Tout Table: Would you Rather, Pitcher Edition

This week, the Touts were asked to choose between two arms who were ranked closely (at the time) using earnings to date.

Rest of season, would you rather roster: Yoshinobu Yamamoto or Shota Imanaga? Tanner Houck or Ranger Suarez? Tyler Glasnow or Chris Sale? Bailey Ober or Joe Ryan? Cole Ragans or Mitch Keller?

Grey Albright (RazzBall, @razzball): Yamamoto, Ranger, Glasnow, Ryan, Ragans

Derek Carty (RotoGrinders, @DerekCarty): Yamamoto, Ranger, Glasnow, Ryan, Ragans

Doug Dennis (BaseballHQ, @dougdennis41): At this point, I want the higher floor. IMO, those are Imanaga, Houck, Glasnow, Ryan, Ragans.

Ryan Boyer (Rotowire, Baseball Prospectus, @RyanPBoyer): I’ve got Yamamoto, Suarez, Glasnow, Ryan and Ragans. Ober and Ryan was the toughest call for me. Similar pitchers, but Ryan has more durability. Ragans and Keller aren’t all that close to me. Perhaps you could argue Keller is safer, but I struggle to find anything he does better than Ragans.

Fred Zinkie (Yahoo/Rotowire, @FredZinkieMLB): Yamamoto, Ranger, Glasnow, Ryan, Ragans. For me, the easiest pick was Glasnow over Sale and the hardest pick was Ryan over Ober.

Eric Samulski (Rotoballer, @SamskiNYC): It would take way too long to break down WHY I’m answering how I am, but I’ll basically be looking for strikeouts and upside here. I’ll go: Yamamoto, Houck, Glasnow, Ryan, Ragans. For me, Ragans and Keller was the easiest. Keller is a streamer at best right now and I can’t wait for Nick Pollack to see that it was a choice between these two.

Scott White (CBS Fantasy Sports, @CBSScottWhite): Yamamoto, Suarez, Glasnow, Ryan, Ragans. The closest call was between Tanner Houck and Ranger Suarez. I’m genuinely confused why an ace like Cole Ragans is mentioned in the same breath as Mitch Keller, and I say that as one of the loudest Keller apologists.

Tim McLeod ( Prospect361, @RunTMcP361): Yamamoto, Suarez (either one), Sale, Ober, Ragans.

Patrick Davitt (BaseballHQ, @patrickdavitt): Imanaga, Houck, Glasnow, Ryan, Ragans.

Nick Pollack (Pitcher List, @PitcherList): Yamamoto (high four-seamers, PLEASE), Suárez and his improved changeup, Glasnow since he’s the #1 SP, Joe Ryan for his better fastball, and Ragans because you can’t spell Ragans without AGA (Aces Gonna Ace).

Phil Hertz (Baseball HQ, @prhz50): Yamamoto, Houck, Glasnow, Ryan, Keller

Michael A. Stein (Fantasy Judgment, @FantasyJudgment): Yamamoto, Suarez, Glasnow, Ryan, Ragans.

Bret Sayre (Baseball Prospectus, @BretSayreBP): Yamamoto, Suarez, Glasnow, Ryan, Ragans.

Matt Truss (Razzball, @MattTruss): Yamamoto, Houck, Glasnow, Ryan, Ragans (Houck/Ranger is the closest call, and while pitching in Fenway is terrifying, Houck is a beast)

Jeff Boggis (Fantasy Football Empire, @JeffBoggis): Yamamoto, Suarez, Glasnow, Ryan, Ragans.

Frank Ammirante (The GameDayHQ, @FAmmiranteTFJ): Yamamoto, Houck, Glasnow, Ryan, Ragans

Chris Clegg (Pitcher List, @RotoClegg): Yamamoto, Suarez, Glasnow, Ryan, Ragans

Jeff Zimmerman (Fangraphs, @jeffwzimmerman): According to my valuation Imanaga (close), Houck (tie), Sale, Ryan (not close at all), Ragans (again, not close at all)

Glenn Colton (SiriusXM Fantasy, @GlennColton1): Sometimes keeping it simple is best. M.Keller v. Ragans is simple. Keller (below avg 8.8 swinging strike and a 4.63 xERA) v. Ragans (14.5 swinging strike and a 3.59 xERA). I just chose one example to illustrate it often is best not to overthink.

Dave Adler (Baseball HQ, @daveadler01): Looking at hit and strand rates to get a sense of likely regression; also expected ERA and K-BB% rates. So, my selections: Yamamoto (Imanaga has a 95% strand rate; expected ERA over ROS slightly higher than Yamamoto). Suarez by a very slight edge over Houck (projections over ROS virtually identical). Glasnow (two injury risks, but Glasnow expected ERA a bit better). Ryan (better K-BB% than Ober, better xERA). Ragans (big K-BB% difference, despite xERA being similar. Plus, I wouldn’t want Nick P to get on my case!)

Howard Bender (Fantasy Alarm, @RotoBuzzGuy): Yamamoto, Suarez, Glasnow, Ryan and Ragans

Anthony Aniano (Rotoballer, @AAnianoFantasy): Yamamoto..Imanaga will come back to the pack, I believe in the Lone Ranger, Glasnow is a no brainer, Joe Ryan and Ragans

Mike Podhorzer (Fangraphs, @MikePodhorzer): I’m solely looking at SIERA/xERA, along with K%/SwStk%/CSW%. Actual results are pretty meaningless to me at this point. Yamamoto, Houck, Glasnow, Ryan, Ragans.

Matt Cederholm (Baseball HQ, @TheBigHurtHQ): Yamamoto, Houck, Glasnow, Ruan, Ragans

Erik Halterman (Rotowire, @erik_halterman): Imanaga (basically tied), Suarez (pretty close), Glasnow (kinda close), Ryan (not particularly close), Ragans (not close at all)

Corbin Young (Baseball HQ, Rotowire, @corbin_young21): Imanaga (elite control, elite four-seamer), Suarez, Glasnow, Ober, Ragans for strikeout upside, but Keller xERA have hinted at better numbers (no bias here)

Steve Gardner (USA TODAY Sports, @SteveAGardner): Yamamoto (no one can be as great as Imanaga has been in his first 9 starts), though Suarez has been close! I’ll take him over Houck and his injury history. Glasnow over Sale, but it’s a matter of who breaks first. Ober and Ryan are both four-letter pitchers to me, so I can’t pick one over the other. Ragans will be the man over the long haul by a good margin.

John Laghezza (The Athletic, @JohnLaghezza): Imanaga, Houck, Glasnow, Ober, Ragans

Rob Leibowitz (Rotoheaven, @rob_leibowitz): Yamamoto (expecting more of a correction/regression on Imanaga as we go along, but I like them both regardless), Houck over Suarez though again I still like them both. Blitheringly happy Houck is finally having a breakthrough after getting shares of him year after year. Glasnow over Sale. Ryan over Ober – His stuff is just less hittable. Not even close on Ragans vs Keller for me.

Scott Swanay (FantasyBaseballSherpa, @fantasy_sherpa): Going with the guys who I perceive to have higher ROS “upside” (technical term): Yamamoto (team context), Suarez (team context), Glasnow (toughest call), Ryan (can’t use team context for this one), Ragans

Vlad Sedler (FTN Fantasy, @rotogut): Imanaga, Houck, Glasnow, Ryan, Ragans (last one was the easiest). Put Sale up against almost anyone else and I would have said Sale.

Ryan Bloomfield (BaseballHQ, @RyanBHQ): Yamamoto (BaseballHQ’s monthly park factors peg Wrigley as a much more hitter-friendly track over the summer, much better run support from LA); Suarez (I’m a sucker for all those groundballs); Glasnow (better chance this lasts through the second half); Ryan (great name); and Ragans.

Adam Ronis (SiriusXM Fantasy, @AdamRonis): Yamamoto, Suarez, Glasnow, Ryan and Ragans

Jason Collette (Rotowire, @): Yamamoto, Houck, Glasnow, Ober, Ragans (still don’t like, him as much as Nick Pollack)

Todd Zola (Mastersball, @toddzola): Yamamoto, Houck, Sale, Ober, Ragans (but closer than most are indicating).

Each pairing was posted on social media with the following results:

Pitchers Tout% Poll%
Yoshinobu Yamamoto 79.4% 46.9%
Shota Imanaga 20.6% 53.1%
Tanner Houck 41.2% 38.2%
Ranger Suarez 58.8% 61.8%
Tyler Glasnow 91.2% 77.5%
Chris Sale 8.8% 22.5%
Bailey Ober 17.1% 35.9%
Joe Ryan 82.9% 64.1%
Cole Ragans 97.1% 91.0%
Mitch Keller 2.9% 9.0%

Tout Wars FAB Report: Week 0f May 13 – 19

Here are the results of this week’s FAB bidding. Remember, if you want to check out the standings, rosters and full transactions for particular league, just click on the section heading.

