The Foundation trades away
3B Jake Lamb ($11)
Long Ball to LF trades away
RF Yasiel Puig ($25)
Andrew’s Thoughts: I loved Jake Lamb coming into last year. I think at the time he was a top-20 wOBA guy against RHP over the previous season, or maybe even the previous two. But he battled the new humidor in Arizona and, more importantly, injuries all year. I like him as a solid bounce back candidate. For $11, he’s a good gamble for Long Ball and trading the more expensive Puig to get him shaves off some money from the budget.
For The Foundation, well, this team needs outfield help in a big way. Still does. Playing time has been kind of fickle in LA for the enigmatic Puig, but maybe this is the off-season they finally trade him. Either way, he’s a consistent hitter, albeit I think he’s still living a bit off of the 2014 season he’s never come close to duplicating. Still, Jordan had a surplus at 3B with Justin Turner and Jurickson Profar (and I guess maybe even Hunter Dozier), so Lamb as a flier on his bench was worth a lot less than Puig in that RF slot as often as the Dodgers (or whoever he gets traded to) start him.
Hustle’s Toxic $0.02: I like this trade for both teams. I guess acquiring former HLR legend Jake Lamb signals some combo of Sano and/or Donaldson gets thrown back into the pool by LB. I kinda like what Puig was doing towards the end of last season and he sure has really “figured it out”™ potential. LB has a decent amount of OF so this makes sense. Having $1 Acuna/Soto next year while simultaneously pushing for teams to have less budget in auction may seem a little disingenuous and cheap™, but also makes sense for him to do.
Both guys seem underrated heading into 2019 and it fills position needs for both teams. The benefits of a daily league is if you’re active, you can manage platoons and get a lot of value out of guys who only hit righties well, like Lamb. I don’t think either team will be kicking themselves later for making this. Dollar for Dollar Lamb is probably better, but the dollars dont matter much here as both teams can easily afford the guys and are better off at solving roster construction pre-auction.
WYH sends: LF/RF David Dahl ($3; cost controlled), LF Christin Stewart (minors), CF Estevan Florial (minors), 2019 2nd Round Pick, 2020 1st Round Pick
TL sends: LF/CF/RF Adam Eaton ($26), two 2019 3rd Round Picks, 2020 2nd Round Pick
Andrew’s thoughts: I think at first glance this might look like a big overpay for Haddy, just because prospect value seems to have skyrocketed so much here. But upon closer inspection, I don’t think it is.
First of all, Haddy easily gets the best player in this deal, though he comes with a lot of risk. Adam Eaton has only logged 178 plate appearances since coming to DC via Chicago before the 2017 season, seemingly suffering one injury after another. They’ve been fairly serious injuries too, not just bumps and bruises. But in the three seasons from 2014-16, he was sturdy and steady, posting wOBAs over .340 each year. In his limited action in DC, he’s running a .374 wOBA and 134 WRC+. That is very, very good. He’s also only 29-years-old, can play all three outfield spots, and will start at $28 to keep, which for his production is more than reasonable. Sure, he’s risky. But he’s a proven producer and even with the injuries, I’m not convinced he’s more risky than the meh prospects Haddy got rid of here.
Of the guys going back to Trumpa Loompas, I actually think I like Christin Stewart the best. He’s murdering minor league pitching this year and I’ve read some Khris Davis comps on him. He walks a bunch, has crazy power, and this year has cut back considerably on his strikeouts. I’m not sure he should be the best guy you get for a player of Eaton’s caliber, but I like him.
The other two players are a mixed bag. David Dahl is way more injury prone than Eaton and despite a .367 wOBA over 237 plate appearances in 2016, he hasn’t really done anything at the major league level in more than a season. He doesn’t walk, strikes out a bunch, and the Rockies seem really bad at integrating prospects into their team. I get that any halfway decent hitter at Coors is enticing, but I’m just not a big Dahl fan. Wasn’t he at one point part of Haddy’s return for Mookie Betts though? His star has really faded.
