Trade: Pre-season Double Stuffs | Longball to LF

Pre-season Double Stuffs sends: SP Chris Archer ($77), 2017 3rd Round Pick
Longball to LF sends: SP Kenta Maeda ($23)

Jordan’s thoughts:¬†Chris Archer was awesome in 2015. He was decent in 2016. Kenta Maeda was in Japan in 2015. He was decently good in 2016. Early projections from Steamer has Archer as the better pitcher per start, and for an extra couple starts.

I think its pretty safe to say that you’d rather have Archer in all walks of life. However, in Dynasty Grinders, what can you do with $52? Well lots of things. I’d rather have a really good player and Maeda over Chris Archer so for this deal I like the Double Stuffs.

I also like¬†what Longball did here, they upgraded. Archer’s ceiling is higher and leaning towards elite, and that’s worth the gamble.

Andrew’s thoughts:¬†Echoing what Jordan said, most signs point to Archer being better than Maeda, but a $50+ gap is big. Both guys strike out a lot of hitters, so there’s no big swing there. I suppose you could contend Maeda has some injury worries (what else explains his weird Dodgers contract?) or you could worry that with a year’s worth of data and tape, hitters might figure Maeda out. On the flip side, what if that’s why Archer had a down 2015? That can cut both ways.

Sans salaries, you want Archer here. But given the salaries, Maeda plus a $52 player or Maeda plus a $30 player and a $22 player, whatever, makes plenty of sense too.

Trade: TBD | Preseason Double Stuffs

TBD sends: RF J.D. Martinez ($36)
Preseason Double Stuffs send: 2017 2nd Round Pick, 2018 1st Round Pick

Andrew’s thoughts: Getting a healthy $36 JD Martinez for just a couple draft picks is a steal. Of course, Martinez is not healthy, and he likely won’t be until sometime in early to mid-August, if not later. The Double Stuffs also have the worst record in the league, so (a) Martinez won’t help this year, and (b) that 2017 2nd Round Pick is likely to be somewhere in the 17-18th overall range. Though I’m honestly not sure you couldn’t find a prospect on waivers right now comparable to whoever the 17th or 18th best draft-eligible one will be.

(Keep in mind, the draft pool will feature incoming MLB Draftees, international prospects without Major League deals — so teenagers¬†like Kevin Maitan and Lazaro Armenteros — and any prospects that aren’t already¬†owned. There will be guys everyone likes, but not necessarily guys that are valuable. There’s a difference, I think.)

But oh well. After his off-season raise, Martinez will¬†cost $38 in 2017 and I think he’s easily worth it. So this is a solid future move for the Double Stuffs. I do value draft picks, but I think the cost control nature of prospects you get with them are somewhat overvalued. Martinez is a beast in his prime and is priced reasonably. Old favorite Byron Buxton costs a mere $4 less than him. Randal Grichuk costs $1 less. Michael Brantley, who is forever broken, costs $1 more. Whoever gets drafted this year and next may or may not ever even reach the majors. And if they do, they could just suck. Sure, if they make it and are at least average, the cost control aspect is nice, but I’d still rather have Martinez. I don’t love that the Double Stuffs won’t draft in the first or second round in each of the next two years, but I suspect they can recoup some draft currency at some point and I think you can probably offset lacking for picks by simply “scouting” harder.

The other bone you could pick is that before this trade, the Double Stuffs were projected somewhere around $150-160 over next year’s cap, and adding to that only increases the amount that’ll need to be cut. But I’m not sure that’ll be a problem. Looking at their roster, would anyone scoff if they sent $75 Chris Archer back to auction? Or $27 Taijuan Walker? Or $23 Carlos Gomez? That’s $125 right there. Point is, yeah, adding Martinez means they have to cut more, but I don’t think that’ll ultimately prove to be a major¬†problem.

For TBD, I¬†don’t love¬†the timing. In fourth place currently, they could’ve held Martinez and been able to add a dangerous bat just in time for the post-season. Unless the picks get flipped, they aren’t helping¬†for the rest of this season. Also, our first roster cut down isn’t until January (full off-season schedule is here). If Martinez comes back in August and finishes out the year healthy, I suspect he would have been worth significantly more than, at best, the 17th overall pick and a first-rounder two drafts away, in trade between October and that first cut down date. So if keeping him even at $38 was an issue, there would have been time to address alleviating that salary and, in the process, probably getting more back in trade.

Jordan’s thoughts: As my own chances to win have nearly evaporated, and my chances to bottom out are also faded, deals like this seems like the new soft market. I applaud our oreo loving friends. They got the option to a player who is almost guaranteed to be worth his keeper price. For the cost of a few pennies.

