CBS Industry League AL Only Auction by Justin Mason February 15, 2017 Many years ago, before I ever dreamed of becoming a fantasy sports analyst, I dreamed of competing in industry leagues. I had no idea how people were chosen and no idea how exclusive they were, but I had a dream that one day I would win Tout Wars, LABR, or CBS. I never thought it would actually happen, but when I joined the industry in 2014, that dream returned. I then learned that there were tons of industry leagues. Many were not exclusive, but those big three were. I figured it would take me the better part of a decade to get in. So, I started my own, the Bay Area Roto Fantasy league (BARF), which drafts its second season in about ten days. However, I still dreamed of being in one of the big three. Then last week, something happened. Paul Sporer had to drop out of the CBS league and in a magnanimous show of faith, he chose to throw it out to the entire Rotographs staff and see if anyone could do it. I proceeded to call “dibs”. The “dibs” was not challenged, as that would be against the modus operandi of the code. The torch had been passed to me. It was a moment that I will never forget. So, on Monday morning, I sat down and turned on my Facebook live, which you can find own my public Facebook profile if you want to watch the 4+ hour broadcast, and prepared to take on some of the industries best. League Participants: League Participants Site/Podcast 1 George Bissell Baseball Prospectus 2 Bryan Joiner Baseball Prospectus 3 Heath Cummings CBS Sports 4 Chris Towers CBS Sports 5 Scott White CBS Sports 6 Justin Mason Fangraphs/Friends with Fantasy Benefits 7 Dean Peterson NFBC 8 Keith Cromer Patton & Company 9 Tim McLeod Prospect 361 10 Rudy Gamble Razzball 11 Clay Link Rotowire 12 Mike Kuchera The Fantasy Man This was a 12-team, AL Only auction league. It uses standard 5×5 and roster positions. There was a seven round reserve determined by a snake draft. Some Background: As I briefly mentioned above, I did a Facebook live during the entire mock. Technically, I did two because there is a four hour time limit on them. I thought this would be a fun way to interact with people as I did the auction and also would keep my mind fresh since I had worked a graveyard the night before and would obviously be tired. I am lucky in this regard because I am a virtual unknown and only one person, Tim McLeod, from the league was currently following me on twitter or was a friend of mine on Facebook, though Clay Link did follow me halfway through the auction. At the beginning I used a mixture of Fangraphs Depth Charts projections for the auction calculator and Rotowire’s projection software as a starting point for my values, but later on used mostly the FG Depth Charts that I made a few changes to, as I touch on later. It was a fun experience, but definitely led to a misstep or two. My strategy: I went back and read some of last couple of year’s write ups and examined the results. I also talked with Baseball Prospectus writer and a must follow on twitter Mike Gianella. He mentioned to me that people in the CBS leagues were very aggressive and tended to lean more towards the stars and scrubs approach. The write ups I read confirmed this. He also warned me that while holding back and waiting for deals can be a successful strategy, it can be