I guess Esteval Florial is the biggest name prospect, and the guy who appears highest on lists, but I’m not that into him either. I guess FanGraphs did slap a 60 on his raw power, but he’s hurt now and has yet to play past A+, so he’s a ways off from contributing, and I don’t recall reading any gushing reports about him. For sure, his minor league numbers are good. I don’t know. I won’t pretend to know a ton about him. Suffice to say, I’m not drooling over this guy as a fantasy prospect right now.
Maybe I’m just blinded by my overall love of Adam Eaton here, but I like this for Haddy overall. He absolutely had to improve his offense and did it for wildcards. Yes, the guy he got back is risky, but his age, salary, and eligibility make it feel worth it. The only real problem I see is that he sort of fired all his bullets in this one deal, unless he wants to flip Austin Riley. I don’t know what he’d fetch. Probably a good piece in this league, actually. I guess we’ll see. For now, given where Haddy’s team is in the standings, I’d be pretty happy getting Eaton, and then just hold my breath that he doesn’t break again.
Hustle’s toxic $0.02:
Bailey wrote a lot of words, I’ll write a lot less. I agree with most of his point.
I like this trade for both teams. T.L. got some intriguing prospects with upside who have a chance to become regulars for him at a low cost while upgrading a few draft picks. On the flip side, he has a lot of salary to work with next year, so a healthy Adam Eaton wasn’t likely burning a hole in his pocket.
This trade simply comes down to whether Eaton can stay healthy and perform like a healthy Eaton has performed. If Eaton can be that guy, Haddy’s team add a very solid offensive bat and one that is keepable for a few years. If he can’t stay healthy, Haddy lost some wildcard prospects. If one of the three work out as being a good contributor for multiple years, then T.L. probably makes out great, because even if Eaton is a monster R.O.S., T.L. is out of the playoff hunt most likely anyway. That’s really the scenario they are both betting on. If T.L. somehow manages 2 long term assets here, well then, that could make the Trumpa Loomps great
I also agree with Bailey’s assessment on the spects. I like Stewart the most, and he’s potentially a guy much better suited for our point scoring than a 5×5 league, so perhaps he’s been underrated on some fantasy lists and his lack of defensive prowess probably made him underrated on other prospect lists. Florial is injured right now and struggled a bit this year, but is only 20 and seems like he’s due to pick up value at some point. Dahl hasn’t been good since 2016, but an every day regular in Coors is always intriguing.
Bottom line, this is a good gamble for both sides.
SS sends: C Gary Sanchez ($27), $10 Auction Budget
TBD sends: SP Michel Baez (minors), 2B/CF Jahmai Jones (minors), RF Alex Kirilloff (minors), SP Franklin Perez (minors)
Hustle’s toxic $0.02: When the centerpiece of your sell off return is a pitcher in A-ball, you’ve done something wrong. Maybe if you weren’t selling off a big piece, sure. That being said, Gary Sanchez is 25 at the top of an elite position and comfortable priced under 30 bucks. I like Michel Baez, I’ve offered trades for him… but I’ve offered other prospects. Baez is also currently sporting a 4.71 xFIP as well as a 4.7 BB/9. The odds of Baez being an Ace in the majors is real, but slim. Franklin Perez is injured at the moment, he projects to be a decent MLB starter, but also might not be. Kirilloff is certainly a nice A-ball bat, but it’s also at outfield where it’s not particularly hard to find productivity. Jahmi Jones is just a guy. Maybe he’s the good version of Brad Miller/Brandon Phillips at 2B, a very decent depth piece to have if he hits. The chances of one of these players being a superstar like Sanchez is probably under 50%, it’s probably under 25%. You already have a young Sanchez, so trading him for risk seems like a pretty big mistake. If Gary Sanchez suffers a career threatening injury, I like this trade for Squids.
I think if you’re Squids and giving up on 2018 for some reason, it would have made more sense to try and get something out of Paxton instead of Sanchez. Paxton is 29 and has a lengthy injury history. Someone surely would have given him a few decent prospects for him too (still can!). But I think Squid’s goal of assembling the real life Mariners in a 16 team league is real and won’t be stopped.
