Each week, your friends at Mastersball will post the results of the weekly LABR FAAB run, featuring the winning bid as well a the runner-up bids. There are three LABR leagues, a 12-team AL only, 12-team NL only and 15-team Mixed Draft League. You can see the complete standings for each league by clicking on the appropriate heading, located just under each player photo.
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.
|Whit Merrifield, KC||RotoWire 9||Colton & The Wolfman 6||Baseball HQ 4||NFBC/Stats, Inc. 1|
|USAT Fantasy 1|
|Pat Dean, MIN||Colton & The Wolfman 6|
|Matt Boyd, DET||NFBC/Stats, Inc. 5|
|Taylor Motter, TB||Baseball HQ 4||USAT Fantasy 2||NFBC/Stats, Inc. 1|
|Colin Moran, HOU||USAT Fantasy 1|
|Austin Romine, NYY||USAT Sports 1|
|Dustin Ackley, NYY||NFBC/Stats, Inc. 1|
|Jake Smolinski, OAK||NFBC/Stats, Inc. 1||USAT Fantasy 1|
|Jared Hoying, TEX||Baseball HQ 1|
|Luis Sardinas, SEA||Baseball HQ 1|
|Mike Aviles, DET||Baseball HQ 1|
Lawr Michaels' Commentary
There might be fireworks in waiting for the Memorial holiday, but in general the moves in AL LABR were quiet.
A grand total of six pick-ups were all the week of FAAB produced, however a couple of players did find themselves the target of multiple owners.
Chris Liss bagged Royals infielder Whit Merrifield for $9, besting bids of $6, $4, and a pair of $1 shots. And the scrum for infielder Taylor Motter was won by Dave Adler who beat out bids of $1 and $2.
The rest of the field was uncontested with Rick Wolf and Glenn Colton getting Pat Dean for $6, Greg Ambrosius and Shawn Childs picking up Matt Boyd for $5, along with Dustin Ackley, whom I bought in the auction for $8 and then jettisoned to the roster numbers game, for a buck.
Finishing up Tim Heaney bagged Colin Moran for a dollar, and Steve Gardner a like amount for Austin Romine.
Whit Merrifield sounds more like an old-school pro wrestler that get's squashed by the stars than a baseball player. As a 27-year old, Merrifield is well past the prospect phase and quite honestly, his minor league numbers are uninspiring, save for decent contact and some speed. However, since being summoned by the injury-riddled Royals, Merrifield's versatility has come in handy, first filling in for Mike Moustakas, then Alex Gordon and then Moustakas again, after the third-sacker was ruled out for the season. Merrifield also has seen time at the keystone as regular second baseman Omar Infante has been slumping. If you're looking for power, there are better options but if a couple of bags along with some runs are your fancy, Merrified's versatility should keep him in the lineup, not to mention provide roster flexibility with middle, corner and outfield eligibility.
|Daniel Wright, CIN||NFBC/Stats, Inc. 6|
|Greg Garcia, STL||USA TODAY Sports 4|
|Chris Rusin, COL||Colton & The Wolfman 2|
|Christian Friedrich, SD||Colton & The Wolfman 2||NFBC/Stats, Inc. 1|
|Albert Suarez, SF||RotoExperts 1|
|Dustin Garneau, COL||NFBC/Stats, Inc. 1|
|Joe Blanton, LAD||Colton & The Wolfman 1|
|Wily Peralta, MIL||NFBC/Stats, Inc. 1|
|Neftali Feliz, PIT||NFBC/Stats, Inc. 1|
|Cole Gillespie, MIA||USA TODAY Sports 1|
|Miguel Rojas, MIA||USA TODAY Sports 1|
Brian Walton's Commentary
The highest-dollar player this week at $6 is a bit of a surprise - Daniel Wright of Cincinnati, added by Greg Ambrosius/Shawn Childs of NFBC/Stats Inc. Taking the rotation spot of injured Tim Adelman, the 25-year-old made his big league debut last Tuesday against the Dodgers. The right-hander allowed seven hits and four runs (three earned) in 5 1/3 innings. It is hard to be too optimistic about the ninth different pitcher to have started a game for the anemic Reds this season – one who began 2016 as a Double-A reliever.
Glenn Colton and Rick Wolf took a flyer on two $2 players, one a current Colorado left-handed pitcher in Chris Rusin and the other an ex-Rockie lefty in Padres’ scrap heap reclaim Christian Friedrich. Other than two disastrous outings against the Giants this season – one of which was this past week – Rusin has posted a solid 2.50 ERA. The downside is that LABR does not allow streaming. Through three appearances, Friedrich holds a sharp 1.85 ERA, but has an 11/10 strikeout to walk count in 16 1/3 innings.
The Colton and Wolf duo also bid on new New York Met James Loney, but because the first baseman has not yet been officially added to the 25-man roster, he remains ineligible for another week.
Before I go on, I'm sure Steve Gardner is well aware of what I'm about to discuss, but this is a perfect opportunity to use Greg Garcia as an example of a mistake some make when putting in bids. Garcia has started three straight games while appearing in the contest before that. In this four-game span, he's 6-for-12 with a homer, four runs and a pair of RBI. When you sort the available free agents by looking at the past seven days (or current period), Garcia stands out. However, the reason he's been in the St. Louis Cardinals lineup is Matt Carpenter was away on paternity leave for three days. The regular third baseman returned Sunday but Redbirds skipper Mike Matheny wanted to keep Garcia's hot, left-handed stick in the lineup so he gave righty-swinging Aledmys Diaz Sunday off with Stephen Strasburg on the hill. The point is, Garcia isn't going to continue to play regularly. It's integral to practice due diligence before dropping some FAAB on a player that appears to be in a groove.
