Trade: Rocky Mtn Oysters | Preseason Double Stuffs

Rocky Mtn Oysters sends: SP Touki Toussaint (minors), SP Cody Sedlock (minors), 2020 1st Round Pick
Preseason Double Stuffs sends: SP Dylan Bundy ($9), RP Zach Britton ($12)

Hustle’s thoughts: I probably value first round picks a little bit more than most people, but even saying that, I like this trade for Dusty. The two pitchers Ferns are getting are a bit away and really aren’t too exciting for me. Maybe one is a diamond in a rough that Ferns knows something about that I don’t , but I see them combined as a 25% likelihood as putting together what Bundy has so far this season (and even that may be a high percentage). The first round pick is a nice piece to your team 2-3 years down the line if you make a good pick (which per the average fantasy player is probably well under 50%). I know Ferns didn’t have a 1st or 2nd rounder last year so maybe there is some desire to start making picks as this is the second high pick Ferns has acquired recently.

Still, this trade screams “I just want to get rid of Bundy”. He’s averaging almost 30 points per game and costs $9 and was once the top (or close to) pitching prospect in baseball. He’s probably not as good as he’s been so far, but he seems like a cheap starter you can have for a few years (with some upside). At least I believe Bundy was shopped and this was the best offer they could get.

The main problem for me with this trade is the 2 prospects acquired are somewhat borderline. If you’re going to tank, you need those prospect roster spots for top end guys you could aquire, locking yourself into Touki and Sedlock seems unwise. They are on the level of a deep guy who gets hot and starts getting some publicity who will be available on the wire. Edwin Rios (who Ferns dropped this morning) might not be that far off either guy he just acquired. If Ferns continues to make moves for the future he has less spots for minor leaguers or has to start releasing guys from previous hauls (like this one), making those previous trades less valuable.

Andrew’s thoughts: This is a weird one. I don’t trust Dylan Bundy at all despite the 29.11 points per game he’s scoring. He’s not striking guys out (6.09 K/9) and he had been suppressing homers at a crazy rate. His career HR/9 is 1.28, but he’s at 0.94 today. His career HR/FB rate is 11.2%, but it’s at 8% today. His 4.78 xFIP is way higher than his 3.92 FIP. I just see so much regression in this profile.

But, I mean…. 29.11 fantasy points per game. At some point, fantasy points are really what matters, right? Given that, I’d rather have Bundy for cheap ($11 next year is nothing) and just hope he hangs on. Toussaint and Sedlock are fine, but they also both have 40-ish IP at A+. They’re two years away? Three? And they’re pitchers, so that assumes they don’t hurt themselves at any point along that timeline.

And the first round pick is almost three years away from even being made. To me, the pick is more exciting as a future trade chip if the rest of the team can turn the corner. If the Double Stuffs can be competitive early next year, now that draft pick is another asset in play for a trade to improve.

I don’t fault the Stuffs for selling high on Bundy, but this to me isn’t high. Also, if they’re punting the year and rebuilding, they might have essentially clogged two minors spots with risky pitchers that aren’t close. We really need like 50 minor league spots so that you can acquire guys without being forced to dump comparable ones, and so that you don’t reach a threshold where roster spots prohibit improvement. Again, I don’t love Bundy, but he’s been good enough fantasy-wise and he’s cheap enough, that even a rebuilding team should want him.

Trade: The Wilfred Brimley Fightin’ Diabeetuses | Hustle Loyalty Respect

The Wilfred Brimley Fightin’ Diabeetuses send: SP Luis Perdomo ($1)
Hustle Loyalty Respect sends: SS Fernando Tatis Jr. (minors), 2018 2nd Round Pick

Andrew’s thoughts: Seems alright for both teams. HLR can afford to punt a promising teenager with several years between him and his first MLB at-bat in exchange for a cheap, quality starting arm.