Say Martinez has a setback and his 2017 becomes unclear. Whatever. Bailey said it best, the prospects incoming are exciting, but they’re a long ways out. Until our minor league rosters are 25+ players, sitting on 18 year olds is a costly gamble. I think sitting on Martinez is a cost-effective¬†gamble.

For TBD, while I don’t mind losing Martinez for draft picks, I really feel like if this is the price tag for keepable stars, I’m just holding.

You Won’t Believe Who’s #6 On This Cool Spring Breeze List of Hot Sizzling Pitchers

A few days ago we focused on hitters that have been known to get off to a hot start, and today we will focus on pitchers that we have come to rely on in April, in each of the past three MLB seasons.

topAprilpitchers

Just like with the bats, there is an arm (or two) in this list that really doesn’t belong.

Let’s start with Anibal Sanchez – prior to the start of the 2013 season, the Tigers handed him $80 mil. ¬†Looking at this list of pitchers, seems like that was a great signing. ¬†However, the first number of his ERA has increased in each of his three full seasons with Detroit, up to 4.99 last year.

That being said, we are only worried about April here.  In 2013 he won three of his five starts and finished with an ERA of 1.34, 1.04 WHIP and a 41:9 K:BB ratio across 33.2 iP.  That accounted for 47% of his April points scored over the last three years.

Only Madison Bumgarner (48% ’13) and Johnny Cueto (48% ’14) had one year (month) be such a factor in them making this list.

The other pitcher that “doesn’t belong” on this list is Jeff Samardzija.

Bias aside, he is a good example of why counting wins in fantasy baseball doesn’t really make sense. ¬†In April of 2014, Samardzija went 0-3 despite owning a 1.98 ERA across six starts (41 ip). ¬†Actually, he is just 2-9 in early baseball.

Sonny Gray, Justin Verlander, Hyun-Jin Ryu and Aaron Harang each have two, 200 point Aprils in the last three years, but each had one year that prevented them for eclipsing 500 points.

2013
Remember when Yu Darvish was around striking out 13.7 batters per nine innings in April of 2013?

2014

Hey look, Adam Wainwright was the best pitcher in April for back to back years!

After just one pitcher reach 50 K in April of 2013, the MLB was falling in love with  Jose Fernandez, before Tommy John took him away, and saw Max Scherzer and Johnny Cueto have career years.

Stephen Strasburg also punched out 50 batters in April, but only lasted 34 innings – averaging less than six inning per start.

How did Nathan Eovaldi sneak in there?  The only other month he had an ERA below 4.00 was August, and still finished with an ERA over 5.00 after the All-Star Break.

2015

No pitchers struck out 50 batters last year in April, and only Clayton Kershaw and James Shields even struck out 40 batters Рand neither made this list.  Kershaw had an ERA nearing 4.00.  Both pitchers only lasted 31 innings over five starts.

Remember that start to the season Aaron Harang had last year?  He finished April with a WHIP under 1.00, and over 3.5 K/BB.

Dallas Keuchel, Sonny Gray, Chris Archer and Gerrit Cole all gave fantasy baseball a great year and are going to have live up to HIGH expectations in 2016.

Trade: Rocky Mtn Oysters | Preseason Double Stuffs

Rocky Mtn Oysters send: OF Bryce Harper ($109)
Preseason Double Stuffs send: SP Max Scherzer ($86)

Andrew’s thoughts:¬†This is almost too surprising to wrap my head around, but I think my knee-jerk reaction is that I don’t love it for either squad but I prefer it from the Double Stuffs’ end.

Ferns and Chris still have a formidable rotation with Chris Archer at the top, and now they’ve got a transcendent hitter to plug into their lineup and slug¬†from Day 1. Their offense went from a bunch of question marks to a bunch of question marks surrounded by a stud. Any time you can flip a player that cost $23 less than another player at auction before any games have been played,¬†you’re probably feeling good.

Of course, Bryce is super expensive. If you’re the Oreos, $109 is a lot. It won’t matter in 2016, but I can see future seasons having to make some serious cuts to accommodate keeping this one guy. That’s the problem paying young guys tons and tons of budget. You feel some sense of obligation to keep them long term, but it’ll hurt your roster elsewhere.

For Dusty’s Oysters, I don’t get it at all. Why swing deals to get extra budget cash, splurge on the highest paid hitter, then trade him? The benefit of those previous deals is now eroded. Given that there’s no in-season budget, he effectively spent $109 on Scherzer which, if the strategy all along was to buy a hitter to flip for a pitcher, why not just pony up for Clayton Kershaw at auction? I love Max Scherzer, so getting him for¬†the top of your rotation is awesome. But I don’t think I’m trading Bryce straight up for any player not named Clayton Kershaw or Mike Trout (and you guys know I heart pitchers), so I can’t help but feel like simply waiting instead of rushing to make a splash may have paid off better.

