Trade: Marshall Law | We Talk Fantasy Sports | The Wilfred Brimley Fighting Diabeetuses

We Talk Fantasy Sports gets:
SP Madison Bumgarner ($60)

Marshall Law gets:
LF/CF/RF Brandon Nimmo ($9)
LF/RF Jesse Winker ($3)
SP Dinelson Lamet ($3)

The Wilfred Brimley Fighting Diabeetuses gets:
SP J.B. Bukauskas
CF Leody Taveras
2019 1st Round Pick
2019 2nd Round Pick

Andrew’s thoughts: I love this trade for Marshall Law so, so much. It reminds me of the real-life Nationals/Rays/Padres trade for Trea Turner, where the Nats basically crashed a trade between the Rays and Padres and came away with the most appealing talent. Marshall gave up what I see as four lukewarm assets (Taveras seems like a low power guy whose speed doesn’t matter as much in our scoring; the other three pieces are pure lotto tickets) to get back two young, cheap impact pieces in Nimmo and Winker and a decent flier on Lamet, who was solid in 2017 before requiring Tommy John. Honestly, I’d rather have Nimmo or Winker alone than Bumgarner at $60 to keep or the package WBFD received.

For WBFD though, I get it. At $60, Bumgarner was a very likely cut as we’ve seen his skills and health begin to descend, and now there are even rumors he may be traded out of his hugely favorable home park. Steamer projections have Bumgarner as the 17th highest scoring pitcher for 2019, but that honestly seems a little rich to me. I’m just a little surprised he didn’t get the Nimmo/Winker package here. But if you’re going to cut a guy anyway, getting four zero-cost pieces like this is clearly better long-term.

And as for We Talk Fantasy Sports, well, I applaud the continued aggressive addition to try and compete in 2019. First it was Corey Kluber, then Dallas Keuchel, now Bumgarner. Still, while their pitching is very, very much improved, I look at that offense and wonder if it can possibly keep up. Losing Nimmo and Winker gives them two pretty big starting hitting holes, in my opinion, and Bumgarner might need to be prime Mad-Bum just to offset that.

Jordan’s thoughts:  My goal here is to be the creme filling in this turd sandwich of a trade review. Obviously I have a hard on for Jesse Winker who I drafted with my first round pick back in our first minor league draft. He seems good now and the Reds let Billy Hamilton go.

I agree that projections have soured on Madison Bumgarner and that is not completely hard to understand. However, I’ll disagree with with figurative “buns” and say that Bumgarner at $60 is more than fair and particularly attractive. I think if you’re on top and have a salary crunch, perhaps you have a different perspective on market value.  

I love the trade for Marshall Law and We Talk Fantasy Sports here. Marshall Law showing how a rebuild in this league should work. You build a core with current rising talent vs sacking a whole number of seasons for a wish and a hope. Which is what I think the WBFDs has done here. I don’t mind turning MadBum into a bunch of pieces. But the draft picks aren’t helping you soon, and the prospects are okay. Perhaps you get a good pitcher and a decent outfielder out of it in a season or two and perhaps those prospects turn into something too. But, odds are actually against you.

I think with any game you want to position yourself to win and a key step is identifying your win condition(s). WTFS appears to have found theirs with identifying needing a front line starter to help sway weeks in a head-to-head format. It works. ML identified needing to acquire useful assets while still acquiring points. Say these guys blossom, and you’re a piece or two away, they have assets they could push the chips in. It can work. WBFD identified needing to wait another three years. Has that worked ever?

Hustle’s Toxic $0.02:  Well this was a super fun trade. I think in all my years of playing fantasy sports I’ve seen very few if any other legit three way trades. So for that, I applaud the ability to pull it off. I am truly inspired.

For WFBD:  I think Gaut did OK here if you subscribe to the notion that Bumgarner is in a big decline. Streamer projects a near 4 ERA, FIP, and XFIP for Bumgarner in 2019 which makes a $60 investment in that subpar to say the least.  If Bumgarner gets traded those numbers would have to be worse, unless its to the Astros.  If Bumgarner is the guy he is projected to be, then getting a couple pieces for him seems fine.  Gaut will  have $60 to spend on Mike Leake and Mike Leake accessories in the auction as well as a couple neat picks.   I’m not a fan of Taveras (as I stated in the first Taveras deal this offseason), seems like a long shot in being better than a replacement level OF here.  I do think I like Bukauskas better than most so thats cool too.  Getting some assets for a guy who should be borderline be cut based on performance seems like a good idea.  If Bumgarner bounces back, Gaut may wonder if he could have gotten a bit more.

