Trade: TBD | We Talk Fantasy Sports

TBD sends: C Matt Wieters ($13), RP Brad Brach ($5)
We Talk Fantasy Sports sends: 2017 3rd Round Pick

Andrew’s thoughts: I had lukewarm interest in Matt Wieters all off-season but only because I assumed TBD was definitely cutting him (so he could be had for cheap) and because the catcher position sucks so much. He intrigued me as a back-up option. I just couldn’t bring myself to dump anything for him and never imagined actually keeping him at $13. He’s hurt too much and hasn’t been good or efficient at the plate since 2014. Meh.

Having said that, I do like this deal for WTFS. Bryan Reynolds is an interesting prospect and I like him, but in his best case scenario, he’s not going to arrive in the majors until mid-to-late 2018 and it’s not super difficult to find productive outfielders. In other words, not having a guy like Reynolds does nothing to hurt WTFS, whereas Wieters might be a league average catcher? I sound down on him, but he did finish as the 13th  highest scoring catcher last year.

For TBD, it’s fine too, because as I said I assume they were dumping Wieters. This way, they get a prospect they like instead. Good deal for both sides.

Hustle’s thoughts: Keith seemed like he really wanted a starting catcher heading into the draft (and everyone seems to know Squids isn’t trading one of his 3). Keith has Travis D’Arnaud (22) and Kurt Suzuki (5), but this trade signals to me that he isn’t keeping either of them. Is Wieters the best value out of the bunch? I’d say if he gets a full time catcher at bats for whoever he signs with, probably. That being said, that’s no sure thing, he’s not that great, and he gets hurt a lot. He’s also likely going to worse ballpark than Camden. If everything clicks right for Wieters and he stays healthy, it’s a decent grab.

Brad Brach for $5 is about market rate for a good non closing reliever. It’s a fine piece. A 70+ IP 10 + k/9 guy over the last 2 years. Keith already has a $14 pair of Ken Giles and Craig Kimbrel, so maybe this trade signals he wants to go cheaper on RP or these are the 3 he’s marching into 2017 with.

TBD gets a 3rd rounder which they used to choose giants OF Bryan Reynolds. I’ve been told by Bailey I’m allowed to gush over Reynolds because he has him in Dy-Nasty (which I will add is the least creative name for a Dynasty league possible). Reynolds is 22 and mashed in rookie ball last year. I’m personally weary of most Giants hitters because of the park, and they seem to have a lot of OF prospects at the moment. That being said, the Giants are probably going to have some OF openings. I have about 20-30 names on my list of players I’m looking to draft and Reynolds isn’t on it. That’s pretty meaningless at this point, because you draft who you want.

One could argue TBD could have probably waited a bit to make this pick, but they really didn’t pay much to get it. PREDICTION: TBD and Squids make a trade involving a catcher within a year.

Nobody really gave up anything of great value to declare a winner of this trade. Maybe Keith could have gotten a few bucks out of the deal considering Joe traded up from a 4th rounder to a 3rd for 4 bucks earlier this round.

Now I know why Jordan/Bailey moan about writing over trades as I see that I have compiled 400 words on Matt Wieters and Bryan Reynolds. Shit, it’s my turn to pick in the draft.

How DG became an Anti-Tanking League… against ALL odds!

 

 

EDIT: For those who need reminding (because it was discussed and originally voted on so long ago), this Rule was for the bottom 4 teams to have a playoff for the top picks.

Early exit polls suggested that a vote for my rule change would lose 15-1.  I was laughed at for my beliefs. “I don’t think this is important” said one owner.  “Seriously, why are we talking about this still?” said a commissioner.  “I think it’s just you vs the world on this one Hustle” said Alex Herd.

For those of you who don’t remember, this was discussed all the way back during Thanksgiving. I remember having a heated discussion on slack while buying an extra chair for the Thanksgiving table (that I would return a week later).

Unlike all other rule discussions, this one was never voted upon because ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

After pushing for a vote to see where the league stood, a delayed email requesting a vote was finally sent out.  “That rule is the stupidest shit that should not be passed” said Ferns in his polite tone.

After an email requesting a vote about a month ago was sent, there was no follow up or secondary requests for votes (like in previous rule votes).

