Trade: Offseason Double Stuffs | Hustle Loyalty Respect

Offseason Double Stuffs send: 1B Greg Bird ($13)
Hustle Loyalty Respect sends: 1B Wil Myers ($19), 1B Colin Moran ($3; cost controlled), LF Starling Heredia (minors)

Andrew’s thoughts: I used to be a big Wil Myers fan. But these days I feel kinda underwhelmed by him, especially at $19. I wish I still had the chart I made for Hustle that showed where Myers ranked on a Pt/PA basis up against other guys. We’ve talked about him a lot privately. I forget who was on there now, but Lucas Duda was for sure better. It just seems weird. And I get it, no one’s buying Duda (or whoever) in lieu of Myers just because of the rate stats alone. And there were other Duda-esque guys on that list that just require some platoon management. First base is deep and while Myers is effective, he just hasn’t been a consistent difference maker there. Doesn’t mean he won’t become one. If he gets some outfield eligibility back, that adds value. He’s still in his prime. In June 2016, he was so scorching hot that he was traded in a package for Bryce Harper. But since then, while he hasn’t gotten worse, he hasn’t gotten markedly better either. Over the last two seasons, he’s 15th among 1B’s in wOBA.

Bird, meanwhile, is interesting. He only had a WRC+ of 86 last year in a limited sample of 170 plate appearances. That’s awful. But Steamer projects him for a 122 this year with a .356 wOBA. He’s got a career .339 wOBA over 348 PAs and is two years younger than Myers. He’s riskier, for sure — haven’t even mentioned his injuries — but Hustle’s roster is in a spot where he can afford the gamble, I think. Granted, Myers is essentially his only 1B, so if the gamble fails, he’s going to potentially have a big 1B void.

And maybe you could argue the Double Stuffs need to gamble as well to climb out of the basement of the standings, but the fastest way to improve is to exchange risk for safety. It’s not sexy. In this case, they’re sending off potentially more upside in Bird for Myers’ relatively high floor, and are just shifting their risk to Colin Moran‘s swing changes and Starling Heredia‘s prospect profile. With only a $27 Maikel Franco (is he even keepable?) as their only real 3B option, gambling on Moran (who should unlock 3B quickly) while replacing Bird with Myers seems to have a potentially greater payoff than just gambling on Bird alone anyway. In order to get better, bad teams need to take gambles, but they also need to expand their portfolio of assets.

I guess I like it for both teams. I know Hustle really wanted Bird, so here you go. He’s got him. It probably looks like a slight overpay, but sometimes you pay a bit more for guys you really want. No big deal.

And I know Ferns is a competitive guy and hates losing, so while maybe Bird might have a higher ceiling than Myers over the long haul — Steamer projects him for a better Pt/PA than Myers next year, although it projects Myers to accumulate more points based on pure volume — this seems like a move that pushes his team’s floor up and still gives him ample upside. I think he’s more likely to be a bit more competitive in 2018 with this move, and being competitive now seems better than not.

Mostly, I’m just happy to see Hustle and Ferns in harmony together, at least until the next time Ferns forgets to start a seventh guy and Hustle calls him on it or until Hustle proposes some outlandish rule change.

Hustle’s less toxic $.02: If I told you I sent 100 Greg Bird trade offers this offseason to Ferns, it would not be an exaggeration by much if at all. A bet on Greg Bird is a gut call for me. One of my earliest lessons in fantasy is not to give up on players you love because of one bad season. I was big on him last year and not a lot has changed for me. Bird was a monster in spring training, his rookie year, once he got back from injury last year and in the playoffs. He was taking elite lefties deep with elite exit velocity. When evaluating trades it’s tough to separate enthusiasm with realistic expectations and Bird tows that line for me.

Colin Moran had 0 value a week ago, and while I think he’s big time sleeper this year, I would probably kick myself over and over again if Bird blew up and the reason I didn’t own him was Colin Moran. I’m torn on if Moran actually became a new player last year or he benefitted from being a 24 year old in AAA, I lean the fact that hes actually going to be a contributor next season. I like Heredia  a lot too, but I have a lot of prospect outfielders I like as is.

I think Bird has a better shot to be a difference maker and  I’ll bet some surplus to see if I’m right. The fact that Bird is 6 dollars cheaper and 2 years younger is also encouraging for his value, let alone potentially hitting between Judge and Stanton. That being said, I think Ferns got a very strong haul that improves his team right away.

