Gordon picked up the fourth team in the ocmputer division, so it finally had a manager again. And I had, before Gordon picked it up, proposed a trade with that team to one of the commissioners who had talked it around the league and to Gordon. Gordon's team owned the first draft position and I ended up sending him Josh Beckett, Edwin Jackson, and Miguel Cabrera for his first two picks in the draft. (We restrict the availability of starting pitchers in our league so that many good pitchers don't get drafted, because otherwise no one would hit.)
I had seven starters coming back to fit into a five-man rotation, so I was in a good position to trade pitching away. One of the commissioners commented that it was the fairest blockbuster trade that he'd ever seen. That had been my objective, because you can't fleece a team that doesn't have a manager. :) And I had surplus at pitching and first base, so I could turn it into things I found more useful.
I used the first pick for Adam Wainwright, a Cardinals starter that I've coveted for a long time. He's an A starter this year, so that gave me two A starters in my rotation (Zack Greinke is the other), which is really good, especially if I can get into the playoffs. It also gave me six of the restricted starters, but one of them -- Clayton Kershaw -- is also wild, so letting him mellow for a year out of the rotation is a good thing. :) I would have considered trading another starter from among Sabathia, Josh Johnson, Ubaldo Jimenez, and Kershaw, but no one made me an offer. And it would have needed to be a good offer.
The three available starters (Wainwright, Carpenter, Jurrjens) went on the first three picks. My natural pick was fourth, so I was able to use that to pick up talented young catcher Matt Wieters, who matches up nicely with Yadier Molina, my returning catcher who was worth a damn. (As opposed to Laird and Saltalamacchia who were terrible.)
I needed a closer with control. By the time it got back to the top of round two, the best of these had gone, so I studied the three remaining and settled for Trevor Hoffman, who suffers mainly from being old. :) With my natural pick, I grabbed Ben Zobrist to start at second base, because I wasn't happy with the combo of Brandon Phillips and Orlando Hudson that I had. And since I'd given up a fair amount of offense by moving Cabrera in the trade (as compared to Mark Teixeira and Adrian Gonzalez, who I'd kept at first base), picking up offense at second base made sense, given the opportunity.
In the third and fourth rounds, I filled out my bullpen with Darren O'Day and Darren Oliver -- collecting Darrens, apparently. They joined holdovers Jonathan Broxton and Matt Thornton. After that, I went prospecting for young talent, picking up Chris Coghlan in the fifth round as a spare outfielder / useful pinch-hitter (I already had both Upton brothers, Nick Markakis, Bobby Abreu, and Adam Jones, plus Vladimir Guerrero, who would be the last player that I'd cut in the draft). In the sixth round, I jettisoned Jack Wilson and picked up Elvis Andrus to back up Hanley Ramirez. I grabbed Gordon Beckham as a theoretic backup for Evan Longoria, but he's been moved to second base by the White Sox, so he's now another player thrown at the second base problem, as I dropped Orlando Hudson.
In the eighth round, I grabbed Colby Rasmus, the Cardinals center fielder, as an outfield prospect to sit in the minors for a year. Then it was time to grab a couple of starting pitchers and see if they paid off, so I added new Cardinal starter Brad Penny (and we'll see how Dave Duncan does with him) and Tigers rookie Rick Porcello in the tenth round for my twelfth and final pick of the draft.
In the extra players round (we draft one player who doesn't play during the season from the stack of players who didn't get "regular" cards), I held Rickey Weeks, the Milwaukee second baseman, in the hope that he would avoid injury this year. We'll see how that goes. :)
The team looks pretty strong on paper, even for an eight-team league. Of course, even a fantasy team doesn't play on paper.
So I'll see how it plays on the computer. :)
Oh, yes. I picked up Chinese takeout on the way home and we ended up watching Adam Wainwright pitch a complete game win against the Mets on ESPN. And Colby Rasmus hit a three-run homer to tie the game up, so overall the draftees looked good tonight. :)