But everything changed on February 2nd, 2017.

JUSTICE. DEMOCRACY. NO TANKING

“I guess” said one voter, while another one was overheard saying “I wasn’t sure what I was voting for based on the wording of the ballot”. The voice of the voiceless has finally been heard!

IT PASSED. AND WE WON THE POPULAR VOTE!!

Democracy has prevailed and Dynasty Grinders will be banning tankers. NOT IN THIS LEAGUE. Together we will make Dynasty Grinders Great Again.

 

Always hustling,

-HLR

PS: This one goes out to you know who.  We’re coming for the lineup delinquents next!!

Dear Ferns,

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!

Trade: Beach Bum | Capital City Ironmen

Beach Bum sends: 1B/LF Matt Holliday ($10)
Capital City Ironmen send: RF Aaron Judge ($1; cost controlled), SP Grant Holmes (minors)

Jordan’s thoughts: Aaron Judge got his chance last year and was short of inspiring. He’s still a prospect and he does carry some level of potential that is very enticing. Grant Holmes is in the same category of prospects. That category being the catch-all level 40-45 future value grade group.

These guys exist. They have good qualities. They have one or two talents that could truly make them stars. Unfortunately, they have other levels of talents that are more likely to hold them back, causing them to potentially be less than valuable.

These kinds of trades are weird. Matt Holliday is a great hitter, aging, and just signed a fantasy hitter’s favorable deal. There’s a lot to like. His floor is generally high as long as he actually sees the field. His ceiling is high-ish, but that is also held back by how many games he plays.

The keeper price for Holliday is a good buy. I think he’s 100% kept at that price for the next two to three years, short of some dramatic fall off. Cutting him in the end or keeping him for a year too long is hardly a penalty here. That makes him quite valuable to me.

Sure, could either of these prospects that Bailey sent turn Bailey’s decision into regret? Absolutely. The fact that Dan got two of these kinds of guys who are close/in the majors, is a bit surprising.

In a vacuum I’d rather have Holliday, but given the situation for both teams, it is hard to come away with an opinion other than liking the deal for both teams. Losing Holliday doesn’t hurt Beach Bum all that much and the prospects could be useful. Adding Holliday helps Capital City a lot, and losing the prospects that are (at this point in our dynasty) easily replaceable, isn’t much pain to suffer.

Andrew’s defense: I like Matt Holliday a lot. The biggest question mark with him, really, is health. He’s old too, but he should mostly just DH now in a hitter friendly park. He had a solid .335 wOBA in his 426 plate appearances last year. If he can simply duplicate that, he’ll be good for me in LF, as it’s a fairly shallow position. And keep in mind, he did that despite a .253 BABIP and a really good looking batted ball profile (38.5% hard hit rate). If he just has neutral luck, he should hit that .355 wOBA Steamer has him pegged for.

For Dan, he sheds one of his many LFs and adds a couple promising young guys, one of which (Judge) plays RF, so that fills a need. Judge’s power is prodigious and should play up at new Yankee Stadium, but he also struck out 44.2% of the time last year. Small sample, sure, but the K’s have always been a concern. I wasn’t overly concerned about them personally (for fantasy, a strikeout and a ground out are the same, so whatever), but it just means his floor is a little lower than I like and it could jeopardize his playing time. Not a bad bet for Dan.

And Grant Holmes is just sort of an interesting grab. He’s an Oakland A (for now), so maybe Beach Bum was being a bit of a homer. Either way, Holmes is a top-100 prospect on most lists and profiles as a middle of the rotation guy. In our format, that’s alluring.

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.

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 BumgarnerJacob 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: Senior Squids | TBD

Senior Squids sends: SP Corey Kluber ($82)
TBD sends: C Gary Sanchez ($5), 3B Matt Chapman (minors), LF Peter O’Brien (FA)

Andrew’s thoughts: This just looks like theft to me.

