2017 Tout Wars Review
Not everything...but a lot went horribly wrong with my mixed league, auction, Tout Wars team this season. I’m not the only one who dealt with issues, pretty much everyone who played fantasy baseball did this season, but it was still a rough year. I’ll detail what went wrong in what follows.
15-teams, mixed league, auction with 14 hitters and nine pitchers starting (bench is six spots).
5x5 scoring with one change – we use on-base percentage instead of batting average.
We also use 15 games, not 20, for positional eligibility.
C: J.T. Realmuto ($12), Francisco Cervelli (3)
1B: Josh Bell (6)
2B: Jason Kipnis (6)
3B: Evan Longoria (19)
SS: Xander Bogaerts (25)
MI: Devon Travis (3)
CI: Javier Baez (8)
OF: Andrew McCutchen (26), Christian Yelich (27), Gregory Polanco (22), David Dahl (7), Jason Heyward (3)
UTIL: Brandon Drury (3)
PITCHERS: Craig Kimbrel ($15), Andrew Miller (10), Julio Teheran (18), Marcus Stroman (13), Aaron Nola (9)¸ Aaron Sanchez (9), Taijuan Walker (5)¸Sonny Gray (2), Nate Jones (9)
May 12th: I dealt Christian Yelich away and in return received Jackie Bradley Jr., Randall Grichuk and Addison Reed. A couple hours after the deal Corey Knebel was named the Brewers closer, so in a span of one day I went from having issues at closer to being uber strong at the position. However, Grichuk was demoted two weeks later.
May 28th: I dealt Josh Bell and Cory Knebel and received Jose Peraza and Freddie Freeman. Here’s the deal. At the time I was dealing with a bit of a roster crunch, so I wanted to clear up a roster spot. Doing this deal allowed me to do that as Freeman could be placed on the DL. Huge risk making this move at the time I did though as Freeman was just two weeks into the 8-10 week prognosis with a broken left wrist. I had picked up Addison Reed in a deal two weeks earlier, so I didn’t need the fourth closer in Knebel.
July 2nd: With first place in saves with a lead of 14 saves, so I dealt Craig Kimbrel to get Robinson Cano. At the time of the deal I was 14 RBI from gaining two points, nine RBI from gaining two points, and 11 runs from gaining three points on offense. I was also a week away from getting back Aaron Sanchez from the disabled list to bolster my pitching staff. With Jason Kipnis dealing with a .676 OPS, Devon Travis potentially being done for the season and Jose Peraza hitting .250 with a .604 OPS, I felt I needed the boost up the middle.
August 2nd: Mark Reynolds, my best waiver-wire addition of the season on April 3rd, became part of Ron Shandler’s team in exchange for Dee Gordon. With Javier Baez continuing to perform inconsistently, and Travis and Kipnis simply unable to get healthy, I decided to add the speed and run scoring ability of Gordon. I chose to move Gallo into Reynolds spot in the lineup thinking I wouldn’t lose much. The way I figured the deal, I would gain two points in the standings. Plus, I was starting to worry that Reynolds would dip given his huge 27.2 percent HR/FB ratio and .368 BABIP. Plus, over the 25 previous games Reynolds had produced a mere .253/.333/.440 line with 11 RBI.
WHAT WENT RIGHT?
*Everything in italics is quoted from the preseason writeup of the league.
From the March 27th write up. “Folks might think $26 is too much for McCutchen. I obviously disagree, to an extent. I will say his cost was a few dollars above my target price, but it wasn’t anything crazy.” Seems like I was 100 percent right here, despite being called tons of names in the preseason by many. McC went .279-28-88-94-11 in a strong season.
“I grabbed Realmuto for $12. I felt really good about that get.” He had 17 homers, 65 RBI, 68 runs and eight steals in a strong season.
“Baez is ending up on a lot of my squads. I tossed him out for $8 and didn’t get a single bid. I was surprised by that. However, I was willing to go dollars more than $8 in my quest to roster him, so I’m totally fine with him when not another bid was tossed out.” Baez went .273-23-75-75-10 while qualifying at three spots.
“Please Rangers, trade Joey Gallo. Please. He will pull an Adam Duvall this season if given a chance.” I hit this one out of the park, just like Gallo did to a ton of baseballs on his way to a .209-41-80-85-7 line (.333 OBP didn’t hurt at all in this league either).
“All Kimbrel does is save 30 games and strikeout batters at a massive clip. I’ll take that.” He had 23 saves for me before being dealt. He produced 35 saves with 126 strikeouts over 69 innings.
“Kintzler in the reserve rounds was crazy value.” He produced 29 saves.