 

 

 

Trade: Team Hydra | TBD

TBD sends: SP Madison Bumgarner ($85), $5 2018 Auction Budget,
Team Hydra sends: RF Dustin Fowler ($1; prospect), SP Tyler Chatwood ($7)

Andrew’s thoughts: This is an interesting one. Hydra appears to have a ton of budget and can afford to punt a meh prospect and a cheap innings eater to add an expensive but elite pitcher. I actually thought about asking Hydra about Chatwood myself just because, like TBD, I could use some safe, boring pitching options to fill in some roster spots on the cheap.

Anyway, alright deal here. It’s probably somewhat disappointing to just get these two players — and have to kick in $5 — for an elite talent like Bumgarner. I imagine that at $85, and with some teams watching their wallets for Shohei Ohtani, there weren’t a ton of bites on Bumgarner. I don’t know what TBD plans to do or if they’ll have the money to make it work at auction, but this is the kind of return where I’d seriously consider just cutting Bumgarner and giving myself the option to re-bid. Not saying the pieces coming back aren’t useful, but they are rather unexciting, so this is salary dump territory.

Hustle’s toxic $0.02: Just cut him huh Bailey? Well maybe Joe thinks that Bumgarner is very overvalued at $85 that it’s worth it to him to stick Bumgarner on another team to eat almost a 1/5 of his salary? If  anyone else gets a cheaper Bumgarner for free in auction, that’s a loss for Joe compared to even selling him for $1.

Chatwood is getting some hype because hes moving away from Coors field to Wrigley, and rightfully so.  We’ve seen some pitchers like Pomeranz turn their careers around just by leaving Colorado and Chatwood seems potentially next. Mix in the fact that hes going to Chicago and you have a vintage TBD target. Potentially a rich man’s Eddie Butler!

When I saw Hydra’s roster the other day I noticed they have a ton of $1 players, so I’m guessing Fowler is a guy they aren’t keen on. I’m not sure what his upside is glancing at his minor league numbers, his walk rate is bad and seemingly only has moderate power. We won’t know what Fowler will provide for a while, but at a cheap cost it’s worth a gamble.

$5 for a cheap Fowler and Chatwood seem reasonable. We still might see Bumgarner in the auction, maybe not.

 

Grading the Dynasty Grinder Minor League Systems

First, this is my first and probably my last attempt at writing for Dynasty Grinders. Since I retired I’ve had more time on my hands and over the last month I’ve dived into each and every Grinders minor league systems. There were a few reasons for the deep dive in the minor league systems:

  • I wanted to learn more about the minor league systems
  • Prepare myself for the upcoming draft
  • Educate myself on the other team’s minor league rosters for possible trades

Finally, as I was going through each team, I’m convinced there are the “haves and the have-nots” and I want to even the playing field. I’m hoping those at the bottom will be motived to do better. I also realize that some owners have different ideas how to manage their teams and I understand that too. My life experience tells me “Knowledge is Power”. The ultimate goal is to make the Dynasty Grinder league better and more balanced.

I’m no minor league expert and I have used a few web sites to grade each minor league player that is on our rosters. Additionally, some teams have players on their roster that weren’t ranked because I couldn’t justify giving them a star. Remember they are minor league players and could be late bloomers. There is a high probability that I’m full of crap, which is probably the case. Column “2018 MLB Ready” below means players could be breaking into the MLB this year. The teams are ranked from the best to worst.

The Key

3 Stars = Elite MLB Player
2 Stars = Solid MLB Player
1 Star = Average MLB Player

#1 HLR

Loaded, more than loaded………………………. Lead by Vladimir Guerrero, if you’re looking to trade for prospects HLR is the place to go. Beware HLR is a hustler and values his prospects and in a few years his team is going to be killing it. Hustle is going to win many championships if you believe in building from the bottom up. The only downside is HLR only has one prospect who might make the majors this year, he’s a good one too, Willie Calhoun. Minor League score 50.

2018 MLB Ready

  • TEX OF Calhoun, Willie

3 Star Players

  • ALT SP Allard, Kolby
  • NYM UT Alonso, Peter
  • TOR 3B Guerrero Jr., Vladimir
  • LAD LF Heredia, Starling
  • MIN SS Javier, Wander
  • DET SP Manning, Matt
  • PHL RF Ortiz, Jhailyn
  • MIL LF Harrison, Monte
  • TB LF Sanchez, Jesus
  • HOU RF Tucker, Kyle

#2 TBD

Almost the top minor league team, it was very close that’s for sure since the Joey Wentz trade. TBD was going to drop Brian McCann anyway, good for TBD. The rich get richer in my opinion………………………. TBD’s minor league team is stacked with Eloy Jimenez, who is a year away, and Walker Buehler, who could be the NL Rookie of the Year in 2018. TBD probably has the best 2018 MLB ready players, led by Buehler and Lewis Brinson. TBD’s experience evaluating minor league talent is unquestionable. Minor league score 49.

