I made my annual trip up to New York City to participate in the UBA NL-only auction draft last night. The draft wasn't till 7pm last night, but I caught an early train to meet up with a very good college friend and his father for lunch and some adult beverages. They were helping me with my resume and giving me some advice as to what to include in the resume.
I made my way to Foley's Bar to meet up with one of the owners in the UBA league for a few more cold ones before meeting up with the rest of the owners for dinner at Brother Jimmy's. Several of the owners drove down from Pittsburgh and Massachusetts, with the majority of the owners living/working in the New York area. We also have one owner, the league commissioner) who calls into the draft from California every year.
I went into the draft with little money to spend on the 12 players I needed to auction, as I kept several high-priced hitters. Here is a quick look at my list of 11 keepers followed by the list of players, and salaries, of the players I drafted:
2B - Neil Walker ($15 S0)
SS - Zack Cozart ?($10 S0)
MI - Josh Rutledge ($10 S1)
3B - Aramis Ramirez ($28 S1)
CI - Ryan Zimmerman ($32 S1)
OF - Giancarlo Stanton ($20 L1)
OF - Matt Kemp ($47 S0)
OF - Gerardo Parra ($3 S0)
P - Zack Greinke ($20 S0)
P - Kenley Jansen ($10 S0)
P - A.J. Burnett ($2 S1)
So, heading into the draft, I kept 11 players for $197 leaving me with $58 to spend on 12 players. We have a $260 budget in this league, but if you drop a player on a long term contract, you lose $5 of your budget for the following season. I took a $5 hit when I panicked and dropped Brewers closer John Axford last summer after he had blown several save opportunities and was replaced, for a short period, by Jim Henderson. Had I kept Axford, I would have won the league, as he regained the closer role and pitched very well in the last two months of the 2012 season,
With just $58 to spend on 12 players, I told myself that I would try to grab a hitter in the high $20 range, and then pick and choose some low dollar guys before the $1 end game began. Well, with the prices of the available hitters going to the expected crazy levels (Aaron Hill went for $36), my first winning bid was on Reds starter Johnny Cueto at $26. Not a bad price for a legitimate top 12 NL-only starter.
After winning the bid on Cueto, I decided to focus the rest of my available budget on a middle reliever who could win a closer job sometime this season. My focus was on Cubs MR Kyuji Fujikawa and Cardinals MR Trevor Rosenthal. I was in on the bidding on both, but did not want to pay the prices needed to win the bidding on either of them. Fujikawa went for $18, and $8 more than Carlos Marmol), while Rosenthal went for $15, only $4 less than Mitchell Boggs.
Had I not won the bidding on Cueto, if someone bid $27, I was not going to $28, I may have gone the extra dollar on Rosenthal or Fujikawa.
Here is the rest of the players I auctioned last night:
Johnny Cueto ($26)
John Buck ($5)
Devin Mesoraco ($5)
Dave Sappelt ($1)
Chris Denorfia ($5)
Logan Forsythe ($1)
Mark Melancon ($7)
Nathan Eovaldi ($1)
Daniel Hudson ($3)
James McDonald ($1)
Ricky Nolasco ($1)
With the prices of the available closers and middle relievers going to levels I was not willing to pay, I was left with bidding on Mark Melancon, with the hope that Pirates closer Jason Grilli will struggle and eventually lose the closer role in Pittsburgh. I am of the belief that Kenley Jansen will eventually regain the closer role in Los Angeles, but a lot has to go right for me to garner some saves this season. I will have to work the waiver wire in the pursuit of saves this season, as I was left without a closer for the first time ever in this league.
I had targeted Devin Mesoraco coming into the draft, as I had considered keeping him at $10, but now own him at $5 for the next three seasons. I think he will eventually win the catcher's job in Cincinnati, as his bat should come around at some point.
I am not confident this roster can compete this season, but with a pretty decent roster of hitters and three top 20 starting pitchers in Greinke, Cueto and A.J. Burnett, I could compete for one of the top 5 money spots in this 12 team league. Should that not come to fruition, I am not averse to trading away my talent for future talent, i.e. rebuilding.
What do Fake Teams readers think of my roster? Can this roster compete this season, or will I be rebuilding come June?