This is the first of our weekly reports for the final month of 2019, 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.
Though a number of teams have announced final-month call-ups, playing time for most of them is going to remain an open question. Perhaps for that reason, bidding was not aggressive for newcomers. In the only-leagues, top prospects like Dodgers infielder Gavin Lux have been rostered for some time.
This week in the Tout league focused on the Junior Circuit, 15 players were picked up off the waiver wire.
$197 of Patrick Davitt’s cash went to the acquisition of Oakland first sacker/outfielder Seth Brown. Perhaps you’ve heard the 27-year old rookie has seven RBI and a .440 average in his first six MLB games.
Infielder Mike Freeman of the Indians was picked up by Chris Liss for $90. The 32-year old reached base four times on Sunday and seems a decent source of on-base percentage in AL-only leagues such as this one.
A pair of Rangers, Emmanuel Clase ($29) and Ronald Guzman ($25), went to Colton and the Wolfman and Nando DiFino, respectively. Clase earned a win in relief on Sunday and may be earning more meaningful innings while first sacker Guzman is back from the minors, likely pushing Logan Forsythe into a part-time role.
15 free agents were also added to National League Tout rosters this weekend.
One call-up who arrived early due to injury is Rockies outfielder Sam Hilliard. The 25-year old hit 35 home runs, plated 1010 and stole 22 bags at Triple-A and is getting playing time with David Dahl injured again (no surprise). ESPN’s Tristan H. Cockcroft snared Hilliard for $124.
Cockcroft also purchased Milwaukee’s Travis Shaw for $50. It has been a lost season for the infielder, to the point he was banished to Triple-A. Yet, with rookie Keston Hiura on the injured list, Shaw could work his way back into the picture.
Minor leaguer Ian Anderson was picked up by Lenny Melnick for $35. The Braves pitching prospect hasn’t been called up yet, to my knowledge, but would be worth watching if/when he makes his MLB debut.
It was very busy in Mixed Auction this week with 27 free agents acquired.
Leading the way is Lux at $103, purchased by Al Melchior. With Max Muncy out due to injury, the Dodgers want their top prospect to play.
Melchior also acquired the Twins’ Jake Cave, for $64. The outfielder has been hot recently, with five of his seven home runs on the year having come in the last nine games.
At $99, ESPN’s Eric Karabell added Rockies’ outfielder Hilliard.
Jeff Zimmerman picked up Detroit pitcher Daniel Norris for $55. The lefty has a 3.75 ERA over his most recent four starts, and 13 strikeouts over 12 innings. In other words, Norris is pitching exactly three frames each time out. No good for wins, but his ratios are improved.
We are back to this week’s magic number of 15 players, purchased via FAAB bidding this week in Mixed Draft.
A’s pitcher Sean Manaea joined the roster of Adam Ronis for $88. In his first outing of the season back from shoulder surgery, the lefty kept the Yankees off the scoreboard for five innings on Sunday.
Bidding amounts really dropped off from there, with $23 the price paid by Ronis to purchase Nate Lowe. The Rays first baseman is back from the minors for the final month. The 24-year old hit a two-run home run in his Sunday return and could be a nice final-month power source – if he gets the at-bats.
Perry Van Hook spent $17 each on pitcher Andrew Kittredge of Tampa and outfielder Jake Bauers of Cleveland. Reliever Kittedge has struck out better than a batter per inning, but has been inconsistent as of late. Bauers is back up from the minors with Tyler Naquin injured, but his playing time is unknown.
Head to Head
In Sunday’s head to head bidding in the Head to Head league, 17 players were added to team rosters, with amounts paid muted.
Ryan Bloomfield had the rare trifecta of having submitted the top three winning bids. First up was Phillies outfielder Corey Dickerson for $26. The veteran has a pair of long balls and five RBI in his last six outings.
$21 brought Hanser Alberto onto Bloomfield’s roster. The Orioles middle infielder went 9-for-18 on the week, though eight of the hits were singles. Alberto is quietly batting .321 with a .343 OBP this season, both career highs by a considerable margin.
Finally, old hand Homer Bailey, now with Oakland, was a $13 acquisition by Bloomfield. The former Reds star has a solid 2.22 ERA over his most recent four starts.