Trade: The Process | Trumpa Loompas

The Process trades away
Herrera, Odúbel $9

Trumpa Loompas trades away
Long, Shed (minors)

Andrew’s thoughts: OK everyone, shut up and look at me.

Welcome to another Dynasty Grinders trade review. This trade has two players in it. One is decent, one is not. People acquired them and they are in this trade now. I believe that after this review is over, this trade will be forgotten. Why I am even reviewing this trade is beyond me.

I also think it’s pointless for a human to review these trades when they can just log into Fantrax and do them.

Anyway, please do not misinterpret the fact that I am reviewing this trade as genuine interest in this trade and attempt to discuss it with me further. End of review.

 

Hustle’s Toxic $.02

I like this trade more for the Trumpas and maybe even the Loompas. Odublel isn’t some game changing piece, but a useful CF player who will get a lot of PAs. He’s also cheap to keep. Shed long seems fine, but not on the Hustle Media Top 100 list. I think I’ve heard he’s probably a utility guy.  Not a big loss, but rather have the affordable major leaguer.  If you’re high on this particular prospect, than the trade makes a lot of sense for The Process, which has lost Trust.

Trade(s; Bundled for your convenience): Trust the Process | TBD/Organized Chaos

TBD trades away 1B Ryan Zimmerman ($7) Trust the Process trades away SP Dean Kremer Andrew’s Thoughts: As of this morning Trust the Process has changed their team name to something different (sad and disappointing), which tells you just about all you need to know about “The Process.” Anyway… I remember last off-season, I had Ryan Zimmerman on my roster coming off a .387 wOBA season and 14 other owners told me he was a worthless turd. The one owner that didn’t was Joe from TBD. That Joe, I tell ya, he’s a smart cookie, as evidenced by locking up two seasons (so far!) of elite JD Martinez on someone else’s dime. Fast forward to today, and I’m pumped to see Abandon the Process adding a player that 14 people thought sucked a year ago in exchange for An Orioles Pitching Prospect™ (they’re all the same, no need for names). Zimmerman was good last year too, but also injured yet again. The projections like him. I’d rather have Zimmerman for 300 plate appearances before he hits the DL than An Orioles Pitching Prospect™ and it isn’t even close. Fun side note: Ryan Zimmerman has won back-to-back Dynasty Grinders League Championships. He won for me in 2017 and TBD in 2018. That streak will end in 2019, obviously, but still, a cool footnote.   Hustle’s Toxic $0.02: I really like this trade for the Process.  It’s rare I strongly prefer the other side of a TBD deal.  Locking up a decent 1b hitter who will only cost $7 in 2018 seems wise. Who cares if he only plays half a season? Who cares if he tears his ACL in the first month? You only spent 7 bucks on him and only gave up the Orioles 4th best pitching prospect when the trade would have been just as low risk had Ferns traded their best one. For the now Josh led TBD squad, I get what he’s trying to do. Add a prospect he likes for a guy he was going to cut.  By no means is this a franchise shattering trade, or a trade that will come back in the slightest to haunt them… It just helps out The Process more with almost no downside. In the end, there’s an excellent chance Kremer gets cut and Zimmerman spends the bulk of the season on the DL.
Organized Chaos trades away RF Nick Markakis ($4) Trust the Process trades away SP Frankie Montas ($5) Andrew’s Thoughts: Oh man, I’m pumped and flattered. The Process has reunited Ryan Zimmerman and Nick Markakis from the 2017 Dynasty Grinders League Champion and World Points Champion of the World Capital City Incomee. What a time to be alive. You know what they say: imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. I am truly beside myself this morning. After two years of campaigning that Markakis was a valuable asset in our league, he went above and beyond to prove me right in 2018. Here are his monthly wOBAs for the first four months of the season: .379, .394, .341, .362. Wow! That’s good. Sadly, he closed out the year with marks of .294 and .297. Womp womp. Regardless, I’d rather have Markakis than Montas, I think. Is Montas even going to be in the rotation? To be clear, pitching depth is valuable. But if he’s a reliever, he’s worthless. I think personal favoritism toward Markakis aside, this is probably a coin flip trade. And I get “selling high” on Markakis if you could, but this isn’t it. Markakis represents a massive lineup upgrade for Question the Process. And I’m not even referring to those monster wOBA months. If Markakis can limp along to a .294 or .297 wOBA all year, he’d still be a huge upgrade over having Lewis Brinson in the lineup.   Hustle’s Toxic $0.02:  I’m not sure how to feel about this trade. Markakis is potentially a serviceable replacement OF and Montas is  a bad cheap pitcher (under $10 though, Hustle Rule (TM) ). I think if you’re counting on either to be a major contributor on your team in 2019, you should be prepared for disappointment. As a depth piece, both are fine. Assuming Montas is in the rotation and Markakis is a lineup regular, they are both fine to roster.  Assuming those two things, they probably go for more in auction than their keeper price, but not much more.  The auction projects to be barren, but with the recent trade activity, it seems like less cash will be taken into it so maybe prices will be a little better than last year Ferns is trying to assemble Bailey’s team from 2 years ago, Bailey is trying to assemble my team from 2 years ago, and in reviewing this shitty trade, I’m just trying to stay as toxic I was 2 years ago.

