Trade: Marshall Law | H-Town Trashcan Punch

Marshall Law trades away
SS Elvis Andrus ($23)

H-Town Trashcan Punch trades away
CF Estevan Florial (prospect)
SS Osleivis Basabe (prospect)

BAILEY’S THOUGHTS

🤷‍♂️

I feel like Marshall Law was definitely cutting $23 Elvis Andrus even though he now has no other SS on the roster. So this way, he at least gets something back. These prospects aren’t much, but Estevan Florial was at least on lists for a while and Osleivis Basabe presumably has as much upside as Misael Urbina, who he just traded away. The prospects in an Andrus trade are comparable or better than the ones in an Aaron Nola trade, even when only $15 salary separates the two players, what a world.

For H-Town, this is a little weird in that Andrus is his fourth shortstop (behind Manny Machado, who I assume he’s keeping, maybe not, Kevin Newman, and Luis Urias), but whatever. Depth is good. He obviously didn’t value these two prospects inherited from previous ownership and I can’t say I blame him. Might he have gotten Andrus cheaper at auction? Sure. Likely. But in my opinion it’s always better to enter auction needing less with fewer dollars to spend, rather than needing to buy 80% of a starting lineup with extra money to spend like Senior Squids or Who’s Your Haddy?.

Fair trade with two winners. The only loser here is me, for writing this review.

Trade: Long Ball to LF | Marshall Law

Marshall Law trades away
SP Dinelson Lamet ($5; cost controlled)
RF Misael Urbina (prospect)
1B Pavin Smith (prospect)

Long Ball to LF trades away
SP Aaron Nola ($38)

BAILEY’S THOUGHTS

On the surface this trade looks lopsided. Aaron Nola is just 26-years-old, Steamer projects him as a top-15 overall pitcher in 2020, and he has consecutive 1,000+ point seasons on his resume. He checks every box as a top Dynasty Grinders asset (more on this in a moment). On the other side, there are two blah prospects and a spring training hype guy coming off Tommy John surgery who still carries a fair amount of reliever risk. This looks to be in favor of Marshall Law.

I do think it’s key to note the $33 savings here. This trade got Long Ball under $500 and that savings likely buys him at least another year of Kenta Maeda ($30), Michael Brantley ($29), or one of his higher priced pieces like Josh Donaldson ($77) or Zack Greinke ($67) that he’s been shopping. Those guys don’t show up in the Trade Accepted email, but they were no doubt a factor. My guess is, since Long Ball had listed all those guys on his trade block, there was zero interest across the board (because players that have salaries have cooties), so he ultimately sold whichever guy actually brought something back and that happened to be Nola. I’d argue the only “something” in this deal is Lamet, as the two prospects seem fairly disinteresting to me. Urbina is fine and has some long-term upside, Smith seems boring as a 1B-only with only 50 grade power. Whatever. It continuously blows my mind that upper tier players are traded in this league for churn-able prospects. Long Ball couldn’t get Vidal Brujan? Jazz Chisholm? As a rule of thumb, if a sub-$40 1,000 point player is traded, the prospects involved should really be guys Jordan has heard of before. Also, I probably would’ve rather just cut Maeda or Greinke or Brantley and kept Nola and missed out on Lamet. But the sum of Lamet plus whichever one of those guys would’ve been cut is probably close enough to Nola’s 2020 production to at least make the logical leap here.

I guess I’m mainly confused as to why a package headlined by Lamet and filled out by two prospects outside the top-250 was really the high offer.

Given Nola’s age, cost, and resume, he should’ve been coveted by literally every team, even the perpetual tankers. He was on the block publicly, so it’s not like his availability wasn’t known. I personally did not inquire on Nola, mainly because I’m sitting at $500 in keepers and The Bundle™ has ruined my mobility (weird how those rule changes that were met with such disgust ultimately did my team no favors), but I even sort of regret it now seeing this price. I could’ve probably afforded to punt a hitter to make room if push came to shove. If Long Ball waited until after auction, I would’ve probably thrown any prospects and picks he wanted at Nola and that terrifying $38 salary. Oh well.

