Welcome, welcome, weary traveler, dedicated reader, ardent supporter! It is I, your trusty RazzSlam Correspondent, Bob Allison Chains.

How are you? Doing well? Yeah? The kids good? Good, good. Good for you.

Me?

Well, it’s abundantly kind of you to inquire, but the truth is, I am despondent. I am a despondent correspondent.

Of 240 competing battalions in the RazzSlam, mine ranks 232nd.

Two. Hundred. Thirty. Second.

Why are you even ingesting the prose I have vomited upon this page? I cannot possible impart wisdom unto you, dear reader, for I have little enough for myself.

Perhaps, however, my misfortune is a blessing in disguise for you? Perhaps you could accompany me on my next trip… to FAABidden Island!

That’s right, dear reader, the RazzSlam allows for just one more trip to the mystical island shrouded in legend and darkness, home to the mercenary players not yet in the employ of any of your competitors. Willing, as they are, to join the cause of only the highest bidder, you must be prepared to bleed for your acquisitions.

Come with me, as I prepare my trip to FAABidden Island.

Determining Who To Dismiss

First, for every new hire, I must part ways with one of my current henchmen. Therefore I must decide which souls to send to Charon (with the boatman’s fee, of course) before I can even entertain bringing into my employ new blood.

The primary targets of my wrath are therefore:

  • Adley Rutschmann — I cannot in good conscience even defend this selection, but it is quite clear that Mr. Rutschmann is not on some fast-track to the major leagues, and therefore he will be dismissed.
  • Jeter Downs — It seemed, especially if the Red Stockings of Beantown were finding themselves in dire straits, that they would promote young Downs to the Show… however, in dire straits they are not, and Master Downs is striking out at a nearly 40% clip at AAA. Soooooo…. byeeeeeee.
  • A.J. Puk — I had high hopes for the young fireballer, but between injuries and the success of the other hurlers in Oakland, when Puk in fact returns from his current injured list stay, he will only spend time in long- and middle-relief for the A’s. Not worth it.
  • Daulton Jefferies — He doesn’t have a job.
  • Noah Syndergaard — He doesn’t have an elbow.

So, five men shown the proverbial door, and five hires to make. How does one decide whom to target?

Determining Whom to Seek Out

Next, what manner of replacement should I be seeking? For each of us, dear reader, this will be a conclusion arrived at after careful elucidation about the strengths and woes of our own teams. For myself, I am 11th in my league, dead last in pitching. So I will start there.

Who are some pitchers on my waiver wire I will be attempting to look target?

What do all these hurlers have in common, that makes them superior selections to Puk, or Jefferies, or Thor?

They have jobs.

But also, they have been relatively surprising this season, hence their availability. They seem basically locked-in to the jobs they have. They all play for high-performing, contending teams (the Red Sox, Giants, Astros, and Athletics are all in 1st or 2nd in their respective divisions).

What about other ways to find targets?

I was able to secure upon initial draft a significant number of players with multi-position eligibility, but this is another place I would look were I trying to turn my fortunes around on FAABidden Island… and I am…

Now, unlike with pitching, many of the players you may find available for hire in this category are not necessarily secure in their playing time positions. Brad Miller, for instance, is likely to be available, but as long as Bryce Harper keeps himself and his wondrous coiffure out of the infirmary, Mr. Miller will find himself riding pine.

Similarly, someone like Seth Brown should be for the taking, and has performed admirably for the White Elephants of Oakland, but the young man does not have an everyday role, unfortunately.

Now… given that the RazzSlam scoring rubric is “best ball” style, platoon playing isn’t quite the conundrum it might be in a weekly moves league where one must determine one’s lineup ahead of time. Impact, however, still matters, so if you’re going to select a platoon dragoon, be sure your selection is the man facing the right-handing hurlers, as Mr. Brown indeed is (he’s started just a single game against a left-handed starter, but has amassed nearly 100 points in Cutline scoring… which would certainly have been helpful to this despondent correspondent).

Lastly, you should target Adolis Garcia, because he’s available in every league, and he’s a veritable monster. He will not come cheap, be warned.

Spending Money

Now, I have some dismissals to make, and some hires to target. How to spend our filthy lucre in pursuit of the ultimate goal: winning?

One thing is for certain, dear reader: you cannot take it with you. Spend it all. After this trip to FAABidden Island, your money is no longer legal tender for any debt, public, private, or otherwise. So spend smartly, but spend.

I like to ensure two things: that my primary bids add up to precisely my remaining budget, and that I have as many conditional bids as possible (six, seven, maybe ten for each drop) because, as previously stated, you cannot take it with you.

Now, I have a smaller remaining budget than nine of my opponents, so I will not be bidding on Adolis Garcia. That’s a personal choice, but based on the fact that my roster is riddled with holes and that Garcia is on everyone’s radar, it simply behooves me to look away.

My woes of unusual size? Pitching, pitching, pitching… but also corner infield, and outfield. For the former, none of my players outside of Jared Walsh have shown to be much of anything so far, and for the latter, losing Luis Robert and spending hundreds on Akil Baddoo on my last foray to the Island have left my squad wanting in that area.

So I will be targeting some of the pitchers mentioned above, and perhaps Patrick Wisdom or Pavin Smith at the corners, and perhaps a flier on a young outfield roamer such as Jake Fraley, Taylor Ward, or the injured-but-returning-soon Harrison Bader.

The key, loyal reader, is to spend it all.

Well, I’m off to FAABidden Island. I hope my dispatch will be helpful to you in planning your own journey to the home of mercenaries, sellswords, and ne’er-do-wells.

Good luck, dear reader, and until next time, I am forever yours,

Bob Allison Chains