Monday, August 27, 2012

A.L. FAAB Log: August 27, 2012

James Loney $20. Other bids $10, $6, $1.
The bidding on Loney was tepid, but this hardly surprises me. The winning bidder was the owner that lost Adrian Gonzalez and the only other bid from a contender was the $6 bid. Two non-contenders gamely tried (and failed) to grab Loney as a potential $10 freeze. Contenders in dump leagues usually have far superior options than Loney in tow at corner or DH at this late juncture. Loney could suddenly see a resurgence at Fenway, but that sounds far more like wishcasting than reality. However, I completely understand the motivation of the winning bidder here. He was stuck with either Loney or...

Stephen Drew $15. Other bids: $15, $12, $7.
...and he couldn't bid on Drew because he didn't have the positional flexibility.

There were some mixed feelings on Drew. The first place team had Drew as its third choice to replace Tony Abreu...behind Mike McCoy and Pedro Florimon. Three of these four bids were from non-contenders, with only one of the $15 bids coming from a contender. That makes some sense. Drew has done little this year and looks like he is still in recuperation mode. He could come back in 2013 for an American League team and be productive, though $15 seems like a high price to pay to try and find out.

Mike McCoy $9. Other bids: $2, $1.
McCoy has done in 2012 what he always does. He spent most of the year in the minors, racking up a bushel of stolen bases and doing little else. He got called up by the big club and managed to rush into a vacuum caused by multiple injuries and is grabbing a decent amount of playing time. He doesn't do much but steal, but if you're in a tight steals race in A.L.-only he's worth a shot as long as he's playing.

Joe Saunders $2. Other bid $1.
Recently acquired by the Orioles, they hope that he does the same thing for them that he was doing for the Diamondbacks: provide a yeoman like effort at the back of the rotation and give them 5-6 innings every time out. He's not going to light the world on fire, but if he can put up a 4.00 ERA the rest of the way, he could pick up a few wins for the O's. I do worry about Saunders in the A.L. East. He's pretty hittable and is moving to a much tougher circuit.

Ford is a nice story - he earned his way back to the bigs for the first time in five years with a blistering performance at AAA - but he's 35 years old and hasn't hit much since his promotion. He's glued to the Orioles bench and shouldn't be on yours.

Zach Britton $1. Other bid $1.
Britton's numbers look terrible this year, but he has been either very good or awful with no ground in between. This is a pure wins play for the owner that FAABed him, but with his next start at home against the White Sox, it might be a good idea to leave Britton on the wire for another week.

Blackley's an interesting play if he gets a start this Wednesday at home against the Twins. This isn't certain, though, and A.J. Griffin might very well be healthy enough to get the call. (FWIW, ESPN has Tyson Ross listed). Blackley is a better play this week for owners with daily line-up changes. The A's starting rotation is crowded, so all of these guys have the potential to start or wind up sitting in the bullpen doing nothing waiting for mop up duty once rosters expand to 40.

Entering this year, there was an owner in my home league that absolutely insisted that despite Bruce Chen's ERA/xFIP differential that his good numbers from last year were sustainable and that "he's a better pitcher than everyone thinks." I don't have a photographic memory, but I believe the ensuing conversation was peppered with words like "grit", "moxie", and other terminology that made me feel like I was in one of the first talkies. Chen may or may not have those qualities, but the numbers don't lie: he's a back-of-the-rotation option who is a questionable match-up play in A.L.-only. He gets the Tigers at home this week, where at the very least he has been passable (4.48 ERA versus a 6.19 ERA on the road).

I wrote Smith up here and not much has changed in 10 days. Like Chen, he's mostly a match-up play, but he does have a good one this week against the Twins and Cole De Vries.

I wrote Hernandez up in the same article with Smith. Hernandez is a two-start pitcher this week, with the A's and Rangers on tap at home. I'd still avoid unless you are super desperate for wins.

Pedro Florimon $1
Given that Florimon is the Twins starting shortstop, I assumed that he was yet another one of those over-the-hill career minor leaguers that the Twins are running out there because they have no organizational depth and gee whiz Ron Gardenhire loves guys who hustle and don't make up for a lack of ability with their spirited play. But no, Florimon is only 25 years old. He is, in fact, quite the opposite: one of those toolsy guys who never quite grew into his skills and is unlikely to project as a starter long-term. Florimon is worth playing in super deep leagues as long as he's in the line-up, but he's only going to offer a modicum of speed and power. I'd stay away unless an injury opened up a black hole in your line-up.

Sean Doolittle. Claimed by 12th, 11th and 7th place teams.
The buzz surrounding Doolittle disappeared after a couple of outings where he allowed runs, but the numbers still look great and the A's don't have an entrenched closer and aren't likely to spend big bucks to get one this winter. Doolittle's a decent stash if you're not contending and have the roster spot.

Junichi Tazawa. Claimed by 11th place team.
Tazawa has put up some great numbers in middle relief for the Red Sox. The K/9 is a little low for my liking, but Tazawa is a fine add in A.L.-only.

Nate McLouth. Claimed by 10th and 6th place teams.
McLouth continues to start in the outfield for the Orioles. While the overall numbers are poor, he had a solid week last week and has been a running fool, with five swipes on the year and two last week. If you really need steals, McLouth can be added in A.L.-only. He's not a keep at $10, so these claims are a little odd from that perspective.

Jamey Carroll. Claimed by 7th and 6th place teams.
Carroll used to have a little value in A.L.-only because he stole 10-12 bases and provided a strong batting average. This year the batting average has disappeared and so have some of the steals. He's not worthless, but he's a tough guy to carry if you're trying to compete.

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