Ottoneu 101: Patience is a Virtue

When you play Ottoneu, and offseason trading finally begins, it’s easy to feel the rush. While Ottoneu Arbitration provides a brief respite, once the calendar turns to November 15, the gloves are off. tradesTrades happen like wildfire and debates about player values appear to be never ending. The surplus calculator is updated and those new to Ottoneu are left pondering their roster. Point being, hold on to your hat. The offseason moves quick. However, in an effort to gain perspective, I would like to throw up a caution sign and encourage patience among my fellow “Ottoneurs” (Some day I’ll finally find a way to refer to y’all).

“Patience!?” you say. “I want to trade!” you plead… But yes, patience is what is needed. The last thing you want to do is make a terrible trade because you were in a rush to make any trade. Today, I want to look into several ways patience can benefit your Ottoneu Team.

Don’t Cut Players

Every year, teams cut players early in the offseason. While I see this as a mistake, you may run your team however you like. However, in the midst of these cuts I often see several players I would have traded for. The easiest way to look at it is to admit that I have no idea how any other team values any player. For example – an $18 Gregory Polanco and $12 James Paxton were cut in the past month in a league. Yes, you can cut either of them at any point, but it would have helped your team to wait as many owners would have gladly given up an asset they viewed as a keeper in return for either one. If patience had been exercised, Polanco and Paxton could have been left on the roster until January (they weren’t taking a roster spot from anyone). Then removed if no one expressed interest. By then they likely would have been traded to another team for something their previous owners desired. While there are certainly less egregious cuts, I’m sure many leagues have examples of situations like this.

The second reason not to cut is that free-agent signings and MLB trades will drastically impact player values. If Ivan Nova signs in San Francisco would you keep him at $3? What if Yasiel Puig gets traded to Milwaukee? Does he look more attractive at $18? Do you take a chance on him in a better park? Certainly either of these players may look like probable cuts right now, but there are so many hypothetical scenarios that could impact borderline keepers. While a therapeutic cut is acceptable, I would caution against clearing the decks on anyone you do not plan to keep – at least for now.

Dollar values are far from complete, and even further from perfect

While having dollar values is great, and almost necessary in Ottoneu, it is important to be patient and realize that they are far from complete. Right now, the publicly available dollar values are only based off Steamer. With the first Zips projection being released yesterday, we are a long way off form having values based off both systems. That being said, they are still useful. For example, I want to know that Steamer is high on Lance McCullers, Robbie Ray and James Paxton. Does that mean I think Robbie Ray is worth $20+ dollars? No. All this goes to say that while you should use the dollar values available as a baseline, you should expect some changes to the totals as final projections come in. Also, you should take league context into account.

If you treat the dollar values released as gospel, you will probably make some errors in your valuations. Use the values generally. The $20 surplus assets in your league are still likely to be the best assets, but there could be some select cases where you may want to bet against Steamer. Have patience with your values. Recognize that they will adjust. While it can be fun to pull a trade early, you want to make sure the trade you pull actually benefits your team in the long run.

I have added an excerpt of the Surplus Calculator with the 2017 Early Steamer Values below for completeness.

