Trade: Capital City Ironmen | BetterNameLater

Capital City Ironmen send: 3B Yunel Escobar ($3)
BetterNameLater send: SP Jorge de la Rosa ($1)

Jordan‚Äôs thoughts:¬†Recently I may some data available to myself. Jorge de la Rosa was a case study I used, so I’ll share it here.

1 – 50+
6 –¬†30-50
3 – 20-30
4 – <20

Those are Jorge de la Rosa‘s numbers on the road by start. Any normal starter with those distributions went for $30 or more in the auction.¬†Our Rockies pitcher¬†at home was not quite as good, as his ceiling was much lower, and half of his home starts were below average. But, his floor is pretty high.

So why does de la Rosa go for $1, or get swapped for a decent, but not awesome third baseman? Well, projections have their limitations and guys like de la Rosa fall into these pits of despair. As a whole he’s projected to be a 23 points per start pitcher. That’s below average, his upside does not appear to exist and he is quite easy to ignore.

But, there’s value here. This is one of those guys where you dig deep, and there’s value. The context matters. You cannot rely on de la Rosa on a week to week basis, sure. But, if you blindly start him on the road, you’re going to be fine. If you’re forced to use him in a week where you’re short on starts for any reason, he’s not anymore likely to kill your staff than anyone else even in Coors.

The simulator needle does not really move for either team in this trade. Neither team really lost anything in the players they gave away, and only BNL improved slightly by replacing some back end at bats with Escobar’s slighly better projection line.

But, do not be surprised when team CAP turns ten starts from de la Rosa this year into 300 points for his team. They might seem small, but it is potentially a huge win.

Andrew‚Äôs thoughts: It’s kind of dumb to review my own trade, but we’re really just killing time until the season starts here, right?

For me, I just wanted another starting pitcher and Jorge de la Rosa is serviceable. He had three negative starts¬†and three positive starts of less than 10 points last season, of which four came at Coors Field. He had a -1 pointer and a 1 pointer on the road. Otherwise, he had 16 starts of 23 points or more. As a back-end, emergency type, that’s¬†useful. If for the sake of argument you say 25 points is an “average start,” de la Rosa had 14 of those. Good enough. If on a week-to-week basis your sixth and/or seventh start is getting you 25 points, you’ll probably be happy.

Yunel Escobar, meanwhile, is a nice, cheap get for BetterNameLater, who needed a back-up to Manny Machado. Last year, Escobar had 16 weeks between 12.3 and 35.3 points. He had five weeks better than that and only one bad week, where he got just 2.4 points. He’s sort of the definition of average — all floor, very little ceiling — but for $3, average can be really valuable. He was more valuable last year because he had shortstop eligibility and FanGraphs says 2015 was his best offensive year since 2011, so more blip than breakthrough maybe for the 33-year-old. But the cost is negligible, the risk is nil, and a void gets filled.

Trade: TBD | Hustle Loyalty Respect

TBD sends: RF Steven Souza Jr. ($2)
Hustle Loyalty Respect send: 3B Jake Lamb ($1)

Jordan‚Äôs thoughts:¬†This is a simple trade! HLR was stuck with Lamb behind a very hot Maikel Franco and last year’s fantasy reclamation project Mike Moustakas. Lamb while cheap, was very expendable. Souza provides some depth mostly at the utility position for HLR. He’s deep in the OF as well, but Souza probably is the better hitter this year.

TBD gets Lamb as a primary backup to Kris Bryant that they needed. Lamb also fills in at the utility position depth nicely in replacement for Souza.

Basically it is great, both teams swap the same caliber of player who plays different positions to help shore up potential thin spots on their roster. Win-win.

Trade: TBD | The Wilfred Brimley Fighting Diabeetuses

TBD sends: UT Miguel Sano ($48), 1B Eric Hosmer ($25), SS Alex Bregman (ML), SP Jorge Lopez ($5) and SP Edinson Volquez ($7)
The Wilfred Brimley Fighting Diabeetuses send: SP Madison Bumgarner ($81), SP Tanner Roark ($2), RP Dellin Betances ($14), 3B Matt Chapman (ML) and $4 in 2017 Auction Dollars

Jordan‚Äôs thoughts:¬†Wow. I’m not sure where to begin and before I sleep on it I’ll write a few hundred words.