American League

PLAYER TEAM MANAGER BID
BRamos, CWS Doug Dennis 77
CFlexen, CWS Jason Collette 32
ABaddoo, Det Jason Collette 25
RGonzalez, Bos Andy Andres 24
BAbreu, Hou Larry Schechter 22
TThornton, Sea Andy Andres 12
KPillar, LAA Chris Blessing 11
CThielbar, Min Eric Samulski 11
KMcCann, Oak Eric Samulski 9
NGoodrum, LAA Rob Leibowitz 4
AKnizner, Tex Patrick Davitt 0

National League

PLAYER TEAM MANAGER BID
RGasser, Mil Erik Halterman 222
HelRamos, SF Scott Pianowski 77
LMatos, SF Erik Halterman 73
NGonzales, Pit Rick Graham 67
BTreinen, LAD Wilderman/Prior 59
JBeeks, Col Peter Kreutzer 33
MCarpenter, StL Wilderman/Prior 29
OLopez, Mia Peter Kreutzer 24
MFord, Cin Rick Graham 17
RVasquez, SD Derek Carty 16
CHorton, ChC Brian Walton 12
CSchmitt, SF Rick Graham 12
TBarnhart, Ari Ian Kahn 11
SReidFoley, NYM Phil Hertz 8
SHjelle, SF Scott Pianowski 8
JMantiply, Ari Phil Hertz 5
ABarnes, LAD Scott Pianowski 5
MLiberatore, StL Rick Graham 2
HMilner, Mil Phil Hertz 2
TNido, NYM Derek Carty 0

Mixed Auction

PLAYER TEAM MANAGER BID
RGasser, Mil Todd Zola 113
JBeeks, Col Scott Engel 49
TSoderStrom, Oak Bret Sayre 45
ERosario, Was Todd Zola 43
MSchuemann, Oak Doug Anderson – Mike Carter 31
DBlanco, KC Dave Adler 26
GJax, Min Doug Anderson – Mike Carter 26
AToro, Oak Jeff Zimmerman 25
MLiberatore, StL Jeff Zimmerman 16
LLynn, StL Andy Behrens 16
AIbanez, Det Scott Chu 15
LMatos, SF Brent Hershey 11
TWalker, Phi Tristan Cockcroft 10
TLipscomb, Was Alex Chamberlain 9
JIrvin, Was Kev Mahserejian 5
ABurleson, StL Kev Mahserejian 5
GSanchez, Mil Kev Mahserejian 5
EDuran, Tex Scott Engel 4
LErceg, Oak Justin Mason 3
JSchreiber, KC Brent Hershey 3
AChafin, Det Justin Mason 3

Mixed Draft

PLAYER TEAM MANAGER BID
RGasser, Mil Dr. Roto 79
CIrvin, Bal Tim McLeod 37
GJax, Min Scott White 28
EDuran, Tex Seth Trachtman 25
TSoderStrom, Oak Dr. Roto 25
AToro, Oak Dr. Roto 20
TWilliams, Was Shelly Verougstraete 16
JSchreiber, KC Scott White 13
JRogers, Det Ryan Bloomfield 12
JBauers, Mil Tim McLeod 9
JQuintana, NYM Mike Gianella 8
WMerrifield, Phi Adam Ronis 8
JRoss, Mil Seth Trachtman 8
JMcCarthy, Ari Scott White 6
JOrtiz, Mil Scott White 4
RVasquez, SD Rudy Gamble 3
MManning, Det Mike Gianella 2
RMcGuire, Bos Brian Entrekin 1
CQuantrill, Col Mike Gianella 0

Head to Head

PLAYER TEAM MANAGER BID
RGasser, Mil Blake Meyer 57
CPaddack, Min Clay Link 54
MGarver, Sea JB Branson 51
TBradley, TB Lauren Auerbach 51
LTaveras, Tex JB Branson 41
DSchneider, Tor Greg Jewett 36
LGurriel, Ari Ariel Cohen 34
CFlexen, CWS Nick Pollack 27
AManoah, Tor Michael Govier 24
WAbreu, Bos Michael Govier 23
JDeLuca, TB Frank Ammirante 22
ERosario, Was Joe Gallina 21
ZNeto, LAA Frank Ammirante 15
BHarris, Oak Sky Dombroske 11
CSantana, Min Greg Jewett 9
IHerrera, StL Sky Dombroske 8
SSanchez, Mia Michael Govier 3
GSanchez, Mil Clay Link 0

Mixed Draft with Alternate Categories

PLAYER TEAM MANAGER BID
RGasser, Mil Derek VanRiper 127
IHerrera, StL Chris Towers 97
TMegill, Mil Geoff Pontes 89
LTaveras, Tex Chris Clegg 65
CSantana, Min Zach Steinhorn 53
DMoore, Sea Geoff Pontes 49
EDuran, Tex Ray Flowers 41
AToro, Oak Ray Flowers 38
JMiranda, Min Zach Steinhorn 32
CBlackmon, Col Zach Steinhorn 32
KMcCann, Oak Carlos Marcano 27
JPaxton, LAD Sara Sanchez 23
RVasquez, SD Carlos Marcano 18
KLee, CWS Matt Cederholm 11
ERosario, Was Ray Flowers 7
SBouchard, Col John Laghezza 6
JSingleton, Hou John Laghezza 6
VRobles, Was Derek VanRiper 1
PDeJong, CWS Matt Trussell 1
BHarris, Oak Matt Trussell 0

Tout Table: Trading Faux Pas

It’s tradition to pose a trade-related question in early May. This year, the Touts were asked

What are some of the common mistakes made during trade negotiations?

Sky Dombroske (Fantistics Insider Baseball, @SkyDombroske): The obvious one is merely focusing on your own needs. There has to be something in it to entice the other person to deal, so looking at their roster and determining what they’re trying to do is a must.

Tristan H. Cockcroft (ESPN, @SultanofStat): Sky nailed it on the first reply: Failing to even consider your counterpart’s roster needs. If that’s how you begin your trade talks, it’s going to be a short conversation.

Chris Clegg (Pitcher List, @RotoClegg): The most frustrating thing when trading is getting a blind offer that isn’t remotely close. Some people will say they send a bad offer to start the conversation, but for me, it does not make me want to trade with that person. Considering the needs of your trade partner is important. Obviously, the goal is to make your team better, but if you consider the other teams needs as well, it make negotiations much easier.

Frank Ammirante (The GameDayHQ, @FAmmiranteTFJ): Trade negotiations must immediately consider the other team’s needs. You don’t want to start off negotiations on a sour note by offering a player that doesn’t fit that team’s category need or meet market value.

Fred Zinkie (Yahoo/Rotowire, @FredZinkieMLB): Lacking creatively. Becoming set on Player X for Y. Or position A for B. Or thinking this is the last trade they’ll make all year, so they need to leave it with a balanced roster.

Grey Albright (RazzBall, @razzball): When people begin trade negotiations, they forget the most important thing: The person you’re trading with also has the internet. You might want to trade your player who is on the Struggle Bus dropping turds in the back bus toilet for the other team’s good player, but it’s not going to work. So, aside from starting each trade negotiation with hypnotism you learned at a community college night course, look at the other team’s needs and try to give them a player they might actually want. You can try our Fantasy Baseball Trade Analyzer if you like: https://razzball.com/trade_analyzer_mlb/

Mike Alexander (Razzball, @Roto_Wan): The best way to make a trade is to be willing to “lose” the trade. Too many managers feel the need to win or squeeze as much value from a trade partner as they can. If you give up a little extra but still fill a need of your own it’s still a win for your team.

Matt Cederholm (Baseball HQ, @TheBigHurtHQ): +1 for “consider the other team’s needs,” but I’ll add to that. First mistake is being too rigid and rejecting offers out of hand. Find out what the other GM is trying to accomplish; you may find a trade that wasn’t obvious at the outset. Second, trying to “win” every trade, You win a trade by getting a fair price and improving your team.

Ryan Hallam (Fighting Chance Fantasy, @FightingChance): The most obvious answer and I’m not the first to say it is to find a partner who needs what you are trying to trade away or has an abundance of the position you need. That is the easiest way to have trade negotiations go nowhere. My other one is the “used car salesperson approach” (apologies to the good used car salespeople out there) but I can’t stand the person who comes to you with a trade offer that tells you why your player that they want are trash and/or why the guys they want to trade you are awesome. Hmmmm, if you believed that, why make the deal. Long story short, find a trade partner that benefits too and don’t be a pushy trade salesperson

Ariel Cohen (CBS Sports, @ATCNY): Trading is a lot harder these days. Everyone has a higher level of sophistication, and fear of making a bad trade. One mistake made often is focusing on your end of the trade. Your partner will focus on their end – so the best mindset is also to come from their point of view. Another mistake is “telling” the other team what they “need” instead of listening to them.

D.J. Short (NBC Sports, @djshort): Not properly reading the room. Familiarize yourself with your trade partner’s roster and where they stand right now. Maybe they are lacking in one particular category and have excess in another. Maybe they recently lost a significant player due to injury. Being attentive to that means something at a time where a manager might be searching for alternatives. Lastly, it varies by situation — sometimes these negotiations are straight-forward — but don’t necessarily always give your best offer first.

Brian Walton (CreativeSports2, @B_Walton): Nothing is worse that a prospective trade partner who insists on THEIR preferred method of communication – whether phone, text or email. Instead, you need to work with the other owner to have a dialogue in the manner most agreeable to THEM.

