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July 28, 2014

Fantasy Freestyle

FAAB in Review: Asking the Non-Experts

by Mike Gianella


Every decision influences the next set of decisions that we make. Like a pebble in a pond, what we do today has a definitive impact on what we do tomorrow.

In fantasy baseball, this is true in every facet of the game. The auction or draft we have impacts what kind of trades or free agent moves we make during the season. The trades we make impact whether or not we make additional trades. The free agent pickups we make impact future free agent pickups and future trades. This series of actions and subsequent actions goes on until the season is over. In keeper leagues it goes on until you leave the league or the mortal coil.

Three weeks ago, the Oakland Athletics completed a blockbuster trade, picking up Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel from the Chicago Cubs. In AL-only leagues, this meant an opportunity to bid big on two solid NL-only imports.

In some years, the majority of significant interleague moves come on July 31, the non-waiver MLB trade deadline. This makes most owners’ bidding or waiver decisions simple. With only a handful of notable exceptions, such as the Dodgers/Red Sox 2012 blockbuster, most of the significant mono league free agent targets come across in July. The mentality at the first transaction period in August is “spend it if you have it.”

Trades like the Samardzija/Hammel trade are challenging. One the one hand, the opportunity to get another three or four weeks’ worth of statistics is worth a more aggressive bid. On the other hand, spending big on someone like Samardzija and in particular someone like Hammel only to see a better talent come across on July 31 can be painful.

I decided to reach out to the 11 other owners in my AL-only home league and find out why they bid what they bid on Samardzija and Hammel a little over three weeks ago. This league is a 28-year-old fantasy league whose current membership has mostly stayed intact since 2001. Theoretical rationales for why a fantasy team should or should not do something is interesting, but nothing beats getting real life opinions and why a savvy group of fantasy owners did what they did.

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<< Previous Article
Fantasy Article Closer to Me: Week 18 (07/28)
<< Previous Column
Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Sus... (07/24)
Next Column >>
Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Tra... (07/31)
Next Article >>
The Week in Quotes: Ju... (07/28)

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