It went like this. First, Guth offered me his 3rd round pick (19th overall) for Adrian Gonzalez, who had turned into my backup first baseman, having been supplanted by Freddie Freeman. Guth and I were drafting for the unowned River Forest team and after we dealt away Chris Davis for Troy Tulowitski, I looked at his team and realized that he really needed a competent catcher and that Andrelton Simmons was now hopelessly blocked by Tulowitski. I ended up dealing him Matt Wieters and Elvis Andrus for Simmons, who is now the slick fielding backup to Hanley Ramirez on my club.
And then it was off to the races. Or the draft, where I was drafting last out of eight teams, having placed second in the first half of the season, and first among the computer teams to end up with the best overall playoff position in the league.
Somewhat to my surprise, Tampa Bay rookie outfielder Wil Myers fell to me at the end of the first round, as San Antonio (drafting just ahead of me) snagged Starling Marte instead.
A series of trades left Madison with the first two picks in round three, just ahead of the pick that I'd gotten for Adrian Gonzalez. There were three A (top grade) relievers with a control rating left and I wasn't in love with any of them. I did, however, love the Cardinals new closer, Trevor Rosenthal, who was an A without a control rating, so I took him, figuring I would be ok with whichever of the three relievers that Madison left.
And Madison chose position players instead. So with my first third round pick, I nabbed Javier Lopez, the Giants LOOGY. And at the end of round three, my second choice of the three relievers, Tony Watson of Pittsburgh was still there, so I grabbed him too. My bullpen, which had consisted of Luke Gregerson and nothing going into the draft, was now one reliever short of full with plenty of relief left available to be grabbed later.
Having traded away Wieters, I was in the market for another catcher to join Yadi Molina and Carlos Santana (who is moving to third base this year), so I grabbed Travis d'Arnaud of the Mets with my fourth pick in the hope that he would develop well. We'll see how that goes.
I was desperately short of competent outfield at bats and it was time to eat some vegetables, so I spent my fifth pick on Marlon Byrd, now with the Phillies. I would still need another outfielder to fill things out before I was done.
But when I walked up to the table in the sixth round, the injured Jurickson Profar was still there. I have been unhappy with my second base situation for a while, considering neither Ben Zobrist or Brandon Phillips to be ideal solutions, so I figured I'd throw Profar on the pile and see what happened.
In the seventh round, it was time for more vegetables and I drafted Toronto (and former Cardinal) outfielder Colby Rasmus who I had cut a few years back. This gave me three left-handed batting OFs and three swinging from the right side, so I can set up a perfect platoon with the limited at bats that some of the outfielders have, swapping between Myers and Bryce Harper, Byrd and Hayward, and Justin Upton and Rasmus.
In the eighth round, it was time to finish filling out the bullpen and I decided that Sean Doolittle of the A's was the right choice, a second-best grade reliever with control, giving me four relievers with control in the pen. And control pitching is always at a premium...
In the ninth round, I grabbed a pitcher who will be of absolutely no use this year, as he had an "extra" starters card of no value whatsoever, but one heckuva arm. This would be Cardinals' reliever Carlos Martinez, the pitcher voted to be next into the starting rotation should a starter falter. We'll see how that goes. :)
By the tenth round, I really wanted a backup first baseman to play behind Freddie Freeman. And James Loney was still there looking lonely and unloved, so I hauled him on board.
In the spirit of continuing to throw bodies at my second base problem, I added Cardinals' rookie second baseman, Kolten Wong, who had also gotten an "extra" card. I can't play him, but we'll see how he develops for next year.
In the twelfth and final (for me) round, I decided that I could dispense with J.J. Hardy as a backup shortstop and I picked up Baltimore starter Kevin Gausman who is both worthless for the current season as a bad "extra" pitcher, but who is also riding the shuttle back and forth between the big leagues and AAA. But he's got tremendous stuff and I don't think he's going to be in the minors a lot longer. I guess I'll see.
I don't normally replace nearly 44% of my roster. On the other hand, when I went to Five Guys for lunch on the way to the draft, I was order number 44. So I guess the numerology fairy popped out looking for spring. :)