Okay so lets switch our strengths for weaknesses and see what happens? I honestly do not know what to think of this. So it wasn’t a secret that the Diabeetuses not only lacked insulin charges, they lacked starting pitching depth, right? So they send off three more pitchers, because you know, fuck them. They get back a stud hitter, a good hitter, a potentially exciting prospect, a wish and a floppy arm.

Alright…

On the other side, let’s give you a whole pitching staff. Sure. Bummy is outstanding, not really a lot to mention there. Roark if he sticks in the rotation, is fine. Betances should be fine. Some auction cash, a prospect, whatever.

I will take a stab at why this deal got done. WBFD had these aces they spent pretty money on, but no hitters. TBD had these pretty hitters but no pitching. Lets switch some. Okay. Done. I guess they both have a more balanced team going forward. That’s fine.

The simulator here suggests that neither really hurt or improved themselves. I guess that is a win-win. Trading holes is what I have been known to call this kind of transaction. If each participant feels comfortable covering the new holes they created, great.

I love this trade because it is exciting. There are so many pieces moving back and forth. I do not understand this trade, and I think I am okay with that.

Andrew’s thoughts: As Jordan mentioned, strengths were traded for strengths here.

I believe that before trades of any kind, the Diabeetuses had a bottom-3 offense and a top-3 pitching staff. Maybe it wasn’t that extreme, but you get the point. Following the trade, WBFD has maybe a bottom-6 offense and a significantly worse pitching staff? Hopefully my math is wrong. WBFD has added some keepable pieces¬†and spread salaries around a good deal, which is awesome. Except you don’t know if this team is any good yet, so maybe you don’t want to keep all these pieces together? And maybe the team was competitive as a top-heavy unit? WBFD has also now¬†spent $8 of 2017 auction cash already, which maybe ends up being irrelevant, but could be a hurdle if the plan is to go young and keep your squad in tact. Their trades have gotten them way under budget but as I’ve mentioned before, getting under budget for 2017 before the first pitch of 2016 isn’t necessarily advantageous.

If Carlos Martinez takes a step forward into ace territory (this might be more likely than not) then the blow of losing Bumgarner and Jake Arrieta is softened.

I think TBD, who was known to have been shopping Troy Tulowitzki for pitching, did the smart thing and instead put a young, affordable hitter on the block. I love Tulo, but at his salary and with his injury history, he’s just not worth a Bumgarner type guy. Miguel Sano, clearly, is capable of fetching that.

TBD’s offense is largely unaffected. It’s technically worse because Sano and Hosmer are gone, but I’m not sure it’s noticeably worse. The pitching is way better with Bumgarner at the top, but there’s still work to be done. On weeks where Bumgarner starts just once, you’ve still got to fill six starts from Phil Hughes, Jimmy Nelson, Andrew Heaney… meh. Someone there will take a leap and become a viable SP2, but¬†there will be a lot of¬†spin-around-with-your-head-on-a-baseball-bat-and-then-throw-a-dart choices going on here.

I’m inclined to prefer the Bumgarner side as a short term play, but WBFD probably has an edge if you’re looking to the future. Bregman is valuable, right? This one is even as I see it.

Trade: Rocky Mtn Oysters | The Wilfred Brimley Fighting Diabeetuses

Rocky Mtn Oysters send: SP Hisashi Iwakuma ($19)
The Wilfred Brimley Fighting Diabeetuses send: OF Khris Davis ($9) and $4 in 2017 Auction Dollars

Jordan’s thoughts:¬†At what point is this just a blog that writes about shit that Dusty does? Is this a bad trade? No. Is this a good trade? Meh. I’m going to now lay my snark hat down and attempt to pretend this happened in some quasi normal land where things are not perpetually spun around in some circus-style-bonanza-frenzy-fuckfest.

