Welcome to The FAAB Review, the series that looks at the expert bidding in LABR mixed, Tout Wars NL, and Tout Wars AL every week in an effort to try and help you, the Baseball Prospectus reader, with your fantasy baseball bidding needs. Bret Sayre and I participate in LABR mixed while I have a team in Tout Wars NL, so I can provide some insight on the bids and the reasoning behind them. LABR uses a $100 budget with one-dollar minimum bids, while the Tout Wars leagues use a $1,000 budget with zero-dollar minimum bids. I will also be including Bret’s winning bids in Tout Wars mixed auction league where applicable.
LABR and Tout Wars both use a bidding deadline of Sunday at midnight ET.
All 2016 statistics in this article were as of Sunday, June 26.
Joey Rickard $4. Other bid: $3.
You know it is a slow FAAB week when the highest bid is four dollars for Joey Rickard. He has had been decent during the last couple of weeks, but on the whole has been outperformed by Hyun-Soo Kim. Rickard is okay in 15-team mixed if he is playing full-time, but he is a stretch with only three to five starts per week. He isn’t a long-term solution; it seems likely that the Orioles will make an attempt to make a trade to shore up their outfield between now and the non-waiver trade deadline.
Kevin Siegrist $4. Tout Mixed Draft: $23.
Based on the way the Cardinals used their pen on Sunday, Seung Hwan Oh looks like he will get the first crack at saves for St. Louis now that Trevor Rosenthal has been removed from the role. Siegrist’s ERA looks good but he is giving up a lot of home runs and shouldn’t be trusted in fantasy at the moment.
Travis Jankowski $4. Tout Mixed Auction: $25. Tout Mixed Draft: $56.
Will Jon Jay go on the DL? The answer to this question will dictate Jankowski’s short-term value. Jay is a likely trade target for more than a few contenders as a fourth outfielder or platoon player, so Jankowski could see time as a starter during the last two months of the season. In a steals starved environment, Jankowski is a reasonable gamble in the hopes that he does start and steals 15 bases or so the rest of the way.
Jose Peraza $3
Matt Joyce $2
Jett Bandy $1. Tout Mixed Auction: $5
John Gant $1. Other bid: $1. Tout Mixed Auction: $20. Tout Mixed Draft: $17.
Ryan Buchter $1. Tout Mixed Auction: $5. Tout Mixed Draft: $3
Kyle Barraclough $1
Colin Rea $1
The Fernando Rodney to Miami rumors prompted some light bidding on Buchter, who could be Rodney’s replacement if the arrow man is traded. Peraza is a solid steals play and could be an everyday player if Jay Bruce gets traded.
Bret and I stood pat. Bret did not make a move in Tout Mixed Auction either. We tried and failed in LABR to trade from our starting pitching depth to get a hitter.
Tout Wars AL
Jett Bandy $75. Other bid: $0.
Despite some modest pop in the minors, Bandy has never been considered much of a prospect. But Carlos Perez isn’t hitting at all, so Bandy is splitting time with Perez behind the plate for the Angels. Bandy can pop the occasional home run and hit .250 or so. He is a second catcher in two-catcher leagues that have 15 or more teams. I find myself writing this sentence a great deal in this space.
Oswaldo Arcia $12. Other bid: $1.
The Twins gave up on Arcia and the Rays jumped at the opportunity to add him to their active roster. Arcia has his real life limitations, but his power potential makes him a must add in fantasy, particularly in AL-only. He could crash-and-burn yet again or he could hit home runs at a 25-30 seasonal pace. I love this gamble by Mike Podhorzer of FanGraphs.
You know it is a quiet week for FAAB when only one starting pitcher is purchased and there are no minor league speculation plays. Sandy Leon will not hit .600 or whatever his batting average is for the rest of the season, but he has outplayed Christian Vasquez enough to have earned regular at bats in the short-term.
Tout Wars NL
Emilio Bonifacio $150
Conor Gillaspie $85. Other bids: $32, $20.
Matt Duffy’s injury opens the door for mostly regular playing time for Gillaspie at third base for the Giants, although Gillaspie could sit in favor of Ramiro Pena now and again. Gillaspie was a starter for most of two seasons for the White Sox, so we have a fairly reliable template of what his production will look like. He should be good for a 10-home-run seasonal pace with a .260 batting average. This is not the most exciting outcome, but if you are running a real life backup out there in your fantasy lineup, Gillaspie is a moderate upgrade until Duffy returns, or until the Giants make a trade. They have been linked to Angels third baseman Yunel Escobar in rumors.
Adam Frazier $44. Other bid: $4. LABR NL: $4.
Greg Wellemeyer did a terrific write-up of Frazier last week that offered a comprehensive view of Frazier’s overall skill set. Frazier mostly played center field this year in the minors but the Pirates have one of the best outfields in baseball so he won’t get much time there unless the Bucs have an injury. Frazier’s value revolves around his speed. He is worth it as a fifth outfielder in NL-only even if he is only a bench player. How much additional value he cobbles together depends upon playing time.
Austin Voth $34. Other bid: $13.
When these bids were placed, it appeared that the Nationals might go with Voth over Lucas Giolito for today’s start against the Mets. We now know that it will be Giolito toeing the rubber. Voth might be up later this season, but he isn’t the kind of minor leaguer worth stashing a a future play.
Peter Bourjos $20. Other bid: $9.
I was prepared to write something snarky about Bourjos, but then I noticed that he has a .442/.478/.651 line over the last 21 days. It is difficult to write something negative about a player hitting .442, but these numbers were accompanied by one home run, seven runs, one stolen base, and six runs batted in across 43 at bats. Analysis solely driven by BABIP is bad, but it is fairly safe to say in this specific case that this is where Bourjos’ fantasy value has rested of late. He is difficult to recommend, even in NL-only, and even keeping his hot streak in mind.
Mac Williamson $11. Other bids: $6, $1.
Christian Bethancourt $5
Hector Neris $4. Other bid: $0
Hansel Robles $3. Other bid: $2.
Neftali Feliz $3. LABR NL: $1
Ramiro Pena $3.
Tony Wolters $2. LABR NL: $2
Boone Logan $1
Sammy Solis $0
Jerry Blevins $0
Relievers were the big acquisition target in Tout Wars this week. Six middle relievers were nabbed by the NL experts in the zero- to four-dollar range. With a weak crop of free agent starting pitchers available, the fantasy experts looked to fill in using quality reliever innings instead of bad starter ones.
After sinking nearly 30 percent of my budget on Willson Contreras in what looks like it could be a very successful bid, I took a powder this week.