TBD already has the best team on paper prior to this trade as well as the most points, so this only makes that stronger. In the end, things will come down to a one week playoff and certainly anything is possible. TBD has done tremendously trading non elite prospects for top tier talent. I think Squids panicked a little early in the season and once his mind was made up he was out of it he decided to play kingmaker but instead has made his team a pawn for years to come.
The $10 isn’t a big deal in terms of budget, it’s just a reminder of how cruel humanity can be.
Andrew’s thoughts: When Squids first traded for Gary Sanchez, I got my assessment wrong. That deal was for Corey Kluber, and in retrospect, it’s been alright. Sanchez has done far more than I thought he would and, surprise, surprise, the cost control aspect of these players that I harped on in that review isn’t that big a deal.
Anyway, here we are again, another chance to review a Sanchez trade. And this one strikes me as… worse.
I just don’t understand trading a young, affordable, elite hitter at the top of a thin position for a handful of non-elite prospects. I can’t even decipher who the best prospect here is. I guess it’s Franklin Perez, since he’s seemingly the closest to the majors. If I’m going to trade Sanchez to TBD and I insist on doing it for prospects, then Eloy Jimenez is involved or there’s no deal to be made. Period. I was amazed that JD Martinez and a full loan was handed over to TBD without Eloy and I’m amazed that now Sanchez has been too. If TBD says Eloy’s untouchable, then alright, move along. Whatever. There’s no clear reason that Sanchez had to go anywhere, so just keep him. He’s better than Eloy anyway. But at least in Eloy you’re getting a legitimate, consensus top flight prospect. You do him, Baez, and Jones or whatever and this seems at least explainable.
I just don’t really get the rush to punt on Sanchez. At worst, he’s $44 next year — and that’s with greed, which now will be spread out across other guys instead. Whatever salary is ultimately freed up here seems like it has very little, if any, practical value, especially since $10 also inexplicably got dumped into TBD’s pocket (kudos to Joe and/or Josh for having the balls to say, “we realize we’re getting the best catcher in the game here and he’s on a nice salary, but can we also get $10 to cover when teams greed him up?”), eating into whatever savings. And Squids spent $51 at auction this year on relievers and a broken Carlos Rodon. So like, just don’t do that next year and you can safely keep elite Sanchez. You’re way, way, way better off going into auction with a proven points-scorer like Sanchez locked in than with a bunch of money to flush on risky players.
I mean… our trade block is public, and in it, Squids insisted on “top grade” prospects and cited “major league ready” as a bonus. This batch of prospects are not “top grade.” Per FanGraphs most recent grades, Baez is a 55 FV, the other three guys are 50. That is indisputably not “top grade.” And of them, only Perez is all that close to the majors. Jones is in A+ and converting from CF to 2B, so his development may lag a little. Baez isn’t faring all that well in A+. Kirilloff is coming off surgery in A-ball. These guys won’t help this year or next, most likely, and may not be fantasy relevant until 2020.
So yeah, I just love this deal for TBD. They’ll pick up a few prospects from their watch list for $0 FAAB bids this morning and let them marinate in their minors a while until eventually they’re on a top-100 list, because on a long enough timeline that’s just sort of what happens with halfway decent prospects. And in the meantime, they’ll bank a bunch of Sanchez homer points en route to a potential points championship. Good work, fellas.
PRE sends: 2019 2nd Round Pick, $10 2018 Auction Budget
HLR sends: 1B Edwin Rios (minors), 2019 3rd Round Pick
Andrew’s thoughts: I like this move for HLR. He upgrades a future draft pick by an entire round, as both of these picks belong to the Evil Otters and were dealt away during the team’s previous owner’s war on draft picks. He also banks $10 for an interesting prospect that I think he’ll be able to adequately replace during the season via waivers.