Iwakuma goes away and with it the baggage of his health away with it. He’s quite good when he’s healthy and normal, and quite useless otherwise. Last year he started half the season, had a few awful starts and then he pitched a perfect game and went on to be mostly decent. I believe what you can expect out of Iwakuma is a tier two starter when he is healthy. However, you only want to have to depend on about fifteen of those starts, because he is likely not healthy.

The cost for this player was pretty nominal. Khris Davis is the light tossing left fielder who can hit he ball a long ways. He has flashes of great ability and droughts of despair. I like both players enough, I think Davis has the higher floor, Iwakuma the higher ceiling and for all of that the trade makes some sense.

Davis upgrades RMO well enough, he pushes Buxton’s at bats to less important and removes at bats from Ryan Howard and Danny Espinosa. Those are good things. The loss of Iwakuma hurts some, but Dusty still has pitching to spend, kind of. The simulator showed little movement.

Iwakuma replaced replacement level starts for the Diabeetuses. This is a great thing. Losing Davis did hurt though, but not as much as Iwakuma improved. Got to do it I suppose. This gave the Diabeetuses a nice jump back to respectability in the simulator.

So it is a win-win!

Andrew‚Äôs thoughts: I’ll take the Iwakuma side, but this isn’t as erroneous as the Oysters’ Shields-for-Werth misstep.

I do like Khris Davis a bit and if future salary is important to you, starting at $11 next year seems solid. Yeah, the floor with Davis can be low sometimes. And I suppose playing in Oakland might steal a few homers, but that’s probably nitpicking.

My main gripe, I suppose, is Dusty again swapping a viable starting pitcher for simple hitting depth. You should be able to acquire bench bats and utility options cheaper than this. To repeat myself from the last trade review: just because you’ve got too much of something doesn’t mean you should trip all over yourself to get rid of it.

Grand scheme of things: fair-ish trade. I simply prefer the Kuma side because I like pitchers and patience.

Trade: Rocky Mtn Oysters | Team Canada

Rocky Mtn Oysters send: SP James Shields ($28)
Preseason Double Stuffs send: OF Jayson Werth ($6)

Andrew’s thoughts:¬†It appears Dusty woke up this morning and decided to sell James Shields. And when Dusty decides to sell a player, you can better your bottom dollar that he will. As quickly as possible.

If you can’t tell from my tone, I strongly dislike this move for the Rocky Mtn Oysters, who hastily sent a quality pitcher packing in order to get a little bit¬†better on offense. And Jayson Werth is one of my favorite baseball players. I like him a ton. He’s most usually underrated. But this¬†reeks of a rush job.

I wrote just this morning that the Oysters needed to flip pitching for hitting,¬†so good job on that. If a healthy Werth gets back to his pre-2015 self (and gets the opportunity to do so in a crowded Nationals outfield), he’s a valuable piece. And the Oysters were flush with pitching before this, so he could afford to lose one.

Of course, just because you have a surplus somewhere doesn’t mean you should sell yourself short. Said it earlier: I can’t imagine no other team would, at any point between now and when games start (or even a week or two into the season once more teams are actively perusing the market), have been interested in Shields. Lots of teams here want/need pitching. But what I imagine happened is, Dusty shipped out a bunch of blind offers of varying valuations and someone bit. Repeat that enough times and it will come back to bite you.

On a macro level, the Oysters are likely a tad better because he bumps either Byron Buxton or Ryan Howard out of starting position¬†and Shields wasn’t a key cog. Team Canada is improved because Werth was a bench player and Shields projects to be their third or fourth best pitcher. The trade is functionally fine. The problem is with, again, the rush job nature of the transaction and the way in which it appears simply getting a trade done was prioritized over getting the best possible trade done.

Jordan’s thoughts: – I mean when I put both changes into the line up simulator, both teams improved. Its clear why one¬†side¬†did. I guess it makes sense for Dusty then? Congrats? He gets some depth he needs, but he probably could have picked a better and more dependable player. He traded away an asset he doesn’t hopefully need, but he likely will. Whatever. Team Canada dumps a piece they could use, but will get over losing for a pitcher who slides into their #3 role with grace and ease.

