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.

Dynasty Grinders Podcast – Episode 19

Hustle Loyalty and Respect owner Jon Iosim joins Jordan in a podcast chat about trades. Bryce Harper comes up. Danny Valencia comes up. Jesse Winker gets no less than four hundred mentions. Half way through the season, we each reflect on our luck or lack there of it. Enjoy!

Trade: The Foundation | Preseason Double Stuffs

The Foundation sends: SP Braden Shipley (minors)
Preseason Double Stuffs send: 3B/LF Danny Valencia ($4)

Andrew’s thoughts: This trade created quite a bit of buzz in our group chat and here’s why: since the beginning of 2015, Danny Valencia ranks 13th in the major leagues in wOBA (minimum 400 PA). He has the same wOBA as Manny Machado in that time and is just .002 behind Nolan Arrenado. He’s posted a higher weighted on-base than Edwin Encarnacion, Chris Davis, Yoenis Cespedes, Kris Bryant, and… well, you get it.

And Valencia costs $4.

So the controversy was: sure, Braden Shipley is cost controlled and will be $1 next year assuming he debuts in 2016 (likely), but Valencia will be just $6. Maybe he gets hit with greed. Even if he does, he’ll cost around $20 maximum. For the thirteenth most productive hitter in baseball, 2015-present! He’s also just 31-years-old. He’s not over the hill. He’s certainly not any more of a risk than a prospect, particularly a pitcher.

The problem, of course, is that Valencia has heavy platoon splits that make him questionable against RHP, though this year he’s crushing them too, to the tune of a .354 wOBA. And this isn’t totally new. He had a .351 wOBA in 2010. He had a .381 wOBA in 2013. Granted, he was a sub-.300 guy in every other year he played, but the point is that it’s not like he’s just all of a sudden hitting. He’s done this before.

For the Double Stuffs, I do like getting Shipley, who recent reports suggest has turned a corner and has been able to generate more K’s, in a vacuum. Even if he’s “just a number four starter,” as some lamented in our chat, that type of guy can be quite valuable in a system like ours where prospects get paid only if they produce. More valuable than Valencia? Likely not. But still.

I think the Double Stuffs wanted to “sell high” here, but to me, the definition of selling high isn’t simply exporting a guy when he’s performing well. It’s being overpaid for that player at that time, which I don’t think happened here. I do understand wanting to cash out before he crashes back down to Earth though, but this is a case where I’m not sure that crash even happens. And if it does, it’s not like it was going to happen overnight (part of the controversy was along the lines of “we put him on our trade block and this is all we were offered,” which is true, though he was only on the trade block for less than 24 hours, so how thoroughly was the market tested?).

Ultimately, I don’t feel strongly about this for either team. But it’s boring to write a review where you just shrug. I can see it from both sides. I think landing Valencia is great for The Foundation. Jordan needed a 3B and some offense and got it without sacrificing any present day contributors. The Double Stuffs don’t really need Valencia, since they’ve also got Nick Castellanos and Yasmany Tomas at third.

I’m not sure the market has caught on yet to the value of productive veteran players on cheap contracts. Like, how is any prospect’s cost control status worth a lot but a guy like Valencia being only $4 seems like an afterthought? I don’t know. If Shipley sucks, his cost control status means you just never pay him until the day you eventually cut ties. If Valencia falls off between now and 2017, you just cut him and move on. If he doesn’t, he’s $6. I think cheap, productive players have as much risk/reward as prospects do. There’s a cost of acquisition involved, sure, but any asset you acquire has risk associated with it. With guys like Shipley (cost control) and Valencia (cheap), I don’t think there’s any big difference. At least with the veteran player, you pretty much know what you’re getting.