Trade: Offseason Double Stuffs | Hustle Loyalty Respect

Offseason Double Stuffs send: 1B Greg Bird ($13)
Hustle Loyalty Respect sends: 1B Wil Myers ($19), 1B Colin Moran ($3; cost controlled), LF Starling Heredia (minors)

Andrew’s thoughts: I used to be a big Wil Myers fan. But these days I feel kinda underwhelmed by him, especially at $19. I wish I still had the chart I made for Hustle that showed where Myers ranked on a Pt/PA basis up against other guys. We’ve talked about him a lot privately. I forget who was on there now, but Lucas Duda was for sure better. It just seems weird. And I get it, no one’s buying Duda (or whoever) in lieu of Myers just because of the rate stats alone. And there were other Duda-esque guys on that list that just require some platoon management. First base is deep and while Myers is effective, he just hasn’t been a consistent difference maker there. Doesn’t mean he won’t become one. If he gets some outfield eligibility back, that adds value. He’s still in his prime. In June 2016, he was so scorching hot that he was traded in a package for Bryce Harper. But since then, while he hasn’t gotten worse, he hasn’t gotten markedly better either. Over the last two seasons, he’s 15th among 1B’s in wOBA.

Bird, meanwhile, is interesting. He only had a WRC+ of 86 last year in a limited sample of 170 plate appearances. That’s awful. But Steamer projects him for a 122 this year with a .356 wOBA. He’s got a career .339 wOBA over 348 PAs and is two years younger than Myers. He’s riskier, for sure — haven’t even mentioned his injuries — but Hustle’s roster is in a spot where he can afford the gamble, I think. Granted, Myers is essentially his only 1B, so if the gamble fails, he’s going to potentially have a big 1B void.

And maybe you could argue the Double Stuffs need to gamble as well to climb out of the basement of the standings, but the fastest way to improve is to exchange risk for safety. It’s not sexy. In this case, they’re sending off potentially more upside in Bird for Myers’ relatively high floor, and are just shifting their risk to Colin Moran‘s swing changes and Starling Heredia‘s prospect profile. With only a $27 Maikel Franco (is he even keepable?) as their only real 3B option, gambling on Moran (who should unlock 3B quickly) while replacing Bird with Myers seems to have a potentially greater payoff than just gambling on Bird alone anyway. In order to get better, bad teams need to take gambles, but they also need to expand their portfolio of assets.

I guess I like it for both teams. I know Hustle really wanted Bird, so here you go. He’s got him. It probably looks like a slight overpay, but sometimes you pay a bit more for guys you really want. No big deal.

And I know Ferns is a competitive guy and hates losing, so while maybe Bird might have a higher ceiling than Myers over the long haul — Steamer projects him for a better Pt/PA than Myers next year, although it projects Myers to accumulate more points based on pure volume — this seems like a move that pushes his team’s floor up and still gives him ample upside. I think he’s more likely to be a bit more competitive in 2018 with this move, and being competitive now seems better than not.

Mostly, I’m just happy to see Hustle and Ferns in harmony together, at least until the next time Ferns forgets to start a seventh guy and Hustle calls him on it or until Hustle proposes some outlandish rule change.

Hustle’s less toxic $.02: If I told you I sent 100 Greg Bird trade offers this offseason to Ferns, it would not be an exaggeration by much if at all. A bet on Greg Bird is a gut call for me. One of my earliest lessons in fantasy is not to give up on players you love because of one bad season. I was big on him last year and not a lot has changed for me. Bird was a monster in spring training, his rookie year, once he got back from injury last year and in the playoffs. He was taking elite lefties deep with elite exit velocity. When evaluating trades it’s tough to separate enthusiasm with realistic expectations and Bird tows that line for me.

Colin Moran had 0 value a week ago, and while I think he’s big time sleeper this year, I would probably kick myself over and over again if Bird blew up and the reason I didn’t own him was Colin Moran. I’m torn on if Moran actually became a new player last year or he benefitted from being a 24 year old in AAA, I lean the fact that hes actually going to be a contributor next season. I like Heredia  a lot too, but I have a lot of prospect outfielders I like as is.

I think Bird has a better shot to be a difference maker and  I’ll bet some surplus to see if I’m right. The fact that Bird is 6 dollars cheaper and 2 years younger is also encouraging for his value, let alone potentially hitting between Judge and Stanton. That being said, I think Ferns got a very strong haul that improves his team right away.

 

 

 

Someone explain a strategy to me

PICTURED: Bryan “Empty Roster Spot” Shaw

Maybe this is calling out another manager, maybe it isn’t, whatever. I don’t care. Talking game theory is interesting and the offseason is slow because everyone wants to save room for Shohei Ohtani at auction, so we need stuff to talk about. And so when I read one of our recent trade reviews, and saw a comment left on it, I really wanted to explore what was going on.