For WTFS: As Bailey stated, Keith’s rotation is much improved. Even if Bumgarner isn’t peak he’s still startable almost every time out. The team’s rotation went from arguably worst to above average through a course of trades this offseason, so that is indeed commendable. The offense is a work in progress and will be more difficult to fill after giving away two cheap promising OFers. Choo and Blackmon are nice OFers to have, but after that it kinda falls off.  1b, 3b, one OF and 2 UTIL spots have to be occupied by Sano, Shaw, Desmond, Happ, Calhoun, I’m not sure who the next best hitter is after these 5.  Having these guys as starters in your lineup seems incredibly risky since 4/5 of them were a minus at their position last year. Keith will have to find someway to supplant this either by trade or auction. This team at least had a direction now and with proper attention could push for a playoff spot.

For ML: There’s a lot to like here.  Winker could potentially be the best asset in the whole trade. as a $3 cost controlled OF batting near the top of the Reds lineup.  If las year is any indication he’s a very solid OF to have and if his power trends up he’s potentially a beast. I think Nimmo was obviously tremendously underrated going into last season and was one of the best pickups of the year, but I think he could be a tad overrated in 2019. That being said, he seems like he has the floor of being perfectly acceptable OF depth, which is valuable.  I think getting the Lamet flier is the perfect thing a rebuilding team should be doing, ad as a 3rd piece of a deal, seems great. I think these 3 pieces are probably better than a 1/2 rounder and Bukauskas, not a guarantee, but I love the odds.

Trade: We Talk Fantasy Sports | Capital City Ironmen

Capital City Ironmen trades away:
SP Dallas Keuchel ($47)
OF Shin-soo Choo ($19)

We Talks Fantasy Sports trades away:
1B/3B Carlos Santana ($33)
$15 in 2019 Auction Budget

Jordan’s thoughts: I really like Dallas Keuchel going to pair with newly acquired Corey Kluber. Spending money for pitchers who show up and pitch. Keuchel lost a tiny bit off the K/9 last year, but Steamer projects him to come back up a tad. He doesn’t allow homer and he makes 30+ starts a season. He’s very valuable in this format and at that price point an easy keeper.

Shin-soo Choo quietly played 146 games last year with a  .355 wOBA. Even if he loses a tiny bit of edge here, he’s a great value at $19. He’s the good kind of boring fantasy player that many people forget about.

Carlos Santana is presumably getting traded to the Mariners, and perhaps traded again. Who knows what Jerry Dipoto is doing. Santana fits in well in a league where there’s two utility spots. Getting the auction money to pay down his contract this year helps quite a bit too.

While I don’t see anything really wrong with getting Carlos Santana, he’s quite good. I’d rather have Choo and Keuchel. I get that the Ironmen are running into a bit of a roster crunch of sorts and there’s definitely reasons to bail on these two players, I think the return is just as risky and doesn’t quite have the value going forward that you would normally see. I think the Lott brother walk away with a win here.

 

 

Hustle’s Toxic $.02

I guess I didn’t get to shit on Keith’s previous trade so I’ll just get this one.  Nah, actually I like this trade for both teams.  $47 Keuchel isn’t a great price but it’s fine compared to what the Auction might yield, and it’s not like you’re ever committed to keeping someone for more than 1 year.  At the very least he’ll get innings and be someone you can throw in your lineup each week.  Bailey needed  a 3b so giving up Choo for Santana instead of relying on Auction seems wise. Choo for Santana straight up seems fine, so if Bailey had to throw in a pitcher he wasn’t keeping or garnering much trade interest, I can see why he did it.

Trade feels needs for both teams and presumably (outside of injury) everyone here gets kept which means… the auction just got that much weaker…. AGAIN.

 