Perdomo gets to toss in a favorable park and league and his FIP and xFIP both look good, plus he’s striking out more hitters this year than last. His 0.32 HR/9 rate will probably regress (he was at 1.41 last year over 146.2 IP), but it’s 2017, so even a HR/9 around 1.00 is passable.

I like Tatis as a prospect, but our minors aren’t yet deep enough and the salary aspect makes me give priority to guys with closer ETAs. If you’re WBFD, it’s fine, because Perdomo likely isn’t carrying you out of the cellar anyway. But I prefer HLR’s return here.

Trade: Rocky Mtn Oysters | Preseason Double Stuffs

Rocky Mtn Oysters sends: 3B Ryon Healy ($5)
Preseason Double Stuffs sends: SP Matt Cain (FA)

Andrew’s thoughts: I don’t find either of these players super exciting, but I’d much rather have Healy because he’s only 25 and has a .355 wOBA over his first 403 MLB plate appearances. That’s quite good, though he’s probably more of a back-up than a guy you want starting. Also, his parents spelled “Ryan” wrong and I find that irksome.

Cain, on the other hand, was most recently a passable starting pitcher in like 2013. I guess you could use him as a streamer exclusively when he’s pitching at home, but he’s been awful there over the last few years. It’s not like we award points for getting Cy Young votes six seasons ago.

Like… Scott Feldman, who I picked up off waivers last week, has out-performed Cain’s FIP since 2013, when he had a 4.03 and Cain had a 3.93. So even then, it was close. So why trade Healy for Cain when you could just grab Feldman off waivers for free? Also, can I please trade Feldman now for a decent hitter? Please and thank you.

Trade: TBD | Hustle Loyalty Respect

TBD sends: SP Robert Gsellman ($5)
In Shorter Line 4 the Win sends: LF/RF Avisail Garcia ($3)

Andrew’s thoughts: Garcia currently has a .418 BABIP, so his numbers are likely to fall. I suppose the power could be real, but everyone hits for power these days.

Gsellman’s FIP/xFIP (4.86/4.06) have him not too far off line from a league average pitcher. I think as your SP5 or SP6, he’s an okay gamble that you can roll out in favorable match-ups. He’s also only 23 so… “upside.”

I’ll take the pitcher.

Trade: TBD | In Shorter Line 4 the Win

TBD sends: 3B Yoan Moncada ($1), SP Michael Kopech (minors), SP Cal Quantrill (minors), two 2018 1st Round Picks
In Shorter Line 4 the Win sends: SP Noah Syndergaard ($82)

Andrew’s thoughts: This trade occurred on April 26 and immediately became a disaster for TBD.

Syndergaard was supposed to take the mound on the day this trade was processed, but that start got pushed to the next day. On the 27th, he was scratched from a start due to “biceps tendinitis.” Then, he started on Sunday, April 30. In that start, he promptly got knocked around by the Nationals — five hits and two walks in 1.1 IP — before injuring himself on a pitch to Bryce Harper. He came out of the game having scored -4.5 fantasy points. Turns out, he has a partial tear in his lat. He’ll be on the shelf for three months or so. Just horrible, horrible luck for TBD. Like… if Syndergaard misses the year, which seems well within the range of possible outcomes here, how do you keep him at $82 next year? Or if he comes back but is rusty and struggles, or re-injures himself, or displays any sign of long-term volatility, how do you not send him back to auction? It’s totally possible that TBD spent three very good prospects and two premium draft picks to get -4.5 fantasy points.

Hindsight here is 20/20 but man, this just sucks for TBD. Ultimately, because they dealt picks and prospects, their already very good team is mostly unaffected. But they’re now down a lot of trade chips.

