. Follow Scott on Twitter at @fantasy_sherpa
Nothing personal gents, but I hope you’re all wrong. I’ve been on the Reds Tyler Mahle all drafting season. I won’t tell you how many rosters I have him on, but you’ll need your toes to keep track. He’s not a difference-maker by any means. However, he’s healthy, surrounded by a bunch of not-so-healthy teammates. The Great American Ballpark may be generous to power, but it plays just a little above neutral for runs, so if Mahle can keep the ball in the yard, he’ll be fine. I’d take him over all six starters won in FAAB. But, then, if I was in this league, he wouldn’t have been available.
|BMcCarthy, Atl||Scott White 37||Adam Ronis 4|
|TMahle, Cin||Ray Murphy 17||Adam Ronis 8|
|JPanik, SF||Rudy Gamble 17||Jeff Boggis 6|
|MGonzales, Sea||Adam Ronis 12||Perry Van Hook 5||Charlie Wiegert 4|
|CMoran, Pit||D.J. Short 11|
|VMartinez, Det||Perry Van Hook 11||Adam Ronis 4|
|AGarrett, Cin||Adam Ronis 8|
|EEscobar, Min||Adam Ronis 8||Rudy Gamble 37|
|TBlach, SF||Perry Van Hook 6|
|AWainwright, StL||Charlie Wiegert 5|
|MMaldonado, LAA||Rudy Gamble 3|
|LForsythe, LAD||Rudy Gamble 17||D.J. Short 10||Adam Ronis 8|
|Perry Van Hook 2|
|MMahtook, Det||Perry Van Hook 7||Adam Ronis 2|
|CGranderson, Tor||Perry Van Hook 7|
|JTomlin, Cle||Ray Murphy 6|
|BAnderson, Mia||Perry Van Hook 5|
|DDietrich, Mia||Perry Van Hook 5|
|MBoyd, Det||Adam Ronis 4|
|MGivens, Bal||Adam Ronis 4|
|NEovaldi, TB||Adam Ronis 4|
|NKarns, KC||Adam Ronis 4|
|TRoss, SD||Perry Van Hook 3|
|JGarcia, Tor||Perry Van Hook 3|
|KMiddleton, LAA||Perry Van Hook 3|
|YGomes, Cle||Rudy Gamble 3|
|JIglesias, Det||Rudy Gamble 3|
|JMercer, Pit||Rudy Gamble 3|
|ADiaz, Tor||Rudy Gamble 3|
|DMengden, Oak||Adam Ronis 2|
|MDavidson, CWS||Perry Van Hook 2|
|CMcHugh, Hou||Adam Ronis 1|
|MMontgomery, ChC||Adam Ronis 1|
|THernandez, Tor||Adam Ronis 1|
|BNimmo, NYM||Charlie Wiegert 1|
|CTocci, Tex||Charlie Wiegert 1|
|CUtley, LAD||Charlie Wiegert 1|
|DVogelbach, Sea||Charlie Wiegert 1|
|EHernandez, LAD||Charlie Wiegert 1|
|JDiekman, Tex||Charlie Wiegert 1|
|JZimmermann, Det||Charlie Wiegert 1|
|MJoyce, Oak||Charlie Wiegert 1|
|SDuggar, SF||Charlie Wiegert 1|
|STuivailala, StL||Charlie Wiegert 1|
|TomMurphy, Col||Rudy Gamble 1|
This week’s commentary is from Perry Van Hook
While the Tout mixed draft league is less than three weeks from the draft, several teams have lost players to injury or suspension already, so a FAAB run before the first half week was some relief. Not that you are going to get a player better than Justin Turner or Madison Bumgarner, but at least you could get some lineup options.
The highest bid amongst the eight owners who made bids was $37 for Atlanta SP Brandon McCarthy by Scott White.
As the Justin Turner owner I saw several hitters who could fill my UT slot after some internal moves but thought the revitalized Victor Martinez was the best hitting so he topped my list at $11 and that was enough to roster him. I also wanted another pitcher as many starters would not have a start in the first three or four games. I am not sure my choice was the best, but Giants’ starter Ty Blach has had very good outing against the Dodgers who he will face in the opener on Thursday, and I don’t own any shares of Clayton Kershaw so I might as well double down on rooting against him.
Thank you Ray Murphy, at least someone sees what I see in Mahle.
Brandon McCarthy is a great Twitter follow, and a pretty good pitcher between injuries. He’s looked great so far this spring, offering solid inning and the proverbial veteran leadership to a fledgling Braves staff. Ride the guy while he’s healthy.
|MHarvey, NYM||Howard Bender 62|
|INova, Pit||Clay Link 53||Peter Kreutzer 6||Stephania Bell 1|
|GParra, Col||Howard Bender 52|
|ARussell, ChC||Michael Rathburn 50|
|LMorrison, Min||Peter Kreutzer 42|
|TWilliams, Pit||Peter Kreutzer 3|
|TDArnaud, NYM||Justin Mason 2|
|AClaudio, Tex||Howard Bender 52|
|DSwanson, Atl||Michael Rathburn 50|
|KPillar, Tor||Howard Bender 42|
|COwings, Ari||Howard Bender 42|
|FRodney, Min||Howard Bender 42|
|BMcCarthy, Atl||Clay Link 34|
|HRyu, LAD||Clay Link 33|
|NWilliams, Phi||Howard Bender 32|
|CKuhl, Pit||Howard Bender 32|
|TMahle, Cin||Clay Link 31|
|JWinker, Cin||Howard Bender 22|
|DSteckenrider, Mia||Howard Bender 22|
|JLowrie, Oak||Peter Kreutzer 13|
|CMcHugh, Hou||Clay Link 2|
|JCastro, Min||Justin Mason 1|
|NMarkakis, Atl||Peter Kreutzer 0|
I had been holding out hope that Eduardo Rodriguez would be cleared to start the fourth game of the season, but he was not, and thus I was forced to dip into the free-agent pool for a replacement starter.
There were several capable arms available, and I went back and forth with my preferences and bid amounts, but ultimately settled on Ivan Nova being the most attractive option.
Innings are the most valuable commodity in this league, with each out being worth a point, and Nova nearly got to 190 last year while posting the fourth-lowest BB/9 among qualified starters. The first of his two starts over the first week comes against the Tigers, which seems like a decent matchup. The volume will be key right away, as I lost Dinelson Lamet hours after FAAB ran and I do not have a healthy replacement on my bench.
Sandy Alcantara was the obvious drop. I took a shot thinking he might break camp in the rotation, but that did not happen, and he’s not worth stashing in this 12-team league.
Count me among those skeptical that Matt Harvey’s spring means anything, but in this format that pushes up starting pitching so much, I can see why Howard Bender took the flier.
The other pickup that caught my eye was Nova’s teammate, Trevor Williams, at $3 to Peter Kreutzer. That second start for him over the first week-plus comes at home against the Reds, while Nova’s is home against the Twins. It’s a better matchup, and I could see Williams putting up a similar point total in the first week, at a lower cost.
There’s two kind of people. One is skeptical Matt Harvey can be a viable MLB starter and those delusional. I hope I’m wrong and my bud Howard Bender rubs egg on my face since a healthy Harvey is good for baseball, but the track record of those returning from thoracic outlet surgery just isn’t that good, though it does improve the further removed from the procedure so like Clay, I can see why the RotoBuzzGuy channeled Lloyd Christmas – hoping there’s a chance.