2018 MLB Ready

  • BAL RF Hays, Austin
  • MIL CF Brinson, Lewis
  • HOU SP/RP Paulino, David
  • MIL SP Woodruff, Brandon
  • STL SP Helsley, Ryan
  • LAD SP Buehler, Walker

3 Star Players

  • CHC SP Albertos, Jose
  • MIL CF Brinson, Lewis
  • CHW LF Jimenez, Eloy
  • LAD SP May, Dustin
  • DET SP Perez, Franklin
  • LAD SP Buehler, Walker
  • BAL RF Hays, Austin
  • Alt SP Wentz, Joey

#3 IL4W

IL4W was only one three-star pitcher away from being the top minor league squad. IL4W team is led by strong pitching with Michael Kopech, Braxton Garrett and Cal Quantrill. IL4W has the best group of minor league pitching in the league. IL4W also has young Kevin Maitan who found a new home in Anaheim. IL4W has help on the way this year with Alex Verdugo and Victor Robles, who are projected to be fantasy stars. HLR, IL4W and TBD’s minor league systems are killing it and the rest of us wish we had ¼ of the 3-star prospects they have. I tip my hat to all three teams. Minor league score 47.

2018 MLB Ready

  • PHI UT Alfaro, Jorge
  • KC SP Skoglund, Eric
  • LAD CF Verdugo, Alex
  • WAS RF Robles, Victor

3 Star Players

  • OAK LF Armenteros, Lazaro
  • MIA SP Garrett, Braxton
  • CHW SP Kopech, Michael
  • OAK SP Luzardo, Jesus
  • ATL SS Maitan, Kevin
  • SD SP Quantrill, Cal
  • MIL RF Grisham, Trent
  • WAS RF Robles, Victor
  • LAD SP Sheffield, Jordan

#4 Long Ball

Long Ball =’s Ronald Acuna, the favorite to become 2018 NL Rookie of the Year. Acuna ripped through three levels of the minors and AFL, there’s no doubt Acuna is ready to be a MLB All Star. Sean Reid-Foley has a 97-mph fast ball with a competitive edge. Long Ball also has some nice power coming up with Bobby Dalbec and pure hitter Bo Bichette just a couple of years away. Minor league score 37.

2018 MLB Ready

  • MIL SP Ortiz, Luis
  • CHC C Caratini, Victor
  • STL OF O’Neill, Tyler
  • ATL OF Acuna, Ronald

3 Star Players

  • ALT CF Acuna, Ronald
  • WAS SS Kieboom, Carter
  • TOR SP Reid-Foley, Sean
  • WAS RF Soto, Juan
  • SD SS Ruiz, Esteury

#5 Night King’s Undead Army

The Night Kings have the best pitching prospect in the game, Alex Reyes, but coming off TJS surgery. They also have eight two-star prospects. MLB ready players include Hunter Dozier, who will probably start the season with the Royals but playing time will be a question. Kyle Zimmer also has a chance to break camp with the Royals. Why did The Foundation change their name? Just to confuse me?????? Minor league score 36

2018 MLB Ready

  • KC 2B Dozier, Hunter
  • STL SP Reyes, Alex
  • KC SP Zimmer, Kyle
  • CHW RP Fulmer, Carson

3 Star Players

  • ATL SP Anderson, Ian
  • BOS SP Groome, Jason
  • BAL 3B Reyes, Jomar
  • STL SP Reyes, Alex

#6 Senior Squids

Not an earth shattering minor league roster. After the 2016 season the Squids reconstructed the minor league roster and concentrated on pitching. Hoping the likes of Honeywell, Alcantara, Duplantier and Whitley will be the foundation of his team for years to come. News broke recently that Mariner prospect Eric Filia was suspended 50 games for a second positive drug test. Filia hit .326 at Modesto in 2017 and won the Arizona Fall League battle title with a .408 average. Hopefully he gets his drug addiction taken care, and get back on the field and bring a world championship to Seattle. It’s kind of weird evaluating my own team, feel free to throw me under the bus. Minor league score 35

2018 MLB Ready

  • CIN LF, Winker, Jesse
  • TB SP Honeywell, Brent
  • SD RF Renfroe, Hunter
  • MIA SP Alcantara, Sandy
  • TB SP De Leon, Jose
  • CHW RP Vieira, Thyago