How many other teams sat on the sidelines here? I guess people assumed the price would be too high and the mere thought of trading relevant prospects is unfathomable, but Urbina and Smith seem like fringe prospects at best right now. TBD and HLR will no doubt pick up far superior prospects for free throughout the season. Marshall will easily pick up better or comparable prospects to replace these guys himself. Even if Lamet meets his recent hype, Nola’s still likely to outscore him in 2020 and even teams like Senior Squids and We Talk Fantasy Sports and Who’s Your Haddy, who don’t intend to compete in the next half decade, should have been lining up here and could have probably beat this offer quite handily. You’re not getting a better asset than Nola at auction, so if that’s your game plan, good luck trying. If you were clinging to legitimate prospects out of fear of adding a whopping $38 in salary, well… whoops. And if you were out on Nola because you’re punting 2020, I guess I’m confused what the game plan is for 2021+ when you have no established good players in place when your prospects theoretically start getting promoted. The Bundle™ made Aaron Nola available for a low price and still no one with salary room took advantage? Hmm…

Overall, I like this deal for Marshall Law. If Lamet pans out, it probably buys Long Ball an extra player this year and next, maybe one more beyond that. For now I’ll gladly take the Nola side though.

Trade: Marshall Law | H-Town Trashcan Punch

Marshall Law trades away
SP Lance McCullers ($10)
2021 3rd Round Pick

H-Town Trashcan Punch trades away
SP Dylan Cease ($0; cost controlled)
C Danny Jansen ($1; cost controlled)
CF Alexander Canario (prospect; cost controlled)
CF Hedbert Perez (prospect; cost controlled)

BAILEY’S THOUGHTS

My immediate reaction to this trade is that it favored Marshall Law by a good margin, but it’s probably a lot closer than that.

A cost controlled, $0 Dylan Cease strikes me as the most valuable individual piece here. Lance McCullers strikes me as the best. In 453.2 actual major league innings, McCullers has posted a 10.1 K/9, 0.69 HR/9, and a 3.24 FIP. Those are fantastic numbers and he’s only 26, so there’s room for more. The obvious downside here is that he’s coming off Tommy John and has never thrown more than 128.1 IP in a season. There are big durability concerns (sore shoulder in 2016, two back injuries in 2017, a month on the DL with elbow pain and then eventually TJ in 2018) and question marks along the lines of: if your team gets to the playoffs, will he be around to pitch in them? Cease, meanwhile, was just okay last year in his first 73 big league innings. He walked too many guys and gave up too many homers, both red flags, but we’re still just talking about 73 innings. I feel like if every team submitted their best offers for McCullers and Cease, the offers for Cease would be better because of the cost control aspect. But at $10, McCullers is priced fine. If you’re placing a ton of value on a guy being $10 over $0 and cost controlled, I think you’re likely hung up on the wrong thing, especially when it comes to starting pitching. Quality starting pitchers under $15 or so, cost controlled or not, are super valuable assets.

For me, Jansen is the big wildcard here. A year ago he was something like a top-5 dynasty catching prospect. Now he’s a throw in? He did have a horrible offensive year, but catchers take time to acclimate and offense their defense takes priority over their offense at first. He’s still just 24, has 55 grades on his hit tool and power, and has no one really to steal time from him in Toronto. Marshall is clearly weak at catcher and took advantage of a buy-low opportunity.

The picks and prospects are whatever. I like Canario a lot and think if he was available in our minors draft, he likely goes toward the back of the first round or definitely by the middle of the second. He’s a ways off but there’s big upside. Hedbert Perez is a lotto ticket. The third round pick is borderline nothing, despite the fact people tripped over themselves to trade for them this year. Perez was just taken with the second pick of the fourth round, so I’d argue Perez/3rd rounder cancel each other out here in terms of value.

I guess to me, I’d rather have the Marshall Law side because it comes with more diversified dart throws. I’d probably rather have McCullers’ skills/major league resume than Cease’s, but the sum of the parts feels marginally greater on this one.

