Trade: Hustle Loyalty Respect | Senior Squids

Hustle Loyalty Respect sends: 2B/3B/SS Jonathan Villar ($12)
Senior Squids sends: SP Sandy Alcantara (minors)

Andrew’s Thoughts: I suppose last year’s stats don’t matter much, but in 2016 Jonathan Villar was the 4th highest scoring shortstop, 7th at 2B, and 5th at 3B. He’s been absolutely dreadful this season to the tune of a .271 wOBA. Of qualified hitters, that ranks 157th out of 166. Byron Buxton ranks 165th on that list. Villar being ranked near Buxton just by itself is devastating to his value. At least Villar only costs $12 and not like, I don’t know, $38 or something. Man, can you imagine paying Byron Buxton $38 to sit on your bench every day? I sure can’t.

I think if you were looking at this season alone, completely ignorant of last year, sure, dump Villar for an okay prospect. But last year exists, and so I can’t see dumping him for a prospect of Sandy Alcantara‘s caliber. I don’t even dislike Alcantara necessarily, but how much of his scouting report can be written about how many other pitching prospects?

Villar just turned 26. He’s already had a season where he finished in the top seven in scoring at three infield positions. How is his value equal to a guy with 76 uninspiring Double-A innings to his name? How does that one line on a 26-year-old’s resume, inflated as it may have been by a .373 BABIP, not trump whatever list you see where Alcantara appears?

I think Hustle will pick someone up this morning that either already is on some other list somewhere or will be before long, essentially replacing Alcantara for free, while adding Villar as a depth piece with proven upside. Villar’s isn’t prospect upside. It’s legitimate, “hey guys, I’m super young and already finished a full season as the 22nd highest scoring hitter” upside. And at $14 next year, Villar’s keepable if he closes out the year strong. He could be keepable if he merely shows life. Sure, he’s likely to be 2B-only next year and that dings his value some, but just rest of season, I’d much rather gamble on what Villar’s already done in the majors than gamble on what Alcantara might some day do.

Trade: We Talk Fantasy Sports | Preseason Double Stuff

 

We Talk Fantasy Sports trades away
DeSclafani, Anthony ($11)

Preseason Double Stuffs trades away
Garza, Matt ($3)

Hustle’s .02: I guess the most interesting part of this trade is that Desclafani was $11 in auction or as a keeper. He isn’t due back until August at the earliest. Desclafani was better in 2016 that I remember, but I think he goes for cheaper than $13 in auction.  This was a dead player for WTFS and they got some pitching help.

Garza has produced double digit positive points in 5 consecutive games, which in 2017 is something. Averaging 22 points a game certainly isn’t exciting, but very useful in 2017 if he keeps that up and you play his matchups well.

He seems like a top 7 SP on WTFS’s current roster (maybe top 5), so this is a  trade for WTFS vying for a playoff spot.

As for PDS, even though I do not like this trade for them, losing Matt Garza will more then likely not come back to haunt them.

 

Andrew’s thoughts: 

This is a perfectly fine trade for both teams.

Matt Garza is very boring, but serviceable. WTFS needs pitching behind Max Scherzer in much the same way they need a time machine to go back and reverse the decision to keep Byron Buxton for $38. Garza’s been roughly a league average pitcher this year. I think he’s a decent, cheap guy to plug in for a while. If he’s decent, he could also be a keeper into 2018, though he’s unexciting enough that maybe you just toss him back into the pool.

The Double Stuffs’ season is over, so they get the younger guy with presumably higher upside in Anthony DeSclafani who might still be around next year. He was a 26.65 per start pitcher last year which is solid in Cincinnati. He’s hurt, but so what? At $13, they can keep him into 2018 if they want, or if he stays injured all year, just dump him. Whatever. I really don’t see a dramatic difference between trading Garza for some random, meh pitching prospect or trading him for DeSclafani, who may as well be a prospect too but has at least proven he can pitch in MLB.

