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CBSSports.com AL-Only Analysts League: Auction Draft analysis

The lesson here is to not get gun-shy.

Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Take me Christmas shopping. If I go to, say, Target, or Barnes & Noble, or some other place where I can get all my presents at once, and I'll spend hundreds of dollars on everyone's presents.

If, instead, I go to the mall, and end up buying my presents more-or-less one at a time, and the first few presents will be pricey. After that, though, I'll get intimidated by how much I'm spending. The next few presents will be the discounts I can find, and they will be more often than not be the worst presents I buy. It's just a matter of psyching myself out, scaring myself that I'll end up broke before I get everything.

Tuesday, I joined in on the CBSSports.com Analysts League AL-Only auction draft. It's a 12-team AL-only, meaning we're already scraping the bottom of the barrel for rosterable players. The league has some big names in it, of which I am the smallest:

  • Al Melchior, CBSSports.com
  • Chris Towers, CBSSports.com
  • Scott White, CBSSports.com
  • Mike Kuchera, FanDuel.com
  • Paul Sporer, FanGraphs.com
  • Ryan Carey and Todd Zola, Mastersball
  • Keith Cromer, Patton & Co.
  • Grey Albright and Rudy Gamble, Razzball
  • Andrew Fiorentino, RotoWire.com
  • Clay Link, RotoWire.com
  • Dean Peterson, Stats LLC
  • Daniel Kelley, FakeTeams.com

That draft was Tuesday. The NL-only is Wednesday - it hasn't happened yet as I write this, but is likely in the past as you read it, because time travel. I'll apply my lessons from Tuesday's draft to Wednesday's, as I ran into the Christmas shopping conundrum, and 20 picks or so into the draft, and I already had four players:

MY FIRST FOUR PURCHASES
Salvador Perez $18
Edwin Encarnacion $32
Chris Sale $32
Corey Kluber $27

I'm not exactly unhappy with anyone on that list. Ultimately, considering the discounts some starters went for later in the draft, investing in Kluber right after Sale was probably too much, but it's not something that bothers me that much.

The problem, though, was that those four accounted for $109 of my $260. After that, I slowed way down. I invested in Colby Rasmus ($10) and Brett Lawrie ($18) before getting to the guy I'm laying my money behind this year, and ultimately my mistake. Chris Davis ($30) was supposed to be my bargain play, as I figured no one was as high on him as I was. I figured I'd get him at $20, $21, and reap the benefits. Then when someone topped me at that price, I got stubborn. No, damnit, Davis was my bargain play. So I kept bidding. Getting Davis at $20-ish meant I had some wiggle room in his production; getting him at $30 means I have to be right. I should have stopped before it got there.

Anyway, here's my roster:

Position Player Price
C Salvador Perez $18
C Josmil Pinto $2
1B Edwin Encarnacion $32
2B Brett Lawrie $18
3B Chris Davis $30
SS Stephen Drew $7
MI Luis Valbuena $6
CI Jonathan Singleton $4
OF Colby Rasmus $10
OF Coco Crisp $8
OF Michael Bourn $8
OF Seth Smith $4
OF Emilio Bonifacio $4
DH Jake Smolinski $1
P Chris Sale $32
P Corey Kluber $27
P David Robertson $22
P Wade Miley $6
P CC Sabathia $5
P Brad Boxberger $2
P Joakim Soria $3
P Wei-Yin Chen $6
P Ricky Nolasco $1

(Reserve roster: Everth Cabrera, Nathan Karns, David DeJesus, Maicer Izturis, Kyle blanks, Zach McAllister, Joba Chamberlain)

I was the second person in the auction to get as low as $71 remaining. And that's just where I stayed. I got gun-shy. Guys came and went - guys who could have been values for me, considering what they went for. But I had splurged early, and it made me timid. Now the benefit of that was that late in the draft, I ended up, still at $71, able to outbid anyone for anyone. But that meant I was outbidding guys for the likes of Drew, Crisp, and Miley. I'm happy with all three, but it's not like I was getting superstars at bargains.

The key to my roster, though, was the multi-position eligibility. Lawrie can play second or third. Davis, first or third. Valbuena, Drew and Bonifacio all have multiple spots they can play as well, as should Cabrera on my reserve roster once he adds second base eligibility.

But my fear of spending led to my final expenditures going to "whoever's left." I had $5 for my last player, which no one could top, but the best player I could find was Rangers left fielder Smolinski. He's a clear $1 player, so I ended up with $4 left at the end that I'll just have to eat, like a bad football coach who doesn't use his timeouts.

