Manny Ramirez $26. Other bids: $25, $22, $12, $9, $8, $7, $2.
There have been some bizarre questions in the Rotisserie press surrounding how Manny might do in Chicago, but there is no doubt that you have to bid aggressively at this point if you have FAAB/slots. The winning bidder had a rash of late injuries. Most of the other contenders were either out of cap or out of FAAB (though I think some of the teams that were out of cap should have been more creative/aggressive to keep the 1st place team from grabbing Manny). Even in limited AB, he had the second highest WAR among hitters on the White Sox and his OPS would have put him 10th in the American League if he qualified. If he plays he'll hit, and there's no reason he won't play barring injury. Grab him if you can.
Casper Wells $12.
Wells might not be an elite prospect. However, I made the same argument about Brennan Boesch in April, and Boesch mashed for 2 1/2 months before Major League pitchers finally caught up with him. The best tool in Wells' arsenal is his power, and he could probably be a 25-30 HR guy in the bigs if everything broke right. There are a lot of drawbacks here, though. Wells is 25 years old, had more CS than SB at AAA, and a batting average that probably would translate to a terrible 200 MLE in The Show. As long as Wells is playing, he has to be owned, and could provide one of those great finishes despite all of the warts. Just be wary if you're bidding on him for next year. If he plays, I could see anything from $20 of value to an April bust.
Brad Hawpe $8. Other bid $8.
He doesn't have the same upside as Manny, but Hawpe makes for an intriguing play in A.L.-only leagues nonetheless. His raw numbers were down this year, but a 777 OPS doesn't make Hawpe a cipher, and he could thrive in the short-term in Tampa Bay. Keep in mind that many of the anti-Hawpe complaints had to do with his glove. At worst, he'll take a piece of the Rays DH job; at best, he'll run with it down the stretch. He should be lower than Manny in the pecking order here but higher than Wells.
Carlos Carrasco $5. Other bids $5, $5.
Carrasco's stock has dropped since his time as a top Phillies prospect (the hype machine in Philly often exceeds the results in recent years), but even Carrasco's biggest detractors were taken aback by how bad he looked in during his five-start, 2009 cup of coffee. Sent back to AAA to start the 2010 campaign, Carrasco put up a decent campaign and is back up for another look-see. He drew rave reviews from some corners for his first start, with some citing improved velocity and more polish on Carrasco's three secondary offerings. Glancing at the minor league numbers, I'm not sold on this idea and see more of a mid-rotation guy than a true ace. If you need a starter, though, you should bid aggressively since 1) I could be wrong and 2) Carrasco will likely be better than most of the SP out there in September.
Jonathan Albaladejo $3. Other bid $1.
Albaladejo's minor league numbers are nothing sort of incredible, but he's a 27-year-old, not a 21-year-old phenom. This doesn't mean that Albaladejo can't have Roto value in A.L.-only leagues, but I'd look more at his results from 2008-2009 rather than his 2010 AAA numbers and temper expectations accordingly.
Brent Morel $2. Other bid $1.
Morel is a 3B prospect for the White Sox, which makes him a far more interesting play for non-contenders than for teams still gunning for this year. He has played as a contact hitter thus far in the minors, though he started showing some power this year after a mid-season promotion from AA to AAA. With the Sox hanging in in the A.L. Central race, Morel probably won't see much action. Long term, how useful he is in Roto will depend on the power. His glove and batting average will probably make him a starter for years to come; whether that is in 2011 or later remains to be seen.
Luke French $2.
French is only 24, but isn't a prospect. He throws slop up there and relies on his defense to pull him through. This isn't a terrible formula when you're pitching for the Mariners, but French is mostly a match-up play despite the solid ERA/WHIP thus far. He pitches at Oakland this week, which probably makes him OK, but be aware that he's still a huge risk due to the incredibly low K/BB...and probably not a 5x5 option for that same reason.
Josh Roenicke $1.
Roenicke is a 28-year-old reliever who was buried behind a number of superior/more expensive arms on the Blue Jays. He might move up in the pecking order next year if/when the Jays clear some salary this winter, but is unlikely to close. He probably won't hurt you down the stretch, but there are better uses of your roster space if you're contending right now.
Freddy Garcia $1.
Garcia manages to survive at this stage of his career with guile and guts as opposed to any kind of decent stuff. When he's on, Garcia can give you 6-7 OK innings, but when he isn't it can look like batting practice out there. Garcia is at the tail end of his career and at some point that guile/guts combination isn't going to carry him forward into the next battle. He's a two-start starter this week, but I'd only recommend him as a desperation wins play. The owner who picked him up in this league is trying to make the league's innings requirement.
Boone Logan $1.
Logan is a typical LOOGY: excellent against lefties and pedestrian or worse against righties. He has fringe value in 4x4. His value is increased slightly because he pitches for the Yankees and thus he has a slightly higher chance at grabbing wins than his brethren on poorer teams.
Dan Schlereth. Claimed by 12th place team.
I last wrote about Schlereth on July 5. Since then, he's been sent down to AAA, called back up, and been wildly inconsistent. The potential is still there, but this is purely a future play at this point, and with Jose Valverde under contract in 2011, I would avoid Schlereth at the typical $10 keeper price.
Kyle Davies. Claimed by 10th place team.
Let's see. Kyle Davies has bad numbers. I say nice things about him anyway. He gets lit up. His owner waives him. Then Davies goes out and puts up a solid start against Texas followed by another good start against the Tigers. I stand by what I said about Davies. The potential is there for him to be a mid-rotation starter, and the cutter could be the pitch that takes him there. If you're contending, though, you might want to let someone else take the risk. Like the Garcia claim, this is another attempt to make a league innings requirement.
Matt Guerrier. Claimed by 7th (tie) and 3rd place teams.
Guerrier's always been a pitcher that FIP never liked, but his K/IP rate has been so low Post All-Star that the regression was inevitable. Given the crowded bullpen in Minnesota, you can probably drop him at this point if you've been waiting for him to pick up the stray save; with the Twins still in contention, they need to minimize his use in low leverage situations.