RotoWire's AL LABR Squad

The 2014 AL LABR auction went down at the Arizona Republic offices in downtown Phoenix Saturday night. It's a 12-team, 5 x 5, AL-only league with 2 C, 1 1B, 1 2B. 1 3B, 1 SS, 1 CI, 1 MI, 5 OF, 1 U and 9 pitchers. Everyone has $260 to spend.

My strategy was to buy two elite starting pitchers, back them up with a couple mid-level guys and then spread the wealth on offense. The reason I went after top pitchers is I believe the best ones are grossly undervalued. (I explain why in detail here. The short explanation is when people do their dollar values they assign roughly 70 percent of the money to hitting and 30 percent to pitching even though pitching comprises five of the 10 categories. The only plausible rationale for this is hitting stats are more reliable than pitching ones. But when you're talking about the elite players, that's actually not true. Were you to assign half the money to pitching rather than 30 percent, the top starters would go for $40-$50, making them huge bargains as they go for a little more than half that at auction.

One other quirk I noticed with the AL player pool is that middle infield was thin, catcher was deeper than usual and there were a lot of third and fourth outfielders available who were roughly interchangeable. Accordingly, I spent on middle infield and left outfield for last.

Finally, while I always go through the RotoWire depth charts painstakingly to build my cheat sheet, this year I also ran Cory Schwartz's composite projections through my dollar-value formula to get a more objective baseline for players about whom I didn't have a strong feel.

The result was a very different team than I usually buy, but one to which I've been increasingly warming the last 48 hours. Here it is:

Pos Player Team $
C Salvador Perez KC 16
C Chris Iannetta ANA 3
1B Brandon Moss OAK 20
2B Jurickson Profar TEX 15
3B Brett Lawrie TOR 18
SS Jose Reyes TOR 26
CI Jonathan Singleton HOU 7
MI Derek Jeter NYY 13
OF Oswaldo Arcia MIN 10
OF Matt Joyce TB 8
OF Jarrod Dyson KC 4
OF David Lough BAL 3
OF Byron Buxton MIN 3
U Billy Butler KC 18
P Max Scherzer DET 27
P Justin Verlander DET 26
P Justin Masterson CLE 13
P John Lackey BOS 9
P Jarrod Parker OAK 8
P Tommy Hunter BAL 10
P Mark Appel HOU 1
P Carlos Carrasco CLE 1
P Dane de la Rosa ANA 1
R Drew Pomeranz OAK SP
R Marc Krauss HOU OF
R Ryan Webb BAL RP
R Garin Cecchini BOS 3B
R Brian Matusz BAL RP
R Rubby de la Rosa BOS RP

Full results are here.


By: red star rising
On: 3/4/2014 10:39:00 AM
You expect Bruxton to be in the majors soon? I thought his eta was 2015...
By: Kevin Payne
On: 3/4/2014 12:20:00 PM
My only critique is to ask where the power is going to come from. Other than Moss, I don't think any of your hitters hit above 20 home runs. Given your roster construction, I would have rather have JJ Hardy over Jeter and they were the same price. Any regrets or things you would have done differently in retrospect?
By: Chris Liss
On: 3/4/2014 1:57:00 PM
Yeah, hardy was really cheap, but went very late, way after jeter, and I had already filled up at MI by then. I am definitely light in power and heavy on SP and speed, so I'll either try to win by being competitive in eight cats or trade surplus speed and pitching.
By: Chris Liss
On: 3/4/2014 1:58:00 PM
Red star - no idea. But he was worth more than $3 just on the possibility.
By: Chris Liss
On: 3/4/2014 2:02:00 PM
Also should get a little power from most guys. Profar could hit 12, Lawrie 18, Arcia 20, Butler 20, Joyce 15, Iannetta 12-15, Perez 12-15, and we'll see if Singleton wins the job. Reyes could also hit 12. Still light, but not too many guys with 1-5 HR.
By: Erickson
On: 3/4/2014 3:20:00 PM
I love the prices that you got on your SP - not just the aces, but who you backed them up with. Parker at $8 could be huge. Two biggest swing players on your team - Brett Lawrie and Tommy Hunter. At least you have two shares of the hedge behind Hunter w/ Matusz and Webb.

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