Manny Ramirez $79. Other bids $78, $61, $53, $53, $25, $16.
Casey Kotchman $78. Other bids $61, $31, $23, $18.
Unlike the A.L. I profile, this league's salary cap disappears starting with this week of FAAB bidding, so these bids are even more conservative than the A.L.'s were for Mark Teixeira and Jason Bay. The dumping culture certainly has something to do with it - for a team that has optimized its roster via trade, waiving a great hitter for Kotchman doesn't make sense - but I'm surprised a higher bid for Manny wasn't registered. Again, I'd break the bank for both these guys, even though Kotchman obviously isn't going to be the impact player that Manny is in the N.L. Another weird phenomenon here is that there are clearly some teams that bid aggressively for Manny but not for Kotchman. Kotchman is a superior version of Ken Griffey Jr. He's not a $30+ player, but he's going to probably be the best player available from here on out, barring an unlikely player slipping through via a waiver trade. If you don't get Manny, bid as aggressively on Kotchman if you need a hitter.
Eddie Kunz $22. Other bids $4, $2.
I suppose the thinking here is that Kunz could close for the Mets if the results from Billy Wagner's MRI don't turn out well. Kunz is a groundball pitcher who was the closer for AA Binghamton before his call up. He's got good but not great stuff, but could carve out a prominent middle relief role in a shaky Mets bullpen. I suspect he'll be more of a middle reliever in the short-term. He's only 22 years old, so he could continue to develop and maybe a closer some day. Long-term, he profiles more as a set-up than as a closer, but his K/IP rate in AA is promising, at least.
Joe Mather $13. Other bids $4, $2.
Mather and Skip Schumaker have both been getting regular AB with Rick Ankiel out of the line-up, but Mather's 0 for his last 8, and should return to the bench when Ankiel returns later this week. Mather certainly has a power bat, but his low OBP and BB/AB make him look more like a mistake hitter than anything else. He's probably worth a low-end stab if you have an opening, but his recent slump reduces the likelihood he'll steal AB from Schumaker going forward.
Brandon Moss $13. Other bids $11, $7, $4, $2.
Moss should get a chance at pretty regular AB as one of the four prospects the Pirates grabbed for Jason Bay. He's certainly got 15-20 HR potential, but like Mather is not a good BB/SO guy, and could also be a .240-.250 hitter in the process. I like him better than Mather for this year, though, and Moss should see a lot of playing time for the Bucs down the stretch as they try to figure out where he fits in going forward.
Andrew Jones $11. Other bid $8.
It's an incredible sign how far Jones has fallen when guys like Mather and Moss generate both higher bids and more interest. He's worth a flier if you have an opening, and Joe Torre says he's committed to starting Jones, but he's got a 501 OPS and is definitely at risk of losing AB to Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp in the Dodgers OF if he continues playing this horribly and the Dodgers stay in the N.L. West race. He could bounce back, but is not a good bet to do so. This is more of a next year bid in the hopes that some rest does him well in the off-season.
Craig Hansen $4. Other bids $4, $1.
Teams playing for next year should have bid a little bit more for this guy. He's not a good play for this year - his control is a major issue - but Hansen's got a good fastball and a solid slider. When both pitches are working, Hansen's hard to hit. He might not supplant Matt Capps as the closer next year in Pittsburgh, but if he does turn it around, I wouldn't rule it out. Bid your keeper price if you have the money and the bullpen slot and are out of contention in your N.L.-only league.
Daniel Murphy $2.
Murphy was called up by the Mets over the weekend, and should get some AB in the OF until Ryan Church comes off the DL. He had some decent power/speed numbers in AA Binghamton, and John Sickels commented positively on how Murphy controls the strike zone. Murphy isn't going to be a world beater, but is fine at $1 or $2 as a low end flier in deep leagues.
Clint Barmes $1. Other bid $1.
Jeff Baker has grabbed the second base job in Colorado, so Barmes is only playing about two days a week right now. In leagues where you can spot start players, don't play Barmes away from Coors: he has a 620 OPS away from Coors this year in 120 AB, and seems to benefit from Coors more than most of his teammates.
Barry Zito $1.
He had a great outing this weekend at Petco, so Zito once again gets picked up by a non-contender for the minimum bid. He still walks a lot of guys, and his curve doesn't seem to have the same bite it had when Zito was on the A's. I wouldn't risk it if I were in contention, but if you're playing for next year you might as well grab Zito and see if you can't catch lightning in a bottle.
Luis Rodriguez $1.
Rodriguez will start at short for the Padres with Khalil Greene going down with a season-ending injury. Rodriguez can't hit, so unless your league counts defense and intangibles, don't bid.
Clint Sammons $1.
Brian McCann should be back in the line-up this week, so Sammons is virtually worthless for Roto purposes, and could get sent back to the minors this week. If the Braves do decide to keep Sammons over Corky Miller as McCann's sparsely-used back-up, Sammons does have a little speed, so is worth it in very deep leagues as an N.L. only second catcher.
Omar Infante $1.
Infante's starting for the Braves at 3B with Chipper Jones on the shelf, and he's showed slight pop while filling in with a decent batting average. Jones should return this Friday, so Infante is a short-term play for this coming week only, and a better play in daily leagues.