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Tuesday 23rd Jan 2018

This past Thursday at midnight ET marked the end of the Tout Wars trading season. For me, the trade deadline was more significant this year than in prior seasons, as I've been one of the more active owners on the trade front, completing a total of seven swaps. Some turned out well, others not so much. But, on the whole, my willingness to shake things up from time to time has had a positive effect on my squad. Anyway, now that trading is a thing of the past, the only way to make changes to our rosters over the final month of the season is via the free agent pool. And once September rolls around, the free agent pool is unappealing to say the least.

The free agent reserve wasn't always this unappealing. In fact, a competitive fantasy team could be assembled just from the best FAAB purchases in the Tout Wars Mixed Auction league. Let's take a look. Note that the date of the acquisition is in parenthesis. If a player was bought multiple times during the season, the most recent date is listed.

C Mike Zunino (6/5)

C Alex Avila (8/14)

1B Justin Smoak (5/1)

2B  Marwin Gonzalez (4/17)

SS  Paul DeJong (7/14)

3B  Scooter Gennett (6/12)

CI  Logan Morrison (5/8)

MI  Ian Happ (5/15)

OF  Tommy Pham (6/5)

OF  Whit Merrifield (5/1)

OF  Bradley Zimmer (5/22)

OF  Delino DeShields (5/1)

OF  Randal Grichuk (6/26)

UT  Yonder Alonso (4/10)

SP  Jimmy Nelson (5/8)

SP  Zack Godley (5/15)

SP  Jason Vargas (4/10)

SP  Chase Anderson (6/5)

SP  Luis Castillo (6/26)

SP  Brad Peacock (5/22)

RP  Addison Reed (5/8)

RP  Brad Hand (5/8)

RP  Felipe Rivero (5/22)

Not bad, right? While emptying your FAAB budget in April probably isn't a great idea, this goes to show how important it is to be active early in the season, before the pickings get slim. A closer inspection of this FAAB All-Star team reveals that 21 of the 23 members were purchased before the end of June. Staff ace Jimmy Nelson along with the leader of the offense, Justin Smoak, were both purchased before mid-May, as was Logan Morrison, the club's second-best hitter.

So, what's the moral of this story? Don't underestimate the waiver wire, even in a deep mixed league or a non-mixed format. A couple of wise FAAB purchases could make up for a couple of unwise draft day purchases.

As for the remaining four bidding periods, however, I'm not expecting much. In other words, don't count on any sort of September roster expansion for the 2017 Mixed Auction Tout Wars FAAB All-Star team. 

Zach Steinhorn is the 2016 Mixed Auction Tout Wars champion. Follow him on Twitter @ZachMLB

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