Is It Baseball Season? Episode Three – Disingenuous Bundling

Episode Three – disingenuous bundles

  • League News
    • Bundling worked.
    • Cost Control
    • Greed Voting
  • Trade
    • Would you trade during greed voting?
      • How about cutting guys during greed voting?
    • How much does auction dollars influence trades?
    • Of all the trades reviewed on dynastygrinders.com do any of them stick out as surprising?
  • Participation is just higher than shit.
    • New owners?
    • Trade market being open?
    • What else?
  • Mailbag
    • Elton: Why do teams value players so high that they will probably be cutting?
    • Kyle: How do you see the greed vote change impact?  Do you think it will cause immediate roster crunches or do you think it will play out more gradually?
    • Elton: Give us an example of cost control players salary next year with the new rule, such as Trout and maybe a couple of other players.
    • Question for Bailey

Trade: Capital City Ironmen | We Talk Fantasy Sports

We Talk Fantasy Sports trades away

1B Kendrys Morales ($12)

Capital City Ironmen trades away

P Tyler Phillips (prospect)
P Ramon Rosso (prospect)

Jordan’s thoughts: I owned stock in Kendrys Morales late last season in a different league and he went on to hit homers in eight straight games during a playoff run. It was neat. Overall last season Morales was pretty poor for a 1B/UT player. He’s not expensive, not a drain on your roster, but apparently he hits better blind.

This deal literally cost Bailey nothing. These pitcher prospects boast FVs of 40 and 35+ and neither are top 20 for their respective teams. They’re below AA and while something could get them on the hype train, it’s not a shoe in.

I like this deal for Bailey. Even if he cuts Morales prior to the draft, he gave up nothing. If he keeps Morales, it probably means he got a decent haul for Nelson Cruz. Win win for him.  I assume Keith sees something in one or both guys to be excited about the deal. If so great good for him too.

Hustle’s Toxic $.02

This is probably the worst trade off the offseason so far. Keith managed to trade away a much cheaper better Kendrys Morales for nothing while giving away some small but actual assets for a much more expensive much shittier Ian Desmond. I would rather have a 2nd round pick, Clint Frazier, OR Kendrys Morales than Ian Desmond, Ramon Rosso, or Tyler Phillip. It’s not even close really. If I had all 3 of the latter pieces, I would BUNDLE them for any one of the three former in a heartbeat.

The prospects here are truly useless. I can’t imagine what Bailey said or Keith read to have needed these guys. Between Rosso and Phillips you’re looking at a 20 % one of them is a bad pitcher in the majors in 2-3 years, which is an asset in abundance on the waiver wire. Meanwhile Morales has value as a bat who you can start at 1B or in either of your two utility spots vs righties. Morales had a monster 2nd half and while he’s no spring chicken and could decline, the price was right compared to other guys acquired this offseason for WTFS.

If you read my review of Kremer for Zimmerman, this is like that but worse because Keith paid assets earlier for a much worse and more expensive 1b than either Morales/Zimmerman and at the same time managed to get a worse pitching prospect than the 4th best Orioles pitching prospect. I’d have Kremer ahead of Rosso just because at least he’s in AA and was a Dodger at one point. In no way am I writing off the careers of Rosso or Phillips, heck I owned Phillips once, but these are no different than guys who can be picked up at will or with 5th round picks.

Truly a head scratching trade here.

Trade: Marshall Law | Evil Otters

Marshall Law trades away

OF Alex Verdugo ($303 $3.03)
2B/3B/SS Javier Baez ($20)

Evil Otters trades away

SS Francisco Lindor ($57)

Jordan’s thoughts: I like how this occurs during the greed process. Not waiting a day or two on a cold day in December to get this trade done just to see i the values of these players change at all. I’m not saying that $5-12 changes this deal at all. It probably does not.

Anyway Lindor and Baez were both really good last year. That’s no surprise to anyone. Projections both have them regressing somewhat, Baez more so. I do not think there’s a lot of reason to be low on either player. I think ultimately you rather have Lindor, but at three times the (pre-greed) cost? Yeah probably.