Trade: Hustle Loyalty Respect | Team Hydra

Team Hydra sends: 3B Nolan Arenado ($71), SP David Price ($75), LF/CF Tommy Pham (FA), 2018 5th round pick
HLR sends: LF/RF/CF Aaron Hicks (FA), SP Yadier Alvarez, C Zack Collins, 2018 1st & 2nd round pick

Andrew’s Thoughts: Roughly a year ago, I traded Miguel Cabrera, Sonny Gray, and stuff for Cody Bellinger, Ian Happ, Jorge Soler, and what ended up being the second overall draft pick plus other stuff. Alex from Team Hydra commented on the trade as such: “to be fair Bailey said those guys were on the block. He just didn’t say they were going to be given away for free.”

Fast forward to yesterday and, well, to be fair, Alex said these guys were on the block. He just didn’t say they were going to be given away for free.

Two of my first thoughts upon seeing this trade were that (a) Aaron Hicks is the best piece going to Hydra, and (b) Tommy Pham may as well be the same guy. I did a quick Google search and here’s some random Cardinals blog that thinks the same thing. So there’s that. Hicks is hitting at a 1.644 PT/PA clip, whereas Pham is at 1.502. Pham’s older and has one less outfield position. They were both free agent adds that will start at $5 salary next year. They just feel very same-y to me, to the point where if one is your main piece and you’re giving up the other, the point feels a tad defeated.

I really didn’t think David Price was going to go for much. He’s got a lot of mileage, has developed a homer problem (who hasn’t?), and there are lingering injury concerns. Also, he’s been pretty bad this year. At $77 next year, I think he’s an easy cut or Hustle will just give him away the moment the season ends and clog up some other team’s budget. I thought he should’ve been cut this year (pre-injury). So whatever team bought him was likely doing it on a rental basis, and I just didn’t see teams spending big to rent anyone. I thought maybe a pick and a prospect would get it done. In that vein, I don’t think sending Collins or Alvarez, or maybe even both, for Price as a rental is that bad on its own, assuming you really believe Price can get it going and help your team this year. Given the pitching landscape, gambling on Price seems like a reasonable bet.

So we haven’t even gotten to the big gun in this trade, and I feel like Hicks and Pham have cancelled each other out and a moderately valuable Price has fetched a couple pieces. There aren’t a ton more assets floating around here.

As for Arenado, well, I’m not sure all the pieces going to Hydra is enough for him alone. He’s expensive, sure, but he’s young, in his prime, plays a premium position, and plays in Coors. His salary is only going to go up by $2/year. That’s nothing. He’s a superstar, priced reasonably at $73 next year, and yet he didn’t land someone universally viewed as an “elite prospect”? I mean, maybe you think Yadier Alvarez is. That’s fair. Everyone’s prospect valuations are different. But he’s pitched 45 innings at A+. The lead time on him is a factor and that assumes that he dodges injury and experiences no developmental speed bumps. He’s already struggling with command this year.

And I like Zack Collins as a hitter, but if he doesn’t stick at catcher, a lot of his value will be sapped in a world where Ryan Zimmerman, Justin Smoak,  Yonder Alonso, Mark Reynolds, and Logan Morrison are awesome and can be had for free. Heck, the Braves are moving Freddie Freeman to third base (I imagine this factored into Hydra’s long-term calculus for moving Arenado) to make room for Matt Adams‘ bat. First base is not lacking for depth. And the cost control aspect is neat but if Collins is $1 and Alonso gets greeded up to like $5, is that really significant value?

If he does stick at catcher, that might push his MLB ETA out further. Again, for me personally, Alvarez and Collins are guys you can afford to spend on a rental player or two or just a quality lineup upgrade, not really key cogs to dealing a stud.

And those picks are… something? It’s going to be a late first rounder and a pick somewhere in the second round, but this year’s MLB Draft class was weak. Looking at last year’s draft, I feel like around the 11th or 12th pick is where it started really being a coin toss. The first belongs to Hustle and the second belongs to Haddy. Today, that’d be pick 16 and pick 27, I think. You can definitely land good talent there, but your odds of whiffing also go up considerably the deeper you go.