3 Star Players

  • TB 3B Lowe, Josh
  • SEA RF Lewis, Kyle
  • MIA SP Alcantara, Sandy
  • ARI SP Duplantier, Jon
  • HOU SP Whitley, Forrest

#7 Beach Bum

The Beach Bums have a balanced minor league team with lots of up and coming MLB talent, led by Gleyber Torres. Torres is slated to bat ninth and play 2B for the Yankees, who have the best line up in the majors. The Beach Bums have quite a few minor players that will hit the majors this year, especially with Oakland A’s. I’m a big fan of A J Puk who has huge K upside. The Beach Bums also have Austin Meadows who is #17 on MLB’s prospects and could make the Pirates roster if Andrew McCutchen is traded (ed. note: he was!). Minor league score 33

2018 MLB Ready

  • OAK SP Puk, AJ
  • OAK SP Holmes, Grant
  • NYY SS Torres, Gleyber
  • PIT CF Meadows, Austin
  • MIN SP Gonsalves, Stephen

3 Star Players

  • PHI 2B Kingery, Scott
  • PIT CF Meadows, Austin
  • OAK SP Puk, AJ
  • PHI SP Sanchez, Sixto
  • NYY SS Torres, Gleyber

#8 Team Hydra

Hydra has a very strong group of 2-star minor leagues, which include Corey Ray if he can find his stroke after a sub par 2017 season. Hydra’s strength is his MLB ready prospects. Francisco Mejia and Jorge Mateo both will make strong pitches for regular playing time this year. Additionally, Daniel Volgelbach will be fighting to win the 1B job with the Mariners, who adds lots of pop if he can do it in the majors. Minor league score 29

2018 MLB Ready

  • SEA 1 Vogelbach, Dan
  • CLE C Mejia, Francisco
  • OAK OF Fowler, Dustin
  • OAK SS Mateo, Jorge

3 Star Players

  • LAD SP Alvarez, Yadier
  • OAK SP Kaprielian, James
  • PIT SP Keller, Mitch
  • TEX CF Taveras, Leody

#9 The Wilfred Brimley Fighting Diabeetuses

First, “The Wilfred Brimley Fighting Diabeetuses” has to be the strangest / craziest fantasy team name I’ve ever heard. What’s the story behind the name, WB? Does anyone know? WB has a strong core of three-star prospects that include Jack Flaherty, who could find himself in the Cardinals rotation and be a solid #3. Riley Pint is a complete pitcher with a plus fastball who is a top of the rotation pitcher. Fernando Tatis Jr is going to be an All-Star with an already loaded Padres prospect squad. The Padres are going to be a force to be reckoned with in a couple of years. Minor league score 26

2018 MLB Ready

  • COL 1B McMahon, Ryan
  • MIL SS Dubon, Mauricio
  • TEX 1B Guzman, Ronald

3 Star Players

  • SD SP Espinoza, Anderson
  • STL SP Flaherty, Jack
  • COL 1B McMahon, Ryan
  • COL SP Pint, Riley
  • SD SS Tatis Jr, Fernando

#10 Troompa Loompas

Jimmy Kimmel’s team has three high end prospects that includes Dylan Cease a power pitcher who’s a 97 MPH fastball, he’s the 58th ranked prospect on MLB.com. TL should have three players get some MLB playing time this year led by Franklin Barreto who is line drive hitter and could hit .280. My favorite player on his roster is Matt Thaiss who can hit HR’s and knows how to work the count. Minor league score 25

2018 MLB Ready

  • OAK SS Barreto, Franklin
  • ARI SP Banda, Anthony
  • NYY SP Adams, Chance

3 Star Players

  • CHW SP Cease, Dylan
  • NYM SS Gimenez, Andres
  • NYM SP Scapucki, Thomas

#11 Preseason Double-Stuffs

The Oreos have two of the best up and coming infield prospects in our league, Brendon Rogers and Nick Senzel. Late word out of Cincinnati is they want Senzel to learn how to play the OF, which should speed up his callup and he might make the Cincinnati team to start the season. Senzel is Cincinnati’s #1 prospect and 9th overall. Brendon Rogers is the 7th overall prospect and is a middle of the order player at Coors Field, the Oreos will be double stuffing their two prize prospects this year. They also have Luiz Gohara, who Atlanta got from my Mariners. Gohara has #2 stuff. On kind of a strange note, the Double Stuffs have two of the top catching prospects in the league, Chance Sisco and Carson Kelly. However, Kelly is stuck behind Yadier Molina and he’s not going anywhere. I really like the Double Stuffs minor league roster. Minor league score 23.1

