Recapping The Ottoneu Experts League Auction
One pick was all it took for me to throw my auction strategy out the window. Matt Kemp at $47 allows me to sleep through the night after releasing Ryan Braun back into the auction pool at $64. In a previous newsletter, I discussed the value of striking within the first few picks. What kind of writer would I be if I didn’t follow my own advice?
Let’s quickly roll through the picks with insight on why they were made.
- Matt Kemp ($47) – When he was thrown first, the league was caught off guard. When bidding slowed in the low-40’s, I decided to jump in and adjust later on. He and Ryan Braun were the two best available and I was thrilled to land one when both were expected to go for much more. In this format, he’ll be a keeper until he starts the decline phase of his career.
- Danny Espinosa ($9) – When Hanley Ramirez and Brandon Phillips went off the board in the 30’s, Espinosa became the next best thing. With Andrelton Simmons, Manny Machado and Robinson Cano as M-INF, I needed another solid guy. I budgeted $12-15 for him pre-auction and saved a few bucks. He produced $13 in value last season after a horrendous start, so I’m hoping there’s more in the tank. For me, he pushes Simmons to the bench to begin the season. Plus, he’s a potential keeper for as long as his production remains above his $2 per year raise.
- Jason Kubel ($7) – To be honest, I didn’t want Kubel. Sometimes, one simply needs to roll with it when a great opportunity presents itself. Kubel produced $25.30 in value last season, so landing him on the cheap was a coup. The only problem is I needed R, SB, AVG in this auction and his HR and RBI totals are a bit redundant with Alfonso Soriano and Pedro Alvarez already on the roster. At this rock bottom price, it will be difficult to cut him after the season unless something catastrophic happens.
- Corey Hart ($14) – I expected his injury to scare other owners off, but nothing like this. He produced more than $30 in value last season and should produce his auction number upon return. I expect him to give the roster a boost in May should Soriano and/or Kubel not produce at 2012 levels. Like Kubel, his value is redundant considering the current roster, but the run totals will really help. Hart is another player worth keeping beyond 2013.
- Ryan Dempster ($4) – Prior to the auction, I allotted $12-15 on either Matt Garza or Ryan Dempster. When Garza went off the board for $10+, I was resigned to the fact I would not add either. When opposing owners let me have Dempster at $4, I was shocked. Yes, he’s in the A.L. now, but Dempster produced $13 in value INCLUDING his time in Texas. As a fantasy 4/5, I couldn’t ask for more. The Red Sox aren’t going to lose 90+ games again and their bullpen is formidable when healthy. He could win 15-16 games and it would not surprise me at all.
- Xander Bogaerts ($9) – My hero being thrown so early frustrated me. Then, it became a pissing contest I was determined to win. Having dropped him for $7 thinking I’d re-acquire him for less, my misstep busted the prospect budget.
- Carlos Correa ($3) – Another player I released back into the pool, I gained back one of the dollars lost to Bogaerts after not keeping the Astros prospect for $4.
- Justin Masterson ($1) – Yes, he was productive in 2011, but I don’t need him. I thought an opposing owner would bid him to $2 because of his breakout season, but they only remembered his crummy 2012. He’s my SP8 on a roster where only 5/6 matter. I’ve already begun an auction for Anthony Gose and hope to add him in a couple of days.
- Carter Capps ($5) – Short a reliever, Capps and his 98.3 MPH fastball will post big strikeout totals with fellow flamethrower Trevor Rosenthal. If Wilhelmsen falters, my gut tells me Capps receives a shot to close before Pryor given his command and bigger stuff.
- Neftali Feliz ($3) – With Aroldis Chapman pumped to $11 in arbitration and crazy closer inflation in this auction, stashing Feliz seemed like the right thing to do. Starter or reliever, he fits into my mantra of cheap, controllable pitching before all else. I decided to acquire him for a rock bottom price before he has the opportunity to add value again. Plus, I have the money to wait for Feliz to hit the 60-day DL and add another player free of charge. It’s really the only way to legally “stash” players in the Ottoneu format.
- David Dahl ($1) – When Byron Buxton hit $5, I accepted the fact he’d no longer be mine. At that point, I decided I HAD TO HAVE Dahl. With his numbers in short season, along with his mini-Trout comparisons, I was shocked, and thrilled, to be the only bidder. Plus, I’m always excited about owning players I’ll scout in person and Asheville visits Rome a bunch.
- Michael Pineda ($2) – Shoulders are 100x worse than TJ, so this pick may prove to be dust in the wind. However, Pineda was one of the best young pitchers in the game in 2011 and worth taking a chance on — Especially when he’ll hit the 60-day DL opening up another spot.
- Rubby De La Rosa ($1) – I wrote about De La Rosa last week at FanGraphs and believe he will play a prominent role on the Red Sox staff in time. Having hit 100 MPH earlier in the day, it’s safe to say his arm strength is back. Will the command follow? I’m not sure, but I dropped RDLR for $5 and hesitated. To have him back at $1 was my favorite pick of the auction.
In testing my theory on prospects from a previous newsletter, I dropped Tyler Skaggs, Buxton, Correa, RDLR and Bogaerts at a combined total of $24. RDLR, Bogaerts and Correa returned for $13, and Dahl enters the fold at $1. The $10 saved allowed me to bid on both Feliz and Pineda for $5, leaving me with $5 to acquire prospects once they are DL’d. I consider this to be a net positive.
With no way of replacing the production of Ryan Braun, David Wright and Hanley Ramirez, I don’t expect to stroll to the finish line like 2012. The second place team (Jack Moore of FanGraphs) is better, my roster is worse. We’ll meet in the middle somewhere. My hope is the addition of Kemp lessens the blow, while bargains on my next four picks prop up the rest of the roster. I just hope my auction wasn’t too forward thinking for my own good.
24 Jan 2014 / Mike Newman /
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