Before the injury though, I thought this swap was okay for both squads. I would rather have healthy Syndergaard than all the stuff IL4W got, but I understand why, if your team isn’t scoring points and is sitting at the bottom of the standings, you’d do this. Pitchers are time bombs. Obviously. So Aaron and his cohorts at IL4W mitigated some risk, took on a bunch of young, cheap talent with upside, and gave themselves a few more paths to being good down the road. Even if only two of the five pieces they got become useful, they’ll be useful and cheap. But pitchers are also a big part of winning games in this league (especially in 2017 when all the pitchers stink) and Syndergaard has essentially been Clayton Kershaw Lite since last year. To me, Kershaw is the type of talent you empty the chambers for. Syndergaard is that same type of talent.

If I’m TBD, I pull this trigger too. Not now, of course. But at the time they did it. Clearly they couldn’t have predicted the injury. And yeah, they surrendered Corey Kluber and Dellin Bettances in the midst of a pennant race just last year for Moncada alone. But trade markets aren’t static and, again, that was a late season deal. You pay more earlier. Go look at last year’s trade log, you’ll see. I don’t have a huge problem with the seemingly faulty logic of trading an ace for a prospect, then later on trading that prospect plus a bunch of other prospects for a different ace. Stuff changes. I also think if you get the opportunity to land a transcendent talent and really want to take it, well, take it, even if it means forking over a bunch of your best lottery tickets.

As arguably the best team in the league with or without Syndergaard, I really like the killer instinct and the aggressiveness it takes to get a deal like this done. And hey, it’s conceivable that TBD gets Syndergaard and Madison Bumgarner back in time for the playoffs. I’d argue the potential of that is worth the same, if not more, than the potential that Moncada becomes a dirt cheap version of 2016 Jonathan Villar*.

* So… we realize Moncada’s clock started last year and so he’s in his $1 season, in which IL4W seems unlikely to compete, right? Next year he’s $3 minimum, more if his projections are good. Three bucks is nothing if he becomes 2016 Villar or even Anthony Rendon or whoever. But the point is, the two most valuable years of a player’s cost control status are the year they’re first promoted ($0) and their sophomore season ($1). IL4W is effectively getting zero tangible benefit from those two years from Moncada. If Moncada kills it for them in his $1 season, that’s cool and all, but IL4W still probably isn’t making headway as a team and the better his stats are this year, the better his projections will be next year, and the higher that salary will jump. This certainly isn’t a huge knock to Moncada’s future value, but is something to keep in mind, I think.

Speaking to Moncada specifically though, I do wonder just how amazing he can be here. He strikes out a ton, which I don’t think will matter, because when he makes contact it’s really, really good contact. But the stolen bases aren’t big factors in our scoring like they are in a 5×5 and if he’s whiffing more than 30% of the time against Triple-A pitchers, what happens when he steps into an American League with Sale, Verlander, Carrasco, Kluber, Darvish, Keuchel, etc? It’s not like he’ll get to tee off against Mike Fiers every day, y’know?

For IL4W though, I can speak from experience that the decision to start selling sucks. It means your team is poop emoji. But aside from the super lucky timing, I like that they recognized not just a poor win/loss record, but also a deep deficit in points, and went ahead and made that call early. By doing so, they didn’t have to compete with any other teams, could set their own market, and could come away with the assets they wanted. And I actually think they still have a decent roster and can win some weeks this year, even if their playoff odds aren’t particularly good.

Trade: Who’s Your Haddy? | In Shorter Line 4 the Win

Who’s Your Haddy? sends: SS Willy Adames (minors), 2019 1st Round Pick
In Shorter Line 4 the Win sends: SP Drew Pomeranz ($7), 2018 4th Round Pick

Andrew’s thoughts: I like this for both sides given the context of the two teams. For IL4W, they’re basically calling it a season already, so cashing out an okay starter in a rough home park for a top-25-ish (?) prospect and future draft capital seems good.