2018 MLB Ready

  • CIN 3B Senzel, Nick
  • COL SS Rodgers, Brendan
  • STL C Kelly, Carson
  • ATL SP Gohara, Luiz
  • BAL C Sisco, Chance

3 Star Players

  • COL SS Rodgers, Brendan
  • CIN 3B Senzel, Nick
  • CIN UT Trammell, Taylor
  • ATL SP Gohara, Luiz

#12 Capital City Ironmen

The Capital City Ironmen have nine two-star major league prospects and no three-star prospects. That could be all fake news and CC could have 9 three-star prospects and championships the next five years. This could cause the Hustler to curl up in the fetal position in a bathroom at Dodger Stadium. His squad is led by JP Crawford who will finally get his chance with Phillies batting 7th. They also have Oscar De La Cruz who is on the fast track and will be a middle of the rotation pitcher with fantasy upside. I also like Yordan Alvarez who has 25 HR upside. Minor league score 23

2018 MLB Ready

  • PHI 3B Crawford, JP
  • CLE SP Bieber, Shane
  • LAA SP Barria, Jaime
  • TOR LF Gurriel, Lourdes
  • PIT SS Newman, Kevin

3 Star Players

  • N/A

#13 Who’s Your Haddy?

Who’s Your Haddy’s top two prospects are a few years away. Adonis Medina is slated as a #2 with lots of K upside in his future, but could end up in the bullpen. Their top prospect, Estevan Florial is capable of .300+ BA, 20+ HR, and 25+ SB. Major League ready David Dahl is on Haddy’s minor league roster and will be Colorado’s OF of the future. Amir Garrett is slated to start in the bullpen but has #3 starter stuff and will start on the major league roster in 2018. Minor league score 18.1

2018 MLB Ready

  • CIN SP Garrett, Amir
  • COL LF Dahl, David

3 Star Players

  • NYY CF Florial, Estevan
  • PHI RP Medina, Adonis

3 Star Players 2018 MLB Ready
NYY CF Florial, Estevan CIN SP Garrett, Amir
PHI RP Medina, Adonis COL LF Dahl, David

#14 Team Canada

Team Canada’s minor league has limited 3-star talent except for Isan Diaz who has huge power upside but is a few years away. However, they do have a few players that should make their MLB debut this year. Tyler Mahle has an excellent chance to become a solid fantasy contributor this year. Jordan Patterson can contribute a .270 avg and 20 HR’s. Finally, Erick Feddie should also make his debut, however he did have Tommy John surgery in 2014. He has #3 stuff. Minor league score 18

2018 MLB Ready

  • CIN SP Mahle, Tyler
  • COL RF Patterson, Jordan
  • WAS SP Fedde, Erick

3 Star Players

  • MIL SS Diaz, Isan

#15 Evil Otters

First, like The Foundation/Night King’s Undead Army, the Otters also changed their name and ownership. We miss you Dusty and I hope your health is improving. I was a little surprise the Otters traded one of their top prospects for a part time catcher for the coming season. There not much squid in the cooler but the Otters do have a couple of sleepers I really like. Jorge Ona and Will Benson are capable of 30 HR’s a season. The only player I see making it onto an MLB roster this year is Domingo Acevedo, who is slated to start in the bullpen. FYI, I’m not a fan of the Otters short name “666” What’s up with that???? Minor league score 16

2018 MLB Ready

  • NYY RP Acevedo, Domingo

3 Star Players

  • TEX SP Speas, Alex
  • NYY RP Acevedo, Domingo

#16 We Talk Fantasy Sports

Momma’s cupboard is empty with an open jar of stale Oreo cookies. Slack chatting with We Talk mentioned that his priority was drafting major league ready players, which explains why he has no fresh cookies. We Talk has two really nice prospects, Adbert Alzolay and Corbin Burnes, who are high level prospects that could see action in 2019. In 2018 We Talk Fantasy Sports should have Dillion Peters fight for a rotation spot with MIA, which shouldn’t be that hard considering what has happened down south, and he still has Byron Buxton right? Minor league score 10

2018 MLB Ready

  • MIA SP Peters, Dillon

3 Star Players

  • CHC SP Alzolay, Adbert
  • MIL SP Burnes, Corbin

Conclusion: I had a lot of fun and learned a lot putting all of this together. Absolutely no hard feelings towards any of the teams, it’s just one opinion. I believe to be successful is a dynasty baseball league it’s a must to have a strong minor league squad. I asked my baseball friends on the right and the left and they said the article is “fake news” because they are only minor league prospects and you never know, plus most of them are young adults. If I missed on any prospects or you disagree with the article please post on slack. Please, I have no intention to be mean and only trying to make the league better.