Trade: We Talk Fantasy Sports | TBD

TBD trades away SP Corey Kluber ($86) SP/RP Dennis Santana ($3.50) SP Michael King (prospect) $20 in 2019 Auction Budget We Talk Fantasy Sports trades away Corbin Burnes (prospect) German Marquez $7 2019’s 1st round (1st Overall) minor league draft pick Jordan’s Thoughts: I think that German Marquez is quite valuable. Last year he started 33 games and scored 1107 points. That’s a pretty huge value for a $7 starter. However, I get that he’s kinda scary being a pitcher (they blow up), he’s a Colorado Rockies pitcher (no explanation necessary), and early projections have him regressing a tiny bit. Corbin Burnes went from a starting pitcher prospect to getting shoved into the “out-getter” (bullpen) role for the Brewers organization. He was mildly successful in his 30 appearances, but projection systems do see him getting back into a starting role. He seems quite useful despite the slight risk. He’s cost controlled and easy to slot into your roster until the Brewers make up their mind. Obviously the first overall pick has tremendous potential value, and here presented itself a a decent piece in a trade for Corey Kluber. We Talk Fantasy Sports got Corey Kluber and two spare parts. Michael King seems like he might have some potential, and while Santana if he makes the Dodgers rotation is immediately valuable, he will receive the free agent minimum in 2019. Using STEAMER projections Kluber is projected to be the best starting pitcher available. Almost no matter how you value pitchers, Kluber’s keeper value is really favorable. Tossing in the $20 is icing on the cake. Kluber projected to be right in line with where he was last year which was basically 40 points a start. If you have money to spend, Kluber is the right guy to spend it on. Now everyone’s favorite part where I pick the winner, and I have to go with TBD. I think its pretty close. I don’t like that WTFS sent off Marquez in this deal, and with him in it, clearly understand why TBD took the offer. Marquez is just too valuable to let go in my opinion. Andrew’s Thoughts: I agree with most of what Jordan already said and think it’s pretty obvious this trade hinges on German Marquez. If he’s truly the guy he morphed into last year, this is likely a massive win for TBD, as they get a much, much cheaper ace and the #1 overall pick. All of Marquez’s numbers from last year look legit to me. But… like 15-20 starts ago, he was “just a guy.” A guy on the Rockies. So Marquez is a fairly risky proposition still. Kluber, meanwhile, is beginning to decline a bit I think but is still a top of the rotation stud. He averaged almost 40 points per game in a year a lot of his peripherals slipped. Pretty amazing. Both teams accomplish something they needed here. TBD takes on some risk in order to free up some budget space and WTFS lands a bankable pitcher. I’ll say that I like this more for WTFS simply because they got back a more reliable piece, but again, if 2018 Marquez is future Marquez, then this deal looks fantastic for TBD. I will also confess that part of why I like it for WTFS is because this trade screams “quick rebuild” and I’m pro teams trying to turn things around for their teams quickly.

Trade: Senior Squids | TBD

SS sends: C Gary Sanchez ($27), $10 Auction Budget
TBD sends: SP Michel Baez (minors), 2B/CF Jahmai Jones (minors), RF Alex Kirilloff (minors), SP Franklin Perez (minors)

Hustle’s toxic $0.02: When the centerpiece of your sell off return is a pitcher in A-ball, you’ve done something wrong. Maybe if you weren’t selling off a big piece, sure. That being said, Gary Sanchez is 25 at the top of an elite position and comfortable priced under 30 bucks. I like Michel Baez, I’ve offered trades for him… but I’ve offered other prospects. Baez is also currently sporting a 4.71 xFIP as well as a 4.7 BB/9. The odds of Baez being an Ace in the majors is real, but slim. Franklin Perez is injured at the moment, he projects to be a decent MLB starter, but also might not be. Kirilloff is certainly a nice A-ball bat, but it’s also at outfield where it’s not particularly hard to find productivity. Jahmi Jones is just a guy. Maybe he’s the good version of Brad Miller/Brandon Phillips at 2B, a very decent depth piece to have if he hits. The chances of one of these players being a superstar like Sanchez is probably under 50%, it’s probably under 25%. You already have a young Sanchez, so trading him for risk seems like a pretty big mistake. If Gary Sanchez suffers a career threatening injury, I like this trade for Squids.

I think if you’re Squids and giving up on 2018 for some reason, it would have made more sense to try and get something out of Paxton instead of Sanchez. Paxton is 29 and has a lengthy injury history. Someone surely would have given him a few decent prospects for him too (still can!). But I think Squid’s goal of assembling the real life Mariners in a 16 team league is real and won’t be stopped.

TBD already has the best team on paper prior to this trade as well as the most points, so this only makes that stronger. In the end, things will come down to a one week playoff and certainly anything is possible. TBD has done tremendously trading non elite prospects for top tier talent. I think Squids panicked a little early in the season and once his mind was made up he was out of it he decided to play kingmaker but instead has made his team a pawn for years to come.

The $10 isn’t a big deal in terms of budget, it’s just a reminder of how cruel humanity can be.

Andrew’s thoughts: When Squids first traded for Gary Sanchez, I got my assessment wrong. That deal was for Corey Kluber, and in retrospect, it’s been alright. Sanchez has done far more than I thought he would and, surprise, surprise, the cost control aspect of these players that I harped on in that review isn’t that big a deal.

Anyway, here we are again, another chance to review a Sanchez trade. And this one strikes me as… worse.