Way too Early 2017 Steamer $ Values
Name Team Position $
Mike Trout Angels OF $68
Clayton Kershaw Dodgers SP $63
Bryce Harper Nationals OF $54
Manny Machado Orioles SS $51
Giancarlo Stanton Marlins OF $47
Miguel Cabrera Tigers 1B $46
Max Scherzer Nationals SP $44
Noah Syndergaard Mets SP $44
Mookie Betts Red Sox OF $44
Josh Donaldson Blue Jays 3B $43
Kris Bryant Cubs OF $40
Nolan Arenado Rockies 3B $40
Joey Votto Reds 1B $39
Paul Goldschmidt Diamondbacks 1B $39
Anthony Rizzo Cubs 1B $38
Stephen Strasburg Nationals SP $37
Carlos Correa Astros SS $36
Jose Altuve Astros 2B $35
Madison Bumgarner Giants SP $34
Buster Posey Giants C $33
Corey Seager Dodgers SS $32
Carlos Gonzalez Rockies OF $32
Andrew McCutchen Pirates OF $32
Freddie Freeman Braves 1B $31
Jose Bautista OF $31
George Springer Astros OF $30
Matt Carpenter Cardinals 2B $30
Chris Sale White Sox SP $29
Corey Kluber Indians SP $29
Christian Yelich Marlins OF $29
Kyle Schwarber Cubs OF $28
Yu Darvish Rangers SP $28
Daniel Murphy Nationals 2B $28
Chris Archer Rays SP $28
Trevor Story Rockies SS $28
Gary Sanchez Yankees C $28
Xander Bogaerts Red Sox SS $28
Ryan Braun Brewers OF $28
Johnny Cueto Giants SP $28
Rich Hill SP $28
Jon Lester Cubs SP $27
Charlie Blackmon Rockies OF $27
Nelson Cruz Mariners OF $27
Carlos Carrasco Indians SP $27
Robinson Cano Mariners 2B $26
Jake Arrieta Cubs SP $26
Lance McCullers Astros SP $25
Francisco Lindor Indians SS $25
Yoenis Cespedes OF $24
Andrew Miller Indians RP $24
Adrian Beltre Rangers 3B $24
David Price Red Sox SP $24
Aaron Nola Phillies SP $24
Anthony Rendon Nationals 3B $24
Edwin Encarnacion 1B $24
Justin Verlander Tigers SP $23
Yasiel Puig Dodgers OF $23
Alex Bregman Astros SS $23
Aroldis Chapman RP $23
Trea Turner Nationals SS $22
Jonathan Lucroy Rangers C $22
Miguel Sano Twins OF $22
J.D. Martinez Tigers OF $22
Jose Abreu White Sox 1B $22
Brian Dozier Twins 2B $21
Dellin Betances Yankees RP $21
Gerrit Cole Pirates SP $21
Carlos Santana Indians 1B $21
Jacob deGrom Mets SP $21
Tyler Skaggs Angels SP $21
Shin-Soo Choo Rangers OF $21
Matt Holliday OF $20
Aledmys Diaz Cardinals SS $20
Tyson Ross Padres SP $20
Steven Matz Mets SP $20
Ben Zobrist Cubs 2B $20
Robbie Ray Diamondbacks SP $20
Michael Pineda Yankees SP $20
Maikel Franco Phillies 3B $20
Carlos Martinez Cardinals SP $20
Justin Upton Tigers OF $20
Justin Turner 3B $19
Kenley Jansen RP $19
Jameson Taillon Pirates SP $19
Troy Tulowitzki Blue Jays SS $19
Dustin Pedroia Red Sox 2B $18
Hanley Ramirez Red Sox 1B $18
James Paxton Mariners SP $18
Kyle Seager Mariners 3B $18
DJ LeMahieu Rockies 2B $18
Danny Salazar Indians SP $18
Rougned Odor Rangers 2B $17
Danny Duffy Royals SP $17
Alex Wood Dodgers SP $17
Evan Gattis Astros C $17
A.J. Pollock Diamondbacks OF $17
Zack Greinke Diamondbacks SP $17
Jean Segura Diamondbacks SS $16
Adam Jones Orioles OF $16
