I just finished my auction this afternoon. Keeper, 11-team, NL-Only, 4x4 league.
My team was lower half of the league entering the auction (in terms of value of keeper that I possessed ... since I had stripped my team of keepers in order to finsih in the money last season ... and did finish in the money).
I started with just $24 spent (Capuano at $8, Barrett at $13 and Kaz Matsui at $3) ... not much excess value though ... and therefore $236 more to spend in the auction, the most in the league.
My usual preference has been to spend heavily on pitching ($90+), and maybe get ONE big hitter, but generally try to get under $25 hitters, and as many everyday players as possible. I usually end up with lots of power, some speed and a low BA (lots of Burrell and Dunn and Burnitz type players).
I decided to do something totally different this year, since so many closers were kept, and I thought starters would be very expensive. So this year I decided to go heavy hitting as a strategy ($195-ish on hitting). I also decided to try to get Pyjols (though eh could be topped after the last bid by a team), and 2 top level hitters, or without Pujols, 3 hitters for $105-$110, which should help my BA. I also decided to dedicate $0-ish of my $65 pitching budget to 2 anchor starters.
So ... here is my team:
C- Barrett ($13, KEPT)
C - Bard ($10)
1B - Helms ($14)
3B - Ensberrg ($11)
CI - M. Cabrera ($36)
2B - K. Matsui ($3 - KEPT)
SS - Aurelia ($12)
MI - Utley ($39)
OF - Holliday ($33)
OF - L. Scott ($4)
OF - Sledge ($4)
OF - Alex Sanchez ($3)
OF - Langerhans ($1)
UT - JJ Hardy ($5)
P - Capuano ($8)
P - Sheets ($26)
P - D. Lowe ($18)
P - P. Martinez ($8)
P - Lincecum ($6)
P - J. Francis ($3)
P - L. Ayala ($1)
P - Bray ($1)
P - Nolasco ($1)
I will start with the obvious: My OF sucks. Part of the problem was that I went over budget on my pitchers (spent an extra $64, instead fo the $57 I had planned). And I went over budget because I bought Pedro for $8 ... remember this is a keeper league, and you can keep players for 2 years. Either Pedro will be a great keeper, I hope, for next year, OR hopefully he will be GREAT trade value for this seaosnif I see an opportunity to finish in the money. I will DL him and pick up someone from the waiver wire the 1st Monday of the season.
I did buy Lincecum, who will not be helpful in the 1st part of the season, and I probably paid too much. But I had wanted him in the minor league draft (his salary would have been $5) ... but I was never going to get him in the minor league draft (I picked 8th). So when he was eligible to be BOUGHT in the auction, I resolved to do so, at $7 or lower. we shall see how smart or dumb that was.
But another reason I had a problem with my OF is that 2 teams spent very little money until the latter half of the auction, and thery bid up the mid-level OF's every time they came up, so those players had no value. Examples: Victorino went for $18, Francoeur went for $27, Hermida went for $12, Ethier went for $13, Alou went for $13, Nady went for $12. While I did have enough money to buy those players if I had wanted to, I would have been left crippled in the end game of the auction, not even able to bid $3 or $5 to get players like Hardy, Francis, et al ... and not able to bid the $4 to $5 required to make others pay fuller prices for end game bargains like Diaz, Bautista, Church, Thorman,etc. For example, if I had spent the money to get Hermida or Ethier, the guy buying Thorman would have gotten him for $2, instead of $10 ... and then he could have outbid me for both Hardy and Francis .. both of whom he wanted.
Another problem, I obviously have is ZERO saves. Not a lot I could do about it, unless I wanted to bid huge $$ for Chad Cordero (went for $32), or way too much for 3rd or 4th tier closers (Weathers went for $12, Hermanson for $10 as examples ... Dempster for $14 ... and set-up guys all went for $8-$10 each). I do regret not getting either Capps or R. Soriano, my top 2 targets for middle relief who might end up the closer. But at the time they came up in the auction, I was outbid (each went for $8, and Mike Gonzalez for $9). Ayala and Bray each have a chance to be closers, at some point, though I'd have to get lucky.
And, I also lack SB's, unless somehow Alex Sanchez siezes the job and hits better than .240. I hate paying up for 1 category players, like Roberts, Freel and Pierre ... all of whom went for pretty high prices (and Pierre was topped, anyway). I did bid on Rollins, but gave in when the price went to $38. I then ended up buying Utley, instead, for $39. And I prefer that. I did bid $37 for Rollins, though I was grumpy and nervous about that. I did bid on Reyes, but someone had topper rights, and did top him to retain him for $44.
If I had to guess, I am a middle of the pack team ... which means I will have to be lucky to be in striking distance for 3rd or 4th place. And if I get lucky, then I will have players to trade to teams who play for next year (since getting lucky means my lower priced players are better than expected). And if I do not get lucky, I will have great producers to trade for low priced keepers for next season.
Comment away, or just enjoy the view - maybe it will help with your auction or draft.
By the way, here are the prices of some notable, top drawer starting pitchers:
Peavy - $27
B. Myers - $20
Sheets - $26
Zambrano - $27
Smoltz - $26
Webb - $27
Carpenter - $29
Others: Cain ($17), J. Patterson ($13), Willis ($13), Hensley ($11), Rich Hill ($14), Penny ($14), Garcia ($13), and Wainwright ($15).
"If one word will suffice, then ten thousand CERTAINLY will."
"The lost causes are the ONLY causes worth fighting for."