difficult to pull off with a league like this and the last thing you want to do is eat a bunch of money. Typically, in an auction I come in with a set plan and then adjust from there. I am a big fan of outside the box strategies. However, since it was my first year in the league I decided to play it a bit more straightforward and not go crazy. Next year though, watch out! My plan was simple. I would try and spend around 70% of my budget on hitting and 30% on pitching. I was going to let the auction come to me. Look for the deals, but be willing to pay full price or $1 to $2 more than my values if need be. I would not overpay on guys because of positional or categorical scarcity. I would attempt to stay balanced and limit my $1 players. I would push hard to make sure I got a top tier 1st baseman, since I have the belief that it is the shallowest position in fantasy this year (outside of catcher.) I would make a huge push for Jose Altuve, but would not spend more than $1-2 over my price. I would get an elite starter that has no questions (i.e. Chris Sale, Corey Kluber.) I did not want catchers that gave negative value. The Auction: The pace was a lot like the time I spent in the Army. There was a lot of hurry up and wait. There were some issues people had with their browsers and we had to stop and pause a bunch. This worked to my advantage early because it gave me time to adjust values and talk things out in the Facebook live. However, as the auction went on, fatigue from not having slept set in. The advice given to me by Gianella was accurate and worse than I could possibly imagine. The majority of the league went with a stars and scrubs approach and the bidding was outrageous at points. Saves and stolen bases were at an expensive premium. People spent a ton early. I knew this would lead to deals, but I also didn’t want to be left out of certain positions and categories in spite of my above stated strategy. For the most part, I stayed true to my strategy as you will see below. My Team: Justin Mason of Fangraphs and FWFB Pos Player Salary My Value +/- C Brian McCann C | HOU $14 $13 -$1 C Matt Wieters C | BAL $5 $8 $3 1B Miguel Cabrera 1B | DET $34 $32 -$2 2B Starlin Castro 2B | NYY $11 $17 $6 3B Adrian Beltre 3B | TEX $22 $25 $3 SS Jose Iglesias SS | DET $3 $13 $10 MI Franklin Barreto SS | OAK $1 $0 -$1 CI Matt Duffy 3B | TB $7 $12 $5 OF Miguel Sano 3B | MIN $22 $22 $0 OF Lorenzo Cain CF | KC $25 $24 -$1 OF Kevin Pillar CF | TOR $8 $16 $8 OF Corey Dickerson LF | TB $6 $14 $8 OF Josh Reddick RF | HOU $8 $16 $8 DH Victor Martinez DH | DET $12 $10 -$2 P Corey Kluber SP | CLE $32 $30 -$2 P Carlos Carrasco SP | CLE $25 $26 $1 P Aaron Sanchez SP | TOR $13 $12 -$1 P Brad Boxberger RP | TB $2 $2 $0 P Tyler Thornburg RP | BOS $1 $2 $1 P Tyler Skaggs SP | LAA $6 $13 $7 P Glen Perkins RP | MIN $1 $2 $1 P Andrew Cashner SP | TEX $1 $0 -$1 P Trevor May RP | MIN $1 $1 $0 RES Ben Gamel RF | SEA $0 $0 $0 RES JaCoby Jones 3B | DET $0 $0 $0 RES Andrew Bailey RP | LAA $0 $2 $2 RES Danny Santana CF | MIN $0 $0 $0 RES Zack Burdi RP | CHW $0 $0 $0 RES Adam Rosales 3B | OAK $0 $1 $1 RES Ariel Miranda SP | SEA $0 $0 $0 Totals $260 $313 $53 How did my strategy manifest? I spent $178 on hitting and $82 on pitching. This gave me a pretty close to a 70%/30% split. Near the end of the auction I bought Skaggs for $6 and