Trade: Who’s Your Haddy? | Trumpa Loompas

WYH sends: LF/RF David Dahl ($3; cost controlled), LF Christin Stewart (minors), CF Estevan Florial (minors), 2019 2nd Round Pick, 2020 1st Round Pick
TL sends: LF/CF/RF Adam Eaton ($26), two 2019 3rd Round Picks, 2020 2nd Round Pick

Andrew’s thoughts: I think at first glance this might look like a big overpay for Haddy, just because prospect value seems to have skyrocketed so much here. But upon closer inspection, I don’t think it is.

First of all, Haddy easily gets the best player in this deal, though he comes with a lot of risk. Adam Eaton has only logged 178 plate appearances since coming to DC via Chicago before the 2017 season, seemingly suffering one injury after another. They’ve been fairly serious injuries too, not just bumps and bruises. But in the three seasons from 2014-16, he was sturdy and steady, posting wOBAs over .340 each year. In his limited action in DC, he’s running a .374 wOBA and 134 WRC+. That is very, very good. He’s also only 29-years-old, can play all three outfield spots, and will start at $28 to keep, which for his production is more than reasonable. Sure, he’s risky. But he’s a proven producer and even with the injuries, I’m not convinced he’s more risky than the meh prospects Haddy got rid of here.

Of the guys going back to Trumpa Loompas, I actually think I like Christin Stewart the best. He’s murdering minor league pitching this year and I’ve read some Khris Davis comps on him. He walks a bunch, has crazy power, and this year has cut back considerably on his strikeouts. I’m not sure he should be the best guy you get for a player of Eaton’s caliber, but I like him.

The other two players are a mixed bag. David Dahl is way more injury prone than Eaton and despite a .367 wOBA over 237 plate appearances in 2016, he hasn’t really done anything at the major league level in more than a season. He doesn’t walk, strikes out a bunch, and the Rockies seem really bad at integrating prospects into their team. I get that any halfway decent hitter at Coors is enticing, but I’m just not a big Dahl fan. Wasn’t he at one point part of Haddy’s return for Mookie Betts though? His star has really faded.

I guess Esteval Florial is the biggest name prospect, and the guy who appears highest on lists, but I’m not that into him either. I guess FanGraphs did slap a 60 on his raw power, but he’s hurt now and has yet to play past A+, so he’s a ways off from contributing, and I don’t recall reading any gushing reports about him. For sure, his minor league numbers are good. I don’t know. I won’t pretend to know a ton about him. Suffice to say, I’m not drooling over this guy as a fantasy prospect right now.

Maybe I’m just blinded by my overall love of Adam Eaton here, but I like this for Haddy overall. He absolutely had to improve his offense and did it for wildcards. Yes, the guy he got back is risky, but his age, salary, and eligibility make it feel worth it. The only real problem I see is that he sort of fired all his bullets in this one deal, unless he wants to flip Austin Riley. I don’t know what he’d fetch. Probably a good piece in this league, actually. I guess we’ll see. For now, given where Haddy’s team is in the standings, I’d be pretty happy getting Eaton, and then just hold my breath that he doesn’t break again.

Hustle’s toxic $0.02:¬†¬†

Bailey wrote a lot of words, I’ll write a lot less. I agree with most of his point.

I like this trade for both teams. T.L. got some intriguing prospects with upside who have a chance to become regulars for him at a low cost while upgrading a few draft picks. On the flip side, he has a lot of salary to work with next year, so a healthy Adam Eaton wasn’t likely burning a hole in his pocket.

This trade simply comes down to whether Eaton¬† can stay healthy and perform like a healthy Eaton has performed.¬† If Eaton can be that guy, Haddy’s team add a very solid offensive bat and one that is keepable for a few years.¬† If he can’t stay healthy, Haddy lost some wildcard prospects. If one of the three work out as being a good contributor for multiple years, then T.L. probably makes out great, because even if Eaton is a monster R.O.S., T.L. is out of the playoff hunt most likely anyway. That’s really the scenario they are both betting on.¬† If T.L. somehow manages 2 long term assets here, well then, that could make the Trumpa Loomps great again….finally.

I also agree with Bailey’s assessment on the spects. I like Stewart the most, and he’s potentially a guy much better suited for our point scoring than a 5×5 league, so perhaps he’s been underrated on some fantasy lists and his lack of defensive prowess probably made him underrated on other prospect lists.¬† Florial is injured right now and struggled a bit this year, but is only 20 and seems like he’s due to pick up value at some point. Dahl hasn’t been good since 2016, but an every day regular in Coors is always intriguing.

Bottom line, this is a good gamble for both sides.

Trade: We Talk Fantasy Sports | Rocky Mtn Oysters

We Talk Fantasy Sports sends: SP Kyle Hendricks ($18), 2017 5th Round Pick
Rocky Mtn Oysters sends: CF Byron Buxton ($32), 2017 2nd Round Pick

Andrew’s thoughts: What a great, great deal for Dusty’s Oysters.