Look, I won’t argue anyone’s prospect evaluations. If you think Collins is going to be a star and Alvarez is going to quickly develop into an ace, awesome. I definitely think, at least in Collins’ case, he’s a better fantasy prospect than real life prospect. But I don’t really know. I doubt you know either. We’re all making our best guesses. But I really do have a hard time imagining that, in terms of prospect currency, no one was willing to beat Alvarez and Collins even if, as the buyer, you’re super high on them both. Arenado’s not some declining veteran, win-now salary sell off. He’s a player that even if you’re at the bottom of the standings, you should probably be in on. I’d be curious how many teams even inquired here.

In terms of dynasty rankings Collins and Alvarez are… top 50? Maybe top 30 guys? (The rankings are irrelevant, of course. I don’t recall Bellinger being an “elite” guy a year ago.) I’m not sure if HLR had added Vladimir Guerrero Jr to this package it’d still feel totally right, but it’d at least be closer. At least then there’s a consensus “elite prospect” in the mix.

There’s no telling how this will play out. If the prospects turn into anything decent, Hydra’s probably content. I think some of it will depend on if teams sell players at discounted prices in the off-season like last year, at which point Hydra can put some of the cap space they’ve freed up to use. I know Hustle’s probably thrilled to just plug in Arenado every day instead of oscillating back and forth between Yuli Gurriel and Nick Castellanos.

Hustle’s Take

Trade: Senior Squids | Capital City Income

 

Hill, Rich ($15)
2020 Draft Pick, Round 3 (Capital City Income)

Senior Squids trades away
Gattis, Evan ($9)
2020 Draft Pick, Round 2 (Senior Squids

 

Hustle’s $.02

From a value standpoint. I think the trade is pretty even. Rich Hill clearly is the more risk reward player here and probably warrants the pick upgrade. This pick upgrade is for 2020 so it could be an upgrade of one pick or as many as 32. I’m going to guess in between.

For Bailey: I understand the appeal. He has some pitcher depth (after acquiring Happ/Vargas) and having a capable 2nd catcher is very useful in this league. Currently he has Martin as his guy, and that’s likely not to change on most nights. Catchers get hurt, and Gattis is a huge upgrade to anything he could get on the wire. It’s also useful for those days Martin just won’t play.  It was about 2.5 months ago when Bailey traded away a 3rd rounder (essentially), Chris Carter, and Grichuk for  Hill.  Grichuk has been worthless and won’t be kept and Chris Carter has been a sparingly useful 1b/UTIl (5 pph) on the last place team.  So he’s played musical chairs with some assets and ended up with a very nice backup catcher. If Rich Hill does get it going, this may look foolish with the current pitching landscape. I’d say on the surface this looks like Bailey selling high after one of Hill’s best starts, but it’s not like the sell-high netted too much.

Bailey’s Rating: /5 Sticks

 

For Elton: We’ll find out pretty soon how this deal goes, because Rich Hill is the only real factor here. I think he’s going to either be a very good-great pitcher averaging close to or over 30 ppg or he’s going to continue to implode and the Dodgers will give him less starts and perhaps put him in the pen.  He’s basically either a $30-40 pitcher or a $0 one. The Dodgers paid him, so he’ll get his chance, but there are some red flags in healthy, age, some diminished stuff, and the Dodgers have a plethora of options.

In a year where pitching is so difficult is the answer to just get more bullets or just strengthening your hitting and hope for the best on pitching? Squids is clearly doing the former.

The catcher isn’t so much a need for Squids because he has Zunino and Gary Sanchez. For me, this is a low risk “I’m going for it” deal.  At 5-7 Squids chances at playoffs are losing steam each week so he needs to do something now and pitching is his biggest need. If he thinks he can do it, then I really like this deal for him.  If he doesn’t make playoffs and Rich Hill is a pumpkin, then he loses a trade chip in Gattis, but hardly a significant one.

Squids Ratings Rating   / 5 Sticks

 

 

 

Trade: Preseason Double Stuffs | We Talk Fantasy Sports

Preseason Double Stuffs send: 2B DJ LeMahieu ($15)
WTFS send: 2B Rougned Odor ($29)

Andrew’s Thoughts: I’m not a Rougned Odor fan at all really. His OBP last year was a crummy .296 and it’s down to .260 last year. He never walks. Basically, unless he hits a home run, he’s a zero for your team. He did hit 33 last year and has 12 so far this year, which is cool, but everyone is a home run hitter now.