Julio Urias Dodgers SP $16
Jonathan Villar Brewers SS $16
Dallas Keuchel Astros SP $16
Evan Longoria Rays 3B $16
Kenta Maeda Dodgers SP $16
Starling Marte Pirates OF $16
Mike Moustakas Royals 3B $16
Wil Myers Padres OF $16
Neil Walker 2B $16
David Phelps Marlins SP $15
Jason Kipnis Indians 2B $15
Chris Davis Orioles 1B $15
Gio Gonzalez Nationals SP $15
Dexter Fowler OF $15
Vince Velasquez Phillies SP $15
Khris Davis Athletics OF $15
Garrett Richards Angels SP $14
Mark Trumbo OF $14
Matt Moore Giants SP $14
Zach Britton Orioles RP $14
Hunter Pence Giants OF $14
Kendrys Morales OF $14
Edwin Diaz Mariners RP $14
Melky Cabrera White Sox OF $13
Adam Eaton White Sox OF $13
Michael Brantley Indians OF $13
Tyler Glasnow Pirates SP $13
Brad Miller Rays SS $13
Craig Kimbrel Red Sox RP $13
Josh Reddick OF $13
Jon Gray Rockies SP $13
Albert Pujols Angels 1B $13
Matt Harvey Mets SP $13
Eric Hosmer Royals 1B $13
Gregory Polanco Pirates OF $13
Jeff Samardzija Giants SP $13
Kole Calhoun Angels OF $12
Ken Giles Astros RP $12
Ian Kinsler Tigers 2B $12
Grant Dayton Dodgers RP $12
Willson Contreras Cubs C $12
Curtis Granderson Mets OF $12
Yasmani Grandal Dodgers C $12
Marcell Ozuna Marlins OF $12
Michael Conforto Mets OF $12
Jaime Garcia Cardinals SP $12
Marcus Stroman Blue Jays SP $12
Brian McCann Yankees C $12
Steve Pearce 2B $11
Matt Kemp Braves OF $11
Hyun Soo Kim Orioles OF $11
Jung Ho Kang Pirates 3B $11
Blake Snell Rays SP $11
Cam Bedrosian Angels RP $11
Seung Hwan Oh Cardinals RP $11
Kyle Hendricks Cubs SP $11
Jedd Gyorko Cardinals SS $11
Victor Martinez Tigers 1B $11
John Lackey Cubs SP $11
Matt Shoemaker Angels SP $11
Josh Bell Pirates OF $10
Domingo Santana Brewers OF $10
Jose Quintana White Sox SP $10
Lucas Duda Mets 1B $10
Nomar Mazara Rangers OF $10
Hunter Strickland Giants RP $10
Stephen Vogt Athletics C $10
Lorenzo Cain Royals OF $10
Carlos Beltran OF $10
Shawn Kelley Nationals RP $10
Salvador Perez Royals C $10
Carl Edwards Jr. Cubs RP $10
Odubel Herrera Phillies OF $10
Pedro Alvarez 3B $10
Jason Heyward Cubs OF $10
Carlos Rodon White Sox SP $9
Jake Lamb Diamondbacks 3B $9
Joc Pederson Dodgers OF $9
Todd Frazier White Sox 3B $9
Rick Porcello Red Sox SP $9
Seth Smith Mariners OF $9
Raisel Iglesias Reds Flex $9
Cole Hamels Rangers SP $9
Mike Montgomery Cubs SP $9
Brett Gardner Yankees OF $9
Jeurys Familia Mets RP $9
Wei-Yin Chen Marlins SP $9
Felix Hernandez Mariners SP $9
Marcus Semien Athletics SS $9
Russell Martin Blue Jays C $9
Wade Davis Royals RP $8
Max Kepler Twins OF $8
Masahiro Tanaka Yankees SP $8
Denard Span Giants OF $8
Stephen Piscotty Cardinals OF $8
David Dahl Rockies OF $8
Alex Colome Rays RP $8
Kyle Barraclough Marlins RP $8
Roberto Osuna Blue Jays RP $8
Gregory Bird Yankees 1B $8
Jayson Werth Nationals OF $8
Javier Baez Cubs SS $8
Jhonny Peralta Cardinals SS $8
