Team Canada trades away 1B/3B Kevin Cron ($5.50, sadly not cost controlled)
Andrew’s thoughts: As the league’s foremost authority on 1bman, I thought it appropriate that I review Ferns’ latest trade for one. As the kids would say, Ferns is thirsty for 1bman. 💯💦🍹
In the wise words of Jordan Gillis, this trade SEEMS FINE. It is a practically meaningless prospect pick for a trial run of the Diamondbacks starting pinch hitter who murdered minor league pitching. Maybe one day whoever the D’backs manager is lets Kevin Cron play with his friends regularly and he becomes an impact hitter at $7 to keep. Maybe not. But at the cost of a fifth round pick, there’s really no risk. That is the textbook definition of “seems fine.”
For Team Canada, this move frees up a roster spot to stream backup catchers on days where there are only four MLB games. That is truly exciting.
The only loser here is me for having reviewed this trade.
Andrew’s thoughts: I like this one for Marshall Law. Zack Godley has been pretty awful this year, but was projected to be a top-60 starting pitcher coming into the year. He’s been very good for stretches in the past. He’ll start at $12 to keep, so there’s potential future value here too. And the cost was… basically nothing. Pretty good risk/reward deal. If you’re clinging to 4th rounders when offered Godleys, regardless of where you are on the contention cycle, you’re probably doing it wrong.
Kudos to Marshall for joining the league, surveying the landscape, and quickly positioning his team to compete. Just goes to show what can be accomplished when one puts their mind to it.
For Hustle, this is whatever. Godley had been squeezed off his roster and sometimes when you’re a top team and have too many good players, you just have to take what you can get. A 4th rounder beats cutting a guy for nothing.
Andrew’s thoughts: Wow, what an exciting turn of events. The race to be the Rockies’ first baseman seems to have ended, and Hustle Loyalty Respect’s Daniel Murphy is the lucky winner. Johnny Hustle be all like:
Literally overnight, Murphy’s value skyrocketed. His Steamer projection went way, way up. Check this out:
For Hustle Loyalty Respect, this is a windfall. This is easily the greatest thing that’s happened in his franchise’s illustrious history. He “traded” literally nothing to land the DAMN Rockies first baseman. Truly incredible. We’re talking unprecedented luck here. I just love this “trade” for HLR. When you can add an asset like this in exchange for nothing… just, wow.
For We Talk Fantasy Sports, well, I don’t understand this “trade” at all. They are actually going to be paying Ian Desmond, back-up 1B and possible platoon LF, the only hitter to ever go to Coors Field and get significantly worse, $4 more than the actual Rockies 1B. I’m referring to Daniel Murphy of HLR, to be clear. Just as Murphy’s projection went way up overnight, Desmond’s projection went way down. He lost nearly 100 projected points and is now projected to amass as many points as someone named… *squints*… Austin Dean.
But as bad as this “trade” is for WTFS, it’s even worse somehow for Senior Squids. Not only did he not get the Rockies 1B. But instead, he has Eric Hosmer at an astounding cost of $32. Yes, that’s right, Eric Hosmer. Over the last full three seasons of baseball, Hosmer ranks second among all qualified hitters with a 58.2% ground ball rate. Only — OH SHIT! — Ian Desmond has a worse ground ball rate, at 58.6%. Sure, there’s some hope for Hosmer. Why, you ask? Here’s why: Hosmer has 5,070 career plate appearances. And as we all know, power comes later in the career. In fact, every power hitter in baseball history took more than 5,000 plate appearances to learn how to hit home runs. Barry Bonds had just four home runs at the 5,070 career plate appearances mark. He went on, as we all know, to hit 758 more from there. No bull, just facts.
Over the last two years, Eric Hosmer has hit 43 home runs. That’s 33 fewer than, oh… *draws name from hat*… Nelson Cruz, who by the way has hit 43 or more dingers in a single season twice. But he’s old and expensive (a whopping $8 more than Eric “Slow Roller to Short” Hosmer) though, and as we all know, we subtract points in this league based on age.
So in summation, I like this trade for HLR. Any time you can get the Rockies 1B instead of Ian Desmond or Eric Hosmer, you just have to do it.
Jordan’s thoughts: I’ve never heard of the two prospects in this “trade,” but Daniel Murphy seems good.
Andrew’s thoughts: I do not know if either of these players would have been kept or cut by their respective teams. Only Senior Squids truly knows that. Either way, here they are now, a bench hitter and a relief pitcher, traded for one another. And quite honestly, I’m riveted.
I think both teams are winners here, because both teams got to experience the magnificent rush of completing a trade.