Alex Verdugo does swing it a bit. He hit amazing last year in AAA. Which was good for zero points. His production for the Dodgers was sparse and not fantasy relevant. I don’t know if he finds playing time next year, and if he doesn’t. He just gets more expensive for nothing. Potentially sure, he gets traded or injuries create opportunity. He’s a nice piece. That doesn’t really move the needle a lot. I’ll eat my crow if he jumps for 1000 points next year.

Huge win for Marshall Law in my book here.

 

 

Hustles Toxic $.02  I think this trade is fine for both teams. I’m not nose deep into everyone’s budget but I cant imagine Kyle was scraping too hard for budget this year .. even with recent trades. I’d rather have the better player, which is Lindor here. I think Verdugo’s low upside doesn’t really cover the ground.  My guess is also that Baez gets greeded a bit more than Lindor (unfortunately), which might make the price difference a little less attractive.  I think Kyle should have probably waited a day, seen what Baez went up to and leveraged that somehow.  In the end, it’s probably not a big deal and this trade is reasonable.  I personally think Baez is due for a giant regression, but thats more of a testament to the amazing year he had than think he’s bad or anything.

Trade: Capital City Ironmen | TrusttheProcess

Capital City Ironmen trades away

CF Lorenzo Cain ($34)

TrusttheProcess trades away

3B/LF/RF Wil Myers ($21)

Jordan’s thoughts: I love that these kinds of deals exist. These players are fairly similar. Steamer projections currently have them roughly 50 points apart in 2019. I think with those two numbers being fairly close, you’d rather have Myers who qualifies at three positions for $13 less.

However, Cain on a PPPA level is just further ahead, and that’s where his value really kicks in. His ceiling and floor is just higher. There’s a premium for that. In most cases you would rather  fill the CF spot of your line-up over the three that Myers qualifies for.

So with both players being so close, and the money isn’t that far off either, we go to their rosters for motivation to pick a winner. TTP collects Cain, despite having Aaron Hicks  who also can only play CF. Now for the moment they don’t have a starter at LF.

The Ironmen still have Bryce Harper in CF assuming they keep him. If not, Cody Bellinger qualifies there. Myers is the first spell for three spots. I think the crazy thing is realizing the Ironmen still look incredibly strong in this deal even if they don’t get a player back.

Simply put, the Ironmen saved some money have still have a quality player. If you TrusttheProcess you see they upgraded a player, didn’t spend much more money on them, but did create a potential hole to fill in the line up. Slight win to Bailey?

Hustle’s Toxic $.02

Trade is fine for both teams. In a vacuum I like Cain more because he’s stayed healthy  recently and will hit at the top of a good lineup and good park. CF is also probably a more valuable position than the ones Myers has, but at least Myers has some flexibility, so maybe that part is a wash.  The $ difference surely makes up some, if not all, of the ground of wanting Cain over  Myers.

Both these guys are former HLR Legends.  I like that Bailey is acquiring my 2017 Corner Infield duo of Myers/Santana.  They were inconsistent, not fun, and frustrating to own in 2017, so I’d venture to say Bailey will not have a great experience with these two in 2019.  I can’t hate this too much for Bailey because he is solving his position questions through trades than relying on the auction which just lost Miguel Sano, more on that later I suppose.

Seems non-counterproductive to take care of all these needs for Bailey in one day as a bundle.

 

Trade: We Talk Fantasy Sports | Capital City Ironmen

Capital City Ironmen trades away:
SP Dallas Keuchel ($47)
OF Shin-soo Choo ($19)

We Talks Fantasy Sports trades away:
1B/3B Carlos Santana ($33)
$15 in 2019 Auction Budget

Jordan’s thoughts: I really like Dallas Keuchel going to pair with newly acquired Corey Kluber. Spending money for pitchers who show up and pitch. Keuchel lost a tiny bit off the K/9 last year, but Steamer projects him to come back up a tad. He doesn’t allow homer and he makes 30+ starts a season. He’s very valuable in this format and at that price point an easy keeper.

Shin-soo Choo quietly played 146 games last year with a  .355 wOBA. Even if he loses a tiny bit of edge here, he’s a great value at $19. He’s the good kind of boring fantasy player that many people forget about.

