2013 Draft Prep: National League Rotisserie auction
In a single-league format, if a player picks up a bat or ball, he has value. That was definitely evident in our National League Rotisserie auction.
In most auctions, the freedom to pursue whomever you want would motivate you to go the extra dollar on the high-end types, content to fill in the back of your roster with a collection of low-dollar sleepers knowing that you can always fall back on the waiver wire.
Then, there's our 12-team NL-only auction, where anyone and everyone with a job goes off the board.
Just about, anyway.
With standard 23-man starting lineups and seven bench slots, a full 360 players are rostered in this league. Only 375 are rostered in the actual NL.
In other words, there is no waiver wire to speak of, so while some owners may still opt for the studs-and-duds approach, few take it to the extreme. Only Ryan Braun reached the $40 threshold in this auction. Sick of getting goose eggs from the garbage players who normally go for $1 in this format, I personally opted for a more balanced approach, spending no more than $30 on any one player.
Compared to shallower mixed leagues, closers were in short supply here. You couldn't get one at a discount, not unless you wanted to gamble on Brandon League, who went for $9, holding off Kenley Jansen, who went for $8. Other than Craig Kimbrel, who went for a whopping $25, the rest pretty much all went in the $14-$19 range. Nobody really cared which one they got, but everybody wanted at least one.
Not everybody got one, though.
A shortage of corner infielders also led to some inflation in the middle stages of the auction. First base was expected, to a degree, with most of the elite types residing in the AL. The result was that players you'd normally consider mid-level types went for elite money or close to it, such as Freddie Freeman for $27, Paul Goldschmidt for $25 and Anthony Rizzo and Ike Davis for $24. Third base thinned out quicker than expected, though, which accounted for my one notable overpay of Matt Carpenter at $13. But I certainly like him as a sleeper in this format, particularly given his versatility. And just imagine if he wins the starting second base job in St. Louis. Quadruple eligibility? Yowzah!
At the risk of oversimplifying by applying a rigid term to an entirely fluid process, some other "overbids" that may have resulted from personal favoritism or unfortunate timing include Giancarlo Stanton at $39 (the result of a man crush, I presume), Martin Prado at $25 (yup, third base), Michael Young at $15 (ditto), Jean Segura at $14 (someone else's Carpenter), Starling Marte at $17 (last of the "safe" steals guys), Adam Eaton at $19 (steals again -- I was in on that one), Cameron Maybin at $15 (steals, aaah!), Jayson Werth at $20 (what am I missing?) and Kyuji Fujikawa at $6 (getting creative for saves).
Some of my favorite picks were A.J. Burnett for $9, Travis d'Arnaud for $8, Wade Miley for $7, Ryan Vogelsong for $6 and Bobby Parnell for $5. All were made at a point in the auction when owners' funds were dwindling, forcing them to hold out for need. Chances are if those players were nominated earlier, they would have gone for more.
And just who were making these picks? For a league this deep, we had to call in the reinforcements:
1. Andrew Fiorentino, RotoWire.com
2. Scott White , CBSSports.com
3. Mike Kuchera, FanDuel.com
4. Paul Sporer, Baseball Prospectus
5. Nando Di Fino, CBSSports.com
6. Grey Albright and Rudy Gamble, Razzball
7. Phil Ponebshek, Patton & Co
8. Jason Hunt, FakeTeams.com
9. Ryan Carey, Mastersball.com
10. Scott Pianowski, Yahoo! Sports
11. Al Melchior, CBSSports.com
12. Christopher Kreush, Mastersball.com
Editor's note: Utilize the sortable functionality to get a sense of the auction. View by team, dollar amount and position.
The 84 players that show up as $0 bids were selected in the seven-round reserve draft that immediately followed the auction.
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