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March 4, 2013

Fantasy Auction Values

Third Edition, March 4

by Mike Gianella

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This is the third installment of Baseball Prospectus’s 2013 5x5 bid limits for 12-team National League, American League, and mixed league Rotisserie-style formats. While the first two installments were based mostly, if not entirely, on my own opinions and predilections, this installment is influenced by a second opinion: expert auction prices.

The League of Alternate Baseball Reality (or LABR, as it’s more commonly known) expert auctions took place over the weekend in Phoenix, Arizona. (The CBS Analyst League auctions took place were held online last Tuesday and Thursday.) LABR is the more renowned league, but both auctions give me my first opportunity to see how “realistic” my prices are compared to the market.

Brett Anderson is a terrific example. In my AL-only bid limits, I had Anderson at $10, but he went for $19 in CBS and $17 in LABR. While I think both of those prices are too high, I’m willing to concede that my price may have been somewhat low. My concerns about Anderson pitching a full season remain, but there is no doubt that when he is on the field, his earnings-per-inning are terrific.

Below are some other significant changes from last week’s update to this one. I’ll note whether or not they were influenced by the expert auctions in the notes.

(Note: National League LABR started at 7 p.m. EST on Sunday night. There will be some bid updates stemming from that, but due to the timing of the auction, no written updates until next week.)

Mark Trumbo — $18 (previous: $15)

Trumbo went for $22 in CBS and $21 in LABR. I’m still not a fan and am worried about his second-half collapse last year, but I am willing to concede that my $15 bid wasn’t realistic. Trumbo earned $22 in 2012, has a better lineup around him, and could earn $20+ again. However, $18 is suitable enough as a thumbs down judging by the market.

Mike Napoli — $14 (previous: $9)

Napoli went for a pretty penny in CBS ($17) and LABR ($18). Perhaps I was overstating my worries about his health in the earlier versions of the limits. My mistrust of Napoli also ties into his earning potential. His bad batting average limits his ceiling, with 2011 being the only season in which he bucked the trend and earned over $20.

Aaron Hicks — $6 (previous: $2)

I’m not sure Hicks is going to win a starting job out of camp, but it looks more and more likely that he will be up at some point in 2013. If you can bid on players that start in the minors, $2 isn’t going to cut it for Hicks.

Brett Wallace — $6 (previous: $9)

Wallace should make the Astros out of spring training, but he might not be an everyday starter if Chris Carter doesn’t work out in the outfield.

Jason Castro — $6 (previous $3)

I’m not a big fan, but if Castro can stay healthy (a huge if), he could earn $8-10 as a catcher. I pushed some other catchers up a little bit less for those of you in leagues where the bidding on catchers is spirited.

Fernando Martinez — $5 (previous: $8)

Just as with Wallace, I’m not as certain about Martinez’s role as I was a couple of weeks ago. This bid could easily go back up if I get some assurances about Martinez as an everyday player, but I suspect that J.D. Martinez might steal more time from him than I initially anticipated.

Doug Fister — $16 (previous: $19)

I’m still a big fan of Fister’s, but he went for a tepid $14 in both CBS andLABR. Sixteen dollars seems like more than enough to get him, and keep in mind that the bid limits are guidelines and not set in stone. Fister is the kind of pitcher I would easily sail past $16 under certain circumstances.

Brett Anderson — $14 (previous: $10)

See above.

Casey Janssen — $10 (previous: $13)

My concerns about Janssen’s health status grow with each passing day. He is still the closer, but with Sergio Santos waiting in the wings, Janssen might be one of the weaker options in the American League pool. I also moved Santos up from $2 to $4

Chris Perez — $10 (previous: $14)
Vinnie Pestano — $5 (previous: $2)

Perez looks likely to start the regular season on the disabled list. I didn’t push Perez too far down since the injury doesn’t sound too serious, but if the Indians ease Perez back in, it could hamper his value. Five dollars seems like a lot for a fill-in closer, but Pestano offered strong earnings as a setup man in 2012 and can do so again this year.

Grant Balfour — $9 (previous: $5)
Ryan Cook — $5 (previous: $9)

Balfour also is likely to start the season on the disabled list, but it seems unlikely that Cook will simply take the job and run with it while Balfour is out. Hence, I flipped their prices.

There are a number of pitchers I moved down considerably simply due to the fact that the market for them was lukewarm and I needed to shave some money off of the pitchers in general. These pitchers were:

Dan Straily — $6 (previous: $10)
Chris Tillman — $5 (previous: $8)
Felix Doubront — $5 (previous: $9)
John Danks — $4 (previous: $7)
Justin Masterson — $4 (previous: $8)

Look for Jason Collette and Paul Singman’s side-by-side analysis of CBS and LABR’s prices for both expert leagues on Tuesday.