Rob Leibowitz (Rotoheaven, @rob_leibowitz): League context. If you’re new to a league, you need to get a sense of how the league approaches deals, especially in keeper leagues. How do they value veterans, veterans in last years of contracts, and prospects. What is the non-keepable veteran to prospect ratio typical in a league. Email and texting tone, try to ignore it or even better, don’t be a robot. Write it like a letter and set the tone before getting your email. Give them options to consider. Avoid “What do you want for X” emails. Instead make an offer. Try something novel and pick up the phone. Assume everyone knows exactly what you do. It’s not the 80s or 90s when information was difficult to come by. it is a click of the button. A non-active owner can go to a page, understand stats, and get a sense of the value of their player in seconds even if they haven’t been paying attention. In keeper leagues, target the players you want whether your dumping or going for it. You don’t’ have to announce your intentions. If you’re thinking long-term and want a key player, don’t be afraid to lock down the deal, even if it might feel like an overpay and trade away veterans if you’re not focused on the current season.

James Anderson (Rotowire, @RealJRAnderson): Cold calling someone with a trade offer that’s either lopsided or doesn’t make sense for the other team’s roster needs. Essentially, don’t waste my time. If you want to deal, either take the time to look at the other person’s roster or trade block and propose a realistic trade that makes sense for their needs or timeline (in dynasty), or send them a message gauging their interest in reaching a deal.

Todd Zola (Mastersball, @toddzola): Admittedly, this is more of a me thing, as I’m a bit of a luddite, but for me the on-site trade mechanism is for agreed upon deals, not as a means of negotiation. Heed Brian W.’s advice about finding a mutually agreeable means of communicating, hammer out a deal, then enter it on the site.

Alex Chamberlain (FanGraphs, @DolphHauldhagen): If you reject a trade offer, provide a counter-offer, or provide an explanation as to why you have rejected it. One of my biggest pet peeves is folks who solicit trade offers, receive them, then outright reject them with no explanation, and generally decline to have a conversation. This comes off as extremely lazy. If you want to swing a deal, both sides need to put in effort; just because you have solicited trade offers does not put the onus of effort on the other person and absolve you. (Also: everyone is saying “consider the other team’s needs,” and that’s fine, but also understand that other owners may not perceive their needs the same way you perceive them.)

Dr. Roto (DrRoto.com, @DrRoto): Looking at YOUR roster and not MY roster!

Mike Podhorzer (Fangraphs, @MikePodhorzer): This is easy — starting any negotiations with “I’m looking for X or I need to improve Y”. The negotiation should focus on the other team’s needs and how your proposal could benefit them. Why would I want to assist your team with X or to improve Y?!

Michael A. Stein (Fantasy Judgment, @FantasyJudgment): A common problem is when GMs over-value their own players and do not have realistic expectations about what they are worth. Trade negotiations do involve being a salesman, but you have to give the benefit of the doubt that your potential trade partner may not see things the same way you do. Another common problem is trying to “win” a trade. You shouldn’t engage in negotiations looking to win a trade because you will lose sight of the objective which is improving your own team. If you have a surplus at a certain position that fills a need for a trade partner, it shouldn’t factor into your equation whether your player may succeed on someone else’s roster. The focus should be acquiring a player that fills your own need, even if it means your counterpart also improves his/her roster.

Nick Pollack (Pitcher List, @PitcherList): The easiest trades are between hitters and pitchers – muddy the waters of perceived value by trading across the positions. A natural reaction is to reject any trade offered that features two players at the same position: “They must like my guy more, maybe I’m missing something.” By setting up a trade across the Hitter/Pitcher barrier, it makes it easier to make a swap.

Justin Mason (Friends With Fantasy Benefits, @JustinMasonFWFB): Trades are a lot like relationships, if you look to find ways to screw over your partner, you will find yourself all alone. Not only should you be looking at what your trade partner needs, but you should also be honesty about what you need so your partner knows that as well. Secondly, don’t be afraid to make the first offer. I think often people play coy but most deals are figured out around the first offer, so make sure you are getting in the deal what you want out of it.

JB Branson (Rotoballer, @RowdyRotoJB): I know its difficult in many leagues but I always think business should be done in conversation. Open up a dialogue. Explain what your thoughts are and how you think both sides can benefit from coming up with a move. If you are skilled enough you can even leave the talks with the other manager thinking it was their idea because you nudged them towards offering the deal you were wanting. I hate cold calls, and I typically don’t like cold trade requests. Take me to dinner first. Also, never open up the process by sending a low-ball offer “expecting a counter”. That shows you are only focusing on your team and your needs and there will be zero trust from the other side.

Chris Towers (CBS Fantasy, @CTowersCBS): Explaining to the other person why they should make the trade with you. They’re running their team, they’re going to do what they think is best for their team, and you’re more likely to come off as condescending and off-putting than to actually talk them into the trade.

Erik Halterman (Rotowire, @erik_halterman): I think the hardest part is proposing the first concrete offer to a trade partner you’re not familiar with. Some players are insulted by perceived lowball offers and want you to immediately come in with your best and final offer. Others seem to enjoy the back-and-forth for its own sake and expect the first offer on both sides to be rejected before a compromise is reached. If you don’t know your league mates well, it can be hard to know whether you should immediately offer 100 cents on the dollar or open at 90, knowing they’ll counter at 110 and you’ll settle at 100. (Not a true lowball like 50 cents on the dollar, of course, since that ends negotiations before they even start.) I default to letting my trade partner make the initial concrete offer in leagues where I don’t know my opponents very well, but that may be cowardice rather than sound advice.

Carlos Marcano (Triple Play Fantasy, @camarcano): Not replying back what you didn’t like about any trade offer you receive. Not meaning you have to like them, just some honest feedback can be very helpful to keep everyone in line regarding trade expectations.

Howard Bender (Fantasy Alarm, @RotoBuzzGuy): The worst mistake you can make is sending out garbage offers. I know that some people say that an initial offer is just the first step in negotiations, but a bad offer can/will immediately turn off the other person and you may not even hear back from them. Nothing worse than getting a rejection with no counter. Or, the negotiations become such a chore that both of you walk away unhappy. It’s ok to try and buy-low, but a really bad offer is insulting.

Tim McLeod (Prospect361, @RunTMcP361): There are many great points raised by this group. It could fill a chapter and should in any book about our game. For a trade to be successful it has to address the category needs of both yourself and your trading partner. If a trade offer doesn’t meet that standard, don’t make the offer in the first place.

Blake Meyer (Pitcher List, Fantasy Pros, @Buhhlockaye): Not understanding the needs of the other team as well. It’s always great to WANT a player, but in order for the trade to work you’re going to have to make it work for the trading partner as well. The ultimate goal is always to come away with a better team, but you’re going to have to “give” in order to get something of value you want in return

Ray Flowers (Fantasy Guru, @TheRayFlowers): Just like Blake stated… only thinking about your needs. Too many people see what they want/need, but they spend little time taking into consideration what the other team may need if a deal is to be worked out. You have to put yourself in the other persons shoes to see if they can afford to give what you need and if you have something to give that fits their needs as well.

Peter Kreutzer (Rotoman.substack.com, @kroyte): I’m on the side that wasting time is a faux pas. So broadcasting needs and what you’d pay seem to me good starting points if you don’t otherwise see a fit. Let league mates respond. But nothing works better than figuring out what someone else needs and making an appropriate offer.

Corbin Young (Baseball HQ, Rotowire, @corbin_young21): Throwing out offers without communicating first. Like anything in life, communication is important while developing rapport. Making sure each manager has a need in those areas seems obvious. Besides that, presuming competence in the other managers and not attempting to sell a player that might have obvious red flags.

Scott White (CBS Fantasy Sports, @CBSScottWhite): Trading is mostly an exercise in frustration these days, but I’ve found it’s far more successful if it begins with a text. That’s not always possible, of course, but when possible, it’s going to save you so much aggravation. The response will be almost immediate and might even begin a dialogue that allows you to find common ground in the most unexpected ways. Something about the spontaneity makes it even more likely to bear fruit than an email.

Matt Truss (Razzball, @MattTruss): Starting a trade by saying, “I’m interested in so and so, look at my team and see if anything works”. If you want the player, you do the work. I’m not going to take time to comb your roster and decide on a trade for you. That’s a surefire way for me to ignore the trade completely.

Bret Sayre (Baseball Prospectus, @BretSayreBP): A lot of these answers are great and are going to have common threads, but one additional mistake is either consciously or subconsciously pushing your personal valuations into the offer or conversation, especially when it comes to pitchers and prospects. Rather than say you think Pitcher X might be a good fit for another team, give them a tier of arms and let them get excited about the players they like most in that group. More initial excitement from both parties lead to more trading (and better values for the initiator).

Patrick Davitt (BaseballHQ, @patrickdavitt): There’s a fine balance between understanding your potential trade partner’s team needs and being too proscriptive about explaining those needs to that person. Save the ultra-detailed analysis for your own website or pod, and just lay out the value proposition in relatively abstract terms: “It looks like you could gain x points in Wins and Ks, and it doesn’t look your SBs are helping you very much” flies better than, “Eflin could give you 6.5 wins points, because according to an average of the Davenport league projections and the BaseballHQ projections, you’re going to finish with 66.5 wins for 4.5 points, and Eflin’s 9 pWins would boost you up past everybody but Hank into second place…” The thing is, it might all be exactly right and a perfect analysis of the situation, but people want to feel like they thought of at least some of it themselves. Help them feel like that and your chances of success are higher. Maybe casually say something like, “Run it through the trade analyzer” (if your Commish site has one; many do) “and see what you think.” If you do this, it need hardly be said, do so yourself first to make sure the analyzer agrees with you.

