Welcome to "You Look FAABulous", our look at the FAAB reports for Tout Wars and LABR. Each week, your friends at Mastersball will post the results of the weekly Tout Wars and LABR FAAB run, featuring the winning bid as well a the runner-up bids.
Included with each league report will be commentary from a Mastersball staff member participating in that league. We invite you to ask questions and post comments at the bottom of the report.
All contingency bids for awarded players are included. Sometimes, this bid is tied to a player that the owner received, so at times the bid amount is larger than the winning bid. We are including it to provide as much information and context as possible with each report.
There are five Tout Wars leagues, a 12-team AL only, 12-team NL only, 15-team Mixed Auction League, 15-team Mixed Draft League and a brand new 12-team Mixed Auction Head to head format. All use on-base-percentage instead of batting average with the Head to Head league also using other unique categories. You can see the complete standings for each league by clicking on the appropriate heading, located just under each player photo.
New to Tout Wars this year is a $1000 free agent acquisition budget (FAAB) and no Vickrey. Teams are still allowed $0 bids.
Here is the Tout Wars report. LABR was posted earlier.
|ECarrera, Tor||Jason Collette 78||Rick Wolf/Glenn Colton 52||Jeff Erickson 32||Patrick Davitt 11|
|Chris Liss 7||Lawr Michaels 6||Steve Moyer 3|
|Mike Podhorzer 2|
|ROrtega, LAA||Lawr Michaels 55||Jeff Erickson 12|
|SClevenger, Sea||Jason Collette 27||Jeff Erickson 5|
|YMoncada, Bos||Chris Liss 21|
|MZunino, Sea||Ron Shandler 18|
|ZMcAllister, Cle||Rick Wolf/Glenn Colton 11||Jeff Erickson 3|
|KSmith, CWS||Jason Collette 11||Mike Podhorzer 1|
|JSands, CWS||Mike Podhorzer 2|
|ARomine, Det||Larry Schechter 1|
|NVincent, Sea||Steve Moyer 0|
|EKratz, Hou||Mike Podhorzer 0|
|RRua, Tex||Lawr Michaels 8|
|JChoi, LAA||Lawr Michaels 5||Larry Schechter 1|
|ERomero, TB||Jason Collette 3|
|RRua, Tex||Mike Podhorzer 2|
|BBrach, Bal||Rick Wolf/Glenn Colton 1||Steve Moyer 0|
|BWilson, Det||Mike Podhorzer 0|
|DButera, KC||Mike Podhorzer 0|
|JThole, Tor||Mike Podhorzer 0|
|LHochevar, KC||Rick Wolf/Glenn Colton 0|
|TBarnette, Tex||Steve Moyer 0|
Lawr Michaels' Commentary
In AL Tout there were a lot of FAAB gyrations around trying to make the tools of ignorance make some sense.
Jason Collette's team might be sitting in third place in the current standings, but Jason hardly sat still buying three players in White Sox catcher Kevan Smith ($11), Seattle backstop Steve Clevenger ($27) , thus de- and reconstructing his backstop corps, reserving Tyler Motter, releasing JR Murphy and finally releasing Hank Conger and grabbing Ezequiel Carrera for $78.
Perhaps adding to the backstop confusion was Ron Shandler's reserving Caleb Joseph and dropping $18 on Mike Zunino, while Mike Podhorzer tried to remedy his catcher woes with Eric Kratz for an unchallenged $0 bid.
In other moves, Chris Liss grabbed Yoan Moncada for $21, I got Rafael Ortega for $55, Podhorzer took Jerry Sands for a couple of dollars. and Larry Schechter acquired Andrew Romine for a dollar.
Steve Moyer made a nice speculative relief gamble with Nick Vincent (who got a save Sunday) for a dollar while Rick Wolf and Glenn Colton nabbed Zach McAllister for $11.
