Kenji Johjima $11. Other bid $5.
With most leagues past the trading deadline at this point, there are always teams awash in FAAB that are going to "overbid" on what a player's true value is. Johjima's an example of this. Two non-contenders placed these bids, so it's not like the players they chose to get rid of were lighting it up. On the other hand, even as an $11 flier for 2009, Johjima looks more than questionable. Despite the fact that he's signed through 2011, the Mariners seem committed to playing Jeff Clement, and I'm not sure that situation is going to change in 2009. If you're playing for this year, forget about Johjima. He isn't playing, and when he does play he's been too much of a cipher even as a catcher.
Kendry Morales $6. Other bids $2, $1.
Here is another trio of next-year bids (the salary jumps to $10 in 2009 if Morales is kept). The thinking in a few circles is that Mark Teixeira winds up somewhere else and Morales is the Angels starting 1B in 2009. It's possible, but who knows what kind of numbers he'll put up. The AAA numbers at Salt Lake are pretty, but it's a very strong hitting venue, so Morales' 14/58/1/.338 in 287 AB might look more like 10/70/0/.280 in the majors in 2009. That's well and good at $10, but those numbers mean he's no lock to be a starter anywhere, let alone a team with deep pockets like the Angels. He'll be 26 next year, so the clock is ticking quite loudly.
Adam Everett $6.
With Alexi Casilla out for the season, Everett should get most of the AB at SS as long as he stays healthy. He's a poor play, particularly if you're still competing in batting average. The best case for Everett is that he'll contribute in HR/SB like he did in Houston, but he did that in a favorable hitters park and now resides in a very unfavorable hitters park. He should be owned in deep A.L. leagues as long as he's starting, but like a lot of the bottom of the heap MI options, be aware you might get less than nothing from him.
UPDATE 8/18 8:00 P.M.: As rodger points out in the comments section of this post, Casilla now looks like he'll probably be back this week. I'm pretty skeptical about how much Casilla will be able to contribute hitting exclusively from the right-hand side of the plate (his OPS is about 140 lower as a right-handed batter), but the bottom line is that it makes Everett a slightly weaker option nonetheless.
Jerry Blevins $4.
Like Brad Ziegler, Blevins is an unheralded reliever who has put up some pretty solid numbers for the A's. Unlike Ziegler, Blevins is unlikely to do more than eke out the odd win and put up decent rate stats. Blevins' H/IP rate is incredibly unsustainable, so a correction is quite likely in the last 40 or so games we have left. Use with extreme caution.
Ramon Ramirez $2.
Ramirez has been incredibly dominant for a suddenly strong Royals bullpen, but any reliever behind Joakim Soria has limited value right about now. Ramirez is the rare middle reliever with more value in 5x5, due to his more than one K/IP to date. Worth it in very deep leagues, but don't think he has any chance at supplanting Soria barring injury.
Dallas Braden $1.
Braden doesn't throw hard, but he has a deceptive delivery and seems to have refined his pitch selection at AAA Sacramento this year. He's still a borderline major league starter long-term, but is someone you can look to if you need the arm and want to roll the dice on a young pitcher in a favorable pitchers' park. I'm wary of his sub-90 MPH velocity, but I know that this doesn't bother some owners.
Alan Embree $1.
Embree's not doing very well at the back of the A's bullpen. The winning bidder also has Santiago Casilla and Joey Devine, so perhaps his thinking was that he'd have the A's closer in 2009. However, he doesn't have Ziegler, who at the moment looks like the horse we should all have our money on until he proves otherwise. Embree's diet of almost nothing but fastballs looks like it's finally wearing thin.
Leo Nunez. Claimed by 11th place and 7th place teams.
Nunez has struggled since his return from the DL, but he looks like he'll join Ramirez as a nice bridge to Joakim Soria in 2009 and beyond.
Jay Payton. Claimed by 5th place and 2nd place teams.
Payton has picked up fairly regular AB subbing for Adam Jones on occasion and acting as Luke Scott's nearly exclusive platoon partner. His value is very limited, though, due to a nearly complete erosion of the speed game and a definitive drop in power. He should be pursued in deep 4x4 leagues if you have a dead spot, but Payton's value is limited nonetheless.