March 28, 2004

Draft on Tap

Set the alarm clock last Sunday for the first time since I've been home to get up for the fantasy baseball draft, which was starting at 8am in concession to the east-coasters. Like last year, Sam handled the bidding while I advised him on the values. Setup the laptop upstairs to go with the PC to maximize the screen real estate. Just had enough time to make a cup of coffee before Sam called in and we signed into the AIM chatroom for the draft. We based our bids primarily on the Baseball Prospectus projections, supplemented by stats from RotoTimes. Of course, one guy (there's always one) doesn't show up. Calls and emails went unanswered, so we moved on.

Everyone was cautious in the early going. Pedro selling for $30? But the pursestrings loosened as the big names kept coming. A-Rod reached the mystical 50-dollar barrier, which might even be low considering his shortstop/3rd base dual eligibility. We got into a mini-bidding-war for Barry, but we quit at $47, because we just couldn't make ourselves pay more for him than what we paid last year. Let Helton go at $36 because BP biases against pure first basemen. We kept Javier Vazquez as the bedrock of our rotation, then picked up Jorge Posada, Mariano Rivera, and Derek Jeter almost by accident as we tried to drive up the bidding on big names. We weren't total whores of the Evil Empire, though, as we let Jason Giambi go by (that bias against 1B plus injury risk).

As the bidding went on, it became rather obvious that we weren't the only subscribers to Baseball Prospectus. Eric was jumping on the same bandwagons we were and screwing our plans. He picked up the BP-projected sleepers like Adam Dunn (BP-value = $34, the 6th rated offensive player on the list!), and Brad Wilkerson ($28 by BP). We bid them up a little bit so he couldn't get away with grand larcerny, but we usually blinked first. We weren't totally passive, though, as we went with the Monster Mash Outfield plan, grabbing Manny, Brian Giles, and Lance Berkman to complement our keeper Richard Hidalgo. Kept Asian pride and our stolen bases total alive with Ichiro. They took a big bite out of our budget, and we went into the shell for a while. That was a bad idea as the pitching stock started to thin out. Got into bidding for Hudson and Moose, but I chickened out on the bidding too early. It's not good when David Wells is your #2 starter in an 11-team MLB-universe league. Did scrape up some random closers. Unfortunately we don't find out until after the draft that Bob Wickman blew out his elbow and is out for at least half the season. We ended up spending our last $35 on good old Dave Roberts for our last spot, i.e. left a bunch of money on the table. No buck-bargains for us this year.

It's amazing what you can do when you're unemployed and bored. I plugged in each team's BP-projected stats to calculate the standings, and the news wasn't good for us. Eric projected to win the league, but that was to be expected because he was going by their book, so any BP-based projection automatically favored him. We were stuck in the third tier, though, in the middle of the pack and far out of the money positions. Our starting pitching was particularly dismal, and we couldn't improve it during the bench draft. Brock, our missing man during the draft, decided to stay in the league. He had to fill his squad with guys off the scrap heap, though. He did have some sweet keepers for trading chips, and Curt Schilling was at the top of the list. Sam started working on him as soon as we found out he was still in the game. Lowball offers like David Ortiz + Danny Graves were summarily rejected, but at least we found out that he wanted a closer and a bat. Of course, that was dumb of him because one closer still wasn't going to get him out of the Saves cellar, but we had junky closers to spare so it worked for us. Junk closers weren't going to get it done, though, so we had to offer up our big name in Mariano and try to minimize the damage to our offense. Sam handled the negotiations.

"If you're still interested in moving Schilling for saves, what other pieces will be necessary if Rivera is involved?"

well in a perfect world i could get a hitter and a closer for him. Schilling for Rivera and Giles probably is asking too much eh?

Yeah no shit.

"yeah, that'd be too much since it's debatable if Schilling is worth more or less than Giles. I was thinking more like Rivera + an OK hitter ($8 or $9 type) for Schilling. unfortuantely, i don't really have any of those. Do you think that's fair? If so, I'll try to get one of those guys and flip him to you. Let me know."

how about schilling for Rivera and Conine?

Hey, he made the offer, not us. Sam actually wanted to dicker some more, and I told him to get it the fuck done. Where would this team be without me? Other people are bitching and moaning about the trade, but it's not our fault that he bent over and dropped his pants for us. Especially when the bitch-and-moaner traded Gil Meche and Brad Fullmer for Jason Giambi last year. Now let's get it on.

Posted by mikewang on 06:12 PM