Back in the spring at BaseballHQ's First Pitch Forum series, I noted how dreadful the AL-only catching pool is with 15 of the 24 draft-worthy candidates estimated to earn less than $5 (and that's with the scarcity bump baked into the formula). The way to attack that was give in and pay for at least one of the better backstops or go with the flow and play the wire all season until a couple of not-hurt-you receivers land on you roster, assuming you don't get lucky at the draft table.
Jason Collette tried the latter with Conger and Murphy - two of my favorite options if you opted not to pay. Murphy's struggles are surprising as my money was on him grabbing more and more playing time as the season progressed, eventually usurping Kurt Suzuki. Murphy's hitting an anemic 0.094 (3-for-32) but the curious aspect is he's only whiffed four times. I'm still optimistic Murphy will get it in gear but with Tout Wars limited bench space (a rule I favor), Jason decided to release him (along with Conger). Smith is backing up Dioner Navarro while Alex Avila nurses a sore hamstring on the DL. He hit well in the minors and is worth a pickup.
But so is Murphy...next week.
|ABlair, Atl||Ray Guilfoyle 130||Todd Zola 13||Andy Behrens 9|
|DCastro, Atl||Grey Albright 87||Ray Guilfoyle 60||Steve Gardner 54||Phil Hertz 0|
|Todd Zola 0|
|CCotham, Cin||Grey Albright 83||Ray Guilfoyle 65||Brian Walton 33||Todd Zola 17|
|Andy Behrens 11||Mike Gianella 5|
|JWeeks, SD||Phil Hertz 42||Steve Gardner 11||Mike Gianella 7|
|DPhelps, Mia||Todd Zola 37||Brian Walton 12||Phil Hertz 11||Mike Gianella 5|
|DLough, Phi||Mike Gianella 27||Phil Hertz 43||Brian Walton 12||Todd Zola 0|
|ARosales, SD||Brian Walton 23||Steve Gardner 14||Todd Zola 13||Grey Albright 11|
|Lenny Melnick 8|
|TThornburg, Mil||Phil Hertz 22||Todd Zola 0|
|PGosselin, Ari||Todd Zola 13|
|ROhlendorf, Cin||Andy Behrens 11|
|NFeliz, Pit||Mike Gianella 5||Phil Hertz 4|
|FRivero, Was||Brian Walton 2||Phil Hertz 0|
|WContreras, ChC||Andy Behrens 1|
|YRivera, Mil||Steve Gardner 0|
|BWood, Cin||Ray Guilfoyle 70||Grey Albright 41|
|CVargas, SD||Ray Guilfoyle 65|
|BLogan, Col||Grey Albright 17|
|MDenDekker, Was||Grey Albright 11||Brian Walton 1||Todd Zola 0|
|CHeisey, Was||Grey Albright 11||Brian Walton 2|
|APresley, Mil||Grey Albright 11||Phil Hertz 2|
|DLaw, SF||Phil Hertz 3|
|YPetit, Was||Phil Hertz 2||Brian Walton 1||Phil Hertz 0|
|KBarraclough, Mia||Phil Hertz 1|
|ZLee, LAD||Phil Hertz 1|
|APresley, Mil||Brian Walton 0|
|DRoss, ChC||Andy Behrens 0|
|RDelgado, Ari||Todd Zola 0|
|THolt, Cin||Todd Zola 0|
Brian Walton's Commentary
Aaron Blair was a big piece of the pie Atlanta received from Arizona in return for Shelby Miller. The 23-year-old right-hander made his Major League debut on Sunday and held the visiting Mets to one run over the first five innings before giving up two in the sixth and was pulled at 80 pitches. The fact that Blair’s next start may line up against the Cubs on Friday did not deter Ray Guilfoyle from Fake Teams from spending $130 on him. As usual, I was second at $33.
