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.
|Jesse Hahn, OAK||Yahoo! Sports 6||Baseball HQ 4||Colton & The Wolfman 3||Rotowire 2|
|Derek Holland, CWS||Rotowire 5||Yahoo! Sports 1|
|Austin Romine, NYY||Fangraphs 3||Baseball HQ 2|
|Kyle Higashioka, NYY||Baseball HQ 2|
|Matt Davidson, CWS||SiriusXM 2||ESPN.com 1||USA TODAY Sports 1|
|Daniel Robertson, TB||Baseball Prospectus 1||NFBC/Stats, Inc. 1||SiriusXM 1|
|Rickie Weeks Jr., TB||NFBC/Stats, Inc. 1||SiriusXM 2|
|Abraham Almonte, CLE||USA TODAY Sports 1||SiriusXM 2||ESPN.com 1||NFBC/Stats, Inc. 1|
|Marco Hernandez, BOS||ESPN.com 1||Baseball Prospectus 1||NFBC/Stats, Inc. 1|
|Adam Warren, NYY||Yahoo! Sports 3|
|Omar Narvaez, CWS||Fangraphs 3|
|Carlos Ruiz, SEA||SiriusXM 2||Fangraphs 1|
|Andrew Romine, DET||USA TODAY Sports 1|
|Chris Gimenez, MIN||Fangraphs 1|
|Craig Gentry, BAL||NFBC/Stats, Inc. 1|
|Joakim Soria, KC||Yahoo! Sports 1|
|Yusmeiro Petit, LAA||ESPN.com 1|
|Zach Putnam, CWS||Yahoo! Sports 1|
Lawr Michaels' Commentary
As we know LABR drafts early during the days of spring training, hence so many moves to fill roster slots vacated by injuries and poor pre-season performances.
And, the first official season cycle of FAAB brought forth a bunch of moves with owners now trying to mitigate first week roster surprises
The big ticket player for the week was the Athletics Jesse Hahn who was brought back to the Coliseum to fit in the pen with the John Axford injury. However, after tossing six innings of two-run ball in relief of Raul Alcantara, Hahn has assumed Alcantara's spot in the rotation.
That was enough for Brandon Funston to go $6 besting three challenge bids from other hopeful owners.
Derek Holland went to Clay Link for $5, unchallenged, and then Yankees backstop Austin Romine, who should get some playing time over the next couple of weeks went third for $3 with just one other owner making a play for Romine, while Steve Gardner tried to augment his USA Today team grabbing Kyle Higashioka, now the backup at Yankees Stadium for $2, again unchallenged. Gardner also bagged Abraham Almonte for a buck, besting a pair $1 due to position in the standings reminding us early in the season there can be advantages to a slow start.
Ray Flowers dropped $2 on Matt Davidson, beating out a pair of $1 bids and the final acquisitions were $1 for Marco Hernandez to Tristan Cockcroft, $1 for Daniel Robertson to Mike Gianella, and Rickie Weeks, Jr migrating to team Ambrosius/Childs for a dollar.
Two players caught me eye. Lawr mentioned one, Jesse Hahn. The other is Daniel Robertson.
One of the early story lines in MLB is there's more uniformity with respect to velocity readings, along with the measurement being taken from the release point and not five feet into the pitch's flight. Depending on the previous manner readings were gathered, this could result in an increase of an mph or two. Until we get a feel for which park's current readings differ significantly from what it would have been, changes in velocity will be somewhat murky to analyze.
This is important as Hahn's velocity in his relief stint was up. Perhaps this is also due to working from the bullpen and not expecting to toss six frames so he was using max effort, but if Hahn has added velocity without losing his downward action, he may finally realize the potential many have expected. I'm curious to see his velo as a starter.