HUSTLE’S TOXIC $0.02

Sometimes I don’t read the review above before mine, but I’m glad I did this time because I’ll try my best not to harp on too many points already made. I would also rather have Cease than McCullers, mostly because Cease was one of the very top pitching prospects last year and now seems like the perfect buy low post hype guy to acquire him for cheap.  Cashing the Cease chip in, I’d want someone more reliable than Lance McCullers.  Gun to my head, I guess I’d take McCullers over Cease for 2020, but pretty decent chance I die on that.  It seems super close at least, and I think most would agree Cease’s long term upside is much more favorable at this point. At least with the Innings Limit weekly rule change, McCullers gains some more value because him not going super deep into games will be less harmful than it would have been on a weekly starts league.

I would rather have Canario than a 3rd round pick, I agree with Bailey’s assessment of where he would have went in this last draft.  If Canario continues his upward trajectory, he’s probably close to a top 1st half 1st round pick next year, but there’s certainly a very good chance he stalls and is worth less than a 3rd next year. Either way, I’d rather have the Cease/Canario side than McCullers/3rd round pick side.

I think Bailey was being too polite when he said Jansen was a top 5 catching prospect for a moment. I’m pretty sure he was #1 or 2 with Keibert Ruiz not too long ago. I’m not sure this is a star player, but certainly a nice add on for Marshall as is Hedbert Perez who possesses some tremendous, albeit remote, upside.  If these two pieces amount to nothing, it doesn’t seem to matter much, but I do believe at least one of these guys will  probably be worth more than a throw in a year from now.

I think the rational side of analyzing this trade will come down to who is better between Cease and McCullers and nothing else matters, and I not only lean Cease but the lotto tickets Marshall acquired here seem to put it over the top for me, even if they become nothing.  Either way, Marshall needed some minor league talent after the formal  trade request of Jazz Chisholm.

Trade: Organized Chaos | Jobu Needs a Refill

Organized Chaos trades away
SS Carlos Correa ($103)
CF Cole Roederer (prospect)

Jobu Needs a Refill trades away
SS Royce Lewis (prospect)
3B Gio Urshela ($10)
CF Kyle Isbel

BAILEY’S THOUGHTS

This is a weird one.

I didn’t really understand the first Carlos Correa trade (for relatively cheap Freddie Freeman and cost controlled Dansby Swanson, where Correa also came with a sweet, sweet prospect) and I don’t get this one either. I’m mostly surprised there was a buyer for Correa. I like him, but he hasn’t topped 481 plate appearances since 2016. I think he’s an awesome player, but he’s just never been healthy enough to rely on and being 25-years-old is offset by costing $103 and being an easy greed target, so there’s seemingly no long-term value beyond 2020. If Jobu needs to re-sell him this season, he should have buyers (hand raised emoji here), but even then, is someone like Long Ball or TBD giving up a Royce Lewis caliber prospect plus other pieces to rent Correa for the rest of 2020? I doubt it.

I mean, the salary is fine if Correa’s a bonafied 600+ PA stud. But he’s not. Anthony Rizzo is being kept at $95 and that seems alright. I’m keeping Bryce Harper at $117 because, well, why throw him back to auction to maybe save $20 to redistribute to Michael Wacha? Chris Sale and Noah Syndergaard are on the trade block and priced similarly, but they somehow feel more reliable and impactful to me than Correa. Ultimately I think it’s okay to just build your best team possible for $500 and more or less ignore the individual salaries, but that sort of assumes your high salary guys are dependable. Like, Rizzo has topped 600 PA in seven straight years. If he gets hurt, that’d suck, but betting on his durability is a fairly safe bet.

I’m not a big Gio Urshela believer, but simply due to attrition, it wouldn’t shock me if Urshela outscores Correa in 2020. Or at least performs comparably. He won’t if they play the same number of games. But if Correa misses 50+ again, it seems possible.

Anyway, I do like that Jobu is attempting to field the best team possible in 2020. Prospects like Royce Lewis are rarely made available. So even if I don’t love the trade, I think it’s smart of Jobu to go against the grain and be the owner willing to make these guys available. If you’re okay saying that your entire prospect lot is not off limits, you can gain access to tons of actual major league points-scorers. Royce Lewis is, what… a top 10-15 prospect by most lists? So if he’s available and every other team is refusing to even discuss players if they’re on a top 100 list at all, maybe even top 150-200, you can potentially find an edge for yourself.