Ultimately, I'm still fairly happy with my roster. Sale, Kluber, Miley and Sabathia should make for a fine first four starters in an AL-only. Assuming Joe Nathan doesn't improve on last year, Soria should join Robertson to give me two strong closers. Kurt Suzuki won't repeat 2014, so Pinto should be relevance. My outfield isn't great, but that's okay.

All the rosters are listed below. Thoughts?

Position Razzball Price Position FanDuel.com Price
C Chris Iannetta $2 C Caleb Joseph $3
C Dioner Navarro $2 C Jason Castro $4
1B Ike Davis $7 1B Prince Fielder $24
2B Ian Kinsler $23 2B Jose Altuve $35
3B Pablo Sandoval $20 3B Alex Rodriguez $5
SS Francisco Lindor $6 SS Elvis Andrus $27
MI Jose Ramirez $9 MI Jonathan Schoop $7
CI Brandon Moss $12 CI Adam LaRoche $25
OF Melky Caberra $22 OF Alex Rios $21
OF Oswaldo Arcia $21 OF Dustin Ackley $7
OF Michael Saunders $10 OF James Jones $1
OF Adam Eaton $19 OF David Murphy $1
OF Chris Young $1 OF David Lough $1
DH Kennys Vargas $10 DH Mark Teixeira $9
P Yu Darvish $26 P Alex Cobb $25
P Brett Cecil $14 P Zach Britton $17
P Bud Norris $6 P Jose Quintana $16
P Chris TIllman $9 P Nathan Eovaldi $8
P Rick Porcello $10 P C.J. Wilson $6
P Danny Salazar $11 P Yovani Gallardo $4
P J.A. Happ $3 P Clay Buchholz $5
P Luke Gregerson $12 P Colby Lewis $1
P Justin Masterson $5 P Jesse Chavez $1
Position FanGraphs.com Price Position Patton & Co. Price
C Russell Martin $15 C Kurt Suzuki $1
C John Jaso $10 C Christian Vazquez $1
1B Joe Mauer $11 1B Albert Pujols $26
2B Rickie Weeks $2 2B Ben Zobrist $18
3B Carlos Santana $20 3B David Freese $10
SS Xander Bogaerts $17 SS Hanley Ramirez $28
MI Brad Miller $6 MI Alexei Ramirez $19
CI Allen Craig $5 CI Mike Napoli $18
OF Leonys Martin $22 OF Jacoby Ellsbury $32
OF Yoenis Cespedes $25 OF Torii Hunter $12
OF Shin-Soo Choo $18 OF Travis Snider $9
OF Alejandro De Aza $7 OF Kevin Kiermaier $3
OF Rajai Davis $7 OF Jordan Schafer $1
DH Matt Joyce $5 DH C.J. Cron $3
P Jeff Samardzija $22 P Koji Uehara $15
P Cody Allen $24 P Hisashi Iwakuma $19
P Drew Hutchison $14 P Derek Holland $12
P Sean Doolittle $13 P Jered Weaver $12
P Shane Greene $4 P Miguel Gonzalez $3
P Tyler Clippard $9 P James Paxton $8
P T.J. House $2 P Taijuan Walker $6
P Chad Qualls $1 P Wade Davis $3
P Nick Tropeano $1 P Kendall Graveman $1
Position Stats LLC Price Position CBSSports.com (Melchior) Price
C Matt Wieters $11 C Tyler Flowers $3
C Josh Phegley $2 C Robinson Chirinos $1
1B Eric Hosmer $20 1B Victor Martinez $23
2B Rougned Odor $17 2B Brian Dozier $25
3B Chase Headley $16 3B Josh Donaldson $31
SS Asdrubal Cabrera $12 SS Jose Iglesias $1
MI Marcus Semien $18 MI Nick Franklin $4
CI Nick Castellanos $13 CI Mitch Moreland $2
OF Avisail Garcia $20 OF Jose Bautista $31
OF George Springer $31 OF Shane Victorino $10
OF Desmond Jennings $14 OF Austin Jackson $15
OF Dalton Pompey $5 OF Josh Reddick $14
OF Jake Marisnick $6 OF Sam Fuld $2
DH Chris Carter $18 DH David Ortiz $21
P Neftali Feliz $15 P Phil Hughes $17
P Aaron Sanchez $9 P Collin McHugh $13
P Andrew Heaney $8 P Scott Kazmir $11
