Jamie Garcia $10. Other bids $8, $3, $0
Garcia was written up last week, but he shouldn't have been in the free agent pool so here he is again. He gets the Reds tomorrow. While Cincinnati has been rolling out some pretty shaky line-ups of late, I still don't have a lot of faith in Garcia at the moment. The winning bid is from the 1st place team. He has nowhere to go but up in the qualitatives and can easily gain a strikeout point so this is a solid play in league context.
D.J. LeMahieu $9. Other bids $1, $0
This bid comes from a non-contender that had $17 of FAAB to burn. I doubt LeMahieu is a $10 keep even if he's starting and even if he's still in Colorado. LeMahieu is the kind of player I like to target at $2-4 and hope for profit regardless of his role. Keeping guys like this at $10 isn't a good play.
Kyle McPherson $8
And here's the other half of this non-contender's $17. McPherson could be a keep at $10 but I think he's a long shot at that price and like LeMahieu is a better play at a lower price. Long-term, McPherson does have a Major League future, either as a #3-4 starter or as a bullpen arm.
Pete Kozma $3. Other bids: $2, $1.
Kozma was considered a prospect way back in 2009 but a couple of subpar seasons seemed to knock him off the charts despite the fact that he was still relatively young. He flashed some power/speed again this year but a very poor batting average still made him look like a marginal utility guy at best. The Cardinals decided to try him anyway after Rafael Furcal's injury and Kozma has inexplicably responded with a .300+ batting average. This probably won't last next year, but Kozma is certainly worth adding this week if you're gunning for the title.
Jenrry Mejia $0
Mejia was picked up by a non-contender hoping to catch a $10 freeze. I've said this before, but think that Mejia still needs some time in AAA next year after a shaky year this year in limited innings.
The rest of the bids in this league come from contenders, so I thought I'd take a look at them on a team-by-team basis.
Gorkys Hernandez $0
Ryan Theriot $0
Danny Descalso $0
This team is in sixth but could climb into a money slot and can move up in runs, RBI and stolen bases. He can also lose a point in batting average so all of these players are somewhat risky picks. Given the players that he's replacing, though, this owner is probably incrementally improving his chances, as sad as that might sound.
Eury Perez $0
This would be a logical move for a contender in a tight steals race, but this contender is pretty much locked in in all of the hitting categories so I'm assuming this is a stealthy 2013 move. Perez has plenty of speed but is likely best cast in a bench role.
Luis Valbuena $0
Andrew Brown $2. Other bid $0
Jason Castro $0. Other bid $0
Jeff Locke $0
Tyler Thornburg $0
If only this team had more of a shot but - alas - his best-case scenario is third place (he's currently in fourth). He can gain half a point in home runs and maybe two in RBI if everything broke right. On the pitching side, this team has a strikeout point to gain but is putting two ERA points at risk with Locke and Thornburg.
Jason Grill $0
Jake Diekman $0
Grilli and Diekman replace Madison Bumgarner and Jon Niese, both option players (Roto free agents this winter). This third place team can only play defense in wins and strikeouts, but having two arms that might pitch this week is better than having two dead spots.
Sean Burnett $1
Dave Sappelt $1. Other bid $0
The first place team was busy, nabbing Garcia and Kozma in addition to Burnett and Sappelt (and narrowly missing out on Castro). Kozma and Sappelt are probably just defensive moves, but this team's leads on offense are pretty significant with the possible exception of a five HR lead on the next team. Pitching is where this league will probably be won or lost. Grabbing Garcia and Burnett gives this squad a better shot in wins and especially strikeouts without endangering ERA or WHIP. Being aggressive because you have nowhere to go but up is a no brainer, but the important thing is that this team put itself in position to win with a strong year throughout.
Thanks everyone for reading. See you again in 2013.