Matt Chapman is clobbering minor league pitching, so there’s that. Scouts will tell you though: when it comes to minor leaguers, scouting the stat line is often a bad idea. But while Gary Sanchez and Peter O’Brien are “prospects” in real life, they are not cost controlled prospects here because they debuted in 2015. So to start 2017, which Squids is focusing on now, they’ll cost $5 (O’Brien) and $7 (Sanchez) — and that’s before potentially getting hit with any greed. Twelve bucks and two roster spots is an interesting investment. Those aren’t prohibitive salaries and ultimately five poorly distributed dollars won’t hurt you much. But the point of the cost control aspects for prospects is to mitigate against busts, which prospects do quite often. This is why I don’t like the idea of trading for a $32 Byron Buxton or for Sanchez/O’Brien here. There’s nothing padding you from these players busting. There’s no real incentive for risk.

To be clear: I don’t think trading for salaried prospects is fundamentally wrong, but I don’t like making them the key cogs in a trade. If Gary Sanchez is an add-on to a larger trade, it makes sense because his salary isn’t so much an albatross that it’s not worth some risk. But looking at this one, he’s like… the main piece.

Prospect lists are not gospel. I get that. But Chapman is unranked on Baseball America’s list and Baseball Prospectus’ list (BP’s regular list as well as their dynasty fantasy list), and ranks just 100th on MLB’s. Again, not gospel. You could argue that these rankings are altogether meaningless and I wouldn’t bother fighting you on it. But I’m just not sure how this is the only prospect — and I’m defining the word here as cost controlled prospect in our league — in a trade for a pitcher of Kluber’s pedigree. I’m not sure how you send Kluber off without securing yourself the type of prospect that is universally coveted.

With regards to Sanchez, he’s already being paid more than Wilson Ramos (#2 catcher), Yadier Molina (#5), Welington Castillo (#6), and Jason Castro (#12). It’s easy to say in hindsight just pick up those guys instead of acquiring Sanchez, but my point is just that all three of those catchers took years and years to be even serviceable options and still cost less than $5. Catchers develop slowly. The odds are good that Sanchez follows the same career path, except he’s already more expensive than them.

Sure, Sanchez has “upside.” But he just doesn’t strike me as a very good value. And that ignores all the catchers that are already producing and are priced more than Sanchez, but within just a few bucks. I still feel like in order for a catcher to be worth a lot, they have to be a Posey (or Lucroy!) type that really separates from the pack. Is Sanchez that guy? I don’t think he is.

Oh, and O’Brien sat in free agency for like six weeks not that long ago. TBD added him on March 24, cut him on April 2, and added him back on May 16. Maybe that’s a bit like saying, six months after a draft, “well I took so-and-so in the secound round, I can’t give him up for this-or-that because you took him in the fourth.” Values change. But it warrants mentioning that for 43 days, O’Brien sat free to any team.

Trade: Team Canada | Capital City Ironmen

Team Canada sends: SP James Shields ($28), SS J.P. Crawford (minors), RF Aaron Judge (minors), 2017 1st Round pick
Capital City Ironmen send: SP Johnny Cueto ($60), RF Michael Reed (minors), 2017 3rd Round Pick

Andrew’s thoughts: Reviewing my own trade again!

First things first: after dealing away Miguel Cabrera and Sonny Gray, I was content to sit back for a while and hold my pieces for a bit. But Team Canada and I had sent a few offers back and forth for Cueto, and then a deal very similar was proposed to me that made me change my mind.

I’ll keep this succinct because I write about my team plenty: I love Cueto. He’s a top-10 starting pitcher and at $60, he’s one of the best values n the entire league. He pitches in arguably the most favorable park in baseball and in a league where half the league is rebuilding. He’s awesome.

But I viewed this deal as essentially saying this: the difference between Cueto and Shields is $32, two top-25 prospects (Crawford was taken 6th and Judge 27th overall in our inaugural minor league draft), and a first round pick (likely late, because Team Canada is really good). To me, the gap isn’t nearly that big, so the deal just made too much sense.

In Shields, I get a pitcher that chews up innings and keeps my team competitive in the short term. Even at $30 next year, he’s worth keeping. He’s also worth something in trade, so Cueto could keep giving in that regard too.

Michael Reed is an interesting prospect for Team Canada to get back, but I had picked him up from free agency not too long ago, so it’s not as if he was highly valued within our league.