The Dynasty Grinders New Deal…

As discussed in the Slack Channel and Podcast, there is definitely room to improve the overall quality of life in the league. The following proposed rule changes are intended to improve overall competitiveness, bring clarity to confusing rules, and speed up certain aspects of our game that should make playing much more fun.

The simple stuff…

Raising the greed money per team to $2 to spread among each of their 15 peers’ teams. You do have to select two different players who are not cost controlled to receive an extra one dollar raise. Cost controlled players would remain unaffected. However, top 30 players would no longer be a protected class.

This would go into effect after the 2019 season.

I believe the top 30 rule hasn’t been as useful or necessary as originally thought. Inflating everyone’s budget another $15 via the greed rule, theoretically adds another $30 player to the auction pool each year. This helps make the auction draft great again (MADGA), as potentially 15-20 more starters hit the pool each year.

There has been ample discussion on how to handle the current situation where teams have been selling off significant amounts of auction budget in exchange for prospects. I believe that nobody can really determine if it is broken. There is definitely argument for both sides of this logic. However, we believe after much discussion, that its not in our best interest to limit teams’ potential to make these kinds of deals. It is also not in the league’s best interest to allow teams to carry from year to year a budget that clearly overshadows the rest of the league.

The proposal: Adjusting the language written in the current rule regarding the final cut day:

  • Currently: On Final Cut Day, every team needs to cut players down to their Team budget. You must leave $1 of Team Budget remaining per each empty major league roster spot.
  • Proposal: On Final Cut Day, every team needs to cut down to a total team salary of $500 or less. You must leave $1 of Team Budget remaining per each empty major league roster spot.

The term “Team Budget” refers to your team’s individual budget for a season that started at $500 +/- whatever trades you made that incorporated budget.

Essentially, if you have acquired additional auction budget, you may take any surplus budget with you to auction, but will not be able to use it pre-auction to keep additional players already on your roster.

All trades made between the Final Cut Day and Auction that put a team over the threshold for this rule will be voided and reversed.

The rational here starts with MADGA and helps keep some kind of competitive balance. Teams can still swap budget and make trades, but Final Cut Day does impose limits of sorts.

The paradigm shift…

Eliminating long relief appearances. There is big time potential in the immediate future for long relief appearances to become not only more common, but also more predictable as provided by the Ryan Yarbrough/Tampa Bay Rays example. Due to a lack of flexibility with how we can handle these kinds of scenarios, where the majority (if not all) of the player’s fantasy value stems from circumventing our Games Started limit, the proposed solution is to eliminate all relief appearances that are 10 outs or more (3.1 IP). The player would be moved from that active roster to the bench retroactively by a commissioner. The newest solution is to count all appearances that last ten outs or more and take place in the first nine innings of any baseball game, count as one of your seven starts for the week.

This would go into effect for the 2019 season.

It is not ideal that the commissioner needs to be hands on in these cases, but the running theory is that players like Yarbrough become useless less useful on your roster because they will not often score points for you. So they end up taking a roster spot for nothing little return. Thus meaning that only the rare unicorn relief appearances need to be adjusted to count as starts which we believe will be few and far in between. This simply solves an exploit, without much damage to anything else.

The worst system in Dynasty Grinders… gone!

It is no secret that the cost controlled system in Dynasty Grinders is confusing. A series of rules and hard caps were created when the league began to make things simple and after three seasons, there’s nothing simple about it. Currently the following things are true about the cost controlled system:

  • Prospects are valuable and cheaper.
  • We don’t know their exact value until mid- to late-offseason.
  • Its not easy to predict what their value is going to be in-season due to basing their cost on future projections.
  • Its incredibly frustrating to have a player start their cost controlled status because of a cup of coffee stint in MLB.

The first bullet point is fine and in the spirit of dynasty leagues, it makes sense to keep. The other three make sense to eliminate. To do so, the idea is to base the player’s cost controlled raises on their previous season’s performance. This means that after Fantrax rolls over the league, we would be able to update all player salaries (short of the greed vote) immediately and teams can better budget around those changes, which should open up the entire off-season to activity. Subsequently, we can apply greed much earlier in the off-season to allow even more time to plan for the following season.

In almost all cases this causes these cost controlled players will receive raises similar to or less than they would have in the old system. This means that prospects are still valuable and cheaper to keep. But knowing how they’re performing in the year before you can gauge within a few dollars of what they’re likely going to cost the next season. We will also know after the season ends (even before the World Series ends!) exactly what they will cost. In some cases, where players don’t meet the the minimum threshold, they don’t have their “clocks” begin. Easier and more fun.

Currently players follow this system:

  • The year they break into the majors they are $0.
  • The next season they are automatically $1 if they have 1 PA or 0.1 IP.
  • In their 3rd year you pay 20% of their FanGraphs ZIPS auction calculator value.
  • 4th year you pay 40%
  • 5th year you pay 60%
  • 6th year you pay 80% and then they graduate, become eligible for greed, etc.

The redesign of the system will base the players “bonus” on their performance. All players who finish the season with positive point totals will be placed on a scale. Minor leaguers who finish the season below the 60th percentile will not reach cost controlled status. All minor leaguers who finish above the 60th percentile will cost $1 in the following season.

