Preseason Double Stuffs send: RP Aroldis Chapman ($17), C Mike Zunino (FA)
The Foundation sends: 1B Jake Bauers (minors), SS Jorge Polanco ($1)
Andrew’s thoughts: I like this one a good bit for The Foundation.
Generally speaking, I don’t think our scoring makes RP worth big investments. And $17 is a pretty big one for a reliever. But Aroldis Chapman is one of those top echelon guys that you can set and forget in your lineup, which means not having to scour waivers and pay attention to who hasn’t pitched in a couple days to find a reliever. I have to do this with my bullpen and it’s kind of a chore.
For a team like the Double Stuffs that made some big moves early and hasn’t performed, the logic here is crisp: start shedding salary, even though it’s super early, so that you can start planning your keepers better for 2017. And I guess the return here is fair given the market for prospects. Essentially, one player — Rays prospect Jake Bauers — is headed back for Chapman.
Jorge Polanco is a nice dice roll type piece, but he’s $1 going on $3 in 2017 and hasn’t really shown anything. Adding him also means cutting someone else from the minors. He’s essentially been taxied back and forth from Minnesota to the minors, so the Twins don’t seem overly interested in committing to him either. I don’t think he’s a big piece here, nor is Mike Zunino.
In the grand scheme of things this is pretty small. The Foundation gets a locked and loaded RP that they’ll never have to worry about, the Double Stuffs get an okay prospect in Bauers who, frankly, may only be worth less in my mind because of ETA. He doesn’t look like a guy who will reach the majors until late 2017 at the absolute earliest but more likely sometime in 2018. But whatever. The guy can hit and that’s probably all that really matters. I don’t think he’s a particularly exciting prospect, but I’m also not sure you’d get one if you tried for any reliever. I do wonder if there isn’t a minor leaguer comparable to Bauers just sitting in free agency that could have been picked up without punting Chapman. I mean, Jon Singleton is available. He doesn’t have the cost control status attached, but is he any greater a risk than Bauers?
In “real world baseball,” relievers tend to be luxuries of good teams. In other words, awesome relievers do not tend to turn bad teams into good ones, but they can help turn good teams into great ones. I think the same is true — or at least should be (here’s side-eyeing you, stupid category leagues where saves are worth too much) — in fantasy. So in that regard, yeah, Chapman isn’t making the Double Stuffs go from bad to good, but he could conceivably help get The Foundation from good to playoff caliber.
Jordan’s thoughts: I really enjoyed getting this offer. I like the Polanco potential, even Bauer looks interesting. But, Chapman is a set it and forget it guy. Potentially keepable. Hard to say no. Mike Zunino is a dirty guilty pleasure, hopefully this throw in comes back fierce in Seattle.