Monday, December 06, 2010

2010 N.L. Third Basemen

Throughout this series, I've been talking about how aggressive the bids have been across the board for the most expensive players. But for some reason, the bids on the most expensive N.L. third basemen last year seem particularly aggressive.

Ten Most Expensive N.L. Third Basemen 2010
1David Wright
2Pablo Sandoval
3Ryan Zimmerman$26$32-5$28$26$29
4Mark Reynolds$15$30-15
5Aramis Ramirez$15$25-10$27$22$17
6Jorge Cantu$10$18-8$17$16$21
7Chipper Jones$11$15-4$13$17$17
8Mark DeRosa-$0$14-14$13$16$15
9Casey Blake$12$12-1$12$16$19
10Troy Glaus$11$12-1$4$11-$0


The $2 raise per player is a yawner compared to some of the other raises across the diamond. But the prices at the top are what jump out. Four third basemen cracked the $30 barrier in 2010, compared to only two in 2008 and 2009. The average salaries in those years are the same or almost the same ($22 in 2009), but the distribution is completely different.

Some of that salary shift is David Wright all by himself. Thirty-five dollars is a lot to pay for any player, but this is a guy who got paid $43 in 2008 and $45 in 2009. The market assumes he's going to bounce back, but they're not going to pay him like an uber-elite anymore.

However, there is some of (what has become) the usual Stage One chasing here. Wright, Sandoval and Zimmerman all get raises, and Wright (because of his speed) is the only guy who has a decent shot at earning what he is paid. I don't mind taking a loss on an elite player, but I mind somewhat when there are so many solid second tier options.

Everyone on this chart except for DeRosa earns in double digits. If this is what people are paying, I'm going to sit back like I did in CBS (Jones $14), Tout (filled in with Mat Gamel), and my home N.L. (Blake $10).

Maybe I should just wait for the end game.

Top 10 N.L. Third Basemen 2010
1David Wright
2Ryan Zimmerman
3Scott Rolen$19$8+11$10$14$19
4Neil Walker $17$0+16

5Mark Reynolds$15$30-15
6Aramis Ramirez$15$25-10$27$22$17
7Chris Johnson$15

8Pablo Sandoval
9Pedro Alvarez$12$2+9
10Casey Blake$12$12-1$12$16$19


Depends on your league's rules. In the expert leagues, you can buy Alvarez, Walker or that kid in High-A ball you've been enamored with since he graduated from your alma mater 15 years after you did. In most Rotisserie formats, these guys aren't available if they don't break camp with the team. Alvarez would be on a farm system or reserve list in nearly every league, while Walker might have been in leagues with reserve lists.

Chris Johnson - the guy who did make the big club - wasn't purchased in any of the expert leagues. That's why Rotoman has a bid on him, while Alvarez and Walker - who surely had reserve list designations in the Patton software - do not.

Eligibility issues aside, in 2010 you most certainly did want to buy a cheap 3B in the endgame.

 The Rest of the Pack: All Other N.L. Third Basemen (Purchased) 2010 
12David Freese
13Andy LaRoche
14Pedro Feliz$3$5-3$6$10$13
15Jerry Hairston Jr. $11$4+7
16Blake DeWitt$10$3+7
17Melvin Mora$11$3+8$4$14$8
18Emilio Bonifacio$7$2
19Mat Gamel
21Juan Francisco $1$2-1$2
22Geoff Blum $4$0+4


Five dollars worth of production per player sounds like a yawner, but if you bought Hairston, DeWitt or Mora you pretty much hit the endgame jackpot here.

More importantly, if you were penny-pinching in Stage Three and did buy Blake or Glaus at $12, this is where you hoped to get your profits. Another way of looking at this is that is you broke even on Blake or Glaus, you had better hope you landed Hairston, DeWitt or Mora.

Looking at these charts, I have no idea how Rotoman didn't win Tout Wars running away. He bested the market on Aramis, but more than made up for that with Rolen. Since he doesn't spend much else on the big ticket items, he has plenty of money left for the end game: he has his choice of Johnson, LaRoche, Feliz, DeWitt, Mora, Bonifacio, and Gamel.

This, of course, is Rotoman the pricer. In Tout Wars, Rotoman does indeed put his money where his mouth is, grabbing Ramirez at $24. Unfortunately, he also gets LaRoche at $8 and closes himself out at corner. Right idea, wrong choice.

Third base was the rare position where you could have been a Stage Three plodder and done all right for yourself. Eleven third basemen earned between $10-15...and only Ramirez, Sandoval and Alvarez cost $25 or more. Simply buying a starter this year was mostly a winning proposition, and that rarely happens.

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