Auction results

These are my auction results. I had a $100 million payroll, with an additional $10 million coming after the FAB. After the FAB I should have 22 to 28 players. There will be a minor league draft in June. Each team gets five players then, so I need to stretch that $10 million to fill in-season gaps. Here’s what I did, for better or worse:

Adam Dunn: I had a 3/10/NT slot on my team. Once I lost Carlos Zambrano and screwed up my initial bid on Lance Berkman I decided that Dunn was an equivalent player and made my play. He gives me 1B/OF flexibility but in 2007 he’ll probably be 1B only. That kept me from making a bid for Todd Helton.

Joe Mauer: I felt better about the 3/7.5/NT now that Victor Martinez signed for 3/13. Varitek signed for 2/8.5 so Mauer’s kind of the number three dude. He can be my number two hitter (although I’ll lose something when he sits) with his OBP and tendency to steal. My hope is Mauer catches 100-110 games and DHs 20-30. I should grab Mike Redmond, his backup, later. I might be screwed with Redmond as my number two hitter, though.

Roy Halladay 12.5/2/NT. When I lost Jake Peavy (on an identical bid, no less) and Zambrano I felt that I had to get a number one starter. Halladay is a bit of a risk with his health issues but he should give me great stats. I signed him to a 2-year deal because of it. I can always extend in the offseason. I could have had Peavy for this rate (offered 12 million).

Eric Chavez 3/8: I overpaid here. It was me and one other guy for Chavez. I like him because he’s steady and he’s a lefty. I wanted two lefty power hitters in my 3-4-5 slots. He’s due to have one of those outlier 40-homer years, although his numbers the last couple of years have tailed off. I wonder if he’s a bit complacent now that he has that huge contract.

Bobby Crosby 3/6: Here’s my token guy coming off an injury. Crosby should be a good power guy, although his BA might hurt me. I have a few poor BA guys on the team so far. Hmm.

Noah Lowry 2/5: He is one of those play-for-the-future guys. If Jason Schmidt continues his fade, Lowry could be the number one starter in San Francisco.

Nick Swisher 2/4: He had a ton of power for a rookie but his .236 last year. His rookie numbers look a lot like what Bobby Crosby had. I sure have a large concentration of the Oakland offense, don’t I? At this point in the FAB I’m hoping that Swisher is my backup 1B/of but right now he’s a starter.

Derrick Turnbow, 2/4: After I lost Chad Cordero (tied on the bid but somehow lost because I offered a longer contract), I immediately went to Plan B. Milwaukee is an up-and-coming squad and Turnbow could be a big part of it. He could also be a one-year wonder.

That was the end of my first wave shopping spree. I spent 57 million, or 57% of my salary cap, on 20% of the free agents. I wasn’t the worst offender. One guy spent 86 million on six players, including a ridiculous 25 million on Albert Pujols.

After round one I had two starters, a closer, a catcher, a third baseman, a shortstop, and two first basemen/outfielders. That’s a core. In round two I looked for more outfielders and starting pitchers. Here’s who I got.

Ryan Zimmerman, 2/4: I know, that’s a ton of cabbage for a guy with 58 at-bats. Zimmerman will be the first player since Pete Incavalia to be named starter in his first spring training. That’s 20 years, folks. Zimmerman’s special and even though I signed Chavez last round, Zimmerman’s good insurance and can play DH.

Ryan Freel, 2/3: I now have my ‘bargain’ second baseman. I was worried about Freel losing his starting slot until the Reds traded away Wily Mo Pena. Freel will play left field and second. He will be my leadoff guy. I hope to get 50 steals from him this year.

Pat Burrell, 2/7: I really thought that there’d be more interest in Burrell. I got the ‘green 2’ which meant that I had the highest bid by far for Burrell. That’s money I will probably want later in the bidding. No one seems to have noticed that Burrell’s BA went from .209 to .281 in the past two years. He struck out 160 times but walked 99. I think I found my cleanup hitter.