For Haddy, he takes a flier on a pitcher that I think is underrated but not without risk. There are some injury concerns around Pomeranz, but he strikes out a ton of guys and is currently rolling out a FIP under 4.00. I think the longer you wait, the more you can get for prospects (because more teams are punting and buying them), so maybe Haddy could’ve eventually gotten a more reliable guy for Adames and his pick or added a little sweetener to the pot and ended up with someone better. But the earlier you get a guy, the earlier you can start accruing his points. So it’s fine.

Trade: Rocky Mtn Oysters | Hustle Loyalty Respect

Hustle Loyalty Respect sends: 3B Matt Davidson (FA)
Rocky Mtn Oysters sends: 1B Hanley Ramirez ($17)

Andrew’s thoughts: I see this as HLR cashing out a guy that was on waivers five days ago and only cost $1 of FAAB in exchange for a guy who was the 35th highest scoring hitter as recently as last year. That seems like good decision making to me.

As for Davidson, well, I don’t dislike him. I once had him in my minors in another league, so I liked him enough for that. Anyway, he’s currently rocking a 2.5% walk rate (awful!), 42.5% strikeout rate (Byron Buxton is the only player alive who thinks this is good), and a totally sustainable .556 BABIP.

I’m really not sure why you’d punt a player with Hanley’s track record of performance for a guy with 40 good plate appearances, particularly when the numbers behind those 40 plate appearances all scream regression. But hey, whatever.

EDIT: This review was written on April 25 and I forgot to publish it. But it has proved true so far. Since the 25th of April, Hanley has gone bonkers, scoring 77.6 points at a 9.7/game clip. Davidson, meanwhile, has -6.5 total points and six at-bats in his team’s last four games, seemingly becoming a bench option for the White Sox. HLR robbed on this one.

FAQ: Cut down dates and the auction (2017)

Our league has a bunch of moving, sometimes confusing, parts. Here are some answers to questions that have been asked or that we anticipate may be asked with regards to our final cut down date that just occurred and the upcoming auction draft…

Q: Can we cut players after final cut down date?

A: No. Free cuts are no longer allowed following our final cut date (March 27, 2017). However, the league rules do state the following:

There will be one cut related exemption: if between final cut date and auction date, you have a player that has surgery or is suspended, you will be allowed the option of dropping that player.

The only other exception to this rule is that players with green flags in Fantrax are not allowed on your roster when the auction begins, even if that player only gains a green flag shortly before the draft. Be aware and plan accordingly.

If you have a player with a green flag on your roster, we will enforce this the same way we enforce the seven day maximum rule during the regular season. You will need to either demote the player (if you have an available minor league roster spot), cut the player, or cut some other player to make room in your minors to demote the player.

Q: Can we still make trades after the final cut date?

A: Yes. Trades are still allowed, but both teams must honor roster and budget rules. This means that following a trade, both teams must be at/under their budget, at/under a 30 man active roster, and at/under a 20 man minor league roster. Both teams must also make sure that they have $1 of budget available for every open active roster spot.

If after a trade a team is in violation of roster and/or budget rules, the trade will be reversed.

Q: Where can I find every team’s budget?

There’s a spreadsheet here with that information.

You can also use the Rosters drop down on this site to view each team’s roster, budget, and projected available money.

We advise that all owners track and monitor their own budgets independently as well. It is ultimately your responsibility as an owner to account for and manage your team’s budget.

Q: Something in Fantrax looks incorrect. What should I do?

First, let’s be clear: Fantrax sometimes makes things harder than they should be, but it’s the most customizable platform we’re aware of. We do not believe in being limited by software.

At the bottom of every team’s roster, Fantrax displays the amount a team has spent. It does not, for whatever reason, display a team’s budget. The salary amount used is the total cost of all the players on your roster, both active and minor league.

The mobile app has it’s own issues. The Used field here is accurate, but the Remaining and Cap fields are not. Inexplicably, the mobile app displays as each team’s cap the league norm, rather than what the team may actually have. For example, if your team has $510 worth of cap, it will still say $500.