I just don’t understand trading a young, affordable, elite hitter at the top of a thin position for a handful of non-elite prospects. I can’t even decipher who the best prospect here is. I guess it’s Franklin Perez, since he’s seemingly the closest to the majors. If I’m going to trade Sanchez to TBD and I insist on doing it for prospects, then Eloy Jimenez is involved or there’s no deal to be made. Period. I was amazed that JD Martinez and a full loan was handed over to TBD without Eloy and I’m amazed that now Sanchez has been too. If TBD says Eloy’s untouchable, then alright, move along. Whatever. There’s no clear reason that Sanchez had to go anywhere, so just keep him. He’s better than Eloy anyway. But at least in Eloy you’re getting a legitimate, consensus top flight prospect. You do him, Baez, and Jones or whatever and this seems at least explainable.

I just don’t really get the rush to punt on Sanchez. At worst, he’s $44 next year — and that’s with greed, which now will be spread out across other guys instead. Whatever salary is ultimately freed up here seems like it has very little, if any, practical value, especially since $10 also inexplicably got dumped into TBD’s pocket (kudos to Joe and/or Josh for having the balls to say, “we realize we’re getting the best catcher in the game here and he’s on a nice salary, but can we also get $10 to cover when teams greed him up?”), eating into whatever savings. And Squids spent $51 at auction this year on relievers and a broken Carlos Rodon. So like, just don’t do that next year and you can safely keep elite Sanchez. You’re way, way, way better off going into auction with a proven points-scorer like Sanchez locked in than with a bunch of money to flush on risky players.

I mean… our trade block is public, and in it, Squids insisted on “top grade” prospects and cited “major league ready” as a bonus. This batch of prospects are not “top grade.” Per FanGraphs most recent grades, Baez is a 55 FV, the other three guys are 50. That is indisputably not “top grade.” And of them, only Perez is all that close to the majors. Jones is in A+ and converting from CF to 2B, so his development may lag a little. Baez isn’t faring all that well in A+. Kirilloff is coming off surgery in A-ball. These guys won’t help this year or next, most likely, and may not be fantasy relevant until 2020.

So yeah, I just love this deal for TBD. They’ll pick up a few prospects from their watch list for $0 FAAB bids this morning and let them marinate in their minors a while until eventually they’re on a top-100 list, because on a long enough timeline that’s just sort of what happens with halfway decent prospects. And in the meantime, they’ll bank a bunch of Sanchez homer points en route to a potential points championship. Good work, fellas.




Trade: TBD | Night King’s Undead Army

Night King’s Undead Army sends: SP Alex Reyes (cost controlled), SS Jean Segura ($10), SP Alex Wood ($16), SP Mike Soroka (minors)
TBD sends: SS Corey Seager ($64), $35 2016 Auction Budget

Andrew’s thoughts:  This is one of the bigger trades we’ve ever had and its clear to me that both teams were thinking outside the box on this one. I think last year we saw $30 moved for, like, Dallas Keuchel and Devon Travis if memory serves me correctly, so there is some precedent to moving big time auction budget. I will say that $35 of auction moving doesn’t seem like a huge deal. I think the willingness to part with chunks of budget is a big market inefficiency. I can’t tell you how many people offer me $1 for a player as if $1 really matters. Generally speaking, I think auction budget should probably be swapped in $5 increments before it starts having any impact whatsoever. Go look at the results of last year’s auction and then try and tell me you think $1 really matters in a significant way. I don’t think you can convince me.

Moving on: Jordan is getting the best player here in Corey Seager. Granted, he’s $64. With getting $35 in the deal, he’s essentially locked Seager up to a one-year, $29 contract, which is obviously favorable in the short term. As a long term asset, who really knows. Seager’s young, obviously, and just tapping into his potential. But depending how cuts and auction go, he may still be unprotected again next year and vulnerable to greed, which is probably insignificant but could become an issue once he starts pushing $70. So a year from now, barring a future trade, Jordan will have to shuffle things around this contract. But he’s an elite talent, so oh well. I think you can find a real edge in not fixating on the long term ramifications, and instead just operating year to year and trying to be competitive. If enough other teams are operating with 3-5 years in their mind just because “dynasty,” that should present opportunities to improve on a one-year basis almost every single offseason.

Speaking of market inefficiences and game theory, how much value does sending budget to offset larger salaries help facilitate deals and return real talent? I think Jordan, Joe, and Josh unlocked an avenue (that should’ve been obvious) for everyone. Hey, if you’ve got a $40 player that no one wants, but will send $20 along with him, you can probably actually get something done!

TBD, meanwhile, has added several players with clear paths to surplus. Alex Reyes is the big get for them. Despite all the hype, he’s still unproven and coming off injury. I love the potential though, and he’s likely going to cost only $3 even after arbitration. He’s more appealing long term, because his usage and effectiveness this year offer a wide range of possible outcomes. I won’t be surprised if he’s a top-10 SP this time next year, which can’t be said of most pitching prospects.