Grey Albright of Razzball has been an aggressive bidder this season so it should not be a surprise that he spent a total of $170 on a pair of hitters. In Atlanta, Daniel Castro ($87) was called up from Triple-A and given starter’s at-bats due to the arrest of Hector Olivera two weeks ago. Given the charge is assault and seeing how long the Jose Reyes case is taking to play out seems to make Castro more than a short-term fill in.
Albright’s other addition is one of the entrants in the Cincinnati closer committee, Caleb Cotham ($83). For my money, Tony Cingrani is the man to beat, but Cotham has a good skill set, even if his early numbers are uneven. Yep, I came in second in the bidding again. Interestingly, Blake Wood was a secondary bid from several Tout warriors, but remains on the waiver wire. Pitching in the fifth with the Reds behind on Saturday was not a good signal for Woods’ closing chances soon.
Please check the LABR report for my analysis of David Phelps. I wouldn't mind another starter to replace the injured (again) Robbie Erlin but opted for the emerging later inning reliever. Phil Gosselin was also acquired to take the spot of Scott Van Slyke. The Snakes are playing musical infielders and with Chris Owings and Brandon Drury dabbling in the outfield, that frees up infield time for Gosselin. There won't be a ton in the way of counting stats but Gosselin is scrappy and could emerge with more playing time like he did last season. Hopefully he's just a stop-gap as I'm still figuring out how to replace A.J. Pollock.
|ABlair, Atl||Derek Van Riper 157||Scott Engel 84|
|ADuvall, Cin||Ray Flowers 81||Scott Swanay 76||Al Melchior 66||Scott Engel 39|
|David Gonos 33|
|TCingrani, Cin||Scott Pianowski 77||Nando DiFino 21||Ray Flowers 19||Derek Van Riper 11|
|MReynolds, Col||Scott Swanay 73||Derek Van Riper 1||Bret Sayre 0|
|RDeLaRosa, Ari||Tim Heaney 56|
|CCotham, Cin||Al Melchior 51||Scott Pianowski 66||Ray Flowers 19|
|SDyson, Tex||Ray Flowers 42|
|SRodriguez, Pit||Scott Engel 41|
|ENunez, Min||Fred Zinkie 40||Scott Engel 38||Zach Steinhorn 12||Derek Van Riper 1|
|Bret Sayre 0|
|AGriffin, Tex||Scott Engel 33||Ray Flowers 9|
|CUtley, LAD||Derek Van Riper 21|
|TFlowers, Atl||Scott Engel 21||Scott Pianowski 11||Scott Swanay 0|
|DFreese, Pit||Zach Steinhorn 18||Derek Van Riper 1||Bret Sayre 0|
|SWright, Bos||Fred Zinkie 6||Derek Van Riper 2||Cory Schwartz 0|
|HOwens, Bos||Scott Engel 6||Derek Van Riper 77|
|TBrown, SF||Scott Pianowski 5|
|RRaburn, Col||Fred Zinkie 3|
|JMercer, Pit||Bret Sayre 1||Fred Zinkie 1||Derek Van Riper 1|
|AHill, Mil||Bret Sayre 0||Zach Steinhorn 4|
|APierzynski, Atl||Scott Swanay 0||Scott Pianowski 2|
|RNolasco, Min||Tim Heaney 26|
|JWilson, Det||Ray Flowers 19|
|KHerrera, KC||Ray Flowers 19|
|JWeaver, LAA||Ray Flowers 18|
|HNeris, Phi||Ray Flowers 17|
|KSiegrist, StL||Ray Flowers 17|
|ABailey, Phi||Scott Pianowski 13||Ray Flowers 9|
|BShaw, Cle||Ray Flowers 9|
|KQuackenbush, SD||Ray Flowers 9|
|KUehara, Bos||Ray Flowers 9|
|OArcia, Min||Fred Zinkie 3|
|SSmith, Sea||Fred Zinkie 3|
|TClippard, Ari||Scott Pianowski 3|
|LVerrett, NYM||Derek Van Riper 2|
|MLowe, Det||Derek Van Riper 2|
|RStephenson, Cin||Derek Van Riper 1|
|TDuffey, Min||Derek Van Riper 1|
|CCasali, TB||Scott Swanay 0|
|DPhelps, Mia||Al Melchior 0|
|JUribe, Cle||Bret Sayre 0|
|KSuzuki, Min||Scott Swanay 0|
|TSaladino, CWS||Bret Sayre 0|
Zach Steinhorn's Commentary
Aaron Blair pitched fairly well in his big league debut on Sunday and sports an impressive 3.13 ERA and 1.15 WHIP across 67 career minor league games (66 starts). But when it comes to his immediate fantasy value, the most important factor is that the rebuilding Braves will likely provide him with a legitimate opportunity to stick in their rotation, and this was probably the factor that swayed Derek Van Riper to bid a substantial $157. Personally, I need to see more from Blair before I'd feel comfortable with him in a mixed league, but maybe by next week, his FAAB price would have exceeded $157, so grabbing him now could turn out to be the prudent move.