went a few dollars over my pitching budget but I think of that as a more fluid guideline. I did not spend more than a dollar or two over my values and did not jump into the bidding wars over speed and saves. I stayed fairly disciplined. I also feel in spite of the stars and scrubs motif of the auction, I stayed pretty balanced. I have five $1 players, but two of them (Perkins and Thornburg) should have gone for more. I got my elite first baseman in Miguel Cabrera. I almost bought other guys in order to drown the pool, but they always went a few bucks more than I was willing to spend. Altuve went for $46 to the same team that drafted Mike Trout for $46. My max bid on Altuve was $42, which was $2 above my value. I hated to let him go, but I wasn’t going to break from my strategy, especially that early in the auction. I got my elite starter. I actually got two of them. In hindsight, it may have been a mistake to buy Carrasco along with Kluber, but I couldn’t allow him to go for under my value and am ecstatic with the top of my rotation being Kluber, Carrasco and Sanchez. Both my catchers should offer positive value as long as Wieters signs in the American league. If he doesn’t, I lost out on $5 which isn’t horrible. My Mistakes: I should have overspent early on elite closer. I have been a big proponent of getting one of the big three closers in mixed drafts this year and with two of them in the AL, I should have gone a few bucks over my values to make sure I got one. Chapman went for $25, which was $1 above my value and Britton went for $26, $3 above. The remaining closers all went for too much and now I will spend the season chasing saves. I feel good about my speculation picks in Perkins, Bailey, Thornburg and May, but I hate to have to waste FAAB throughout the chasing down closers. I got distracted while talking on Facebook live and completely missed out on Bradley Zimmer, who I love. I assumed he would be a reserve pick, but Rudy Gamble snuck him past me. I had a poor set up in terms of having my draft sheets, projection software, and Facebook live all accessible at the same time. Early into the auction, I abandoned the projection software. I am light on speed. The prices stayed pretty high throughout the auction. I feel good that I have enough to keep me in the conversation, but I will need to hit on some of my reserve guys with speed or trade for it in season. I do like to trade, but industry leagues like this can be challenging to do so. I didn’t grab a catcher in the reserve round in case Wieters doesn’t sign or signs in the AL. Once Perkins is put on the DL to start the year, I will remedy this. The Rest of the League’s Teams: Full League’s Rosters Rudy Gamble of Razzball Tim McLeod of Prospect361 Mike Kuchera of The Fantasy Man Pos Player Salary Pos Player Salary Pos Player Salary C James McCann C | DET $5 C Bruce Maxwell C | OAK 2 C Caleb Joseph C | BAL 1 C Luke Maile C | TB $1 C Roberto Perez C | CLE 1 C Austin Romine C | NYY 1 1B Chris Davis 1B | BAL $22 1B Eric Hosmer 1B | KC 19 1B Mike Napoli 1B | TEX 15 2B Jason Kipnis 2B | CLE $23 2B Raul Mondesi 2B | KC 11 2B Jose Altuve 2B | HOU 46 3B Kyle Seager 3B | SEA $21 3B Alex Bregman 3B | HOU 25 3B Chase Headley 3B | NYY 3 SS Andrelton Simmons SS | LAA $2 SS Carlos Correa SS | HOU 35 SS Eduardo Escobar SS | MIN 1 MI Alcides Escobar