Carlos Santana is presumably getting traded to the Mariners, and perhaps traded again. Who knows what Jerry Dipoto is doing. Santana fits in well in a league where there’s two utility spots. Getting the auction money to pay down his contract this year helps quite a bit too.

While I don’t see anything really wrong with getting Carlos Santana, he’s quite good. I’d rather have Choo and Keuchel. I get that the Ironmen are running into a bit of a roster crunch of sorts and there’s definitely reasons to bail on these two players, I think the return is just as risky and doesn’t quite have the value going forward that you would normally see. I think the Lott brother walk away with a win here.

 

 

Hustle’s Toxic $.02

I guess I didn’t get to shit on Keith’s previous trade so I’ll just get this one.  Nah, actually I like this trade for both teams.  $47 Keuchel isn’t a great price but it’s fine compared to what the Auction might yield, and it’s not like you’re ever committed to keeping someone for more than 1 year.  At the very least he’ll get innings and be someone you can throw in your lineup each week.  Bailey needed  a 3b so giving up Choo for Santana instead of relying on Auction seems wise. Choo for Santana straight up seems fine, so if Bailey had to throw in a pitcher he wasn’t keeping or garnering much trade interest, I can see why he did it.

Trade feels needs for both teams and presumably (outside of injury) everyone here gets kept which means… the auction just got that much weaker…. AGAIN.

 

Trade: Capital City | Evil Otters

80 grade smile
Capital City Ironmen trades away Kurt Suzuki $9 Evil Otters trades away 2019 Draft Pick, Round 4 (Evil Otters) 3 Auction Dollars Jordan’s thoughts: Kurt Suzuki is okay. A fourth round draft pick isn’t worth anything until its on the clock. 3 auction dollars is enough grease to make some trade work. All three pieces in the same deal in this direction does not make a whole lot of sense. How does a conversation start when asking or selling a Kurt Suzuki? Buyer: I need a catcher. Seller: (looks up) (looks down) (looks up) uh I have Kurt Suzuki available I guess. Buyer: Great I’ll offer a 4th round draft pick, deal?! Seller: Well a 4th round pick isn’t really worth anythi…(interuppted) Buyer: And 3 auction dollars! Seller: … deal? /scene I feel like the guy who just watched this scene. What the fuck did I just spend my time doing?
Hustle’s Toxic $.02 : I dislike this trade more for Kyle than I like it for Bailey. To be clear a 4th round pick and $3 is not a haul that Kyle will regret giving up. That being said, Suzuki’s price next year is $9 which seems unkeepable to me to begin with. He’s probably the backup catcher on his own real life team. So investing $12 and a pick in a backup catcher seems like an overpay. Similar poopish catchers will be available in the auction for under $5 and if committed to improving catcher, it’s not hard to find guys on the waiver wire to give you the same minimal average production. I see the benefit of having both catchers on one team (Kyle already has Yan Gomes), but I wouldn’t pay for that luxury for a guy like Suzuki. If Gomes’ backup was a young guy with offensive upside who you could pencil in as their future guy, then maybe. But Suzuki is 35. I’d roll the dice on getting someone for free if I’m not getting a catcher with offensive upside.

Trade: Capital City Income| Uncreative Team Name

Capital City Income trades away
Anderson Alexander Tejeda
Hudson Potts

TBD trades away
Bryse Wilson
Nick Solak
1 Auction Dollar

Bryse Wilson throws a baseball.

Jordan’s Thoughts: Oh boy! A prospect trade. I have heard of some of these guys. First off I was not patient enough to figure out how to find A A Tejada on FanGraphs and I’m perfectly fine ignoring him. Hudson Potts just based on looking at his minor league record does not strike me as anything interesting other than he’s a former first round pick and they tend to get more chances to thrive.

Nick Solak is hitting homers and showing ability to dephicer a strike zone at the double-A level. That’s likeable. Bryse Wilson also looks pretty promising. He’s on the cusp of breaking through, but he’s in an organization full of starting pitchers and could end up spending more time than you want in a bullpen. Either way he’s a major leaguer with options. 

The one auction dollar switching sides is clearly the biggest piece moving here. Two top teams slide money across the table is definitely interesting.

