Xavier Nady $29. Other bids $24, $20, $18, $16, $15, $10
Why the low bids on a player most Roto web sites are saying you should "break the bank" for? Well, in my A.L., all of the contenders are up against the salary cap and have also added players who are at least as good in the outfield. The first place team didn't bid; he's already trying to figure out how to add David Ortiz to his team without running up against the cap. The second place team bid $24 and attempted to waive a $15 Aki Iwamura while the third place team bid $18 and tried to waive a $11 Scott Rolen. Most of the non-contenders bid at what they thought was either a keeper price or a price where they could swap Nady before our league's trade deadline this Friday. Twenty-nine is probably too much, and the guy who got Nady will probably finish 5th with or without Nady.
If you are in a non-cap league, you should probably break the bank on Nady, even though he isn't nearly as good as the $25 or so season he was putting up so far with the Pirates. His Patton earnings from 2005-2007 were $10, $15, $17. I'd expect his batting average to drop against tougher A.L. East line-ups, even though the power will be OK and the RBI opportunities plentiful in a stronger Yankee line-up. You break the bank, of course, since there is no tomorrow in Roto, and you can't wait for a Mark Teixeira, Adam Dunn, or Jason Bay who may never show up in your free agent pool come Thursday.
Damaso Marte $21.
A silly bid, but this owner entered the week with $98 in FAAB due to the losses of Rich Harden and Joe Blanton to the American League. I'm sure he's hoping that the Yankees don't pick up Marte's option and perhaps Marte becomes a $21 closer for an A.L. team looking for a closer on the cheap in 2009. Marte certainly is more than the situational lefty reliever some experts are claiming he is. He consistently strikes out over a batter an inning and is a good option in deep 4x4 or 5x5 leagues, particularly since he could vulture and pick up some relief wins for a strong A.L. squad.
David Purcey $15.
This bid is from the same owner who grabbed Marte. Coming into this year, Purcey looked like a failed prospect, and a couple of bad spot starts earlier this year certainly didn't change that perception. He improved his control in the minors this year, though, and he's not old enough where he should be completely written off as a prospect. Purcey's certainly worth a flier in non-carryover leagues and if you're desperate for a starting pitcher. He was only mediocre in his last start against a weak Seattle line-up. I'd avoid him, especially since the Blue Jays still could trade A.J. Burnett, in which case Purcey could stay in the rotation no matter how bad the results are.
Eric Patterson $13. Other bid $10.
The A's swapped out one of the their acquisitions - Matt Murton - for another when they brought up Patterson. He was putting up some crooked numbers at AAA for both the Cubs at Iowa and the A's at Sacramento before his call-up, and at the very least should offer some speed for owners looking for some SB. His BB/AB make me worry that he's not going to hit for enough batting average to provide long-term value as a major league starter, but the A's might decide to let Mark Ellis walk and put Patterson at 2B in 2009. He's definitely worth a keeper-type bid from a non-contender at $10-15 to see what happens. A second baseman with 25-30 SB would be worth this price even if he does nothing else. Keep in mind, though, that Patterson is currently OF eligible only and the A's played him in the OF today.
Andy Marte $8. Other bids $6, $1.
With Casey Blake traded to L.A., Marte gets one last chance to show that he can do something in the major leagues. The former top prospect has a 553 OPS in 100 major league AB this year, and while some of that can be blamed on rust, Marte isn't looking like he's going to pan out. Like Patterson, he's certainly worth the flier, but Marte is a much poorer bet as a 2009 keep at $10.
Mitch Maier $2.
Maier was putting up some solid numbers at AAA Omaha before his call-up, but he's a 26-year old non-prospect, despite the fact that he was a first round draft pick many moons ago for the Royals. He's not enough of a hitter to man a major league corner OF position, but not enough of a fielder to play center field. He might be worth a flier as a short-term AB play with Joey Gathright on the shelf, but Maier is still a poor option going forward. David Murphy was a former first round pick who was a late bloomer and who has put up big Roto numbers, but Maier is a poor bet to duplicate this kind of success.
Zach Miner $1.
Miner's put up some solid numbers in his first two starts since replacing Eddie Bonine in the Tigers rotation, but his poor K/IP and K/BB don't speak well to his success going forward. Like Purcey, he's worth a flier in deep leagues, but your best best is playing the match-ups and spot starting him in leagues where you can. If Miner has anything going for him, it's a decent G/F rate and the fact that he pitches in Comerica.
Jose Molina $1.
He'll start with Jorge Posada on the shelf, but Molina is a bad Roto play due to the bad batting average and the lack of power. The Yankees might get a catcher via trade this week, but Molina isn't any better as a back-up in Roto. Pass.
Willy Aybar. Claimed by 11th place team.
Aybar's still getting a fair amount of AB as the Rays DH, which is Exhibit A as to why the Rays should make a trade to upgrade here. Aybar's shown little power, and his batting average has started plummeting as he's picked up more playing time. He's a weak pick-up even if the Rays don't make a trade and send Aybar to the bench.
David Dellucci. Claimed by 10th and 9th place teams.
Despite the fact that the Indians are in full blown rebuilding mode, Dellucci and his .224 BA is still piling up AB. It's possible the Indians are trying to pump up his value, but despite 8 HR, it seems doubtful that Dellucci gets traded this week. Dellucci is a little bit better than someone like Aybar because of the power, but he shouldn't be on a top-tier contender's squad at this point in the year. I'd still expect the Indians to start playing Dellucci less and giving Franklin Gutierrez another shot to see if he's part of the Indians plans in 2009 and beyond.
Jeremy Reed. Claimed by 9th place team.
One could argue that Reed should have more of an opportunity on a Mariners team going nowhere, but he hasn't exactly been playing well enough for me to make that argument too loudly. Reed could see more AB down the stretch, but he's not doing enough across the board to make him a good pick-up even if he does start playing 100% of the time against righties.