Let's circle back to Mr. Gardner. Steve has a hole to fill with Lucas Duda sidelined. His roster is set up such that the replacement can slot in utility so he just needs a bat, irrespective of position. Check out the hitters receiving attention this week - not exactly a treasure trove of goodness. Garcia may not play every day, but a little research reveals the Cardinals have released Ruben Tejada so there's at minimum a bench spot available until Jhonny Peralta returns. Additional digging uncovers the note that Peralta cut his finger over the weekend, stalling his rehab for a few days, which in turn prolongs Garcia's chance at seeing action. Further, second baseman Kolten Wong is already losing playing time to Jedd Gyorko when a southpaw is on the hill, perhaps Matheny decides to ride the hot hand and take more at bats from Wong and give them to Garcia. This is all conjecture, but the pathway to some at bats for Garcia is plausible. Considering the alternatives, it makes perfect sense for NL only fantasy players to throw a dart at Garcia. Just temper your bid since Garcia may in fact lose his roster spot when Peralta returns sometime in June. I promise when the 15-team mixed league NFBC bids are posted, Garcia will be picked up, likely by an owner that didn't take the time to research the scenario.
I gotta admit, I wrote that with an uneasy feeling Brian was looking over my shoulder, seeing as that he covers the St. Louis Cardinals for a living.
|Logan Morrison, TB||USA TODAY Sports 5||Baseball HQ 3||Razzball 1|
|Wilmer Flores, NYM||ESPN.com 5|
|Bobby Wilson, TEX||Mastersball 3||USA TODAY Fantasy 1||USA TODAY Sports 1|
|Whit Merrifield, KC||MLB.com 3||MLB.com 1|
|Hyun Soo Kim, BAL||Fangraphs 2|
|Williams Perez, ATL||RotoWire 2|
|Carlos Perez, LAA||USA TODAY Sports 1||RotoExperts 1|
|Christian Friedrich, SD||Razzball 1||RotoWire 1|
|Franklin Gutierrez, SEA||RotoWire 1||USA TODAY Sports 1|
|Mike Bolsinger, LAD||Baseball HQ 1|
|Robbie Grossman, MIN||MLB.com 1|
|Pat Dean, MIN||MLB.com 1|
|CC Sabathia, NYY||MLB.com 1|
|Gregor Blanco, SF||MLB.com 3|
|Caleb Joseph, BAL||Mastersball 1|
|Chris Gimenez, CLE||Mastersball 1|
|Dioner Navarro, CWS||Mastersball 1|
|Dustin Garneau, COL||Mastersball 1|
|Hank Conger, TB||Mastersball 1|
|Josh Phegley, OAK||Mastersball 1|
|Desmond Jennings, TB||MLB.com 1|
|Ichiro Suzuki, MIA||MLB.com 1|
|Paulo Orlando, KC||MLB.com 1|
|Peter O'Brien, ARI||MLB.com 1|
|Chase Anderson, MIL||Razzball 1|
|David Ross, CHC||USA TODAY Sports 1|
|Greg Garcia, STL||USA TODAY Sports 1|
Todd Zola's Commentary
Phew, thankfully one of my Mixed LABR colleagues didn't pick up Garcia. Though, Steve did bid on him as a contingency to Logan Morrison who copped the high bid this period. LoMo, and the Tampa Bay Rays in general have awoken from their early season malaise and have been putting points on the board in bunches lately.
My ESPN colleague and injury guru Stephania Bell is anticipating David Wright continues to lose playing time as she nabbed likely replacement Wilmer Flores. The curious nature of Wright's recent woes are the club insists it's a separate neck issue, distinct from the spinal stenosis condition he's been dealing with.
My sole move this week was grabbing Bobby Wilson to replace Salvador Perez as the Kansas City backstop is slated to miss 7 to 10 days with a quad contusion after colliding with Cheslor Cuthbert.
Let's dissect the Wilson bid. Looking at the contingencies, Wilson's $3 gambit was backed by a series of $1 wishes, the minimum allowable bid in the LABR formats. Perez should be out one, maybe two transaction periods so it wasn't necessary to forfeit significant assets for a couple week stay. That said, my club is built around Clayton Kershaw with a presumed safe set of sticks to remain competitive while attempting to dominate pitching. As such, I really can't afford to lose too much by way of counting stats. Wilson isn't on the same level as Perez, but of all the available receivers. he's playing the most, is in a productive lineup and plays half his games in hitter-friendly Globe Life Park so he's worthy of a small investment. My team was in second at the time of the FAAB run which means losing a tiebreaker to everyone but (temporary) league leader Howard Bender of the Fantasy Alarm. I say temporary in a playful manner as the gentleman known as RotoBuzzGuy is one of the industry's good eggs, making it a little more fun for all of us. OK, where was I. Oh yeah, I worked in the humble-brag of being in second to explain why I bid $3, so as not to lose out to a team bidding $2. After Wilson, I really didn't care who I was awarded, hence the string of buck bids.