|ZPutnam, CWS||16||Rob Leibowitz 17||Jeff Erickson 15||Mike Podhorzer 7|
|Rick Wolf/Glenn Colton 6||Andy Behrens 5||Larry Schechter 5|
|CPena, Tex||16||Andy Behrens 16||Larry Schechter 16||Mike Podhorzer 12|
|Joe Sheehan 12||Rick Wolf/Glenn Colton 1|
|TMcFarland, Bal||2||Andy Behrens 4||Chris Liss 1|
|JPolanco, Min||1||Andy Behrens 8|
|JGrilli, LAA||7||Jeff Erickson 15||Rob Leibowitz 7||Rick Wolf/Glenn Colton 6|
|Larry Schechter 5||Mike Podhorzer 3||Chris Liss 0|
|NMartinez, Tex||0||Chris Liss 0||Joe Sheehan 3|
|DMastroianni, Tor||1||Mike Podhorzer 6|
|LHoes, Hou||3||Larry Schechter 8||Mike Podhorzer 3||Ron Shandler 2|
|Jason Collette 1||Rick Wolf/Glenn Colton 1|
|JGuerra, CWS||4||Joe Sheehan 7||Mike Podhorzer 3||Rick Wolf/Glenn Colton 1|
|RCook, Oak||1||Larry Schechter 1|
|MSierra, CWS||1||Jason Collette 8|
|CJoseph, Bal||1||Rick Wolf/Glenn Colton 1|
|JVeras, Hou||0||Rick Wolf/Glenn Colton 0|
|NFreiman, Oak||Larry Schechter 4|
|CFigueroa, TB||Jason Collette 2|
|BGlenn, Tor||Andy Behrens 2|
|SCarroll, CWS||Chris Liss 0|
|YMedina, Sea||Larry Schechter 0|
|AWarren, NYY||Larry Schechter 0|
|FAbad, Oak||Larry Schechter 0|
|MMorin, LAA||Larry Schechter 0|
|BHoladay, Det||Rick Wolf/Glenn Colton 0|
|BHayes, KC||Rick Wolf/Glenn Colton 0|
|JMolina, TB||Rick Wolf/Glenn Colton 0|
|JThole, Tor||Rick Wolf/Glenn Colton 0|
Rob Leibowitz' CommentaryZach Putnam earned himself a save and earned himself some bids as a result. Given an average fastball, average control, and solid, but non-typical closer strikeout rates (7.1 K/9), Putnam did not receive aggressive $30-plus bids he would have had he been a reliever with a stronger skill set and of course if Manager Robin Ventura had actually committed to him for the time being. Instead, the White's Sox's closer situation remains fluid, but those speculating for saves must pursue the person who drew first blood. In Putnam's defense, he may not be a true strikeout machine, but the righty has gotten ground balls over 50% of the time in 2013 and over 60% of the time in 2014, so that will certainly help his cause too.
The Brad Snyder experiment did not last long as the Rangers brought in their former player, Carlos Pena. The 36 year old still has some pop and draws walks, but has not hit over .227 in a single season since 2008. For OBP leaguers he did at least produce a .325 OBP back in 2010 when he hit .196, so there is a little better value there. This will not be the Ranger's last experiment of the season at first base with Moreland and Fielder out
Granted, the number of precincts contributing to this vote is limited but according to the Touts, Zach Putnam has a better chance of earning saves than Jason Grilli. Leibowitz and Podhorzer were both willing to spend more for Putnam. Behrens only bid on Putnam so that makes three votes for Putnam. Erickson, Schechter and Wolf/Colton all bid equally on both. Liss was the only one to bid only on Grilli and that was a $0 bid.
For what it's worth, I'm in the Grilli camp if the play is for the second half. Working against Grilli is Joe Smith is better than anyone the White Sox have but my gut says the Angels acquired Grilli hoping he has one last run as a dominant closer.