Jordan’s thoughts: The moment Matt Adams signed with Washington and was no longer an option for the next COLORADO ROCKIES 1B, I stopped caring about him.
Andrew’s thoughts: I’m sorry Keith, but I don’t have a whole lot nice to say about this one. Hunter Renfroe has a ton of raw power and is $13 cheaper, but he’s got a sub-.300 OBP in almost 1,000 career plate appearances. He seems like a guy that only has a full time gig because the Padres don’t have any better option. In this league, I like him as more of a rotating UT2 guy or a back-up outfielder and wouldn’t feel great rolling him out as a daily starter.
I thought WTFS’ offense was in trouble after trading for Madison Bumgarner and I think this just makes it worse. According to Steamer, this is something like a 150 point downgrade for WTFS.
I like this trade for the Squids.
Jordan’s thoughts: I think there is some potential that Renfroe figures things out and ends up being pretty great. I see some shine potential. For that I don’t mind the trade for WTFS. I tend to agree with Bailey on all accounts. Clearly this is a great trade for Squids. The problem with low OBP guys in our league though is that they’re really boon or bust and can really sink weeks for you.
I’ll give this deal an “I love it” to the Squids…and for We Talk Fantasy Sports “I get it, but meh” ratings.
Andrew’s thoughts: I love this trade for Marshall Law so, so much. It reminds me of the real-life Nationals/Rays/Padres trade for Trea Turner, where the Nats basically crashed a trade between the Rays and Padres and came away with the most appealing talent. Marshall gave up what I see as four lukewarm assets (Taveras seems like a low power guy whose speed doesn’t matter as much in our scoring; the other three pieces are pure lotto tickets) to get back two young, cheap impact pieces in Nimmo and Winker and a decent flier on Lamet, who was solid in 2017 before requiring Tommy John. Honestly, I’d rather have Nimmo or Winker alone than Bumgarner at $60 to keep or the package WBFD received.
For WBFD though, I get it. At $60, Bumgarner was a very likely cut as we’ve seen his skills and health begin to descend, and now there are even rumors he may be traded out of his hugely favorable home park. Steamer projections have Bumgarner as the 17th highest scoring pitcher for 2019, but that honestly seems a little rich to me. I’m just a little surprised he didn’t get the Nimmo/Winker package here. But if you’re going to cut a guy anyway, getting four zero-cost pieces like this is clearly better long-term.
And as for We Talk Fantasy Sports, well, I applaud the continued aggressive addition to try and compete in 2019. First it was Corey Kluber, then Dallas Keuchel, now Bumgarner. Still, while their pitching is very, very much improved, I look at that offense and wonder if it can possibly keep up. Losing Nimmo and Winker gives them two pretty big starting hitting holes, in my opinion, and Bumgarner might need to be prime Mad-Bum just to offset that.
Jordan’s thoughts: My goal here is to be the creme filling in this turd sandwich of a trade review. Obviously I have a hard on for Jesse Winker who I drafted with my first round pick back in our first minor league draft. He seems good now and the Reds let Billy Hamilton go.
I agree that projections have soured on Madison Bumgarner and that is not completely hard to understand. However, I’ll disagree with with figurative “buns” and say that Bumgarner at $60 is more than fair and particularly attractive. I think if you’re on top and have a salary crunch, perhaps you have a different perspective on market value.
I love the trade for Marshall Law and We Talk Fantasy Sports here. Marshall Law showing how a rebuild in this league should work. You build a core with current rising talent vs sacking a whole number of seasons for a wish and a hope. Which is what I think the WBFDs has done here. I don’t mind turning MadBum into a bunch of pieces. But the draft picks aren’t helping you soon, and the prospects are okay. Perhaps you get a good pitcher and a decent outfielder out of it in a season or two and perhaps those prospects turn into something too. But, odds are actually against you.
I think with any game you want to position yourself to win and a key step is identifying your win condition(s). WTFS appears to have found theirs with identifying needing a front line starter to help sway weeks in a head-to-head format. It works. ML identified needing to acquire useful assets while still acquiring points. Say these guys blossom, and you’re a piece or two away, they have assets they could push the chips in. It can work. WBFD identified needing to wait another three years. Has that worked ever?
Hustle’s Toxic $0.02: Well this was a super fun trade. I think in all my years of playing fantasy sports I’ve seen very few if any other legit three way trades. So for that, I applaud the ability to pull it off. I am truly inspired.
