Fantasy Baseball Tumbling Dice: Ab FAAB

by Lawr Michaels, on July 30, 2013 @ 10:10:00 PDT


With the big inter-league swaps of Matt Garza to Texas, and Alfonso Soriano to the Yankees, those of us who have held our money hoping for a trade deadline bombshell had our chance to put up, or shut up.

I will say that in NL LABR, I have pretty much my starting 23 all healthy and playing, plus a wad of money with $92 (second to Eric Karabell's $110) and a contending team, so that affords a couple of paths, if a reasonable cross-over trade is transmitted.

As noted, if a hitter is swapped, I could use a little more potent stick, and with Matt Carpenter on my roster, I have a lot of flexibility to grab the best possible position player.

New York Yankees OF Alfonso Soriano
Soriano back in Pinstripes, demand

Since I am strong in pitching, should a hurler be traded, I can try to grab him and deal one of my excellent starting corps for that same hitting.

Or, I can simply try to block anyone else from picking up players who might improve their teams, because I have the money to do so.

What is fun, though, is contrasting these possibilities with what happened in the American League this past week as owners assessed and jockeyed, bidding whatever they thought might work within their means to either get Garza or Soriano, or force us to pay through the nose for the rights to those players.

In the American LABR League, Soriano cost Steve Gardner's USA Today $72 in a straight FAAB set-up which simply awards to the highest bidder. The bids that fell short were:

  • $64 Baseball HQ
  • $51
  • $41 SiriusXM
  • $18 Colton & Wolf
  • $12 NFBC/Stats Inc.
  • $9 Fangraphs

In Tout AL I actually scored the new Yankee, for $81 of my $97 in a Vickrey system. Vickrey allows the highest bid to win the player at a dollar more than the second highest bid. This is much like the "topper rule" some leagues have, where an owner can reserve the rights to a long-term player with a dollar over the auction price when said player plays out his contract.

So, though Rick Wolf and Glenn Colton did outbid me, they picked Garza as their first selection, meaning they did not have the margin to cover both players. So, my $85 trumped them, and since Jason Collette bid $80 to get the rights to Soriano's stats, I got him for a dollar more at $81.

However, what is interesting is that 11 of the 12 Tout Wars owners threw out bids. For the archivists, those bids were:

  • $81 ($85) Lawr Michaels
  • $87 Wolf/Colton
  • $80 Jason Collette
  • $64 Ron Shandler
  • $51 Mike Siano
  • $47 Jeff Erickson
  • $44 Andy Behrens
  • $43 Steve Moyer
  • $43 Matthew Berry
  • $24 Joe Sheehan
  • $15 Larry Schechter

As for Garza, in Tout I also bid $85, not enough to outdistance Rick and Glenn (note we both hoped the league would cautiously underbid in the $40 range, thinking we had a shot at scoring both players). So, that meant Soriano defaulted Soriano to me, as noted.

Furthermore, we both bid the same amounts -- Rick and Glenn $87 and $85 for me -- for both players.

So, my $85 bid forced the Colton-and-the-Wolfman team to spend $86 to land the new Ranger (the other Garza bids in Tout were):

  • $86 (87) Wolf/Colton
  • $85 Lawr Michaels
  • $64 Ron Shandler
  • $52 Rob Leibowitz
  • $51 Mike Siano
  • $47 Jeff Erickson
  • $44 Andy Behrens
  • $24 Joe Sheehan
  • $21 Steve Moyer
  • $15 Larry Schechter
  • $0 Andy Behrens

Again, 11 of us determined that after Garza, not much would move from the NL to the AL, so the league was pretty much all in with respect to bidding.

In LABR, Dave Adler scored Garza for $63, outfoxing Mr. Gardner by a buck.

  • $63 USA TODAY Sports
  • $63 RotoWire
  • $51
  • $32 Mastersball
  • $18 Colton & Wolf
  • $10 Fangraphs

Interestingly, in LABR, there were again six owners who thought Garza was worth a bid, the same number of those who were willing to take a chance on Soriano.

So, the question becomes whether it was prudent spending our bucks on these two assuming no better players would cross over, or whether being a little more patient, and potentially sitting on a wad of essentially useless FAAB for the rest of the season was the right path?

The answer will be revealed between any final deadline swaps -- and relative missed players -- and those deadly final standings.

You can get the Mastersball Top 250 Prospects as part of our Platinum package, with more information at 2013 Mastersball Platinum Package. Mastersball Platinum is the edge that supported four of the top five finishers in the NFBC in 2012. You can get the same insights and analysis that helped Dave Potts with the $100,000 grand prize last year by subscribing to Mastersball at 2013 Mastersball Platinum Package.

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About Lawr Michaels,

Lawr Michaels has been a player in the fantasy baseball industry since he began writing for John Benson in 1993. He has written for STATS, Inc, was the first fantasy columnist for CBS Sportsline, and has appeared in numerous journals and on websites. In 1996, he founded CREATiVESPORTS, a staple for serious fantasy players, which he merged into Mastersball in 2010.

Over the years, Lawr has participated in a wide variety of playing formats and won numerous titles, including AL Tout Wars crowns in 2001 and 2009. Along with his Mastersball duties, Lawr works for as a statistician. Fantasy Baseball

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