I’m also not quite sure how much I like Lewis. He was absolutely abysmal last year. The tools and the scouting reports are there and the lists love him, but how often do truly elite prospects have years as terrible as he just did? Having said that, the prospect love in this league suggests to me you could’ve gotten a massive haul for Lewis as soon as auction ended.

I have no idea who wins this trade. Probably Chaos. Although maybe not, since I still feel like if he rolled back that first Correa trade his team would be in a far better spot today.

HUSTLE’S TOXIC $0.02

I think Correa is a great player, obviously has injury risk and is expensive, but if he helps you compete and you have the cash, he’s great to have.  My main issue with this trade for Jobu is he waited until Late January to put up an elite asset  on the trade block in hopes of getting win now pieces. Strategically the move to get Correa for a prospect seems fine, and it doesn’t hurt that Lewis’ stock took a hit this offseason.  That being said, I feel like the return for Lewis could have probably been better if he was shopped earlier and multiple teams were still holding on to good expensive players.

Urshella was also someone who took  2 2nd rounders and an OK prospect in  Alexander Vargas to acquire for JOBU.  So in order to get an over $100 dollar player it cost a super elite prospect and 2 2nd round picks (+Vargas).  That just hasn’t been the going rate for Correa in 5 years of this league, and i think I’m in a position to know having owned him for most of it.

That being said, JOBU clearly has set up his team to make a run for it this year and his team certainly got better with this deal.

Trade: Organized Chaos | Marshall Law

Marshall Law trades away
RP Alex Reyes ($7, cost controlled)
CF Austin Hays $9

Organized Chaos trades away
2020 3rd round pick
SP Ryan Rolison (“prospect”)
1B Grant Lavigne (“prospect”)
1B Pavin Smith (“prospect”)

BAILEY’S THOUGHTS

Organized Chaos gets two players that seemingly aren’t much individually but become much more impressive when you add their made up Fantrax projected points totals together and Marshall Law gets a grab bag of random 1Bman prospects you might have heard of before, a Rockies pitcher, and a coveted 3rd round pick. Seems like a fine trade to me. It does kind of feel like Marshall probably should’ve sent a little something extra back the other way, maybe a 4th round pick or something of that nature.

Trade: Marshall Law | Who’s Your Haddy?

Marshall Law trades away
SP Kevin Gausman ($23)

Who’s Your Haddy? trades away
2020 3rd round pick

BAILEY’S THOUGHTS

This seems reasonable for both teams. Any time you see a guy traded for a 3rd-5th rounder this time of year, assume he was getting cut by the team trading him away. Marshall is blatantly parsing down his salary commitments to make a run at a big time free agent. Who could it be? I have a well-placed source that says he’s got his eyes set on throwing $80 or so at Jeff Samardzija and Mike Fiers, who he could almost definitely turn around and flip to a pitching starved team after auction for prospects no one’s ever heard of. By getting this third rounder, Marshall has jumped in front of all my recently-acquired 3rds, which is truly devastating for my morale.

For Haddy, Kevin Gausman is a solid dice roll. He’s had flashes of greatness (to be fair, he’s also had flashes of relieverness and Orioleness/turdness) but at the cost of $23 salary and a draft pick, I like it. After cutting unkeepable $112 Mike Trout (per my spreadsheet), Haddy will have tons of salary to squander, so this helps prevent that a bit ahead of auction.

HUSTLE’s toxic $0.02

Trade seems fine for both teams.  Marshall lets go of former HLR legend, Kevin Gausman , but instead of cutting him gets a 3rd round pick.  So, that’s a win for him.  For Haddy, he makes a de facto auction purchase via trade. I think $22 is about what Gausman would go for, assuming he’s in the rotation, so adding a 3rd pick to secure a guy you like is probably a good move. It’s a low upside acquisition, but also a low cost one. I like it for both teams given their current roster construction.