So, the backstory:

Hustle Loyalty Respect and In Line 4 the Win made a trade. HLR sent a prospect, Logan Allen, to IL4W for $1. No big deal. I actually think buying prospects you really like for $1 is smart business, because you’re buying into so many cheap years of potential production from these guys and $1 doesn’t matter a ton. However, in reviewing his own trade, Hustle said this:

And then I happened to scroll down, and notice that IL4W fired back with this:

And so here we are.

I’m baffled by this. I’m not even necessarily trying to knock it, I just really, really want to understand what the strategy is behind simply not filling roster spots.

Our FAAB settings allow for $0 bids, so you can add as many players as you wish to fill empty roster spots at no cost. We don’t have penalties for dropping players. We don’t have seasonal or weekly add/drop limits. If one of your players gets hurt and you move him to the disabled list, thus freeing up a roster spot, there’s literally nothing preventing you from adding a player to that spot at no cost. Just pick your player, submit your bid for $0, and assuming no one else is in on that player, you get them. If they suck, you cut them. No harm, no foul.

On September 13 of last year, HLR added Logan Allen to his team from free agency. He was a readily available player. All you needed to procure him was… an available roster spot. Months later, on January 11, sitting with five of 20 minor league spots barren, IL4W spent $1 to slide Allen into one of those vacant spots. Does this not prove that carrying empty spots is not at all a beneficial strategy? Am I nuts? It proves the opposite, in fact. HLR turned a minor league spot — occupied by a human baseball player, an asset capable of gaining value over time — into $1. It’s not much, but $1 is better than nothing at all. IL4W, meanwhile, spent $1 of budget to fill a roster hole that could have cost nothing to fill in September. Not a FAAB buck, not an auction buck, not another player in trade. I submit that having that spot full resulted in profit for HLR, and having that spot empty resulted in needlessly flushing $1 for IL4W.

From HLR’s perspective, I’m sure he’s confident he can just pick up another Logan Allen for free off waivers once the season starts. So he basically got a $1 to flip a replaceable asset. Again… isn’t this exactly why you want all roster spots full? You want the chance to have something of value. An empty spot is worth… nothing. A dollar is pretty damn close to nothing, but it’s still something.

And what if Logan Allen had cracked a couple top-100 lists this offseason? I mean… every offseason, lists come out. We know this. Sometimes, the names on them surprise us. Maybe we don’t even recognize them. But when we see a name on a list, we suddenly value that player. So if Allen had randomly made Baseball America’s list at number 94 or something, he’s got value, yeah? And probably more than $1, right? These are lotto tickets — free lotto tickets, at that. Maybe Allen miraculously cracks the top 60 or 70 of a list, and suddenly he’s a guy you can trade for a cheap major leaguer that’ll help your team score points in 2018.

Look at it another way: you have an investment portfolio. For whatever reason, you’re allotted only 20 investments. You have 15 of those slots full with investments you’re happy with. Then I say, hey, here’s a list of all the companies you can invest in… pick five out to fill out your portfolio, and you get a share of each company… for free. These shares have the opportunity to grow and mature, to put cash in your pocket. But you decline. So instead of five free investment shares, you’ve just got nothing. That nothing, like a seed that does not exist, cannot be planted and blossom into something. For it is nothing. Maybe the five shares you choose will putter out. But hey, it was house money and you gave yourself a chance.

I just… I don’t get it. What am I missing?

I bring this up also because, frankly, we’ve had complaints dating back to last year about teams not fielding full rosters. So is this a strategy or a competitiveness problem? It seems totally asinine to me that we would tell grown adults who’ve paid money to play in a fantasy league that they have to carry a specific number of players, but I also don’t get the strategy of playing shorthanded, so I’ve always just assumed that went without saying and didn’t require policing. Sure, MLB requires teams carry a minimum of 24 players, but their maximum is 25. You’d never see the Reds roll up to the ballpark with 19 guys, or the Toledo Mud Hens take the field five players short.

So please, someone explain this to me. Show me what I am missing.

Trade: Hustle Loyalty Respect| In Line for the win

Hustle Loyalty Respect to In Line 4 the Win
Allen, Logan

In Line 4 the Win to Hustle Loyalty Respect 
$1

Hustles Toxic $.02.:  Where to begin?  Neal called me out on slack for poor trade offers. I shaved $1 off my asking price and he accepted.

Logan Allen is a solid pitching prospect, top 10 in a stacked Padres system and could be up in 2019 if he continues to pitch well.

Prior to this trade IL4W had 15 prospects on his farm when we all have 20 spots (and expanding to 25). It really makes no sense to have less than 20 green flag players right now unless you recently traded down from 20.

IL4W’s farm improves because he added a  $0 guy to his team in an empty roster spot.