Patrick Davitt (BaseballHQ, @patrickdavitt): Further to what Matt Cederholm said and others alluded to, don’t get hung up on getting “value for value” in your deal, in the form of, “well, my guy was a third-rounder (or $18 player) and he’s offering a sixth rounder ($12), so this deal doesn’t work for me.” The draft is over. DPs and draft salaries don’t count any more. The only thing that matters is how the trade affects the categories. In fact, you can sometimes use a negative disparity that seems to be in the other person’s favour, if that person sees the disparity and automatically assumes he “won” the trade because he gained $x of auction value. Calculations have added dimensions in keeper leagues, of course.

Mike Gianella (Baseball Prospectus, @MikeGianella): I could (and have) write a whole article about this but 1) don’t “neg” someone about a player; if you didn’t want the player, you wouldn’t be asking about him. 2) In keeper/dynasty leagues, don’t assume someone has given up on this year this early unless they’ve told you as much. 3) Don’t start asking about the throw-in/sweetener, build your framework around a fair trade and see if your opponent will offer this at the end. To Matt’s point, the “make me an offer” type of email is pretty much going right into my trash folder; you reached out to me, don’t give me a homework assignment.

Sara Sanchez (bleedcubbieblue.com, @BCB_Sara): I think the most important thing in trade negotiations is understanding the needs of your trade partner and trying to come up with something that makes sense for both sides. It’s harder than it seems because people tend to know what they need, identify a guy they want to fill that need and go from there. However, you probably shouldn’t offer even the best corner prospect for a team that is set at 1B/3B and CI. This is going to sound weirdly qualitative, but I think empathy is the best tool for setting up great trades. I think of all of my trade partners as friends and want both of us to come away from the transaction feeling good about it. Also, throwback to the time Andy Behrens and I negotiated a trade in the Tout Table. Kershaw for Seiya in 2022 was a great trade in theory, even though both of them immediately (and predictably) got hurt.

Adam Ronis (SiriusXM Fantasy, @AdamRonis): Many people don’t look to see what the other team needs. I get endless trade offers giving me players that don’t fit my team needs. If I am near the top of the leagues in saves and have three closers, the likelihood of me being interested in a closer is really slim and indicates you didn’t look to see what I could use to improve my team. When making a trade, I look at rosters that could use something I can provide and have something I need to help my team. There will be teams that aren’t a fit to trade with.

Ryan Boyer (Rotowire, Baseball Prospectus, @RyanPBoyer): Stop trying to “win” trades. Particularly in Roto leagues, it’s all about finding the right fit for your roster and the other team’s roster. Sometimes that’s not going to be a “win” in a vacuum, but it can still make your team better, which is the whole point. It also usually makes negotiations much quicker/easier if that’s your focus and not worrying about “winning” the trade.

Dave Adler (Baseball HQ, @daveadler01): Biggest mistake is not checking the standings to see not only what you need, but also the other owner. Take a look at how a projected trade will affect the other team in the standings, and make sure to point that out. Ie, if they’re at the bottom of a clump of teams in HR, and are not in a cluster for saves, your slugger could help them gain points while dealing their closer won’t adversely affect their standings in that category.

Jeff Boggis (Fantasy Football Empire, @JeffBoggis): Some of the common mistakes that I have experienced during trade negotiations are as follows. I receive a trade that absolutely does nothing for my team and does everything to improve the other manager. Every trade should be analyzed by the sender to where it not only benefits their team but makes sense for the other team. I always used the notes feature in a trade on why I feel the trade offer benefits both teams, especially the team that is receiving the trade offer. When I receive a trade that is so one sided for the manager that sent the trade, I always respond in the comments on why I rejected the trade offer. Sometimes I simply tell them “I could not hit the reject trade button fast enough” so that they get the message.

Todd Zola (Mastersball, @toddzola): Here is something else point out, which may as well be a “note to self”, since I have been guilty as charged in the past. Take the time and make the effort to maximize your benefit. This is different from “winning the trade.” This entails giving the league ample time to respond and conduct negotiations, instead of taking the first reasonable offer, and moving on. OK, sometimes other priorities dictate a quick trade, but in general, exhaust all possibilities and choose what you feel is best for your squad.

Doug Dennis (BaseballHQ, @dougdennis41): I find it very hard to trade in redraft leagues unless I have a very lopsided surplus to draw from. I find it easier in dynasty where I can always find matches. I try to make every deal a win-win. I love working on deals and I love when my trade partner makes that effort as well. I will often talk to league mates about what they wish they had or what they think they need. They may not want to make a deal in May, but they may want to make it in June or July. Knowing how they see things always helps–helps me make an offer that they like, helps me fit their needs, helps find a deal that works for both.

Zach Steinhorn (Steinhorn’s Universe on Substack, @zachsteinhorn): I get annoyed when I receive a trade proposal on the league site with no accompanying note. It’s almost as if the other manager is testing me to see if I’ll accept a terrible offer. If my league mate can’t explain what their needs are and why they think I could be interested in the trade, I’ll be turned off and would prefer not to make any trade with that manager in the future.

Vlad Sedler (FTN Fantasy, @rotogut): The biggest mistake is not reviewing the other person’s roster thoroughly. Doing so allows one to create an offer that would be beneficial to both parties.

Todd Zola (Mastersball, @toddzola): One final comment from me before I post this bad boy. Many, myself included, have mentioned things that frustrate us, if not make us mad. Some have even suggested ignoring those who push our buttons. We all have a limited number of resources to help improve out rosters. Excluding one is a mistake.

Tout Wars FAB Report: Week of May 6 – 12

Here are the results of this week’s FAB bidding. Remember, if you want to check out the standings, rosters and full transactions for particular league, just click in the section heading.

American League

PLAYER TEAM MANAGER BID
JSingleton, Hou Howard Bender 153
JDeLuca, TB Eric Samulski 71
CBiggio, Tor Doug Dennis 68
BHarris, Oak Jason Collette 49
DomSmith, Bos Mike Podhorzer 28
WCalhoun, LAA Larry Schechter 23
JLeiter, Tex Rick Wolf/Glenn Colton 19
EClement, Tor Jeff Erickson 13
CTucker, LAA Jeff Erickson 7
EAdrianza, LAA Chris Blessing 5
JWebb, Bal Jeff Erickson 3
MMaldonado, CWS Eric Samulski 3
TJankowski, Tex Andy Andres 2
TSoderStrom, Oak Mike Podhorzer 2
SBarlow, Cle Andy Andres 1
GHampson, KC Patrick Davitt 0

National League

PLAYER TEAM MANAGER BID
JBeck, Col Brendan Tuma 185
ESosa, Phi Steve Gardner 65
MBlack, SF Ian Kahn 53
BSabol, SF Rick Graham 38
MParker, Was Ian Kahn 33
KHernandez, LAD Peter Kreutzer 27
BHudson, Mil Peter Kreutzer 13
AMorejon, SD Peter Kreutzer 13
RMunoz, Mia Rick Graham 5
JEstrada, SD Brendan Tuma 3
MSiani, StL Brendan Tuma 3
TyRogers, SF Grey Albright 3
RLovelady, ChC Grey Albright 3
LMaile, Cin Steve Gardner 2
AWilliams, Pit Rick Graham 2
TayRogers, SF Wilderman/Prior 2
JDiekman, NYM Wilderman/Prior 2
YAlmonte, ChC Phil Hertz 1
DCronin, Mia Brian Walton 1
RFernandez, StL Brian Walton 1
ABummer, Atl Derek Carty 0
GStubbs, Phi Steve Gardner 0

Mixed Auction

PLAYER TEAM MANAGER BID
CScott, NYM Alex Chamberlain 275
KManzardo, Cle Kev Mahserejian 121
JBeck, Col Dave Adler 103
TBlack, Mil Scott Swanay 92
VBrujan, Mia Andy Behrens 86
AMaldonado, Mia Andy Behrens 86
HWesneski, ChC Scott Engel 75
DCarlson, StL Scott Swanay 60
TyAnderson, LAA Scott Swanay 60
JMateo, Bal Jeff Zimmerman 45
WPerez, Det Jeff Zimmerman 45
RPalacios, TB Kev Mahserejian 36
MBlack, SF Jeff Zimmerman 36
CCriswell, Bos Tristan Cockcroft 32
CIrvin, Bal Dave Adler 31
JSingleton, Hou Frank Stampfl 27
JBoyle, Oak Tristan Cockcroft 21
JBleday, Oak Mike Carter 16
NSchanuel, LAA Tristan Cockcroft 11
JDeLuca, TB Tristan Cockcroft 11
DMyers, Mia Scott Engel 11
BRamos, CWS Mike Carter 3
CSantana, Min Frank Stampfl 2

Mixed Draft

PLAYER TEAM MANAGER BID
TBlack, Mil Rudy Gamble 148
NSchanuel, LAA Anthony Aniano 115
JBeck, Col D.J. Short 75
WPerez, Det Scott White 54
TNevin, Oak Tim McLeod 43
MBlack, SF Ryan Bloomfield 42
ALange, Det Tim McLeod 37
VBrujan, Mia Ray Murphy 36
CCriswell, Bos D.J. Short 35
SWoodsRichardson, Min Brian Entrekin 22
HHarvey, Was Dr. Roto 19
AKirk, Tor Seth Trachtman 15
JLeiter, Tex Rudy Gamble 14
LTaveras, Tex Brian Entrekin 12
AWells, NYY Adam Ronis 8
JMiranda, Min Brian Entrekin 6
JDeLuca, TB Brian Entrekin 6
MYastrzemski, SF Shelly Verougstraete 5
DMyers, Mia Dr. Roto 4
PWisdom, ChC Seth Trachtman 3
JSingleton, Hou Seth Trachtman 3
AKittredge, StL Dr. Roto 3
RStripling, Oak Mike Gianella 1
FFermin, KC Dr. Roto 1