– Senior Squids

Trade: Team Hydra | Long Ball to LF

Long Ball to LF sends: SP Tyler Skaggs ($9)
Team Hydra sends: 2B Devon Travis ($13)

Andrew’s thoughts: This is about as even as a trade gets. Two young guys with as much upside as injury risk. I like Devon Travis a bit more personally, just because he’s got a better MLB track record and, well, because I got 16 starts of 6.69 Pt/G out of him last year for the low, low cost of some FAAB. Never forget.

Basically even money here; one team that wanted a pitcher gets a pitcher, and one team that wanted a 2B gets a 2B. This is exactly the type of trade this league needed to get the hot stove firing.

Hustle’s toxic $0.02: The trade seems fair enough. Long Ball now has Dynasty Grinders legend Devon Travis as his third 2nd basemen after Dee Gordon and Jose Ramirez, which doesn’t make a ton of sense unless you’re trading one away. Still makes more sense than paying double digit cash for him (on top of his salary) and dropping him a month into the season though.

Hydra picks up Tyler Skaggs, who is an interesting gamble at $9. The winner of this trade will pretty obviously come down to which of these guys have a better year, assuming they both get kept. The only losers are those that are reviewing it.

Someone explain a strategy to me

PICTURED: Bryan “Empty Roster Spot” Shaw

Maybe this is calling out another manager, maybe it isn’t, whatever. I don’t care. Talking game theory is interesting and the offseason is slow because everyone wants to save room for Shohei Ohtani at auction, so we need stuff to talk about. And so when I read one of our recent trade reviews, and saw a comment left on it, I really wanted to explore what was going on.

So, the backstory:

Hustle Loyalty Respect and In Line 4 the Win made a trade. HLR sent a prospect, Logan Allen, to IL4W for $1. No big deal. I actually think buying prospects you really like for $1 is smart business, because you’re buying into so many cheap years of potential production from these guys and $1 doesn’t matter a ton. However, in reviewing his own trade, Hustle said this:

And then I happened to scroll down, and notice that IL4W fired back with this:

And so here we are.

I’m baffled by this. I’m not even necessarily trying to knock it, I just really, really want to understand what the strategy is behind simply not filling roster spots.

Our FAAB settings allow for $0 bids, so you can add as many players as you wish to fill empty roster spots at no cost. We don’t have penalties for dropping players. We don’t have seasonal or weekly add/drop limits. If one of your players gets hurt and you move him to the disabled list, thus freeing up a roster spot, there’s literally nothing preventing you from adding a player to that spot at no cost. Just pick your player, submit your bid for $0, and assuming no one else is in on that player, you get them. If they suck, you cut them. No harm, no foul.

On September 13 of last year, HLR added Logan Allen to his team from free agency. He was a readily available player. All you needed to procure him was… an available roster spot. Months later, on January 11, sitting with five of 20 minor league spots barren, IL4W spent $1 to slide Allen into one of those vacant spots. Does this not prove that carrying empty spots is not at all a beneficial strategy? Am I nuts? It proves the opposite, in fact. HLR turned a minor league spot — occupied by a human baseball player, an asset capable of gaining value over time — into $1. It’s not much, but $1 is better than nothing at all. IL4W, meanwhile, spent $1 of budget to fill a roster hole that could have cost nothing to fill in September. Not a FAAB buck, not an auction buck, not another player in trade. I submit that having that spot full resulted in profit for HLR, and having that spot empty resulted in needlessly flushing $1 for IL4W.

From HLR’s perspective, I’m sure he’s confident he can just pick up another Logan Allen for free off waivers once the season starts. So he basically got a $1 to flip a replaceable asset. Again… isn’t this exactly why you want all roster spots full? You want the chance to have something of value. An empty spot is worth… nothing. A dollar is pretty damn close to nothing, but it’s still something.

And what if Logan Allen had cracked a couple top-100 lists this offseason? I mean… every offseason, lists come out. We know this. Sometimes, the names on them surprise us. Maybe we don’t even recognize them. But when we see a name on a list, we suddenly value that player. So if Allen had randomly made Baseball America’s list at number 94 or something, he’s got value, yeah? And probably more than $1, right? These are lotto tickets — free lotto tickets, at that. Maybe Allen miraculously cracks the top 60 or 70 of a list, and suddenly he’s a guy you can trade for a cheap major leaguer that’ll help your team score points in 2018.