 

Trade: Long Ball to LF | Hustle Loyalty Respect

Long Ball to LF sends: $5 auction budget
Hustle Loyalty Respect sends: SP Daniel Mengden ($5)

Andrew’s thoughts: These two teams have conducted a nice, fair trade here. Long Ball to LF has basically invested $10 to take a ride on the Daniel Mengden express, hoping that in 2017 he will discover the fast track to pitching stardom. HLR, meanwhile, probably saw Mengden as the caboose of his current pitching rotation — a back-end piece that was likely to just get left at the station, but maybe, possibly, could have have stuck. I would probably rather just have the $5 personally, but I find this trade difficult to truly rail against.

Trade: Hustle Loyalty Respect | We Talk Fantasy Sports

Hustle Loyalty Respect sends: SP Dillon Peters ($5)
We Talk Fantasy Sports sends: 2018 3rd Round Pick, $2 2018 Auction Budget

Andrew’s Thoughts: The real winner of this trade is me, for I will theoretically never again be offered Dillon Peters by Hustle Loyalty Respect.

EDIT: Seriously, this is whatever. To my surprise, Dillon Peters’ Steamer and ZiPS projections are in the realm of decent. He had six starts last year and four went for 20+ points. He’s only 25 and probably locked into the rotation. So it’s like a $7 gamble for WTFS that he’s useful. If he’s not, oh well, cut him and move forward.

Trade: Hustle Loyalty Respect | Capital City Ironmen

Hustle Loyalty Respect sends: C Tyler Flowers ($5)
Capital City Ironmen sends: LF/CF/RF DJ Peters (minors)

Andrew’s Thoughts: What an exhilarating first trade of the offseason.

In this one, the Defending Points and League Champion 🏆 adds an okay catcher with a cheap salary whose downside is that he doesn’t start every day. But maybe that’s not so terrible! Across the last two seasons, of catchers with a minimum of 650 plate appearances, only three catchers have a better wOBA than Tyler Flowers: Gary Sanchez, Willson Contreras, and Buster Posey. Elite company! Also, while Flowers notoriously demolishes left handed pitching, last year he had a .356 wOBA against righties. Yay!

I didn’t want to trade away DJ Peters, because all of the scouting reports about him draw comparisons to Jayson Werth — and I love Jayson Werth. But when you have a chance to trade away “possible Jayson Werth” for “basically Buster Posey,” well, you just have to do it.

I doubt Hustle was keeping Flowers even as a cheap back-up. That’s fine. Maybe I won’t even end up keeping him. It’s November. Who knows? So getting a prospect that he likes for a guy he probably wasn’t keeping seems like good maneuvering to me.

But mainly we just wanted to do a trade because we’re bored (fantasy football is not fun) and we wanted to light a fire under everyone else.

Hustle’s Thoughts:  I put a cheap useful player on the block, and surprisingly only Bailey showed interest. It was the same level of surprise to discover we had a champions page on dynastygrinders.com only after Bailey won a championship, but I digress.

Tyler Flowers was pretty damn good last year and only cost $5. Problem for me is I almost always started Realmuto over him, and there were plenty of days when they shared days off. Kurt Suzuki got a lot of playing time down the stretch and I see this as a time share.  With a healthy Realmuto, the best case for me is starting Flowers on Realmuto rest days or days Realmuto is facing Kershaw, Strasburg, or someone elite.  For me, that’s replaceable.  The worst case is he’s not as good and he coincidentally isn’t in those lineups those days. Maybe I will have trouble finding a 2nd catcher next year, but it seems not too hard to find a decent guy as the season moves along. Flowers, Hicks, Avila, and Pina were just some of the useful bums at catcher that could have been free last year and I imagine some new ones will be on the street come April.

I rather take a shot on a back end top 100 guy on some lists, and a guy I particularly liked… even if it’s mostly because he homered twice of Bumgarner in one inning

Also, I really just need a prospect from Bailey to hold on to on the hope that I recoup some of that Dinelson Lamet debacle. Ugh.

#NovemberFantasyBaseballTrades

From worst to first

Per Dan Beachler’s request, here is a “how I went from worst to first” post. I suppose technically I wasn’t worst last year, and by head-to-head record I wasn’t first in 2017 either. (I was first in points!) But hey, here we are.

I should preface this by pointing out what should already be obvious: there’s a ton of luck involved in fantasy sports. Even if you talk fantasy sports a lot, for example, you’re going to find that you won’t uncover all the answers.

I thought the team I assembled in 2016 would compete. Then, Miguel Cabrera (.340 wOBA in April/May) and Joey Votto (.276 wOBA in April/May) started painfully slow. They were supposed to be my offensive anchors. Tyson Ross, a 32.52 points per game starter in 2015, got hurt in his first start and missed the season. Carlos Carrasco, my best pitcher, missed all of May. Sonny Gray turned into a pumpkin. Alex Rodriguez had a .293 wOBA in April/May. Of the first seven guys I won at our inaugural auction, only Johnny Cueto was good or even useful through the season’s first six weeks or so.

All of that is blind, dumb luck. I don’t control injuries. I don’t control Votto, one of the best hitters of our generation, hitting like Jose Peraza for over a month.

