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Getting ready for 2008!

Getting ready for 2008!

Postby BaltoBruiser » Tue Jan 08, 2008 1:08 am

This is my first post, so please be kind.

Two years ago I was invited to join an auction keeper league with 15 other teams. We can select from either league with 16 hitters (2x C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS 5x OF 1 U) and 10 pitchers (4 SP, 2 P, 4 RP) and a bench of up to 8. Between keepers and drafted players, your total draft day salary can be up to $300. Once you start picking up FAs (priced at $10), there is no maximuim on your salary. Contracts are for 3 years and the last year includes a $10 escalation (Yrs 1 and 2 I can have Beckett for $18 but year 3 he will be $28). We use a 5 hitting categories (avg; slg; obp; HRs; RPs (R+RBI-HR); SBs) and 5 pitching categories for scoring (Ws, SVs, Ks, ERA (1.5x); WHIP (1.5x) for scoring with the best team receiving 16 points in each category and the worst team getting 1 excpet for ERA and WHIP where you get 24 to 1.5.

My auspicious beginning came when I lost the coin flip to the other new owner and he was able to keep Ryan Howard for $1 in his second contract year. I further compounded things by trading away Hanley Rameriez after his fast start in 2006 for Alex Gonzelez and Danys Reyes (that was truly stupid and I am still trying to live that trade down). My team following a trade of Tim Lincecum for Matt Kemp (I would be interested in anyone's thoughts on that trade) is as follows (2008 Contract amounts):

C -- Pierzynski (10); Montero (3); Redmond (1)
1B -- Morneau (31); Nady (14)
2B -- Castillo, L (23); Hudson (17); Miles (10)
3B -- Jones, C (22); Kouzmanoff (11)
SS -- Furcal (24); Eckstein (5)
OF -- Crisp (15); Foukudome (10); Lind (2); Kemp (1); Lofton (19); Monroe (8); Brown, Emil (4); Johnson, Reed (20); Gonzalez, Luis (4); Hopper (10); Ludwick (10)
U -- Hafner (43)
SP -- Beckett (18); Francis (11); Garland (9); Cabrera (12); Bailey (5); Miller, Andrew (2); Litsch (10)
RP -- Speier, Justin (1); Bell, Heath (10); Soriano, Rafael (26); Mastney (20)

I get to keep up to 11 players or $110 worth of contracts. My thoughts are that I should build on my relatively cheap SPs with Beckett, Francis, Garland, Miller and Bailey coming back. I would keep Kemp (since I just traded for him and I think he is going to eventually be the starting LF for the Dodgers now that Gonzo will be gone) and Foukudome in the outfield with Lofton and Crisp possibilities depending on where they end up. Both Morneau and Furcal were down last year and I don't know if I couldn't release them and get them a lower salaries at auction. I was very impressed with Kouzmanoff's second half and if Chipper has another season like last year's I will suffer through the trips to the DL. If Redmond was going to get more playing time (either as DH or C) I think he is a bargin at $1

Which of these guys would you keep if you could? Thanks is advance, and I am willing to return the favor.

Regards,
Bruiser

edited: 1.8.09 to reflect proper pitching categories Bruiser
Last edited by BaltoBruiser on Tue Jan 08, 2008 1:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Getting ready for 2008!

Postby StlSluggers » Tue Jan 08, 2008 12:03 pm

I think that's a 6x4, no? What am I missing here: avg; slg; obp; HRs; (R+RBI-HR); SBs (that's 6) and then 4 more for the pitchers. Assuming that's right, then they made this really easy for you. A great hitter will produce across at least 5 of those cats, whereas your best pitchers will only help you out in 3 of those pitching cats. Time to load up on great hitters... um... where are they? Just kidding, man, but we do have some work to do for you to be competitive this year.

Let me step back for a moment. Your league is what I'd call "broken." A properly defined league should allow each owner the chance to approach winning in more than one way. Whenever a league's settings dictate the strategy, then it's not set up properly. Looking at this league, not only is the scoring system weighted towards hitters, you also have to start more hitters than pitchers. That makes great hitters worth even more since they're competing against truly substandard hitters. On the other hand, average pitchers will be available late in the auction or even from the waiver wire allowing you to be competitive in that area of the league without really trying too hard. They might as well have called this the "Draft Hitters First League."

Knowing all of that, let's try to exploit it. First, try to keep some production. Chipper and Morneau... That's $53 right there. Yikes. I don't possibly see how keeping Hafner would be smart despite needing him. I'd keep Kemp for a $1. That's about it for the hitters. On the pitching side, go with Beckett, Francis, Bailey, and Miller. That's another $36 in pitching, which brings you to a grand total of $90 over 7 players.

After keeping those 3 hitters and 4 pitchers, I would then try to trade all of the pitching for hitting. I'd say that it would be nice to keep Beckett, but he's your only great bargaining chip. With this being a 5 OF league, I would target an uberstud OF with the Beckett trade. In a 2 C league, you will want to have a C that can produce. Try to grab one of those guys somewhere along the line, too, but don't overpay. Beyond that, I would consult these boards with each deal that comes your way.

Welcome to the Cafe, and good luck! ;-D
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Re: Getting ready for 2008!