Head to Head

PLAYER TEAM MANAGER BID
CScott, NYM Clay Link 218
GCrochet, CWS Frank Ammirante 101
JMeans, Bal Greg Jewett 81
JChourio, Mil Ryan Hallam 61
KManzardo, Cle Michael Govier 52
TyAnderson, LAA Ariel Cohen 49
MBlack, SF Joe Gallina 47
MKepler, Min Greg Jewett 45
TBlack, Mil Michael Govier 42
BRooker, Oak Ryan Hallam 41
BLively, Cle Ryan Hallam 41
OCabrera, NYY Ryan Hallam 36
JRojas, Sea Greg Jewett 36
HWesneski, ChC Greg Jewett 36
SArrighetti, Hou Ryan Hallam 36
AToro, Oak Ryan Hallam 33
CRea, Mil Ariel Cohen 26
NSenzel, Was Nick Pollack 22
MLorenzen, Tex Blake Meyer 21
JBeck, Col Frank Ammirante 21
SFrelick, Mil Ariel Cohen 20
TNevin, Oak Joe Gallina 13
BWilson, Mil Michael Govier 13
VGrissom, Bos Clay Link 13
TStephenson, Cin Blake Meyer 11
CCriswell, Bos Joe Gallina 11
MYastrzemski, SF Nick Pollack 7
JBleday, Oak Sky Dombroske 5
BRamos, CWS Sky Dombroske 2
TLarnach, Min Lauren Auerbach 2

Mixed Draft with Alternate Categories

PLAYER TEAM MANAGER BID
TBlack, Mil Matt Cederholm 284
JHader, Hou Derek VanRiper 77
VBrujan, Mia Matt Cederholm 63
PCrowArmstrong, ChC Matt Trussell 47
JMateo, Bal Ryan Boyer 46
JBeck, Col Ray Flowers 43
JButto, NYM Sara Sanchez 42
BLively, Cle Carlos Marcano 37
WBrennan, Cle John Laghezza 36
DJansen, Tor Ryan Boyer 34
CCriswell, Bos Jeff Boggis 22
WPerez, Det Chris Clegg 21
HWesneski, ChC John Laghezza 15
MMassey, KC Chris Clegg 13
YCano, Bal Chris Clegg 7
JSchreiber, KC Chris Clegg 7
FAlvarez, NYM Chris Towers 5
MYastrzemski, SF Chris Clegg 4
JMcCarthy, Ari Matt Trussell 4
HRenfroe, KC Chris Towers 3
TAlexander, TB Matt Trussell 3
AAdams, Oak Geoff Pontes 2
BRortvedt, TB Chris Clegg 2
JDeLuca, TB Derek VanRiper 1

Tout Wars FAB Report: Week of April 29

Here are the results of this week’s FAB bidding. Remember, if you want to check out the standings, rosters and full transactions for particular league, just click on the section heading.

American League

PLAYER TEAM MANAGER BID
GCooper, Bos Rick Wolf/Glenn Colton 139
DMendick, CWS Howard Bender 67
CCriswell, Bos Andy Andres 64
SWoodsRichardson, Min Eric Samulski 61
NAllen, Oak Andy Andres 25
ABarger, Tor Mike Podhorzer 19
ROrtega, CWS Rick Wolf/Glenn Colton 19
SArrighetti, Hou Andy Andres 11
SArmstrong, TB Rob Leibowitz 4
LErceg, Oak Jason Collette 3
LGarcia, LAA Chris Blessing 3
SHorwitz, Tor Jason Collette 2
GWeissert, Bos Patrick Davitt 2
MRodriguez, TB Rick Wolf/Glenn Colton 2
NSandlin, Cle Mike Podhorzer 0
LRivas, Sea Jeff Erickson 0
AWood, Oak Patrick Davitt 0
JWentz, Det Chris Blessing 0
BLively, Cle Andy Andres 0

National League

PLAYER TEAM MANAGER BID
PCrowArmstrong, ChC Phil Hertz 224
TLipscomb, Was Scott Pianowski 131
HGoodman, Col Steve Gardner 87
QPriester, Pit Peter Kreutzer 43
HWesneski, ChC Erik Halterman 32
ACall, Was Grey Albright 12
RFeltner, Col Ian Kahn 12
KThompson, ChC Scott Pianowski 8
TMyers, Mil Wilderman/Prior 5
JrgLopez, NYM Wilderman/Prior 5
EDeLosSantos, SD Wilderman/Prior 5
EMiller, SF Phil Hertz 4
HStratton, Pit Grey Albright 2
BHoeing, Mia Brian Walton 2
DMyers, Mia Rick Graham 2
TNido, NYM Brian Walton 1
AMaldonado, Mia Brian Walton 1
MGrove, LAD Brian Walton 1
CFaucher, Mia Derek Carty 0

Mixed Auction

PLAYER TEAM MANAGER BID
BDoyle, Col Andy Behrens 131
JAdell, LAA Alex Chamberlain 112
TPham, CWS Jeff Zimmerman 101
KMaeda, Det Tristan Cockcroft 85
SWoodsRichardson, Min Jeff Zimmerman 75
TLarnach, Min Bret Sayre 68
HGoodman, Col Alex Chamberlain 56
RFeltner, Col Alex Chamberlain 43
CMead, TB Bret Sayre 43
WBrennan, Cle Tristan Cockcroft 35
BFalter, Pit Tristan Cockcroft 31
PCrowArmstrong, ChC Frank Stampfl 24
SCecconi, Ari Doug Anderson 17
JMiranda, Min Scott Chu 17
ABarger, Tor Doug Anderson 16
DSchneider, Tor Scott Swanay 14
TNevin, Oak Frank Stampfl 12
BLively, Cle Kev Mahserejian 11
JRojas, Sea Kev Mahserejian 11
KLee, CWS Dave Adler 8
BRortvedt, TB Scott Engel 5
MTauchman, ChC Kev Mahserejian 5
KIsbel, KC Dave Adler 3
QPriester, Pit Brent Hershey 3

Mixed Draft

PLAYER TEAM MANAGER BID
JAdell, LAA Garion Thorne 81
PCrowArmstrong, ChC D.J. Short 75
BFalter, Pit Scott White 38
MLorenzen, Tex D.J. Short 30
MTauchman, ChC Seth Trachtman 30
SWoodsRichardson, Min Ray Murphy 27
JBart, Pit Garion Thorne 23
HGoodman, Col Dr. Roto 23
TLarnach, Min Ray Murphy 22
RMunoz, Mia Brian Entrekin 22
JIrvin, Was Shelly Verougstraete 15
CSantana, Min Ray Murphy 12
TWalker, Phi Mike Gianella 11
CJoe, Pit Mike Gianella 10
ABarger, Tor Scott White 8
JLawrence, Col Rudy Gamble 8
JRojas, Sea Adam Ronis 8
BLively, Cle Adam Ronis 8
CRea, Mil Rudy Gamble 4
DMoore, Sea Ryan Bloomfield 3
JTrevino, NYY Seth Trachtman 3
BRortvedt, TB Adam Ronis 2
ABurleson, StL Brian Entrekin 2
AOttavino, NYM Dr. Roto 2
DHudson, LAD Dr. Roto 2
DFry, Cle Scott White 1
FCruz, Cin Scott White 1
KManzardo, Cle Scott White 1

Head to Head

PLAYER TEAM MANAGER BID
APages, LAD Joe Gallina 57
TAnderson, Mia Frank Ammirante 40
BElder, Atl Joe Gallina 39
GJax, Min Ariel Cohen 33
MCanha, Det Ariel Cohen 33
AHeaney, Tex Sky Dombroske 31
BDoyle, Col Blake Meyer 29
CWong, Bos Nick Pollack 26
TPham, CWS Lauren Auerbach 26
JCaballero, TB Ryan Hallam 25
SWoodsRichardson, Min Blake Meyer 23
JAdell, LAA Blake Meyer 21
CIrvin, Bal Michael Govier 18
MWaldron, SD Blake Meyer 17
SCecconi, Ari Michael Govier 16
JDMartinez, NYM Clay Link 15
BBrown, ChC Lauren Auerbach 11
JSanchez, Mia Sky Dombroske 11
JYoung, Was Michael Govier 11
WCastro, Min Blake Meyer 9
MTauchman, ChC Greg Jewett 9
JAdam, TB Greg Jewett 7

Mixed Draft with Alternate Categories

PLAYER TEAM MANAGER BID
JAdell, LAA Carlos Marcano 77
NSenzel, Was C.J. Kaltenbach 62
JRojas, Sea Geoff Pontes 45
MTauchman, ChC Sara Sanchez 42
BFalter, Pit Joe Orrico 42
TLarnach, Min C.J. Kaltenbach 37
JYoung, Was Joe Orrico 28
SCecconi, Ari Derek VanRiper 22
FCruz, Cin Ray Flowers 17
JBaez, Det Jeff Boggis 12
JTrevino, NYY Zach Steinhorn 12
BDrury, LAA John Laghezza 11
TNevin, Oak John Laghezza 5
MVierling, Det Derek VanRiper 2

Tout Table: Believe It or Not

This week, the Touts were asked:

When managing your roster, how do you balance wanting tangible evidence versus making a move based on a small sample or because if you don’t, someone else will?