SS | KC $10 MI J.J. Hardy SS | BAL 3 MI Brett Lawrie 2B | CHW 6 CI Yoan Moncada 3B | CHW $11 CI Mike Moustakas 3B | KC 13 CI Trevor Plouffe 3B | OAK 3 OF Seth Smith RF | BAL $6 OF Kevin Kiermaier CF | TB 22 OF Mike Trout CF | LAA 46 OF Justin Upton LF | DET $23 OF Adam Jones CF | BAL 22 OF Jose Bautista RF | TOR 19 OF Khris Davis LF | OAK $20 OF Tyler Naquin CF | CLE 5 OF Melvin Upton LF | TOR 1 OF Nomar Mazara RF | TEX $13 OF Eddie Rosario LF | MIN 4 OF Mallex Smith CF | TB 1 OF Bradley Zimmer CF | CLE $2 OF Charlie Tilson CF | CHW 1 OF Peter O’Brien LF | KC 1 DH Albert Pujols DH | LAA $15 DH Kendrys Morales DH | TOR 18 DH Byung Ho Park DH | MIN 1 P Matt Boyd SP | DET $2 P Jose Quintana SP | CHW 20 P Zach Britton RP | BAL 26 P Michael Pineda SP | NYY $13 P Masahiro Tanaka SP | NYY 19 P Ken Giles RP | HOU 23 P Sam Dyson RP | TEX $17 P Santiago Casilla RP | OAK 4 P Felix Hernandez SP | SEA 18 P Cam Bedrosian RP | LAA $11 P Marco Estrada SP | TOR 7 P David Robertson RP | CHW 16 P Danny Salazar SP | CLE $16 P Joe Musgrove SP | HOU 4 P Michael Fulmer SP | DET 10 P Kevin Gausman SP | BAL $9 P Ervin Santana SP | MIN 3 P Sean Manaea SP | OAK 12 P Collin McHugh SP | HOU $6 P Nate Jones RP | CHW 9 P Sean Doolittle RP | OAK 3 P Jake Odorizzi SP | TB $7 P Blake Snell SP | TB 8 P Trevor Bauer SP | CLE 5 P Jose Berrios SP | MIN $1 P Brad Brach RP | BAL 2 P CC Sabathia SP | NYY 1 RES Ryan Rua LF | TEX $0 RES Jeremy Jeffress RP | TEX $0 RES Steven Moya RF | DET $0 RES Clint Frazier LF | NYY $0 RES Rymer Liriano RF | CHW $0 RES A.J. Reed 1B | HOU $0 RES Justin Wilson RP | DET $0 RES Tyler O’Neill RF | SEA $0 RES Tyler Austin 1B | NYY $0 RES Jesse Chavez RP | LAA $0 RES J.T. Chargois RP | MIN $0 RES Colby Lewis SP | TEX $0 RES Daniel Mengden SP | OAK $0 RES Carlos Ruiz C | SEA $0 RES Rob Refsnyder RF | NYY $0 RES Tony Zych RP | SEA $0 RES Ryan Flaherty 3B | BAL $0 RES Luis Cessa SP | NYY $0 RES Shane Greene RP | DET $0 RES Abraham Almonte RF | CLE $0 RES Tyler Clippard RP | NYY $0 Keith Cromer of Patton & Company Dean Peterson of NFBC Chris Towers of CBS Sports Pos Player Salary Pos Player Salary Pos Player Salary C Russell Martin C | TOR $15 C Wilson Ramos C | TB 7 C Mike Zunino C | SEA 6 C Yan Gomes C | CLE $5 C Jason Castro C | MIN 4 C Omar Narvaez C | CHW 1 1B Mitch Moreland 1B | BOS $8 1B Jose Abreu 1B | CHW 26 1B Hanley Ramirez 1B | BOS 21 2B Ian Kinsler 2B | DET $23 2B Rougned Odor 2B | TEX 33 2B Brian Dozier 2B | MIN 24 3B Todd Frazier 3B | CHW $21 3B Jurickson Profar 3B | TEX 6 3B Luis Valbuena 3B | LAA 3 SS Xander Bogaerts SS | BOS $27 SS Elvis Andrus SS | TEX 20 SS Danny Espinosa SS | LAA 6 MI Didi Gregorius SS | NYY $12 MI Devon Travis 2B | TOR 15 MI Tyler Saladino 2B | CHW 2 CI Cheslor Cuthbert 3B | KC $2 CI Greg Bird 1B | NYY 7 CI Chris Carter 1B | NYY 6 OF Blake Swihart LF | BOS $5 OF J.D. Martinez RF | DET 26 OF Mookie Betts RF | BOS 46 OF Kole Calhoun RF | LAA $14 OF Alex Gordon LF | KC 9 OF Jorge Soler LF | KC 11 OF Shin-Soo Choo RF | TEX $11 OF Leonys Martin CF | SEA 15 OF Carlos Gomez CF | TEX 21 OF Matt Holliday LF | NYY $9 OF Byron Buxton CF | MIN 15 OF Steven Souza RF | TB 6 OF Cameron Maybin CF | LAA $14 OF Avisail Garcia DH | CHW 1 OF Norichika Aoki LF | HOU 1 DH Aaron Judge RF | NYY $5 DH Nick Castellanos 3B | DET 16 DH Kennys Vargas 1B | MIN 8 P Aroldis Chapman RP | NYY $25 P