Hustle’s toxic $.02: Most surprising part of this deal was that Jordan has heard of some of these names.  I like this trade more for the Income’s here.  You kinda hope Tejada turns into Solak, so why wouldn’t you just rather have Solak? Especially when Tejada is a much less given to stick at 2nd. 

Potts vs Wilson seems more reasonable.  Bailey continues to build an army of near major league ready arms by adding Wilson to Wdener and Quantrill.  You pretty much get a player for 2 years for free if they are cost controlled, so its very easy to see some value come through near major league ready pitching, even if there’s limited upside. Potts has been gaining some hype, but to me the bar for being a good 3b is a lot higher than it use to be. My intuition tells me TBD will trade Potts within a year. 

The Dynasty Grinders New Deal…

As discussed in the Slack Channel and Podcast, there is definitely room to improve the overall quality of life in the league. The following proposed rule changes are intended to improve overall competitiveness, bring clarity to confusing rules, and speed up certain aspects of our game that should make playing much more fun.

The simple stuff…

Raising the greed money per team to $2 to spread among each of their 15 peers’ teams. You do have to select two different players who are not cost controlled to receive an extra one dollar raise. Cost controlled players would remain unaffected. However, top 30 players would no longer be a protected class.

This would go into effect after the 2019 season.

I believe the top 30 rule hasn’t been as useful or necessary as originally thought. Inflating everyone’s budget another $15 via the greed rule, theoretically adds another $30 player to the auction pool each year. This helps make the auction draft great again (MADGA), as potentially 15-20 more starters hit the pool each year.

There has been ample discussion on how to handle the current situation where teams have been selling off significant amounts of auction budget in exchange for prospects. I believe that nobody can really determine if it is broken. There is definitely argument for both sides of this logic. However, we believe after much discussion, that its not in our best interest to limit teams’ potential to make these kinds of deals. It is also not in the league’s best interest to allow teams to carry from year to year a budget that clearly overshadows the rest of the league.

The proposal: Adjusting the language written in the current rule regarding the final cut day:

  • Currently: On Final Cut Day, every team needs to cut players down to their Team budget. You must leave $1 of Team Budget remaining per each empty major league roster spot.
  • Proposal: On Final Cut Day, every team needs to cut down to a total team salary of $500 or less. You must leave $1 of Team Budget remaining per each empty major league roster spot.

The term “Team Budget” refers to your team’s individual budget for a season that started at $500 +/- whatever trades you made that incorporated budget.

Essentially, if you have acquired additional auction budget, you may take any surplus budget with you to auction, but will not be able to use it pre-auction to keep additional players already on your roster.

All trades made between the Final Cut Day and Auction that put a team over the threshold for this rule will be voided and reversed.

The rational here starts with MADGA and helps keep some kind of competitive balance. Teams can still swap budget and make trades, but Final Cut Day does impose limits of sorts.

The paradigm shift…

Eliminating long relief appearances. There is big time potential in the immediate future for long relief appearances to become not only more common, but also more predictable as provided by the Ryan Yarbrough/Tampa Bay Rays example. Due to a lack of flexibility with how we can handle these kinds of scenarios, where the majority (if not all) of the player’s fantasy value stems from circumventing our Games Started limit, the proposed solution is to eliminate all relief appearances that are 10 outs or more (3.1 IP). The player would be moved from that active roster to the bench retroactively by a commissioner. The newest solution is to count all appearances that last ten outs or more and take place in the first nine innings of any baseball game, count as one of your seven starts for the week.

This would go into effect for the 2019 season.

It is not ideal that the commissioner needs to be hands on in these cases, but the running theory is that players like Yarbrough become useless less useful on your roster because they will not often score points for you. So they end up taking a roster spot for nothing little return. Thus meaning that only the rare unicorn relief appearances need to be adjusted to count as starts which we believe will be few and far in between. This simply solves an exploit, without much damage to anything else.

The worst system in Dynasty Grinders… gone!

It is no secret that the cost controlled system in Dynasty Grinders is confusing. A series of rules and hard caps were created when the league began to make things simple and after three seasons, there’s nothing simple about it. Currently the following things are true about the cost controlled system:

  • Prospects are valuable and cheaper.
  • We don’t know their exact value until mid- to late-offseason.
  • Its not easy to predict what their value is going to be in-season due to basing their cost on future projections.
  • Its incredibly frustrating to have a player start their cost controlled status because of a cup of coffee stint in MLB.