Cost controlled players who finish below the 90th percentile will get the minimum $2 raise each season.

From there cost controlled players could get raises higher than $2 based if they finish above the following thresholds:

  • 90th percentile: $4 raise
  • 93rd percentile: $6 raise
  • 95th percentile: $8 raise
  • 97th percentile: $10 raise
  • 98th percentile: $13 raise
  • 99th percentile: $16 raise

For some context on what those limits were in 2018: players who scored less than 256 points did not hit the 60th percentile so they would remain minor leaguers. This ensures that players who get promoted in September or otherwise receive “cup of coffee” promotions do not see their clocks start.

Cost controlled players who finish below the 90th percentile (794 points in 2018) get the standard $2 raise.

Above that 93rd was 867 points, 95th was 932 points, 97th was 1044 points, 98th was 1099 points and 99th was 1197 points.

That’s a lot of numbers and data is going to be provided to show how that affects our league.

In keeping with our existing rule, players who are picked up from free agency and debut in that same season are not eligible for cost control status and will be subject to free agent raise rules.

This achieves all of the goals that we set out to do. We’re currently waiting for FanGraphs to bail us out each year to stick to how the system was designed. That puts us at their mercy and from the first two seasons, it did not do a great or consistent job anyway. Getting away from that, allows a lot more flexibility and the ease of planning for the future sooner. I think these are all good things.

The forgotten topic…

Simply, players who were picked up as free agents during the year who were kept from the previous season currently have their keeper value set to $5. This should be bumped to $7 effective after the 2019 season.

Yep.

THE RESULT…

UPDATED 12/04/2018: By a final vote of 11-5 in favor of these changes, the Dynasty Grinders New Deal package of rule changes has passed.

You can view the results here.




Trade: Evil Otters | TBD

 

TBD trades away
Upton, Justin ($56+)

Evil Otters trades away
Mountcastle, Ryan (ML)

Jordan’s thoughts: Upton is a tiny stretch at the 50 dollar plus mark for his 850 points last year and 808 point projection next year. The projection does seem oddly pessimistic for the 31-year-old outfielder. Anything like 2017 or even 2018 with a few more games played and he’s easily worth the auction price tag.

Mountcastle is the number 2 prospect for one of the worst farm systems in the majors. He’s likely to make it at some point. He did hit a decent 121 wRC+ in AA as a 21-year-old last season. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Orioles give him a shot in 2019, but he seems years away from being meaningfully useful.

I like this trade for TBD more so than Evil Otters. I get what Otters is doing and spending a slight premium for an All-Star capable of being great again isn’t a bad idea. I just have experience the with Upton brothers and I would rather miss on them.

 

 

Hustle’s Toxic $.02:  Let us take a trip down Mountcastle Lane

8/1/2016

Team Hydra trades away
2018 Draft Pick, Round 2 (Team Hydra)
Mountcastle, Ryan

Preseason Double Stuffs trades away
2017 Draft Pick, Round 4 (Preseason Double Stuffs)
Gray, Sonny

 

11/27/2017

Capital City Ironmen trades away
Manaea, Sean

Preseason Double Stuffs trades away
Mountcastle, Ryan

4/25/2018

Capital City Ironmen trades away
Wong, Connor
Chirinos, Yonny
Mountcastle, Ryan
Bieber, Shane
Diaz, Yusniel

Evil Otters trades away
Godley, Zack

9/29/2018

TBD trades away
Upton, Justin ($56+)

Evil Otters trades away
Mountcastle, Ryan (ML)

Death, Taxes, Trading for Ryan Mountcastle. A Dynasty Grinders tradition like no other. Owned my nearly 1/3 of the league. In the hearts of 16/16 teams. His quest to the majors is a journey we are now all invested in.

I like this trade for the team that won’t name itself. They were going to cut Upton and find themselves in a rare position of not having prospects, so they picked up on who should certainly be owned. Well at least they think he should be owned, and the 4 previous owners did too.

I  also like this trade for Kyle. I’m sure if Bailey would be writing this review he’d give much praise to Kyle for being competitive and buying. He’d have some sort of snarky remark about how more teams are tanking than competing.  Me on the other hand? I take some weird glee in watching the auction get weaker and weaker.

“But Hustle, Mike Leake went for $35 dollars last year, do you really want to see that happen?”

“No little Jimmy…I want to see him go for $55”

 




Squids has himself a day

 

Long ball to LF (Johnnywise) trades away
Gordon, Dee

Senior Squids trades away
2019 Draft Pick, Round 2 (Senior Squids)

