Monday, April 09, 2012

A.L. FAAB Log: April 9, 2012

Welcome back to the FAAB logs. For new readers, this is a review of the FAAB results in a 12-team, A.L.-only home league with a $100 FAAB budget. It is designed as a preview for what you might expect to see in your own home leagues tomorrow morning or afternoon when it comes time to decide what to bid. The other purpose of these logs is to discuss the strategy behind the bids and the possible rationale for why some savvy owners in a 25+ year old Rotisserie League made the moves that they did.

Hector Santiago $30. Other bids $30, $26, $16, $15, $14, $11.
There's a definite dichotomy to these bids. The three $26+ bids say Santiago's the closer, the man, the guy who Robin Ventura will give the ball until Santiago proves he can't handle it. The lower bids say maybe Santiago's the closer but maybe Santiago's the head of the committee, or that he's keeping the seat warm for Addison Reed. I made one of the more aggressive bids, so I'm in the former camp. Four years ago, I made the mistake of thinking that Joakim Soria was a temp guy, when it should have been obvious to anyone and everyone that he was the man in Kansas City. The White Sox were raving about Santiago in camp, and even trying to keep him under wraps prior to his first appearance this weekend to try and gain a competitive advantage. No one knows how this will work out, but I'd bid under the assumption that Santiago could close all year if he holds up.

Fernando Rodney $19. Other bid $16.
The faith isn't as ardent in Rodney, and I can't say I blame anyone for not trusting a guy who walked almost eight per nine innings last year. However, Peralta was shaky on Saturday and Rodney's gotten the job done two days in a row. A committee is possible, but it's also possible that Joe Maddon simply rides the hot hand for now. This bid might be too high (the winning bidder does own Kyle Farnsworth), but I'd recommend at least bidding $10-12. Farnsworth will be out until May and it's not out of the question that Rodney will at the very least head the committee in Farnsworth's absence.

Andruw Jones $7. Other bids $2, $2.
Jones isn't a world-beater, but he'll probably wind up with 200-250 AB this year for the Yankees and provide 10-15 HR. As a 5th OF in A.L.-only, that's a pretty good ROI, though this bid is a little high.

Anthony Swarzak $5
Swarzak performed admirably in a spot start today for the Twins, but unless Liam Hendriks' food poisoning lingers, it's back to the pen for Swarzak. He hasn't been considered a prospect for three years now, and doesn't have the K pitch needed to be more than a utility arm. I'd pass on him even in A.L.-only.

Kyle Drabek $4. Other bids $2, $1.
Drabek beat the odds and made the Blue Jays staff out of camp. Former prospects can sometimes fly under the radar and make an impact the following year, but Drabek's a guy I'd stay away from for now, since I haven't heard anything in particular to make me believe that the Jays have done anything specific to fix his command issues. He gets the Red Sox this week, which is another reason I'd avoid for now.

Kila Ka'aihue $3.
With no fanfare, Ka'aihue seems to have found his way into a job sharing arrangement with Brandon Allen. Ka'aihue has outplayed Allen so far, and while the sample size is miniscule, it's worth noting that since the A's don't have a lot invested in either player, a strong start by one could push the other onto the bench. Ka'aihue is a low-end flyer at this point for some power if he plays every day, but is a better play if you can stash active players on your bench.

Ben Francisco $3.
I've always liked Francisco as a potentially useful, sneaky power/speed fifth OF option in only leagues, but Toronto doesn't seem like a good fit. He might get some AB against lefties if Colby Rasmus or Eric Thames struggle, but it's more likely that Francisco will start 1-2 times per week and won't produce enough to own in A.L.-only.

Jeanmar Gomez $2
It's almost as if Gomez were designed in a laboratory to test the improved Indians infield defense/low strikeout/ground ball pitcher theory. Gomez does get them to hit the ball on the ground, but his sub-5.0 K/9 rate leaves a lot to be desired...and his low SwStr% isn't even conducive to a corresponding K jump this year. He's better left for 4x4 or for match-up plays in 5x5. I'd sit him this week against the White Sox.