I certainly left money on the table that first auction and probably relied too heavily on boring, useful bench types as starters. I legitimately thought a cheap Trevor Plouffe was an acceptable starting 3B option. I thought I could platoon the White Sox catchers last year, an idea that played out so poorly I may as well have just played the year without a catcher slot. But mostly, my team went bust in 2016 because of random stuff that could happen to anybody. Even if they’d all stayed healthy and produced early, I probably wouldn’t have been a great team. But because that stuff did happen, I decided in May to start reworking my team by trading Cabrera and Gray for picks and prospects. That was the first step in climbing out of the cellar and to the top…

Step 1: The Miguel Cabrera/Sonny Gray trade

Sending Miggy and Gray to the Preseason Double Stuffs for Cody Bellinger, Ian Happ, Brett Phillips, Jorge Soler, and draft capitol is really what ignited my team into 2017. Bellinger, as a rookie, hit at a 1.737 points per plate appearance clip for me at a $0 cost. That’s elite production. Again, I can’t control that Bellinger hit. But he did and it helped.

The one thing I will say is, I targeted prospects that I thought would debut in 2017. Because (a) my team sucked in 2016, so if they debut and their clock starts, that’s a ding in value; and (b) points now are better than points later. I’m not super interested in an 18-year-old prospect in Single A when there’s a comparable 22-year-old prospect on the cusp of the majors. In the case of this specific trade, the Double Stuffs happened to have a few near-MLB guys that fit the bill. And I love Ian Happ, so. Obviously, there’s no science involved. The Cubs could’ve promoted Happ last year. The Dodgers could’ve called Bellinger up in September. I can’t control that stuff either. But I do think it’s possible to hedge within reason and if your goal is to get better quickly, you won’t do it with teenagers unless you’re using them exclusively as trade currency.

Happ, Soler, and the draft pick acquired from the Double Stuffs — which I assumed would suck but became the second overall pick — didn’t score me a ton, really. I did have Happ in my lineup 25 times at 5.76 points per game, so that’s pretty good. But 25 starts isn’t swinging things much one way or another. But these pieces ended up helping later on.

My other big trade was swapping Cueto for JP Crawford, Aaron Judge, and a first round pick. More on Judge in the step below. But also, damn, I had and traded Judge. Frowny face.

I should note here also that not going full scale blow-up mode helped. Hanging onto Votto and Carrasco is as big a reason as any that my team got good. The offers I got for these players were, frankly, pitiful, so that made things easy. But I could have very easily dumped them for picks and lukewarm prospects and gone into auction with $350 or whatever. I’m glad I didn’t.

Step 2: Acquiring good veterans from over-budget teams for picks and prospects at below market rates

I think this was more impactful to my team than Bellinger. Because I “tanked” the season, I was able to build up a solid minor league system and a nice cache of draft picks. But picks and prospects rarely score points. So in the off-season, when teams way over budget shopped quality veteran players, I cashed out some of those assets and bought. And because I’d sucked so badly that I had loaded up on picks and prospects, selling some didn’t mean leaving the cupboard bare.

I acquired a way overpriced Andrew McCutchen for Soler, Travis d’Arnaud, Billy Hamilton, and I think a second round pick. Cutch mostly bounced back in 2017 (1.438 PT/PA), thankfully. I couldn’t have controlled that either, but I’m comfortable betting on a player with an elite track record. It paid off. I think that’s the key to a quick rebuild. If you’ve got budget space, use it ahead of auction and buy low to lock in a guy you think can bounce back. I think budget space is worth much more pre-auction than during auction, when you’re left picking through the risky players no one wanted. I also think if your team sucks like mine did but you want to quickly improve, you need to gamble. You need to overpay a guy or two and hope for a return to form. Also, you won’t likely have an opportunity to buy a recently elite talent at auction. And if you do, there may only be one or two of those guys, so you’ll have competition.

I also bought Russell Martin for a second round pick. Martin’s another efficient, boring veteran player. But my catcher position was the worst in the league in 2016. Martin helped fixed that.

One other trade was working a three-way swap with The Foundation and Hustle Loyalty Respect that effectively landed me Neil Walker and the 16th overall pick for the 4th overall pick. HLR used the pick to take Blake Rutherford, who I think got hurt. I took Franklin Perez with the 16th pick. Today, I think Perez is more valuable than Rutherford, though to be fair, Rutherford got hurt. Even if Rutherford’s more valuable, they’re both top-100 guys. To me, any difference is negligible. But even if Rutherford hadn’t gotten hurt, there’s no chance he (or whichever other available prospect) was scoring at a 1.338 PT/PA clip like Walker did, and doing so right now. Points now > points later, and prospects are fickle, so the guy who goes 4th and the guy who goes 16th could very easily switch fortunes over a single season. At the time, I just felt like I was slightly downgrading a prospect in exchange for making a big upgrade to my current 2B spot, which was a big weakness in 2016.