To that end, LeMahieu only hit 11 home runs all of last year. And that’s playing half his games at Coors. So Odor’s power output from this season, in which he’s been a big disappointment, is better than LeMahieu’s last year, in his career season. DJ’s older and he’s boring, but his floor is pretty high.

If the costs were the same, sure, trade the boring safe guy for the flashy recent prospect with “upside,” especially if you’re retooling. I get that. In this case, I don’t really get paying an extra $14 for the riskier guy, particularly when, without walks and getting on-base, the upside doesn’t seem all that high. And LeMahieu isn’t 29 yet, so it’s not like he’s some old veteran that you need to cash out on now. But I guess if Odor suddenly decides to walk 8% of the time and stops hitting easy infield flies, there’s room for growth and the power will still be there. I just don’t feel very excited about keeping a $31 (minimum) Odor into 2018.

I like it for WTFS most, who have now freed up $14 for 2018. That money will assuredly help subsidize all Byron Buxton‘s -3 point days on their bench for another year.

Hustle’s Thoughts:

I too like this better for WTFS. LeMahieu (not an actual DJ) was the better fantasy option this year and last and is half the price. The massive power difference between Odor and LeMahieu is washed away by the walk and strikeout rates.  Unless Odor shows significant improvement in those areas, I don’t see this trade working out for Ferns.

That being said Odor is only 23 and 5 years to LeMahieu’s junior and certainly has time to improve and with the power has monster potential.

 

 

Trade: Team Hydra | Capital City Income

 

Team Hydra trades away
Vargas, Jason ($3)
Happ, J.A. ($5)

Capital City Ironmen trades away
Ray, Corey
Travis, Devon ($11)

Hustle’s .02

When I went to take a piss at 5 in the morning I checked my phone and saw the email notification of this trade. With my senses barely there, I though this was a steal for Bailey.  Having had my breakfast, coffee, and shower…I pondered the trade some more.  I still think this is a good trade for Bailey, but more justified from Hydra’s stand point.

Firstly, I’m not a big Corey Ray fan. Moderate power and some above average speed which isn’t worth a lot in this format. In 2017 he’s striking out a ton with a .148 ISO in High A. If it wasn’t for him being the 5th pick last year (and a top 3 pick in our draft) he’d be completely off my radar.  He’s still a bit away, isn’t that exciting (to me), and plays a deep position where you’ll really need to produce to be a contributor. On the other side, he’s young and has the pedigree to improve and be an impact player.

Devon Travis at $13 next year?  This was famously a Dusty trade and  drop and I believe the biggest FAAB acquisition in league history (Otani aside). I think a healthy Devon Travis is worth 13 bucks, maybe a few more. So there’s value here if he manages to stay healthy which he never has. Hydra doesn’t have a 2b to build around and maybe Travis is it. Travis is out for a significant amount of time, but Hydra has thrown their hat out of race for 2017.

The haul for Bailey is 2 veteran pitchers in Happ and Vargas. Vargas is obviously playing out of his mind now.  I assume nobody was giving a big haul for a 34 year old having a career season averaging 30 points per game.  JA Happ on the other hand was great last year and only recently picked things up with back to back 40+ point games. I think both are probably around top 75 pitchers (maybe better), which in this league is very relevant.  Bailey’s pitching core is greatly improved from 2 players who won’t effect his bottom line this year.

I get that Hydra wanted to trade two 34 year olds because they could possibly be exposed and have very little value by season’s end. I think chances are one of them will be a very good value to keep next year, but it is unclear which. Even if we can predict Jason Vargas for having a good 2018 season, he’s still in the twilight of his career and getting 2 young assets is perhaps more intriguing. If this was the best they could get in their eyes, then that’s the market.. it feels a tad light.

Ultimately the trade is fine for both teams. If I’m Hydra, I would have liked someone better than Corey Ray, but this is a totally a prospect personal preference criticism.