Adam Wainwright Cardinals SP $8
Asdrubal Cabrera Mets SS $7
Eduardo Nunez Giants SS $7
Alex Reyes Cardinals Flex $7
Joe Panik Giants 2B $7
Yadier Molina Cardinals C $7
Arodys Vizcaino Braves RP $7
Wilson Ramos C $7
David Robertson White Sox RP $7
Adam Ottavino Rockies RP $7
Charlie Morton SP $7
Lance Lynn Cardinals SP $7
Nick Markakis Braves OF $7
Francisco Liriano Blue Jays SP $7
Jose Ramirez Indians OF $7
Julio Teheran Braves SP $7
Drew Smyly Rays SP $7
Drew Pomeranz Red Sox Flex $7
Nate Jones White Sox RP $7
Chris Carter Brewers 1B $7
Jose Reyes Mets SS $7
Brandon Belt Giants 1B $7
Brandon McCarthy Dodgers SP $7
Michael Fulmer Tigers SP $6
Hector Neris Phillies RP $6
Logan Forsythe Rays 2B $6
Pablo Sandoval Red Sox 3B $6
Joey Gallo Rangers 3B $6
Trevor Plouffe Twins 3B $6
Danny Valencia Athletics OF $6
Franklin Gutierrez OF $6
Mark Melancon RP $6
Pedro Strop Cubs RP $6
Jharel Cotton Athletics SP $6
Archie Bradley Diamondbacks SP $6
Brandon Moss OF $6
Tommy Joseph Phillies 1B $6
Josh Smoker Mets RP $5
Addison Russell Cubs SS $5
Jurickson Profar Rangers SS $5
Martin Prado Marlins 3B $5
Jackie Bradley Jr. Red Sox OF $5
Alex Meyer Angels Flex $5
Nick Castellanos Tigers 3B $5
Trevor Rosenthal Cardinals RP $5
Scott Kazmir Dodgers SP $5
Tom Murphy Rockies C $5
Kevin Gausman Orioles SP $5
Cody Allen Indians RP $5
Tony Watson Pirates RP $5
Aaron Sanchez Blue Jays SP $5
Brandon Maurer Padres RP $5
Joe Mauer Twins 1B $5
Jose De Leon Dodgers SP $5
Sean Manaea Athletics SP $5
Sonny Gray Athletics SP $5
Sean Doolittle Athletics RP $5
Brandon Crawford Giants SS $5
Adam Lind 1B $5
Mike Foltynewicz Braves SP $5
Felipe Rivero Pirates RP $5
Yasmany Tomas Diamondbacks OF $4
Ryan Zimmerman Nationals 1B $4
A.J. Ramos Marlins RP $4
Brandon Guyer Indians OF $4
Hector Rondon Cubs RP $4
Elvis Andrus Rangers SS $4
Jay Bruce Mets OF $4
Justin Bour Marlins 1B $4
Michael Saunders OF $4
James Hoyt Astros RP $4
Aaron Judge Yankees OF $4
Corey Dickerson Rays OF $4
Chris Young Red Sox OF $4
Welington Castillo Diamondbacks C $4
Tyler Thornburg Brewers RP $4
Matt Duffy Rays SS $4
Will Smith Giants RP $4
Jorge Polanco Twins SS $4
Darin Ruf Phillies OF $4
Tim Anderson White Sox SS $4
Zack Wheeler Mets SP $4
Adrian Gonzalez Dodgers 1B $4
J.T. Realmuto Marlins C $4
Travis d’Arnaud Mets C $4
Jorge Soler Cubs OF $4
Joe Ross Nationals SP $4
Kelvin Herrera Royals RP $4
Randal Grichuk Cardinals OF $4
David Wright Mets 3B $3
Derek Dietrich Marlins 2B $3
Juan Nicasio Pirates Flex $3
Nate Karns Mariners SP $3
Collin McHugh Astros SP $3
Ender Inciarte Braves OF $3
Josh Ravin Dodgers RP $3
Andrew Benintendi Red Sox OF $3
Luke Weaver Cardinals SP $3
Luis Severino Yankees SP $3
Alex Gordon Royals OF $3
Jake Odorizzi Rays SP $3
Derek Norris Padres C $3
Sam Dyson Rangers RP $3
Josh Fields Dodgers RP $3
Yangervis Solarte Padres 2B $3
Alex Dickerson Padres OF $3
