Baseball Prospectus held a pair of mock auctions (one AL-only, one NL-only) about a week and a half ago. Mike Gianella organized and hosted them. Excellent job. You can read his thoughts on both of them, including the meat of it if you're a BP subscriber. The participant list and a few of his comments are above the fold, at least.
I took part in the AL-only side. (Tim participated in the NL-only edition.) Not much has changed since. I wanted to share the results before they became stale because they easily provide talking points.
FYI 1: We weren't allowed to nominate free-agent players. Exclusions of note: Kendrys Morales, Nelson Cruz (at the time), Stephen Drew, Emilio Bonifacio, Ervin Santana and Ubaldo Jimenez (at the time).
Feliz a risky but favorite bet
FYI 2: Some players were eligible at the UT spot only and not at least primary position or position at which they appeared most often in the minors or last season played. That threw off the group a little: Derek Jeter went for $1; Nick Castellanos' name never came up. Those are extreme examples of the effects, but they help to get the point across.
I made a couple of quick observations related to jobs that are still considered up for grabs this spring. You can attempt to formulate some other theories based on the results that appear on the next couple of pages.
Ordinarily, I tend to sit back at the beginning. I bid to remain involved -- to make sure that a player doesn't go cheaply or to feign interest -- but I don't regularly buy many players early.
I made a conscious effort to be aggressive in this auction in order to see how comfortable I'd feel and to see what my results might look like if I did. I think the team I bought here would be competitive, but I wasn't thrilled. Of course, how the room approaches any particular aspect of an auction affects the potential effectiveness of any tactic to some degree, so I can't exactly draw conclusions. This room tended to sit back.
The Seattle Mariners' shortstop
There may not be much confidence in Nick Franklin ($5) or trust that he's receiving a legit shot to win this job this spring. Brad Miller ($15) is a pretty clear favorite.
Miller is a solid player with a decent floor, but Franklin is the buying opportunity here. Franklin has too much talent (not as good with the glove but more upside than Miller as a hitter) not to play somewhere. There has been more than enough speculation that the M's are willing to deal Franklin, and plenty of teams could use an upgrade of that caliber up the middle.
Last season, Miller seemed to make the adjustment to the bigs fairly quickly. He hit, struggled and then hit a bit more. Franklin was hot in his first month but then hit the skids and didn't recover. Each player kind of followed the respective M.O. of his own rise through the farm system. Should Franklin continue his pattern, he'll make some willing owners very happy, I believe.
The Texas Rangers' closer
Neftali Feliz cost $10. Not much later, Joakim Soria went for $9. In the end game, Tanner Scheppers sold for $2.
To me, Feliz remains a really attractive target. I'm not too concerned about his health, and I think that Ron Washington will favor Feliz as long as Feliz pitches effectively this spring.
Click for AL-only mock auction results for hitters and pitchers.
About Nicholas Minnix
Minnix is baseball editor and a fantasy football analyst at KFFL. He plays in LABR and Tout Wars and won the FSWA Baseball Industry Insiders League in 2010.
The University of Delaware alum is a regular guest on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio and Baltimore's WNST AM 1570.
Don't miss these great reports....