Rios is fine. He’s been on some lists, including clocking in at No. 100 on FanGraphs’ November list based on our scoring. His scouting reports are pretty solid. His minor league numbers are sick. He can hit for sure. He’s also almost 24 and a Dodger, so he could debut at any time now… but is blocked and probably needs a trade. Fantrax lists him as a 1B, but he plays some 3B in the minors. He’s far more interesting at 3B than 1B. I like him as a flier to stash away in the minors.
I also continue to enjoy the Double Stuffs’ purge of every possible present day asset. They’re down to $390 in budget with around $150 in cuts still to come, if my guesses are accurate. Yikes. In general I feel like dumping $10 for any prospect that’s even a useful bench piece is fine, just because it’ll take a couple seasons to pay them that much in salary. I guess if you’re going to punt a year of cash, you may as well go all the way.
Andrew’s thoughts: When this trade first popped up I thought, “dear God, please tell me this is not the package Ferns is going to pay down JD’s entire salary for.” But guess what? It is!
I love, conceptually, a team in a punt year offering to cover a star player’s entire salary in a deal. I think its a creative way of extracting max value, and in this case, potential long-term value for a guy that, at least in 2018, doesn’t really matter if he’s there or not. And this is definitely one of those trades where, a year from now, everything I’m about to say could look very, very stupid. But… I don’t think these players are a compelling return at all for a free year of JD Martinez.
Martinez is pretty much a lock to be an elite hitter. He’s had some injury issues and maybe his skills won’t hold up as he slinks into his 30’s, but a single season of an elite player where someone else pays the salary is enormously valuable. Like, super super valuable. I believe he outproduced Paul Goldschmidt on a Pt/PA basis last year. So just imagine your team and your budget, but with Goldschmidt magically on it at zero penalty. I don’t think his free agency limbo matters, because his power translates to any park. I don’t worry as much about health or age, because the production is of zero question, and production is what matters.
I don’t think Lewis Brinson, who just got handed a full-time job but also a ballpark downgrade in Miami, is that interesting. Scouts like his power potential, but the balls are juiced. Everyone has the potential to hit homers. He’s got 60-grade speed, but SBs aren’t that valuable. I know he’s one of those toolsy, if-it-all-comes-together upside guys and he’s been ranked highly on all the lists, but I just can’t get overly excited about him. And how much of his list pedigree is defense-based? He’s got great defensive scouting grades. Again, he could blow up and I could look dumb. Of course, if he blows up in 2018, well, then his $1 season will have had very little impact for you because you’re punting and he’ll cost a few bucks more the following year (not enough for it to matter probably, but still). His projections currently peg him as a below average outfielder in 2018, which is fine, he’s a prospect, the projections rarely love them. He’s just not a prospect I’m crazy about. I also think, as many injury concerns as you may have about JD, Brinson’s got them too. At least JD can blame his on age.
Austin Hays is a guy I like, but he’s actually very similar to Brinson except he gets to hit in a friendly park. And he’s not cost controlled which, starting with a $5 salary, probably doesn’t matter much. Maybe he gets hit hard with greed next year. Who cares? I think I also may have talked myself into Hays because he’s an Oriole and I want to believe in the Orioles’ ability to occasionally develop a good prospect. I wonder if he’s going to get on base enough to provide a safe floor. He doesn’t walk at all, even in the minors, and seems like a guy that could strikeout a bunch. So really, the two cornerstone pieces of this deal — and I’d argue a team paying you to take JD for a year is maybe the most valuable singular asset ever traded — are very, very high risk. Like, all ceiling, no floor, and the ceiling is questionable in an offensive environment where both guys’ calling card tools are shared by anyone who can figure out launch angles.
The pitchers are, to me, meh. I’m a fan of Brandon Woodruff, picked him up in another league and felt like he had value, but he’s also a pitcher in Milwaukee. The home park could be an obstacle and frankly, I’m not even sure he’s got a rotation spot locked up. Roster Resource currently says he’s out. The Brewers are expected to add a pitcher. I mean… is Woodruff a swing man? Does he come out of the bullpen? I don’t know. Adrian Morejon, meanwhile, is a guy I know very little about. He’s on lists. He’s also not even 19-years-old yet and a pitcher. Dude doesn’t have 30 innings at A-level ball yet. I just don’t see it.