Bailey’s Take

This was a trade Squids just had to make. I really wouldn’t feel good about contending with Joe Panik as my only 2B. Dee Gordon is a little sketchy in our format because he offers no power, but neither does Panik. At least Dee gets on base pretty good and racks up steals, which aren’t really valuable but are better than nothing. Gordon always finishes among the top 2B scorers even if it isn’t always in game changing fashion. I wouldn’t be surprised if Panik gets dumped back to auction now.
Speaking of auction. Is Adam Jones kept at $39? I’m not sure. Gordon will be able to play CF too and while he won’t hit the homers Jones will, they’re roughly the same guy in our scoring when all is said and done.
Either way, this helps Squids at minimal cost. It gives him a relatively inexpensive, useful player that offers some options and flexibility. For LB, I assume this was a salary dump. So good for him too for turning a presumed cut into some future value. Maybe next year he can join the dark side and sell the pick for auction budget.
Hustle’s Toxic $.02
Overall this trade was pretty fine for both teams. I like it slightly more for Long Ball here. Gordon, like Brinson, has to be one of the most traded players in Dynasty Grinders history ( Jesus Sucre and Brian Shaw not counted). I think Gordon was likely headed back to the auction, so getting a 2nd round pick is a good haul for a cut. For Squids, supplanting Paniks production seems like a good idea at this point, and Gordon is a decent option.  I think if he would have held out until auction he could have got comparable production at 2b, but maybe not.  It’s hard to fault him for wanting to be prepared at each position before the auction.
Night King’s Undead Army to Senior Squids
($8) Gregorius , Didi for  $15

Bailey’s Take

Dansby Swanson has been a pretty big disappointment. Didi seems like a good upgrade over him. For basically $15 and a pick, Squids has pretty nicely upgraded his middle infield today.
For Jordan, eh, I don’t know. Getting Corey Seager maybe have rendered Didi useless, but I would’ve wanted actual talent back. Prospects, a cheap major leaguer, whatever.
Hustle’s Toxic $.02
So after an offseason of quite, Squids picked up Dee and Did in one afternoon. That’s 3 Ds. D-Von, get tables.
Anyway I like this trade for Squids more than the first. This reminds me of the Ferns deal with Bailey earlier offseason where he bought Mannea for 20.  Buying an $8 Didi for $15 is basically like paying $23 at auction for Didi, which I don’t think would be crazy if you didn’t have a SS. The upside is that squids only has to pay $10 for him next year, especially with  greed sponge Gary Sanchez on his roster. I don’t hate the trade for Jordan, I think it was a natural consequence of the Corey Seager deal which I did not like for Jordan. In fact, if Dejong does what he did last year, there’s no way Jordan is going to miss Didi at all.  $15 buys you a better need at auction, so I get it.



Trade: In Line 4 the Win | TBD

In Line 4 the Win sends: C/1B Alex Avila ($5)
TBD sends: CF Denard Span ($8)

Andrew’s thoughts: Oh man, am I pumped to see a Denard Span trade!

I like this small deal for both teams. Good job, fellas.

In two days, TBD has cheaply solved their catcher position for 2018 by adding Robinson Chirinos and brand new Arizona Diamondback Alex Avila. I highly doubt TBD was keeping Span for $8 just given their roster construct and cap situation, so in some ways this is a free #2 catcher for them. They’ve got what should be a sufficient platoon behind the plate now.

Meanwhile, In Line 4 the Win obtains former Ironmen legend Denard Span, who is basically generic Adam Jones but much cheaper. No, seriously, look. They aren’t all that different. I mean, as always with this metric, obviously Jones is  better because he scores more points in total, plays more often, has more pop, better home park, etc. You can set him and forget him in your lineup. But if you can pay Span $30 less than Jones, you can probably chip another $10 (or less) away to find another Span-like guy to platoon in center, and still come out with  $20 to spend. In fact, IL4W already has that guy in a $6 Cameron Maybin. I legitimately ran Maybin and Span’s numbers last year against Jones for some reason, and they’re comparable. I’m not going out of my way to pick on Jones here, it just so happens I’ve already done the math. I do submit that a Span/Maybin platoon for $14 total will give you equivalent production to a $39 or whatever he is Jones, with $25 to spare.

IL4W came into the offseason with a very frustrating OF of potential and salary, but not much production. Randal Grichuk‘s move to Toronto helps a great deal, but he’s still $16. Joc Pederson is a $24 platoon hitter. Jason Heyward at $17 may not even be replacement level. Kyle Schwarber has almost no room for surplus value with a $61 salary, and all hope of catcher eligibility is gone. So I like adding Span, who should unlock LF eligibility in Tampa, to the mix. He’s old and boring, but safe, and safe is one thing IL4W doesn’t have in their outfield.

Added bonus for IL4W: Denard Span is a player that knows what it’s like to go from the bottom to a championship caliber team here in Dynasty Grinders. He’s got experience. He’s got leadership. He will no doubt improve IL4W’s clubhouse morale which, let’s face it, must be pretty bad following a 1-19 catastrophe.

Also, I was literally just yesterday contemplating asking TBD what they’d want to reunite with Span. Just because. I’d probably rather dump him back to auction and try my hand at winning him for $3-4, but the thought did cross my mind. Maybe I’m just bored. I’m probably just bored.

I do wonder what IL4W is going to do at catcher now. Are they really keeping Jonathan Lucroy for $30 after the season he had? I like Chris Iannetta at Coors for $5. Should be interesting, but it does seem like Avila could’ve been useful to them as a starting catcher in a good home park with a low salary.

Hustle’s toxic $0.02: I haven’t read what Bailey has said, but I’m sure Avila is better than posey too. .365 woba from Avila last year and now he’s moving to Chase Field (standard Hustle humidor reminder). TBD has hustled their way to a very productive cheap catching core. As for Span? He’s useful, but I’m not sure he’s an attractive use of budget for a rebuilding team who likely won’t be competing in 2018. I’d rather have Avila here considerably because of catcher scarcity. I think you probably need to shoot higher upside for outfielders unless Span is just depth piece, which in this case it isn’t. TBD has really been working magic this offseason.