The closer situation in Cincinnati is a mess, and as of now, there is no clear leader of the pack in the competition to replace J.J. Hoover. Tony Cingrani has the stuff to succeed in the role, but he has issued eight free passes through eight innings this season. Not good. Caleb Cotham has been the most effective reliever for the Reds so far, but he has only 21 games of big league experience under his belt. This is why I like to draft at least two reliable closers. Desperately playing the waiver wire closer game, especially in deeper leagues, is not fun.
Trevor Plouffe's trip to the DL, which of course had to happen after last Monday's lineup deadline, forced me to start Brandon Drury as he was the only other third baseman on my roster (Tout Wars allows mid-week substitutions for players placed on the DL). Although I do like Drury, the bottom line is that he's not playing every day. So in order to maximize my counting stats, I figured that it was a good idea to add a third baseman. David Freese is nothing special, but he's swinging a hot bat out of the gate and is currently hitting in the heart of Pittsburgh's lineup. Hopefully, the hot streak lasts for a bit longer until Plouffe returns. If not, I might head right back to the waiver wire next week.
Zach touched on one of the two players that caught my eye - David Freese. The chance Freese ends the season in the three-hole are slim but I agree with Zach, ride it out. The other intriguing acquisition was my Wednesday Rotowire Podcast partner Derek Van Riper's buy of Chase Utley. It's not so much DVR took the plunge but rather his bid went uncontested with some lesser middle infielders also purchased. Howie Kendrick is playing third and left, leaving the keystone sack for Utley except when a real tough lefty is on the hill.
|HNeris, Phi||Eno Sarris 113||Tim McLeod 8|
|TBauer, Cle||Adam Ronis 37|
|AGarcia, Atl||Tim McLeod 18||Tom Kessenich 2|
|ABlair, Atl||Tom Kessenich 11||Adam Ronis 4|
|KGraveman, Oak||Greg Ambrosius 11||Adam Ronis 32||Eno Sarris 13||Ray Murphy 4|
|JHardy, Bal||Tom Kessenich 9|
|JTomlin, Cle||Ray Murphy 4||Rudy Gamble 4|
|KSiegrist, StL||Tim McLeod 3|
|CCotham, Cin||Rudy Gamble 2||Adam Ronis 4||Tom Kessenich 3|
|RRaburn, Col||Perry Van Hook 0|
|CUtley, LAD||Adam Ronis 31||Tim McLeod 6||Tom Kessenich 4||Perry Van Hook 0|
|JMercer, Pit||Tim McLeod 16||Tom Kessenich 1|
|OArcia, Min||Adam Ronis 13||Tom Kessenich 4|
|ENunez, Min||Tim McLeod 11||Adam Ronis 4||Tom Kessenich 1|
|DFister, Hou||Greg Ambrosius 5|
|ROhlendorf, Cin||Tom Kessenich 3|
|NJones, CWS||Tim McLeod 2|
|DStubbs, Atl||Tom Kessenich 1|
|JJay, SD||Tom Kessenich 1|
|KHerrera, KC||Tim McLeod 1|
|MByrd, Cle||Tom Kessenich 1|
|JRollins, CWS||Perry Van Hook 0|
|SRodriguez, Pit||Perry Van Hook 0|
Perry Van Hook's Commentary
It didn’t look like there would be a lot of bidding this week – no new closers or players called up of particular interest. But Touts are always looking and thinking so there were a few speculative bids.
