In September, November and again in February I asked your advice about who to cut to get from 40 to 25 players and then to 15 in late-March in a 12-owner A.L.-only roto league, with standard 23-man roster and a 17-man reserve, $260 and 4 x 4 categories (HR, RBI, BA, SB, ERA, Whip, S, W) . Thanks for all the helpful input. I've just made my final cuts after making a major trade. Here's the final 15 keepers along with open spots to fill at our auction in 9 days:
C Matt Weiters $11 — can keep at price two years
1 Kendry Morales $6 —can keep at price two years
3 Alex Rodriguez $40 - obtained in trade; can keep at price for two years
SS Elvis Andrus $5 — last year of contract
MI Marco Scutaro $6 — can keep at price two years
OF Adam Lind $8 - can keep at price two years
OF Shin Soo-Choo $10 — can keep at price two years
OF Julio Borbon $5 —can keep at price two years
P Zack Greinke $10 - last year of contract
P Max Scherzer $2 - can keep at price two years
P Phil Hughes $3 — can keep at price two years
P David Aardsma $1 - can keep at price two years
Reserve Desmond Jennings free — no cost to keep on reserve; $4 in year two
Reserve Jesus Montero free — no cost to keep on reserve; $2 in year two
Reserve Brian Matusz free - no cost to keep on reserve; $1 in year two
Reserve -- 17 spots in all
Mike Aviles $2 — last year of contract
Josh Reddick - - no cost to keep on reserve;
Daric Barton - $2
Hector Rondon - no cost to keep on reserve;
Brian Duensing - $4
Aroldis Chapman - $2 — Dropped because signed in N.L.
Traded for ARod:
Justin Smoak Free on reserve if kept this year only, $8 a year if kept this year and next or $13 a year if kept this year and each of the next two years.
Tyler Flowers - no cost to keep on reserve; $2 in year two
Austin Jackson - - no cost to keep on reserve; $1 in year two
Thoughts and observations:
(1) I've committed $91 of my roughly $190 budget on hitters, and by my projections to finish first in each counting hitting categories, have 68% of the home runs, 69% of my rbii's and 89% of my stolen bases and would also be above the typical league-leading batting average of .277.
(2) I've committed $16 of my roughly $70 budget on pitching and have one closer, one elite starter and three young starters I like. That leaves me $56 to secure a second closer, a fairly established starter such as Garza or Shields, with the balance on low price guys whose upsides I like.
(3) In past auctions ARod has usually gone for about $50; while his price in standard A.L. only leagues is usually close to $40, because we have so many keepers, the inflation on prices is usually 10% to 20%. Last year he went for $40 because he would miss at least the first month of the season and his health prognosis was uncertain. The only comparable hitter available in the auction is Longoria, who I may still get for my open corner, but I expect him to cost about $45.
(4) I'm sad to trade Smoak. I picked him two years ago in a free agent auction before he was drafted by the Rangers because I like his chance of moving up quickly more than anyone else. But for his injury last summer, he might have been in Texas in August, but it was not to be. My dilemma this year was Smoak was entering an option year (his third year) and if I wanted to keep him beyond this year, I'd have to pay $8 a year for one extra year and $13 a year for two extra years. I didn't want to pay that for a player who won't be up until September if Davis plays well and Vlad stays healthy. I may regret this in June and I may regret this next year, but I already have tremendous value on the roster -- in an expert non-keeper auction for a 12-team AL-only league, my non-Arod players who I have for $67 went for just over $200, and that's without any inflation effect. What I need now is production that is reliable even if it's at a premium.
(5) Jackson really bumped up his trade value with a great spring -- several teams had some interest. He's a cheap source for steals and a decent average but I already have that, I already have 3 outfielders, so he was really surplus.
(6) Not fun to trade Flowers either as he will get called up if the White Sox trade AJ and will likely start next year, but I already have Wieters and Montero in reserve.
(7) I was roundly criticized for keeping Aviles but he has come back much earlier than expected, is hitting great (though it's only Spring Training), enough that I could mention him in trade talks and not have someone laugh. I do think he'll be a great reserve pick as his bat could push him past Betancourt or Getz.
(8) I was also criticized for keeping Scutaro. I won't rehash my argument -- we'll find soon enough if he produces more value at $6 than I would have gotten from someone else.
(9) The Brett Anderson trade didn't happen though it was very close - in the end I offered Jackson, Tillman, Rondon, and Daric Barton -- don't laugh; my trade partner has Chris Carter on his reserve so getting Barton insures a cheap $2 first baseman all year. What killed the trade in the end was that his pitching behind Anderson is very shaky.
(10) I was offered a $12 Aaron Hill in his last year of a contract for Smoak and Matusz, I turned it down.
What do you think of the ARod trade? The proposed trades that didn't work out? What do you think of my keepers? How are you things coming together in your own leagues?