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.

 

 

 

 




Grading the Dynasty Grinder Minor League Systems

First, this is my first and probably my last attempt at writing for Dynasty Grinders. Since I retired I’ve had more time on my hands and over the last month I’ve dived into each and every Grinders minor league systems. There were a few reasons for the deep dive in the minor league systems:

  • I wanted to learn more about the minor league systems
  • Prepare myself for the upcoming draft
  • Educate myself on the other team’s minor league rosters for possible trades

Finally, as I was going through each team, I’m convinced there are the “haves and the have-nots” and I want to even the playing field. I’m hoping those at the bottom will be motived to do better. I also realize that some owners have different ideas how to manage their teams and I understand that too. My life experience tells me “Knowledge is Power”. The ultimate goal is to make the Dynasty Grinder league better and more balanced.

I’m no minor league expert and I have used a few web sites to grade each minor league player that is on our rosters. Additionally, some teams have players on their roster that weren’t ranked because I couldn’t justify giving them a star. Remember they are minor league players and could be late bloomers. There is a high probability that I’m full of crap, which is probably the case. Column “2018 MLB Ready” below means players could be breaking into the MLB this year. The teams are ranked from the best to worst.

The Key

3 Stars = Elite MLB Player
2 Stars = Solid MLB Player
1 Star = Average MLB Player

#1 HLR

Loaded, more than loaded………………………. Lead by Vladimir Guerrero, if you’re looking to trade for prospects HLR is the place to go. Beware HLR is a hustler and values his prospects and in a few years his team is going to be killing it. Hustle is going to win many championships if you believe in building from the bottom up. The only downside is HLR only has one prospect who might make the majors this year, he’s a good one too, Willie Calhoun. Minor League score 50.

2018 MLB Ready

  • TEX OF Calhoun, Willie

3 Star Players

  • ALT SP Allard, Kolby
  • NYM UT Alonso, Peter
  • TOR 3B Guerrero Jr., Vladimir
  • LAD LF Heredia, Starling
  • MIN SS Javier, Wander
  • DET SP Manning, Matt
  • PHL RF Ortiz, Jhailyn
  • MIL LF Harrison, Monte
  • TB LF Sanchez, Jesus
  • HOU RF Tucker, Kyle

#2 TBD

Almost the top minor league team, it was very close that’s for sure since the Joey Wentz trade. TBD was going to drop Brian McCann anyway, good for TBD. The rich get richer in my opinion………………………. TBD’s minor league team is stacked with Eloy Jimenez, who is a year away, and Walker Buehler, who could be the NL Rookie of the Year in 2018. TBD probably has the best 2018 MLB ready players, led by Buehler and Lewis Brinson. TBD’s experience evaluating minor league talent is unquestionable. Minor league score 49.

2018 MLB Ready

  • BAL RF Hays, Austin
  • MIL CF Brinson, Lewis
  • HOU SP/RP Paulino, David
  • MIL SP Woodruff, Brandon
  • STL SP Helsley, Ryan
  • LAD SP Buehler, Walker

3 Star Players

  • CHC SP Albertos, Jose
  • MIL CF Brinson, Lewis
  • CHW LF Jimenez, Eloy
  • LAD SP May, Dustin
  • DET SP Perez, Franklin
  • LAD SP Buehler, Walker
  • BAL RF Hays, Austin
  • Alt SP Wentz, Joey

#3 IL4W

IL4W was only one three-star pitcher away from being the top minor league squad. IL4W team is led by strong pitching with Michael Kopech, Braxton Garrett and Cal Quantrill. IL4W has the best group of minor league pitching in the league. IL4W also has young Kevin Maitan who found a new home in Anaheim. IL4W has help on the way this year with Alex Verdugo and Victor Robles, who are projected to be fantasy stars. HLR, IL4W and TBD’s minor league systems are killing it and the rest of us wish we had ¼ of the 3-star prospects they have. I tip my hat to all three teams. Minor league score 47.

2018 MLB Ready

  • PHI UT Alfaro, Jorge
  • KC SP Skoglund, Eric
  • LAD CF Verdugo, Alex
  • WAS RF Robles, Victor

3 Star Players

  • OAK LF Armenteros, Lazaro
  • MIA SP Garrett, Braxton
  • CHW SP Kopech, Michael
  • OAK SP Luzardo, Jesus
  • ATL SS Maitan, Kevin
  • SD SP Quantrill, Cal
  • MIL RF Grisham, Trent
  • WAS RF Robles, Victor
  • LAD SP Sheffield, Jordan

#4 Long Ball

Long Ball =’s Ronald Acuna, the favorite to become 2018 NL Rookie of the Year. Acuna ripped through three levels of the minors and AFL, there’s no doubt Acuna is ready to be a MLB All Star. Sean Reid-Foley has a 97-mph fast ball with a competitive edge. Long Ball also has some nice power coming up with Bobby Dalbec and pure hitter Bo Bichette just a couple of years away. Minor league score 37.