Trade: Preseason Double Stuffs | Rocky Mountain Oysters

Rocky Mtn Oysters send: OF Giancarlo Stanton ($72), SP Lance McCullers ($26) SP Luis Severino ($17)
Preseason Double Stuffs send: OF Bryce Harper ($109), SP James Shields ($28)

Jordan’s thoughts: I have now rewritten the introduction to my thoughts on this trade six or seven times and I copped out to talk about how flabbergasted I am. I enjoy trades, I do. They give me breath of life into writing which I always need practice doing. Clearly. This one is another fascinating one, but as we are all learning (or for some of us relearning) Dusty is shooting for the moon constantly.

Let’s look at this trade on the table. I see it as the second best hitter in MLB and a fringe #2 tier starting pitcher on his way down traded for a top ten MLB hitter capable of being a top three, a tier #3 starter and a fringe tier #4 starter. That’s where my pre-draft rankings had them. High/low whatever.

On paper I’d rather have Harper, Shields. Hands down. I’m still quite high on Shields and I would buy the over on any Shields over/under, and would bet the under on both Severino and McCullers. I think if both Harper and Stanton play a full season, Harper is the better OF four out of five times.¬†Both have a checkered enough past, that its easy to say whoever ends up playing more games, ends up being better.

Dusty was in a great position, created by himself, to make this trade. He trades two decent, younger, and inspiring pitchers who could be great this year for an aging former ace who you know at any time could fall off or return to greatness. Pitchers are fickle.

Frankly if you like the two pitcher package, you could argue that both could be or will be better than Shields and I’d take your commentary as valuable as mine. So lets review the trade as it currently fits their teams.

Dusty wins this trade on his side. He upgrades at right field with Bryce over Giancarlo. If Buxton flops, he slides Bryce into center and rolls the dice with Preston Tucker or Josh Harrison. He gets a better player and has some flexibility back. Less reliant on Buxton. As far as my projections go, Shields is rated higher than both pitchers traded away, so Dusty replaces their output with better output. A win on both levels. RMO is now rated at 581.6 points per week, good enough for 4th best. Bravo!

Sadly I believe our Preseason Double Stuffs lose this trade. You trade away Bryce for a right fielder that you did not really need. The best three hitters by projection are Stanton – RF, Shin-Soo Choo – RF, and Jorge Soler – RF. That inflexibility limits what you can really do. Or forces you into future moves. Gomez in center is fine. Shields to McCullers is a slight drop in projected value, more so in that McCullers is only projected for 26 starts this year. Severino is however 26 projected starts of improvement over Ian Kennedy and Jerad Eickhoff. Why not shop Bryce around?

Andrew’s thoughts:¬†Correct me if I’m wrong, but in the end, the Preseason Double Stuffs have traded Max Scherzer and Shields for Stanton, Severino, and McCullers. Is that correct? Because if so, that seems sub-optimal.

I know Ferns wasn’t thrilled with his team post-auction, but I feel like this may be an over-correction. I disagree with Jordan on Shields. I’d rather have Severino and McCullers, for no other reason than Shields burned me in Dy-Nasty last year and I’m not overly interested in more stock. I don’t think it’s out of the realm of possibility that both of those guys are 30 PPG starting pitchers and, if so, the dynamic changes.

I think my big objection is that I had no idea Harper was available. Did you? Not that I have the pieces to go get him and probably wouldn’t have tried, but you’d think the market would be tested a little. Maybe it was and I just wasn’t aware. I don’t know.

I also think salaries are being insanely overrated in the early trade market. You can go over your budget in season, people. You have a year to get right for 2017. To me, if you’re selling one of the 3-5 best players overall (Harper), you need to hold out for bonus pieces. You need to pry a prospect or two, a pick, some budget cash next year, something else extra away. The season is still two weeks away. There’s no urgency to rush this stuff. You mean to tell me that if you don’t sell Bryce this week, you won’t ever have a chance to free yourself from¬†his $109 salary? I get that sometimes you just find the pieces you need and take it, but I just think I would’ve tested the market first.