Derek Carty (RotoGrinders, @DerekCarty): This is one of the biggest reasons to play AL/NL-only leagues instead of mixed IMO. When the sample is this small, it doesn’t matter what advanced stats you’re looking at, we’re mostly just guessing on whose hot start is “for real”. There’s no process, particularly for hitters, that allows us to have any kind of certainty on these things. So you’re left with the choice of making a -EV move and hoping to hit on upside or stay put and letting someone else hit on that 1-in-5 upside guy. Or, the better choice: don’t play mixed leagues so these types of guys are already rostered and you’re not forced to make a dice-roll decision.

Brian Walton (CreativeSports2, @B_Walton): I try to be active every week. Even if I am not sold on a guy but I wouldn’t mind having him, I made a middle of the road bid. If I get him, great, and if I don’t, then someone else paid above my view of his market value.

Doug Dennis (BaseballHQ, @dougdennis41): I have a lot to say about how different AL/NL-only LABR and Tout Wars are from NFBC in this regard, but instead I’ll focus on closers. If the underlying projection does not support the large bid, don’t make the large bid. No matter how badly you need saves on that day. It rarely works out that a projected 10% K%-BB% who is anointed an interim closer will get you what you want. It has happened. But it is a terrible percentage bet. So just don’t do it.

Mike Podhorzer (Fangraphs, @MikePodhorzer): I generally don’t balance this, which is why I often miss out on breakouts! Instead, I just focus on trying to target slow starters in trade, or picking up guys whose underlying skills are strong, but that hasn’t translated into strong performance yet (significantly higher xwOBA than wOBA or increased fastball velocity, but weak results).

Scott Chu (Pitcher List, @ifthechufits): For call-ups, I focus a lot on the opportunity, and particularly whether there will be immediate or foreseeable pressure on the player’s current opportunity. Junior Caminero is an example of a guy who is probably available in 12-teamers, and while I LOVE the talent and upside, that Rays roster is a complete mess and will get considerably messier when Josh Lowe and Brandon Lowe return. I probably won’t get into a bidding war there. Heston Kjerstad in Baltimore has a similar problem. The Jackson Hollidays and Anthony Volpes who get plugged in no matter how bad they look at first are not as common as we’d like to believe.

Brent Hershey (Baseball HQ, @BrentHQ): I attempt to focus a bit more on playing-time patterns early on and use information that the teams themselves give — though more often what those MLB clubs DO (or have done in the past) than what they SAY. Of course, it has to be mixed with player performance and underlying metrics. But keeping a close eye on lineup history for batters can tell you a bunch. Just as one example, I moved to pick up Jesse Winker in a several leagues a couple weeks ago when I realized that he was going to be at least a short-term lineup staple. Who knows how long it will last, but as of this writing, he’s started 17 of the club’s first 18 games. Doesn’t always work that smoothly but is something I find helpful at the start of a season and/or after a player’s promotion.

Rick Wolf (SiriusXM Fantasy, @RickWolf1): Depends on your league rules in a lot of ways. I am in an AL Only pts league with daily moves, keepers, strong starting pitching points and unlimited transactions. I make moves multiple times a week to get a bench starter that I can monitor while already owning him. The metrics are not critical there. Good prospect. Good story. Decent numbers. No real investigation. For the super competitive leagues, we dig a lot deeper and look at the skills-based stats as opposed to straight stats. We look at Swk, FIP, BABIP, FpK, Velo and others for pitchers. We try to watch the hitters. Getting a look at some at bats can help a lot more than a small sample size, but the skills stats are important too: barrels, exit velo, chase rate, etc. Need to look at both…but seeing at bats is critical.

Erik Halterman (Rotowire, @erik_halterman): My biggest tip for solving this conundrum is really one for draft season. You should build your rosters so that you’re actively planning to churn the last few spots, which means including a few high-upside players among your last few picks who you expect you’ll wind up cutting quite early unless things really break their way. If your plan dating back to draft day is to rotate interesting pop-up guys through your final few spots until one sticks, it won’t feel unnatural or “too early” to take those chances once the season begins. It will feel like you’re executing your plan.

Phil Hertz (Baseball HQ, @prhz50): It depends a lot on how deep the league is. In the Only leagues, sometimes you’re just looking for a live body – I noticed this week that there were only 3 eligible third basemen to replace Jake Burger in NL-only. In deeper leagues, if it’s someone at the end of the roster, I may just be looking for the hottest player, not necessarily the guy who may be supplying more stats in six weeks. Then I’ll move on to the next hottest hitter when the first one flops.

Ray Flowers (Fantasy Guru, @TheRayFlowers): We all know it is too early to be making moves as others have said. It’s always difficult to discount months of analysis for 13 innings or 28 plate appearances. For the most part, I tend to stay the course and try to avoid making snap judgements on “breakout” players who are likely to recede. If I miss out on someone with an ADP of 572 hitting .256-21-72-70, so be it. As others have also stated as well, a 15-team roto mixed league scenario is completely different from a 10 team, H2H one, so league context matters a ton.

Dr. Roto (DrRoto.com, @DrRoto): What a great question! As a high stakes player, I know that I need to strike before my competitors do or I will miss out. I love tangible evidence but will strike first if it means that I could be a league winner.

Ariel Cohen (CBS Sports, @ATCNY): This is a tough question, and also context dependent on your roster. First, please also remember that it isn’t just about ADDING a player – but you have to have a corresponding DROP to do so. There is an opportunity cost to each end of the add/drop. If you have constructed your roster so as to churn the bottom – you should be doing this frequently to find the diamonds in the rough. If you have a deeper player pool (as Derek Carty mentioned above), you will not be able to churn your roster as much. The tangible evidence needed is smaller when the roster will be churned more, and more evidence needed where you have to hold more. Use your judgement in the in-between scenarios. But always remember – this is also supposed to be fun. If you believe in a player — go for it !!!

Patrick Davitt (BaseballHQ, @patrickdavitt): Making a move to block another competitor is for later in the season; it’s too soon now to know who your key opponents will be in the categories. More generally, the decision hinges opportunity cost and probability of gain (comparing skills and PT paths, etc.). One thing I never use is intuition.

Bret Sayre (Baseball Prospectus, @BretSayreBP): I like to aggressively add in April and reluctantly drop. That tends to be possible on my rosters because my endgame and reserve players in auctions/drafts have a tendency towards including a few injured pitchers and relievers, who are much easier to make room around. If you’re not in that situation and would need to drop a starting pitcher or position player, it would have to be a pretty extreme sample in order to feel good about that. (See Hendricks, Kyle for an example.) On the hitting side, short of just flat out losing playing time, I’m unlikely to drop anyone in my active lineup. Small sample overreaction is really hard to avoid, but you’re much better off demonstrating patience and being the person who picks up the regretful drop than the one that makes it.

Sara Sanchez (bleedcubbieblue.com, @BCB_Sara): This is very dependent on league context, team needs and your current roster IMO. For example, earlier this year in Tout I had some big injury/player issues (Nate Lowe, Noelvi Marte, Justin Steele, Spencer Strider — I know, right? Send thoughts and prayers). I needed guys to fill those spots and most of what is on the waiver wire doesn’t have a lot of underlying metrics that I love. I went small sample size hot streaks and monitoring those out of necessity. Really trying to strike on hot pickups and get them before my competitors did for those empty roster spots. That said, if I drafted a guy I really believe in off months of research for draft day, I’m probably not likely to cut bait there until much later in the season. I would also changes based on if there is an overall component to your league that you feel you can win or if it’s a standalone league. Part of this game is knowing your league rules and how aggressive it makes sense to be based on the size of the league, your standing in it and what you need.

Frank Ammirante (The GameDayHQ, @FAmmiranteTFJ): I try to cut my losses early, especially with hyped pitchers with limited track records. A good example of this is A.J. Puk, who I cut after two starts. If you hold on too long, you risk missing out on potential breakouts.

Michael A. Stein (Fantasy Judgment, @FantasyJudgment): Much like everything else, it depends on the situation. For prospects, I am much more willing to make a move without seeing anything tangible because you have fo be proactive and take calculated risks in order to be successful. The best example I can give is when I bid $77 to add Juan Soto in a keeper league when rumors started that he was getting called up. I admittedly had never seen him play nor did I know much about his game other than the hype generated within the fantasy baseball community. I knew if I didn’t take that chance then someone else would have. That was an outlier because most other examples are on a smaller scale where I am willing to take chances on players without a lot of data because I want to seize the moment where I believe they can provide value. Also, I don’t want to regret not making a certain move because I talk myself out of it for no good reason.

Dave Adler (Baseball HQ, @daveadler01): As others have noted, it depends on league context (deep or shallow free agent pool) as well as how you put your team together. In leagues with a shallow FA pool (only leagues, 15+ team mixed leagues), you likely won’t have many choices, so you can’t afford to wait to evaluate performance over a larger sample size. Here, evaluate playing time opportunity for the available player, and if they’re up from the minors, how they did there. With deeper free agent pools, there’s more time to evaluate, since there are likely several viable candidates. But even there, if the minor league track record is good, and there’s a clear opening, don’t delay.