2018 MLB Ready

  • MIL SP Ortiz, Luis
  • CHC C Caratini, Victor
  • STL OF O’Neill, Tyler
  • ATL OF Acuna, Ronald

3 Star Players

  • ALT CF Acuna, Ronald
  • WAS SS Kieboom, Carter
  • TOR SP Reid-Foley, Sean
  • WAS RF Soto, Juan
  • SD SS Ruiz, Esteury

#5 Night King’s Undead Army

The Night Kings have the best pitching prospect in the game, Alex Reyes, but coming off TJS surgery. They also have eight two-star prospects. MLB ready players include Hunter Dozier, who will probably start the season with the Royals but playing time will be a question. Kyle Zimmer also has a chance to break camp with the Royals. Why did The Foundation change their name? Just to confuse me?????? Minor league score 36

2018 MLB Ready

  • KC 2B Dozier, Hunter
  • STL SP Reyes, Alex
  • KC SP Zimmer, Kyle
  • CHW RP Fulmer, Carson

3 Star Players

  • ATL SP Anderson, Ian
  • BOS SP Groome, Jason
  • BAL 3B Reyes, Jomar
  • STL SP Reyes, Alex

#6 Senior Squids

Not an earth shattering minor league roster. After the 2016 season the Squids reconstructed the minor league roster and concentrated on pitching. Hoping the likes of Honeywell, Alcantara, Duplantier and Whitley will be the foundation of his team for years to come. News broke recently that Mariner prospect Eric Filia was suspended 50 games for a second positive drug test. Filia hit .326 at Modesto in 2017 and won the Arizona Fall League battle title with a .408 average. Hopefully he gets his drug addiction taken care, and get back on the field and bring a world championship to Seattle. It’s kind of weird evaluating my own team, feel free to throw me under the bus. Minor league score 35

2018 MLB Ready

  • CIN LF, Winker, Jesse
  • TB SP Honeywell, Brent
  • SD RF Renfroe, Hunter
  • MIA SP Alcantara, Sandy
  • TB SP De Leon, Jose
  • CHW RP Vieira, Thyago

3 Star Players

  • TB 3B Lowe, Josh
  • SEA RF Lewis, Kyle
  • MIA SP Alcantara, Sandy
  • ARI SP Duplantier, Jon
  • HOU SP Whitley, Forrest

#7 Beach Bum

The Beach Bums have a balanced minor league team with lots of up and coming MLB talent, led by Gleyber Torres. Torres is slated to bat ninth and play 2B for the Yankees, who have the best line up in the majors. The Beach Bums have quite a few minor players that will hit the majors this year, especially with Oakland A’s. I’m a big fan of A J Puk who has huge K upside. The Beach Bums also have Austin Meadows who is #17 on MLB’s prospects and could make the Pirates roster if Andrew McCutchen is traded (ed. note: he was!). Minor league score 33

2018 MLB Ready

  • OAK SP Puk, AJ
  • OAK SP Holmes, Grant
  • NYY SS Torres, Gleyber
  • PIT CF Meadows, Austin
  • MIN SP Gonsalves, Stephen

3 Star Players

  • PHI 2B Kingery, Scott
  • PIT CF Meadows, Austin
  • OAK SP Puk, AJ
  • PHI SP Sanchez, Sixto
  • NYY SS Torres, Gleyber

#8 Team Hydra

Hydra has a very strong group of 2-star minor leagues, which include Corey Ray if he can find his stroke after a sub par 2017 season. Hydra’s strength is his MLB ready prospects. Francisco Mejia and Jorge Mateo both will make strong pitches for regular playing time this year. Additionally, Daniel Volgelbach will be fighting to win the 1B job with the Mariners, who adds lots of pop if he can do it in the majors. Minor league score 29

2018 MLB Ready

  • SEA 1 Vogelbach, Dan
  • CLE C Mejia, Francisco
  • OAK OF Fowler, Dustin
  • OAK SS Mateo, Jorge

3 Star Players

  • LAD SP Alvarez, Yadier
  • OAK SP Kaprielian, James
  • PIT SP Keller, Mitch
  • TEX CF Taveras, Leody

#9 The Wilfred Brimley Fighting Diabeetuses

First, “The Wilfred Brimley Fighting Diabeetuses” has to be the strangest / craziest fantasy team name I’ve ever heard. What’s the story behind the name, WB? Does anyone know? WB has a strong core of three-star prospects that include Jack Flaherty, who could find himself in the Cardinals rotation and be a solid #3. Riley Pint is a complete pitcher with a plus fastball who is a top of the rotation pitcher. Fernando Tatis Jr is going to be an All-Star with an already loaded Padres prospect squad. The Padres are going to be a force to be reckoned with in a couple of years. Minor league score 26

2018 MLB Ready

  • COL 1B McMahon, Ryan
  • MIL SS Dubon, Mauricio
  • TEX 1B Guzman, Ronald

3 Star Players

  • SD SP Espinoza, Anderson
  • STL SP Flaherty, Jack
  • COL 1B McMahon, Ryan
  • COL SP Pint, Riley
  • SD SS Tatis Jr, Fernando

