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.
|Melvin Upton Jr., TOR||USAT Sports 77||Fangraphs 31||ESPN.com 25||SiriusXM 24|
|SiriusXM 17||Winning Fantasy Baseball 7||Colton & The Wolfman 3|
|NFBC/Stats, Inc. 3|
|Alex Bregman, HOU||ESPN.com 76||RotoWire 43||SiriusXM 36||Fangraphs 31|
|Baseball HQ 23||Mastersball 10||Winning Fantasy Baseball 7|
|Raul Mondesi, KC||SiriusXM 18||Fangraphs 21||ESPN.com 15||Winning Fantasy Baseball 7|
|Baseball HQ 5||SiriusXM 4|
|Darwin Barney, TOR||Mastersball 4||Baseball HQ 1|
|Drew Butera, KC||Mastersball 2|
|Tyler Collins, DET||NFBC/Stats, Inc. 2||Colton & The Wolfman 1||ESPN.com 1|
|Ryan Flaherty, BAL||Baseball HQ 1|
|Adam Warren, NYY||Fangraphs 1|
|Michael Tonkin, MIN||SiriusXM 1|
|Gregorio Petit, LAA||Mastersball 4||Baseball HQ 1|
|Nathan Karns, SEA||Fangraphs 3|
|Lucas Harrell, TEX||Fangraphs 2|
|Mychal Givens, BAL||Fangraphs 1|
|Matt Andriese, TB||SiriusXM 1|
|Junichi Tazawa, BOS||Fangraphs 1|
|Jefry Marte, LAA||ESPN.com 1||NFBC/Stats, Inc. 1|
|Christian Colon, KC||Baseball HQ 1|
|Chris Devenski, HOU||SiriusXM 1|
|Bruce Rondon, DET||Fangraphs 1|
Lawr Michaels' Commentary
With the first big wave of trade deadline moves, wallets flew open and bidding was aggressive in the LABR American League this week. although it was really the top prospects who garnered the owner's interest.
Setting things up for me (after I spent $65 on Brad Ziegler) was swapping Chris Sale and J.B. Shuck to Rick Wolf and Glenn Colton for Edwin Encarnacion as we both hope the swap pushes us up among the top teams as the second half races past.
As for the trade targets, B.J. Upton might not have generated any buzz, but Melvin resurrected himself to the tune of $77 for Steve Gardner, besting seven bids ranging from $3 to $31. Close on the dollar heels, Tristan Cockcroft bagged Astros hot cornerman, Alex Bregman for $76 beating out six bids, this time ranging from $7 to $43 meaning the league thought more of Bregman's promise than Upton's experience.
Raul Mondesi went to Ray Flowers for $18, besting three would-be owners ($4, $5, and $7) and I grabbed Darwin Barney to replace the ill Ketel Marte for $4, while dumping Christian Vasquez in lieu of Drew Butera for a dollar.
Tyler Collins went to NFBC/STATS for a couple of bucks, with the final acquisitions being Michael Tonkin ($1 to Ray Flowers), Adam Warren ($1 to Eno Sarris), and Ryan Flaherty ($1 to Dave Adler).
The two-phase deadline bidding adds a fascinating later to the thought processes. Both Bregman and Upton Jr. Are useful players in this format, but neither will play regularly so they fall short of being a real difference maker. Keep in mind the Astros will activate Yulieski Gurriel in a couple of weeks so even though Luis Valbuena is on the disabled list, there will still be a logjam for playing time, pushing Bregman to the bench. He also needs to produce since Houston is making a move and can't afford to let him mature on the job, the need production now.
Two owners in essence passed on both Bregman and Upton Jr., hoping a real difference maker or two comes over. Actually, what's really interesting is one of the two owners could be playing more defense than offense. League leader and author of Winning Fantasy Baseball, Larry Schechter, has the FAAB hammer. Tim Heaney of USA Today Sports, sitting in fourth place, within striking distance of the lead, is next. Tim must have felt that neither Upton Jr. nor Bregman would be enough to challenge Larry so he's hoping for some last minute crossovers. Larry has the interesting decision of choosing the player that helps him the most or snagging the one that would have greater aided Tim's pursuit of the lead. It may be costing Tim points is a better approach than adding a player. There's also the chance Larry not only blocks Tim but also deals that player to another owner, getting something he needs while perhaps costing one of the other top teams some points. Keep in mind a point lost by an opponent counts the same as one you gain.
|Eduardo Nunez, SF||Sandlot Shrink 88||USA TODAY Sports 61||Baseball HQ 48||ESPN - Karabell 45|
|RotoWire - DVR 45||Mastersball 29||Colton & The Wolfman 22|
|NFBC/Stats, Inc. 6|
|Aroldis Chapman, CHC||RotoWire - DVR 86||USA TODAY Sports 62||Colton & The Wolfman 26||Baseball HQ 22|
|Mastersball 15||NFBC/Stats, Inc. 6|
|Brandon Finnegan, CIN||Colton & The Wolfman 2||Sandlot Shrink 1|
|David Phelps, MIA||NFBC/Stats, Inc. 2|
|Chase Anderson, MIL||Baseball HQ 1||NFBC/Stats, Inc. 1|
|Jose Rondon, SD||ESPN - Karabell 1||NFBC/Stats, Inc. 1|
|Ryan Howard, PHI||NFBC/Stats, Inc. 1|
|Adam Rosales, SD||NFBC/Stats, Inc. 1|
|Braden Shipley, ARI||NFBC/Stats, Inc. 1|
|Clint Robinson, WSH||NFBC/Stats, Inc. 1|
|Cristhian Adames, COL||NFBC/Stats, Inc. 1|
|Jimmy Paredes, PHI||NFBC/Stats, Inc. 1|
|Phil Gosselin, ARI||NFBC/Stats, Inc. 1|
|Sammy Solis, WSH||NFBC/Stats, Inc. 1|
Brian Walton's Commentary
With 16 hours remaining until the non-waiver trade deadline and a one-day lag before new players are added to the system, an already small list of new available players could have been even thinner here in LABR than in Tout Wars.