Jordan’s thoughts: This is why we’re in a dynasty style league. Given the format, which it likely to be under discussion next year, it is not hard to understand the pressure to sell here. Bailey was looking at 1 win and 5 losses before coming back and winning in week 6. Even with the week 6 win, he stood a extreme long shot to get into the top 4. When you’re left with two options, spend to attempt to give yourself some better sliver of a chance, or sell to setup for 2017, I think he makes a reasonable call.

Standing pat for Bailey, who before both of his trades stood with the “5th” best projected line up, really was not an option. It was already under performing, he lost two pitchers to injury, and its still only 5th best. Just four make the playoffs. Bailey got back four huge assets for Cueto. Judge and Crawford may or may not make an impact in 2017. The chance that either do is enticing. The first round pick here does not project terribly well, but it has some value.

I really like that Bailey got back Shields here. Shields the last two years has floundered some, but this season Shields has regained some promise as a reliable starter. This means Bailey got back someone he can keep for a reasonable price, or sell yet again. Fun stuff.

For Team Canada, they paid one hell of a price for Cueto. Canada is in the drivers seat to get into the Championship Bracket and added a big piece to that ride. Cueto will certainly be a big help, but this price that Canada paid is extremely aggressive. You have to like it for them, the prospects can be replaced.

Trade: Rocky Mountain Oysters | Capital City Ironmen

Rocky Mountain Oysters sends: CF Clint Frazier (minors), 1B/2B/SS Ryan Flaherty (FA)
Capital City Ironmen send: 2B/3B Martin Prado ($4), SP/RP John Gant (minors)

Jordan’s thoughts: I love this deal for Dusty. Martin Prado has been good. He fills two positions that makes Prado’s floor look a bit higher. Prado is decent enough to fill in the utility role as well. John Gant is an interesting prospect, he’s close to the majors, he’s a pitcher, could he make the jump? Sure! Or maybe not, whatever.

Clint Frazier is tough to lose, he was a prospect on my target list on the draft, and post draft, but he does not appear to a transcendent talent. He’s 21, he’s primed, but he could still be another away. Frazier could turn into a replacement level fantasy outfielder, or be a decent one, who knows. I know that’s such a cop out with prospects, but that is the point of their value in fantasy is it not?

Prado could go on for 3-4 years being useful to various teams. Frazier could go on to be anywhere from nothing to extremely useful for a whole career. How do you weight that value? This trade marks the first one that I can recall that a betterish prospect gets traded for something for today. Sure Gant’s value is there somewhere, but that’s like trading lottery one cost slightly more, has better odds, but either one ultimately could be worth more. Is Bailey selling already?

Andrew’s thoughts: When I acquired Chris Coghlan a while back, it was in part to give myself the flexibility to do something like this eventually. At the time I thought my pitchers would be healthy and team competitive, so I didn’t anticipate trading a vet for a prospect, but here we are.

For the Oysters, Prado should be a good, inexpensive piece. Prado’s the definitive boring but productive player and starting at $6 in 2017, he’s got a couple years of good value left in him. Dusty can slot him into two positions, freeing up the versatile Josh Harrison to slide around elsewhere. What this move really does is boost his second utility spot, since he no longer has to play match-ups and lineup cards with guys like Sean Rodriguez, Ben Paulsen, and Ryan Howard.

He’s been absolutely lights out lately, including a streak of five straight games with multiple hits. But I also expect some regression from him, as he’s currently sporting a .440 BABIP that’s led to a .398 average and a .433 on-base percentage. He should still be good the rest of the way, but this was a good opportunity to sell at his peak.

For me, I feel like getting a top-25 prospect in all of baseball is a big win in a year where I’m struggling to score points. In February, Baseball Prospectus pegged Frazier as the 23rd best dynasty league prospect, slotted between Rafael Devers and Austin Meadows. Frazier was the 39th guy off the board in our minor league draft and I remember thinking at the time that it was too low. Some guys that went ahead of him that I don’t think should have: Tim Anderson, Willson Contreras, Brady Aiken, and Anthony Alford.

With Prado gone, I can plug in either Coghlan, Chase Utley, or Howie Kendrick at 2B and shouldn’t see too precipitous a drop.