The first bullet point is fine and in the spirit of dynasty leagues, it makes sense to keep. The other three make sense to eliminate. To do so, the idea is to base the player’s cost controlled raises on their previous season’s performance. This means that after Fantrax rolls over the league, we would be able to update all player salaries (short of the greed vote) immediately and teams can better budget around those changes, which should open up the entire off-season to activity. Subsequently, we can apply greed much earlier in the off-season to allow even more time to plan for the following season.

In almost all cases this causes these cost controlled players will receive raises similar to or less than they would have in the old system. This means that prospects are still valuable and cheaper to keep. But knowing how they’re performing in the year before you can gauge within a few dollars of what they’re likely going to cost the next season. We will also know after the season ends (even before the World Series ends!) exactly what they will cost. In some cases, where players don’t meet the the minimum threshold, they don’t have their “clocks” begin. Easier and more fun.

Currently players follow this system:

  • The year they break into the majors they are $0.
  • The next season they are automatically $1 if they have 1 PA or 0.1 IP.
  • In their 3rd year you pay 20% of their FanGraphs ZIPS auction calculator value.
  • 4th year you pay 40%
  • 5th year you pay 60%
  • 6th year you pay 80% and then they graduate, become eligible for greed, etc.

The redesign of the system will base the players “bonus” on their performance. All players who finish the season with positive point totals will be placed on a scale. Minor leaguers who finish the season below the 60th percentile will not reach cost controlled status. All minor leaguers who finish above the 60th percentile will cost $1 in the following season.

Cost controlled players who finish below the 90th percentile will get the minimum $2 raise each season.

From there cost controlled players could get raises higher than $2 based if they finish above the following thresholds:

  • 90th percentile: $4 raise
  • 93rd percentile: $6 raise
  • 95th percentile: $8 raise
  • 97th percentile: $10 raise
  • 98th percentile: $13 raise
  • 99th percentile: $16 raise

For some context on what those limits were in 2018: players who scored less than 256 points did not hit the 60th percentile so they would remain minor leaguers. This ensures that players who get promoted in September or otherwise receive “cup of coffee” promotions do not see their clocks start.

Cost controlled players who finish below the 90th percentile (794 points in 2018) get the standard $2 raise.

Above that 93rd was 867 points, 95th was 932 points, 97th was 1044 points, 98th was 1099 points and 99th was 1197 points.

That’s a lot of numbers and data is going to be provided to show how that affects our league.

In keeping with our existing rule, players who are picked up from free agency and debut in that same season are not eligible for cost control status and will be subject to free agent raise rules.

This achieves all of the goals that we set out to do. We’re currently waiting for FanGraphs to bail us out each year to stick to how the system was designed. That puts us at their mercy and from the first two seasons, it did not do a great or consistent job anyway. Getting away from that, allows a lot more flexibility and the ease of planning for the future sooner. I think these are all good things.

The forgotten topic…

Simply, players who were picked up as free agents during the year who were kept from the previous season currently have their keeper value set to $5. This should be bumped to $7 effective after the 2019 season.

Yep.

THE RESULT…

UPDATED 12/04/2018: By a final vote of 11-5 in favor of these changes, the Dynasty Grinders New Deal package of rule changes has passed.

You can view the results here.




Trade: Evil Otters | TBD

 

TBD trades away
Upton, Justin ($56+)

Evil Otters trades away
Mountcastle, Ryan (ML)

Jordan’s thoughts: Upton is a tiny stretch at the 50 dollar plus mark for his 850 points last year and 808 point projection next year. The projection does seem oddly pessimistic for the 31-year-old outfielder. Anything like 2017 or even 2018 with a few more games played and he’s easily worth the auction price tag.

Mountcastle is the number 2 prospect for one of the worst farm systems in the majors. He’s likely to make it at some point. He did hit a decent 121 wRC+ in AA as a 21-year-old last season. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Orioles give him a shot in 2019, but he seems years away from being meaningfully useful.