For an asset as valuable as $0 JD, I just don’t want every single asset coming my way to have this many question marks. I think if there’s no budget involved here, it looks a lot better, because it gives the Double Stuffs some options to add talent via auction or trade for an overpriced player before then and still gives them the lottery tickets.
Reading back over this, I feel bad for being so negative. I don’t think I really dislike the guys Ferns got back as much as it probably sounds. I kinda hope someone digs up this review in a year and we can all laugh at how stupid I was. I just don’t think this package is enough. If its me, Eloy Jimenez is in it as well, or no deal. I’m getting an unquestioned elite fantasy prospect back. I probably even want a little more still. I traded Aaron Judge (to be fair, I shopped him and no one wanted him!) for Matt Holliday last year. So eh, what the hell do I know?
Hustle’s Toxic $.02
I’d like to say I admire Ferns for being one of the most active members of the league over this awful time of year called “the offseason”. If you think I started this by saying something nice so I could I say I don’t like the trade for him, well yeah you’re right… but it’s also true. I always respect someone putting thought into their team and actively trying to make it better and it its better to have someone reject your trade offer 71 times and throw in some counters than just let it sit there.
The trade ironically makes TBD the preseason favorite. It’s a pretty no brainer to trade 4 prospects for a paid JD Martinez, especially when they didn’t have to include their best prospect, perhaps not even 2nd or 3rd depending on your taste. Ferns was in a hurry to make the deal, but I’m not sure why, especially with the season almost 2 months away. Surely if he signs with Boston/Arizona the price goes up, if he signs with the Giants, I can’t imagine this offer not still being on the table. Paying for the contract in full, the trade doesn’t even have to be made before the Auction, you’re out the $55 either way. If Ferns knows something about JD’s health that we all don’t, kudos to him on the ultimate hustle.
As for the return? Brinson is the most attractive piece. He’s been traded 3 or 4 times in this league, 2 times in real life, and in the least attractive ballpark now. If he breaks out this year, which is possible, he’s in his 3rd mlb year next year already. The best part of having a good prospect is the upside of getting 2 amazing years for basically $1 like we will most likely see Bailey get with Bellinger. That’s not to say he wont have a lot of value if he’s good, but a chunk of it is certainly gone. Looking at Ferns roster, I think he can objectively say it might be a struggle to compete in 2019, if thats the case, that’s even more value out of Brinson (we’re also still just assuming Brinson is good and stays healthy which is no given for either). Hays being immune to walks curbs his upside, but if he hits well enough he’s a useful piece. I actually do like Woodruff a little bit, and the fact that he might not get many starts on a crowded Miluwakee team in 2018 doesn’t really hurt Ferns at all unless that happens in 2019 too. That being said, same issue with Brinson in terms of losing potentially the most profitable year or two because your team isn’t competing those years. Adrian Morejon is a guy I think may be overvalued. He will be a starter down the line (unlike all the relievers Hydra seems to be drafting), but he’s also a guy who’s upside may not worth waiting on for that long.
These are prospects and I am not a scout. The scouts get them wrong all the time and I’m willing to admit I know far less than them. I agree with Bailey saying this will be an interesting trade to look back on. They are all interesting guys and could hit.
Ultimately I do think this trade comes down to patience. Ferns wanted to get a trade JD Martinez for prospects ASAP. Meanwhile TBD put Hays/Brinson on the block all offseason long, patiently waiting until someone bite on prospects that have value, but they clearly soured on.
PRE sends: 2018 3rd Round Pick, $15 Auction Budget
LB sends: 2018 1st Round Pick (2B Keston Hiura)
Andrew’s thoughts: I would have taken Keston Hiura first overall. I think PRE trading up to get him for $15 in a year where they have a ton of cash to blow is smart. What are they going to buy at auction for $15 that’s going to matter anyway? The way cost control works, they might get three seasons of usefulness from Hiura before paying him $15 total. So this is a pretty easy investment to make. Love it for the Double Stuffs.
