By Brian Walton and Todd Zola
Welcome to our special All-Star break weekly report summarizing the top free agent bids in each of the five Tout Wars leagues, with links to the detailed bidding action following our 8 p.m. ET deadline each Sunday evening – except for this week, which was on Wednesday night. All prices are on a $1000 base.
After you scan the detail below, please join our live chat, starting at 9 p.m. ET, to discuss these results with Todd Zola of Mastersball and other Touts.
While a total of 17 players were purchased in AL this week, seven of them were bargain-basement $0 acquisitions.
First-place owner Rob Leibowitz placed a winning $63 offer for Matt Theiss of the Angels. The corner infielder has a shot for playing time with AL All-Star Tommy La Stella on the injured list. Though primarily a first baseman, Theiss is seeing time at the hot corner for the Halos.
Nando Di Fino of The Athletic purchased A.J. Reed of the White Sox for $59. The 26-year old first sacker was claimed off waivers from the Astros and is reportedly being called up from Triple-A after the All-Star break.
Greg Allen of Cleveland joined the roster of Colton and the Wolfman for $52. The speedy outfielder is back for another shot a trying to earn a big-league job. A 4-for-6 game with a home run on the Sunday before the break was a nice opening bid for Allen.
A lucky or unlucky total of 13 players were acquired in the NL league this week.
League-leader Phil Hertz of BaseballHQ acquired Cubs infielder Robel Garcia for $58. The rookie has hit well in the minors and in his brief debut and may be able to push veteran Daniel Descalso aside for more regular work with the underachieving NL Central leader, which is looking for an offensive spark.
Apparently unconcerned about the potential return of shortstop Orlando Arcia, Craig Mish of Fantasy Sports Radio dropped a winning $57 offer for Brewers infielder Mauricio Dubon. Then again, shoulder injuries can be a problem and Dubon clearly has talent.
Andy Behrens of Yahoo sat up and noticed when the Giants’ Austin Slater launched a pinch-hit grand slam out of Oracle Park against Miles Mikolas last weekend. Slater should get a chance to claim regular time in the merry-go-round also known as the San Francisco outfield.
An even 20 claims were made in the Mixed Auction with an impressive 11 Touts participating. High bid came courtesy of Scott Swanay with his $58 towards sometime Red Sox closer Heath Hembree. Nathan Eovaldi is earmarked for ninth inning duties after the break but Hembree appears to be Alex Cora’s favorite option until Eovaldi is ready.
Scott Pianowski fortified his infield with a $55 ticket on Adam Frazier, $33 on Freddy Galvis and a modest $6 on Evan Longoria. Frazier was one of the league’s hottest batters heading into the break while Freddy Galvis is giving the Toronto Blue Jays a reason to leave Bo Bichette on the farm.
A couple of other infielders have new Tout homes as Brent Hershey thinks $11 is worth the hope Oakland gives Franklin Barreto a long look while Michael Rathburn figures it’s worth $9 for the chance Luis Arraez continues pounding the ball for the Twins.
There was a little bit of everything this week in the Mixed Draft bidding, led by Scott White opening his FAAB wallet and pulling out 317 units for Giancarlo Stanton. Stanton was available because Tim McLeod opted to drop the Yankees slugger and take the $360 FAAB reimbursement. White only has to keep Stanton active for the shortened week, then he can stash him on reserve and hope for an early return.
McLeod didn’t take long spending his newfound riches, taking a $61 shot on Yusei Kikuchi and a $47 speculative try for saves on Daniel Hudson.
Speaking of saves, Rudy Gamble planted his $27 flag on Diego Castillo to lay claim to the Tampa Bay Rays closer gig while Seth Trachtman put a buck on Joe Jimenez in the event Shane Greene gets dealt. White grabbed Giovanny Gallegos for a $0 bid, either as a stash in case Carlos Martinez needs a breather in the ninth or to have someone active for the weekend before replacing him with a starter next week.
The sneaky acquisition of the week is DJ Short’s scooping of Andrelton Simmons for a modest $10 FAAB. While we’re at the time of the season the focus is on specific categories, Simmons quietly contributes across the board and is primed for a solid post-break run.
Perry Van Hook took advantage of the short week to stash Casey Mize, though the new came out earlier Mize was removed early from his start earlier today. Van Hook also sagely dropped $3 on Robel Garcia, a power-hitting infielder the Cubs saw play in Italy. Garcia isn’t assured of playing time, but with Addison Russell still in a rut, Garcia could be extended a look.
Head to Head
It was a relatively quiet week in the Head to Head League with only nine pickups. Two players tied for the high bid with Dr. Roto spending $37 on Byron Buxton while Ralph Lifshitz dropped the same amount on Andrew Cashner. Cashner has been pitching surprisingly well and opens the second half with a Saturday date in Toronto, facing one of the weaker lineups in the American League.
There are only two more double-digit claims, each for the same $10. Dr. Roto doubled down on established major leaguers rebounding after the break with a Rougned Odor dart. Alex Chamberlain got a piece of the surprising Marlins staff with his sawbuck placed on Elieser Hernandez. Hernandez isn’t scheduled to work this week but should be recalled from Triple-A the next time Miami needs a fifth starter.
The rest of the acquisitions are saves speculations, though it doesn’t hurt to have a reliever active in this abbreviated transaction period. Lifshitz decided $6 was worth a chance Colin Poche gets a piece of the Rays saves scenario. Clay Link bet a buck Nick Anderson grabs some saves if Sergio Romo is dealt by Miami. Finally, Ryan Bloomfield not only has three relievers garnering points over the weekend, $6 on each is well worth the chance Joe Jimenez, Sam Dyson and/or Aaron Bummer end up with saves if Shave Greene, Will Smith or Alex Colome are moved to a contender.