Monday, June 25, 2012

A.L. FAAB Log: June 25, 2012

Roy Oswalt $55. Other bids $41, $39, $32, $27, $21, $21, $1.
The bids may seem tepid here, but this is a salary cap league and most of the teams in contention are at their cap or very close to it. Most of the bids were from contenders, but it was a team playing for 2013 that won Oswalt with a $55 bid. It might seem like folly to buy a player who will be difficult to trade, but prior to the trading deadline there's nothing wrong with grabbing a guy like Oswalt and letting the teams in the running worry about their cap issues and roster flexibility. If you don't work out a dump trade for a high priced FAAB commodity, you lost nothing.

Derek Norris $12. Other bids $11, $10, $8, $2, $1.
I'm not a Norris believer, but in an A.L.-only you have to bid in the $8-12 range for Norris. John Sickels has said that Norris could be a Mike Napoli/ Mickey Tettleton type, with a high HR/low BA combination that would be offset in real life by a high walk rate. I am underwhelmed by Norris' weak AAA numbers, though Sacramento isn't the bandbox that other PCL venues are. If I had a dead spot or a back up on my active roster, I'd push Norris to at least this price and maybe higher. It looks like Norris is going to get most of the at bats in Oakland in favor of Kurt Suzuki. If he does, 8-10 HR the rest of the way isn't an unrealistic expectation.

Brandon Hicks $8. Other bid $1.
Hicks has scorched AAA pitching, and while he is 26 and the usual PCL caveats apply, he could get a nice chunk of AB spelling Cliff Pennington at SS against lefties and getting the occasional start at 2B or 3B now and again. Hicks has always profiled as a strong AAA bat and although he's done nothing in the Majors, the sample size is awfully small. In A.L.-only, Hicks is a worthy gamble at MI if you have the slot...keeping in mind that guys like this often come to nothing.

A.J. Griffin $5. Other bid $2.
Griffin has sleeper written all over him. Griffin has an average fastball at best, but he can throw his other pitches for strikes and keeps hitters off balance by using his arsenal with a maturity that goes beyond his years. Griffin might not stick with the A's for long, but if he makes the most of the opportunity he could be a nice asset in A.L.-only. He's definitely a spot start option at home in A.L.-only right off the bat.

Sean Doolittle $2. Other bid $1
Doolittle is a converted first baseman who has simply dominated hitters in the short time he's been on the mound. The high K rate make him a must own in A.L. 5x5. Ryan Cook seems pretty safe as the closer at the moment, but it wouldn't surprise me in the least to see Doolittle get a shot at closing for Oakland at some point in 2013.

Omar Vizquel $1
Vizquel is replacing a total dead spot, but c'mon. Even in an A.L.-only, Vizquel probably is not worth picking up. I should note that he was picked up last year, I more or less said the same thing and Vizquel went on a mini-tear for about 2-3 weeks that was seemingly designed to make me look like a Grade A moron.

Greg Holland. Claimed by 8th and 1st place teams.
After dominating hitters in 2011, Holland has struggled for most of this season. Holland's peripherals aren't bad, though his walk rate has spiked, which is usually a cause for concern. Jonathan Broxton seems to have a death grip as the closer in Kansas City, though Broxton is a trade candidate and Holland could very well assume the gig if that happens.

Robbie Ross. Claimed by 7th and 1st place teams.
Ross has been one of the best Roto relievers in the American League so far this season, and while middle relievers are subject to radical performance swings due to the smaller amount of innings they pitch, Ross is a must own in A.L.-only right now. There's almost no chance he closes this year, particularly the way Joe Nathan is pitching, but Ross is a must own nonetheless.

Jose Lobaton. Claimed by 1st place team.
Slowly but surely, Lobaton seems to be taking the catching job away from Jose Molina in Tampa Bay. I'm not sure how much of a fantasy asset Lobaton will be - his minor league track record is meh and he's 27 years old - but at bats in deep leagues are at bats. Lobaton is more valuable in OBP leagues than in BA formats.

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