Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Zig when they Zag

A few more thoughts on the FAB process, especially one where you don't have tons of roster spots and cash.

1. The GM rating. You can improve your GM rating, and very possibly get it to 100, even if you don't have a ton of cash. You should use the 'bait and hook' method in order to do this. Any player that YOU put OTM should be offered no more than the minimum salary, and that usually means .5. Be sure it's a player that you can live with as a backup. Now isn't the time to be putting your starting targets OTM. Someone will probably do it for you. If not, wait until your GM rating is higher. Finally, be sure it's a player that's written up in every publication you can find. Two that have worked exceptionally well for me in this years FABs have been Ianetta and Bard, two guys who would make wonderful backup catchers at .50. The idea here is to lure someone into beating your bid by going to 1.00 or more. Why? You get a free point, and a chance to nominate and sign yet ANOTHER backup catcher. You'll get some of these guys, and lose some of them, but as long as you've gotten the two points for putting them OTM, you're ahead of the game. The principal behind this, is, of course, don't spend more than half a million for your backups. Maybe 1 million is acceptable if it's late in the FAB and there's a guy to be had cheap, but after that, you're throwing perfectly good money at guys who aren't gonna play. I watched a player today bid 1.5 million for Bard when he has Joe Mauer at catcher. That's a complete waste of a million bucks.

2. Zig when they... well, you get the idea. I've advocated paying top dollar for Pujols and others who dominate their positions. But chances are, Pujols isn't in your draft. So, who do you target? Well, every league is different. Miguel Cabrera might be your leagues Albert Pujols. That means you're going to have to pay him top dollar, but you'll be getting the most bang for your buck. Apply the same principals, go after the stud hitters. When you see young pitching going for premium dollars, nominate Andy Pettite. He's likely to outperform at least half that young core of pitchers that everyone is overpaying for. People are being frugal in the early rounds? Spend big. Because all that money that's being saved is going to get spent in round five on guys that don't deserve it.

3. Don't get in a bidding war for a relief pitcher. They are far too unreliable to get a decent ROI unless you pay the minimum or a bit more. Lots of guys could become this years Papelbon. Don't overspend for this years Brad Lidge.

The Mantle FAB is over and done with, 3 rounds, 3 minute events, it was hectic. I've already covered the last day, I had to make a big splash in the free agent pool, and I did. Here's the result:

1B Pujols
2B Iguchi
SS M. Young
3B ARod
C Mauer
OF Vlad
OF Dejesus
OF Luke Scott/Kubel/Quentin or none of the above

SP Carpenter
SP Bush
SP Kazmir
SP Garcia
SP Vazquez/Lilly
DH Overbay or one of the outfield guys.

Clemens when he signs in May!

RP Lidge, Sherrill, Valverde, Wuertz, Carmona

Not sure I can make a return trip to the playoffs with this team, I'd much rather be the Bats, who have bargain prices on Wright, Utley, and Reyes, all up and coming, instead of my more expensive trio of Vlad, A-Rod, and Michael Young. But last year I was able to add some key components and get on a roll. Hopefully, these three guys will improve on last year, the Bats will have at least a little letdown, and I can dive in the playoff pool again.

But, that's why they play the games. I'm ready!

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