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Value of Top Closers (Auction Strategy ?)

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Value of Top Closers (Auction Strategy ?)

Postby ActionHero » Sun Mar 11, 2007 9:28 pm

I’m preparing for an upcoming draft and would like to hear some opinions on the value of closers and saves. While reviewing both ESPN and Sportsline’s auction values, I discovered some inconsistencies in how these organizations value top closers. The top 5 relief pitchers (without giving away premium content) had the following values (Sportsline, ESPN):

RP 1 ($30, $21)
RP 2 ($25, $20)
RP 3 ($25, $21)
RP 4 ($24, $20)
RP 5 ($24, $19)

I don’t believe their projections are that dissimilar, so Sportsline seems to value the RPs and saves significantly more than ESPN. Both ESPN and Sportsline are basing these values on a 5x5, 12 person league with a standard $260 cap. Both organizations seemed to be pretty close (within 10%) of each other for the top players at the other positions, but the discrepancy for relief pitchers is quite noticeable.

I’m familiar with the 70%/30% split for hitters vs. pitchers, but I was wondering if there is a similar split for starting pitching vs. relief pitching. ESPN had about 66%/34% split while Sportsline had it at about 63%/37%. These numbers look close, but ESPN tended to value middle relievers (like Broxton, Otsuka) more than Sportsline. Clearly if you are going with a LIMA/MR strategy, these numbers will work out differently, but is there a rule of thumb for a normal auction strategy?

TIA
Last edited by ActionHero on Tue Mar 13, 2007 6:06 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Postby ActionHero » Tue Mar 13, 2007 9:42 am

It seems that this is not a topic that interests many people, so if it's all right with the cafe, I will just carry on the conversation with myself. }:-)

I've always thought my league is one to overvalue closers. To prove this, I went back to last year's auction and calculated our split of $ spent on SP vs. RP. My league's split came out at about 52-48. No team did the LIMA or MR relief strategy, so Saves were at a premium in this league (5 closers went for $30 or more!). I found myself on the waiver wire all year long looking for help, but it was tough going.

What would the auction experts do in this situation? I've read that you never want to punt a category, but I sure don't want to spend $20 on a mediocre closer either.
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Postby slomo007 » Tue Mar 13, 2007 9:55 am

I'd spend the money on solid offensive players and then trade for those overpriced closers as the season goes on. ;-)
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Postby ActionHero » Tue Mar 13, 2007 10:00 am

slomo007 wrote:I'd spend the money on solid offensive players and then trade for those overpriced closers as the season goes on. ;-)


Good idea, but the overvaluing of closers in our league extends beyond just the draft -- there is just a general unwillingness to trade closers even after the season has started. Has to do with basic math in the sense that it's easier for people to see the impact that losing a closer will have on their saves total, and difficult for them to see the impact that an upgrade in the OF will have on their hitting category totals.
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Postby slomo007 » Tue Mar 13, 2007 10:04 am

How much are the cheaper options going for?

Guys like Kerry Wood, Joel Pineiro, Ryan Dempster, etc?

I think I would shoot for one mid-level guy, no matter what the cost...then sit back and let everyone else overspend on the rest. Then hope to either (a) get lucky on the WW or (b) make a trade.

By mid-level guy, I mean Street, Hoffman, Lidge, or either of the Corderos.
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Postby Tavish » Tue Mar 13, 2007 10:24 am

Top closers in auctions tend to be the position least affected by inflation and over-spending. It is very rare to ever see the Nathan, K-Rod, Rivera group break a $30 bid and they consistently earn mid to upper $20s. I would rather be the one buying them at auction for face value and trading them off down the road than the one trying to trade for them later in the season.
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Postby slomo007 » Tue Mar 13, 2007 10:39 am

Tavish wrote:Top closers in auctions tend to be the position least affected by inflation and over-spending. It is very rare to ever see the Nathan, K-Rod, Rivera group break a $30 bid and they consistently earn mid to upper $20s. I would rather be the one buying them at auction for face value and trading them off down the road than the one trying to trade for them later in the season.


Well, at least you practice what you preach:

P- Francisco Rodriguez $26
P- Joe Nathan $28
P- JJ Putz $8

BN- Joe Borowski $3




Still, I think I'd sit back, load up on offensive talent, and wait for the teams that spent $50+ on closers to come crawling to you looking for offensive help. I wouldn't ignore closers completely in the draft and would try to land one mid-tier guy along with maybe one bottom guy or top notch setup for an injury prone closer such as Otsuka.
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Postby Amazinz » Tue Mar 13, 2007 11:11 am

I don't think the VKC is the best gauge since it's a keeper, a strange one at that, so you see things happen at auction and during the season that you would not see in a standard roto redraft. In my experience, planning to trade for Saves does not work well. Any of these strategies where you hoard a category/position with the intent to trade it off for need later work a lot better in theory than they do in practice.

I'm not that familiar with Sportsline's dollar values. One possible factor are the category splits, not the batter/pitcher split. Sportsline could be devaluing Saves which would explain the discrepancy in closer values. I am not sure why there would be a wide discrepancy in MR. It's possible that Sportsline is evaluating SP/MR as two separate player pools and ESPN evaluates them as one? I don't know, just a guess.

At any rate, I would lean toward the ESPN numbers. I create my own dollar values and the value of top tier closers in my work is closer to ESPN than it is to Sportsline.
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Postby Tavish » Tue Mar 13, 2007 11:40 am

slomo007 wrote:
Tavish wrote:Top closers in auctions tend to be the position least affected by inflation and over-spending. It is very rare to ever see the Nathan, K-Rod, Rivera group break a $30 bid and they consistently earn mid to upper $20s. I would rather be the one buying them at auction for face value and trading them off down the road than the one trying to trade for them later in the season.


Well, at least you practice what you preach:

P- Francisco Rodriguez $26
P- Joe Nathan $28
P- JJ Putz $8

BN- Joe Borowski $3


Sure I do, I wouldn't give the advice unless I really believed in it. I had very little problem dealing K-Rod for Derek Lee as soon as the auction was over. Top notch closers are a sellers market. And even if there isn't a buyer K-Rod is very likely to earn that price or more so I'm still getting my money's worth which normally isn't true for the top hitters that you have to overspend in order to land.
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Postby Big Pimpin » Tue Mar 13, 2007 11:43 am

Tavish wrote:
slomo007 wrote:
Tavish wrote:Top closers in auctions tend to be the position least affected by inflation and over-spending. It is very rare to ever see the Nathan, K-Rod, Rivera group break a $30 bid and they consistently earn mid to upper $20s. I would rather be the one buying them at auction for face value and trading them off down the road than the one trying to trade for them later in the season.


Well, at least you practice what you preach:

P- Francisco Rodriguez $26
P- Joe Nathan $28
P- JJ Putz $8

BN- Joe Borowski $3


Sure I do, I wouldn't give the advice unless I really believed in it. I had very little problem dealing K-Rod for Derek Lee as soon as the auction was over. Top notch closers are a sellers market. And even if there isn't a buyer K-Rod is very likely to earn that price or more so I'm still getting my money's worth which normally isn't true for the top hitters that you have to overspend in order to land.


You taking a shot at my $58 Pujols Tav??? :-D
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