Roberto Osuna RP | TOR 23 P Danny Duffy SP | KC 20 P Ian Kennedy SP | KC $12 P Brandon Kintzler RP | MIN 13 P Edwin Diaz RP | SEA 21 P Chris Devenski RP | HOU $2 P Dylan Bundy RP | BAL 7 P Huston Street RP | LAA 8 P David Price SP | BOS $25 P Drew Pomeranz SP | BOS 4 P Luke Gregerson RP | HOU 3 P Jason Hammel SP | KC $8 P Mike Fiers SP | HOU 3 P Dallas Keuchel SP | HOU 17 P Jordan Zimmermann SP | DET $5 P Luis Severino SP | NYY 2 P Sonny Gray SP | OAK 6 P Hisashi Iwakuma SP | SEA $5 P Chad Green SP | NYY 3 P Will Harris RP | HOU 3 P Lucas Giolito SP | CHW $2 P Keone Kela RP | TEX 2 P Matt Shoemaker SP | LAA 10 P Chris Tillman SP | BAL $5 P Nathan Karns SP | KC 3 P Drew Smyly SP | SEA 7 RES James Shields SP | CHW $0 RES Derek Holland SP | CHW $0 RES Yonder Alonso 1B | OAK $0 RES Aaron Hicks RF | NYY $0 RES Yovani Gallardo SP | SEA $0 RES Gleyber Torres SS | NYY $0 RES Ubaldo Jimenez SP | BAL $0 RES Martin Perez SP | TEX $0 RES Frankie Montas RP | OAK $0 RES Jake Marisnick CF | HOU $0 RES Christian Vazquez C | BOS $0 RES Yohander Mendez RP | TEX $0 RES Anibal Sanchez SP | DET $0 RES Matt Davidson DH | CHW $0 RES Curt Casali C | TB $0 RES Steve Cishek RP | SEA $0 RES Chris Young LF | BOS $0 RES Tyler White 1B | HOU $0 RES John Axford RP | OAK $0 RES Shawn O’Malley RF | SEA $0 RES Jorge Bonifacio RF | KC $0 Scott White of CBS Sports George Bissell of Baseball Prospectus Bryan Joiner of Baseball Prospectus Pos Player Salary Pos Player Salary Pos Player Salary C Evan Gattis DH | HOU $17 C Gary Sanchez C | NYY 27 C Chance Sisco C | BAL 2 C Sandy Leon C | BOS $4 C Francisco Mejia C | CLE 1 C Martin Maldonado C | LAA 2 1B Brandon Moss LF | KC $8 1B Joe Mauer 1B | MIN 6 1B Brad Miller SS | TB 14 2B Robinson Cano 2B | SEA $29 2B Dustin Pedroia 2B | BOS 18 2B Jonathan Schoop 2B | BAL 16 3B Evan Longoria 3B | TB $20 3B Pablo Sandoval 3B | BOS 8 3B Yuli Gurriel 3B | HOU 15 SS Jean Segura 2B | SEA $25 SS Manny Machado 3B | BAL 44 SS Troy Tulowitzki SS | TOR 13 MI Jorge Polanco SS | MIN $7 MI Francisco Lindor SS | CLE 30 MI Jed Lowrie 2B | OAK 6 CI Joey Gallo 3B | TEX $1 CI Steve Pearce 1B | TOR 2 CI C.J. Cron 1B | LAA 9 OF Mark Trumbo RF | BAL $23 OF Jose Ramirez 3B | CLE 25 OF Rajai Davis CF | OAK 18 OF Jackie Bradley CF | BOS $14 OF Danny Valencia 3B | SEA 10 OF Jarrod Dyson CF | SEA 16 OF Mitch Haniger CF | SEA $8 OF Matt Joyce RF | OAK 6 OF Michael Brantley LF | CLE 14 OF Brett Gardner LF | NYY $12 OF Brandon Guyer LF | CLE 1 OF Carlos Beltran DH | HOU 8 OF Jacoby Ellsbury CF | NYY $18 OF Brock Holt LF | BOS 1 OF Lonnie Chisenhall RF | CLE 1 DH Melky Cabrera LF | CHW $6 DH Dan Vogelbach 1B | SEA 7 DH Colby Rasmus LF | TB 1 P Cole Hamels SP | TEX $21 P Yu Darvish SP | TEX 33 P Francisco Rodriguez RP | DET 18 P Rick Porcello SP | BOS $16 P Marcus Stroman SP | TOR 19 P Ryan Madson RP | OAK 14 P Francisco Liriano SP | TOR $7 P Jharel Cotton SP | OAK 6 P Craig Kimbrel RP | BOS 29 P J.A. Happ SP | TOR $11 P Garrett Richards SP | LAA 11 P Alex Colome RP | TB 25 P Steven Wright SP | BOS $2 P Joe Kelly RP | BOS 1 P Chris Archer SP | TB 28 P Jose De Leon SP | TB $2 P Matt Andriese SP | TB 1 P Alex Cobb SP | TB 7 P Eduardo Rodriguez SP | BOS $3 P Charlie Morton SP | HOU 1 P Tyson Ross SP | TEX 2 P Josh Tomlin SP | CLE $5 P Brent Honeywell SP | TB 1 P Kyle Gibson SP | MIN 1 P Reynaldo Lopez SP | CHW $1 P Francis