At $10, I think Jean Segura is probably undervalued by the league. I don’t see much difference between some unproven, mediocre SS on a cost controlled salary and a guy as good as Segura’s been for $10. Over the last two seasons, two qualified shortstops (Seager, Correa) have wOBAs better than Segura. In some ways, you could actually argue the entire framework of this deal is busted because Jordan punted on several potentially valuable assets for a marginal upgrade from Segura to Seager at short, plus whatever long term hindrances Seager’s salary brings. Segura isn’t exciting but he’s been productive.

Alex Wood is not super exciting to me. At $16, he’s certainly affordable, and the talent is very real, but he’s so hard to trust. He spent time on the disabled list again last year (when it mattered most, during H2H playoff time, if I recall) and just doesn’t look like a guy you can ever bank a full season from. Maybe that’s irrelevant though, as TBD continues building a dirt cheap rotation, high upside around Corey Kluber and Jacob deGrom. I don’t mean to knock on Wood (lol unintentional), and I like him, I just think he’s a tough guy to really pin down as a trade piece.

Mike Soroka is, to me, a throw in and I don’t have it in me to waste more words than this on him.

I actually think TBD “wins” this trade over the long haul, but I give the edge to Jordan for 2018. I also sort of wonder what the point is of amassing prospects and cheap salaries if you’re not going to be willing or able to keep your Seagers. These are smart owners, so I know they know what they’re doing. I’d probably just rather keep Seager than, I don’t know, shuffle stuff around to free up money to keep Justin Upton and/or Chris Davis (I think they’re cutting both, but you get the point) or roll the dice on Reyes. I’d sooner cut and re-bid a guy like Jacob deGrom than deal Seager, though obviously they got a pretty big haul here. I don’t know. Although, here’s another market inefficiency: actually making good prospects available. Most teams, in my experience, won’t even talk to you if a guy’s name appears on a list somewhere. I think there’s several teams that want to offer up, at best, like their 8th best prospect for real talent. If TBD stocks up on cheap resources and then actually makes them available while other teams won’t, it gives them a real edge on the trade market to add elite players at high salaries in season, simply because no other team is willing to part with the cost controlled guys.

 

Hustle’s Toxic $.02

Bailey said a lot of things, most of which I agree with. The cash coming over is quite interesting and creative. I don’t really track other people’s budgets and I’m not going to start for the sake of trade reviews. So good on Jordan for getting $35, I’m assuming Joe could afford it without Seager!

I thought before this trade, while Jordan may have not had a top 2-3 SS, he has the best SS depth in the league with Didi, Dejong, and Segura.  I do think Seager is a clear upgrade, but he costs a lot more.  When Seager starts against any RHP, he’s an obvious start every time which pushes Dejong and Did to Util, which isn’t ideal. I guess Dejong also has 2b eligibility this year but Jordan also has a cheapish Kinsler, Lowrie, and Albies for 2b.  It’s not an ideal situation to maximize value, but this could sort itself out with injuries or subsequent trades.

What I don’t love about this trade for Jordan is that it decimates his SP depth. Currently sitting on an aging Lester and Gio Gonzalez, the Undead army is lacking punch from the rotation.  I think Wood and Reyes represented cheap near ace production from pitcher spots and I don’t love the idea of getting rid of both guys with roster construction, and I don’t think Kyle Zimmer is coming up from the minors to save the day… although that Zombie like emergence would be very Undead Army of him.  I think Wood could be a pretty fine sell high after last season (probably would have been better after the 1st half), but allowing Joe to “buy low” on Reyes seems like it could be a hiccup down the line. I also don’t have much of a hot take on Mike Soroka, but TBD usually knows what they are doing with prospects. Soroka is in AA already and has been successful thus far.  I don’t think the Jordan had a particularly deep rotation before this trade, and now it seems quite worse even if Reyes and Soroka weren’t immediate help.

I would look for Jordan to move some middle infield depth for some starting pitching.  It seems like every team is going to be looking to add multiple starters during the auction, so I really can’t see how Jordan (or anyone) can feel confident coming away from the auction with value at SP. Maybe I’m just having flashbacks last year to spending most of my budget on Smyly or Rodon, but the auction isn’t pretty.

I think TBD downgrading at SS for a bunch of SP assets seems fun and interesting. With all the high cost players TBD has, trading one away for multiple interesting assets seems like the way to go and he finally found a suitable buyer for one of them.  If Wood, Soroka, and Reyes all bust (which I see as highly unlikely), then you still have yourself an affordable and good SS in his 20s for a few more years.