Trade: Long Ball to LF | Whatever Kyle’s Team is Named This Week

Long Ball to LF trades away
1B CJ Cron ($10)

Whatever Kyle’s Team is Named This Week trades away
$12 Auction budget

 

BAILEY’S THOUGHTS

So I actually like CJ Cron as an under the radar, low cost solution to 1B/UT. He’s got 55 homers the last two years and should be starting every day now that he plays for the tanking Tigers. That said, one look at Long Ball’s roster and I think you can deduce Cron was getting cut. Would he go for more than $22 (his salary plus the acquisition cost here) at auction? I highly, highly doubt it. I feel like that only happens if a team takes $250-$300 into auction and realizes there’s nothing to spend it on, and even then, they need someone else to bid the price up. I also kinda feel like at that price, he’s no longer a “low cost solution.” I mean, maybe he goes for $15 but I think his $10 salary is about his cap at auction. If he would’ve gone for $15 then fine, you wasted $7 by making this trade and that won’t really sting. I don’t know. I’m pacing to cut Joey Votto and Steamer projects him as a top 25-30 overall hitter. How much more than $22 is he going for at auction, given most people don’t want old guys? It’s not a horrible deal but I would’ve rather just taken $22 into auction because I think you can come away with a better player than Cron. For Long Ball, this seems fantastic. He turned a cut into $12 and I reckon he can convert that $12 into at the very least a player comparable to Cron.

 

HUSTLE’s toxic $0.02

I prefer the side for  Long Balls here, but not by that much. CJ Cron is a former HLR Legend, so I will always have respect for his contributions. $22 spent by Kyle to buy and keep him here seems fine, but bordering on probably not needed. It might be better to roll the dice in auction and spend a few more or less to get him if he’s your only option. CJ Cron has a lot of playing time coming his way if he can stay healthy, so he’s someone you’ll feel pretty good in fitting in a 1b or UT slot on most days, but he’s not a game changer and ideally you do want someone better in one of those spots. He cut his strike out rate almost 5 full points from the previous two years, but the paltry walk out rate for a slugger remains the issue that keeps him from being a fantasy star.

$22 for Cron is certainly better than the $26 for Bruce or $32 for Adam Jones last year. There weren’t basically any middle of the lineup hitters in last year’s auction, so that may have been a good price last year, but I imagine it might not be this year.  Maybe it will. Cron is a nice depth piece to have, and even at $22 auction dollars total, that’s not a big price.

Trade: Marshall Law | Senior Squids

Senior Squids trades away
CF/RF Avisail Garcia ($10)

Marshall Law trades away
3B Kyle Seager ($33)

HUSTLE’s toxic $0.02

This trade isn’t as cut and dry as Avisail is $23 cheaper, so this is a win for Marshall. Maybe it is. Elton certainly has a crater at 3b right with just Tommy Edman as his starting 3b (use to be cost controlled Matt Chapman). Seager was a beast in the second half and spending $33 for anything close to that 2nd half seems pretty fine, especially at the cost of Avisail Garcia who has been traded probably half a dozen times in our league’s history. Yes, Avisail is a former HLR legend (as is half the league at this point). I like Avisail a decent amount, and going to Milwaukee certainly helps. That being said, Avisail won’t be an every day player and Seager will be, so I think that mitigated at least some of the price difference. The auction money really doesn’t matter unless you’re trying to fit in an additional really good player, so I don’t see the price as a big deal. Seager helps Elton’s team more this year than Avisail was and committing a year to that contract doesn’t seem like a big deal. Marshall probably wasn’t keeping a $33 Seager to backup Moncada, but with no backup now he will look for a cheaper replacement in auction or the wire. I think both owners here did a good adding roster depth to their own teams at the cost of surplus on their own.

BAILEY’S THOUGHTS

After trading cost controlled stud 3Bman Matt Chapman away for a Mariners prospect without first listing him on the trade block to surely ignite a bidding war, Senior Squids needed a 3Bman. Kyle Seager is a pretty good one. Prior to 2018, he was one of the best, most consistent guys in the league and in the second half of 2019 he looked like that same guy. I think he’s overpriced, but Squids is in a spot to potentially take a bunch of money to auction which seems like a recipe for disaster even though The Bundle has ensured this will be our strongest auction ever. May as well add pieces now. Squids announced publicly in Slack a while ago that he didn’t intend to compete in 2020, so one path here is that immediately after auction he could shop Seager to teams with high salaries like mine that can’t currently add much and get more than he paid here. Salary stuff aside, Seager is more appealing to contenders than Avisail in 2020, right? I guess there’s a debate to be had there but I lean yes.