Scott Swanay (FantasyBaseballSherpa, @fantasy_sherpa): No matter how exasperated I might be with a slow-starter, I usually won’t make a move unless I can convince myself using data that the guy I want to pick up will leave my team in an overall better-off position for the foreseeable future (whether that’s for the remainder of the season, or just to serve as a bridge until an injured player returns) than the slow-starter. The trickiest situations for me are the young, talented pitchers who are being bumped from the rotation to the bullpen, or sent down to the minors, to make room for an inferior option. How long do you hold on to guys like that? Is there an option available via the waiver wire or trade who can provide more immediate help and also has a decent long-term outlook?

Rob Leibowitz (Rotoheaven, @rob_leibowitz): I play exclusively in “ONLY” leagues these days, so it is team need and opportunity when scouting the free agent pool tempering my bidding my likelihood of long-term playing time (are they just filling in for someone injured or have they been promoted to get a shot to lock in the job?) and player skill set ability to retain the job once given the opportunity.

Mike Gianella (Baseball Prospectus, @MikeGianella): I seldom build this into my thought process. I’m mostly concerned with my team’s needs, and you can turn into Vizzini in The Princess Bride trying to overanalyze your roster and the FA pool based on what others are doing. Probably the one area this matters for me is with minor leaguers who seem to be on the cusp of a call up. If I like the player, I want to try to grab him a week or so before the buzz/hype turns him into a popular target.

Jeff Boggis (Fantasy Football Empire, @JeffBoggis): There are plenty of teams that have slow starters, including myself. Some of the best moves that I’ve ever made were the ones that I did not make. The worst feeling is to drop a player, just to see another league manager pick up that player and have the player carry their team to a league championship. I use the rule of last in, first out, when making roster moves. If my last player drafted is off to a poor start, then yes, I may make a waiver wire acquisition, but only after an ample sample size of at least 1 month into the season.

Zach Steinhorn (Steinhorn’s Universe on Substack, @zachsteinhorn): I tend to be very patient with my drafted players, maybe even too patient. I’m always wary of shelling out a large amount of FAAB dollars to add someone who is off to a hot start (especially if he doesn’t carry much of a big-league track record) because it usually necessitates dropping a player who I believed in enough to draft. Unless I’m getting a clear long-term upgrade over one of my current starters, I’d rather stand pat.

Michael Govier (Pallazzo Podcast, @mjgovier): This is a vital concept that requires more emphasis across all formats. Adding a player who is hot after 7 games of action is a time-honored tradition in fantasy baseball. Deciding if the streaking player is for real or not has to do with the player’s previous years of production, how much playing time they are likely to get going forward & what type of roster options are available such as number of bench spots. It’s important to not be a victim of the moment or the often-used term recency bias. Tangible evidence of a player’s legit output in a small sample size can be confirmed by the peripheral stats like HHR or FB/HR rate. If these stats show the player is not just getting lucky, then that’s another reason for me to consider adding him. Also, if I already had a reason to be partial to the player during draft season, that would make it easier for me to add that player. As far as missing out or falling behind because other fantasy managers will add the player, I have honestly never put myself in that situation. Adding a player because of FOMO or fear is a real thing that happens quite often in many leagues I have been in. One of the benefits of experience is learning from past actions to be more patient. Not to panic. Especially with the length of the fantasy baseball season. If I miss out on the next hot thing because I don’t want to jump on the small sample size bandwagon, then that is my price of admission. This isn’t always going to work for me though. There are plenty of examples of small sample size players who I didn’t pursue who then became valuable season long assets.

Vlad Sedler (FTN Fantasy, @rotogut): 2018 Christian Yelich, 2021 Vladimir Guerrero Jr. – just two of the countless examples where waiting for tangible evidence can prove costly, and that’s just on a draft/preseason level. As we build upon our experience levels, we are able to trust our instincts with greater confidence when it comes to fantasy baseball decisions. It’s the old Gretzky adage about going to where the puck will be. Along with instinct, there are countless other factors that should be considered in our decision-making: underlying metrics, upcoming schedule, manager tendencies are just a few. One other vital factor is not overweighing or overreacting to the last few days of a players’ production.

Chris Blessing (BaseballHQ, @C_Blessing): I’ve been caught with my pants down before, not prioritizing a guy who could really help me. This year, in AL Touts, I went in with a sizable FAAB bid on Oswaldo Cabrera when I needed to replace Royce Lewis in my lineup. We’re talking spring training and a three game MLB sample. I went to the video and felt comfortable going after Cabrera with a sizable bid, winning the auction. I’ll always rely on my scouting eye when it tells me the dude in the short sample is likely to repeat his good performance because of his fundamental temperament and game plan at the plate.

Shelly Verougstraete (Fantasy Feud Podcast, @ShellyV_643): As the question insinuates, some fantasy managers have a quick trigger finger when it comes to “breakout” players. I tend to rely on my offseason prep but if I need someone on my team because one of my players landed on the injured list, then all that goes out of the window.

Todd Zola (Mastersball, @toddzola): When you’re in charge of posting the Tout Table, you get to sometimes ask a somewhat selfish question, and wait until everyone else answers before replying and posting. This is a constant struggle for me, and perhaps a weakness in my gameplay. I get making moves out of need, or perhaps desperation. I’m referring more to taking chances on unproven entities or surprising production. A few have made the point that certain roster construction greases the skids for this sort of approach, and that makes sense. Maybe I’m more frustrated when those take victory laps on 50/50 moves or cite flawed evidence for making the moves. Anyway, I’d like to thank the Touts for their fine response while unknowingly indulging me.

Tout Wars FAB Report: April 22 – 28

Here are the results of this week’s FAB bidding. Remember, if you want to check out the standings, rosters and full transactions for particular league, just click in the section heading.

American League

PLAYER TEAM MANAGER BID
JClase, Sea Jeff Erickson 137
RRefsnyder, Bos Larry Schechter 84
TLarnach, Min Eric Samulski 80
AlSuarez, Bal Jeff Erickson 55
AMarsh, KC Chris Blessing 49
GCleavinger, TB Jason Collette 27
CVazquez, Min Andy Andres 26
NNastrini, CWS Rob Leibowitz 23
RUrias, Bal Mike Podhorzer 6
BDalbec, Bos Jason Collette 6
EClement, Tor Rick Wolf/Glenn Colton 6
MSchuemann, Oak Chris Blessing 5
JUrquidy, Hou Eric Samulski 3
LWeaver, NYY Andy Andres 2
BKennedy, Det Rick Wolf/Glenn Colton 2
AChafin, Det Rick Wolf/Glenn Colton 1
CSands, Min Doug Dennis 0
AFaedo, Det Doug Dennis 0
SHentges, Cle Doug Dennis 0
CCarrasco, Cle Andy Andres 0
TJankowski, Tex Chris Blessing 0

National League

PLAYER TEAM MANAGER BID
ERodriguez, Ari Derek Carty 313
APages, LAD Wilderman/Prior 239
MParker, Was Phil Hertz 152
ACanario, ChC Peter Kreutzer 77
SCecconi, Ari Peter Kreutzer 63
LKnack, LAD Ian Kahn 61
BWilson, Mil Scott Pianowski 33
JWiemer, Mil Ian Kahn 32
LGuillorme, Atl Steve Gardner 26
PSmith, Ari Phil Hertz 11
OMiller, Mil Phil Hertz 6
BSuter, Cin Scott Pianowski 4
DFletcher, Atl Rick Graham 4
CHolderman, Pit Grey Albright 3
YGrandal, Pit Brian Walton 2
MSiani, StL Rick Graham 1
OLopez, Mia Derek Carty 0

Mixed Auction

PLAYER TEAM MANAGER BID
JTaillon, ChC Jeff Zimmerman 120
SBouchard, Col Andy Behrens 86
WAbreu, Bos Frank Stampfl 73
JClase, Sea Scott Engel 49
AlSuarez, Bal Brent Hershey 44
APages, LAD Kev Mahserejian 44
BPerkins, Mil Todd Zola 33
DVines, Atl Scott Swanay 30
LKnack, LAD Scott Swanay 25
EFedde, CWS Dave Adler 25
MSano, LAA Scott Swanay 24
MDubon, Hou Bret Sayre 22
MLeiter, ChC Kev Mahserejian 21
RGarrett, NYM Alex Chamberlain 15
MParker, Was Scott Engel 15
GArias, Cle Scott Engel 14
DStewart, NYM Kev Mahserejian 12
MAmaya, ChC Scott Engel 11
BAbreu, Hou Scott Chu 9
JIrvin, Was Frank Stampfl 8
RStanek, Sea Brent Hershey 8
JMeneses, Was Dave Adler 6
DHudson, LAD Scott Chu 5
MVierling, Det Jeff Zimmerman 2
EDuran, Tex Dave Adler 1

