I love auction drafts and I am sure as this league develops these drafts will get better as everyone understands the strategy in nominating players, bidding on players and how you build your roster. Add into it the keeper side how and when you take that into consideration all while having a clock constantly beeping telling you the bidding is about done for this player. The best part is if you really want a player, you can get them, but at what cost is always the question.
I would love to hear from everyone on how they liked the draft and their best and worst bids. First timers, what did you think? Did you like the high prices for the elite players at the beginning or the bargain basement timeframe better?
I try to not get too carried away early in these drafts as the prices can get pretty high. But I had my short list of guys I would go after, all with a max range in mind. Patience is the hardest part of an auction draft that all players will end up bidding on players and in the middle of it will say, man, I really don’t want this guy and then notice they have the high bid and the clock is ticking down. Each player is listed with the price I paid for them and then the (nomination number). The nomination number gives you an idea of how deep into the draft I was adding players as we had 420 players drafted. The draft did take 3 hours and 45 minutes but next year if all 20 teams keep six players, we will only be drafting 300 players and every team will have a chunk of their money already gone. That should bring the draft to well under 3 hours … I hope.
Jake Arrieta – $56 (32)
I think this was on the expensive side, but I really wanted one of the top starting pitchers and Clayton Kershaw ($80) was real expensive and I got priced out of the Max Scherzer sweepstakes at $57. I figured I had to go this high to get Arrieta, but $56 was my last bid. He is likely one of my keepers on a one- or two-year extension (2017 – $62, 2018 – $69)
Joey Votto – $37 (46)
I think I got really good value here at $37. Anthony Rizzo $60, Paul Goldschmidt $90, Jose Abreu $46, Edwin Encarnacion $43, Chris Davis $41 and then one lesser player in Freddie Freeman $28. If I was picking from this group with these costs, I would take Joey Votto and not look back on a one-year deal.
Miguel Sano – $36 (51)
Once he has right field eligibility this pick will get even better. I will definitely have to wait out until late summer to see how he does before locking him up, but on a two- or three-year deal ($40/$44/$55) he can make a lot of sense and he is only 22 years old.
Francisco Liriano – $18 (118)
Pitching was getting thin and I needed to start get at least a solid number two guy. Not likely a keeper option unless I go year-to-year with him but arms need to be either really young, really cheap or really special to use as keepers and hopefully two out of three of these.
Joe Panik – $9 (120)
I think I panicked on this pick! But for the cost and production I am good with it. If he can take another step forward he could be a great pick and a potential long term guy for me at age 25.
Adam Eaton – $14 (140)
I can’t say I was targeting him, but this seems like another good value for above average production. He is another option for keepers and sticking around for the long term as he is just 27 and entering his prime years.
Shin-Soo Choo – $11 (142) – Hunter Pence – $12 (144)
They were just too cheap to not bid on and both can provide good value. I will be shopping these guys to move one of them in a deal and neither is likely a keeper for me, but at these prices you never know.
Anthony Rendon – $13 (150)
This guy was a big name on the auction keeper leagues not that long ago and to get him for $13 allows for a potential guy I lock up for the full five years (2017-$15, 2018-$17, 2019- $22, 2020-$27) depending on how he looks this year. At a minimum I see him being in my infield for the next three years.
Jamie Garcia – $9 (193) – Michael Wacha $12 (203)
I don’t like having Cardinal players but these two make my third and fourth starting pitchers and I really like the value I see here. Garcia was pretty good after returning last year and Wacha should be back to full strength. He is young enough (24 years old) and cheap enough to possibly doing what I normally would advise against, using a keeper spot on a starting pitcher and locking them up for the long haul. His contract value right now would be 2017-$14, 2018-$16, 2019-$20, 2020-$25. If he is back to being a Top 20 pitcher, that will be hard to pass up for his prime years.
Glen Perkins – $4 (237)
One of my late round closer options in a regular draft sitting there for just a $4 bid. I will take that and take it again if possible.
J.T. Realmuto – $3 (255)
Here is one of my late round catcher options and available to add to my team for just $3. Why wait and maybe get into a bidding war for a lesser player and have to pay $4, $5, $6 for that lesser player.
Eduardo Escobar – $3 (271)
One of my favorite bench options and to get him this early for only $3 is a steal. He can back-up shortstop and left field which to me is very valuable. We are getting to the part of the auction draft I like to finish up my team.
Will Smith – $2 (274)
Everyone knows how much I dislike using high draft picks or in this case auction money on closers. But to get two late round options for a closer for a total of $5 seems like a better deal than the cost of the higher ranked closers.
Micahel Conforto – $8 (277)
This is my steal of the draft! Just $8 for a 23-year old bat that is likely to be a very good value on my team over the next five seasons. I will let the a good part of the season play out before locking him up for the full five seasons but here is his cost if I do it during the season: 2017-$10, 2018-$12, 2019-$17, 2020-$22. If you add in this season that is a 5/69 deal, AAV $13.8.
Aaron Nola – $3 (278)
Here is a cheap young starting pitcher for just $3. Just looking to round out my rotation and wouldn’t have gone very far on the bidding, but there are some good deals for finishing your team right now.
Francisco Cervelli – $2 (280)
I wasn’t going to go too far on this bidding either, but I will take a back-up catcher for just $2 who will be the everyday starter.
Kevin Gausman – $4 (285)
This gives me two young and cheap options for the back of my rotation. He is likely to be skipped the first time through for the Orioles and obviously me. I am always willing to take chances on high upside arms like Gausman.
Asdrubal Cabrera – $3 (290)
Nothing fancy here, but my starting shortstop on all three of my CCO teams.
Vincent Velasquez – $1 (308)
Not sure how long he will stick around but worth a flyer on my last pick. I have to say that my players I had qued up for my last roster spot all were taken with the picks right before me and left me scrabbling to pick a player and he was on the screen so I nominated him with a couple of seconds left.
All in all, I like my team. My rotation isn’t as strong as I would like but it is a good mix of young and old. My lineup is pretty solid with a couple of elite bats mixed in with lots of solid players.
I know some first timers were thinking that the pace of the draft was slow to start, but that is how it works when you are drafting 20 full rosters. I only had three players through the first 117 nominated players.
Here is some breakdown of how keepers work.
You can wait until the off-season to pick your keepers. If you go into the off-season it will be a one year deal using the ESPN keeper cost used for our league.
The other option is to sign the player for up to four additional years (you can do a one-year deal, two-year deal, three-year deal or four-year deal) using this year’s cost as base. Years one and two are a 10 percent increase (rounded up with a minimum of $2 increase) and years three and four are a 25 percent increase (rounded up with a minimum of $5 increase). Just to be clear, if you go less than four years, it doesn’t mean you lose control of that player after that term, just that to keep the player for the rest of the five controlled seasons you will have another decision on how to figure his cost.
I do believe we need to have a deadline date for extensions and believe August 31 would make the most sense. After that date you will have to go for the first options to round out your keepers.
If I had to pick my keepers today (I don’t and I am not) I would go with Sano (two years 40/44), Conforto (four years 10/12/17/22), Rendon (four years 15/17/22/27), Wacha (four years 14/16/20/25), Arrieta (two years 62/69) and Votto (one-year 41).