Then I acquired Nelson Cruz and Adrian Beltre, who presumably had affordable prices because of their age and their team’s budget situation. Again, if you’ve got budget space, attacking the trade market is worth it. Beltre cost me Amed Rosario, an elite prospect, but that’s really where stacking prospects in 2016 helped. Having JP Crawford meant feeling more comfortable shipping out Rosario.

Of course, both those old dudes could’ve fallen apart. But my team was garbage in 2016. If they did fall apart, oh well, I’m in the cellar again in 2017 and then I just cut those guys and have the cap space back. But there weren’t hitters this good in the auction (granted at the time of the trades, the auction pool was a mystery), or at least players less risky. The highest paid hitters at auction were Adam Jones, Adrian Gonzalez, Troy Tulowitzki, and Lorenzo Cain. There’s some hindsight present, of course, but I’m not sure pre-auction anyone would’ve honestly felt like any of those guys were better, more efficient hitters than Cruz or Beltre. If you’re cool with a multi-year rebuild, by all means, ignore trading for old dudes like this. But I think it’s prudent to do it if you want to try winning money instead of just sinking money into a multi-year plan.

I also traded Judge for Matt Holliday, and that proved very stupid. In Holliday, I saw a one-year rental with a Giancarlo Stanton-esque batted ball profile and a cheap ($10) salary. I ended up starting Holliday 57 times for 5.9 points per game, so while he didn’t go bonkers like Judge did, he did help the cause. And with regards to Judge, his 2017 season was something I don’t think anyone saw coming. I offered him to several teams and no one bit. I had to include Grant Holmes along with Judge to secure Holliday. So yeah, sometimes trading prospects for vets will backfire, but in general I think it’s a solid, less risky strategy. I’d be curious what Dan thought he was getting with Judge when he made this trade, especially since I know he’s an old guy lover as well.

One thing I’m curious to see this off-season is if over budget teams continue selling their guys short to “get something instead of nothing,” or if teams feel more comfortable dumping to auction. Cruz was had for Dan Vogelbach and a first round pick. I liked Vogelbach as a prospect and obviously Team Hydra did too, but in retrospect, might those guys have figured out a way to keep Cruz’s bat? Or might they have been better sending him to auction and seeing if maybe they could buy him back cheaper? I’m not convinced giving teams discounts on good players is effective, even if the alternative is cutting and “getting nothing.”

Step 3: Not screwing up the auction

I notoriously left like $21 on the table at our first auction. But I also made some awful bids. Buying into A-Rod’s resurgence was dumb. I came away from auction with two 1B’s and  UT player, effectively destroying all my lineup flexibility.

I did a lot better, I think, with my buys in 2017, adding Jaime Garcia, Francisco Cervelli, Lucas Duda, Chris Owings, Ryan Zimmerman, and Charlie Morton.

Once again, luck played a role here. I didn’t expect almost 900 points from a $1 Zimmerman. I liked his batted ball profile, but come on. I also didn’t think Morton would be more than a back-end starter, and he ended up being my most consistent pitcher and a solid SP2. I didn’t even want him. It just ended up being the end of the auction, he was the last starting pitcher available, and I wasn’t leaving money on the table again. Owings filled multiple crucial positions for only $8. I overpaid for Cervelli at $17, but he was a nice compliment to Martin because, again, my catcher spot needed help.

The thing about the auction is, all the players are supremely risky. Teams will find ways to keep or trade “sure things.” And so if you rely too heavily on auction, you’re lending yourself to luck. If Morton and Garcia don’t give me quality starts, my auction stinks and my team suffers. But I started Morton 21 times at 30.43 points per start and Garcia 14 times at 24.04.

But hey, guess what? Matt Harvey, Drew Smyly, Jordan Zimmermann, Collin McHugh, Carlos Rodon, Felix Hernandez, Garrett Richards, Francisco Liriano, and Shelby Miller were all in the same auction. At the time, not sure how any of those guys were too different from Morton and Garcia. I got lucky the guys I won didn’t injure their arms. I got lucky my darts landed where they did. I mean, I wanted Liriano really bad and just screwed up my bid on auction day. Bullet dodged. Blind, dumb luck.

The lesson here, maybe, is to just give yourself fewer dart throws to botch. Acquire talent you have conviction about pre-auction rather than finding yourself in a spot where your money is going to Shelby Miller or Francisco Liriano, and you’re totally uninspired either way. Your mileage may vary, of course. Having a bunch of money at auction is fun, if nothing else.

Step 4: I love you, Giancarlo Stanton

As part of that Cabrera/Gray trade, I secured the second overall pick in last year’s draft. I took Nick Senzel. I like him a whole lot. But I love Giancarlo Stanton and his moonshot home runs. And so in mid-May, I landed Big G for Senzel, Blake Snell, and a future first round pick.