Something something, grinding differently.

 

 

 

 




Trade: TBD | In Shorter Line 4 the Win

TBD sends: 3B Yoan Moncada ($1), SP Michael Kopech (minors), SP Cal Quantrill (minors), two 2018 1st Round Picks
In Shorter Line 4 the Win sends: SP Noah Syndergaard ($82)

Andrew’s thoughts: This trade occurred on April 26 and immediately became a disaster for TBD.

Syndergaard was supposed to take the mound on the day this trade was processed, but that start got pushed to the next day. On the 27th, he was scratched from a start due to “biceps tendinitis.” Then, he started on Sunday, April 30. In that start, he promptly got knocked around by the Nationals — five hits and two walks in 1.1 IP — before injuring himself on a pitch to Bryce Harper. He came out of the game having scored -4.5 fantasy points. Turns out, he has a partial tear in his lat. He’ll be on the shelf for three months or so. Just horrible, horrible luck for TBD. Like… if Syndergaard misses the year, which seems well within the range of possible outcomes here, how do you keep him at $82 next year? Or if he comes back but is rusty and struggles, or re-injures himself, or displays any sign of long-term volatility, how do you not send him back to auction? It’s totally possible that TBD spent three very good prospects and two premium draft picks to get -4.5 fantasy points.

Hindsight here is 20/20 but man, this just sucks for TBD. Ultimately, because they dealt picks and prospects, their already very good team is mostly unaffected. But they’re now down a lot of trade chips.

Before the injury though, I thought this swap was okay for both squads. I would rather have healthy Syndergaard than all the stuff IL4W got, but I understand why, if your team isn’t scoring points and is sitting at the bottom of the standings, you’d do this. Pitchers are time bombs. Obviously. So Aaron and his cohorts at IL4W mitigated some risk, took on a bunch of young, cheap talent with upside, and gave themselves a few more paths to being good down the road. Even if only two of the five pieces they got become useful, they’ll be useful and cheap. But pitchers are also a big part of winning games in this league (especially in 2017 when all the pitchers stink) and Syndergaard has essentially been Clayton Kershaw Lite since last year. To me, Kershaw is the type of talent you empty the chambers for. Syndergaard is that same type of talent.

If I’m TBD, I pull this trigger too. Not now, of course. But at the time they did it. Clearly they couldn’t have predicted the injury. And yeah, they surrendered Corey Kluber and Dellin Bettances in the midst of a pennant race just last year for Moncada alone. But trade markets aren’t static and, again, that was a late season deal. You pay more earlier. Go look at last year’s trade log, you’ll see. I don’t have a huge problem with the seemingly faulty logic of trading an ace for a prospect, then later on trading that prospect plus a bunch of other prospects for a different ace. Stuff changes. I also think if you get the opportunity to land a transcendent talent and really want to take it, well, take it, even if it means forking over a bunch of your best lottery tickets.

As arguably the best team in the league with or without Syndergaard, I really like the killer instinct and the aggressiveness it takes to get a deal like this done. And hey, it’s conceivable that TBD gets Syndergaard and Madison Bumgarner back in time for the playoffs. I’d argue the potential of that is worth the same, if not more, than the potential that Moncada becomes a dirt cheap version of 2016 Jonathan Villar*.

* So… we realize Moncada’s clock started last year and so he’s in his $1 season, in which IL4W seems unlikely to compete, right? Next year he’s $3 minimum, more if his projections are good. Three bucks is nothing if he becomes 2016 Villar or even Anthony Rendon or whoever. But the point is, the two most valuable years of a player’s cost control status are the year they’re first promoted ($0) and their sophomore season ($1). IL4W is effectively getting zero tangible benefit from those two years from Moncada. If Moncada kills it for them in his $1 season, that’s cool and all, but IL4W still probably isn’t making headway as a team and the better his stats are this year, the better his projections will be next year, and the higher that salary will jump. This certainly isn’t a huge knock to Moncada’s future value, but is something to keep in mind, I think.

Speaking to Moncada specifically though, I do wonder just how amazing he can be here. He strikes out a ton, which I don’t think will matter, because when he makes contact it’s really, really good contact. But the stolen bases aren’t big factors in our scoring like they are in a 5×5 and if he’s whiffing more than 30% of the time against Triple-A pitchers, what happens when he steps into an American League with Sale, Verlander, Carrasco, Kluber, Darvish, Keuchel, etc? It’s not like he’ll get to tee off against Mike Fiers every day, y’know?

