Ryan Dempster $23. Other bids: $15, $14, $10, $9, $5, $1.
The bids look limp, but most teams in this league are either out of FAAB or out of cap space. The league's cap is $350, and the five main competitors are at $350, $350, $345, $344 and $343 after tonight's bidding. Still, I'm a little surprised that Dempster went for only $23. Three of the non-contenders that could have bid more aggressively to try and trade Dempster didn't, while one contender could have reserved a couple of players to make some cap room and didn't. I actually could have bid $24 prior to a trade I made earlier in the day but traded for a cap-unfriendly Elvis Andrus because speed is more of a priority for me in this league than power. The first place team got Dempster, and while he theoretically isn't the prize that Zack Greinke was, this team's primary need is wins and this winning bid could seal everyone's fate if the wins are there.
Dan Straily $12. Other bids: $12, $10, $9, $8, $3, $1.
The bids were even weaker on Straily (though the team that got Demspter for $23 put in a $23 contingency bid on Straily). The teams that bid big on Dempster also bid big on Straily, but one of the teams bid more on Straily than Dempster while one of the contenders bid on Straily and didn't bid on Dempster at all. Owners are probably looking at Straily's park and hoping for a better ERA/WHIP, but the higher bids here were from teams gunning for 2013, so for the most part Straily didn't have the same desirability to contenders that Dempster did.
Casey McGehee $11
I wrote McGehee up here. He has some decent pop, but even with Alex Rodriguez on the shelf McGehee already seems buried in the Bronx. Even in A.L.-only he's not looking like such a good add right now. This bid was from a non-competitor, but I don't see McGehee as an $11 keep right now.
Brad Lincoln $10. Other bid $10.
Lincoln has put up some solid numbers in a middle relief/long relief role, but it's not certain what he'll do with the Jays. These two bids are for teams playing for the future, and while I think Lincoln has big league talent, it's hard to see him being worth a $10 freeze next year.
Geovany Soto $8. Other bids $7, $2, $2.
The bidding was fairly limp on Soto, but right now he looks like more of a back-up than a starter. The Rangers offense is crowded, and I think it's more likely that Soto is here to give Mike Napoli a breather rather than supplant him. This isn't a bad play. Soto should get 2-4 starts a week and Arlington might very well revive his sleeping bat. At the very least, Soto should provide some pop from the catcher position even if he's not playing every day.
Jeff Baker $1. Other bid $1.
Baker was traded from the Cubs to the Tigers for a couple of fringy prospects. Baker will provide some infield depth for the Tigers along with some power against left handed pitchers. His value is still very limited even in deep leagues.
Scott Feldman $1. Other bid $1
I wrote Feldman up in this week's Gearing Up. He's on a nice run as of late but there's always the danger that he'll go out one evening, have nothing, and simply destroy your ERA/WHIP. Feldman should be owned at this point in A.L.-only; if nothing else he's as "reliable" as it gets as a wins play due to the Rangers high-octane offense.
Ryan Kalish $1
Kalish has picked up some regular at bats in David Ortiz's absence but hasn't done much with them at all. Papi should be back shortly and Kalish will go back to the bench or the minors. Maybe he's a decent future play, but right now it's hard to see where he fits in or what kind of impact he'll have in 2013.
Hisashi Iwakuma $1
Iwakuma was also profiles in Gearing Up. He had his first tough test as a starter in a road game today against the Yankees and the results were mixed. He wasn't terrible, but those aren't the kind of results you want if you're playing for a money spot. On the other hand, if that's the worst your #5 does in an A.L.-only, you'll take it. Iwakuma was picked up by a contender trolling for wins that isn't that concerned with ERA/WHIP. If you're in an ERA/WHIP race, you might want to tread carefully here.
Tony Abreu $1
Abreu's a former Dodger/Diamondback who got the call for the Royals after they decided to drop Yuniesky Betancourt. Abreu put up some decent numbers in the minors, but will probably sit for the most part in Kansas City. He was only picked up by the Dempster owner in an effort to stay under the league's salary cap.
Wilson Betemit. Claimed by 12th, 11th, 10th, 8th, 7th, and 6th place teams.
The pattern of waiver claims here provides the perfect example of what I always talk about in carryover leagues when it comes to the quality of players on a contender's rosters. There's nothing wrong with Betemit in a deep league. His numbers are solid and while he's a flawed player in real life, in Roto a 15 HR guy whose average won't kill you is a deep league find. But Betemit was squeezed out last week by a contender looking for speed as opposed to power so the non-contenders jumped all over him. He's OK in deep leagues but is almost always the kind of guy winning teams find a way to upgrade on in July or August.
Tim Collins. Claimed by 7th, 6th and 3rd place teams.
Collins is part of what has quietly become a solid bullpen in Kansas City. Collins is very unlikely to close for the Royals but should continue to put up some high strikeout numbers along with some decent rate stats. He's an OK add in A.L.-only if you're looking to protect your ERA/WHIP.
Josh Tomlin. Claimed by 6th place team
Tomlin was getting smacked around as a starting pitcher earlier in the year so the Indians gave up and moved Tomlin to the bullpen. This makes Tomlin just about worthless as a Roto commodity, but if you're playing for next year I suppose you can make that choice for yourself.
Darren O'Day. Claimed by 3rd place team
Day is a solid middle reliever with solid peripherals who can certainly be owned in deep leagues. He's very unlikely to pick up any saves for the Orioles.