Brian Giles, 2/7: There was more interest in Giles. My ‘home’ park is similar to Petco in that it’s death on power hitters. Last season Giles had his fewest home runs since 1996. He did have a career-high 38 doubles and a .423 OBP. Giles should help me for a couple of years.

Freddy Garcia 2/5: He might be the least heralded of the White Sox starters. Later in the draft Garland and Contreras went for 1/3, so this wasn’t quite a bargain. In the vast wasteland of middle-high starting pitching, you look for edges, like a guy who doesn’t miss starts and a solid defense. Garcia fits the bill, even though he might not be a 180-K guy anymore.

Scott Kazmir, 3/6: I know that his ceiling on wins this year is around 12. What I’m hoping for is a strong move for 200 strikeouts and a walk rate closer to 80. Kazmir just turned 22. I think he has upside.

Jeff Mathis, 2/2: With the signing of Joe Mauer, I didn’t need to break the bank on a backup. Mathis will platoon with the other Molina this year, and could take over as starter as early as next year. I’ll take a guy with upside who might have decent trade value in the future.

After two of five ‘waves’ I spent 91 of my 100 million dollars. In short, I needed to go to bargain buys for the rest of the FAB. I already had 15 players, with four starting pitchers and an entire batting order. All I needed were a few backups and some middle relievers. There are two required starters in middle relief, and plenty of candidates. Here’s who I got in round three:

Jonathan Broxton, .5,1: I signed Broxton to the minimum. He might not start the season in L.A. He pitched well in Jacksonville of the Southern League last year. Broxton is the ‘heir apparent’ to take over Eric Gagne’s closer job, although it might not happen for a year or two. Broxton was the 13th-rated pitching prospect in John Sickels’ Baseball Prospect Book 2006.

Oscar Villarreal, .5, 1: I heard good things about him coming out of Braves camp. You know that guys always emerge when working with Leo Mazzone. Wait, you say that Mazzone’s not with the Braves anymore? Nuts.

Dan Wheeler, 1,1: Wheeler or Chad Qualls will set up Brad Lidge in Houston. He will set up Turnbow on my team.

Casey Kotchman 3,3: Here’s my starting first baseman and probably the nine-hole hitter for my team. Kotchman’s had some injury problems but he’s a masher. He had a .484 slugging percentage last year in limited at-bats.

With that spending spree I was down to four million bucks and two waves. I sat out round four. I knew that I could get some bargains in wave five. This wave ends tomorrow, so I won’t publish my results quite yet. Here’s who I have bid on so far.

Tony Womack .5, 1: This is my 2b/of backup and more accurately, the backup for Ryan Freel. Womack doesn’t do anything but steal. I’ll take that action.

Matt Wise, .5, 1: Wise is the set-up guy for Turnbow, and that’s all I know about him.

Juan Encarancion, .5, 1: 500K for a starting outfielder? I’ll take that. I need more depth and Encarnacion is perfect.

Brian Anderson, 1.5, 2: Here’s my token homer pick. I think Anderson eases into the majors and will be more of a factor next year.

Eric Milton and Randy Wolf, .5, 1 each: These will be my fifth and sixth starters. I don’t expect much.

Here’s my batting lineup:

1. Ryan Freel, 2b
2. Joe Mauer, c
3. Adam Dunn, of
4. Pat Burrell of
5. Eric Chavez 3b
6. Bobby Crosby ss
7. Brian Giles of
8. Ryan Zimmerman dh
9. Casey Kotchman 1b

My rotation:

1. Roy Halladay
2. Noah Lowry
3. Freddy Garcia
4. Scott Kazmir
5. Randy Wolf

I’ll let Milton be my spot starter. I’ll take a chance with Villarreal in the middle reliever role and Wheeler will be the set-up guy for Turnbow. Is that good enough? We’ll see.

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