Is It Baseball Season Yet? Episode Four – Happy Birthday Chris

  • Episode Notes
    • 30 listens last week, are we rich yet?
  • Winter Meetings
    • Has Bryce Harper signed yet?
    • McCutchen to the Phillies
    • Nova to the White Sox ūüôĀ
    • Openers for Days
      • Charlie Morton to Rays
      • More teams talking about openers
    • Realmuto!
  • Trades
    • Pending Trades…why!?
    • Three ways to paradise
      • We Talk Fantasy Sports¬†gets:
      • Marshall Law¬†gets:
      • The Wilfred Brimley Fighting Diabeetuses¬†gets:
        • SP J.B. Bukauskas
        • CF Leody Taveras
        • 2019 1st Round Pick
        • 2019 2nd Round Pick
    • Why do I have so many Logan Allen DMs?
  • Best value player who‚Äôs costing more than $75 (most likely to get cut?)
    • Kershaw 123
    • Bryce 115
    • Trout 101
    • Sale 97
    • Goldy 94
    • Max 92
    • Kluber 88
    • Correa 87
    • Syndergaard 86
    • Rizzo 81
    • Archer 81
    • Bryant 81
    • Machado 78
    • Giancarlo 78
    • Cole 77
    • Carrasco 77
    • Arenado 75
  • Mailbag
    • Kyle Noseworthy [5:33 PM]
    • bailey [6:15 PM]
      • The Reds got Tanner Roark. Are they now the World Series favorites?
    • kodiak_chris [6:40 PM]
      • What moves do you think the KODIAKS need to make to be competitive and playoff bound. Is there any chance or stear into the rebuild
    • nosey_kyle [6:26 PM]
      • 2019 Dy Nasty, do we see new blood in playoffs?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Trade: The Foundation | Senior Squids

The Foundation sends: 1B/CF Wil Myers ($12), SP James Paxton ($3), LF Jesse Winker (minors), C Mike Zunino (FA)
Senior Squids send: CF/RF Bryce Harper ($109), SP Jaime Garcia ($16)

Andrew’s thoughts:¬†Independent of all else, I like the three-headed package of Wil Myers, Jesse Winker, and James Paxton. I’m a pretty big Myers fan and as he’s just 25-years-old and in the midst of what appears to be his breakout season (he’s very quietly a top-40 overall fantasy hitter), see him as a better bet than¬†most any prospect. He’s $12, but that’s really a fantastic¬†price for what he’s doing and the potential he has. His only big question marks¬†are¬†his ability to stay healthy and how much appeal he loses after this season, when centerfield eligibility is gone and he may only be able to slot in at 1B. There are positive question marks too though.¬†If the San Diego Padres opt to blow their team up — and they should — Myers is their one big chip. They’re more likely to try to build around him, but their roster is so bad that odds aren’t good they can re-build it in time to compete with him still on it. If he gets moved to any other ballpark, he ticks up.

Winker’s a nice piece whose bat should play up at Great American Ballpark, which may as well be the Midwest’s Coors Field. I’m only slightly down on him because he’s likely a left fielder only, and LF might be the easiest position to fill. That’s nitpicky. And Paxton is, to me, a fine dice roll as part of a package heading to a rebuilding team. He costs $3 now and $5 into 2017, which is basically nothing, and does have some track record of MLB success.

Having said all that, I don’t think it’d be unrealistic to see those three players swapped for $16 Jaime Garcia alone. Granted, I’m a big Garcia fan. I’m likely the high guy on him in our league. And I know he’s super prone to injury and has scuffled over his last four or five starts. I’m not saying Myers/Winker/Paxton for Garcia is perfectly even, but if that trade gets consummated, I’m not really scratching my head. You might see where I’m going with this.

I haven’t gotten to Bryce Harper yet.

To me, this is another example of Harper being undersold. I just don’t think there are enough pieces. Or maybe there are too many pieces, with Garcia being the superfluous one. Obviously, if I think the return¬†(I’m considering Zunino a throw-in and nothing more) is a fair trade for just the guy being included with Harper, I can’t justify saying the package is good enough for Harper alone, much less Harper and a 27 point per game starting pitcher that only costs $16.

Maybe Myers/Winker/Paxton is an okay baseline for Harper, all factors considered. It just looks, to me at least, like Garcia was dumped in here for free.

Again, I don’t think Myers/Winker/Paxton is a bad¬†starting point. Maybe there are so few pieces so as to keep negotiations simple. But I once again think Harper was sold without the seller sapping every possible morsel of value. I don’t care that Harper costs $109 now and will be $111 next year. He’s so transcendent a talent, you can make that work. I also look at Squids’ roster and see plenty of easy cuts that could be made to keep Harper (with $2 raises, the combined salaries of Revere, Parra, Martin, Grichuk, Inciarte, and Colabello will be $108 in 2017, or $3 less than just Harper), so it’s not like — especially in June — clearing his salary was an urgent matter.

Over the next three seasons, The Foundation has six second-round picks and a first-round pick in 2019. If I’m Squids, I want to tap into¬†those. I want Jeff Hoffman, a cost-controlled pitching prospect with enormous talent who will have to throw in an admittedly crappy home park, too. I probably want Brett Anderson, a perpetually injured $2 pitcher that can be safely stashed on the DL and decided on later. I want Zach Davies, a decent $2 flier that could provide depth to my rotation. I’d like to snare one more prospect piece as well, maybe Braves’ minor league shortstop Ozzie Albies, who reached Triple-A at just 19-years-old. Squids is also down $20 of auction budget next year. Why not ask for The Foundation to reimburse some of that?

