Adrian Gonzalez $52. Other bids: $50, $37, $28, $20, $19, $17, $9, $7, $7, $6, $0.
As you might expect, nearly everyone bid on Gonzalez, and there wasn't much strategy involved. Owners either bid nearly everything they had left in their FAAB banks or bid what they could while still having space under the cap. The winning bidder is in third place. Adding Gonzalez is great, but typically if you have this much cap space in late August you have to wonder if you added enough talent to your team earlier in the year before the trade deadline passed.
Josh Beckett $38. Other bids: $37, $16, $12, $11, $10, $9, $7, $7, $6, $1, $0.
The same 12 teams bid on Beckett, and while the bidding wasn't quite as spirited, there is some ERA/WHIP risk involved with Beckett regardless of the venue and level of competition. The highest non-contender bid here was $16. My bid was $12. I think Beckett could be an OK keep at $16 if he bounces back, but based on his performance right now I wouldn't freeze him at that price. For the contenders, I don't have a big problem with breaking the bank - there isn't much left to grab in late August/early September and you can't take your FAAB with you - but Beckett just doesn't look like a big impact guy at this point.
Eric Stults $12. Other bid $0.
I've been recommending Stults as a buy even in standard mixed leagues for a little while now. I can definitely see why you wouldn't bid aggressively like you would on Beckett, but Stults has a nice schedule down the stretch. Even the tougher match-ups (Atlanta, St. Louis) are at Petco, and Stults is one of those sneaky pitchers who could provide value at a double-digit pace the rest of the way. I'm not saying that he will do that, but that even as a no name he is some one who should be on everyone's radar at this point.
Wandy Rodriguez $10. Other bid $10.
Rodriguez has been somewhat of a disappointment this year - particularly after the Pirates acquired him for the stretch run - but there's nothing in Wandy's stuff that indicates that he has lost velocity or movement on any of his offerings. In many cases with pitchers, process impacts results but I can't say that this is the case here. Nevertheless, the contenders stayed miles away from Wandy; both of these bids are from teams trolling for keepers. Wandy at $10 isn't a bad gamble for 2013, though he's probably a borderline keep at that price based on the depth and quality of starting pitching in the National League.
Kyle Kendrick $10. Other bids $4, $0.
I profiled Kendrick in Friday's Gearing Up. As I mentioned in that space, he's on a mini-hot streak, but I would try to avoid getting sucked into the results of three starts and look at the bigger picture. The two losing bids are from contenders that didn't bid on Stults. If I were in the race in this league, I'd much rather have Stults or Rodriguez than Kendrick the rest of the way.
Jacob Turner $7. Other bid $0.
Because of a weird rule in this league where a player can get dropped and then bid on in the same reporting period, most of this league probably wasn't even aware that Turner was a free agent (I certainly wasn't). I have my concerns about him - and one good outing against the Diamondbacks doesn't mitigate these concerns - but as a FAAB flier he's a fine gamble to see if he pans out as a $10 freeze. Turner has been put into the rotation for the rest of the season, so if you're playing for this year he is a candidate to grab. I am wary until I see results across multiple starts.
Jake Elmore $5. Other bid $3.
Elmore is an OK flier for 2013. He has the potential for 20-25 stolen bases at middle infield and even if he does nothing else could be a $10 keep if he's starting. If you're playing for this year Elmore is an OK deep league add. He should get most of the starts at SS down the stretch.
Kelly Shoppach $0
Shoppach might have more offensive potential than Josh Thole, but that doesn't matter much if Thole is going to get most of the at bats. Shoppach has some pop in his bat, but he's a deep league add only at this point.
Adam Ottavino $0
Folks rave about Ottavino's filthy slider, but he still hasn't developed the consistency to succeed game-to-game and sometimes even batter-to-batter. He's a decent spec candidate for 2013 saves, but as I always say spec candidates for future saves almost never pan out.
Gorkys Hernandez $0. Other bid $0.
Hernandez has been getting some starts in the outfield for the Marlins and stealing some bases but he simply can't hit. If you really, really, really need steals go for it but your average is going to suffer.
Travis Wood $0. Other bid $0
Wood has been up and down all year, but with the exception of a clunker against the Reds on the August 17, Wood has solid over his last five starts. The whiff rate is up a little, and Wood looks like an acceptable add in N.L.-only at the moment. He has a two-start week on tap versus the Brewers and the Giants and looks like a decent play if wins aren't a large concern for you.
Ronald Belisario $0
For the discerning owner that is concerned protecting his ERA/WHIP and would like some whiffs to go with that protection, Belisario is a fine addition. Kenley Jansen isn't going anywhere, so this is a ratio protection play, not a future closer play.
Joaquin Arias $0. Other bid $0
Arias will pick up a few bats here and there, but he is pure utility fodder at this point. He was only picked up because an owner lost Stephen Drew and needed to add a player to avoid getting penalized $3 FAAB.