First of all: I love Kyle Hendricks. You can ask Jordan, I privately gushed about him leading up to the season. I still ended up with no shares of him, but that’s fine. Here’s why I liked him so much: between 2014 and 2015, Hendricks posted a 3.34¬†FIP and a¬†0.73 HR/9.¬†In our format and in the real world, those are some pretty fantastic peripherals. After striking out barely anyone in 2014, he K’d more than eight batters per nine innings last year, which showed growth and the promise for more.

I also loved that Hendricks came into this season largely underrated. In fact, I remember reading debates about whether he or Adam Warren would win a spot in the rotation. He’s responded to the tune of a 2.89 FIP and a 0.39 HR/9¬†rate. For comparison’s sake, Jake Arrieta is currently putting up a 2.47 FIP and a 0.29 HR/9 rate. Arrieta is striking out more guys and going deeper into games, but those numbers are otherwise interchangeable. Hendricks is really, really good. On a points per game basis, he’s SP28. He’s basically a team’s number two starter.

As proof that the 26-year-old (he’s super young, too!) Hendricks was being undervalued, I present this: he went for $18 at auction. Eighteen! I’m embarrassed not to have him at a price that low. Even with a $2 raise and every team slapping him with their greed buck, he’s still a good value a year from now. And beyond, probably. Given that every single team competing in this league has been actively pursuing pitching, it’s not a stretch to suggest Hendricks as one of the league’s ten or so best values.

And then there’s Byron Buxton.

Just to lay some groundwork, here are some centerfielders paid comparably to Buxton and what they’ve done this year:

Yoenis Cespedes: $32, 334.4 points, 8.36 PPG, 2.03 PT/PA

Christian Yelich: $24, 299.1 points, 7.12 PPG, 1.71 PT/PA

Charlie Blackmon: $27, 169.9 points, 5.66 PPG, 1.32 PT/PA

You know what, I need to just stop there. Because there are so many productive centerfielders that went for so, so much less than Buxton did at auction that I’d be doing this all day. Adam Eaton went for $15, Jackie Bradley Jr. went for $3, Dexter Fowler went for $12, Charlie Blackmon went for $27, Brett Gardner went for $14, Odubel Herrera went for $2, Denard Span went for $4, Colby Rasmus went for $7, Marcell Ozuna went for $14. You get the point. There are a bunch of nicely priced centerfielders.

And then… there’s Buxton.

We all know who this guy is and what he represents. He’s a stud prospect that some have boldly compared to Mike Trout (uh, okay). He’s got all the skill in the world: speed, gap power, and athleticism to burn. He’s raked at every minor league stop. The one thing he does not have — not even a little bit — is Major League production.

Over Buxton’s first 187 plate appearances, he’s put up 117.5 points*. So he’s hitting thus far in his young career at a 0.62 points per plate appearance clip. To put that futility of inefficiency into perspective: Billy Hamilton, who can steal bases and do nothing else offensively, is hitting at a 0.91 PT/PA rate through 124 PAs this year.¬†Jeff Francoeur has had 98 plate appearances this year and has scored at a 0.83 rate. It’s only 187 plate appearances, so take it for what it is, but the point is that Buxton has been arguably the worst possible hitter on the planet in those opportunities. Factor in his salary, and he’s just been an absolute vortex of suck.

*Let the record show that in 2011, Trout debuted and had 135 plate appearances. He slashed .220/.281/.390, so he was quite bad in his first taste of the big leagues. He amassed 141.1 points, meaning he hit at a 1.04 PT/PA rate. So while Trout was bad, he was 67.7% more productive¬†over his first 135 times in the batter’s box than¬†Buxton in his first 187.

This is a good time to point out that Buxton is still a phenomenal talent that was likely rushed to the majors and then mishandled by the Twins (who buries their elite prospect ninth every day?). He could be special. He could be called back up this week and suddenly hit everything thrown his way. Two years from now, he could be a top three or five centerfielder. There’s really no ceiling to what this guy could do. I still like him a whole lot as a prospect, but the underlying theme here is that he is paid like a regular in your lineup, not like a prospect.

He’s being compensated¬†$32 to be a question mark. (Might be totally irrelevant but since our league is comparable to FanGraphs’ Ottoneu, I was curious so I looked it up: across all Ottoneu leagues, Buxton’s average salary is $11.54.) Technically, since we have no in-season cap, he’s being paid nothing and WTFS can sit on him for 2016 before making a decision leading into 2017.¬†This move is obviously WTFS’ way of looking ahead to¬†next season, but he’ll cost $34 minimum on Opening Day. Buxton is also a great target for every team’s greed. You want to make risky players like him more expensive to either force a decision from that team’s owner or make their risk even tougher to pay off. It’s conceivable that Buxton costs $40 heading into 2017 on the glimmer of hope that he becomes Trout (uh, okay), all the while getting out-produced by lesser paid players. Guys like Fowler and Span are “boring” and “old,” maybe,¬†but I’d rather have boring, old, productive, and cheap than possibly exciting, young, unproductive, and expensive.