The point is, I think once you’ve got the key components of a Bryce deal ironed out (Myers/Winker/Paxton), you can probably ask for all or most of those things and get them included without it grinding all the gears to a halt. That’s not nickel and diming. Most of those things listed above aren’t hot commodities that would’ve hurt Jordan to part with. But if you’re selling one of the most prized pieces in the game (plus a solidly above average pitcher!), you need as many potentially useful pieces as possible. I wouldn’t necessarily advocate holding out for every last drop every time you make a trade, but when you’re trading Bryce, or Mike Trout, or Clayton Kershaw, etc, then yeah.

Interesting to note: to date, Harper, who like Myers will also likely lose CF eligibility after this year, has been worth just 43.2 more points than Myers. Come the end of the year, I expect that gap to be significantly larger and I realize that using just net points is a rather dumb measure of anything. But¬†Monday morning we’ll be exactly halfway through the regular season and barring a monster weekend, Harper will only be something like 4-5 points/week better than Myers, but¬†with a salary $97 higher. Just interesting, is all. I guess the point is that Myers is really quite a valuable asset.

Overvalued Minor League Draft Picks

While preparing for minor league drafts, the easiest way to get started is to find some top prospect lists by top sites like Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus.  However, it is important to remember that these sites are creating lists for real life, not fantasy, so defense and intangibles are part of the thought process.  As fantasy owners, our scouting report is much simpler, and predetermined by league settings.

In Dynasty Grinders, we do not count runs scored or RBI, and ERA is not a big deal. ¬†So while scanning all of these lists, it’s important to look a bit deeper into a players’ past production, read the scouting reports, and find players that fit our specific league scoring system.

A member of the r/FantasyBaseball community on Reddit was kind enough to put together a top 100 list that combined multiple top 100 lists from reputable sites.

I’ve complied a list of multiple Top 100 Prospect lists into one. This is purely a mathematical based list not based on any scouting. The formula is based on how many lists they are on, the rage of their positions on the list, their high and low position, their average position and scores weighted more towards fantasy than real life prospect lists.

Now again, your league will determine how valuable each individual player is, and in this league, we could not draft certain players that had limited MLB experience.  After removing them from the list, leaving us with 85 players and moving what was left up the rankings, here are the players that we overvalued by 10 or more draft slots, when you compare our draft slot versus their ranking.

MILB Draft Overvalued

FND, HYD, LB and WYH each selected two players at least 10 spots ahead of their top 85 ranking.

However, it was GAU with the “worst” pick of the draft, selecting Brady Aiken with the 34th overall selection, when he was rank 70th. The differential, 36, was actually higher then the draft slot! Obviously Aiken is a well known name around baseball after being selected 1st overall in the 2014 MLB Amateur Draft by the Houston Astros. However, he did not sign and was then selected 17th in the following draft by the Cleveland Indians. He has yet to throw a pitch in a game that counts as he recovers from Tommy John surgery.

We have discussed the Foundation’s selection of Jeff Hoffman with the 18th pick a lot in our Slack chat, so I will let this one go, as to not embarrass his owner any more. But FND also selected Jesse Winker ahead of his rank, 34, with his first round pick and did so even before selecting Hoffman in round two. Prior to 2015, MLB.com ranked Winker¬†the 26th overall prospect in baseball and with 14 Top 100 prospects removed from our list of eligible players, the selection does make some sense. He is often compared to Jay Bruce, mainly because they came up through the Reds farm system. If Winker turns into 2012/2013 Bruce, this pick will be a steal.

Team Hydra may have reached for Pirates 2B Alen Hansen, but I think they got a real nice piece in Bobby Bradley, a player we were targeting with our next pick. Hanson is slotted in at 2B for the Pirates this season with Neil Walker being traded to the Mets and Jung-Ho Kang out to start the season. Hanson can fly and if he can get on base could be a valuable piece to the Pirates as a utility player this season. However, our league does not count runs scored and Hanson has a .320 OBP despite a .275 BA over two seasons at AA ball.

The Rays drafted Taylor Guerrieri way back in the first round of the 2011 draft out of Spring Valley High School in South Carolina. ¬†Who’s Your Haddy selected him 30 picks ahead of his rank, with the 53rd pick. ¬†Over four minor league seasons, and 206.1 IP, he owns a 1.61 ERA and a 0.96 WHIP with 178 strikeouts. ¬†Those are some nice numbers. ¬†He just turned 23 in December and will look to join the Rays rotation by early 2017. ¬†However, he is one full season removed from Tommy John surgery and has faced a 50 game suspension for a positive drug test. ¬†The Rays are loaded with pitchers and Guerrieri is their 3rd or fourth best pitching prospect. ¬†WYH hopes to not see him land in the bullpen, and a trade wouldn’t be the worst thing, as long as it is not to the Colorado Rockies!

With the 44th pick, WYH drafted Cubs OF Billy McKinney, despite being ranked 71st.  Chicago is loaded in the OF, signing Jason Heyward this offseason in addition Kyle Schwarber, Dexter Fowler (just re-signed), Jorge Soler and prospects Albert Almora and Ian Happ.  MLB Pipeline ranks McKinney the Cubs #2 prospect behind SS Gleyber Torres, ahead of Almora and Happ.  He is actually a perfect prospect to own as he is a high BA/high OBP guy.  He just needs Soler to be traded.

Long Ball to LF drafted two MLB ready players ahead of their rank, but I like both Jameson Tallion and Willson Contreras, despite both going a round earlier than their rank suggests.