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Sunday 25th Feb 2018

It was a busy night, Saturday last, as the annual LABR American League collected for their auction, hosted by the USA Today's Steve Gardner, at the headquarters of the Arizona Republic in downtown Phoenix.

I find these "experts" drafts increasingly tough, mostly because the strategies and approaches my league mates take does a couple of things.

One is there severe price enforcement, which is not necessarily a bad thing, for the result is most players do indeed go at an appropriate value. However, things can get dicey towards the end game when, for example, several teams need backstops, and those same teams have money to spend. In such instances, I have seen Bengie Molina go for $24 because indeed, the owners needed the position filled and indeed had the bucks. (This is one of the reasons I believe projecting ADPS and dollar values are useless, for players go for what the market will bear, as opposed to actual preceived value.)

Compounding this, savvy players like Chris Liss and Jason Grey know how to parlay their money so that controlling that end game is not what it used to be. For having enough dollars to control the board during the final ten rounds or so is critical to having a good draft. Knowing exactly what to spend, and when takes a lot of savvy and foresight. It also makes the prospect extra difficult with three or four players employing the same approach for many of the players or positions.

This LABR had only one real surprise when Alex Rodriguez went for $37, a little pricey for the third sacker, however this price is certainly nothing to criticize. Dave Adler copped the most expensive player in Carl Crawford ($40), and a few other high end players--Mark Teixeira ($36), Miguel Cabrera ($35) and Adrian Gonzalez ($34).

As for me, I tried to both waith for an opening, yet not let a bargain go past. Hence I got C.C. Sabathia for $26, and Jose Bautista for $29. I always like having the steady Sabathia on my team, but Bautista is not a player I anticipated owning. However, even if his homer totals drop by 20 from his 2010 totals, I will still have money well spent in the third sacker (where I stashed him) if he delivers .265-32-90 totals.

Perhaps the most frustrating and interesting tactical move occurred for me at the end, when needing to fill my Utility spot, I nominated Mike Moustakas with $12 of available cash. The future Royals third sackers price quickly rose to $8, and I stopped the conversation throwing out all $12, and silence prevailed. As acutioneer Don Drooker was just about to declare sold, Shawn Childs, who was partnering with Greg Ambrosius called out $13. I was floored, mostly as Greg and Shawn still had six open slots, and just $18 total dollars. Meaning they shot their entire end game wad, something I was not expecting (I wound up with Dayan Viciedo in that slot).

Mostly, I tried to fill my roster with good, everyday players, at or a little below value. How will they do? I have no clue, but, I think the pieces are there to succeed (note that Perry Van Hook's Captain's Log also published today, will list his team and thoughts).

Irrespective, here they are:

To see all owners and teams, go to USA Today LABR Rosters.  


0 #1 Brian Jenner 2011-03-08 22:31
Interesting. While the usual caveat of the values only being relevent for this specific league, I think for the top tier of players it's fairly representative of how the pros value talent. Especially useful for guys like Morneau and Bautista who could be worth $40 or $4 at the end of the year.

Were there any other notable players whose inflated price was the result of last-resort desperation, ie: Moustakas and Hardy?

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