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.
|EEscobar, Min||Steve Moyer 177||Larry Schechter 110||Chris Liss 55||Rick Wolf/Glenn Colton 2|
|TMilone, Min||Larry Schechter 14||Rick Wolf/Glenn Colton 1|
|JDecker, TB||Larry Schechter 14|
|BBoxberger, TB||Rob Leibowitz 8|
|TWilson, Bal||Jason Collette 7||Steve Moyer 4||Rick Wolf/Glenn Colton 1|
|RNolasco, Min||Seth Trachtman 6||Rick Wolf/Glenn Colton 2||Steve Moyer 0|
|LHochevar, KC||Jeff Erickson 2|
|YGourriel, FA||Rick Wolf/Glenn Colton 2|
|DStoren, Tor||Steve Moyer 1|
|BBrach, Bal||Steve Moyer 0||Jason Collette 5|
|JCoats, CWS||Larry Schechter 0|
|MAviles, Det||Larry Schechter 0|
|SOMalley, Sea||Larry Schechter 0|
|RRoss, Bos||Steve Moyer 0|
Lawr Michaels' Commentary
AL Tout commanded more moves than AL LABR this cycle, but aside from a couple of crapshoots, most of the moves were simply injury fillers.
Steve Moyer did make a shrewd buy with the purchase of Eduardo Escobar for $177, a solid replacement at this juncture to spell J.D. Martinez, while Rob Leibowitz spent just $8 on Rays injured closer Brad Boxberger. Boxberger has just resumed playing catch, but is still several weeks away from returning to big league play.
Leader Larry Schechter purchased Tommy Milone ($14) along with Jaff Decker (also $14) to plug injury gaps, while Moyer made a few more moves with the aquisitions of Drew Storen ($1) and Brad Bach ($0).
Jeff Erickson nabbed Luke Hochevar for $2, while Seth Trachtman went out on a limb trusting Ricky Nolasco ($6) and Jason Collette, picked up Tyler Wilson. Rick Wolf and Glenn Colton finished up the moves reserving the both recently acquired, and inexplicably pounded James Shields with Nate Jones for $2 and Fernando Salas with Yulieski Gourriel, also $2.
Who is Yulieski Gourriel and why is he showing up on both the AL and (spoiler alert) NL report? Gourriel is a 32-year old Cuban defector, shining for years on the Cuban National clubs as well as playing in Japan in 2014. The third baseman is a polished defender that has also dabbled at second base and the outfield, though expect him to man the hot corner in the bigs. Gourriel is a free agent, eligible to sign and play immediately. He hopes to be in a Major League lineup by August 1.
The two clubs most cited as destinations are, not surprisingly, the New York Mets and Yankees. Both have Cuban influences with Yoenis Cespedes actively campaigning to have Gourriel replace David Wright while Aroldis Chapman was Gourriel's teammate on many squads in Cuba.
At 32 years old, Gourriel will be expected to contribute right away and most reports are optimistic he can. He's a solid hitter with more pop than speed but he can run a little too. It will be interesting to see where he signs. Obviously, he can't be activated by the owner in the league he does not sign, but it's certainly worth the gamble.
|WContreras, ChC||Mike Gianella 295||Todd Zola 71||Andy Behrens 51||Steve Gardner 45|
|Tristan H. Cockcroft 41||Grey Albright 31||Brian Walton 22|
|BNorris, Atl||Andy Behrens 61||Mike Gianella 46|
|JGant, Atl||Steve Gardner 41||Mike Gianella 14||Brian Walton 3||Tristan H. Cockcroft 0|
|RSchimpf, SD||Derek Carty 36||Andy Behrens 17||Phil Hertz 8|
|TGoeddel, Phi||Steve Gardner 35|
|WVenable, LAD||Grey Albright 21|
|YGourriel, FA||Phil Hertz 14|
|BNimmo, NYM||Phil Hertz 14||Phil Hertz 2|
|TThornburg, Mil||Steve Gardner 12||Tristan H. Cockcroft 0|
|DDescalso, Col||Grey Albright 10|
|LPerdomo, SD||Mike Gianella 7|
|TAnderson, Col||Brian Walton 3|
|RCabrera, Cin||Todd Zola 2||Tristan H. Cockcroft 0|
|PBaez, LAD||Phil Hertz 0|
|RRivera, NYM||Tristan H. Cockcroft 0|
|MCastro, Col||Tristan H. Cockcroft 0|
|TPham, StL||Phil Hertz 14||Grey Albright 5||Phil Hertz 5|
|SSolis, Was||Steve Gardner 6||Tristan H. Cockcroft 0|
|PBourjos, Phi||Grey Albright 5||Steve Gardner 0|
|BBarnes, Col||Steve Gardner 3||Grey Albright 1|
|MRojas, Mia||Grey Albright 1|
|PGosselin, Ari||Grey Albright 1|
|CBettis, Col||Steve Gardner 0|
|DMcGowan, Mia||Steve Gardner 0|
Brian Walton's Commentary
Even though we have been conditioned to expect that the initial Chicago stay of catcher Willson Contreras will be short, he will be given Monday night’s start against the Cardinals’ up-and-down lefty Jaime Garcia. Despite already owning three catchers, Baseball Prospectus’ Mike Gianella bid a very aggressive $295. While there were many other bidders, the next closest was just $71.
