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Taking a look at my NL-only keeper draft

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Ray takes a look at the results of the UBA NL-only keeper league auction from last weekend.

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Last weekend was a big draft weekend for me, as I had three in-person auction drafts in New York, two in New York City and one in Port Chester, New York. I already wrote about my Tout Wars NL-only auction results, and today, I want to tell you about the UBA NL-only keeper league auction results. I have written about this home league a few times over the last year, including this piece:

The cost of "playing for this year"

and this one:

The cost of playing for this year: Building a winner for 2015

In those two pieces, I went into great detail on how I went from a rebuild strategy that I thought would take two years to finish, resulted in my playing for this year, dealing away all of my top prospects to play for the league title in 2014, to only finish in fourth place, in the money, but it wasn't worth the cost in my opinion.

The second article takes a look at all the trades I made this offseason…..and there were many. Actually, there were a few more deal, which I won't get into, but here is my keeper roster in this 12 team, 4x4, $260 salary cap NL-only keeper league:

C

C

1B

2B

Kolten Wong

10

SS

Starlin Castro

22

3B

Nolan Arenado

15

MI

Arismendy Alcantara

5

CI

OF

Marcell Ozuna

15

OF

Matt Kemp

32

OF

Charlie Blackmon

10

OF

Khris Davis

10

OF

U

P

Hyun-Jin Ryu

8

P

Sergio Romo

7

P

Ken Giles

5

P

Jordan Zimmermann

19

P

Jake Arrieta

10

P

Brett Anderson

1

P

P

P

In addition, I own Maikel Franco, Matt Skole and Gary Brown all at $5 on my farm roster.

So, my keeper roster was pretty balanced with power, speed, starting pitching and a few potential closers in Giles and Romo. My plan heading into the draft was to grab a first baseman and a closer and fill in the rest. I went into the draft with 14 keepers for $169, with $91 to spend on nine players, three pitchers, two catchers, a first baseman, a corner, a utility and an outfielder.

The draft began with many of the top players available going off the board, including Paul Goldschmidt who went for $46, Troy Tulowitzki at $37, Ryan Braun at $35, Anthony Rizzo at $38, Ian Desmond at $35, Aroldis Chapman at $33, Todd Frazier at $34, Freddie Freeman at $31, Carlos Gonzalez at $22, Yasmany Tomas at $22, among others.

My first buy was a middle reliever!! One of the owners started the bidding on Nationals set up man Casey Janssen at $2, I quickly bid $3 and the bidding ended there, so I have the next in line closer in Washington for a cheap $3. Drew Storen is the closer to start the season, but I have to admit I am not one that thinks he will keep the job all season. I own him in the Tout Wars NL only league as well.

I wanted one of Rizzo, Goldschmidt or Freeman, but they were too pricey for my budget, but when Jay Bruce's name got thrown out, I jumped into the bidding, and won the bidding at $34. After winning the bid on Bruce, I knew I would have to settle for a lower ranked first baseman.

Knowing that I came into the draft with a solid pitching staff already, I am kicking myself for jumping into the auction for Phillies ace Cole Hamels, as I won his bidding at $21. That is a very solid price for Hamels, but we all know he is probably going to be traded this season, with the Red Sox and possibly the Rangers ooking like the best fit. But, there is one thing that working in my favor here. He can reject a deal to the Red Sox as they are on his no-trade list. I have to hope that either the Phillies keep him, which is not the best outcome, or he is traded to a contending team in the National League, like the Cardinals, Cubs, Dodgers or Padres. All four teams should be in the wild card hunt this season, and have the prospects to make a deal with the Phillies. The Yankees are another possibility as well, but I am not sure they have the near-ready prospects the Phillies are looking for.

Once I won the bidding on Hamels, I knew I wouldn't get a closer, as they all go for $20 or more. Chapman went for $33, and I am pretty sure Craig Kimbrel went for a similar price (more on that at 11), Kenley Jansen went for $24 and Steve Cishek went for $25. Looking back, bidding $26 on Cishek was the better play than Hamels at $21, as I need a closer and didn't get one. That said, I did win the auction on Dodgers set up man Joel Peralta at $4 as well, so I have four potential closers on my roster: Giles, Romo, Janssen and Peralta. In addition, one of the owners in the league who won the bidding on Kimbrel and Jansen is rebuilding, and he has already stated that Kimbrel is available, so there is a potential source of saves should I seek to trade for a closer.

After spending $62 of my available $91 on Bruce, Hamels, Peralta and Janssen, that left me with $29 to spend on five players. Here is how that was allocated to fill out my roster:

0F - Norichika Aoki - $12

CI - Will Middlebrooks - $6

1B - Tyler Moore - $1

C - Michael McKenry - $4

C - Brayan Pena - $1

Yeah, so I left $5 on the table, so even more reason why I should have let Hamels go and bid up either Cishek of Jansen. Oh well.

Here is a look at my final roster:

C

Michael McKenry

4

C

Brayan Pena

1

1B

Tyler Moore

1

2B

Kolten Wong

10

SS

Starlin Castro

22

3B

Nolan Arenado

15

MI

Arismendy Alcantara

5

CI

Will Middlebrooks

6

OF

Marcell Ozuna

15

OF

Matt Kemp

32

OF

Charlie Blackmon

10

OF

Khris Davis

10

OF

Norichika Aoki

12

U

Jay Bruce

34

P

Hyun-Jin Ryu

8

P

Sergio Romo

7

P

Ken Giles

5

P

Jordan Zimmermann

19

P

Jake Arrieta

10

P

Brett Anderson

1

P

Cole Hamels

21

P

Casey Janssen

3

P

Joel Peralta

4

I have plenty of starting pitching, power and speed, but the power and speed brings batting average risk with Bruce, Alcantara, and Middlebrooks. But I am high on Bruce and Alcantara having an impact this season. I see Bruce returning to the 30 home run hitter he was before his knee injury, and Alcantara should be the Cubs super-utility guy who could get 450+ plate appearances this season spelling Kris Bryant at third base, Starlin Castro at shortstop, Javier Baez (or whoever) at second base, Chris Coghlan in left field and Dexter Fowler in center field.

This roster should allow me to compete in all of the hitting categories, and three of the four pitching categories, and with a little luck and lots of prayers the saves category.

How did I do?

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