This article is not really about Rusney Castillo. It’s about you. Well, if you play ottoneu, it is about you.
See, ottoneu does not allow you to bid on Cuban players, college players, etc., until they are signed by an MLB organization. And Rusney Castillo just hit that milestone, leading to a flurry of auctions. And more than 400 teams placed bids on the newest Boston Red Sox outfielder.
Let’s start with the results:
|4×4||5×5||FG Pts||SABR Pts|
To those of you on Twitter who I told not to bid more than a couple bucks (and noted that I would not spend more than $1), well, you probably didn’t win Castillo.
Across formats, there was wide-spread agreement on his value, based on salary data. All four formats have him pegged around $14, while his high and low prices are in tight ranges. This surprises me. Castillo, should he prove valuable in fantasy, will likely do it with his legs and a bit of pop. Low average with 5-10 HR and 15-20 SB perhaps? You may disagree with the specifics, but it seems to me his value should be much higher in 5×5, where those steals really carry weight, and much lower in 4×4 where the steals have no value and the low AVG hurts in OBP and SLG.
But where the Castillo bidding gets most interesting is before the final numbers.
As of August 25, 403 teams had bid a total of $4753 on Castillo, averaging $11.79 per bid. The range, though, was huge. Only two teams bothered to bid $1, clearly realizing that he’d never go for that price. 28 more teams bid $2 or $3.
At the high end, one team bid $80 (think about that…) and another bid $67 (too bad they were not in the same league). The next highest bid was $45, and two teams put in that bid. Three teams bid $40.
The most popular bid was $10 (51 teams made that bid), while 36 teams bid $5, 34 bid $12, and 31 bid $4. Which means that more teams bid $4 than $1-$3 combined.
There are a few things I see at play here:
First, 61 teams bid $20 or more, and I find it hard to believe there are 61 teams out there that see this guy as a $22+ player next year. Many of those teams, I imagine, wanted to make sure that Castillo was back in the auction next year, or at least guarantee that none of their league-mates got a steal on the Cuban.
Second, I think we can take a bit of a lesson here on what to expect for future players like Castillo. What does “like Castillo” mean? In this case, it has less to do with his potential production and more to do with his being very close to MLB-ready (we think) and with projections of his performance being very unclear.
From my perspective, I didn’t bid on Castillo in any of my leagues. I wouldn’t have bid more than $1-$2, if I did, and I would have only done it to trade him (or cut him) in the off-season, though there is some option value in having him on my roster. If you bid on Castillo and lost him to someone bidding $20 plus (and many of you did), I would happily let that other owner take on what is now a very over-priced asset.
And for those of you who paid good money for Castillo, if you read this, I’d love to know what your plans are for the off-season.
Chad Young is a product manager at Amazon by day and a baseball writer (RotoGraphs, Let's Go Tribe), sports fan and digital enthusiast at all times. Follow him on Twitter @chadyoung.