For WFBD: I think Gaut did OK here if you subscribe to the notion that Bumgarner is in a big decline. Streamer projects a near 4 ERA, FIP, and XFIP for Bumgarner in 2019 which makes a $60 investment in that subpar to say the least. If Bumgarner gets traded those numbers would have to be worse, unless its to the Astros. If Bumgarner is the guy he is projected to be, then getting a couple pieces for him seems fine. Gaut will have $60 to spend on Mike Leake and Mike Leake accessories in the auction as well as a couple neat picks. I’m not a fan of Taveras (as I stated in the first Taveras deal this offseason), seems like a long shot in being better than a replacement level OF here. I do think I like Bukauskas better than most so thats cool too. Getting some assets for a guy who should be borderline be cut based on performance seems like a good idea. If Bumgarner bounces back, Gaut may wonder if he could have gotten a bit more.
For WTFS: As Bailey stated, Keith’s rotation is much improved. Even if Bumgarner isn’t peak he’s still startable almost every time out. The team’s rotation went from arguably worst to above average through a course of trades this offseason, so that is indeed commendable. The offense is a work in progress and will be more difficult to fill after giving away two cheap promising OFers. Choo and Blackmon are nice OFers to have, but after that it kinda falls off. 1b, 3b, one OF and 2 UTIL spots have to be occupied by Sano, Shaw, Desmond, Happ, Calhoun, I’m not sure who the next best hitter is after these 5. Having these guys as starters in your lineup seems incredibly risky since 4/5 of them were a minus at their position last year. Keith will have to find someway to supplant this either by trade or auction. This team at least had a direction now and with proper attention could push for a playoff spot.
For ML: There’s a lot to like here. Winker could potentially be the best asset in the whole trade. as a $3 cost controlled OF batting near the top of the Reds lineup. If las year is any indication he’s a very solid OF to have and if his power trends up he’s potentially a beast. I think Nimmo was obviously tremendously underrated going into last season and was one of the best pickups of the year, but I think he could be a tad overrated in 2019. That being said, he seems like he has the floor of being perfectly acceptable OF depth, which is valuable. I think getting the Lamet flier is the perfect thing a rebuilding team should be doing, ad as a 3rd piece of a deal, seems great. I think these 3 pieces are probably better than a 1/2 rounder and Bukauskas, not a guarantee, but I love the odds.
Senior Squids trades away
SP Kyle Wright
SP Michel Baez
Andrew’s thoughts: It wasn’t that long ago that Kyle Wright and Michael Baez were the centerpiece acquisitions of Senior Squids’ 2018 teardown. Now here they are, flipped for A.J. Pollock in a somewhat surprising win-now move.
I like this move for the Diabeetuses. I’m not necessarily a big fan of Kyle Wright or Michel Baez, but they’re pitchers and will be cheap, ergo inherent value. Wright has a lot of rotation competition in Atlanta and Baez has some pretty serious reliever risk. But still, as pitching prospects go, these are good ones. Also, I’m pretty sure when Gaut got around to participating in cuts, Pollock was going to get the axe.
Here are Pollock’s net points the last five seasons, working from 2018 back: 630.4, 644.8, 61.3, 1070.5, 437.6. In a vacuum, I really like Pollock as a player and asset in this league. I do. But he hasn’t cracked 650 points in four of the last five years and was last a fantasy star in 2015. That was actually the only year he was ever a fantasy star. He’s great on a rate basis, but he’s such an abnormally high injury risk and you have to wonder if the so-so 2018 line was the humidor in Arizona or the combination of age and wear and tear. Maybe he signs in Cincinnati and has one more 1,000+ point year in the tank, or maybe Adam Jones nets more points than him again over a full season simply because Pollock can’t stay on the field. Who knows? For $48 and two pretty valuable pitching prospects, I think I’d really want to gamble on a safer player. I do like that another team is making moves that help right now though.
Hustle’s Toxic $0.02: AJ Pollock is a good useful OF in our format, not elite, but good. The fact that Arizona had a humidor last year means the chances of Pollock signing with a less desirable ballpark than his current is lower than it would have been the previous year.
For WFBD, this is clearly a good move. Moving away an expensive non elite OF for 2 established name pitching prospects are a big boost for his farm. I think scouts have soured on Baez’s ability to remain a starter, so I don’t hate moving him. Wright is currently blocked by a ton of ATL pitchers, but I personally don’t care about players who are blocked, I care about good players. If Kyle Wright is a good player, he will find a way to starts whether on the Braves or elsewhere. Furthermore, the recent rule changes makes prospects a little less risky because you can still maintain a $0 year if a guy comes up and does very little, which seems to be what Kyle Wright is in line for in 2019. Gaut just needs one of these guys to be an average starter for this trade to give him some value, and a chance to really get something if both do or either guy becomes a plus starter.