Ronny Paulino $2. Other bid $1.
Paulino had a great game against Francisco Liriano this weekend as a fill-in DH, but he's second catcher fodder in A.L.-only leagues. The fact that the Orioles used him as a DH versus a lefty pumps Paulino's value up, but only incrementally.

Nick Johnson $1
Everything written about Nick Johnson must legally start with the words "If he's healthy." OK, now that this is out of the way Johnson seems to be pushing his way into a quasi-part-time role with the Orioles, splitting time with Wilson Betemit and Chris Davis. The power probably won't come, but Johnson could hit for a decent average and drive in some runs in a favorable offensive environment. He's really more of a wait-and-see guy, but in A.L.-only leagues if you don't grab him now he'll be expensive later if he has a hot week.

Darnell McDonald $1. Other bid $1.
Carl Crawford's injury makes McDonald playable in A.L.-only. He's got a little pop and a little speed and might even start 2-3 times a week while Crawford works his way back.

Anthony Recker $1
On a different team, Recker would be a savvy A.L.-only pick-up, as he has a power bat and could turn into one of those sneaky 6-8 HR second catchers. On the A's, though, Kurt Suzuki plays and plays and plays, thus limiting Recker's value. If you have Suzuki then Recker is a decent insurance policy. Otherwise, Recker doesn't particularly stand out.

Ramon Santiago $1
Santiago might be useful down the line if Jim Leyland decides that defense does matter and that blowing a golf-ball sized hole through his stomach lining isn't worth the extra offense. Or Santiago might be worth it if Andy Dirks flames out and Santiago winds up getting some additional playing time if Raburn shifts back to the outfield. But in reality Santiago probably isn't worth it, since the limited value he provides is tied to his starting or at least being on the good side of a platoon.

Don Kelly $1
The best thing that can be said for guys like Kelly and Santiago is that Leyland does find ways to get them 250-300 AB a season. But even in A.L.-only Kelly's impact is limited. He was only picked here because the team that got him had him as a contingency behind Jones and McDonald and after blowing $19 on Rodney didn't want to start blowing big bids on the offensive dreck that's currently in the pool.

Jose Lopez $1
I thought Lopez might squeeze in a little PT in the early going but Jack Hannahan's fast start has kept Lopez glued to the bench. He's a stealth MI power option in A.L.-only, but is obviously going to need AB to make that happen.

Humberto Quintero $1
Quintero is supposed to get most of the starts over Brayan Pena while Salvador Perez is out. If you can take the moderate batting average hit, then the drip, drip, drip of the runs/RBI is worth it from your second catcher.

Octavio Dotel $1. Other bid $1.
Dotel's an obvious add in deep leagues because of his strikeouts. His taterific tendencies will hurt your ERA/WHIP now and again, but on the whole Dotel is a worthy pick-up.

Jason Frasor $1
Frasor's your typical blasé middle reliever. He whiffs a batter per inning so is an acceptable, back-end A.L.-only pitcher but that's usually all he is, and he's often keeping the spot warm for someone on your farm/reserve or the next big thing in the free agent pool.

Liam Hendriks $1. Other bid $1.
Hendriks is one of those pitchers who doesn't have a ton of upside but could slot in as a solid #4 or #5 for years to come if everything plays in his favor. He throws in the low 90s, has good control, and knows how to pitch with the stuff he has. The home venue makes him a match-up play at the very least, and if Hendriks managed to stay in the rotation and finish the year with a 3.80 ERA it wouldn't surprise me. He has the Rangers this week, though, so even at home I'd be leery of starting him.

Graham Godfrey $1
Godfrey managed to win a spot in the A's rotation and is a possible two-start pitcher this week with the Royals at home and the Mariners in Seattle (though it's more likely that Tyson Ross gets promoted and starts later this week). It's a pretty favorable slate, but Godfrey is a weak option no matter who he's facing. His K/9 is sub-pedestrian and the best thing Godfrey has going for him is excellent control. Ross will be back up and in the rotation even if it's not this week, and Dallas Braden might bump Godfrey and not Ross out of the rotation at some point as well. I say pass.

Casey Janssen $1
I've always been a fan of Janssen's. Like Frasor, he's a solid back-of-the-Roto-staff guy in only leagues with little hope of closing. But he could pick up a stray save now and again if the tea leaves align correctly.

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