Mixed Draft

PLAYER TEAM MANAGER BID
APages, LAD Anthony Aniano 85
MLeiter, ChC Tim McLeod 73
TPham, CWS Ryan Bloomfield 72
JClase, Sea Tim McLeod 69
HNeris, ChC Mike Gianella 55
MParker, Was D.J. Short 26
AlSuarez, Bal Seth Trachtman 25
CScott, NYM Dr. Roto 25
LKnack, LAD D.J. Short 24
GCanning, LAA Ryan Bloomfield 22
SBouchard, Col Seth Trachtman 21
GArias, Cle D.J. Short 20
RFeltner, Col Ryan Bloomfield 20
CKeith, Det Mike Gianella 16
RPalacios, TB Garion Thorne 12
NSenzel, Was Ray Murphy 12
WCastro, Min Ray Murphy 12
RGarrett, NYM Scott White 12
OMartinez, Tor Tim McLeod 11
AWells, NYY Seth Trachtman 10
RAdams, Was D.J. Short 10
JYoung, Was Rudy Gamble 8
NAhmed, SF Brian Entrekin 4
JSlaten, Bos Ray Murphy 2
MSano, LAA Dr. Roto 2
JWood, Was Scott White 2
RTellez, Pit Kyle Soppe 1
KMuller, Oak Scott White 1
CPovich, Bal Scott White 1
NSchanuel, LAA Mike Gianella 1
GCleavinger, TB Shelly Verougstraete 0

Head to Head

PLAYER TEAM MANAGER BID
DVarsho, Tor Clay Link 278
LKnack, LAD Joe Gallina 81
KYates, Tex Sky Dombroske 52
MParker, Was Ryan Hallam 51
JIrvin, Was Joe Gallina 47
BAlexander, Ari Ryan Hallam 42
JWinker, Was Michael Govier 42
WAbreu, Bos Ryan Hallam 31
LGarcia, Was Frank Ammirante 26
JMiranda, Min Ryan Hallam 25
RGarrett, NYM Frank Ammirante 23
BFalter, Pit Ariel Cohen 23
EFedde, CWS Frank Ammirante 22
JSoriano, LAA Lauren Auerbach 21
ROHearn, Bal Nick Pollack 16
TAlexander, TB Frank Ammirante 15
HNeris, ChC Clay Link 15
JProfar, SD Lauren Auerbach 11
BPerkins, Mil Sky Dombroske 11
NNastrini, CWS Nick Pollack 7
AlSuarez, Bal Michael Govier 7
JLoperfido, Hou Joe Gallina 3
GArias, Cle Greg Jewett 3
DJansen, Tor Clay Link 2
CRea, Mil Michael Govier 1

Mixed Draft with Alternate Categories

PLAYER TEAM MANAGER BID
APages, LAD Jeff Boggis 207
LGarcia, Was Ryan Boyer 111
MParker, Was Joe Orrico 78
CWinn, Tex Jeff Boggis 62
JClase, Sea Matt Trussell 57
HBader, NYM Carlos Marcano 47
TyAnderson, LAA Chris Towers 43
JMcArthur, KC John Laghezza 42
MDubon, Hou Ray Flowers 38
CScott, NYM Matt Cederholm 32
PBlackburn, Oak Ray Flowers 29
TRogers, Mia Zach Steinhorn 28
JSmith, Tex Carlos Marcano 27
RGarrett, NYM Ryan Boyer 25
JSoriano, LAA Ryan Boyer 23
AToro, Oak John Laghezza 16
CPoche, TB Ray Flowers 13
TWilliams, Was Jeff Boggis 12
RMcGuire, Bos Jeff Boggis 12
NGordon, Mia Jeff Boggis 12
JIrvin, Was Matt Cederholm 11
PMaton, TB Carlos Marcano 9
LErceg, Oak Carlos Marcano 9
KLee, CWS John Laghezza 5
CCarrasco, Cle Jeff Boggis 5
EValdez, Bos Jeff Boggis 5
IKinerFalefa, Tor Matt Trussell 3
DHudson, LAD Matt Trussell 0

Tout Wars FAB Report: Week of April 15 – 21

Here are the results of this week’s FAB bidding. Remember, if you want to check out the standings, rosters and full transactions for particular league, just click in the section heading.

American League

JLoperfido, Hou Patrick Davitt 104
YRodriguez, Tor Jeff Erickson 77
AMartin, Min Larry Schechter 68
WPerez, Det Doug Dennis 36
JMiranda, Min Jeff Erickson 29
NGoodrum, TB Jason Collette 27
JSoriano, LAA Rick Wolf/Glenn Colton 19
JSingleton, Hou Rick Wolf/Glenn Colton 19
MMuncy, Oak Rob Leibowitz 9
BLee, Min Eric Samulski 9
ZRemillard, CWS Eric Samulski 7
CCriswell, Bos Jason Collette 6
KLee, CWS Howard Bender 2
AManoah, Tor Rob Leibowitz 2
AAdams, Oak Rob Leibowitz 1
NLoftin, KC Mike Podhorzer 1
KAkin, Bal Doug Dennis 0
BShewmake, CWS Mike Podhorzer 0
KMuller, Oak Andy Andres 0
ACimber, LAA Doug Dennis 0

National League

JButto, NYM Ian Kahn 103
BPerkins, Mil Steve Gardner 88
TFitzgerald, SF Wilderman/Prior 39
CScott, NYM Erik Halterman 33
DVines, Atl Brian Walton 20
RGarrett, NYM Scott Pianowski 11
EPeguero, Mil Grey Albright 7
BRaley, NYM Phil Hertz 7
AKittredge, StL Phil Hertz 6
MGrove, LAD Derek Carty 3
JBrito, SD Erik Halterman 3
ERivera, Mia Rick Graham 1
ESosa, Phi Derek Carty 0

Mixed Auction

YRodriguez, Tor Justin Mason 69
AVerdugo, NYY Frank Stampfl 63
JButto, NYM Kev Mahserejian 55
EOlivares, Pit Scott Engel 39
BBrown, ChC Scott Swanay 35
DHamilton, Bos Justin Mason 27
GSheets, CWS Brent Hershey 27
JLoperfido, Hou Jeff Zimmerman 25
JSoriano, LAA Jeff Zimmerman 23
TyAnderson, LAA Jeff Zimmerman 23
JRoss, Mil Todd Zola 23
JBart, Pit Scott Chu 15
OKerkering, Phi Dave Adler 15
RYarbrough, LAD Brent Hershey 15
JYoung, Was Scott Engel 13
PBlackburn, Oak Frank Stampfl 12
LGarcia, Was Scott Chu 11
ABenintendi, CWS Andy Behrens 6
SArrighetti, Hou Kev Mahserejian 5
AToro, Oak Frank Stampfl 3
KIsbel, KC Jeff Zimmerman 2

Mixed Draft

KYates, Tex Mike Gianella 165
EOlivares, Pit Anthony Aniano 65
JProfar, SD Mike Gianella 46
JSoriano, LAA Ray Murphy 44
YRodriguez, Tor Ray Murphy 44
JButto, NYM Adam Ronis 44
JAssad, ChC Tim McLeod 31
JSmith, Tex Ryan Bloomfield 26
MAmaya, ChC Ryan Bloomfield 21
DSchneider, Tor Garion Thorne 19
GSheets, CWS Dr. Roto 16
JLoperfido, Hou Mike Gianella 15
WBrennan, Cle Shelly Verougstraete 12
RGrossman, CWS Brian Entrekin 12
JOrtiz, Mil Seth Trachtman 10
FFermin, KC Seth Trachtman 10
AMartin, Min Brian Entrekin 9
MVierling, Det Ray Murphy 8
JarWalsh, Tex Ray Murphy 8
RStanek, Sea Brian Entrekin 7
BPerkins, Mil Adam Ronis 6
BRocchio, Cle Mike Gianella 5
BBrown, ChC Rudy Gamble 3
IKinerFalefa, Tor Tim McLeod 3
JSears, Oak Seth Trachtman 1
CMead, TB Scott White 0

Head to Head

JButto, NYM Clay Link 109
MartPerez, Pit Joe Gallina 101
DVines, Atl Joe Gallina 79
YRodriguez, Tor Blake Meyer 67
JOutman, LAD Ryan Hallam 57
JSmith, Tex Greg Jewett 45
KWinn, SF Blake Meyer 42
NVelazquez, KC Michael Govier 32
RMcGuire, Bos Joe Gallina 32
PBlackburn, Oak Clay Link 25
JRoss, Mil Ariel Cohen 23
BBrown, ChC Michael Govier 16
EOlivares, Pit Blake Meyer 7
JTaillon, ChC Clay Link 7
ARendon, LAA Lauren Auerbach 3
JWicks, ChC Ryan Hallam 3
ARosario, TB Clay Link 0
BNaylor, Cle Clay Link 0

Mixed Draft with Alternate Categories

JButto, NYM Chris Towers 54
GCooper, ChC Chris Towers 2
RFeltner, Col Carlos Marcano 47
MWaldron, SD Carlos Marcano 47
GSheets, CWS Carlos Marcano 77
JRoss, Mil Jeff Boggis 11
JLoperfido, Hou C.J. Kaltenbach 14
BPerkins, Mil John Laghezza 21
JBart, Pit John Laghezza 3
KYates, Tex John Laghezza 8
JWinker, Was Geoff Pontes 79
ROHearn, Bal Geoff Pontes 19
ARendon, LAA Chris Clegg 2
JRomero, StL Ray Flowers 17
PBailey, SF Ryan Boyer 4
DVarsho, Tor Derek VanRiper 117
CDoval, SF Derek VanRiper 57
TLipscomb, Was Matt Cederholm 37
JKelenic, Atl Matt Trussell 67
LButler, Oak Chris Clegg 14