Welcome to the first of our weekly reports for 2019, summarizing the top free agent bids in each of the five Tout Wars leagues, with links to the detailed bidding action. All prices are on a $1000 base.
A provision reportedly forgotten by some of the Touts was the annual pre-Opening Day free agent period. This year, it was pre-US opener, held on Wednesday evening, March 27.
There was one significant rub, however. Only a handful of MLB clubs made their formal injured list proclamations prior to Thursday – and until they did and it was reflected on the league site, such players were considered active.
This required many Touts had to take a calculated risk that if they acquired replacement players via FAAB that they could move their injured players to the IL prior to Thursday’s first pitch. That may have tamped down bidding action.
Not so in the AL, however, as action was heavy, with 22 players acquired. Leading the way was right-hander Aaron Brooks, named Oakland’s fifth starter with Chris Bassitt out. Howard Bender doled out $116 for the privilege of rostering Brooks.
Doug Dennis of BaseballHQ went heavy on offense, paying $101 each for Lucas Duda and Carlos Gonzalez. While parking Mark Trumbo on the injured list, Larry Schechter added new Orioles’ right fielder Dwight Smith Jr. for $65.
All 3/27 AL bids here: http://onroto.com/baseball/webnew/display_bid_reports.pl?toutal+0&session_id=CnE2y
Bidding was lighter in the NL, as 16 players were acquired, but just seven for a non-zero amount. Worried I would be fighting with Florida-based Craig Mish for new Marlins starting pitcher Sandy Alcantara, I checked first-week bids last year and upped my offer to $105. Sadly for me, Mish remained on the sidelines and most other owners did too, meaning I paid almost $90 more than necessary.
The top acquisition on offense was new Reds shortstop Jose Iglesias, who went for $59 to Steve Gardner of USA TODAY.
All 3/27 NL bids here: http://onroto.com/baseball/webnew/display_bid_reports.pl?toutnl+0&session_id=UAct7
18 players were added via the initial bidding period, with $117 spent by Gene McCaffrey to snare new Cardinals starter Dakota Hudson in spirited bidding. For just $2 less, Jeff Zimmerman added presumed Twins closer Blake Parker and doubled down on relievers, paying $54 for Wily Peralta of Kansas City.
A new fifth starter with strikeout potential, the Angels’ Felix Pena, was acquired by Zack Steinhorn for $65. Pena seems to have a spot at least until Andrew Heaney returns. With Greg Bird seeing time at first base for the Yankees currently, Al Melchior won his services for $52.
All 3/27 Mixed Auction bids here: http://onroto.com/baseball/webnew/display_bid_reports.pl?toutmixed+0&session_id=7wREf
Again, 18 players found new homes on Wednesday night, with starting pitching the primary target. Frankie Montas of Oakland was the top dollar player acquired in the Mixed Draft league. In fact, the A’s starter drew the highest winning bid across the five leagues, $161 from Tim McCullough. Tims were spending big that evening, with Tim McLeod adding Hudson for $111.
Yet another new starting pitcher, Kyle Wright of the Braves went to Charlie Wiegert for $51 and Marlins pitcher Caleb Smith went to Scott White for $43.
All 3/27 Mixed Draft bids here:
Head to Head
Action was relatively quiet in Head to Head, with just eight players acquired on Wednesday night. Marlins starters were hot commodities across the leagues, as a third one, Pablo Lopez, went to Ian Kahn for $101.
Hunter Strickland of Seattle, who picked up two saves in Japan, dropped his first in the US after being acquired by Ryan Bloomfield for $68. Hang on tightly!
All 3/27 Head to Head bids here:
What is next
Check back Sunday night, March 31 for the next round of bidding results and our live chat session!