For IL4W though, I can speak from experience that the decision to start selling sucks. It means your team is poop emoji. But aside from the super lucky timing, I like that they recognized not just a poor win/loss record, but also a deep deficit in points, and went ahead and made that call early. By doing so, they didn’t have to compete with any other teams, could set their own market, and could come away with the assets they wanted. And I actually think they still have a decent roster and can win some weeks this year, even if their playoff odds aren’t particularly good.




Trade: Team Hydra | Preseason Double Stuffs

Team Hydra sends: 2B DJ LeMahieu ($15)
Preseason Double Stuffs send: LF/CF/RF Derek Fisher, $5 2017 Auction Budget

Andrew’s thoughts: Love this for the Double Stuffs, who essentially traded Derek Fisher for DJ LeMahieu straight up, then gave the Rockies’ 2B a $5 raise.

LeMahieu made some crazy offensive strides last season — and not just in Coors (he had a .326 road wOBA) — that put him in the conversation as a top-8 or so 2B. Mainly, his walks and strikeouts both moved dramatically in positive directions. At $15, he’s an incredible value. Based on Steamer’s projection and my early auction calculator, he’s projected to be worth $31. So that’s a big swing. Still, he had an absurd .388 BABIP last year, so I think some regression is in his 2017. But even if he’s the guy he was in 2015, he’s worth $15 (or $20, however you want to look at it). Playing in Colorado pushes his floor up too.

For Hydra, they essentially make $20 worth of budget room, add an interesting prospect, and still have Steve Pearce and Jose Peraza (who is way more interesting in 5×5’s, but whatever) to man second. Their entire off-season has revolved to this point around keeping both Corey Kluber and David Price, so this trade works well to that end.

Fisher, meanwhile, is a good if unexciting get. Baseball Prospectus recently ranked him eighth just in the Astros’ system, but that’s largely because his defense isn’t very good. He may be a LF, which isn’t so unfortunate given how shallow that spot currently is. In that same ranking, they pegged him as a good dynasty piece, though one who’s probably more “ceiling” than “floor.” If your main objective is to purge salaries though, then getting a guy back who does have significant upside is a good gamble.

Jordan’s thoughts: I think Double Stuffs really got a great deal here. I could echo everything Bailey said, but I won’t. They paid a relatively low price for a very useful asset. They created value at the cost of a prospect and a couple of auction dollars.

For Team Hydra, their auction dollars are as valuable as anyone’s in the league. So from their perspective you have to love the deal as well. I would not want to have to sell players who have value for 70 cents on the dollar. But, being in that position, with the rest of the league knowing it, and still getting 70 cents on the dollar is really actually quite good.

There’s some chance that the prospect is good and a good value for Hydra. But, they don’t need him to ever reach the Majors for this deal to work. They got something for potentially nothing (if they were going to have to cut players who have value). Quite a score for them.

Bravo to both teams!




Congrats Team Hydra

The inaugural Dynasty Grinders regular season is over! Team Hydra edges out TBD on the back of recently traded Corey Kluber. We’ll never know if the 90 point swing was enough to sink TBD or not.

Hustle Loyalty Respect edges out the Trumpa Loompas to finish in 3rd place. We Talk Fantasy Sports topped Team Canada to win the second tier bracket. Who’s Your Haddy beat Rocky Mountain Oysters to win the third tier. Finally, In shorter line for the win topped The Foundation to win the Toilet Bowl bracket.

The first season was a real experience. I’m already looking forward to season 2! Have a fun off-season.




Trade: Team Hydra | TBD

Team Hydra sends: 2B Yoan Moncada (minors)
TBD sends: SP Corey Kluber ($82), RP Dellin Bettances ($14)

Jordan’s thoughts: What a disaster. I get it. You have lots of aces. But, any veteran of fantasy baseball should be well aware, that come fantasy playoff time, pitching rotations change. Two-start weeks start to disappear. That’s why you want seven good and reliable starters, because when it counts (unlike MLB where you can get away with just 3), you need 6 (if you’re lucky) or 7 starters.

Yoan is an impressive prospect, I get it. He probably will see playing time next season. That’s not very helpful now. I don’t see the value in this trade even if TBD was not in the playoff hunt. Trading two real assets for one 21-year-old who is doing quite well in AA seems foolish. Sure, if Moncada comes up and is a top-5 2B, great, you’re sitting on a fat pile of value for a few seasons. However, sitting on players who have great value doesn’t guarantee a future dynasty. Far from it.

Championships require a good roster, great value, but most of all luck. Even if Moncada is a monster and a top 15 MLB fantasy hitter, you still need the other 29 spots on your roster to work out in any given season. And you took a great roster that has a real chance to win it all this season and bruised it hard.