From May 11 forward, Stanton was the third-highest scoring hitter behind Votto and Charlie Blackmon. As much as I like Senzel, you simply have to trade guys like him for elite production now. It helps that Stanton finally stayed healthy, but even if he hadn’t, we all know what he does when he is. In our format, he is an elite fantasy producer on a rate basis. It was a no-brainer for me.

As for Snell, well, I like him still, but if I wanted to win this year I knew I couldn’t sit around waiting and hoping that he learns how to throw strikes and pitch deep into games. The downside to young pitchers is they sometimes are slow to put everything together. If next year Snell’s awesome and cheap, oh well. I’ll still be happy with several mammoth months of Giancarlo.

Step 5: Keep on buying stuff that helps

During the course of the season, once I saw that my team was pretty good, I just kept trying to add. In a series of deals, I sent prospects Corey Ray, Albert Abreu, Julio Urias, Happ, and Jake Faria off for the likes of Max Scherzer, Miggy, JA Happ, Jason Vargas, and Danny Salazar. All those moves did not pan out.

Reunited on my team, I slotted Miggy into my lineup 31 times and he scored at a 2.61 point per game rate. That’s abysmal. Despite his highest hard hit rate since 2014 and the best line drive rate of his career, Miggy gave me nothing. He performed worse than any random bench player I already had, in fact. In Urias, I paid little. But I felt like I had to take the gamble. I expect Miggy to get his back right this off-season and return to an elite level in 2018. He reminds me a whole heck of a lot like McCutchen last year. His price seems way too high (he’ll get a raise to $75), but how can you easily bet against one of the best hitters the game has seen in the last decade plus? Like, would you really rather two $35 lottery tickets at auction (in the 2017 auction, Adrian Gonzalez + Carlos Rodon = $76) than one player a single injury-hampered season removed from being an elite hitter?

Meanwhile, Happ was a fantastic addition for me, scoring 28.04 points a game in 14 starts. I started Salazar seven times for more than 30 points per start. Scherzer didn’t do much for me in the playoffs, but in total, he logged six starts at 32.67 a pop. Net total, these were good, albeit short-term, trades for my team. Corey Ray wasn’t scoring me 392.5 points like Happ did. Albert Abreu didn’t drop a 65 point start on my roster like Salazar.

Again though, these trades could look brutal in just a few months. What if Scherzer gets hurt? What if Urias overcomes his injury? What if Ray ascends and JA Happ grows old quick? I don’t know. But I think if you’re in a spot to seize a chance to win now, you need to be okay with these types of calculated risks.

The other thing to note is that the in-season trades didn’t necessarily have a ton to do with going worst to first. The Stanton trade, sure. The other trades just bolstered a team that had been mostly assembled in the off-season.

In closing…

I think the biggest reason my team got it’s shit together so quickly was simply putting in the work to do it. When a good player became available, I asked for a price tag. When I saw a team was way over their budget, I inquired about expensive players with good track records. I wasn’t too worried about riskiness because well, my team was a dumpster fire. Getting worse than bad isn’t much of a risk. Staying worse, and paying into a league to not even try to fight for wins now, seems way riskier to me. I placed the highest value on today and worried less about if the prospect I’m sending away will be a fantasy monster in 2021 (or in Judge’s case, 2017) or if all the old guys will decide to retire simultaneously.

Clearly, there’s a strategy to this game. If there wasn’t, we probably wouldn’t play. What’d be the point?

But ultimately you only control so much. I think the only way to really approach things is to give yourself the best hand possible and hope for the best. In hold ’em poker, a 2/7 will beat a K/K, for example, some of the time. But the odds say more often than not, the stronger hand will prevail. So I just tried to do stuff that I thought made my hand stronger, then accepted all the luck I could get.

Rapid Fire Deadline Review

Hustle’s $.02

 

 

I’m not looking up stats or anything so my hot takes will be worse than usual.  I’m busy tomorrow too, but I did have a story I wanted to share. This deadline reminds me of growing up in Los Angeles. I would wait in the kitchen while my Mom would fold some dough over a jelly filling and bake it. Once it was cooked and cooled off she’d hand it to me and say “Enjoy the Turnover”

And now to some rosters that had some turnover

 

rocky mtn oysters trades away
2018 Draft Pick, Round 3 (rocky mtn oysters)
McMahon, Ryan
Kiermaier, Kevin

The Wilfred Brimley Fighting Diabeetuses trades away
Arrieta, Jake
2018 Draft Pick, Round 4 (The Wilfred Brimley Fighting Diabeetuses)
2018 Draft Pick, Round 5 (The Wilfred Brimley Fighting Diabeetuses)
Tapia, Raimel AND $11

I think this is a big get for Dusty. I think Tapia and KK are pretty close, not even sure where’d I’d lean. I’m assuming Tapia is cheaper and gets hurt less?  McMahon is probably worth $11 of Auction money, maybe less. Maybe $7? It’s close.  But then one side gets an Arrietta rental?  Since WFBD wasnt going to keep Jake, it’s not that terrible but I’m not sure you take Arrietta out of the deal and Dusty’s side doesn’t win….let alone with. Seems like a big bonus in Arrietta for an alleged marginal upgrade.

rocky mtn oysters trades away
Bundy, Dylan

The Wilfred Brimley Fighting Diabeetuses trades away
2018 Draft Pick, Round 3 (rocky mtn oysters)

3rd round pick isn’t incredibly valuable.  If you weren’t keeping Bundy, take a 3rd rounder.  If you want to roll with Bundy, that’s fine. I guess I lean the Bundy side coming off an 8 IP performance. Bundy can audition for WFBD and if all is good, $11 is nothing for a starter you like. If Dusty was contemplating just dropping Bundy in a month, this is much better.  I always prefer to get something for nothing.