And for Dusty, I just don’t even know. I’m a fan of big game hunting in trades too. What’s the point of expending energy trading for replacement level guys that you can manufacture through platoons or otherwise? I like turning Stanton into Harper and he doesn’t have a particularly big use for Severino and McCullers, particularly if the latter’s injury is a big deal. He’s clearly all-in for 2016, and that’s cool.

But I also see a team¬†with two gaping holes at the UT spot (depressingly, Ryan Howard and Yonder Alonso are there now) and a team where Byron Buxton went from the first or second guy off the bench to the starting CF. Maybe Buxton pops this year. He’d better, because if he plays like last year, that’s a black hole in your starting lineup. There’s no quality depth at 2B, 3B, or SS, or in the outfield. Actually, even 1B is lacking on the depth front. The offense just looked so, so much better before all the wheeling and dealing and while the pitching is improved, I didn’t think it was a glaring problem to begin with.

Of course, Dusty still has pitching to deal, and if there’s one thing Dusty will do, it’s deal. I said yesterday and I stand by it: a smart team looks at Dusty’s roster and recognizes that he needs to turn pitching into hitting, then uses that for leverage. And frankly, I’m not sure you’re getting an impact hitter for Mike Fiers or Hishashi Iwakuma (and I’m a big Kuma fan). Maybe you try to convert Kenta Maeda‘s strong spring into a haul and someone bites, I don’t know. At some point Dusty runs the risk of robbing Peter to pay Paul. I guess what I’m saying is that it’s clear there are more moves to come and so in two, three, four days, we’ll have to completely reevaluate how we perceive this roster anyway.

Trade: Rocky Mtn Oysters | The Wilfred Brimley Fighting Diabeetuses

Rocky Mtn Oysters send: OF George Springer ($49), SP Anderson Espinoza, 2017 1st Round Pick
The Wilfred Brimley Fighting Diabeetuses send: SP Jake Arrieta ($84), 2017 5th Round Pick

Andrew’s thoughts:¬†In my opinion, this is a big win for the Rocky Mtn Oysters.

For The Fighting Diabeetuses, the objective here was obviously to shed some starting pitcher salary — this is a team paying Jose Fernandez and Madison Bumgarner too — and so I get the logic. In George Springer, you get a young batter with a proven major league track record, room to get even better, and a palatable salary, all the while freeing up space.

The problem is that budget space right now is not really a thing. We can go over budget in season here, so WBFD effectively had a year to wiggle around and get set for 2017. To me, this is just too preemptive a move. I was somewhat in on Arrieta myself but still didn’t understand that aspect of it. This team is now way under budget and can probably keep the majority of the roster in tact next year, which is neat, but I’m not convinced that’s worth much.¬†The offense is better today, sure. But I’m also not sure adding Springer changes it dramatically. “Better” is a relative term. I would’ve much rather held my three high paid pitchers and seen if they could carry me through the first several weeks of baseball.

Getting Anderson Espinoza and that pick are helpful, I suppose, but again, adding them doesn’t offset the wonky timing for me. I’d rather have Espinoza than my 15th best minor leaguer, but I’m not rushing to give up one of the 10 most valuable players in our league to get him.

For the Oysters, being able to pair Arrieta with Max Scherzer should provide a huge weekly advantage. The offense takes another hit and actually looks quite rough to me now, but there’s no reason someone won’t fork over a hitter for Luis Severino, Kenta Maeda, or¬†Collin McHugh, guys that are now¬†a whole lot more expendable. Of course, a savvy trade owner might look at his team, recognize Dusty’s need to flip one of those starters for hitting is greater than their own need to do the opposite, and gauge him a little on price.

Dusty’s team sits way over budget for 2017 now. He’s looking at having to shed $104 or so (remember, he bought himself $20 of auction budget), but that’s not a bridge he needs to cross today and his worst case scenario might just be dumping all but his best five or six guys, which might not even be such a bad thing.