Veteran Bud Norris has strung together three solid starts since his return from Atlanta’s bullpen. That was apparently enough to reduce buyer trepidation over Norris’ checkered past. Gianella bid $46, but this time was aced out by Yahoo’s Andy Behrens’ offer of $61.
BaseballHQ’s Phil Hertz made a nice preemptive move, adding free agent infielder Yuleski Gourriel for $14. Where the Cuban signs, how soon he makes his MLB debut and at what position are all unknown, but after a week of no stats, Hertz can stash Gourriel away and wait to see how it plays out.
One of these off-seasons I need to do a study figuring out how many of the preemptive, in-season stashes are effective. I'm reticent to go down that road, fearful of giving up a week's worth of stats. That said, there's usually a sacrificial lamb somewhere on a roster that isn't expected to miss much plus this week, there's several squads with just five games, facilitating sitting a player on one of those teams.
Other than Gourriel, Phil also grabbed New York Mets flychaser Brandon Nimmo, a 23-year old having a break out campaign at Triple-A Las Vegas, a renowned hitter's paradise. With Juan Lagares and Michael Conforto both battling nagging injuries, there could be an opening in Queens, with Nimmo an option.
|CReed, Cin||Zach Steinhorn 356||Bret Sayre 156||Ray Flowers 87||Joe Pisapia 78|
|Cory Schwartz 51||Fred Zinkie 50||Al Melchior 31|
|Derek Van Riper 21||Scott Engel 3|
|WContreras, ChC||Al Melchior 101||Tim Heaney 66||Scott Swanay 37||Derek Van Riper 5|
|KWong, StL||Ray Flowers 49||Cory Schwartz 17||Scott Pianowski 16||Derek Van Riper 0|
|DGregorius, NYY||Cory Schwartz 48||Ray Flowers 39||Scott Pianowski 33|
|MTaylor, Was||Scott Pianowski 45||Scott Swanay 24||Joe Pisapia 8|
|CBuchholz, Bos||Nando DiFino 29|
|ABlair, Atl||Nando DiFino 28|
|AAlmora, ChC||Scott Swanay 24|
|DNorris, Det||Al Melchior 21||Derek Van Riper 6|
|TLincecum, LAA||Fred Zinkie 20||Scott Engel 6||Derek Van Riper 5||Fred Zinkie 0|
|ISuzuki, Mia||Nando DiFino 19|
|SMoya, Det||Scott Pianowski 15||Ray Flowers 44||Fred Zinkie 5|
|BNorris, Atl||Cory Schwartz 12||Nando DiFino 21|
|MKepler, Min||Joe Pisapia 8||Scott Pianowski 44||Fred Zinkie 5|
|ECarrera, Tor||Fred Zinkie 5||Ray Flowers 39||Derek Van Riper 0|
|JSmolinksi, Oak||Scott Engel 4|
|JChacin, LAA||Cory Schwartz 4|
|CBedrosian, LAA||Tim Heaney 1|
|TWilson, Bal||Fred Zinkie 0|
|KBarraclough, Mia||Fred Zinkie 0||Nando DiFino 7|
|CAsche, Phi||Derek Van Riper 0||Nando DiFino 11||Cory Schwartz 4|
|MWisler, Atl||Zach Steinhorn 108||Al Melchior 31|
|JIglesias, Det||Ray Flowers 39||Cory Schwartz 17|
|RRaburn, Col||Scott Pianowski 31||Scott Engel 4|
|CFriedrich, SD||Al Melchior 21||Cory Schwartz 1|
|ASuarez, SF||Al Melchior 21|
|JHoover, Cin||Nando DiFino 8|
|RSchimpf, SD||Nando DiFino 4|
|KGibson, Min||Cory Schwartz 2||Fred Zinkie 0|
|JDiekman, Tex||Tim Heaney 1|
|LValbuena, Hou||Cory Schwartz 1|
|RDull, Oak||Scott Swanay 0|
|RBuchter, SD||Scott Swanay 0|
|BBrach, Bal||Scott Swanay 0|
|TMilone, Min||Fred Zinkie 0|
|TAnderson, Col||Fred Zinkie 0|
|JLamb, Cin||Fred Zinkie 0|
|MGivens, Bal||Cory Schwartz 0|
Zach Steinhorn's Commentary
Yeah, I probably spent too much for Cody Reed. But after coming in second in the Tim Anderson bidding and with plenty of FAAB at my disposal, I figured that I needed to make a bold move to address my pitching staff, which is a little short in reliable arms right now (thank you, James Shields). Reed was far from dominant in his big league debut on Saturday (7 IP, 4 ER), but the 23-year-old pitched well enough to suggest that he can at the very least be a useful mixed league asset, especially in the strikeout department. He did manage to rack up nine punchouts.