 

 

Trade: Hustle Loyalty Respect | We Talk Fantasy Sports

HLR sends: 1B/RF Carlos Santana ($29), 2018 3rd Round Pick
WTFS sends: C Zack Collins (minors), 2018 1st Round Pick

Andrew’s Thoughts: I like this deal a good bit for WTFS, who are 14th in hitting points and need fire power as they fight toward a playoff spot. The CJ Cron experiment has been a disaster. It has left them a big void at both 1B and their UT spaces. Santana is affordable and offers a nice, safe floor. Consider Santana the anti-Byron Buxton, if you will. The Twins’ former #3 prospect behind Jose Berrios and Max Kepler is, by contrast to Santana, expensive and offers a safe floor only in the sense that the word “floor” could function as a synonym of the term “rock bottom.” It is safe in that it can’t possibly get any worse. But I digress…

I almost took Zack Collins third overall in our draft on the chance he retains that catcher eligibility, but meh, I didn’t. Point is, I find him interesting. I think he’s a better fantasy prospect than real life prospect. And the first round pick is a nice bonus. In this case, Hustle just didn’t really need Santana, I guess, so opted instead to take on some prospect value. That’s fine. He can flip these pieces in two or three weeks if necessary, perhaps at a greater premium as more teams drop in the standings. But in a vacuum, I just don’t really find the two pieces compelling enough to fork over a sub-$30 Santana who is very keepable starting at $31 next season. He’s got a lot of 1B’s, yeah, but Santana can plug in at RF too and fill either UT spot. I’m usually a sucker for depth (and fearful of injuries); I’d rather have too many good players and occasionally leave the better guy on the bench than to have too thin a roster. And by adding prospects, it’s not like dealing from depth to improve a weakness elsewhere.

Of course, if you look at this trade in conjunction with Hustle’s other trade, from his perspective, he swapped out Santana for a younger, cheaper Myers, and swapped out Ross and De Leon (essentially prospects) for two more prospects in the form of a first round pick and Collins. You could easily build your case that, as prospects go, Collins is more valuable than De Leon heads up. So while I think HLR “lost” (for lack of a better term) this trade, I think this one paired with the other one are a net gain for his situation.

Trade: Senior Squids | Hustle Loyalty Respect

HLR sends: SP Joe Ross ($16), SP Jose De Leon ($1), 2018 4th Round Pick
Senior Squids sends: 1B/RF Wil Myers $17)

Andrew’s thoughts: Joe Ross gets annihilited by left handed hitters (.408 wOBA!) and his value was very questionable a week ago before having that one awesome start against the Manny-less, Jones-less Orioles. His game log is weird. He’s either had great starts or disastrous starts this year. There’s been no in between. Jose De Leon is hurt or something, isn’t he?

Don’t get me wrong. I like Ross and De Leon well enough. I loved Ross in particular before the season started. But a year ago Wil Myers was the key piece to buying Bryce Harper. He’s young, cheap, and good. I mean, I guess downgrading at first from Myers to a platoon of Trey Mancini and Danny Valencia is fine in the short-term. It’s not a death blow. Mancini’s BABIP is elevated and 25% of his fly balls are going for homers. He just… doesn’t feel real to me yet. And if he’s not real, what happens when you’re relying on Valencia, who was dumped on waivers fairly recently, to hold down your 1B fort?

I don’t know. I guess it could work out either way. Myers doesn’t strike me as an untouchable, transcendent type guy, and the way hitters are exploding right now, it seems like you could find production similar to his much easier than you could find two wild card pitchers.

I guess that’s sort of my underlying feeling here too. In the last week, Squids has gone bonkers for pitching despite an offense that entered this week ranked 11th in the league. I’m not sure that in 2017 you can trust pitchers to carry the day anymore. Offense is the safety net now, and this move would in theory weaken an offense already struggling to stay afloat by going from Myers to two guys you’d probably rather see as back-ups. But who knows, I think Squids has some more moves in the pipeline, so we’ll see.