As for Long Ball, well, this is what their team name always reminds me of.
Hustle’s toxic $0.02: $15 doesn’t buy you much in auction. I’d rather have a cost controlled Huira. The third round pick is better than a faab pickup in a month or so, but not by too much. I think normally this isn’t too bad for a mid first rounder , but with Huira still available I like it a lot more for Ferns. Huira was easily top 3 on my board, and by top 3 I don’t mean 3… I mean I might have had him 1 if I wanted to spend time thinking about it, but since I didn’t have a pick somewhere in top 3 at the latest, works for me. If this was the original auction I’d feel a lot different, 15 is like half the price for a decent SP gamble, and still very much a gamble. I guess if this is just building money to buy Ohtani, I can see the validity.
Andrew’s thoughts: Oh man, am I pumped to see a Denard Span trade!
I like this small deal for both teams. Good job, fellas.
In two days, TBD has cheaply solved their catcher position for 2018 by adding Robinson Chirinos and brand new Arizona Diamondback Alex Avila. I highly doubt TBD was keeping Span for $8 just given their roster construct and cap situation, so in some ways this is a free #2 catcher for them. They’ve got what should be a sufficient platoon behind the plate now.
Meanwhile, In Line 4 the Win obtains former Ironmen legend Denard Span, who is basically generic Adam Jones but much cheaper. No, seriously, look. They aren’t all that different. I mean, as always with this metric, obviously Jones is better because he scores more points in total, plays more often, has more pop, better home park, etc. You can set him and forget him in your lineup. But if you can pay Span $30 less than Jones, you can probably chip another $10 (or less) away to find another Span-like guy to platoon in center, and still come out with $20 to spend. In fact, IL4W already has that guy in a $6 Cameron Maybin. I legitimately ran Maybin and Span’s numbers last year against Jones for some reason, and they’re comparable. I’m not going out of my way to pick on Jones here, it just so happens I’ve already done the math. I do submit that a Span/Maybin platoon for $14 total will give you equivalent production to a $39 or whatever he is Jones, with $25 to spare.
IL4W came into the offseason with a very frustrating OF of potential and salary, but not much production. Randal Grichuk‘s move to Toronto helps a great deal, but he’s still $16. Joc Pederson is a $24 platoon hitter. Jason Heyward at $17 may not even be replacement level. Kyle Schwarber has almost no room for surplus value with a $61 salary, and all hope of catcher eligibility is gone. So I like adding Span, who should unlock LF eligibility in Tampa, to the mix. He’s old and boring, but safe, and safe is one thing IL4W doesn’t have in their outfield.
Added bonus for IL4W: Denard Span is a player that knows what it’s like to go from the bottom to a championship caliber team here in Dynasty Grinders. He’s got experience. He’s got leadership. He will no doubt improve IL4W’s clubhouse morale which, let’s face it, must be pretty bad following a 1-19 catastrophe.
Also, I was literally just yesterday contemplating asking TBD what they’d want to reunite with Span. Just because. I’d probably rather dump him back to auction and try my hand at winning him for $3-4, but the thought did cross my mind. Maybe I’m just bored. I’m probably just bored.
I do wonder what IL4W is going to do at catcher now. Are they really keeping Jonathan Lucroy for $30 after the season he had? I like Chris Iannetta at Coors for $5. Should be interesting, but it does seem like Avila could’ve been useful to them as a starting catcher in a good home park with a low salary.
Hustle’s toxic $0.02: I haven’t read what Bailey has said, but I’m sure Avila is better than posey too. .365 woba from Avila last year and now he’s moving to Chase Field (standard Hustle humidor reminder). TBD has hustled their way to a very productive cheap catching core. As for Span? He’s useful, but I’m not sure he’s an attractive use of budget for a rebuilding team who likely won’t be competing in 2018. I’d rather have Avila here considerably because of catcher scarcity. I think you probably need to shoot higher upside for outfielders unless Span is just depth piece, which in this case it isn’t. TBD has really been working magic this offseason.
