FAAB Pick Up of the Month: July 2019

Congratulations are in order!

The Commissioners Office of Dynasty Grinders is pleased to announce the FAAB Pick Up of the Month for July 2019: Brandon Crawford of the San Francisco Giants!

Crawford, who went for $4 of otherwise worthless FAAB, amassed an astounding 56.3 points in a single day. It was a thin schedule day, making this streaming effort all the more amazing. Wow. Stunning. Congratulations to Mr. Crawford!

When pressed for the details behind this FAAB addition, Capital City Ironmen general manager Andrew Bailey said, “I can’t take all the credit. I couldn’t have done it without my spreadsheet. I have a complicated algorithm that really favors players in doubleheaders at Coors Field, especially when they have the platoon advantage against terrible pitchers.”

Travis d’Arnaud, who put up 49 points in a single game, was named the runner-up for this award. Better luck next month, Mr. d’Arnaud, and congratulations to Josh Leavitt and Long Ball to LF for having the month’s second best FAAB pick-up. 🤷‍♂️

Prospects Lucius Fox, who was picked up for $1 on July 13 by The Foundation, and Parker Meadows, scooped up by Trust the Process for $0 on July 12, failed to receive any votes for this coveted award. Both players are turds.

Trade: Long ball to LF | The Process

Long ball to LF trades away:

  • CF Cristian Pache (ML)
  • SS Gavin Lux (ML)

The Process trades away:

  • SP Luis Patino (ML)

Jordan’s thoughts: Prospect for prospect trades are always mildly interesting. Sure, some are better than others, but we’re basically trading guys positioned on opinion lists for each other. We don’t get to scout or know anything more about these players than the writers who are interpreting what they see, or worse, what other people say they are seeing.

That being said, Luis Patino according to the hive-mind at FanGraphs.com was ranked 60th on the prospect list at one point. He’s a 50 FV prospect with a high risk and estimated 2023 debut. I understand that since that ranking his stock has improved. Okay. He is listed at 6’0 150 lb. I get called quite skinny, and I’m 5’4 145lb. Yeesh.

Pache is ranked higher on the list I have. Again probably outdated. 60 FV, 18th on the top 100. Without digging deeper, perhaps his stock is high because of defensive value. While we don’t get points for defense, we do get points for players that play and typically great defenders get lots of chances to learn how to hit.

Gavin Lux has been traded for a second time and he’s still a 45 FV prospect who apparently is climbing some charts. He hit well in AA last year.

Everyone wins this trade because trades are fun.

Andrew’s thoughts: I’m not prepared to argue either side of this trade is better than the other, so good for both teams. I think Cristian Pache is probably the highest “ranked” guy, but all the scouting reports I’ve read suggest to me that he’s all defense and speed and maybe you’re lucky if he’s Kevin Pillar or Kevin Kiermaier, well, that’s not particularly relevant to our scoring. But if he can hit at even a league average level for centerfield, well, at zero cost, maybe that’s useful.

Patino, meanwhile, just seems forever away. Remember Anderson Espinoza from a few years back? He was the next Pedro Martinez until he got hurt and fell off the face of the planet. Personally, I tend to devalue pitching prospects with long lead times. This seems to me like Long Ball is betting on Patino climbing prospect lists so that he can flip him for something better.

But whatever. This trade seems fine to me overall.

Trade: The Foundation | Long Ball to LF

Long ball to LF (Johnnywise) trades away
SP Duffy, Danny $10
2020 Draft Pick, Round 2 (Long ball to LF (Johnnywise))

The Foundation trades away
SS Lux, Gavin

 

Hustle’s Toxic $.02  I rather have Lux than Danny Duffy, who ended his season with a shoulder impingement. That being said, thats probably a my team sort of thing. Jordan went into last season with Gio Gonzalez as his staff ace and not a whole much behind it. Getting Duffy and Ivan Nova to keep for under $20 seems like a massive improvement. Neither are Aces (and I’ll let Bailey review the Nova deal) but both are quite useful in this league.

