As a result of this, I had one relief pitcher returning to my team and that was Francisco Rodriguez who is somewhat more useful in real baseball or Rotisserie baseball than he is in APBA. I looked at the relatively thin relief corps available in the draft and concluded that I couldn't put together a good enough bullpen to be able to contend this year. Thus, it was time to go into rebuilding mode.
The first thing that I did was to deal off returning starting pitcher Tim Hudson to John Donat's team in exchange for swapping our picks in the first and XB rounds of the draft. (The XB round is where we select futures picks from the players who are not allowed to play under the current rules.) This moved me from the fifth pick overall to the second pick, which meant that I could pick up Evan Longoria to fill my rapidly developing hole at third base. Miguel Cabrera can play one more season there, but next year, he'll be a first baseman only and I had no suitable prospects at the position.
I could have grabbed an A reliever without control in the second round, but I decided it would be wiser to pick up young talented outfield to improve the situation there, so I grabbed Baltimore's Adam Jones who I'd seen playing in last year's Cubs / Orioles series. After that, I finally started filling in the relief staff, picking up Matt Thornton, Joe Beimel (with a pick that I got from Donat for Corey Hart), and Jonathan Broxton. Then I picked starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw just ahead of several other folks who would have nabbed him, filled out the bullpen with Brian Fuentes, added Gerald Laird to the catching corps, and finally closed out the regular phase of the draft with starting pitchers Ubaldo Jimenez and Edwin Jackson who may be arguably more effective in the computer game than the pitchers that they replaced.
In the XB round, I was able to get Florida starter Josh Johnson, so I've turned over a good chunk of the pitching staff. We'll see how it looks next year.
In the meantime, I expect to take a few lumps...