#10 Troompa Loompas

Jimmy Kimmel’s team has three high end prospects that includes Dylan Cease a power pitcher who’s a 97 MPH fastball, he’s the 58th ranked prospect on MLB.com. TL should have three players get some MLB playing time this year led by Franklin Barreto who is line drive hitter and could hit .280. My favorite player on his roster is Matt Thaiss who can hit HR’s and knows how to work the count. Minor league score 25

2018 MLB Ready

  • OAK SS Barreto, Franklin
  • ARI SP Banda, Anthony
  • NYY SP Adams, Chance

3 Star Players

  • CHW SP Cease, Dylan
  • NYM SS Gimenez, Andres
  • NYM SP Scapucki, Thomas

#11 Preseason Double-Stuffs

The Oreos have two of the best up and coming infield prospects in our league, Brendon Rogers and Nick Senzel. Late word out of Cincinnati is they want Senzel to learn how to play the OF, which should speed up his callup and he might make the Cincinnati team to start the season. Senzel is Cincinnati’s #1 prospect and 9th overall. Brendon Rogers is the 7th overall prospect and is a middle of the order player at Coors Field, the Oreos will be double stuffing their two prize prospects this year. They also have Luiz Gohara, who Atlanta got from my Mariners. Gohara has #2 stuff. On kind of a strange note, the Double Stuffs have two of the top catching prospects in the league, Chance Sisco and Carson Kelly. However, Kelly is stuck behind Yadier Molina and he’s not going anywhere. I really like the Double Stuffs minor league roster. Minor league score 23.1

2018 MLB Ready

  • CIN 3B Senzel, Nick
  • COL SS Rodgers, Brendan
  • STL C Kelly, Carson
  • ATL SP Gohara, Luiz
  • BAL C Sisco, Chance

3 Star Players

  • COL SS Rodgers, Brendan
  • CIN 3B Senzel, Nick
  • CIN UT Trammell, Taylor
  • ATL SP Gohara, Luiz

#12 Capital City Ironmen

The Capital City Ironmen have nine two-star major league prospects and no three-star prospects. That could be all fake news and CC could have 9 three-star prospects and championships the next five years. This could cause the Hustler to curl up in the fetal position in a bathroom at Dodger Stadium. His squad is led by JP Crawford who will finally get his chance with Phillies batting 7th. They also have Oscar De La Cruz who is on the fast track and will be a middle of the rotation pitcher with fantasy upside. I also like Yordan Alvarez who has 25 HR upside. Minor league score 23

2018 MLB Ready

  • PHI 3B Crawford, JP
  • CLE SP Bieber, Shane
  • LAA SP Barria, Jaime
  • TOR LF Gurriel, Lourdes
  • PIT SS Newman, Kevin

3 Star Players

  • N/A

#13 Who’s Your Haddy?

Who’s Your Haddy’s top two prospects are a few years away. Adonis Medina is slated as a #2 with lots of K upside in his future, but could end up in the bullpen. Their top prospect, Estevan Florial is capable of .300+ BA, 20+ HR, and 25+ SB. Major League ready David Dahl is on Haddy’s minor league roster and will be Colorado’s OF of the future. Amir Garrett is slated to start in the bullpen but has #3 starter stuff and will start on the major league roster in 2018. Minor league score 18.1

2018 MLB Ready

  • CIN SP Garrett, Amir
  • COL LF Dahl, David

3 Star Players

  • NYY CF Florial, Estevan
  • PHI RP Medina, Adonis

3 Star Players 2018 MLB Ready
NYY CF Florial, Estevan CIN SP Garrett, Amir
PHI RP Medina, Adonis COL LF Dahl, David

#14 Team Canada

Team Canada’s minor league has limited 3-star talent except for Isan Diaz who has huge power upside but is a few years away. However, they do have a few players that should make their MLB debut this year. Tyler Mahle has an excellent chance to become a solid fantasy contributor this year. Jordan Patterson can contribute a .270 avg and 20 HR’s. Finally, Erick Feddie should also make his debut, however he did have Tommy John surgery in 2014. He has #3 stuff. Minor league score 18

2018 MLB Ready

  • CIN SP Mahle, Tyler
  • COL RF Patterson, Jordan
  • WAS SP Fedde, Erick

3 Star Players

  • MIL SS Diaz, Isan

#15 Evil Otters

First, like The Foundation/Night King’s Undead Army, the Otters also changed their name and ownership. We miss you Dusty and I hope your health is improving. I was a little surprise the Otters traded one of their top prospects for a part time catcher for the coming season. There not much squid in the cooler but the Otters do have a couple of sleepers I really like. Jorge Ona and Will Benson are capable of 30 HR’s a season. The only player I see making it onto an MLB roster this year is Domingo Acevedo, who is slated to start in the bullpen. FYI, I’m not a fan of the Otters short name “666” What’s up with that???? Minor league score 16

2018 MLB Ready

  • NYY RP Acevedo, Domingo

3 Star Players

  • TEX SP Speas, Alex
  • NYY RP Acevedo, Domingo

#16 We Talk Fantasy Sports

Momma’s cupboard is empty with an open jar of stale Oreo cookies. Slack chatting with We Talk mentioned that his priority was drafting major league ready players, which explains why he has no fresh cookies. We Talk has two really nice prospects, Adbert Alzolay and Corbin Burnes, who are high level prospects that could see action in 2019. In 2018 We Talk Fantasy Sports should have Dillion Peters fight for a rotation spot with MIA, which shouldn’t be that hard considering what has happened down south, and he still has Byron Buxton right? Minor league score 10