P Yordano Ventura $14 P Fernando Rodney $15
P Matt Moore $2 P Garrett Richards $15
P Trevor Bauer $5 P Casey Fien $2
P Joe Kelly $1 P Gavin Floyd $2
P Carlos Rodon $2 P Brett Oberholtzer $1
P John Danks $1 P Ivan Nova $1
Position FakeTeams.com Price Position Mastersball Price
C Salvador Perez $18 C Geovany Soto $1
C Josmil Pinto $2 C Hank Conger $1
1B Edwin Encarnacion $32 1B Kendrys Morales $9
2B Brett Lawrie $18 2B Jason Kipnis $23
3B Chris Davis $30 3B Kyle Seager $23
SS Stephen Drew $7 SS Erick Aybar $14
MI Luis Valbuena $6 MI Brock Holt $1
CI Jonathan Singleton $4 CI Billy Butler $14
OF Colby Rasmus $10 OF Mike Trout $46
OF Coco Crisp $8 OF Michael Brantley $29
OF Michael Bourn $8 OF Kole Calhoun $25
OF Seth Smith $4 OF Ryan Raburn $1
OF Emilio Bonifacio $4 OF Justin Ruggiano $1
DH Jake Smolinski $1 DH James Loney $4
P Chris Sale $32 P Greg Holland $21
P Corey Kluber $27 P Dallas Keuchel $15
P David Robertson $22 P Ervin Santana $8
P Wade Miley $6 P Drew Smyly $19
P CC Sabathia $5 P Mark Buehrle $1
P Brad Boxberger $2 P Ryan Cook $1
P Joakim Soria $3 P Kyle Gibson $1
P Wei-Yin Chen $6 P Kris Medlen $1
P Ricky Nolasco $1 P Alex Meyer $1
Position RotoWire.com (Fiorentino) Price Position CBSSports.com (White) Price
C James McCann $3 C Rene Rivera $1
C Carlos Corporan $1 C Alex Avila $1
1B Miguel Cabrera $39 1B Nick Swisher $3
2B Robinson Cano $30 2B Dustin Pedroia $20
3B Evan Longoria $24 3B Trevor Plouffe $10
SS Alcides Escobar $19 SS Danny Santana $20
MI Didi Gregorius $6 MI Micah Johnson $2
CI Manny Machado $20 CI Stephen Vogt $4
OF Lorenzo Cain $15 OF J.D. Martinez $24
OF Anthony Gose $6 OF Nelson Cruz $24
OF Aaron Hicks $2 OF Mookie Betts $20
OF Delino DeShields $1 OF Steve Pearce $13
OF Dariel Alvarez $1 OF Brett Gardner $19
DH Jesus Montero $1 DH Logan Morrison $3
P Dellin Betances $23 P David Price $29
P Daniel Norris $6 P Matt Shoemaker $12
P Sonny Gray $24 P Carlos Carrasco $18
P Anibal Sanchez $15 P Justin Verlander $14
P Jake Odorizzi $9 P Glen Perkins $15
P Jake McGee $12 P Edinson Volquez $2
P Junichi Tazawa $1 P Pat Neshek $2
P Dan Straily $1 P Jesse Hahn $3
P Ubaldo Jimenez $1 P Alfredo Simon $1
Position RotoWire.com (Link) Price Position CBSSports.com (Towers) Price
C Yan Gomes $21 C Evan Gattis $28
C Brian McCann $17 C Mike Zunino $12
1B Jose Abreu $38 1B Garrett Jones $7
2B Omar Infante $7 2B Mike Aviles $1
3B Adrian Beltre $28 3B Lonnie Chisenhall $3
SS Jed Lowrie $9 SS Jose Reyes $26
MI J.J. Hardy $8 MI Josh Rutledge $1
CI Justin Smoak $5 CI Conor Gillaspie $3
OF Carlos Beltran $14 OF Adam Jones $29
OF Rusney Castillo $26 OF Alex Gordon $22
OF Jarrod Dyson $7 OF Steven Souza $19
OF Craig Gentry $1 OF Josh Hamilton $3
OF Byron Buxton $1 OF Ryan Rua $4
DH Mike Moustakas $7 DH Zach Walters $1
P Marcus Stroman $18 P Felix Hernandez $30
P Chris Archer $16 P Masahiro Taanka $20
P Michael Pineda $16 P Huston Street $18
P Andrew Miller $5 P Drew Pomeranz $6
P Danny Duffy $12 P Kevin Gausman $11
P Joe Smith $1 P R.A. Dickey $3
P Marco Estrada $1 P Joe Nathan $8
P Henry Owens $1 P Jason Vargas $2
P Darren O'Day $1 P Kevin Jepsen $1