 

Hustle Loyalty Respect trades away
2019 Draft Pick, Round 5 (Team Hydra)

Team Hydra trades away
2019 Draft Pick, Round 5 (Hustle Loyalty Respect)

They have three heads, but I’m three steps ahead of them.

 

TBD trades away
Arozarena, Randy
Burnes, Corbin

We Talk Fantasy Sports trades away
Upton, Justin AND $5

Don’t know much about Randy, but seems like a whatever outfielder who doesn’t project to hit for a lot of power. If you like a prospect, you like a prospect.  Burnes has gotten a lot of hype this year, so he seems like a good T-50-100 prospect. No issues with duping 65 or whatever dollar uptotn. How did Upton go for that much in a draft?  Better than nothing.  I don’t see why TBD would say no to the deal without the $5.  WTFS has a lot of cash next year without Upton, Scherzer, and Buxton.  They are going to have to make some really smart buys to compete. Also in my last review I failed to mention they have German Marquez as one of their pitchers to keep, so that does make their rotation a tad better than I had initially thought after losing Max.

 

Team Hydra trades away
Kluber, Corey AND $5

TBD trades away
Keller, Mitch
Syndergaard, Noah

 

I like this trade for both teams, i might even like it more for Hydra. I don’t know anything about what Thor is going to do this year or next. It makes sense for TBD to go hard at Kluber to go for a win this year. It’s a strong move. I do like it for Hyrdra cheaper price (although the $5 cancels some of that out) and younger age, Noah is a better keeper so long as he’s 100%… and then getting a top SP prospect like Keller on top. It makes sense for both teams. Plus the last team to trade for Kluber went on to win the championship.  Mets pitchers though…

 

Great Deadline Everyone!

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Trade: We Talk Fantasy Sports| Capital City Income

Capital City Income trades away
Happ, Ian ($0 prospect)
Faria, Jake ($0 prospect)
2018 Draft Pick, Round 1 (The Foundation)
Owings, Chris ($8)

We Talk Fantasy Sports trades away
Scherzer, Max ($88)
2018 Draft Pick, Round 3 (Hustle Loyalty Respect)

$10 Auction Dollars 2018

 

 

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Controversy

 

A bitter angry source (not really but maybe kinda) who will remain nameless (but hint: there is a vowel in his first name) has come forward saying he had a deal agreed to for Max Scherzer but this one was accepted instead. I had a chance to review the package ( ͡º ͜ʖ ͡º) from my source and I think it’s relatively on par with the one Bailey offered. The centerpiece in that deal I believe has more upside than anyone acquired here, but was also considerably more unproven.

 

Hustle’s EXTRA ULTRA TOXIC $.02

 

I guess we should really look at this trade through WTFS’ eye. For Bailey? He’s getting one of the 3 best pitchers in the game. He’s losing 2b depth, but for this year at least he has Neil Walker, Howie Kendrick, or Marwin Gonzalez who could slot in there. I think worst case scenario he’s averaging maybe .5-1 ppg less from his 2b spot for the rest of this season, but probably not. The value Max will give to his team more than makes up for it. Additionally his team looks like a monster for next year It’s a big win for CCI.   Not sure if the market might have cooled because Max slept on his neck poorly one night, but it might have. Ultimately, can you really trust a guy with different colored eyes?

 

Per Keith, WTFS has 423 next to spend next year and that’s before dumping Buxton (BREAKING NEWS) and Upton resulting in an additional $90. That alone pays for Scherzer IN FULL with decent money left over. You’re not going to get someone as good as Scherzer in auction with the 130 or whatever they will have, so why not just keep him? Additionally looking at WTFS rotation next year we see Faria, Moore, and Kennedy. There is no way getting around the fact that this is bad. You can add some pieces in auction, but it’s a gamble thinking you’re going to walk away with more than 1 quality SP all year from auction. For those that have gotten 2 or more this year, kudos… I think you’re in the minority…. And I am not one of you.