Robertson is interesting as the Rays like to use their entire roster and have been known to go with the hot hand. With Matt Duffy out, Tim Beckham was handed the job at shortstop. However, if Beckham struggles while Robertson thrives, the brass won't hesitate to hand Robertson the keys until Duffy is back.
|Jabari Blash, SD||Lenny Melnick 6||Colton & The Wolfman 2|
|Nick Franklin, MIL||Yakkertech 6||Colton & The Wolfman 6||NFBC/Stats, Inc. 3||RotoWire - DVR 3|
|Daniel Nava, PHI||RotoWire - DVR 3||NFBC/Stats, Inc. 2||Sandlot Shrink 1||Colton & The Wolfman 1|
|Jeff Mathis, ARI||Sandlot Shrink 3||RotoWire - DVR 1|
|Miguel Rojas, MIA||Lenny Melnick 2||Colton & The Wolfman 1|
|Kyle Freeland, COL||Mastersball 2|
|Wilmer Difo, WSH||Colton & The Wolfman 1|
|Enrique Hernandez, LAD||NFBC/Stats, Inc. 1|
|Dustin Garneau, COL||RotoWire - DVR 1|
|Nick Ahmed, ARI||Sandlot Shrink 1|
|Jake McGee, COL||Yakkertech 3||Mastersball 1|
|Jose Torres, SD||Yakkertech 1|
|Antonio Senzatela, COL||Sandlot Shrink 1|
|Daniel Descalso, ARI||Sandlot Shrink 1|
|Rookie Davis, CIN||Sandlot Shrink 1|
|A.J. Ellis, MIA||RotoWire - DVR 1|
|Fernando Salas, NYM||Mastersball 1|
|Ross Stripling, LAD||Mastersball 1|
|Tyler Moore, MIA||Colton & The Wolfman 1|
Brian Walton's Commentary
There was considerably less excitement, but still a decent level of activity in the free agent bidding following the second week of action. That was to be expected with only eight days between waiver periods compared to a month the first time around.
Former top prospect Nick Franklin generated the most interest both in terms of number of bids and amount of money offered. In a tie-breaker, Steve Moyer of Yakkertech picked up the new Milwaukee outfielder for $6. Without injuries ahead, Franklin may struggle to find at-bats.
Hitting seven long balls in spring training did not earn Jabari Blash a roster spot to open the season, but his Friday call up led to Lenny Melnick placing a winning $6 bid. The former Rule 5 pick is looking for an opening in a crowded, but inexperienced Padres outfield and may get a chance against left-handed pitching, at least.
Four owners wanted Daniel Nava, with the top offer being $3. The veteran outfielder, well-traveled after leaving Boston two seasons ago, had a two home run day last Thursday for his latest team, the Phillies. Too bad his new owner, Derek Van Riper of RotoWire, won’t get the long balls or the associated three RBI and too bad Nava doesn’t get to face Rookie Davis every day.
Speaking of the Phillies, I was more than ready to throw soon-to-be deposed closer Jeanmar Gomez over the side before his manager announces the move. As a replacement, I added Rockies starter Kyle Freeland, who had a promising MLB debut, as the 23-year-old lefty held the Dodgers to one run in six innings on Friday. Not being able to stream pitchers in LABR meant I could get Freeland for just $2. Time will tell if this was a good acquisition.
Brian's acquisition of Freeland lends the perfect platform to remind you of the difference between AL/NL LABR and AL/NL Tout Wars. Understanding this is important when comparing the pick-ups of the two leagues each week. After the initial week, Tout Wars allows movement between active and reserves for free agents. That is, Tout Wars requires you to start free agents the week you purchase them, but then you can reserve them at will. In LABR, anyone bought at the auction or via FAAB cannot be reserved. They can be placed on the DL, but if you want to replace them via a reserve, FAAB pickup or odd-for-even number player trade, they must be released, not reserved. This is why Brian mentioned not being able to stream pitchers. Freeland is locked onto his active roster, unless he opts to release the Rockies starter.
The exception to the streaming rule allows players originally drafted as reserves to be bounced up and down. That is, say you have an injured pitcher moved to the DL. You can use that roster spot with the reserve of choice (assuming you drafted two reserve pitchers) on a weekly basis.
This explains why Freeman, along with Antonio Senzatela and Clayton Richard drew more interest this week in NL Tout Wars. After this week, their owners are permitted to bench the potentially volatile starters for tough matchups.
