You can’t take it with you

With all fantasy readers constantly being reminded to maintain an even keel and resist the temptation to be impetuous or reactionary, they sometimes need to be reminded when it’s time to abandon frugality and SPEND THAT MONEY! For those of you in leagues (like one of mine) in which Wil Myers is still not eligible to come off waivers until he makes his actual debut, here is your friendly reminder to not be shy about blowing most of your free agent budget on the top prospect.

Perhaps the best way to justify pushing an ungodly amount of chips in on Myers is to explore what the potential consolation prizes still to come may be. The Shelby Millers and Matt Harveys of the world were available on draft day. The Jurickson Profar, Gerrit Cole, Zack Wheeler and Tyler Skaggs ships have sailed. The Travis D’Arnaud, Billy Hamilton and Dylan Bundy ships don’t appear to be likely to depart until rosters expand. It’s possible that Oscar Taveras and/or Taijuan Walker come up a bit earlier, but they are unknowns just like Myers and will have less time to contribute, even if they beat some of the other well-known names to the bigs. So, other than Myers, what reason remains to drop serious FAAB coin?

Once we’ve exhausted staring into the cloudy crystal ball of the elite prospects, the other equally hazy view to take in is the future trade landscape. If you in an AL-only league, a marquee player coming over from the senior circuit offers one of the few situations in which one could conceivably get a better return than a Myers add. Maybe somebody pries Giancarlo Stanton loose, or possibly Chase Headley, Aramis Ramirez or Jonathan Papelbon exit the National League. It’s entirely conceivable that one of those players, playing fewer games than Myers, outproduces him. …But, a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

The other scenario in which moves involving large FAAB bids may reveal themselves as warranted is a spin of the closer carousel due to trade or injury. If an elite closer gets the opportunity to become a closer for an indefinite time period, that’s another reason to spend big money. History tells us this will happen, and perhaps we can even speculate on where the best odds may reside. But I don’t think going after Myers should preclude an owner from playing the closer watch game. In this game, on time is often too late. So, if saves is a major need for your team, I suggest you should be aggressively speculating in advance of these moves and trying to land the likely beneficiaries of a job opening for a buck or two in advance, so that when the call comes you don’t even have to worry about competing.

We all know that jumping through the roof for a player who turns out to be more hype than substance is embarrassing and can have some ramifications. But, the FAAB game is similar to the auction itself—the biggest sin is to leave a pile of cash sitting in front of you at the end of the day.

If you reach the point where you can’t make moves because you are out of cash, well, at least you made moves (and likely big ones) that helped get you in that position in the first place. That’s the lesser evil than being all dressed up with nowhere to go.

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