Postby Big Pimpin » Tue Jan 08, 2008 1:14 pm

I pretty much agree with Sluggers. Hafner is too pricey to keep, so barring a trade I would go with the same guys he said (Morneau, Chipper, Kemp, Beckett, Francis, Bailey, and Miller) plus I'd probably take a shot with Fukudome or Kouz (I'd probably go Fukudome since he's cheaper and you need OF production) as well as a $2 Lind. That would be 9 guys for $102/$103. I would not bother with Crisp or Lofton or Garland.

I do absolutely agree about putting all your pitching on the market. If someone will give you a good hitter for Miller or Bailey, awesome. If you can get a great hitter for Beckett, awesome. Keep in mind your keeper salary restrictions though, you don't want to deal Beckett for a guy who you have to drop Chipper or Morneau to make room for, because then your core is compromised. There isn't much there to build on so you can't afford to mess with it.

Best of luck, welcome to the Cafe, and stick around! There are always people willing to help you out. ;-D
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Re: Getting ready for 2008!

Postby BaltoBruiser » Tue Jan 08, 2008 1:31 pm

Sorry it is actually 6x6 since ERA and WHIP are "supercategories" that count for 150% (Instead of 16 for 1st place a team gets 24 and last place team gets 1.5 points). I wasn't paying close attention last night after midnight my time. I think that makes a little bit of a difference in the slant toward hitting vs. pitching but I agree with you that this league is geared toward hitting.

I like the recommendations so far. Thanks!

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Re: Getting ready for 2008!

Postby StlSluggers » Tue Jan 08, 2008 1:34 pm

BaltoBruiser wrote:Sorry it is actually 6x6 since ERA and WHIP are "supercategories" that count for 150% (Instead of 16 for 1st place a team gets 24 and last place team gets 1.5 points).

That would make it 6x5, right? If they wanted 6x6, it would have to be 2x for each of those cats.
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Re: Getting ready for 2008!

Postby BaltoBruiser » Tue Jan 08, 2008 1:53 pm

Sorry I forgot Ks as a pitching category.

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Re: Getting ready for 2008!

Postby BaltoBruiser » Tue Jan 08, 2008 11:39 pm

OK, so If you look at the stud hitters in my league here is what is available and what I think will be available (we haven't set our keepers yet):

Available at the auction b/c his contract is up
Ryan Howard
Big Papi

Guys I think will be released and salaries:

Pujols $51
M. Cabrera $47
Crawford $45
Beltran $52

Guys who I think the owners will keep:

Sizemore 39 B
Teixeira 34 B
Wright 37 B
Manny 36 B
A-Rod 41 B
Utley 40 B
H. Ramirez 15 last year of contract
Rollins 30 B
Holliday $37 B
Fielder $30 B

So if I try to make a move with Beckett with the exception of Ramirez, I would probably have to release Fukudome also. So I am not sure it would be worth it for me to even try a trade and I might just have to take my chances at the auction.

Bruiser

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Re: Getting ready for 2008!

Postby StlSluggers » Wed Jan 09, 2008 11:03 am

At some point, most owners will start feeling antsy about their pitching situation; some more so than others. That's when you should be able to get top dollar for Beckett. Sometimes, teams anticipate the market and get antsy about their pitching before the auction. Other times, teams that assumed they'd make a move in free agency suddenly find themselves without the SP they thought would slip to them.

I'm just guessing here, but given his $, I would think he'd have better trade value in the middle of the auction or later. At that point, some owner might have overspent, and would consider moving a big $ player in return for a little more mobility or for that pitcher they need to win this year.

What's the mood of the other owners?
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Re: Getting ready for 2008!

Postby BaltoBruiser » Wed Jan 09, 2008 11:29 am

I am not sure what the mood of other owners is at this point. We all live around the country and during the offseason have little interaction and our auction was only recently set for March 8th, so there is plenty of time between now and then.

I was thinking about offering the Ramirez owner Furcal and Miller or Bailey.

Ramirez at $15 and last year of contract vs. Furcal at $24 and two years plus Miller at $2 and two year or Bailey at $5 and two years.

Do you think that is a fair trade? Would you take it?

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Re: Getting ready for 2008!

Postby StlSluggers » Wed Jan 09, 2008 11:54 am

BaltoBruiser wrote:I am not sure what the mood of other owners is at this point. We all live around the country and during the offseason have little interaction and our auction was only recently set for March 8th, so there is plenty of time between now and then.

If you have had little interaction, then I'd say that most of your league is laid back. Many "active" keeper leagues have a core of owners that won't stop chatting or talking trade through the entire winter. Just based on what you said, my bet is that no one is really thinking about their situation as much as you are. The upside to that is that you'll be a little more prepared. The downside is that you'll need to exercise some patience while waiting for the proper time to move your players.

BaltoBruiser wrote:I was thinking about offering the Ramirez owner Furcal and Miller or Bailey.

Ramirez at $15 and last year of contract vs. Furcal at $24 and two years plus Miller at $2 and two year or Bailey at $5 and two years.

Do you think that is a fair trade? Would you take it?

Most likely, I wouldn't take it. For me to want to take that trade, I'd have to believe that I was out of contention, since a trade like that means I'm punting for this year while looking to the future. That's just not something most owners do before the auction even starts. Also, if I was really looking at that deal, I'd ask for both Miller and Bailey.

I should clarify my above comments by pointing out that I am a firm believer in not investing heavily in young pitching. Most of them don't become consistent producers until at least a couple of years into their career. The Lirianos of the world are just too few and far between for me to go buying up every pitching prospect out there.
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