2018 MLB Ready

  • MIA SP Peters, Dillon

3 Star Players

  • CHC SP Alzolay, Adbert
  • MIL SP Burnes, Corbin

Conclusion: I had a lot of fun and learned a lot putting all of this together. Absolutely no hard feelings towards any of the teams, it’s just one opinion. I believe to be successful is a dynasty baseball league it’s a must to have a strong minor league squad. I asked my baseball friends on the right and the left and they said the article is “fake news” because they are only minor league prospects and you never know, plus most of them are young adults. If I missed on any prospects or you disagree with the article please post on slack. Please, I have no intention to be mean and only trying to make the league better.

– Senior Squids




Trade: Team Hydra | Long Ball to LF

Long Ball to LF sends: SP Tyler Skaggs ($9)
Team Hydra sends: 2B Devon Travis ($13)

Andrew’s thoughts: This is about as even as a trade gets. Two young guys with as much upside as injury risk. I like Devon Travis a bit more personally, just because he’s got a better MLB track record and, well, because I got 16 starts of 6.69 Pt/G out of him last year for the low, low cost of some FAAB. Never forget.

Basically even money here; one team that wanted a pitcher gets a pitcher, and one team that wanted a 2B gets a 2B. This is exactly the type of trade this league needed to get the hot stove firing.

Hustle’s toxic $0.02: The trade seems fair enough. Long Ball now has Dynasty Grinders legend Devon Travis as his third 2nd basemen after Dee Gordon and Jose Ramirez, which doesn’t make a ton of sense unless you’re trading one away. Still makes more sense than paying double digit cash for him (on top of his salary) and dropping him a month into the season though.

Hydra picks up Tyler Skaggs, who is an interesting gamble at $9. The winner of this trade will pretty obviously come down to which of these guys have a better year, assuming they both get kept. The only losers are those that are reviewing it.




Trade: Rocky Mtn Oysters | Preseason Double Stuffs

Preseason Double Stuffs sends: 2B Rougned Odor ($29)
Rocky Mtn Oysters send: LF/CF/RF Taylor Trammell

Andrew’s Thoughts: I’m still not a Rougned Odor fan. Too much variance. He seems to either make an out, usually by strike out, or hit a home run, which is a little more appealing in a 5×5 roto league than a H2H league. Worse, Odor has one of the most punchable faces in all of baseball. I’m firmly #TeamBautista. Still, this makes sense for Dusty, who gave up a prospect that’s like 2-3 years from scoring him points for a bench guy that he can just as easily cut in the offseason when he costs $31 (or more if someone slaps greed on him). I mean, yeah, Odor never walks so he has no real floor, but you could do way worse than a 30+ HR threat as a back-up.

For the Double Stuffs, this could be seen as flipping a $15 DJ LeMahieu for a toolsy outfield prospect that has just now started to sneak onto top-100 lists but, again, is a ways off. Looking at it that way is probably demoralizing though. Instead, just look at this transaction by itself and it’s fine. Because again, I’m cutting a $30+ Odor after the season. I imagine PDS was too. Odor has upside but that cost offsets pretty much all of it.

As for Trammell, well, I’m pretty sure I was baffled when Dusty paid budget money to move up and take him in our minor league draft. But I stand corrected. He is now a guy whose name appears on lists. And guess what? Getting your name on lists means you have trade value. I can’t find record of ever doubting Trammell here on the Dynasty Grinders dot com, but I remember doing so somewhere. And so this is me, taking responsibility for the things that I have said, and admitting that I was wrong some months back about the acquisition cost of this particular prospect.

Anyway, I’m pretty clearly okay in general with good teams acquiring bad salaries as bench or depth pieces and bad teams getting back reputable prospects for them instead of waiting around to cut.

Hustle’s Toxic $.02: Both these owners and teams should be commended for making this trade. They both wanted to make their teams better (I hope) and managed to find the courage to agree on terms despite a potential trade review looming.

PDS obviously sees Schoop as their 2b of the future and at $12 and almost averaging 7 ppg, Schoop is easily the better player and value going forward. Schoop has really cut down his Ks and while his BABIP is high, it’s not crazy high. It makes sense for PDS to get rid of Odor for a prospect they like. If Trammel is their guy, so be it, I’m not sure what their other options were. It was not that long ago when PDS traded DJ Lemeihu for Odor, so Odor’s stench on PDS has been quickly removed. That being said, with their cap space, they were probably better off with DJ and Schoop. Odor was one of the few players I pegged PDS to keep. With one less guy, I’d expect to see a lot of new faces on their team next season, I hope they enjoy the turnover.

 

For Dusty, he trades a borderline top 100 prospect for even more 2b depth. He has Cano at 2b, so Odor is pretty much looking at playing time on his team at Utility. With Taylor, Spangeberg, Priela, and Sogard… Odor might be just another guy on his team. That being said Odor does have some nice power potential and could be big down the stretch if he gets hot on the first place Oysters. It’s a low cost risk for a currently hot swinging Odor.