If you're wondering where Mookie Betts is, Rob sneaked him onto his roster just last week using the rule that Brian Walton has so eloquently discussed in his Saturday feature on Mastersball, Articles of Configuration. The Tout rule is anyone in that formats organization is available for acquisition with two caveats: a non-zero bid is required for all those not on a 25-man roster and the player must remain active during the week of acquisition. So if you're willing to take a zero for the week, you can get a jump on prospects previous to their promotion.
|ODespaigne, SD||7||Scott Wilderman 8||Todd Zola 6||Gene McCaffrey 6|
|Mike Gianella 5||Brian Walton 4||Peter Kreutzer 4|
|ECampbell, NYM||7||Todd Zola 13||Gene McCaffrey 6||Mike Gianella 4|
|Brian Walton 3|
|MGonzales, StL||5||Gene McCaffrey 21||Mike Gianella 4||Brian Walton 3|
|Peter Kreutzer 1||Derek Carty 3||Peter Kreutzer 0|
|NAhmed, Ari||3||Phil Hertz 7||Mike Gianella 2||Brian Walton 2|
|ADuvall, SF||2||Mike Gianella 4||Todd Zola 11||Peter Kreutzer 1|
|Tristan H. Cockcroft 0||Steve Gardner 0||Brian Walton 0|
|KNieuwenhuis, NYM||1||Brian Walton 1||Mike Gianella 1||Todd Zola 0|
|Peter Kreutzer 0|
|CHernandez, Phi||1||Tristan H. Cockcroft 1||Phil Hertz 0|
|EFrieri, Pit||1||Tristan H. Cockcroft 2|
|TWatson, Pit||0||Brian Walton 0|
|SPimentel, Pit||0||Brian Walton 0||Peter Kreutzer 0|
|SSimmons, Atl||0||Todd Zola 0||Brian Walton 0||Tristan H. Cockcroft 0|
|GLaird, Atl||0||Todd Zola 0|
|DDescalso, StL||0||Mike Gianella 0||Phil Hertz 2|
|DSolano, Mia||0||Peter Kreutzer 0||Phil Hertz 0||Tristan H. Cockcroft 0|
|ATorres, SD||0||Steve Gardner 0|
|JRussell, ChC||0||Peter Kreutzer 0|
|NEvans, Ari||Todd Zola 11|
|JGoebbert, SD||Todd Zola 11|
|MRojas, LAD||Mike Gianella 0||Phil Hertz 0|
|JLobaton, Was||Peter Kreutzer 0||Todd Zola 0|
|CStewart, Pit||Todd Zola 0|
|JMathis, Mia||Todd Zola 0|
|KHill, Phi||Todd Zola 0|
|WNieves, Phi||Todd Zola 0|
Brian Walton's Commentary
The National League Tout Wars free agent who received the most ink this past week is certainly deposed Angels closer Ernesto Frieri, dealt to the Pirates for Jason Grilli in an old-fashioned challenge trade. Two-time defending league champ Tristan H. Cockcroft of ESPN was the lone bidder, however, and had to pay just $1. FWIW, I instead added two other Bucs’ relievers in Tony Watson and Stolmy Pimentel for some ratio help. Chances are that none of the three will be receiving save opportunities any time soon.
In my regular Saturday column, I predicted two of the top sellers in NL Tout this week. Unfortunately, I also predicted I would not be the highest bidder for either pitcher.
On Sunday, San Diego’s Odrisamer Despaigne made his second respectable start since replacing injured Andrew Cashner in San Diego’s rotation. The 27-year-old Cuban has a solid arsenal, but does not possess a true strikeout pitch. Scott Wilderman from onRoto.com was willing to go $8 and had to spend $7.
St. Louis’ rookie Marco Gonzales lost his opportunity to start in the Texas League All-Star Game and was pulled from the MLB All-Star Futures Game, but the reward was a promotion from Double-A to the majors. After an uneven first start in Denver, the 22-year-old draws Tim Lincecum in San Francisco next. Wise Guy Baseball’s Gene McCaffrey was willing to go $21, reduced to $5 by Vickrey Rules. The aggressive bid apparently indicates low confidence in rehabbing Joe Kelly coming back soon and bumping Gonzales down to Triple-A. My bid of just $3 reflected that possibility.