Who’s Your Haddy? sends: C Robinson Chirinos ($6)
TBD sends: 2018 3rd Round Pick
Andrew’s thoughts: Remember when I sort of jokingly compared Tyler Flowers fantasy rate stats to Buster Posey? Well how about this: last year, Posey scored at a 1.507 PT/PA clip. That’s very very good. Robinson Chirinos scored at a 1.555 PT/PA clip. That’s better than Posey!
Okay, so clearly I’m not saying Chirinos is better than Posey. But his plate appearances were objectively more productive than Posey’s last year. He just had 259 fewer of them. Which is… a ton. I would not bet that going forward Chirinos scores more per plate appearance than Posey either, but I point it out just to say that TBD did a nice job here of adding value. I think more teams should be punting 3rd, 4th, and 5th round picks if it means immediate improvements to their team.
And for Haddy, I get it. He’s got a $21 Sal Perez and a $5 Tucker Barnhart. And I doubt the market for Chirinos is buzzing. And he wants to get salary. So, yay, take the pick and move on.
Hustle’s toxic $0.02: I like that Haddy has been reunited with his 3rd round pick.
Andrew’s thoughts: This is one of the bigger trades we’ve ever had and its clear to me that both teams were thinking outside the box on this one. I think last year we saw $30 moved for, like, Dallas Keuchel and Devon Travis if memory serves me correctly, so there is some precedent to moving big time auction budget. I will say that $35 of auction moving doesn’t seem like a huge deal. I think the willingness to part with chunks of budget is a big market inefficiency. I can’t tell you how many people offer me $1 for a player as if $1 really matters. Generally speaking, I think auction budget should probably be swapped in $5 increments before it starts having any impact whatsoever. Go look at the results of last year’s auction and then try and tell me you think $1 really matters in a significant way. I don’t think you can convince me.
Moving on: Jordan is getting the best player here in Corey Seager. Granted, he’s $64. With getting $35 in the deal, he’s essentially locked Seager up to a one-year, $29 contract, which is obviously favorable in the short term. As a long term asset, who really knows. Seager’s young, obviously, and just tapping into his potential. But depending how cuts and auction go, he may still be unprotected again next year and vulnerable to greed, which is probably insignificant but could become an issue once he starts pushing $70. So a year from now, barring a future trade, Jordan will have to shuffle things around this contract. But he’s an elite talent, so oh well. I think you can find a real edge in not fixating on the long term ramifications, and instead just operating year to year and trying to be competitive. If enough other teams are operating with 3-5 years in their mind just because “dynasty,” that should present opportunities to improve on a one-year basis almost every single offseason.
Speaking of market inefficiences and game theory, how much value does sending budget to offset larger salaries help facilitate deals and return real talent? I think Jordan, Joe, and Josh unlocked an avenue (that should’ve been obvious) for everyone. Hey, if you’ve got a $40 player that no one wants, but will send $20 along with him, you can probably actually get something done!
TBD, meanwhile, has added several players with clear paths to surplus. Alex Reyes is the big get for them. Despite all the hype, he’s still unproven and coming off injury. I love the potential though, and he’s likely going to cost only $3 even after arbitration. He’s more appealing long term, because his usage and effectiveness this year offer a wide range of possible outcomes. I won’t be surprised if he’s a top-10 SP this time next year, which can’t be said of most pitching prospects.
At $10, I think Jean Segura is probably undervalued by the league. I don’t see much difference between some unproven, mediocre SS on a cost controlled salary and a guy as good as Segura’s been for $10. Over the last two seasons, two qualified shortstops (Seager, Correa) have wOBAs better than Segura. In some ways, you could actually argue the entire framework of this deal is busted because Jordan punted on several potentially valuable assets for a marginal upgrade from Segura to Seager at short, plus whatever long term hindrances Seager’s salary brings. Segura isn’t exciting but he’s been productive.
