Welcome to our weekly summary of 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.
16 free agents were acquired for FAAB this week in the AL.
Mike Podhorzer spent the most, $83, on the Royals’ Ryan O’Hearn. KC’s first sacker to start the season is back from Omaha, replacing Lucas Duda, and should get extended playing time in another opportunity to stick.
Will Sergio Romo close for the Twins, who now have the Indians hot on their heels? Colton and the Wolfman put down $72 of their money to acquire the former ninth-inning man of the Marlins.
Matt Duffy of the Rays was also a $72 acquisition, picked up by Jason Collette. When Jason adds a Tampa Bay player, take special notice.
It was busy in the National League, with 19 players acquired, though since his trade is not yet official, prospective Marcus Stroman owners will have to wait a week.
At the top of the league standings, Phil Hertz of BaseballHQ opened up his pocketbook, spending $194 on Will Smith – the highest price paid across the five leagues this week. The new Dodgers catcher (not the current Giants closer) was previously owned, but dropped when sent down earlier in the season. Phil won’t get Smith’s six RBIs from Saturday, but there should be more from where that came.
Hertz also spent $57 for Miami reliever Jarlin Garcia. It is unclear if he or Jose Quijada, Nick Anderson or someone else will pick up the closing duties for the Fish with Sergio Romo traded, but Garcia did get the ninth on Sunday (in a non-save situation). Quijada went to Grey Albright for the substantially lower price of $12. (Anderson was already rostered.)
At $64, former Reds-now new Braves outfielder Adam Duvall was snapped up by Albright, as well. With Nick Markakis out, at-bats should be available, and on a better team, who knows what Duvall might do?
An even 20 free agents were added to Mixed Auction rosters this week.
Leading the way at $112 is the Dodgers’ new backstop, Will Smith. His new team assignment is with Eric Karabell of ESPN, who came into Sunday with $843 FAAB compared to the owner with the next-most at just $343. To observe that Karabell holds the hammer the rest of the way is putting it mildly.
Chris Martin, who seems to be the leader of the closer committee for the Rangers currently (unless/until he is traded), joined the roster of Brent Hershey of BaseballHQ for $37. Also at $37, Baltimore’s Asher Wojciechowski was acquired by Ron Shander.
Shandler also added Kolten Wong, for $27. The Cardinals second sacker has improved his OBP recently, reflecting with his entire club’s upward production.
This time around, the busiest league was Mixed Draft, with 23 free agents finding new homes.
The top dollar player was Will Smith at $102. I wonder if new owner Tim McLeod was bidding in Canadian dollars…
Ray Murphy of BaseballHQ snapped up Astros hurler Jose Urquidy for $78. The rookie looked good against the Cardinals this weekend, with upper-90’s heat, a good changeup as well as a slider. However, with no idea what Houston plans to do in the trade market this week, Urquidy may or may not continue to get starts.
Old hand Jason Kipnis joined the roster of Charlie Wiegert for $71. The 32-year old second sacker for the Tribe has two homers, 10 RBI and a .386 OBP over the last three weeks. It was capped off by a Saturday grand slam.
Rotoman, aka Peter Kreutzer, picked up presumed new Marlins closer Nick Anderson for $58, the same price Adam Ronis paid for Wojciechowski.
Head to Head (by Todd Zola)
Pitching was the focus of the Head to Head combatants with Fangraphs Paul Sporer submitting the high bid, $54 on the surging Reynaldo Lopez. Lopez has added a couple ticks to his four seamer, averaging 97 mph while also throwing his curve and slider more. Further, he’s spinning both secondaries more, increasing their effectiveness.
The next highest bid came courtesy of Alex Chamberlain from Rotographs, dropping $45 on Asher Wojciechowski. The Baltimore righty is exhibiting a new level, fanning 37 to just eight walks in 30 frames.
Rotowire’s Ian Kahn decided $41 was the right bid to see if Nick Anderson takes over as the Miami Marlins closer.
The top bid on the hitting side belongs to A.J. Mass from ESPN with a $50 expenditure on the Dodger’s new backstop Will Smith. The club has announced Smith will be the regular receiver and he celebrated with his fourth homer of the season on Sunday. Mass also grabbed Reds infielder Josh VanMeter for $50.
The next highest hitter bid came from Dan Strafford, taking a $25 chance Yasmany Tomas will be extended a long look by Arizona.
The other double-digit bids were placed by Sporer, adding catcher Pedro Severino and starting pitcher Anthony DeSclafani, both for $11. Like Lopez, DeSclafani has recently added a couple ticks to his heater.