Jordan’s thoughts:¬†Holy Cow! The first giant and meaningful trade of Dynasty Grinders is a big one. My favorite non-Mariner for an awesome pitcher. This has many implications, but this appears to be a classic case of I drafted a lot of this, you drafted a lot of this, we both need the other thing, lets switch. Bryce comes with crazy potential, but his keeper value is diminished at over 20% of your normal budget. Scherzer is under that 20% mark, but not by much. Enough of that, how did that change their teams now in the pre-season.

I have my handy dandy team projection calculator using FanGraphs’s Depth Charts Projections. Prior to this trade The Oysters were ranked 8th which a projected score of roughly 576 fantasy points per week. The Double Stuffs were considerably behind scoring 563 fantasy points per week, ranked 14th of 16 Dynasty Grinders clubs. Let’s calculate the difference!

Oysters -> 565.7 Points Per Week | Net -11.3 Rank 12
Stuffs -> 564.6 Points Per Week | Net +1.6 Rank 14

Wow. How does that work? Well…

Oysters replace Bryce with George Springer just fine. But George Springer who was filling the utility spot is now replaced by Danny Espinosa, James McCann, and there’s still 300 or so replacement at bats. Dusty had a glut at right field, but doesn’t currently have the utility depth.

On the pitching side he adds 34 Max Scherzer starts to replace Luis Severino and Jake Peavy starts. Severino and Peavy are not all-stars, but they were no slouches at a projected 26 points per start each. Max’s 37 points per start is nice, but not at this cost.

I’m sorry Dusty, I don’t like this move.

For the Stuffs, they insert Harper into the CF/RF slot which essentially moves Carlos Gomez to the 4th OF and Utility role. This is a huge improvement for a variety of reasons. They took utility at bats away from Yasmany Tomas, Eduardo Escobar and Cesar Hernandez. Awesome.

On the pitching side, they lose Max, and replace him with Ian Kennedy and Jerad Eickhoff. They turned from a 37 point per game starter and handed those starts to two guys who are below average at 22 and 23 points per game projected. Ouch!

For the Double Stuffs I don’t hate the move, but I don’t love it either. I love depth as much as anyone and they both sold off on it for a marginal gain and a potential huge loss. Count me out.

2016 Auction Review – Preseason Double Stuffs

Preseason double stuffs

pf

The cookie munching team¬†ended their draft with a case for the best pitching staff in the league. That’s hardly even a stretch. Value was gained¬†with a couple of guys at good values like James Shields and Jake Odorizzi. Value was lost spending on $45 on three second basemen. All of whom could easily finish outside the top ten at their position. Questionable and unreasonable risks.

Hitting – Uh-oh

Things must have gone wrong here on draft day. In a vacuum, I really like Carlos Gomez, Shin-soo Choo, and Michael Conforto. Nick Castellanos and Yasmany Tomas as your third base platoon for $25? Is that a hedge? Odor, Profar and Schoop at second base? I’m not even certain they’re good trade bait. Greg Bird for $7 to not play this year I like, but this roster needs Bird this year. Moreland at first base could be okay, unlikely. Eduardo Escobar seems prime to lose his everyday job, and Travis d’Arnaud is a perfectly okay catcher.

Pitching – Oustanding

This was a case of sitting on Very Good, seeing the bullpen and decided outstanding. I’m not sold on it, but I’m not betting against Max Scherzer. Chris Archer was great last year why not repeat. James Shields seems like a safe bounce back candidate. Odorizzi is pretty good. I like Aroldis Chapman in the bullpen even if when he misses time. Zach Britton has been solid for a few years. The first four starters cemented. When you fill out 5 and 6 with a choice of Eduardo Rodriguez, Jesse Hahn or Ian Kennedy that’s pretty exciting. They’re flush with pitching. Lance Lynn to hold the DL down this year like Greg Bird for under $10 seems like a potential steal.

Depth – Good

I think technically it is alright. But, again I gave myself credit for depth with injured guys, so I’ll do the same here. They have coverage even 3 or 4 deep at some positions, that’s a good thing no matter what. The starting pitchers are deep clearly. Frankly you could lose the entire hitting line up and probably still compete here.¬†#backhandedcompliment

Why 2016 would be bad…¬†

What if James Shields is broken. If Max or Archer go down too, almost all is lost. This team paid for future in a few spots, they can definitely handle some injuries if the upside shows up. However, a lot of that bet is hinged on Max and Archer. A great bet to make, but that can change in a day.

Why 2016 would be¬†good…¬†

If you get a tier 2 season from Shields or Odorizzi and a tier 3 from the other you’re so sweet. Scherzer and Archer should be at the tier 1 level. That alone will allow this team to compete all year at a good level. If they’re paying attention to matchups with the hitters, perhaps there’s some three headed monster that makes a good player at one position that I’m missing. More power to them. Well actually yeah, they need more power to them.