On Tuesday night, I participated in my 3rd UBA NL Only 4x4 auction draft. I previously gave you a list of my keepers, and some decisions I had to make regarding giving raises to a few of them. Well, I gave no raises to Mark Reynolds or Manny Corpas, and I did take the $5 hit on David Eckstein. So I went into the draft with 11 keepers and $134 to spend on the remaining 13 players I needed to fill my roster.
My plan was to stay away from all of the higher priced guys available in the draft such as David Wright, who went for $49, Jake Peavy ($32), Prince Fielder ($36), Brandon Webb ($31), Alfonso Soriano ($41), and Jimmy Rollins ($45). I had concerns about Webb's arm after he got lit up in spring training, and yesterday we hear he will miss his 2nd start of the season due to soreness in his shoulder. I also did not want to pay $40 for any player with a $50 Manny Ramirez on my roster.
I targeted the $20-29 players in the draft such as Andre Ethier, Brain McCann, Adam Laroche, Raul Ibanez, Brad Hawpe, Ryan Zimmerman, Chipper Jones, Adam Dunn, Chad Billingsley, Adam Wainwright and Edwin Encarnacion.
What I did not expect, and actually should have in retrospect, was how much it would cost to get a good closer. I ended up drafting Jose Valverde for $31 after seeing Jonathon Broxton go for the same salary.
Here is my complete roster....with alot of question marks.
C-Ramon Hernandez-$10-wanted some power from my C.
1b-Adam Laroche-$20-a guy I targeting going into the auction.
2b-Brendan Ryan-$1-grabbed from the scraps at the end of the draft.
SS-Rafael Furcal -$10-keeper
MI-Jeff Keppinger-$1-grabbed from the scraps at the end of the draft.
CI-Blake Dewitt-$1-see Keppinger, but will gain SS eligibility on Thursday.
OF-Andre Ethier-$23-another guy I targeted and the conference room was fully aware. Was surprised he didn't cost me more actually.
OF-Milton Bradley-$20-did not target Bradley as I don't see him replicating his 2008 season, but needed a solid OFer.
U-Josh Willingham-$9-surprised he cost me this much, but could get me 15 bombs in a part-time role.
U-Juan Pierre-$10-another guy I targeted for the SBs. Could get me 25-20 steals in a part-time role.
P-Jose Valverde-$31-wanted a closer after Corpas failed to win the job in Colorado. I was second-guessing myself after buying him early.
P-Randy Wolf-$3-didn't target him, but needed another starter.
P-Franklin Morales-$1-I think he could surprise this year, and he proved me right with a solid outing on Wednesday. It's early though.
P-Ben Sheets-$1, (replaced with Anibal Sanchez)-rolled the dice with Sheets signing with a NL team in 2009. I cannot keep him but felt he was worth the risk of $1 for maybe 2 solid months.
After reviewing the rosters of the other 11 teams in UBA, I will have a hard time competing for a money slot, but 6th place gets the rights to Stephen Strasburg in our 2 round minor league draft in 2010. Then again, the Nationals could draft him and throw him into the rotation in August.
I think my offense can get me 210-220 HRs, and about 125 SBs. With Andrew McCutchen on the cusp of his major league career in Pittsburgh, I could trade one of my OFers for pitching or middle infield help later in the season.
I will need alot of breaks to go my way to get into the money this year.
What do you think?