Our advice would be to use the mobile app for basic lineup changes and transactions only.

In the draft room itself, Fantrax does not count the salaries of players in your minor leagues. Yes, this is baffling. For example, if your team truly has $100 worth of budget, but you have a player that costs $5 in your minors, the draft room will display your team’s budget as $105. We will make manual adjustments pre-auction to account for and resolve this.

We have reached out to Fantrax about all of these issues.

Q: When and how can I fill empty minor league spots?

You can fill these spots when free agency opens after the draft or by trade. Reminder: per league vote, we will have a FAAB system beginning in 2017 with a minimum bid of $0.

Between final cut date and auction, you can trade for minor leaguers that have green flags in Fantrax to go into these open spots. Just remember, if they do not have a green flag, you will be unable to demote them and they will occupy a spot on your active roster until they get green flag status, which may or may not occur by the time the auction begins.

Q: So when is the auction?

This year’s auction will be on Saturday, March 18 beginning at 11 AM/EST.

Trade: Hustle Loyalty Respect | Preseason Double Stuffs

Hustle Loyalty Respect sends: 3B Maikel Franco ($25), SP Wily Peralta ($3)
Preseason Double Stuffs send: 3B Nick Castellanos ($18), LF Michael Conforto ($23), 2019 3rd Round Pick

Andrew’s thoughts: I think I might rather have Castellanos than Franco at even money. Those two are close though. I assume some of Ferns’ willingness to spend an extra $7 on possibly the same player is based on Phillies fanhood, which is totally fine. If Vladimir Guerrero or Cal Ripken were still in the player pool, I’d gladly pay them $7 a season just to sit on my bench and look pretty.

The rest of the trade feels like a dart throw. Michael Conforto is basically Byron Buxton: a hot prospect that’s already priced like a steady contributor, so the bar he has to jump is higher. I like Conforto and he was awesome in a small 2015 sample. If he hits like that, he’s easily worth $23. If he doesn’t or if he can’t find regular at-bats, wasting $23 sucks but isn’t the end of the world. Almost every projection system likes Conforto to be around a .335-ish wOBA player, but with only 300-400 plate appearances. I think you could make a case that 400 PA of a .335 wOBA is worth $10-$15 or so by itself. It’s a decent gamble.

Wily Peralta was awful in the first half and pretty good in the second half. I watched him pitch a game once last year and man, it was brutal. He just threw slider after slider after slider and the batters just took ball after ball after ball. But yes, sorry, good in the second half. He also seems like a decent gamble, but with a much cheaper price. I need to ask Ferns how much Chris influenced acquiring Peralta. Peralta is such a Chris player. If there’s one thing Chris loves, it’s filling a roster with “sleepers” and “post-hype sleepers” and guys with “upside.” Chris is the Steve Bannon of the Preseason Double Stuffs. His only objective is to see the whole roster come crumbling down into chaos and disrepair. And Ferns over there, well, he’s too distracted by getting angry at what people say on the internet to notice.

Jordan’s thoughts: I really like Peralta. I really think he is the difference in this trade. I think Franco’s ceiling is higher as well. I think I’d prefer the Double Stuffs side on this trade. Michael Conforto can’t seem to break through in New York despite the hype and that makes me worried about his ability to come through.

Trade: Hustle Loyalty Respect | Team Canada

Hustle Loyalty Respect sends: SP Ervin Santana ($9)
Team Canada sends: UT Victor Martinez ($8)

Andrew’s thoughts: Seems reasonable for both teams to me. One team needed an extra hitter, the other needed a pitcher. I think I’d rather have Victor, but I don’t feel strongly about it either way.

Jordan’s thoughts: I like Big Erv’. I like that now as the ace of his crappy team, he needs to probably pitch deeper into games by default. Our scoring system gives lots of points for outs. This is good for Santana. However, I really think V-Mart is the better player in this deal. Reluctantly I have to prefer the HLR side.