The highest winning bid of the evening was for Phillies reliever Hector Neris at $113 by Eno Sarris – ironic because in Sunday’s action Neris gave up his first run of the season. Jeanmar Gomez doesn’t have everyone’s confidence, perhaps even his clubs’ as Andrew Bailey was called up (but did not attract any bids). On the same wavelength was Rudy Gamble with his two dollar bid for potential Reds’ committee member Caleb Cotham as J.J. Hoover has purportedly lost the job in Cincinnati.
Another good speculator was Adam Ronis who bid $37 for Trevor Bauer, likely on the thought that if Carlos Carrasco, already sent to the DL with his hamstring issue, is going to miss significant time, Bauer might be back in the Indians’ rotation.
Based on the feeling there wouldn’t be a lot of bidding and the fact that I have an extra roster spot with Martin Prado DL eligible because of his maternity leave, I bid $0 for several players who might help next week and won the top choice, Rockies outfielder Ryan Raburn. The righty swinger is hitting very well and looks like he should have some meaningful at-bats in four home games versus Pittsburgh and three road games in Arizona’s hitter friendly Chase Field. The Bucs are scheduled to start southpaws Jeff Locke and Jon Niese while the Snakes will send Robbie Ray to the hill meaning Raburn will get three starts plus pinch-hitting duty. Adding him means Tyler Naquin can be reserved to see if he survives as the Cleveland center fielder with the imminent return of Michael Brantley on Monday.
I like how Perry took into account Raburn's favorable venues and match-ups against three southpaws. When you're working on the fringes, it's the little things that provide an edge. We all do it with pitchers so why not think similarly with hitters?
Apparently more Touts disagree with me as Utley wasn't acquired, though he was the contingency for several owners. This is also a reflection of how deep the second base pool is with quantity (but not quality). There's a ton of useful but non-game changers that qualify at second.
|BShaw, Cle||Jeff Zimmerman 54|
|ABlair, Atl||Jeff Boggis 52||Jake Ciely 14|
|DPomeranz, SD||Howard Bender 48||Jake Ciely 19|
|HSantiago, LAA||Jake Ciely 19|
|MGivens, Bal||Brent Hershey 2|
|TMay, Min||Brent Hershey 2|
|SOh, StL||Howard Bender 1|
|HNeris, Phi||Brent Hershey 0|
Peter Kreutzer's Commentary
Scant action in H2H. Let's blame the shallow league, which has hoovered most of the relevant talent. At least we hope so.
That Drew Pomeranz was available and sold for just 48 makes my point. Three good starts earned one modest bid.
There was only one bid on Braves semi-phenom Aaron Blair, who joins the rotation for a team that is not going to win many games. Not exciting.
But the week's biggest bid went to Bryan Shaw. Relievers are of value in this league, at least those with high strikeout rates, which historically doesn't include Shaw.
To be honest, it's surprising there's not more churn in this league. It's likely due to the culture of those in the industry that aren't as used to shallower formats and are more programmed to play the patience game. We all want confirmation our initial player evaluations were correct so we hold onto them longer than we should in some instances. The truth is, we should also trust our in-season analysis and make moves to improve our teams. This isn't an admission we were wrong, but rather an indication we're actively paying attention and reevaluating. While this should be done in all leagues, the available inventory of a 12-team mixer lends itself to more churn since the exit strategy for a failed move is less painful than deeper leagues.