Anyway, this trade seems okay for both teams if you don’t believe the $23 difference between the two players matters much. Clearly, Marshall believes it does (let’s be honest, he was cutting Seager) and Elton believes it doesn’t. I like a good challenge trade. Shrugging emoji.

Trade: We Talk Fantasy Sports | Hustle Loyalty Respect

Hustle Loyalty Respect trades away
SP Steven Matz ($33)
3B Rylan Bannon (“prospect”)

We Talk Fantasy Sports trades away
2020 2nd Round Pick

BAILEY’S THOUGHTS

I like this trade for We Talk Fantasy Sports because a second round pick is likely to amount to nothing*, although it is less likely to amount to nothing when made by Hustle Loyalty Respect (“the greatest fantasy baseball prospector of his generation” – Steve Fernsler, 2019), while Steven Matz will score points. So there’s that. I like that this move signals WTFS is at least trying to be competitive (bold and daring!) in 2020 instead of mailing it in. Maybe he should probably keep dumping mid-round picks for decent guys and see what happens. I feel like if you spend two random hours in June researching prospects, you can probably find a guy on waivers comparable to whoever you’d get in the second round anyway. I mean, I picked up Pedro Miguel Martinez from the free agent scrap heap and now he’s getting lots of hype on prospect Twitter and appearing on all the dynasty top-100 lists.

* The best second rounders in 2019 were renowned slap dick prospect Xavier Edwards (he will be a stud if we change our scoring to make stolen bases worth 50 points a piece), Tristan Casas, and Alek Thomas, and the latter is mostly valuable because he was traded straight up for a $22 player that scores 800+ points every year and now gets to play all his home games in baseball’s second friendliest hitter’s park. Wander Franco was a second rounder in 2018 though.

Anyway, the trade is fine overall, I will just take the side that is adding a player that will score points in 2020. Good job, Keith. Okay job, Jonny. Have a good day.

 

Trade: The Foundation | Marshall Law

The Foundation trades away
2021 1st Round Pick

Marshall Law trades away
LF/CF/RF Jesse Winker ($5, cost controlled)

BAILEY’S THOUGHTS

I’d definitely rather have Jesse Winker (26 years old, .362 career wOBA) than a draft pick a year from now. But I also feel like you can probably trade the pick four months from now and get more for it than you could trading Winker four months from now, since the buying team in that scenario will probably think a 26 year old doesn’t fit their contention window several years into the future. The only obstacle for Winker is playing time but he’s so cheap that it almost doesn’t matter. I would’ve probably paid more than just one future 1st, so good deal for Jordan I guess.

I assume Marshall got pumped the White Sox signed Luis Robert and will have him on the opening day roster, making Winker expendable. That seems fine to me. Steamer projects Robert to score a whopping 12.9 more points than Winker in 2020, although both projections currently assume those guys aren’t getting full time playing time. Robert’s projection should go up, although Winker still projects better on a Pt/PA basis. But shut up nerd, none of that matters because the goal is to play fantasy baseball and not Spread Sheet Supervisor™.

HUSTLE’S TOXIC $0.02

Jesse Winker has eligibility at each OF spot and currently I see only Nimmo, Betts, and Peralta as decent OFers on Marshall’s team with not the most exciting UT options. I guess Robert signing the contract is a good 4th OF to have, but the position situation for Marshall Law isn’t so deep to give away Winker for a pick. The Foundation seems poised to regress from last year, which will make the pick more valuable than it would be this year, but having the 6-9th pick vs having a good cheap OF now seems questionable. It’s a risky move, and I think I agree with Bailey that I would just rather have the sure thing now. In a daily league like DG, the sporadic playing time isn’t that much of an issue, and good hitters generally find a spot eventually. I do like draft picks and prospects, but on Marshall’s team under it’s current construction, Winker helps his team significantly more this year than a pick, unless the pick is packaged for a player better than Winker, which surely in the outcomes. For Jordan, getting Winker greatly increases his OF depth at each spot, so it seems like a no brainer. Jordan outsourcing his picks is also a no brainer. You don’t even need a brain to make a good trade.

Happy New Year