I like this trade for TBD more so than Evil Otters. I get what Otters is doing and spending a slight premium for an All-Star capable of being great again isn’t a bad idea. I just have experience the with Upton brothers and I would rather miss on them.

 

 

Hustle’s Toxic $.02:  Let us take a trip down Mountcastle Lane

8/1/2016

Team Hydra trades away
2018 Draft Pick, Round 2 (Team Hydra)
Mountcastle, Ryan

Preseason Double Stuffs trades away
2017 Draft Pick, Round 4 (Preseason Double Stuffs)
Gray, Sonny

 

11/27/2017

Capital City Ironmen trades away
Manaea, Sean

Preseason Double Stuffs trades away
Mountcastle, Ryan

4/25/2018

Capital City Ironmen trades away
Wong, Connor
Chirinos, Yonny
Mountcastle, Ryan
Bieber, Shane
Diaz, Yusniel

Evil Otters trades away
Godley, Zack

9/29/2018

TBD trades away
Upton, Justin ($56+)

Evil Otters trades away
Mountcastle, Ryan (ML)

Death, Taxes, Trading for Ryan Mountcastle. A Dynasty Grinders tradition like no other. Owned my nearly 1/3 of the league. In the hearts of 16/16 teams. His quest to the majors is a journey we are now all invested in.

I like this trade for the team that won’t name itself. They were going to cut Upton and find themselves in a rare position of not having prospects, so they picked up on who should certainly be owned. Well at least they think he should be owned, and the 4 previous owners did too.

I  also like this trade for Kyle. I’m sure if Bailey would be writing this review he’d give much praise to Kyle for being competitive and buying. He’d have some sort of snarky remark about how more teams are tanking than competing.  Me on the other hand? I take some weird glee in watching the auction get weaker and weaker.

“But Hustle, Mike Leake went for $35 dollars last year, do you really want to see that happen?”

“No little Jimmy…I want to see him go for $55”

 




Trade: Evil Otters | Marshall Law

Evil Otters trades away
Ureña, José ($5+)
Diaz, Yusniel (ML)
Brujan, Vidal (ML)

Marshall Law trades away
Cabrera, Miguel ($51+)

Jordan’s Thoughts: Miguel Cabrera is that old guy who seems to continue to be good. Last year he had a bad year. Injuries are painful. STEAMER projects him to be over 900 points again and I think that makes his price at $51 more then fair. Miggy’s ceiling seems potentially high to me as well.

Jose Urena was pretty good last year, scoring 846 points. STEAMER does expect some what of a step back, I’m not sure that’s warrented or not. Either way following Hustle’s rule of any starter under $10 being valuable. That’s an asset. Both Diaz and Brujan are prospects that on first glance of a fangraphs search both look pretty good. Brujan in A+ league last year looks really talented. 55 steals last year, but also has power and plate patience.

Marshall Law clearly rebuilding and the pieces he got back for Miguel Cabrera seem pretty great. I wouldn’t be surprised that the market for Miggy is pretty low and he got a decent haul. For the Evil Otters, you’re still getting a future Hall of Famer coming off an injury plagued year. Have to like the deal for both teams. I know that declaring a winner will make me look stupid in three years when I look back, so I’ll go ahead and do it now…. Evil Otters will regret trading Vidal Brujan (hi future Jordan!)

Andrew’s Thoughts: Here’s a fun fact: while playing injured last year, Miguel Cabrera put up a .360 wOBA and a 128 WRC+. All the Statcast and xStats stuff looked good too. I know he’s old, big-bodied, and brittle. I know that $53 pre-greed is a pretty sizeable cost. But as long as he’s on the field and playing, he’s still a damn good hitter and if you have any intention of winning, well, you need damn good hitters and I don’t really think you can twiddle your thumbs all off-season and hope you win one or two at auction.

I like that Marshall Law, who is rebuilding, was able to get two top-100 prospects and a serviceable, cheap pitcher back for him. And more than that, I like that the Evil Otters paid that price. Miggy is exactly the type of player that I felt would be hastily given away for practically nothing rather than a viable package, so I’m just happy to see this deal at all.

This seems like a win-win deal to me.