I've been wondering lately whether you...apply inflation strictly by the numbers when you set your bid prices, or you finesse the numbers a little bit by employing some subjective judgment about a player's worth. Based on the fact that you would limit your bid on (Dustin) Pedroia to $31 even though inflation par says the price is $37, I think, gives me my answer.First of all, let me see if I can pinpoint what probably caused the confusion:
My "regular" A.L.'s inflation rate is typically 20%, so if I get Pedroia at $30, it's a no-brainer, and probably a bit of a bargain. It's when a look at that $31 raw bid again that I start to feel a little clammy.My bid limit on Pedroia was $31 in Sportsline - a league that had no inflation since it was a start-over league. I also call this a "raw" bid limit. If I decide to keep this raw bid limit for my non-expert American League and the inflation rate is 20%, then my inflation bid limit is $37 ($31 * 1.2 = $37.20).
Thirty-one dollars with a 20% inflation rate puts Pedroia at $37. That sounds...wrong. Or - right or wrong - it sounds like an amount I'd never be willing to pay for Pedroia, inflation or no.
What Frank is wondering is if I would automatically chase Pedroia to his inflation par price of $37 because that's what I have him at on my sheet.
It is unlikely. It's rare that I'll push a player to his par price - particularly in a carry-over auction - for a couple of reasons:
- Inflation sucks the value out of your team. If I walk into the room with $56 worth of salaries on my roster and $100 of value I've got $44 worth of profit to start the day. In a room with a 20% inflation rate, the $204 I have to spend will net me $170 worth of players if I chase everyone to par prices - or a $270 team overall when you factor my freezes in. That might give me a money team in a very competitive league, but it's more likely to put me in 5th or 6th. If I have eight freezes in this example and can get even $1 worth of profit on every player I buy, I'll have a $285 team as opposed to a $270 team. This still might not be a winner, but it will be a lot closer.
- There is a ceiling on what players can earn. Let's say that Grady Sizemore is available in my auction and my raw bid limit is $42. He only earned $39 last year, but I don't mind taking a small loss on a potential 40/40 player. With that 20% inflation rate, he's now a $50 player. If I push him to par and he only earns $39 again, I'm taking an $11 loss. Given Grady's speed/power combo, it's possible Grady might earn $50 but given his earnings to date it's highly unlikely.
I do start out with raw bid limits that don't take my strategy or situation into account and try to rate players in a non-league specific way. This serves as a reality check, so that I don't delude myself into thinking that Reyes is a bargain because I have him at $62 on my sheet with inflation. I want to know where I'm gaining ground and where I'm taking a loss based on each player's true worth, and not based on my specific circumstances.
But I do permit myself to stop before I reach a player's inflation par value. And unless there is a special circumstance like the ones I mentioned above, I almost always stop before I reach that full inflation bid price.