Jordan’s thoughts:¬†Right off the bat, this trade just confuses the hell out of me.¬†According to my line up projection simulator, both teams were neck and neck in the bottom half of projections. Not a enviable place for anyone to be. Prior to the trade the Oysters were projected for roughly 569. points per week. The Diabeetuses were projected for 567.1 points per week. Bad Good enough to¬†rank 11th and 12th respectively.

The trade for the Oysters looks pretty decent. They get the better player at a decent value. Anytime you can add another ace you have to do it. Springer does hurt the offense as Bailey stated above. I also agree with Bailey’s assessment that now Dusty has at least two solid pitching bullets to trade for hitting. Which if timed right, and a little luck sprinkled in, could be a huge positive swing.

All that being said, as it stands right now, Dusty did improve his weekly projected output to 572.3, but now ranks in the same 11th place compared to the entire league. But, for Dusty to take that jump into the next level he needs to make better use of his now stack of assets in the rotation. My simulator sees it as a waste, but I have yet to configure my simulator with the “Dusty factor” Although I’m not certain there’s an algorithm capable of figuring out Dusty.

Was the blood sugar low again for the Fighting Diabeetuses? Before jumping into the numbers, a qualitative look can say, well when you have Martinez, Bumgarner, and Fernandez, you can stand to lose Arrieta. That is mostly right. However, George Springer, while being a huge addition as the best projected hitter on this team in 2016, is not really enough to compensate the loss of Arrieta.

What the Diabeetuses are missing to make this deal alright, is starting pitching depth on the back end. Nate Karns has not won the job yet in Seattle, Roenis Elias will likely spend more time in the bullpen this season, and Tanner Roark was not a starter last year which means even though he should be a starter this year, his innings may be reduced.

All that said, my projection simulator now has the Diabeetuses suffering through 22 replacement starts. Nearly one a week. That’s too many, they now NEED another full time starting pitcher, probably two.

Springer does make the entire hitting core better. Springer slots into the CF position, flanked by Khris Davis and Stephen Piscotty. Jackie Bradley Jr now gets to back them all up nicely and fill in at utility when needed. That’s great. Hitting depth matters too and now they have it.

The cost was just too damn high. The Diabeetuses tumble down to the 16th projected line up in Dynasty Grinders. Dipping to 556 points per week was a huge hit to their total. It’s hard to fall in love with a trade like this. As a commissioner it is great to see the league ready to move big pieces and create some stir, but baseball is a long year and I think what we saw here on both ends was a overlooking of what depth really is.

I can’t help but think, what if McHugh and Rusney Castillo switched teams in this deal as well. Maybe something else in the deal has to happen to make that work out, but both teams would have benefited more from that switch. Perhaps both teams have future moves on the table ready to move up or down.

This trade as a whole, I have to call it a win for Dusty, slightly, his team does improve, having more aces is better than not, but he went from relying on Buxton to coming through to desperately depending on him. It could work out. For Josh, well I see why he did it. I just think the reasons may be misguided. If George Springer breaks out as a top 10 fantasy hitter, this clearly works out for him, but…

Trade: Hustle Loyalty Respect | Team Hydra

Team Hydra send: C Jesus Sucre (FA)
Hustle Loyalty Respect send: nothing

Jordan‚Äôs thoughts:¬†Team Hydra is just up to no good here. Making a fit about being able to pickup worthless free agents at will, then trading them away for free. Hail Hyrda! Get your troll on. Nothing actually happened here. As you see in the photo, Sucre is probably¬†alright at medium to low-fives. C’mon get your hand up you poser.

Trade: Preseason Double Stuffs | The Foundation

Preseason Double Stuffs send: 2018 2nd Round Pick
The Foundation¬†send:¬†3B Ke’Bryan Hayes

Jordan’s thoughts:¬†I don’t love reviewing my own stuff, but this is so minor that I felt more comfortable doing so. Basically I bought a roster spot. Pre-season gets a young player with upside drafted in the first round of the 2015 MLB draft. I get a pick in the 2018 draft, which may or may not be the equivalent of whatever Hayes turns out to be. It’s a trade that works for both sides quite nicely.