“Finally, Knebel could end up closing this season. He’s got a big arm and we all aren’t convinced that Neftali Feliz is the answer for the Brewers.” Knebel had 39 saves and a massive 126 punchouts in 76 innings.
“Stroman is a potential breakout candidate this season.” Not really a “breakout” but 13 wins, a 3.09 ERA, 1.31 WHIP and 164 strikeouts in 201 innings is still a pretty solid season.
“Nola is my call for breakout arm of the year. As long as his arm is healthy, and it has looked that way this spring… I’m telling you there’s a chance.” Didn’t really breakout, but 12 wins, a 3.54 ERA, 1.21 WHIP and 184 strikeouts in 168 innings is awfulllllly close.
Sonny Gray crushed it (3.50 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 147 strikeouts in 151.2 innings). For all of you that said I wasted $2 on him – suck an egg.
Knebel/Kintzler producer 68 saves off the reserve round.
I added Mark Reynolds off waivers (23-74-65 with a .882 OPS in 105 games on my club).
I added Aaron Altherr off waivers (.272-19-65-58-5 in 107 games).
I added Rafael Devers off waivers (10 homers, 30 RBI, 34 runs in 58 games).
I added Gerardo Parra off waivers (.309-10-71-56 in just 115 games).
I added Joe Mauer off waivers (.401 OBP in 38 games on my team).
I added Tim Beckham off waivers (.278-22-62-67-6).
I made a lot of strong moves in-season.
WHAT WENT WRONG?
A lot. LOL.
Here’s what I wrote back on March 27th. “Evan Longoria ($19) never misses games, he’s Mr. 155 Games at this point, and I needed that with my health concerns. Later on Anthony Rendon went for $15. I would have preferred Rendon at that cost, but hey, you never know how an action is going to play out.” Yep, I should have gone with Rendon. It would have been a huge difference making add, an issue I noted at the draft table, and one that I had to try and recover from all season long.
The other gamble was $7 on David Dahl who had the biggest disappearing act since Houdini. I commented at the draft table that it was Dahl or J.D. Martinez for me, and JDM came up a few minutes after Dahl and went for... $6. The entire season and results for this team would have been massively different if I had Rendon/JDM instead of Longo/Dahl. Just how it goes sometimes.
Aaron Sanchez was a gas can. “Sanchez is someone I’ve taken a slightly negative tone with. One of the main reasons is that he’s being drafted at a cost that is simply too high. I don’t believe $9 is too much at all.” I was wrong to have taken him. I was right to be concerned. I don’t know which category to put this call in. Aaron threw a total of 36 innings all season because of blisters in an implosion of epic proportions.
Julio Teheran wasn’t much better (11 wins, 4.49 ERA, 1.37 WHIP).
Jason Hammel wasn’t any better (8 wins, 5.29 ERA, 1.43 WHIP).
The White Sox bullpen opened up with the deal sending out David Robertson. Pretty sure Nate Jones would have had the first shot to replace him. So, I made the right call. However, the results were awful as Jones there only 11.2 innings before having his season ended by injury.
Xander Bogaerts hurt his hand and disappointed a bit (.273-10-62-94-15). His .343 OBP was a three year low too.
Gregory Polanco hurt everything and just failed (.251-11-35-39-6).
Devon Travis only saw 50 games. Jason Kipnis appeared in 90 games. I didn't even get a season of games from my two second baseman.
Drury went .267-13-63-41-1 in a terribly disappointing season.
Peraza stole 23 bases, but he hit like a wet noodle (.259/.297/.324).
Francisco Cervelli had a 5-year low in OBP (.432) and saw just 81 games of action.
Brinson did nothing. I held him for more than half the season and hoped. So much for that.
August 23rd: A day that will live in infamy. As of this day, here are the players on my squad that were on the disabled list. It was absurd: Jackie Bradley, Gregory Polanco, Joe Gallo, Charlie Tilson, Aaron Altherr, Clint Frazier, Francisco Cervelli, Devon Travis, Jason Kipnis, Andrew Miller, Aaron Sanchez, Alex Cobb. Count ‘em with me folks... that’s TWELVE PLAYERS. I was somehow in 7th place on August 23rd. I wrote about this situation in Death By Injury.
Out of the 15 teams I ended up in 7th place. I ended up six points behind Bret Sayre who gained 8.5 points in the last week to give him a six-point league over me. It was a poor season, though given all that went down, I feel that I managed the squad the best way that I could. Here’s to hoping for a bit more health next season – and a bit more gut following at the draft table where everyone is uber aggressive for the big name players.