Mike looks back on the team he bought in last week's Tout Wars auction, and explains how he will gauge his success.
Last Saturday, I had the privilege of participating in my fourth Tout Wars NL-only expert league auction, which was my first Tout Wars auction representing Baseball Prospectus. As always, it was an honor simply to be included among so many great fantasy players and baseball minds, and to rub elbows with experts whose work I’ve been reading for the last 15-20 years. I don’t know if I’ll ever get over sitting in a room with Ron Shandler, Lawr Michaels, and Peter Kreutzer and talking baseball with them.
For those of you that followed over me here from my old blog Roto Think Tank, the words I’m about to write already ring like a familiar mantra in your ears. For my new readers that only know me from Baseball Prospectus, my strategy in Rotisserie-style auctions is always the same:
Ten players who could land with a contender before this year's trade deadline.
The New Collective Bargaining Agreement has already affected the free-agent and draft classes. Soon, the new guidelines will reshape the trade market. The two most noticeable changes deal with draft-pick compensation. Foremost, teams that acquire a player in-season are no longer eligible to receive compensation. The elimination of Type-A and Type-B ranks means that teams holding onto their own players to net compensation will now be tasked with extending a qualifying offer worth the average salary of the 125 richest contracts in baseball (more than $12 million for the time being).
While those new rules will ostensibly lower the trade value of the average player, the decision to add two playoff spots could serve as a counterbalance. In theory, the increased demand will yield a higher return for the smaller number of sellers. In reality, that might not be enough to make up for the draft compensation changes. One thing is certain: the new rules could alter the relief pitcher market. The last time Astros reliever Brandon Lyon qualified for free agency, he achieved Type B status and netted his former team (the Tigers) a supplemental pick. This time around, Lyon will be on the move by the deadline if his team decides that two months of his service is worth less than the best offer on the table.
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Four years after the Twins and Mets pulled off a blockbuster, almost no one involved is still standing.
Believe it or not, most of our writers didn't enter the world sporting an @baseballprospectus.com address; with a few exceptions, they started out somewhere else. In an effort to up your reading pleasure while tipping our caps to some of the most illuminating work being done elsewhere on the internet, we'll be yielding the stage once a week to the best and brightest baseball writers, researchers and thinkers from outside of the BP umbrella. If you'd like to nominate a guest contributor (including yourself), please drop us a line.
The Tigers have talent, but a thin farm system leaves little room for error
Kiss 'Em Goodbye is a series focusing on MLB teams as their postseason dreams fade—whether in September (or before), the league division series, league championship series or World Series. It combines a broad overview from Baseball Prospectus, a front-office take from former MLB GM Jim Bowden, a best- and worst-case scenario ZiPS projection for 2012 from Dan Szymborski, and Kevin Goldstein's farm-system overview.
In this new column, BP's fantasy expert discusses the rookie middle-infield crop and the values of various players on the trade market.
Today, I’m proud to announce a brand new BP Fantasy column that has been in the works for quite a while that I’m incredibly excited about. Trading Post will offer insight heretofore unavailable to fantasy baseball players. Using a unique combination of PECOTA rest-of-season projections and CBS’ archive of every fantasy baseball trade that every player has been involved in this season, Trading Post will delve into the value you can expect to receive via trade for the players on your fantasy squad. It will also be able to tell you which players are being undervalued on the trade market and make for good targets. While some fantasy analysis will look at a player’s cold streak and slap a “Buy Low” tag on him, Trading Post will be able to say whether you can actually buy the player low and, if so, will be able to quantify just how “low” he can be bought.
Trading Post Card Explanation
Each player discussed in Trading Post will receive a “Trading Post Card.” This card will be jam-packed with useful information about each player’s trading profile. It will list information about the player himself, look at every trade the player has been involved in over the past two weeks and every player he’s been traded for, and give information about the average player he’s been traded for. Hopefully these cards will be self-explanatory, but if you’re not sure what anything means, here’s an explanation of everything:
How to get through the season's first month without panicking.
Albert Pujols is on pace to hit into 486 double plays in 2011. This would shatter the record of 36 double plays that Jim Rice grounded into in 1984. Meanwhile, Robinson Cano is going to have problems hitting over .300 again, as he is on pace to strike out 324 times this season.
A look at the best player at each position in the big leagues in 2010 along with news and notes from around the major leagues.
Last year in this precious space of bandwidth, we introduced the first-ever On The Beat All-MLB Team. The thought was if the NFL has the All-Pro team and the NBA and NHL also have post-season all-star teams, why not baseball?
A look at which players most fit the type who get dealt on or around July 31.
As non-waiver deadline time approaches at the end of each July, baseball observers divide teams into buyers and sellers, separating the soon-to-haves from the soon-to-have-nots. A few players from each team placed into the latter camp earn the dreaded “trade target” tag, dooming them to weeks of reading and hearing their names bandied about in various media by every rumormonger in the business, always unsure of where they’ll be playing their next game or spending their next night.
So how do we determine which players might be on the move when we construct our own hypothetical trade scenarios, or evaluate those concocted by others? Certain well-connected sources may get the choicest names straight from the horses’ mouths, but those of us with less enviable access resort to more conventional means of speculation, in addition to parroting the people with press credentials. Do we simply know trade bait when we see it, la Justice Stewart, or is there a more complicated calculus at work? Obviously, one need not be a GM to tell a buyer from a seller, and most trade targets share a few salient traits. Nevertheless, I thought I’d take a look at the players who changed hands this July to see if I could come up with a composite image of a player whose bags might well have been packed in preparation as the deadline approached. If we had to hire a police sketch artist to draw our prime trade fodder suspect’s Baseball-Reference page, how would we instruct him to fill in the fields?
A look at six interesting bullpen arms that could be traded by July 31 along with notes from around the major leagues.
One thing advanced statistical analysis has taught everyone is that relief pitchers are the game's most fungible players. One year they're great and the next they're not. There are always enough relievers available that a team can build a bullpen without spending a large portion of its payroll if it picks the right pitchers and gets a little lucky.
A look back and a look ahead to who could the top prosects in the senior circuit next year.
One of the most frequent questions I get, be it via e-mail, chats, or the comment sections in the articles, is which player on (insert team here) has the best shot at moving into the Top 101. That's a much different question from who is the best prospect not in the Top 101, as the focus need to move solely to growth potential. Building on last year's "Future Top Dogs" series, let's keep that category in this year's version, while also taking an honest look at last year's prognostications.
Looking ahead to who could top next year's prospects lists in the junior loop.
One of the most frequent questions I get, be it via e-mail, chats, or the comment sections in the articles, is which player on [insert team here] has the best shot at moving into the Top 101. That's a much different question from who is the best prospect not in the Top 101, as the focus needs to move solely to growth potential. Building on last year's "Future Top Dogs" series, let's keep that category in this year's version, while also taking an honest list at last year's prognostications.
The Mariners consummate an expected deal, the Cardinals sign their veteran pitcher of choice, plus other news and rumors from Indy.
That the Mariners signed Chone Figgins as a free agent Tuesday certainly wasn't a surprise. The story had long broken that Figgins was on the verge of signing a four-year, $36 million contract with a club option for 2014. However, the interesting part of the formal announcement that came during the second day of the winter meetings was that Figgins wouldn't necessarily play third base. That sets the Mariners up to make any number of potential moves between now and the beginning of next season.