Maybe everyone is afraid of the auction this year so they spend their money before, but if I walked away from last season’s auction with a healthy Duffy and Nova for $19 I would have been dancing.   I’d say every team needs about 8-10 starters, so approximately 144 should be owned. These two guys have both shown at times they could be weekly starts and their spots in their own major league rotation are pretty safe. I’m not going to do a pitchers rankings, but both guys are somewhere between 70-120 best pitchers with a chance to leap that in a good season.

Lux is a nice prospect, might have been The Foundation’s best one, so that’s a little tough to see parted with for Duffy, but Jordan’s team should be able to compete better next year.  As a Dodger Fan, I naturally like Lux. Posting a 147  WRC+ across two levels last year including make it to AA, he could be a modest power hitting middle infielder for the Dodgers in 202 with a very good approach.

Andrew’s thoughts: I’m not a big Danny Duffy fan, but it’s hard to quibble too much over a decent pitcher under $10. And Duffy’s decent. He’s just got a bunch of injury flags and he’s not a guy you’ll ever totally trust from start to start. For Jordan, this seems like a fine investment. Getting the second round pick also softens the blow of losing whatever Gavin Lux is as a prospect. I suspect you can get a comparable prospect with that pick.

For Long Ball, Lux likely just has more future trade value than Duffy, and he’s got enough pitching so as to not really need Duffy anyway. Worst case, he’s out a useful but not spectacular pitcher and instead has a future cost controlled asset, which will pay dividends if he can then surround them with salary dumps in exchange for inferior players or turd prospects.

Trade: We Talk Fantasy Sports | TBD

TBD trades away SP Corey Kluber ($86) SP/RP Dennis Santana ($3.50) SP Michael King (prospect) $20 in 2019 Auction Budget We Talk Fantasy Sports trades away Corbin Burnes (prospect) German Marquez $7 2019’s 1st round (1st Overall) minor league draft pick Jordan’s Thoughts: I think that German Marquez is quite valuable. Last year he started 33 games and scored 1107 points. That’s a pretty huge value for a $7 starter. However, I get that he’s kinda scary being a pitcher (they blow up), he’s a Colorado Rockies pitcher (no explanation necessary), and early projections have him regressing a tiny bit. Corbin Burnes went from a starting pitcher prospect to getting shoved into the “out-getter” (bullpen) role for the Brewers organization. He was mildly successful in his 30 appearances, but projection systems do see him getting back into a starting role. He seems quite useful despite the slight risk. He’s cost controlled and easy to slot into your roster until the Brewers make up their mind. Obviously the first overall pick has tremendous potential value, and here presented itself a a decent piece in a trade for Corey Kluber. We Talk Fantasy Sports got Corey Kluber and two spare parts. Michael King seems like he might have some potential, and while Santana if he makes the Dodgers rotation is immediately valuable, he will receive the free agent minimum in 2019. Using STEAMER projections Kluber is projected to be the best starting pitcher available. Almost no matter how you value pitchers, Kluber’s keeper value is really favorable. Tossing in the $20 is icing on the cake. Kluber projected to be right in line with where he was last year which was basically 40 points a start. If you have money to spend, Kluber is the right guy to spend it on. Now everyone’s favorite part where I pick the winner, and I have to go with TBD. I think its pretty close. I don’t like that WTFS sent off Marquez in this deal, and with him in it, clearly understand why TBD took the offer. Marquez is just too valuable to let go in my opinion. Andrew’s Thoughts: I agree with most of what Jordan already said and think it’s pretty obvious this trade hinges on German Marquez. If he’s truly the guy he morphed into last year, this is likely a massive win for TBD, as they get a much, much cheaper ace and the #1 overall pick. All of Marquez’s numbers from last year look legit to me. But… like 15-20 starts ago, he was “just a guy.” A guy on the Rockies. So Marquez is a fairly risky proposition still. Kluber, meanwhile, is beginning to decline a bit I think but is still a top of the rotation stud. He averaged almost 40 points per game in a year a lot of his peripherals slipped. Pretty amazing. Both teams accomplish something they needed here. TBD takes on some risk in order to free up some budget space and WTFS lands a bankable pitcher. I’ll say that I like this more for WTFS simply because they got back a more reliable piece, but again, if 2018 Marquez is future Marquez, then this deal looks fantastic for TBD. I will also confess that part of why I like it for WTFS is because this trade screams “quick rebuild” and I’m pro teams trying to turn things around for their teams quickly.