Last month, Mets manager Terry Collins said he was considering giving Eric Campbell a look at middle infield. Though that has not occurred, the 28-year-old has seen time at both infield corners and both outfield corners, too. Results at the plate have been decent as well, leading to spirited bidding won by our Lord Zola at $7, reduced from $13 by Vickrey.
On a personal level, especially considering the collective effort it takes to produce these reports, I'd like to make them as useful as possible. As such, I wonder about the most subtle details of the presentation. Granted, it's all there but it's human nature to start at the top of the grid until you get bored and move onto the analysis. Here's an example, piggybacking on Brian's comment concerning McCaffrey and Marco Gonzales. The single largest non-Vickrey bid was Gene's $21 offer for Gonzales - that's relevant information. I value Gene's opinion and this tells me he has some faith in Gonzales. However, this nuance may get lost as the bid was reduced to the third highest so the brain may perceive the interest on Gonzales wasn't as strong as some of the other available players when in fact it was.
That said, I also value Brian's opinion and he's less enthusiastic with respect to Gonzales. Guessing playing time and injuries is a crap shoot so my personal take-home message from this is Gene believes in Gonzales' talent while Brian is reticent to spend to get only a couple more starts. The relevant info for me is to put Gonzales on my radar. I play in ample mixed leagues that if he does in fact keep the job, he may be worth a pick-up.
|MBetts, Bos||36||Fred Zinkie 65||Ray Guilfoyle 35||Cory Schwartz 13|
|SCasilla, SF||14||Al Melchior 16||Cory Schwartz 13||Tim Heaney 11|
|Ray Flowers 6|
|LMorrison, Sea||3||Nando DiFino 8||Cory Schwartz 2|
|ZPutnam, CWS||1||Ray Flowers 6||Derek Van Riper 6||Tim Heaney 4|
|Cory Schwartz 1|
|TDArnaud, NYM||1||Ray Flowers 6|
|GBalfour, TB||1||Nando DiFino 21|
|JJay, StL||1||Cory Schwartz 1|
|DJeter, NYY||1||Derek Van Riper 2||Cory Schwartz 1|
|BWorkman, Bos||1||Cory Schwartz 5|
|TWood, ChC||1||Tim Heaney 4|
|MGonzales, StL||1||Derek Van Riper 15|
|RWeeks, Mil||1||Ray Guilfoyle 3|
|ODespaigne, SD||Derek Van Riper 6|
|JPetricka, CWS||Ray Flowers 3||Tim Heaney 2||Cory Schwartz 1|
|YGrandal, SD||Ray Flowers 3||Cory Schwartz 0|
|RChirinos, Tex||Ray Flowers 1|
|MMcKenry, Col||Ray Flowers 1|
|TKoehler, Mia||Cory Schwartz 1|
|JGuthrie, KC||Cory Schwartz 1|
|CJoseph, Bal||Ray Flowers 1|
|RHanigan, TB||Ray Flowers 1|
|MMoustakas, KC||Cory Schwartz 1|
|ACallaspo, Oak||Fred Zinkie 0|
Zach Steinhorn's Commentary
Saves and steals are the two categories where ground could be made up quickly with the addition of as little as one player. Throughout the season, owners in this league have been willing to spend large amounts of FAAB dollars on speculative or even temporary closers. And there was some of that this week, as Santiago Casilla, who will share closer duties for the Giants with Jeremy Affeldt until Sergio Romo straightens things out, garnered a $14 winning bid. Casilla does have experience in the ninth inning, but this does sound like one of those temporary situations, as Romo has been one of the game’s elite closers over the past few years. In other words, Bruce Bochy probably wants to reinstall Romo as his closer as soon as possible. He just needs a reason to make the move.