Sticking to the theme of highly touted prospects, Willson Contreras homered on Sunday on the first pitch he saw in the big leagues. And Al Melchior clearly took notice, shelling out triple-digit bucks to acquire the Cubs backstop. Although Contreras surely has a bright future, the problem here is that both Miguel Montero and David Ross are ahead of him on the big league depth chart. So, barring an injury or trade, Contreras is unlikely to see enough at-bats to make a meaningful fantasy contribution, and a trip back to the Minors in the near future would not be surprising. But the season is long, and he could prove to be a wise stash, even if his first big league stint is a short one.
Seeing Kolten Wong's name on the list of FAAB additions is strange, as it was only a year ago that he was widely viewed as an emerging star at the second base position. But a poor second half last season extended into this year, and a demotion to the Minors soon followed. But after raking at Triple-A, Wong is back in the big leagues now, this time as an outfielder, and adding a new position to his repertoire bodes well for his playing time if he can stay hot at the plate. For 49 FAAB bucks, he's a steal.
There are a bunch of intriguing names picked up this session. One that sticks out for me is Daniel Norris. The Tigers have had a few chances to promote the 23-year old southpaw but have opted to go elsewhere. It's not official but there are signals pointing to Norris being summoned to fill Matt Boyd's rotation spot this week, likely against Seattle. It's been an wild ride for Norris after being the key acquisition by Detroit in the David Price deal. Norris pitched well last season but was felled by a late-season oblique as well as a scare when he had a cancerous growth removed from his thyroid. Then in the spring, he fractured a bone in his back, delaying the start to his 2016 campaign. Norris had a cup, or more like a sip of coffee in Motown in mid-May. Since being sent back to Triple-A Toledo, Norris has pitched well in his six starts and appears ready for a Venti with two sugars and a shot of Espresso. Sorry, best I can do - 53 years old and I still drink Diet Mountain Dew like a teenager.
|CReed, Cin||Greg Ambrosius 222||Anthony Perri 53||Perry Van Hook 37||Rudy Gamble 2|
|SKelley, Was||Perry Van Hook 123||Greg Ambrosius 121||Adam Ronis 104||Rudy Gamble 102|
|BNorris, Atl||Charlie Wiegert 38||Anthony Perri 23|
|SMoya, Det||Craig Mish 37||Greg Ambrosius 29||Adam Ronis 7|
|WContreras, ChC||Anthony Perri 34||Perry Van Hook 31|
|JMarte, LAA||Stacie Stern 33||Craig Mish 5|
|AGarcia, CWS||Greg Ambrosius 33|
|ECarrera, Tor||Perry Van Hook 27||Adam Ronis 3|
|MReynolds, Col||Greg Ambrosius 22||Craig Mish 5|
|TLincecum, LAA||Perry Van Hook 21||Greg Ambrosius 88||Adam Ronis 1|
|JPeavy, SF||Rudy Gamble 9|
|RRaburn, Col||Rudy Gamble 4||Greg Ambrosius 30|
|LValbuena, Hou||Adam Ronis 3|
|ABregman, Hou||Tim McLeod 2|
|JPhegley, Oak||Craig Mish 1|
|CCrisp, Oak||Greg Ambrosius 32||32|
|BButler, Oak||Greg Ambrosius 21||21|
|CCuthbert, KC||Stacie Stern 19||19|
|KGraveman, Oak||Perry Van Hook 7||7|
|TFlowers, Atl||Anthony Perri 6||6|
|CCoghlan, ChC||Stacie Stern 4||4|
|HStrickland, SF||Rudy Gamble 3||3|
|KSiegrist, StL||Rudy Gamble 2||2|
Perry Van Hook's Commentary
By now you know where the money is going - newly promoted prospects and new closers. Leading the winning bids Sunday was freshly promoted Reds SP Cody Reed who went for $222 to Greg Ambrosius. Next up was closer du jour for the Nationals, Shawn Kelley who landed on my team for $123, just two dollars ahead of Ambrosius' bid to add a second hurler.
Kelley price tag may have been higher than most temporary closers but my rationale was that Fernando Abad was
A) bad, and b) would garner few chances, so as the Jonathan Papelbon owner, grabbing Kelley was worth the extra shekels.
New Angel Tim Lincecum ($21) and Blue Jays outfielder Ezequiel Carrera ($27) rounded out my purchases for this week.
