Thursday, February 22, 2007

2006 Contender/2007 Also-Ran (?)

Yesterday, Tom asked the following in the comments section of the blog.

I play in what looks like a similar AL league--12 teams, each freezing 8-13 players per year. I sold out last year to get into the money, picking up studs for my low priced talent--now i'm left with a wasteland for a reserve list. No big winners salary wise. What I do have, however, are solid, quality regulars at just under inflation adjusted salaries. Nothing flashy, just +1 or +2 on guys like Konerko, Tejada, M. Young, etal.

In an inflation-heavy league (20-30%), is it better to lock up as much salary in guys who are relatively reliable and will produce, then take your shots at the real up-side but risk-heavy guys, or would you prefer to head into the auction carrying a minimal freeze list and try to spread your risk over more players?

Tom's dilemma is a common one in carry-over leagues. You go all out to win and you're left with nothing or next to nothing the following season.

Tom lists two possibilities for his team in 2007:

1) Keep Konerko, Tejada, Young, and others at par, and then taking fliers on high-risk/high-reward players.
2) Throw back those expensive players at par, and spread his risk in the auction.

Assume a league with 25% inflation (the mid-point of Tom's question). Team A freezes 10 players at a combined $180 who are worth $185. Team B freezes 5 players at a combined $60 who are worth $75. Which team is better?

TeamSalaryValue$ to SpendAuction Value
Total $
Team A$180$185$80$64$249
Team B$60$75$200$160$235

It's better to freeze Konerko, Tejada, Young, et al with inflation.

I'm almost always inclined to go into my auction with the most potential value because I can't predict what's going to happen in any given year with 100% accuracy. And I might make some great calls but, even so, I'm also going to miss on a few players here and there. Having $200 for 18 slots gives me more chances to hit the jackpot, but it doesn't guarantee that I will.

There's also no reason that Team A can't also hit some of those same jackpots with the $80 it has left to spend. J.J. Putz went for $1 to an owner who had only $73 to spend in the auction last year.

Go for value. Don't be afraid to freeze players like Konerko or Young if they're going to improve your team heading into the auction.

It's important to note that when Tom calls his freezes "+1 or +2 guys", I'm assuming that he means pre-inflation. If Konerko is worth $25 and 25% inflation makes him would put his bid price at $30, I'm thinking Tom has him at $23. If Tom has him at $28 or $29, I might throw him back, since that price is now far too close to par value, and I might be able to do better with either Konerko or another hitter in the auction.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great info. I am in a similar situation in an 13 team NL only league. I have Pujols (48 acquired in trade last year), Soriano 36. mike Jacobs, Murton, Ethier and Luke Scott all 10 and Barrett at 8. Pitchers - John Patterson 10, Howry 6 and Wheeler 5. Inflation looks to be about 25%. There are very few quality middle infielders who will be available, some corners and some mid-level outfielders. Any suggestions? Thanks