Look at it another way: you have an investment portfolio. For whatever reason, you’re allotted only 20 investments. You have 15 of those slots full with investments you’re happy with. Then I say, hey, here’s a list of all the companies you can invest in… pick five out to fill out your portfolio, and you get a share of each company… for free. These shares have the opportunity to grow and mature, to put cash in your pocket. But you decline. So instead of five free investment shares, you’ve just got nothing. That nothing, like a seed that does not exist, cannot be planted and blossom into something. For it is nothing. Maybe the five shares you choose will putter out. But hey, it was house money and you gave yourself a chance.

I just… I don’t get it. What am I missing?

I bring this up also because, frankly, we’ve had complaints dating back to last year about teams not fielding full rosters. So is this a strategy or a competitiveness problem? It seems totally asinine to me that we would tell grown adults who’ve paid money to play in a fantasy league that they have to carry a specific number of players, but I also don’t get the strategy of playing shorthanded, so I’ve always just assumed that went without saying and didn’t require policing. Sure, MLB requires teams carry a minimum of 24 players, but their maximum is 25. You’d never see the Reds roll up to the ballpark with 19 guys, or the Toledo Mud Hens take the field five players short.

So please, someone explain this to me. Show me what I am missing.

Trade: Hustle Loyalty Respect| In Line for the win

Hustle Loyalty Respect to In Line 4 the Win
Allen, Logan

In Line 4 the Win to Hustle Loyalty Respect 
$1

Hustles Toxic $.02.:  Where to begin?  Neal called me out on slack for poor trade offers. I shaved $1 off my asking price and he accepted.

Logan Allen is a solid pitching prospect, top 10 in a stacked Padres system and could be up in 2019 if he continues to pitch well.

Prior to this trade IL4W had 15 prospects on his farm when we all have 20 spots (and expanding to 25). It really makes no sense to have less than 20 green flag players right now unless you recently traded down from 20.

IL4W’s farm improves because he added a  $0 guy to his team in an empty roster spot.

 

Trade: Long Ball to LF | Hustle Loyalty Respect

Long Ball to LF sends: $5 auction budget
Hustle Loyalty Respect sends: SP Daniel Mengden ($5)

Andrew’s thoughts: These two teams have conducted a nice, fair trade here. Long Ball to LF has basically invested $10 to take a ride on the Daniel Mengden express, hoping that in 2017 he will discover the fast track to pitching stardom. HLR, meanwhile, probably saw Mengden as the caboose of his current pitching rotation — a back-end piece that was likely to just get left at the station, but maybe, possibly, could have have stuck. I would probably rather just have the $5 personally, but I find this trade difficult to truly rail against.

Trade: Night King’s Undead Army | TBD

TBD sends: CF/RF Max Kepler ($15), 2018 4th Round Pick
Night King’s Undead Army sends: 2018 2nd Round Pick

 

Andrew’s Thoughts: Well, Night King’s Undead Army gets the centerfielder that Jordan coveted.

I’m a big Max Kepler fan. I went to a Twins game in Minnesota last year and took pictures of him, and of stuff with him on it. It was creepy. Having said that, I’m torn on him as a $15 option. I do think there’s pretty solid upside in him — when he’s hot, he’s quite good, so consistency as he matures will help — but, I don’t know. I guess for the cost of moving back two rounds, it’s fine. I think if sent back to auction, Kepler probably takes a slight pay cut. But I also like getting my guys before auction and not having to roll those dice, so.

For TBD, seems good. Another salary dump of an obvious cut in exchange for what might be an okay prospect. TBD’s farm system continues to stockpile without really spending resources that matter to them, so that seems fun.

Hustle’s toxic $0.02: Joe turning another cuttable asset for something in return is always going to be a good move, so I like this for TBD. He’s also been arguably the best at extracting value from picks and minor leaguers, so this is another asset for him.  This also saves Jordan at least one awkward DM to me during the minor league draft asking if drafting player X is a good choice.

$15 for Max Kepler seems steep for a somewhat averaging scoring outfielder.  He does have CF eligibility which is nice. Jordan has Josh Reddick at 9, but maybe he doesn’t feel comfortable there. Either way, I think Jordan losing a 2nd round pick doesn’t mean a lot for his team and adding a hitter who can play at RF. CF or UTIL certainly will add value and flexibility to his roster. That being said I always think back to Bailey’s cheap outfielders from last year like Span and Markakis… I was able to add Avisail Garcia and Robbie Grossman.  Does Kepler have significantly more upside than Kepler to justify 3 times the salary and a 2nd round pick? He might, but he might not. Maybe Span and Markakis don’t have the year like they did last year, but I think there will be comparable unsexy outfielders available in the auction or for cheap once the  season starts. If you acquire that type of player during the season, I’m sure a 2nd rounder is close to what gets it done, and you probably save the $15, and that’s under the premise you didn’t lock one up for under $5 at auction or pick one up for free. If you think Kepler has significant upside, I can see the justification here.