Mike Gianella is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Mike's other articles. You can contact Mike by clicking here

12 comments have been left for this article. (Click to hide comments)

BP Comment Quick Links

bubba3m

Hey Mike-
Thanks for doing this. It's nice to see an expert's compilation and compare it to my own. PECOTA PFM is a nice starting point, but your values puts some additional context to those numbers. With that in mind, I have questions about two pitchers values in particular: Wade Miley and Dan Haren.

For Wade Miley, various projection systems are predicting ERA's 4 - 4+ (PECOTA 4.65, FANS/ZiPS 3.90) with a K/9 south of 7.0. Considering the D-Backs are probably a .500-ish team, why is his NL only value $15 ($6 mixed), ahead of Samardzija, Beckett, and Haren? I mean, even Cahill is only $10 ($1 mixed), and if there's a decent comp for Miley, it's Cahill. Is there some upside play here I'm not seeing?

As for Haren, while PECOTA certainly rates him too highly, he's probably going to give 170 - 190 innings of 3.5-ish ERA, 7.5-8.0 K/9 and a solid 1.2-ish WHIP with the change to the easier league and miserable Mets, Marlins, and Phillies offenses upon which to feast. His fastball is back up in the 91-93 range so far this spring (salt grain taken) and he has an excellent history. Yet there he is behind guys like Burnett (who's 4 years older with a rougher history), Tim Hudson (who's 5 years older), and Miley. In NL only, you give him the same $12 value as Garza (who projects to be about as good as Haren but with 5/6 the season). Is his low value a reflection of the market or your concerns about his health/fastball velocity/bad facial hair?

Mar 04, 2013 07:25 AM
rating: 1
 
BP staff member Mike Gianella
BP staff

HI Bubba. After seeing the prices for Miley in CBS/LABR, he will move down. However, I still think that Miley is being at least somewhat underrated by the expert market. His FRA and xFIP both indicate a pitcher whose skills should mostly hold up in his sophomore season.

I'm more than a little concerned about Haren's hip issues. He passed his physical, and is great when he's healthy, but I'm convinced he's going to make it through the season in one piece. I understand the upside, but I'm worried Haren isn't going to make it through the season.

Garza will move down in the next update.

Mar 04, 2013 08:18 AM
 
rhettdb2005

Hi Mike,

Thanks for this. Is Straily moving down because of concerns about him making the rotation, in response to pricing within the LABR/CBS drafts, or something else? Thanks!

Mar 04, 2013 14:19 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Mike Gianella
BP staff

Hi Rhett:

Mostly because of the tepid prices in LABR/CBS. If I can "get" Straily for $6-8, there isn't much point in putting a $10 bid on him.

Mar 04, 2013 16:29 PM
 
rhettdb2005

Thanks!

Mar 04, 2013 18:51 PM
rating: 0
 
Dicktators

Hi Mike,

I see that your pricing for Trumbo is remarkably different between the AL only ($18) and the mixed league ($1). Is that correct? Am I misreading something? How could his value be that different in the two formats?

Thanks for any feedback!

Mar 04, 2013 16:17 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Mike Gianella
BP staff

It's a 12-team mixed versus a 12-team AL-only, but he should be higher. I'll update shortly.

Mar 04, 2013 16:29 PM
 
grandslam28

I didn't realize Marlon Byrd was catcher eligible in NL Only leagues?!?! lol

Mar 05, 2013 10:24 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Mike Gianella
BP staff

Thanks for catching this.

Mar 05, 2013 11:06 AM
 
johnwood427

Hi Mike-

I really think this column is a great addition to BP. I have a question on auction values in keeper leagues. I'm in a NL only league and we can keep up to 15 players per team, minor leaguers are kept separately. I have Beachy at $11 for 3 years. Should I throw him back in to try to get him for a cheaper price?

Thanks!

John

Mar 06, 2013 12:58 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Mike Gianella
BP staff

Unless you have no shot of contending, I'd throw him back. $11 seems like a lot to invest in a pitcher who probably won't pitch half the season.

Mar 06, 2013 17:07 PM
 
BarryR

Simple answer: hell yes. You know your league better than anyone, so the question is whether injured pitchers get bid higher than than that. I wouldn't bid $11 on a pitcher coming back from surgery who was going to miss the majority of the season. If someone is crazy enough to bid more than that on him, then console yourself by the fact that you will regularly be taking his money.

Mar 07, 2013 10:40 AM
rating: 0
 
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