Thursday, January 1, 2009

H22 Corner

Offseason Auction

By: Albert Lang

Are you pissed that your stove hasn’t been hot enough? Do you desperately wish that your team could bring in a highly touted free agent, but realize that it would probably set them back a few years? Is your greatest sense of hot stove joy jettisoning a poorly signed free agent in the first place?

If so, here is an avenue to get your fix: Hot Stove Fantasy Baseball.

Recently, a couple of friends and I got together, dressed up as our favorite GMs (here, here and here) and performed our very own Hot Stove Fantasy Auction.

Basically, it follows typical auction rules ($230 per team) and we set it up as a standard 5x5 Roto league. But, aside from head to head, I think you can do any type of league – SABR, run quantifier, points, etc.

The player universe is everyone that filed for free agency (including those desperate (smart?) few who accepted arbitration). You start 10 hitters (normal spots plus two utilities) and four SPs, three RPs and three general Ps. You cannot make any moves (other than trades) during the regular season and must fill each roster spot with a body.

The caveat here, to the normal auction, is that you can lock players up for multiple years. So the bidding on Mark Teixeira can reach 10 years and $35 per. This means that every year for the next 10 you are locked into spending $35 on Big Tex. You get to be your own Brian Cashman this way. There is also a buy-out clause in every signing – 75 percent of the dollars and 75 percent of the years, rounded up. So you can get out of paying the full price of an Albert Belle-type, but you aren’t fully let off the hook for a poor signing.

Once you are done with the auction, load the rosters into your favorite online league and watch as your team produces. This league is fully intended to bridge the gap between the end of fantasy football and pitchers and catchers.

This year provides a great leaping point because of the depth of the free agent class. Next year, you are looking at Matt Holliday, Jason Bay and Adrian Beltre – not quite Mark Teixeira, Rafael Furcal, Manny Ramirez and Adam Dunn. Also, to provide some more perspective – the top free agents in 2007 were Alex Rodriquez, Jorge Posada, Mike Lowell, Barry Bonds and Andruw Jones.

I don’t have any strategy for you as I haven’t played this yet. However, I think the old stars and scrubs/LIMA strategy could be fruitful. Why rely on a bunch of middling free agents (Orlandos Hudson and Cabrera) when you can stock up on Tex, Furcal, Adam Dunn, and bridge the gap with people like Renteria and Grudzielanek? That’s about all I got. Randy Johnson could be a real sleeper, though.

Post a comment if you have any questions. I’d be happy to help you set up this type of league with your friends/officemates.

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