As Carson mentioned over the weekend, myself and eight of my fellow FanGraphers huddled up in the boardroom at Phoenix’s Highland Hotel at Biltmore for six-plus hours for our ottoneu league auction about two weeks ago (three others drafted from home). I selected 27 players that night then chose the final 13 when we wrapped things up this past Saturday. Eno presented his club yesterday, and here’s my roster…
First things first, this was my first ever auction. I had never done one before, and the extent of my pre-auction research consisted of glancing at the average value sheet Niv gave us beforehand. I’m not making excuses, but at least it explains some of the madness. Miguel Cabrera was the second player to be nominated after Albert Pujols, and I bid $54 (on a +$1 click) thinking it would keep going after Pujols went for $68. But fine, if I’m going to overpay for anyone, Miggy’s a good player to do it with.
I was still getting my feet wet when Josh Hamilton came around, and I hate that I have basically a quarter of my budget tied up in two guys that could be suspended (for drug or alcohol-related offenses) and/or injured (Hamilton hardly qualifies as durable) pretty much at any moment. When they’re on the field though, they’re going to rake. I love love love Andrew McCutchen, so I had no trouble spending that much money on him. I’m also a Curtis Granderson believer following his late season turn-around, but of course he strained his oblique today and could be out a while. Of course.
Jorge Posada will DH all season, so at least I have that going for me. I think getting Ryan Zimmerman for that price is perfectly fine, not a steal but not an overpay. Despite the knee issues, seeing Chase Utley sitting there for $15 was too tempting to pass up. I’ll make do with Ryan Raburn and Minute Maid Park Bill Hall in the meantime, and I could always use Danny Espinosa or Reid Brignac there if needed. If nothing else, I have options.
My pitching staff was woefully neglected, and then I tried to make up for it by overpaying for Shaun Marcum, who promptly hurt his shoulder. When CC Sabathia goes for $26, I don’t feel too good about getting Clayton Kershaw for $29. The cheap gambles on Anibal Sanchez, Wade Davis, Randy Wells, Brandon Webb, and A.J. Burnett are really going to have to pay off if I want to have a chance.
My big roll of the dice, clearly, was dropping $19 $20 combined and three roster spots on Stephen Strasburg, Adam Wainwright, and Yu Darvish. Carry it over to next year and it’s really $25 $26 ($2 per ML keeper), but my thinking is that if one of those guys pitches like they’re capable of in 2012, it’s a win for me. If I hit on two of those guys, I’m golden. I don’t know if Darvish is coming over next winter, but I’ll take the chance for three bucks. Won’t do me any good in 2011, though.
I confused Josh Lueke for Cory Luebke, but I’ll live with it since it looks like he’ll make the team. Two bucks though, yikes. I was happy getting J.J. Putz (before he got hurt) and Matt Belisle for a dollar each, and both Hong-Chih Kuo and Joba Chamberlain are FIP monsters. The former has a shot at saves as well. I still have $21 in the bank to use throughout the season (Strasburg and Waino will be replaced on they hit the 60-day DL), but when I look at my team, I see no clear bargain. I can’t point to anyone and say “that’s a good deal.” Maybe Yunel Escobar qualifies, maybe even Chris Davis for a buck, but just maybe.
My auction strategy going in was to build depth up-the-middle, but I failed pretty miserably. I definitely got caught up in the early draft hype, so to speak, when it seemed like no one wanted to be left out and prices were sky high. I’ve got two stars to build around though, a few decent $1 players, plus that trio of 2012-ish pitchers, so I’m thinking next year is when I’m more likely to make a run. I don’t like thinking that before the regular season starts, but so be it. It’s my fault for not being prepared.