We have another minor league stash as Tim McLeod added Houston Astros farmhand Alex Bregman. My original reaction was I'm not a fan of these stashes in the mixed format, reticent to give up stats as well as taking the chance the rookie is an upgrade over what I have. But Tim is an accomplished player and former Tout champion so this wasn't done on a whim.
Bregman has been tearing up Double-A Corpus Christi, playing some hot corner since he's sort of blocked at the Major League level while the path to third is quite plausible. That actually ties in with the first reason Bregman makes sense for Tim - he owns Carlos Correa. The player being reserved, and would ostensibly be replaced is Eugenio Suarez, though once Bregman gains eligibility, Tim could also replace Trevor Plouffe. If Bregman were to match Suarez or Plouffe, that would actually be pretty good considering his age and lack of Triple-A seasoning. The key is while Bregman could do worse, he also could do better and that's what Tim is paying for. Plouffe and Suarez are what they are. Tim isn't going to lose because he took a goose-egg at middle this week. He also likely decided to make a run at another title, upgrading Suarez or Plouffe would help. In a league where second place is first loser, you need to take calculated risks. Especially since he handcuffs Correa, this is an ideal speculative play.
|TLincecum, LAA||Jeff Boggis 101|
|HKim, Bal||Jeff Zimmerman 65|
|YEscobar, LAA||Jeff Mans 56|
|TCingrani, Cin||Jeff Mans 48|
|JGray, Col||Jake Ciely 20|
|CSabathia, NYY||Howard Bender 16||Jeff Mans 22|
|WMerrifield, KC||Jake Ciely 15|
|CReed, Cin||Jake Ciely 13|
|JDiekman, Tex||Jeff Zimmerman 12||Peter Kreutzer 7|
|JSegura, Ari||Peter Kreutzer 12||Jake Ciely 2|
|TBauer, Cle||Peter Kreutzer 11||Jeff Mans 22||Jake Ciely 13|
|BKintzler, Min||Jeff Mans 25|
|CLewis, Tex||Jeff Mans 22|
|CCuthbert, KC||Jeff Mans 15|
|DLee, Sea||Jeff Mans 15|
|ZDavies, Mil||Jake Ciely 13|
|KUehara, Bos||Jeff Zimmerman 7||Peter Kreutzer 2|
|HSantiago, LAA||Howard Bender 6|
|JWilson, Det||Peter Kreutzer 4|
|DEspinosa, Was||Peter Kreutzer 3||Jake Ciely 2|
|RRua, Tex||Jake Ciely 2|
|POrlando, KC||Jake Ciely 2|
|MPrado, Mia||Jake Ciely 2|
|JGrilli, Tor||Peter Kreutzer 2|
|DJennings, TB||Jeff Zimmerman 2|
Peter Kreutzer's Commentary
There were quite a few interesting players out there this week.
I would have thought Mallex Smith, with his five steals last week, might have rated, but no one bid on him. I didn't have room. Probably everyone else knew he broke his finger in Sunday's game. Whew!
The player I coveted most was Jean Segura, who has been hot lately, has some power and some speed. He's not a long-term solution, which is why he was available, but I judged him a better bet over the next few days than Brad Miller while Manny Machado is in the penalty box.
Tim Lincecum, after his good start for the Angels received the highest bid of the day. An uncontested 101.
The highest hitting bid was for Hyun Soo Kim, who is proving to be the on-base machine he promised to be, at least against righties. He has just three at bats versus lefties.
My other purchase was Trevor Bauer, who has looked awfully good recently. His game this week is against Tampa, one of the poorer scoring teams in the majors this year. They're also one of the more prolific strikeout teams. Taking a high K/9 reliever might have been safer, but I hope this helps me compete in QS+W as my closer corps flounders.
The pitcher I missed on the available list who I would have ranked higher than Bauer was Tony Cingrani, who has been fairly terrible but is collecting saves. In the last three weeks he's thrown 10 innings, saved four games, walked five and struck out just two. Whew! Dodged another one.
Sometimes compressed prep time can be a blessing.
Over the past couple of years I've pointed out a handful of acquisitions that may have had a DFS influence. Granted, Yunel Escobar has been hitting first since the beginning of June, but when we see his name on an available player list, the first thing coming to mind isn't "lead off hitter", unless you play DFS like Escobar's new owner, Jeff Mans. Escobar's on-base resurgence began last season as he boasted a 0.375 OBP with the Nationals. To be fair, Escobar's walk and contact rates haven't really changed - he's carried a higher batting average on balls in play the past couple of campaigns, buoyed by more line drives as well as ground balls, which go for hits more than fly balls. It would be nice if Escobar's spike was further supported by more hard contact, but it's not. Still, in a format where the get-away plan isn't taxing, riding the wave of a player like Escobar can pay dividends.