My NL-only draft occurred last night, and I find myself unexcited about the team I drafted. This is my usual feeling following most of my drafts, though, so I have to reserve judgment. What leaves me unhappy is my decision to back-off SS Jose Reyes at $52.
I entered the drafted mentally preparing (yes, I was still not 100% committed to this at draft time!) to do something I have never done - go to $50 on a player. With the team I took into the draft, I had no glaring needs and decided to try to land Jose Reyes for whatever it took. I was then going to draft Colorado Rockies catcher Chris Iannetta and sit around until the end of the draft and take whatever part-timers I thought had the upside to be worth $20 if everything broke their way.
Reyes was the third player thrown, and the bidding came down to me and Fake Teams' frequent commentor, raygu. I had the final bid at $51, and the auctioneer counted off the bid, "Going once. Going twice. Going three times. Sol-", and raygu went, "$52," before that final phoneme "-d" could be uttered. I reconsidered and let Reyes go at $52.
Immediately, I regretted it. I felt as if I were at the beach and decided to swim as far into the ocean as I could. Each stroke overiding the knowledge that I was getting farther and farther away from solid, comfortable ground. When I got really far from shore, I looked back, saw how far out I was, and panicked and swam back. With my feet on shore, I immediately knew how close I had been and what I lost.
With the mindset and strategy I had prepared shattered, I converted to my comforting mode of not over-paying at the top of the draft, but aggressively paying for those everyday players in the lower tiers. My first four draftees were Chris Iannetta, Pedro Martinez, Randy Johnson and Scott Rolen.
I am hopeful that reports of Pedro Martinez working hard at his rehabilitation are true and not disinformation being fed to the popular baseball press. He will be a great addition in July/August just as the stretch run begins. How much would a #1 starter cost in a trade? Not as little as the the $17 I paid for Pedro at the draft.
I was surprised to see Randy Johnson go so cheaply given he is on schedule to get his first start in mid-April. If his WHIP from 2006 holds in the transition back to the NL, then he should provide top starting pitcher numbers at half the price. I added one of my favorite pitching sleepers in Arizona starter Edgar Gonzalez to round out my staff.
On offense, I entered with HRs and RBIs covered by Ryan Howard, Andruw Jones, and Chase Utley. With Chris Duncan, Stephen Drew, Troy Tulowitzki, and Jeff Baker complementing that core, I felt no need to aggressively address power. I had a $4 Nook Logan and acquired $5 Phillies OF Michael Bourn in a pre-draft trade (for the #24 pick in the minor league draft) to dampen any panicky urges to aggressively pursue SBs, too. (Hence, I had a convenient reason to back-off Reyes if necessary.)
With Iannetta and Carlos Ruiz at catcher, Scott Rolen at 3B, Aaron Rowand and Termel Sledge in my utilty spots and Alberto Callaspo offering some sleeper upside, I finished with a solid team. It isn't enough balm to salve the disappointment of missing out on Reyes, but time will help some - especially if it is accompanied by a top finish!
|OF||JOE BORCHARD||FLA||DL REPLACEMENT|
|P||KEVIN GREGG||FLA||DL REPLACEMENT|
|P||MATT LINSTROM||FLA||DL REPLACEMENT|