Hydra gets way better here. I love this move for them. They probably can figure out how to keep both players, and they’ll provide more value in the next three or four years than Moncada. Easy move. EVEN IF THEY DON’T keep either player, their shot of winning the whole league just went up because they took from the team they’re tied with and added to their own. Brilliant.

If TBD wins it all anyway, great. “Better lucky than good” is something I hear all too often.

Andrew’s thoughts: Maybe I’m just jealous because I tried to get Moncada and failed, but as soon as this trade popped up in my e-mail, the instinctual feeling I got was “man, prospects are way too valuable.”

I hate this move for TBD and love it for Team Hydra. Respectively, they are the third and fourth place team. They are clinging to the last two playoff spots. I realize TBD can simply fall back on Madison Bumgarner, Jacob deGrom, Tanner Roark, et al now. But I just don’t love punting an indisputable ace and the top overall relief pitcher at this juncture of the season. Granted, RPs aren’t super valuable, but still.

I get the logic. They rode Kluber long enough to get to this point and are in great postseason position with the most points in the league, thus giving them the tie-breaker should they finish with the same record as another team. They are now handing the keys to luck and in turn, getting arguably the best prospect in baseball. But I’m not sure they got enough for handing a direct postseason competitor two players of this caliber.

Oh well!

One other thing: I had forgotten what the original deal TBD made to get Kluber was and when I went back and looked… my god. This trade somehow manages to make that one look even worse. And from TBD’s perspective, you could argue that since they got Kluber for essentially nothing to begin with, he was just house money anyway. Their low initial investment in Kluber does make me like this move a little more for them.




Trade: Rocky Mtn Oysters | TBD

Rocky Mtn Oysters sends: C Russell Martin ($18), 2018 1st Round Draft Pick
TBD sends: SP Hyun-Jin Ryu ($7)

Andrew’s thoughts: I think Martin-for-Ryu straight up is justifiable. Since acquiring Martin on June 14, he has scored a total of 64.1 points (9.16 pts/game) while being in Dusty’s starting lineup seven times. He had a .373 wOBA in June. That’s terrific production for a catcher. But Dusty’s just 4-8 overall, likely won’t make the playoffs, and has a hugely expensive pitching staff. So selling off a catcher he wasn’t likely going to be able to keep for an inexpensive pitcher isn’t awful. Of course, having to start Sandy Leon (lifetime .263 wOBA; .524 wOBA in 35 PAs this year though!) going forward is going to suck, probably.

Ryu at $7 seems like a great gamble to me. He’s got a fantastic track record. His career FIP is 2.97, xFIP is 3.27, he gives up a paltry 0.60 homers per nine, and strikes out 7.66 per nine innings. He’s pretty close to being a viable ace of staff and at worse is a SP2. He also hasn’t pitched since 2014, though he’s throwing rehab starts now, so there’s a ton of risk here. I’m not sure that his odds of returning to form are better than his odds of being a middling starter due simply to the effect of injury. But given Dusty has a ton of expensive pitchers and likely won’t be able to keep them all, I like the dice roll.

TBD didn’t really need a catcher, per say, since they have Matt Wieters there. But Wieters gets a lot of regular rest because of the brittle, almost tissue paper-like composition of his bones, tendons, and muscles, and so Martin provides a great option when Wieters rests. And with a rotation headed by Madison Bumgarner, Corey Kluber, Jacob deGrom, and Steven Wright, there would seem to be a bit less reward to having Ryu to offset the risk than there might be for some other teams. Though, like the Oysters, keeping those pitchers beyond this year could be a tight fit and having Ryu as a cheaper alternative could have been a helpful fallback.

My only real beef with this trade is punting the top-16 pick in 2018. Granted, that is two drafts away and anyone you pick is likely to be two or more years from hitting the majors (so you’re looking at an asset maybe four years off?), but still. A second or even a third rounder was probably enough to plug any perceived gap here between pitcher and catcher. Maybe two bucks at auction next year covers it. I mean, I would totally trade a first round pick for a $7 Ryu, but I think I want to see him come back and string together a few good starts first. Yeah, now may be the last opportunity to get your foot in the door on him (if he comes back and pitches to his career averages, he’s suddenly a super commodity), but it could just as easily be the calm before the storm.

Dusty has also now exhausted all his first and second round picks in 2017 and 2018, and has previously sold off all of his worthwhile prospects. This is a system headed by… Touki Toussaint? Maybe he can sell off some parts as the season winds down to replenish, but it really feels like a buyer’s market to me. Logically, yeah, you should get a haul for one of his pricey pitchers if he doesn’t think he can finagle the cap to keep. But there hasn’t been much trade action at all, which suggests to me teams have become more hesitant to pay multiple big time assets for upgrades.