Martes SP | HOU 1 P Hector Santiago SP | MIN 1 RES Pedro Alvarez DH | BAL $0 RES Teoscar Hernandez LF | HOU $0 RES Tyler Collins CF | DET $0 RES Adam Lind 1B | SEA $0 RES Joey Rickard RF | BAL $0 RES Logan Morrison 1B | TB $0 RES Jake Bauers RF | TB $0 RES Chris Heston RP | SEA $0 RES Cody Asche LF | CHW $0 RES Casey Gillaspie 1B | TB $0 RES Adam Engel CF | CHW $0 RES Jason Vargas SP | KC $0 RES Phil Hughes SP | MIN $0 RES Mychal Givens RP | BAL $0 RES Mark Canha 1B | OAK $0 RES Miguel Gonzalez SP | CHW $0 RES Joe Jimenez RP | DET $0 RES Mikie Mahtook LF | DET $0 RES Bruce Rondon RP | DET $0 RES Carson Smith RP | BOS $0 RES Dan Otero RP | CLE $0 Clay Link of Rotowire Heath Cummings of CBS Sports Pos Player Salary Pos Player Salary C Jonathan Lucroy C | TEX $27 C Welington Castillo C | BAL 11 C Stephen Vogt C | OAK $10 C Salvador Perez C | KC 13 1B Edwin Encarnacion DH | CLE $31 1B Carlos Santana DH | CLE 18 2B Whit Merrifield 2B | KC $2 2B Joey Wendle 2B | OAK 1 3B Josh Donaldson 3B | TOR $38 3B Ryon Healy 3B | OAK 14 SS Tim Anderson SS | CHW $23 SS Marcus Semien SS | OAK 16 MI Marwin Gonzalez 1B | HOU $1 MI Tim Beckham SS | TB 1 CI Yunel Escobar 3B | LAA $4 CI Justin Smoak 1B | TOR 2 OF Ben Revere CF | LAA $8 OF George Springer RF | HOU 30 OF Andrew Benintendi LF | BOS $20 OF Nelson Cruz DH | SEA 26 OF Max Kepler RF | MIN $13 OF Ezequiel Carrera RF | TOR 1 OF Robbie Grossman LF | MIN $1 OF Nick Franklin LF | TB 2 OF Paulo Orlando RF | KC $1 OF Hyun Soo Kim LF | BAL 4 DH Jefry Marte 1B | LAA $1 DH Billy Burns CF | KC 1 P Kelvin Herrera RP | KC $20 P Chris Sale SP | BOS 33 P Justin Verlander SP | DET $26 P Cody Allen RP | CLE 21 P James Paxton SP | SEA $15 P Andrew Miller RP | CLE 17 P Matt Strahm RP | KC $5 P Dellin Betances RP | NYY 14 P Matt Bush RP | TEX $4 P Darren O’Day RP | BAL 2 P Andrew Triggs RP | OAK $3 P Carlos Rodon SP | CHW 12 P Daniel Norris SP | DET $5 P Lance McCullers SP | HOU 17 P Ricky Nolasco SP | LAA $1 P Ryan Dull RP | OAK 3 P Kendall Graveman SP | OAK $1 P Joakim Soria RP | KC 1 RES Delino DeShields CF | TEX $0 RES Trey Mancini DH | BAL $0 RES Lourdes Gurriel CF | TOR $0 RES Willy Adames SS | TB $0 RES Rowdy Tellez 1B | TOR $0 RES Michael Kopech SP | CHW $0 RES Greg Allen CF | CLE $0 RES Carson Fulmer RP | CHW $0 RES Ryan Pressly RP | MIN $0 RES Travis Wood P | Unaffiliated $0 RES Jason Grilli RP | TOR $0 RES David Paulino RP | HOU $0 RES Darwin Barney 2B | TOR $0 RES Hunter Dozier RF | KC $0 Final Thoughts: Overall, I like my team. I feel like I put together a squad that can compete in most categories and the ones where I am light, I can chase via FAAB or the trade market. I have a good mix of upside, safety, and bounce back potential. According to my values, my team was a net $53 of value. If my team can stay relatively healthy, I should be competitive. The Facebook Live was a resounding success. Many people who watched or participated loved it. It will definitely be something I do again in the future. Possibly for the BARF league, which is a live draft and Tout Wars, which I will be attending, but not participating in the drafts? If I am lucky enough next year, I will maybe try a more out of the box strategy, take the night off of work before the draft, and be better prepared if I do a live stream. Again, big thanks to Paul Sporer for being too busy this year!