|Mark Reynolds, COL||Fantasy Alarm 23||Mastersball 13||USA TODAY Sports 4||Fangraphs 2|
|Santiago Casilla, OAK||Baseball Prospectus 19||Scout Fantasy 8||RotoExperts/ FNTSY 5||@TheFantasyFix 3|
|Kendall Graveman, OAK||Fantasy Alarm 12||Fangraphs - Sleeper & Bust 9||Baseball HQ 7||Baseball Prospectus 5|
|@TheFantasyFix 4||MLB.com 4||RotoExperts/ FNTSY 2|
|Wily Peralta, MIL||Fangraphs - Sleeper & Bust 6|
|Joaquin Benoit, PHI||@TheFantasyFix 5||Fangraphs 4||Razzball 2||RotoExperts/ FNTSY 2|
|Hector Santiago, MIN||Fangraphs - Sleeper & Bust 4|
|Avisail Garcia, CWS||RotoExperts/ FNTSY 3||Fantasy Alarm 12||Baseball HQ 2||USA TODAY Sports 1|
|Amir Garrett, CIN||@TheFantasyFix 2||USA TODAY Sports 2||Rotowire 1||MLB.com 1|
|Logan Morrison, TB||Baseball HQ 2|
|Matt Joyce, OAK||Baseball HQ 2|
|Tucker Barnhart, CIN||Scout Fantasy 2|
|Geovany Soto, CWS||RotoExperts/ FNTSY 2||Scout Fantasy 2||Fangraphs 1|
|Martin Maldonado, LAA||Fangraphs 1|
|Jason Vargas, KC||MLB.com 1||Rotowire 1|
|James Shields, CWS||Rotowire 1|
|Robbie Grossman, MIN||USA TODAY Sports 1|
|Yunel Escobar, LAA||MLB.com 1||Mastersball 1|
|Adam Frazier, PIT||Baseball HQ 1|
|Brad Brach, BAL||MLB.com 1|
|Jesus Aguilar, MIL||Fantasy Alarm 16||USA TODAY Sports 1|
|Jed Lowrie, OAK||Fantasy Alarm 7|
|Kyle Freeland, COL||Fantasy Alarm 7|
|Antonio Senzatela, COL||Fantasy Alarm 6|
|Jesse Chavez, LAA||Baseball Prospectus 5|
|JaCoby Jones, DET||Mastersball 3|
|Eduardo Escobar, MIN||Fantasy Alarm 2|
|Ariel Miranda, SEA||Rotowire 1|
|David Freese, PIT||MLB.com 1|
|Yonder Alonso, OAK||Mastersball 1|
|Martin Perez, TEX||Fangraphs - Sleeper & Bust 1|
|Derek Dietrich, MIA||Baseball HQ 1|
|Ezequiel Carrera, TOR||Baseball HQ 1|
|Matt Adams, STL||Baseball HQ 1|
|Norichika Aoki, HOU||Baseball HQ 1|
Todd Zola's Commentary
The past few season's, Reynolds has been primarily a platoon hitter, facing southpaws. With Ian Desmond shelved, the Rockies are playing Reynolds every day, which is a good thing since half the time, that means Coors Field. History shows over a long season, Reynolds and his low contact rate get exposed. But in a league like Mixed Tout Wars where there's free movement between active and reserve, Reynolds can add much-needed power until Desmond comes back, or until the Rockies look elsewhere in the even Reynolds starts whiffing too much.
Earlier, the velocity increase of Hahn was discussed. His teammate Kendall Graveman is also throwing the ball harder, albeit what's essentially a hard sinker. The jury's still out, but with the Coliseum as a safety net, those in need of a shot in the arm can do worse than seeing if this is a new Graveman. I'm still skeptical, but can't blame others for taking a shot. Specifically, I need the added mph to translate to more punch outs. Perhaps that's the NFBC player in me talking, as whiffs are paramount in that format, primarily because the NFBC owner pays a premium for strikeouts, so you either need to overpay at the draft or supplement in season.
Long-time readers of this space know I'm prone to the occasional brain cramp. My friends, looking out for my best interests, tell me I have too much on my plate. The truth is, it's not the amount on the plate, but a rather my "organized chaos" approach to the plate. When I was in biotech manufacturing, my boss used to say there's three ways of doing things: the right way, the wrong way and Todd's way. He learned pretty quickly to let me do things my way, as the result was often better than the right way. There was the occasional mishap, but I was always able to overcome it.
This is a rather long, and a bit self-indulgent way to explain why I have two unawarded, uncontested bids, without winning a player. The only way that can happen is if the bids were illegal. Well, your scatter-brained pundit forgot he had already acquired a replacement for the DLed JD Martinez last week, and thus did not have have an open reserve spot. As such, any FAAB request required an associated drop, which I did not include.
What's the expression, do as I say, not as I do?