Well, as Mike set forth below, the CBS Sportsline Expert League auctions are upon us again. I agree with Mike that it is very early for an auction, but, well, it's an auction! I also have the joy of defending my 2008 CBS Sportsline Title.
Last year, I went into the auction with a strategy...and immediately left it in the dust. As background, I do not set my prices based upon standardized budgets. I set my budgets with a pre-ordained split that I want to achieve. While the mathemathcians will balk at my scientifically unsound baseline, I think it gives me an advantage in the auction. I have allocated my draft dollars without slotting them. When I need to push an extra dollar, I know my bid prices are aligned to make sure I do it on the right players. And, frankly, it is nice to have numbers on the sheet that are a little different than everyone else's numbers (in this day and age of shared information).
On the other hand, a savvy owner knows when to abandon strategy. I came in with prices slotted for a $200/$60 split hitting versus pitching. I love the offense in the National League, and I know intuitively that pitching is deep. That strategy went right out the window in the first several picks. The top tier shortstops went too high (even with my tweaked base line prices) along with the corner infielders. Then Cordero came up and fell in several dollars under my sheet price. I snapped him up. Saito then came up and also fell a little below the sheet price. I grabbed him too. Suddenly, I had spent $43 and had two of my highest ranked 4 closers.
Time to abandon the splits...I wound up not having any Top Ten $$ hitter or pitcher. I did grab Pujols for a very nice price, and topped my rotation with Hudson and Wainwright at $14 each. Aging vets like Kent and Garciaparra actually contributed something before getting hurt, and I managed to pick up free agent after free agent at the right time: see Russell Branyan.
Several thousand injuries later (4 players lost for the season and 13 other players on the DL for at least 3 weeks), and one good trade in the books, I still found myself on top in September. Eric Mack overtook me with about 11 days left in the season, but I managed to leapfrog over him again 2 days later and squeaked out a win.
Since 2008 was the first year for an auction in the expert league, I will be curious to see how it plays out this year. Will the top tier offensive players go over my sheet values again? Will closers continue to be undervalued? Will productive vets continue to fall through while hot rookies and prospects are overbid? Tune in Tuesday!