Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Matt Adams and FAAB Strategy

Our N.L. FAAB Log was missing a key player yesterday: Matt Adams.
I guess you guys did your bids before Lance Berkman was Dled and Matt Adams was called up. What say you on a FAAB for Adams, for those of us who are bidding tomorrow?
For both the American League and the National League, the FAAB logs are for leagues that use farm systems. So Adams was already stashed in someone's farm system. 

In Tout Wars, though, Adams was available for bid. Here's how the bidding shook out:

Nate Ravitz 68
Mike Gianella 56
Derek Carty 53
Brian Walton 53
Lenny Melnick/Paul Greco 31
Peter Kreutzer 27
Phil Hertz 16
Dean Peterson 16
Steve Gardner 6

Did not bid on Adams: Tristran Cockroft, Scott Pianowski, Scott Wilderman, Todd Zola

Tout Wars' transaction deadline is Sunday at midnight. At this point, the news on Berkman looked bad, and it seemed like he had suffered a season-ending injury. So people bidding on Adams were thinking that perhaps they were bidding on a starting first baseman with a minor league track record of slugging the ball at every level he's played.

I'd break the bid categories down into four camps:


At the bottom of the bid spectrum, there are two extreme cases of teams that didn't bid (or nearly didn't bid). Cockroft ($96) and Gardner ($90) were both sitting on a pile of FAAB. Gardner also has a very strong offense except for stolen bases so going whole hog for Adams might not have been the best play for him. At $81, Wilderman also hae a pile of cash.

On the other end of the spectrum, Pianowski ($46) and Zola ($40) were just about out of money. I'm not sure if they thought they wouldn't get Adams or didn't want to blow the budget on a guy who might wind up back in the minors. Pianowski bought Eric Stults for $8 while Zola purchased Adam Kennedy for $12 and Michael Stutes for $10. So they weren't completely spending averse, but Adams wasn't where they wanted to put their money.

Hertz and Peterson both hung back with $16 bids. These are the kind of bids where you're not likely to get the player unless the league gets silly and everyone falls asleep. Hertz is in 1st and his offense is humming on all cylinders. Perhaps Adams could be a trade chip, but the need wasn't there. Peterson is in last and needs a lot of help across the board. Perhaps he was waiting for an even bigger impact player. Pushing for Adams and getting the news that Berkman would be back in eight weeks wouldn't have helped much...or so the rationale goes.

Melnick/Greco and Kreutzer both put in solid bids, but the league on the whole was pushing for Adams so they fell short. Kreutzer has a lot of holes to fill and put bids in across the board for a number of players. Melnick/Greco put together an interesting string of bids where they had Alexi Amarista ($29) and Chris Coghlan ($29) in the same bid sequence after Adams. They were spending big on a player who might play every day and didn't seem to think much more of Adams than these other two.

Four of Tout Wars' 13 N.L.-only owners - including me - went whole hog on Adams. Nate Ravitz's super aggressive bid made a lot of sense in context. He owns Berkman, so even if the Berkman news turned out to be good, spending on his insurance policy was logical. Carty nearly put all of his FAAB on the line while Walton put a good chunk of his out there. Neither one of them had a big contingent bid out there like Melnick/Greco did; it was Adams or nothing. 

What was my thinking?

While my offense has been pretty solid thus far (37.5 out of a possible 65 points), the injuries combined with the geriatric nature of my squad are taking their toll. Adams is a gamble, but it was a gamble I felt I needed to take. However, I hedged my bet in the end and took it down from an aggressive $70 to the more tepid $56. I then took the rest of my money and bid $17 on Amarista. My hope was that I'd get one or the other or use The Vickrey rules to ensure that whoever got Adams/Amarista paid through the nose. I also own Matt Carpenter, so if Adams fell flat on his face I'd have the Cardinals' Plan B.

While I wanted Adams, I'm glad that I didn't wind up with $4 in FAAB for the entire season on May 21. Pulling my bid back - while hard for me to do on an emotional level (I really like Adams) - was the right play with the benefit of two days of distance.

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