Trade: Long Ball to LF | Senior Squids

Long Ball to LF sends: SP Daniel Norris ($14)
Senior Squids sends: 2018 1st Round Pick

 

Andrew’s thoughts: Without any context, I’d rather have Daniel Norris than a generic first round pick. I inquired about Norris a few times, actually. The pick is just a prospect, which Norris was as recently as a couple years ago. He was Baseball America’s 18th-ranked prospect in 2014. By buying him now, you get the same type of prospect pedigree as you’d get in the draft, but with 200 innings of work under his belt. He will also score you points today; that pick will score you points way later.

But there’s context too.

Long Ball has a bunch of pitchers, several similar to Norris, so he was expendable. Meanwhile, if the season ended today, Squids would be in the bottom-4 bracket and likely have the strongest team there, meaning the best chance of winning that bracket and the top overall pick. Worst case, as of today, it’s the 4th overall pick. So you’re in effect trading a guy like Luis Robert, Hunter Greene, Royce Lewis, Brendan McKay, etc for Norris. Still, not too bad, particularly if you need the points now. But…

I feel like more could have been milked for a pick that currently projects high, or maybe a guy or two could’ve been paired with it to get an even better pitcher. Picks are coveted in this league and an as-of-today top-4 pick didn’t really even seem to be publicly shopped. The last time I looked a couple weeks back, a league average start was around 21 points. Norris is the 73rd overall SP in total points and is averaging 19.83 points a start, so slightly below average. So I also wonder if a second round pick doesn’t buy you a comparable thrower.

Hustle’s thoughts: I disagree with Andrew hereI personally rather have the pick, but not by much.  I’ve never been a Daniel Norris fan. He’s a pretty average pitcher overall and maybe slightly below in a fantasy context here.  He’s averaging 19 points a game here, which is a low end starter unless you expect him to pick it up (which is possible).

I get that a first round pick is years away from contributing, but currently Squids has a ticket to the 2018 Iosim Bowl so this was potentially moving the first overall pick.  Even in a weak draft, I’ll take the lotto ticket and either trade the pick closer to the draft for something better or improve the farm.

At 4-6 Squids definitely has a shot to get back in this and make playoffs, but I don’t think it’s going to be on the back of Daniel Norris. If it is, I’ll have to re-evaluate this. Daniel Norris as an above average pitcher at less than $20 to keep is a good asset.

 

 

Trade: TBD | Senior Squids

TBD sends: SP Brent Honeywell (minors)
Senior Squids sends: 3B Rafael Devers (minors)

Hustle’s thoughts: There was a time in the offseason when I predicted Joe would make a trade with Elton for a catcher.  Both of them privately told me they would never make a trade with each other.  Then a few months later TBD acquired a catcher from Squids.  Now they trade again.  Was the point of these first few sentences to gloat? Mostly.  

Moving on to the trade. If we were to redo our initial minor league auction with players who have yet to debut (like we did in early 2016), I would think both these guys would be late first round picks.  It’s rare to see a top prospect get traded for another.  Calling someone a winner and a loser here would be more foolish than most trades.  I think Devers is safer here. He is only 20 and mashing in AA to a 220 ISO and near 400 WOBA.  Squids made it known he’s looking to improve on pitching, and while he’s acquired one of the best near MLB ready arms, it’s far from a given Honeywell will produce out of the gate.  Most pitchers take a while to figure it out or get hurt. Honeywell’s upside is probably a #2, maybe an Ace, so I definitely see the appeal here, but both these guys could be a while from mattering if ever.  Squids also has Kyle Seager reasonably prices for a few years, so Honeywell’s upside gives him a chance to have a more balanced team.

Andrew’s thoughts: Oh, the rare prospect for prospect trade. And I think it’s a fair swap for both teams.

I personally would rather have Devers, just because he seems less risky somehow and all the scouts and lists like him more. But Honeywell’s good too, he’s likely going to debut sooner, and he’s a pitcher, so if you’re hunting for guys who throw baseballs, he’s a solid target as far as prospects go. This is one of those trades where if it’s uneven at all, the difference is something small like a late draft pick or an auction buck.

So yeah, nice, simple, even trade.