Francisco Cervelli Pirates C $3
Ian Kennedy Royals SP $3
Jose Peraza Reds SS $3
Alex Cobb Rays SP $3
Devin Mesoraco Reds C $3
Glen Perkins Twins RP $3
Jacoby Ellsbury Yankees OF $3
Yulieski Gurriel Astros 3B $2
Yordano Ventura Royals SP $2
Tyler Anderson Rockies SP $2
Adam Duvall Reds OF $2
Wilmer Flores Mets 2B $2
Ryan Schimpf Padres 2B $2
Ivan Nova SP $2
Joe Musgrove Astros SP $2
Anthony DeSclafani Reds SP $2
Didi Gregorius Yankees SS $2
Scott Schebler Reds OF $2
Patrick Corbin Diamondbacks SP $2
Pedro Baez Dodgers RP $2
Matt Andriese Rays Flex $2
Taijuan Walker Mariners SP $2
Dansby Swanson Braves SS $2
Gerardo Parra Rockies OF $2
Devon Travis Blue Jays 2B $2
Hyun-Jin Ryu Dodgers SP $2
Mark Canha Athletics OF $2
Kevin Kiermaier Rays OF $2
John Gant Braves SP $2
Jerad Eickhoff Phillies SP $2
Matt Wieters C $2
Yunel Escobar Angels 3B $2
Steven Brault Pirates SP $2
Zack Cozart Reds SS $2
Steven Moya Tigers OF $2
Brett Cecil RP $2
Matt Joyce OF $2
Jake Barrett Diamondbacks RP $2
Tony Zych Mariners RP $2
Corey Knebel Brewers RP $2
Justin Grimm Cubs RP $2
Kolten Wong Cardinals 2B $2
Jonathan Schoop Orioles 2B $2
Cesar Hernandez Phillies 2B $2
Chris Iannetta C $2
Matt Adams Cardinals 1B $2
Cody Reed Reds Flex $2
Reynaldo Lopez Nationals RP $2
Adam Conley Marlins SP $2
Trevor Bauer Indians SP $2
Jon Edwards Padres RP $2
Addison Reed Mets RP $2
Koji Uehara RP $2
Miguel Montero Cubs C $2
Shawn Armstrong Indians RP $1
Dilson Herrera Reds 2B $1
Nori Aoki Astros OF $1
C.J. Wilson SP $1
Tyler Lyons Cardinals RP $1
Stephen Cardullo Rockies OF $1
Rubby de la Rosa Diamondbacks Flex $1
Tanner Roark Nationals SP $1
Ian Desmond OF $1
Joe Wieland Braves SP $1
Rob Refsnyder Yankees 2B $1
Michael Wacha Cardinals Flex $1
Drew Hutchison Pirates Flex $1
Joe Kelly Red Sox RP $1
Boone Logan RP $1
Mitch Haniger Diamondbacks OF $1
Raimel Tapia Rockies OF $1
Andrew Heaney Angels SP $1
Dee Gordon Marlins 2B $1
Cristhian Adames Rockies SS $1
Nathan Eovaldi Yankees SP $1
Robbie Grossman Twins OF $1
Josh Phegley Athletics C $1
Angel Pagan OF $1
Brock Stewart Dodgers Flex $1
Daniel Norris Tigers SP $1
Blake Swihart Red Sox C $1
Mike Leake Cardinals SP $1
Kiké Hernandez Dodgers 2B $1
J.A. Happ Blue Jays SP $1
Billy Butler 1B $1
Jeimer Candelario Cubs 3B $1
Andrew Susac Brewers C $1
Jose Berrios Twins SP $1
Andrelton Simmons Angels SS $1
Brandon Drury Diamondbacks 2B $1
Mike Napoli 1B $1
Nick Franklin Rays SS $1
Greg Holland RP $1
Jordy Mercer Pirates SS $1
Howie Kendrick Dodgers 2B $1
John Jaso Pirates 1B $1
Carlos Gomez OF $1

Joe works at a consulting firm in Pittsburgh. When he isn't working or studying for actuarial exams, he focuses on baseball. He also writes @thepointofpgh. Follow him on twitter @Ottoneutrades

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
6 years ago

I’m partial to ‘Ottoneutrinos’ myself