This is the final weekly report of 2019, summarizing the top free agent bids in each of 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.
Focus this week is on the league leaders, including at least one very interesting strategy taken.
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.
Heading into the final period, Rob Leibowitz is on top, with Colton and the Wolfman and Patrick Davitt following, by 1.5 and 5 points, respectively.
Leibowitz is not sitting on his lead, using his final $40 to snare Cleveland slugger Jose Ramirez. The third baseman is scheduled to be activated on Tuesday, but is a risk coming back from hamate bone surgery in his hand.
Team CTW, out of cash, added Yankees utilityman Tyler Wade for $0, of course. Davitt had $22 remaining, but chose to stand pat.
Tristan H. Cockcroft’s $62 acquisition of Marlins’ reliever Kyle Keller was the top purchase, with the amount not coincidentally using up his entire FAAB balance, rather than reflecting the player’s current value..
The real NL news is from league leader Phil Hertz. Holding a three-point edge heading into the final week, his battleground is WHIP, where he is in the category lead, but with six others closely on his heels.
Hertz used the final bidding period to acquire seven pitchers who are out for the season for $0 each. He already has two other hurlers whose seasons are over. So his final week active roster will likely include a full complement of nine pitchers, none of whom will accrue stats, therefore protecting his current WHIP.
In Mixed Auction, Bret Sayre holds a thin 1.5 point lead over Scott Swanay. Brent Hershey is 10 points off the pace.
The three contenders added a total of 10 free agents this week. The top acquisition by Sayre, who was out of cash, may be reborn Arizona outfielder Abraham Almonte ($0), back from the minors and with playing time available in the final week due to injuries.
Headlining Swanay’s additions is Cleveland’s Ramirez for $6 and Hershey nabbed returning Dodgers’ starter Rich Hill for $16. The veteran lefty is scheduled to throw just two innings on Tuesday, but if all goes well, could also take the ball in Game 162 against the Giants, ramping up his workload for the postseason.
The most expensive purchases by non-contenders were Colorado’s Garrett Hampson by Ray Flowers for $22 and red-hot Phillies’ starter Zach Eflin by Al Melchior for $15. The righty has allowed just three earned runs in his last 22 2/3 innings.
The two-way battle in Mixed Draft is between Ray Murphy and Adam Ronis, separated by 2.5 points.
Murphy split his remaining $68 of FAAB on two $34 winning bids, for Hampson and Padres starter Cal Quantrill. The latter has been struggling, with a 10.90 ERA over his most recent four starts.
Ronis had just $3 left to spend and used $2 on rookie hurler Jose Urquidy of Houston, plus for $0 picked up another rookie, Toronto left-hander Anthony Kay.
Head to Head
Clay Link and Ian Kahn are heading into week two of their finals. Between them, they acquired eight free agents this week.
Kahn was busiest, with six players added at $1 each, including a pair of catchers – St. Louis’ Yadier Molina and the Nationals’ Yan Gomes. The former plays every day and the latter has been doing so this month, as well, with Kurt Suzuki hobbled by an elbow injury.
At $0 each. Link scooped up Cardinals’ closer Carlos Martinez and hot starting pitcher Aaron Civale of Cleveland, who has a 1.53 ERA in his last three starts. Both of these players’ clubs have reasons to keep competing hard up to the end of the season.