Thursday, March 27, 2008

My First Champions League FAB

I've been looking forward to, and preparing for, this FAB ever since I accepted the invitation to join the new Aaron Conference of the GDR Champion's League. It had been a while since I had been in a FAB to start a league, and frankly on those occasions when I did try to build a team from scratch, I didn't do all that well. I have had much better luck salvaging orphaned teams, perhaps because there were fewer choices to be made. In any case, I gave some thought as to how I wanted to approach this FAB, and came up with a plan.

I decided that I wanted to designate three players to serve as the cornerstones of my franchise, and to go after them aggressively. Those would be the players that I would use large dollar, three year, no trade contracts on. I made the decision to go for two position players and one pitcher. I chose not to go after more than one pitcher with a huge offer because I am always concerned about their durability. I decided to go after A-Rod, and Hanley Ramirez because I thought they both were exceptional power, average and speed guys. I decided on Brandon Webb to anchor my staff, good win totals and strikeout numbers, and also pretty durable.

My previous experiences in 16 team leagues led me to expect higher than normal salaries being offered, so I decided to make strong first offers to each of my cornerstone players, and to do it right at the start of the FAB. I had to make second offers on all three, and a third offer on both A-Rod and Ramirez in order to stay in the hunt. All three final offers were in the yellow, so I had my doubts and was beginning to draft alternate plans, but the following day I was fortunate enough to land all three! At 17/3/NT for A-Rod, 12.5/3/NT for Ramirez, and 12/3/NT for Webb, it was costly, but I think worth it.

That was really all the "plan" I had. The rest of my strategy was to just see how the FAB unfolded, and to make solid first offers.

Beyond my "cornerstone players", the first wave offered up a lot of young outfield talent so I decided to make a play for it. I was aggressive and came away with Hunter Pence, Alex Rios, and Josh Hamilton. I hadn't intended to go so young in the outfield, but I have to say that I wasn't unhappy that that was how it played out. One thing that surprised me in the first day was how dominant the three year offers were. Each and every time I offered less I was beaten out, so in the end all of my first wave signings were for three years, with the exception of Randy Johnson. This may cause me problems down the road, but it's what I had to do to get the talent I wanted. My first day signings were: A-Rod, B. Webb, H. Pence, H. Ramirez, J. Hamilton, A. Rios, R. Johnson, B. Myers, and A. Gonzalez.

So after the first day of signings I had most of my key pieces in place. The second day I just tried to flesh out the rest of the squad, and ended up with another young outfielder inDelmon Young, relievers Michael Wuertz, Pat Neshak and Mariano Rivera, starting pitcher John Maine, and Dionner Navarro behind the plate.

Having exhausted most of my resources in the first and second rounds, the third round was just for filling in the hole at second base, which I did with Tadihito Iguchi, adding a utility player in mark DeRosa, and adding a young arm with Andrew Miller of the Marlins.

All that remains now is to add some depth with free agent signings, and then go out and try to manage this team to a title!


Anonymous said...

Very nice job targetting the top echelon guys. A-Rod was a little pricey, but I like the strategy, especially in a large league. Keep us posted.

Anonymous said...

A-Rod and Webb are expensive. It might've been helpful to get some projections, then figure out how much an A-Rod or Webb is worth in a 16-team league. I have A-Rod as being worth $12 in a 12-team league, and that's assuming he plays slightly worse than he did in 2007. If he's in 2006 form, you will be kicking yourself. Also A-Rod is 32 and not likely to be worth $17 in a couple of years. We'll see.

So yes, I think A-Rod and any SP have risks involved. Utley is a slightly better upper-echelon guy because he's far better than any 2B not named Brian Roberts.

However, getting Ramirez was wise.

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