As for steals, well, there’s this guy named Mookie Betts who was sporting a .437 OBP in the Minors this year with 29 stolen bases in 77 games. Betts made his big league debut last night, and he wasted no time getting to work on the base paths, though he got caught stealing in his one attempt. Boston’s outfield is a bit crowded but it’s hard to imagine that the Red Sox called up Betts to sit on the bench. The stolen base standings are still bunched up in the middle, with league leader Fred Zinkie being one of those middle teams, so it’s not a huge surprise that Fred chose to bid $65 for Betts’ services, a number that could only be topped by three of the other 14 teams.
And the wait continues for Scott Swanay to use some of his 97 remaining FAAB dollars. Scott didn’t make any bids this week despite being another one of those middle teams in the stolen base rankings.
Let's play another round of which guy is most likely to get saves. Based on the bids, the Touts favor Casilla over Putnam. While I don't disagree, I see Sergio Romo getting the gig back. True, his strikeouts continue to fall but it is a severe case of gopheritis that ails him most. A few clean outings and Romo should be back in the ninth.
What's really curious is no one other than Nando DiFino was willing to take a shot on Balfour. That would have been my play -- of all the candidates, he has the best chance to lock it down over the second half.
|BGuyer, TB||5||Eno Sarris 6||Scott Engel 4|
|ZPutnam, CWS||5||Nicholas Minnix 6||Tim McLeod 4|
|TDArnaud, NYM||3||Nicholas Minnix 6||Anthony Perri 2|
|ESuarez, Det||3||Nicholas Minnix 6||Nicholas Minnix 3||Perry Van Hook 2|
|OArcia, Min||1||Eno Sarris 1|
|DDietrich, Mia||1||Eno Sarris 2|
|JPetricka, CWS||1||Grey Albright 1||Anthony Perri 1|
|SVogt, Oak||1||Paul Sporer 4||Nicholas Minnix 0|
|EInciarte, Ari||1||Perry Van Hook 1|
|TWood, ChC||1||Greg Ambrosius 2|
|ODespaigne, SD||1||Perry Van Hook 3|
|WDavis, KC||0||Ray Murphy 0|
|KGiles, Phi||0||Tim McLeod 0|
|SVanSlyke, LAD||Paul Sporer 4|
|JMayberry, Phi||Paul Sporer 3|
|EVolquez, Pit||Perry Van Hook 2|
|JBroxton, Cin||Perry Van Hook 2|
|WVenable, SD||Eno Sarris 1|
|BBoxberger, TB||Ray Murphy 0|
|BMcCarthy, Ari||Nicholas Minnix 0|
|BRoberts, NYY||Nicholas Minnix 0|
|HConger, LAA||Nicholas Minnix 0|
|CJoseph, Bal||Nicholas Minnix 0|
|DNava, Bos||Nicholas Minnix 0|
|RHanigan, TB||Nicholas Minnix 0|
|RWeeks, Mil||Nicholas Minnix 0|
Perry Van Hook's Commentary
Highest bidder this week was Nick Minnix who tried three six dollar bids for Mets catcher Travis D’Arnaud, White Sox RP Zach Putnam, and Tiger shortstop Eugenio Suarez. With Vickrey reductions, Minnix got D’Arnaud for $3; Putnam for $5; and Suarez for $3.
Eno Sarris was also a six dollar bidder, winning Tampa fly chaser Brandon Guyer for $5.
Interesting that in chasing the White Sox new closer by committee, Putnam went for $5 while Jake Petricka went for just $1 to Grey Albright which was his only bid.
Also interesting to note that as in some other leagues, San Diego Padres new Cuban pitcher Odrisamer Despaigne went cheaply – I got him for $1 on a three dollar bid despite now being 2-0 with an ERA under 1.00. We will see what happens in his next start – also at Petco against the struggling San Francisco Giants.
We've come this far with the closer comparisons, may as well finish this off with one more. It's intriguing that Putnam and Jake Petricka both received a pair of bids, but no one bid on both. The bids on Putman were more aggressive - but why not bid on both?