Trade: Evil Otters | TBD

TBD sends: C Brian McCann
Evil Otters sends: SP Joey Wentz (minors)

Andrew’s Thoughts: This makes sense for both teams.

Brian McCann is a solid catcher that I think is worth $15 for the reliability alone. Catcher is a fickle position. I tend to value guys that you can simply trust to not suck. McCann is one of those guys. At this price though, I assume TBD saw him as an insignificant piece in the grand scheme of things and a way to shave $15 off their budget. Seems fine to me. This Joey Wentz guy is a 20-year-old, back-end of top-100 lists pitcher with 131 innings at Single-A. He’s whatever. If you’re getting him for a guy you didn’t want to keep, I think that’s fine. Maybe he shoots up lists a tad between now and June, and TBD flips him for profit.

For the Evil Otters, I also like this move. As you can tell, I don’t think Wentz is particularly special. He’s exactly the type of prospect I’d punt to improve my team now. McCann gives the Otters a reliable starting backstop, and this team should have a ton of budget to spend, so yeah, I’d rather have the boring old vet that’ll help now. Tacking on the $15 is nothing. Also, the Otters farm system is in complete disarray. All first and second round picks for the next three years are gone and Wentz was essentially the only prospect in this system that you’ll see on a list as we head into the new season. Ryan Howard is in the minors for this team. It’s dark. And so from that lens, Wentz or not, this wasn’t a strong system. And remember, this roster lucked into a first place record last year. So from that perspective, I think it makes sense to spend whatever little prospect currency you’ve got, try to gear up for the start of the season, and if things putter out early, well, then maybe you consider trying to rebuild the farm a bit.

Hustle’s toxic $.02: There isn’t to much to say that Bailey already didn’t. I think $15 is probably pushing it in terms of value out of Mccann. That being said $17 for a combined C platoon with Barnes seems reasonable.  Also, there’s a lot of money available for Evil Otters to be spending, so if McCann is slightly overpaid, it’s probably not  a big deal.

Hustle Media likes Joey Wentz was a prospect, but an A ball pitcher has a long way to go in terms of risky and development.  It’s hard to hate trading one away. TBD currently doesn’t have a catcher on their roster outside of Nick Hundley, so unless they make another trade, they’re likely to be looking at a few guys in the auction.

Seems like a fine trade for both teams.

Trade: TBD | In Line for the Win

TBD to In Line 4 the Win
Reynolds, Mark

In Line 4 the Win to TBD 

$5

 

Bailey’s Championship Take

If Mark Reynolds resigns with Colorado, this might be an okay $5 ($10 total investment including player cost) gamble. Reynolds went over 850 points last year and is a cheap enough guy to plug in and allow IL4W to slide Anthony Rizzo to 2B. I doubt he tops 850 again even at Coors, but it’s not a bad risk if you want to leverage all your many budget bucks to improve, but not gash your funds completely before auction. But if Reynolds goes almost anywhere else, I feel like he’s likely not worth much at all, definitely not $10. He scored less than 600 points in 2016 and under 500 in 2015. At 1B, that won’t come close to cutting it. In order to really capitalize on Rizzo at 2B, you need a strong guy at 1B. Being stronger at 2B but weaker at 1B isn’t helpful. So I guess it really depends where Reynolds ends up. I would’ve probably shot for a more steady, less park factor dependent 1B myself. Or just waited until Reynolds signs to revisit this. I imagine TBD sells him for $5 at any point this offseason, regardless of where he signs.

 

Hustle’s Toxic $.02

Seems like a big win for TBD.  Mark Reynolds at $5 is probably a cut for TBD, especially if he’s not in Colorado.   Clearly IL4W wants to acquire a 1b so he can put Rizzo at 2b, but I struggle to see the wisdom in going out of your way to acquire Mark Reynolds pre auction.   Personally, I don’t think he’s guaranteed to find a starting job to start the season unless he falls to a team looking for an injury replacement. Even then, I don’t see him being worth $10 unless he re-signs with the Rockies and starts. Even if those 2 magical things happen and you hit your best case scenario, Reynolds isn’t a long term piece and won’t be someone you can sell off for much come July.  I do think a $10 Rockies starting Reynolds is perfectly reasonable  and would make IL4W better if properly deployed.

On a rebuilding team like IL4W, I’m not a fan of this move. On the other hand, when you have a ton of auction cash, potentially wasting $10 on one move wouldn’t  be  a significant loss.