(Jose) Guillen is $19 in my league and I had the strangest time trying to convince others he was protectable at that price off his previous year's production.Guillen might not be the best example for this peeve, though. Despite his strong 2004, 2005, and 2007 earnings, the bid limits and expert auction prices on Guillen were tepid. Alex Patton's bid limit was the most aggressive at $15. He went for $14 in Tout Wars, $13 in Sportsline (I bought him), and $11 in LABR. My bid limit for him in Sportsline was $16, but since I don't publish or sell my bids, I won't lump that in there.
Let's assume for a moment that your opponents agreed with the most aggressive bid/price here, which is Patton's. That means that they all thought he was a $15 player. Not a keep, therefore.
Ah, but Eric's one step ahead of me.
No one bit, but at draft time his ilk went for $20-$24 dollars. His ilk? Jhonny Peralta, Casey Kotchman, J.D. Drew, Garret Anderson, etc.In order to simply, I'll once again refer to the Patton bid limits.
2008 AP 4x4 A.L. Bid Limits = $15
And I'll also use my "regular" A.L.-only league (BABG) as a reference-point.
Seven of the 12 players Patton assigned a $15 bid limit to were frozen in my league. The five players who weren't went between $17 and $25, for an average of $20 per player.
This is what Eric's talking about. Guillen at $19 isn't necessarily a freeze. However, Eric was being sincere when he told his fellow owners that he wasn't trying to rip them off. Of the five comparable players available in my league, only Scott and Drew went for less. Gomez, Peralta, and Renteria all went for more.
Position scarcity obviously has something to do with this when it comes to Peralta and Renteria. Let Renteria and a few other shortstops go, and you might wind up trolling for Adam Everett and John McDonald at the end of your auction.
That doesn't mean that I think Guillen's was a good freeze at $19. My league's inflation rate was about 20%; these $15 players were at $18 with inflation. I probably would have thrown Guillen back in the hopes that I either got him for $16-17 or stuck some other with him at $21.
But, like Eric, I would have tried to trade him first, then muttered loudly when he passed the price I had him at.
If I could get him at $9, I'd already have him. The competing teams in my league this year did it with every post-draft/peripheral-defying player in the AL. A $9 Guillen would have ranked as one of the best bail targets.I wound up in the opposite boat. I had Guillen at $9 and couldn't move him. Part of the problem was that the teams at the bottom had already grabbed the stud freezes like B.J. Upton at $15 and Carlos Quentin at $15. They were certainly interested in Guillen at $9, but trading Guillen for the detritus they had left on their rosters didn't entice. The teams in the middle had better players, but were reluctant to part with top talent for Guillen in the hopes that they could squeeze a better player out of a more desperate owner at the deadline.
At the 11th hour, I got an offer of Xavier Nady and Jason Kubel for Guillen that I would have taken...but Nady's FAAB price would have put me well past my league's salary cap.
Eric's league might have more restrictive freeze lists and contract rules than mine. If his league uses toppers instead of long-term contracts, then Upton probably was back in the pool this year as a Topper. In my league, Upton got a $15, two year contract and certainly was a bigger fish than Guillen. There were enough players like that to make Guillen not quite as valuable.
Something intriguing about Patton's list, though, is that the guys on the list aren't as successful as you might have hoped.
2008 AP 4x4 A.L. Bid Limits = $15 (with estimated values)
Alex gives pay cuts to more than half of the players on this list, and five of the seven do indeed live up to his lack of faith in them. True, the Cust and Garko pay cuts are marginal, and an owner could have bumped either one up to $16 on a whim pre-auction. But this isn't what we're hoping for when we take a $24 earner like Guillen and stick a $15 bid limit on him. We're secretly hoping that he splits the difference between his 2007 and Patton's 2008 bid, we get a $19 season out of him, and turn a tidy profit.
In freeze leagues, if you keep Guillen at $19, he'd better earn $19. Inflation is already going to eat away at your team; if you pay $15 for Luke Scott in a non-keeper league, you're satisfied; if you pay $18 in a league with 20% inflation, you're not thrilled, but realize that it comes with the territory. You know that your freezes are where you're going to get your profits.
That's why Guillen's bid limit is so low, Eric - and why your fellow owners didn't want him. He would have been an OK freeze at $19, provided he earned $23-25 again. The market guessed that Guillen had too much risk associated with him and the market turned out to be correct.