Will Derek Holland help an AL-only team?

Updated: March 18, 2010, 3:59 PM ET
By Eric Karabell
I'm not usually the guy who price-enforces in a fantasy baseball auction. If I don't want a player, it generally doesn't matter to me if he's going for what I consider a tremendous bargain price. I am concerned with my team, and my team only. I like who I like, and if I want a player, in many cases I'll spend an extra few bucks to get him. Then again, when I look at the AL-only League of Alternative Baseball Reality team I put together recently in Arizona, I see one name that doesn't really belong. In a league with no bench spots, I don't take chances with erratic yet promising young pitchers. So why is Derek Holland on my roster? Was I really price-enforcing? Ugh.

ESPN colleague Jason Grey, who also wrote Thursday about his team from that LABR auction, tends to build his offenses much the way I like to. We don't spend $30 for anyone, instead aiming to build deep, balanced offenses. In this case, we both followed that game plan, although my hitters are considerably older, a common trait among my teams. But since he's more focused on young players -- especially when it comes to pitchers -- there are few similarities on our pitching staffs. I have a trio of 200-inning options, plus two closers I think will perform well enough. He took more chances with pitchers, playing the upside game.

About halfway through the auction, when we both were looking to add a starting pitcher, he was seconds away from acquiring Holland, the young Texas Rangers lefty, for only $3. I looked around. Nobody else in the room was speaking up. The auctioneer was seconds away from confirming the transaction by yelling, "Sold!"