Alex Wood is not super exciting to me. At $16, he’s certainly affordable, and the talent is very real, but he’s so hard to trust. He spent time on the disabled list again last year (when it mattered most, during H2H playoff time, if I recall) and just doesn’t look like a guy you can ever bank a full season from. Maybe that’s irrelevant though, as TBD continues building a dirt cheap rotation, high upside around Corey Kluber and Jacob deGrom. I don’t mean to knock on Wood (lol unintentional), and I like him, I just think he’s a tough guy to really pin down as a trade piece.
Mike Soroka is, to me, a throw in and I don’t have it in me to waste more words than this on him.
I actually think TBD “wins” this trade over the long haul, but I give the edge to Jordan for 2018. I also sort of wonder what the point is of amassing prospects and cheap salaries if you’re not going to be willing or able to keep your Seagers. These are smart owners, so I know they know what they’re doing. I’d probably just rather keep Seager than, I don’t know, shuffle stuff around to free up money to keep Justin Upton and/or Chris Davis (I think they’re cutting both, but you get the point) or roll the dice on Reyes. I’d sooner cut and re-bid a guy like Jacob deGrom than deal Seager, though obviously they got a pretty big haul here. I don’t know. Although, here’s another market inefficiency: actually making good prospects available. Most teams, in my experience, won’t even talk to you if a guy’s name appears on a list somewhere. I think there’s several teams that want to offer up, at best, like their 8th best prospect for real talent. If TBD stocks up on cheap resources and then actually makes them available while other teams won’t, it gives them a real edge on the trade market to add elite players at high salaries in season, simply because no other team is willing to part with the cost controlled guys.
Hustle’s Toxic $.02
Bailey said a lot of things, most of which I agree with. The cash coming over is quite interesting and creative. I don’t really track other people’s budgets and I’m not going to start for the sake of trade reviews. So good on Jordan for getting $35, I’m assuming Joe could afford it without Seager!
I thought before this trade, while Jordan may have not had a top 2-3 SS, he has the best SS depth in the league with Didi, Dejong, and Segura. I do think Seager is a clear upgrade, but he costs a lot more. When Seager starts against any RHP, he’s an obvious start every time which pushes Dejong and Did to Util, which isn’t ideal. I guess Dejong also has 2b eligibility this year but Jordan also has a cheapish Kinsler, Lowrie, and Albies for 2b. It’s not an ideal situation to maximize value, but this could sort itself out with injuries or subsequent trades.
What I don’t love about this trade for Jordan is that it decimates his SP depth. Currently sitting on an aging Lester and Gio Gonzalez, the Undead army is lacking punch from the rotation. I think Wood and Reyes represented cheap near ace production from pitcher spots and I don’t love the idea of getting rid of both guys with roster construction, and I don’t think Kyle Zimmer is coming up from the minors to save the day… although that Zombie like emergence would be very Undead Army of him. I think Wood could be a pretty fine sell high after last season (probably would have been better after the 1st half), but allowing Joe to “buy low” on Reyes seems like it could be a hiccup down the line. I also don’t have much of a hot take on Mike Soroka, but TBD usually knows what they are doing with prospects. Soroka is in AA already and has been successful thus far. I don’t think the Jordan had a particularly deep rotation before this trade, and now it seems quite worse even if Reyes and Soroka weren’t immediate help.
I would look for Jordan to move some middle infield depth for some starting pitching. It seems like every team is going to be looking to add multiple starters during the auction, so I really can’t see how Jordan (or anyone) can feel confident coming away from the auction with value at SP. Maybe I’m just having flashbacks last year to spending most of my budget on Smyly or Rodon, but the auction isn’t pretty.
I think TBD downgrading at SS for a bunch of SP assets seems fun and interesting. With all the high cost players TBD has, trading one away for multiple interesting assets seems like the way to go and he finally found a suitable buyer for one of them. If Wood, Soroka, and Reyes all bust (which I see as highly unlikely), then you still have yourself an affordable and good SS in his 20s for a few more years.
Something something, grinding differently.