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Sunday 30th Apr 2017

LABRLOGO

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

AMERICAN LEAGUE

SUCCESSFUL BIDS

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  

UNAWARDED BIDS

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.

Todd's Take

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

NATIONAL LEAGUE

SUCCESSFUL BIDS

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      

UNAWARDED BIDS

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.

Todd's Take

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

MIXED LEAGUE

SUCCESSFUL BIDS

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
    Rotowire 1    
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      

UNAWARDED BIDS

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.

Todd's Take

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?

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