 

Looking at the assets. The headliner is Ian Happ who is cost controlled for another 6 seasons. Currently averaging 5.56 ppg (I really should do points per pa like Bailey does, but haven’t figured that out yet). I like Ian Happ a good amount and he certainly seems like a long term keeper for WTFS, but if his upside isn’t being an elite guy, then I don’t like this as a headline piece. Furthermore, one of the most attractive parts of Ian Happ is that he will only cost $1 next season. A $1 and 5.5 ppg or even 6ppg 2b for $1… rookie on the Cubs?… SIGN ME UP! But when you have over $100 cap space and you’re giving up $10 to do it, the $1 deal is considerably less valuable. You might as well think of Ian Happ as $11 next year, which is still a great price for current pace. Faria is nice but I think is clearly overachieving, his LOB % is still over 80%, FIP 3.8, XFIP 4.5. He is potentially a decent starter to keep for a few years. Chris Owings is $10 next year and is averaging 4.7 ppg this year. He’s probably a keeper? Unexciting but useful. I like draft picks, but best case scenario you’re getting a back end top 100 guy here with this pick.

 

I guess I don’t love this package. I’m not sure the tipping point is the $10 or not, but it might be. If the plan is to compete for next season, I think this trade is a lose for WTFS barring Scherzer’s performance and health. A pitcher can lose it at any point and quick or get hurt, as we saw with Thor earlier this year.

 

There are a lot of mid range good cost pieces coming back to Keith here, but nothing really game changing. Nothing that’s really going to compete with a core of elite talent like Scherzer, Mccutchen, Stanton, Carrasco, Bellinger, and Denard Span….supplemented with useful good cost pieces. Other top teams based on point scored are similarly built.

 

Auction budget doesn’t guarantee you much, Squids had overwhelmingly the most of it last auction and wasted $70 on Richards and Harvey. $70 alone was more than double some teams had to spend this last auction and they have done almost nothing for Squids. Looking at Squids Auction he hit on a $42 Keuchel, but that’s not a super value going forward. He also had plenty of other wasted picks like $18 on Alex Gordon and $23 on Shelby Miller. For the record, my auction was probably worse than his… I just had less money so I’m focusing on the guy who had the most.

I spent about the same amount on Smyly and Rodon.  Rodon has had maybe 1 ok game in my lineup along with a -42…. And when you combine those two scores for negative whatever… it’s still more than the 0 Smyly has given me.

 

This is a long way of me saying….expensive priced players like Scherzer are good for your team if they are good. Cap space is considerably overrated. David Price is going to be in the auction, but there are going to be quite a few teams that can drop more than $50 on a player if they want, and there aren’t going to be many players (if any) who you will feel great about paying $50 for. I know this won’t happen, but if you’re a team that’s out of it, it’s not the worst idea to deal some prospects for a proven $20-50 guy who you want to keep next year.

There are quite a few teams already where I am comfortable writing off their 2018 chances of a championship. Anything is possible as Kevin Garnett once said (you could be 1st place in august with 10th most points in August), but it’s going to be an incredibly difficult task. Multiple teams building for 2020 isn’t wise because well, multiple teams are doing it. Additionally, the top teams aren’t going to start sucking. Many of them have better farm systems than the teams who actually need them.

Ultimately I don’t like this trade for Keith because he has a ton of cap space and his pitching for next year looks in trouble. If the plan is to build long term and tap out for 2018, I might have opted for more upside.  The ways this does work out for Keith is

 

  • Scherzer has a lengthy injury
  • He becomes not an Ace. At 33 years old, it’s not crazy and Scherzer likely doesn’t have more than a couple years of this level left.
  • Faria stays this good and Happ improves.

 

So, I think this trade could work out for Keith, I just don’t love the probability of it.

Like the referees told UNC after Chris Webber called a timeout with no timeouts left. “Enjoy the Turnover”.

Trade: Hustle Loyalty Respect | Trumpa Loompas

Hustle Loyalty Respect sends: SS Andres Gimenez
Trumpa Loompas send: RF Carlos Gonzalez ($37)

Andrew’s Thoughts: Carlos Gonzalez has been terrible this year and is almost assuredly a cut at $39 minimum next year. Trumpa Loompas’ season is over anyway, so may as well dump him for a solid prospect now and call it a day.

I like this Andres Gimenez guy. He’s only 18 and is forever away, but at two rookie ball stops last year, he had a 14.9% walk rate to just a 9.2% K rate, then a 18.7% walk rate versus a 6.7% strikeout rate. That’s crazy for an 18-year-old. Like, who knew millennials were capable of that kind of patience? Impressive! His walk/K ratio isn’t faring as well this year in Single-A, but again, he’s 18. If I’m salary dumping anyway, I’ll take Gimenez and run.

As for Hustle, this is just a reasonably priced gamble. Gimenez isn’t impacting the rest of 2017 or likely 2018-19, but with so many injuries including to regular RF George Springer, Hustle just needs points. Our minors aren’t deep enough yet to where he can’t just turn around and add a guy comparable to Gimenez for free, all while adding Car-Go to his bench. Again, Gonzalez has stunk. But he’s had superstar seasons in the not too distant past and has the theoretical floor of Coors Field going for him.