For Squids, he has the budget and adding a good player will certainly help his chances for this year. With Honeywell and Whitley in his farm, he probably thinks these guy were expendable, and I don’t disagree that they are/should be. I’m not sure Pollock is the guy you want to cash in for, but I certainly leave open the possibility that he could be. Everyone evaluates players differently.
At the very least this was an inspiring trade. The only concern I have is how much more participation Gaut has left allocated for the season.
TBD trades away
1B Ryan Zimmerman ($7)
Trust the Process trades away
SP Dean Kremer
Andrew’s Thoughts: As of this morning Trust the Process has changed their team name to something different (sad and disappointing), which tells you just about all you need to know about “The Process.” Anyway…
I remember last off-season, I had Ryan Zimmerman on my roster coming off a .387 wOBA season and 14 other owners told me he was a worthless turd. The one owner that didn’t was Joe from TBD. That Joe, I tell ya, he’s a smart cookie, as evidenced by locking up two seasons (so far!) of elite JD Martinez on someone else’s dime. Fast forward to today, and I’m pumped to see Abandon the Process adding a player that 14 people thought sucked a year ago in exchange for An Orioles Pitching Prospect™ (they’re all the same, no need for names). Zimmerman was good last year too, but also injured yet again. The projections like him. I’d rather have Zimmerman for 300 plate appearances before he hits the DL than An Orioles Pitching Prospect™ and it isn’t even close.
Fun side note: Ryan Zimmerman has won back-to-back Dynasty Grinders League Championships. He won for me in 2017 and TBD in 2018. That streak will end in 2019, obviously, but still, a cool footnote.
Hustle’s Toxic $0.02: I really like this trade for the Process. It’s rare I strongly prefer the other side of a TBD deal. Locking up a decent 1b hitter who will only cost $7 in 2018 seems wise. Who cares if he only plays half a season? Who cares if he tears his ACL in the first month? You only spent 7 bucks on him and only gave up the Orioles 4th best pitching prospect when the trade would have been just as low risk had Ferns traded their best one.
For the now Josh led TBD squad, I get what he’s trying to do. Add a prospect he likes for a guy he was going to cut. By no means is this a franchise shattering trade, or a trade that will come back in the slightest to haunt them… It just helps out The Process more with almost no downside. In the end, there’s an excellent chance Kremer gets cut and Zimmerman spends the bulk of the season on the DL.
Organized Chaos trades away
RF Nick Markakis ($4)
Trust the Process trades away
SP Frankie Montas ($5)
Andrew’s Thoughts: Oh man, I’m pumped and flattered. The Process has reunited Ryan Zimmerman and Nick Markakis from the 2017 Dynasty Grinders League Champion and World Points Champion of the World Capital City Incomee. What a time to be alive. You know what they say: imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. I am truly beside myself this morning.
After two years of campaigning that Markakis was a valuable asset in our league, he went above and beyond to prove me right in 2018. Here are his monthly wOBAs for the first four months of the season: .379, .394, .341, .362. Wow! That’s good. Sadly, he closed out the year with marks of .294 and .297. Womp womp.
Regardless, I’d rather have Markakis than Montas, I think. Is Montas even going to be in the rotation? To be clear, pitching depth is valuable. But if he’s a reliever, he’s worthless. I think personal favoritism toward Markakis aside, this is probably a coin flip trade. And I get “selling high” on Markakis if you could, but this isn’t it. Markakis represents a massive lineup upgrade for Question the Process. And I’m not even referring to those monster wOBA months. If Markakis can limp along to a .294 or .297 wOBA all year, he’d still be a huge upgrade over having Lewis Brinson in the lineup.
Hustle’s Toxic $0.02: I’m not sure how to feel about this trade. Markakis is potentially a serviceable replacement OF and Montas is a bad cheap pitcher (under $10 though, Hustle Rule (TM) ). I think if you’re counting on either to be a major contributor on your team in 2019, you should be prepared for disappointment. As a depth piece, both are fine. Assuming Montas is in the rotation and Markakis is a lineup regular, they are both fine to roster. Assuming those two things, they probably go for more in auction than their keeper price, but not much more. The auction projects to be barren, but with the recent trade activity, it seems like less cash will be taken into it so maybe prices will be a little better than last year Ferns is trying to assemble Bailey’s team from 2 years ago, Bailey is trying to assemble my team from 2 years ago, and in reviewing this shitty trade, I’m just trying to stay as toxic I was 2 years ago.