I'm not in LABR, but in the CBS and Tout Wars expert leagues, you can bid on players while they're still in the minor leagues. This presents different strategic considerations than what is on display every week in the FAAB logs.
The FAAB log is based off of one American League home league and one National League home league that are keeper leagues. These leagues have limited farm systems...but they're also deep enough that you're not ever going to see top prospects ever in FAAB circulation. Miguel Sano and Gerrit Cole are already on someone's roster.
Tout Wars isn't a keeper league, so there's no reason to own long-term plays like Sano or Cole. However, since anyone that comes up from the minors in 2012 could potentially have an impact, this is where things can get interesting.
Tyler Skaggs is a free agent. Should someone place a bid on him?
It's a good idea. However, there are a few reasons why you might want to simply stand pat...or at least wait a few weeks before doing so.
- All players FAABed in Tout Wars must sit on a team's active roster for one week. You can stash Skaggs, but you have to take a week of zeroes if you want to do this.
- Tout Wars has a limited four man reserve list (disabled players do not count against the limit).
- You must bid at least $1 for a minor leaguer (active Major Leaguers are permitted a $0 bid)
For me, the four-man reserve list is a bigger deterrent to speculating on players like Skaggs than anything else. I want to be fairly certain that someone is coming up relatively quickly before I use a coveted reserve slot. At the start of the season, I was using two slots on Bryce Harper and Brett Jackson. My offense is thin so saving hitters like this for later is a good idea (and paid off with Harper), but it was also hampering my flexibility. Harper's call-up last week not only gave my active roster a boost, but also gave me the opportunity to open up a reserve slot. I held my nose and placed a modest bid on Paul Maholm so I can stash him on reserve next week and use him as a match-up play down the line.
For the time being, my home leagues will stick with the rules that we know and are comfortable with. While disallowing bids on minor leaguers might not be quite as much fun, it does allow for some fairly competitive bidding when a lower profile minor leaguer like Corbin is called up. It is also my belief that not allowing for minor league speculation is a more "typical" wrinkle in keeper leagues...and is one of the reasons I use my home leagues for the FAAB logs instead of writing about LABR or Tout Wars.