Welcome to our second report of the week, from Sunday, following our Wednesday night bidding. We summarize 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.
11 free agents joined new American League rosters this Sunday.
Leading the way at $57 is Royals outfielder Bubba Starling, acquired by Jeff Erickson of RotoWire. To say that the former no. 5 overall draft pick from way back in 2011 is a post-hype player is an understatement. Yet, the 26-year old has finally made his MLB debut and could see time in center field with KC.
The other mildly expensive acquisition is Nick Solak, formerly of Tampa Bay, who went to Doug Dennis of BaseballHQ for $41. The second baseman was dealt to the Rangers this week, and though he is initially assigned to Triple-A, he may not be down for long. This is Solak’s second trade in two years as the Yankees dealt him to the Rays during spring training 2018.
No other AL free agent went for more than $4 this week.
Bidding was quiet in the National League, with just six players added.
With 2 ½ weeks remaining until the July 31 trade deadline and a need for saves, I picked up two prospective closers, Kyle Crick of Pittsburgh and Mark Melancon of San Francisco, for $2 each. The latter probably has a better chance of getting the ninth inning job due to a combination of the desirability of incumbent Will Smith and his own bloated contract, though neither have appeal unless they close.
Justin Mason made a savvy addition of Arizona starter Luke Weaver, also for $2. The former Cardinals right-hander has been out since late May with elbow problems that did not require surgery. Mason noticed that Phil Hertz dropped Weaver mid-week in return for $30 FAAB and swooped in.
Everyone else was either a $1 or $0 acquisition.
10 free agents found new homes this Sunday in Mixed Auction.
The top dollar acquisition is Tampa’s Mike Brosseau, for $51 of Eric Karabell of ESPN’s money. The third baseman’s two home runs on Saturday drew a lot of attention, but in his 11 games with the Rays to date, the 25-year old is hitting .382 with eight RBI.
At $38, old standard Daniel Hudson of the Blue Jays was acquired by Scott Swanay. The right-hander picked up a save on Sunday, but more importantly, closer Ken Giles appears to be prime trade bait, and if so, Hudson’s value could increase substantially.
Al Melchior picked up starting pitcher Jose Suarez of the Angels for $33. The 21-year old lefty (Suarez, not Melchior!), is averaging less than five innings over his six big-league starts and has a 5.40 ERA, but also has fanned 30 in 28 1/3 innings – and his team is not a contender.
Just seven free agents were added in Mixed Draft this week.
Leading the way in spending was Adam Ronis, who won the bidding for new Cardinals starting pitcher Daniel Ponce de Leon for $87. The 27-year old righty has been very effective in long relief and spot starts and is getting his chance to supplant disappointing Michael Wacha among St. Louis’ starting five.
A pair of once-shiny starting pitchers were picked up for $22 each. Vince Velasquez of Philly went to Ray Murphy of BaseballHQ and Jeff Samardzija was acquired by Anthony Perri. “Shark” may have some interesting upside over the final two months. Though teammate Madison Bumgarner is getting more trade interest, he could be joined on the block.
Rudy Gamble did not have to take much of a … risk on Daniel Norris, at just $18. The Tigers lefty’s last good season was 2016, but Rudy must be banking on a second-half turnaround from the 26-year old.
Head to Head
10 free agents fetched winning bids this week in Head to Head.
Second-place owner Ian Kahn was busy, with the top spend across all five leagues with his $142 acquisition of some outfielder from the Yankees named Giancarlo Stanton. His rehab from a PCL strain in his knee is going slowly, with the latest word that the prior early August target return may not be made.
Kahn also added Nate Lowe of Tampa Bay for $38. The first sacker has been red-hot, with three long balls and seven RBI while batting .462 in his three post-break games. Kahn doesn’t get those stats, though.
In between is the $51 RotoLady (aka Andrea LaMont) paid for Ponce de Leon.