I guess what it boils down to is that on the spectrum of good and bad values, Hendricks is one extreme and Buxton the other. Hendricks at his current rate of production won’t be priced out by raises and greed (assuming teams even hit him with greed) for two or three seasons minimum. He’s young and he plays a position that’s coveted. Every pitcher is risky, but it’s just great process on Dusty’s part to flip someone he probably would’ve had to cut for someone that will make an impact for his team now and that he can plan to keep at a good rate going forward. Hendricks’ price and production dictate that you make cuts to accommodate keeping him, not the other way around.

Buxton, meanwhile, appears at this moment in time to be unkeepable¬†into next year at $34+, and acquiring him at that price is not particularly good process. Again, maybe he hits. Maybe he emerges. It’s just that he has to hit at such a level to be worth the bloated salary he’s already getting, and then even more¬†to provide surplus value, especially when compared to his centerfield peers, most of whom are already producing and many of which are doing so at a significantly lower cost.

Jordan’s thoughts: ((picks mic off the floor))

Holy shit Bailey how do you really feel? Good lord that’s a lot to dig through and it’s about a player who offers very little for his value. I think Kyle Hendricks offers quite a bit of value to about any team in DG. So far in 2016 Hendricks has been one of the more reliable starters in the league:

h2016

This shouldn’t surprise anyone as Bailey already said, here’s what he did in 2015:

h2015

So far he’s avoided the “awful” starts, and been pretty damn good this season. I don’t need to pile on what Buxton’s worth. I think for Buxton to be worth keeping for me next season, he needs to be something sort of a top 30 hitter from the All-Star break on. I don’t believe he’s that good period, so he’s not worth keeping around.

The fact that Dusty got something for a mirage, bravo. Even if Buxton does come back and blow through and create some sentiment of an argument, great. You hit the 5% projection. Bad bets still hit.

2016 Auction Review – Betternamelater

Betternamelater

bnl

The winner for Clayton Kershaw was always going to be a contender. As I’ve stated before and again. He’s almost guaranteed to be a value. I had him realistically rated as high as $150. Getting him for $117 hurts in some ways, but the team with a better name in the works, made out like bandits on a few auctions.

Hitting – Good

Manny Machado is a star in this league. Edwin Encarnacion is a fantasy star, his defense doesn’t play here. Carlos Gonzalez is still in Colorado, and even if he was not, he’s still a near lock for top five in left field. I’m higher on Adam Eaton and Curtis Granderson, lower on Ketel Marte and Dee Gordon. It will probably even out. Are we relying on Billy Butler to be a staple at the second utility spot here? Hmm. There is a lotto like about this line up, stealing Brandon Belt for $14 seems like a great buy, Keith Law probably still agrees.

Pitching –¬†Great

Kershaw is the best player in the league. Danny Salazar, Marcus Stroman and Steven Matz are all really good and interesting. I consider them all tier 2 pitchers, but if they all ended up in tier one at the end of the season I will not be surprised. I do not love Alex Wood, but between him and Nathan Eovaldi you have a solid number five and I’d be okay with Jorge De La Rosa as my sixth when he’s out of Colorado. Weeks when Kershaw pitches twice, there’s not many pitching staffs that will out-duel. He’s just so damn good. The bullpen may or may not hold this staff back. Hector Rondon has a lot of good outings, and some seriously bad ones. Joaquin Benoit is pitching in Seattle, but currently does not have a secured role.

Depth – Alright

The depth here is set to be alright. The positional flexibility plays well here. There’s no backup 2b or SS here. How many plate appearances will be left on the cutting room floor, or only slightly better, left at replacement level. Probably too many. But that could be easily patched. There is a good chance a few of these guys become legit starters as well.

Why 2016 would be bad…¬†

May the good lord forbid, but if Kershaw gets hurt. I mean I don’t even know what else to write. For any team if 22% of their budget was hurt early in the season for the whole season they would be easy choice as sunk. Same problem lies here. For the sake of the argument say the young three guys behind him hold up the pitching staff. Well it gets bad if Gonzalez and Granderson under perform. If Edwin Encarnacion goes missing, or worse, Machado has knee issues.

Why 2016 would be¬†good…¬†

Kershaw doesn’t even have to repeat 2015, just has to be close. Salazar, Stroman and Matz all get to 25+ starts as at least tier 2 guys. Machado remains awesome, the hitters all hit above their floors and this team should be pretty solid. The question marks are probably personal preference, but it is hard to argue against he value on almost all the buys. But it hinges on, well…