However, the two big guns to move into the Senior Circuit this week were both there for the taking – Aroldis Chapman and Eduardo Nunez.
Unpredictably, the team with the most cash, the full season stipend of $100, Yahoo Sports, remained on the sidelines this week, as Chapman and Nunez were sold for almost identical amounts to the second- and third-place teams in terms of remaining FAAB balance.
Interestingly, new San Francisco infielder and leadoff man Nunez went for just $2 less than the far more prominent Chapman, $86 to $88, and drew more bids than the new Cubs closer. Eight of the 12 teams took a shot at Nunez, while just half the league, six of 12, even tried to pick up the 100-plus mph hurler. Perhaps it is another indication of the dearth of available offense and the relative imbalance with pitching.
At any rate, the winners were Bob Radomski of Sandlot Shrink, who spent all but $2 of his $90 for Chapman and Derek VanRiper of Rotowire, who has just $1 remaining for the final two months of free agent bidding after winning Nunez’ services. Running out of cash in LABR is far more painful than in Tout for two key reasons – no $0 bids are allowed, nor can FAAB be traded. The only way to replenish funds is cashing in injured players at 50 cents on the dollar.
I smell a trade brewing. By means of reminder, you can access the RTSports site for each league by clicking on the league header, allowing you to see what I'm referencing. Chapman's owner, my Tuesday Rotowire podcast partner, Derek Van Riper, is second in saves, five behind category leader Erik Karabell of ESPN. DVR is also locked into second in strikeout so Chapman won't help him there. There's a couple of WHIP points and maybe an ERA point in play, but if Derek was shooting for that, he didn't need to use all the FAAB on Chapman, he could have found another middle reliever. Chances are, DVR will look to spin Chapman off for a player (or players) that can snag him more points. Or maybe not, we'll see.
|Alex Bregman, HOU||USA TODAY Sports 33||Baseball Prospectus 20||@TheFantasyFix 12||Baseball HQ 9|
|MLB.com 6||Razzball 4|
|Alex Dickerson, SD||Fangraphs - Sleeper & Bust 26||USA TODAY Sports 23||@TheFantasyFix 4||Fangraphs 3|
|David Dahl, COL||Baseball Prospectus 21||Baseball HQ 10||@TheFantasyFix 5||MLB.com 4|
|Razzball 4||Fangraphs 2|
|Jake Barrett, ARI||Fangraphs 8|
|Tony Watson, PIT||Fangraphs 8|
|Martin Prado, MIA||Fangraphs - Sleeper & Bust 7||Baseball Prospectus 3||Razzball 2|
|Tyler Skaggs, LAA||MLB.com 7||USA TODAY Sports 25||@TheFantasyFix 7||Fangraphs 3|
|Joey Gallo, TEX||@TheFantasyFix 4||USA TODAY Sports 22||Baseball HQ 3|
|Raul Mondesi, KC||MLB.com 1|
|Ryon Healy, OAK||Fangraphs - Sleeper & Bust 3|
Todd Zola's Commentary
I actually put in a bid this week but failed to hit the submit button, something I have done before but luckily not lately. My target was Anibal Sanchez who has decent two-start week. Yes, THAT Anibal Sanchez. I still have a sizable lead but with the news on Clayton Kershaw being vague, I'm not taking anything for granted. My ERA and WHIP lead is still quite large but in part because I had Kershaw active a week or so ago when he was thought to be returning, I'm losing points in strikeouts so I figured to protect that a bit with Sanchez. Hopefully it won't cost me and who knows, maybe it will be a blessing in disguise because after all, it is THAT Anibal Sanchez.
One of the things I do for the Platinum subscribers is provide rest-of-season projections. Some are anxious for the post-deadline version and that concerns me since that may suggest they're bidding on a projection and not really thinking things through - especially when the the projection is for one of the prospects like Bregman, Dahl or Mondesi. In my mind, you're bidding in one of three manners:
1. Specific category boost
2. Upside potential
3. Playing time
None of the three entail a projection - or at least nothing you can't decide for yourself. If you need help in homers or steals. it doesn't matter how many are projected. A projection, by definition, is a weighted average of likely outcomes so while the upside is baked in, it's balanced by the downside. That brings us to playing time. Maybe this is the disconnect as the initial two seem fairly intuitive. If I'm looking for all-around help, I'm not bidding on the dollar value my magic sheet says the player will earn; I'm bidding on how many plate appearances the player will see. That is I'm paying for opportunity. It's a tough concept to explain but don't worry, as you're reading this I'm likely updating the post-deadline projections so you'll get what you want.
Tying that in with the bidding, Gallo is the homer choice, Mondesi is the steals choice, Prado and Dickerson are the playing time choices while Bregman and especially Dahl are the upside plays.