Trade: The Foundation | Long Ball to LF

The Foundation trades away
3B Jake Lamb ($11)

Long Ball to LF trades away
RF Yasiel Puig ($25)

Andrew’s Thoughts: I loved Jake Lamb coming into last year. I think at the time he was a top-20 wOBA guy against RHP over the previous season, or maybe even the previous two. But he battled the new humidor in Arizona and, more importantly, injuries all year. I like him as a solid bounce back candidate. For $11, he’s a good gamble for Long Ball and trading the more expensive Puig to get him shaves off some money from the budget.

For The Foundation, well, this team needs outfield help in a big way. Still does. Playing time has been kind of fickle in LA for the enigmatic Puig, but maybe this is the off-season they finally trade him. Either way, he’s a consistent hitter, albeit I think he’s still living a bit off of the 2014 season he’s never come close to duplicating. Still, Jordan had a surplus at 3B with Justin Turner and Jurickson Profar (and I guess maybe even Hunter Dozier), so Lamb as a flier on his bench was worth a lot less than Puig in that RF slot as often as the Dodgers (or whoever he gets traded to) start him.

Hustle’s Toxic $0.02:   I like this trade for both teams. I guess acquiring former HLR legend Jake Lamb signals some combo of Sano and/or Donaldson gets thrown back into the pool by LB. I kinda like what Puig was doing towards the end of last season and he sure has really “figured it out”™ potential. LB has a decent amount of OF so this makes sense. Having $1 Acuna/Soto next year while simultaneously pushing for teams to have less budget in auction may seem a little disingenuous and cheap™, but also makes sense for him to do.

Both guys seem underrated heading into 2019 and it fills position needs for both teams.  The benefits of a daily league is if you’re active, you can manage platoons and get a lot of value out of guys who only hit righties well, like Lamb. I don’t think either team will be kicking themselves later for making this. Dollar for Dollar Lamb is probably better, but the dollars dont matter much here as both teams can easily afford the guys and are better off at solving roster construction pre-auction.

Trade: Senior Squids | Long Ball to LF

Long ball to LF (Johnnywise) trades away
Musgrove, Joe
2019 Draft Pick, Round 2 (Senior Squids)
Wright, Kyle
O’Neill, Tyler

Senior Squids trades away
Paxton, James

 

Hustle’s Toxic $.02

The nice thing I’ll say about this trade is that I do like it more than the last one.  Paxton is a more volatile asset than Gary Sanchez is, thus I think it’s a better piece to trade if you’re rebuilding/tanking.  Elton took my advice from the last review in trading Paxton. I still think it would be preferable to have made this trade rather than and instead of the last one.

That being said, I still think this isn’t a great trade, but it’s not awful.  It’s basically a downgrade from a near ace level pitcher in Paxton to whatever Musgrove is with a wild card shot on Wright or Oneil being something. If Oneill becomes a middle of the order bopper year in and year out and Musgrove is a top 30ish pitcher, then it probably works out ok for him. That still seems like a lot of risk of both those things happening rather than Paxton just staying good. Paxton could get hurt, but Musgrove is no stranger to injuries either.  Seems risky with not a ton of upside unless you think Paxton isn’t built to hold up for a few years or that Musgrove will become close to his tier of a player. Which I suppose is possible!

I still have trouble seeing how this puts Elton in a better position to beat the teams he made stronger in 2019 and beyond. Senior Squids finally has a top 10 farm, and their best course now is to let his prospects marinate and hopefully next year flip them for an elite asset like Gary Sanchez or James Paxton. This trade reminds me a lot of the Pirates trading Gerit Cole, when they sought elite future assets and ended up with… Joe Musgrove.

For Long Ball, this seems like a no brainer move. Sure Paxton has injury risk, but so does Musgrove. Every trade has inherent risks, but this seems like a pretty safe bet. With a rotation of Nola, Paxton, and Greinke, the Long Balls look to be serious contenders now and in the future.

Andrew’s thoughts: 

James Paxton is a weird guy to value. He’s obviously very, very good, but he’s also constantly hurt. He’s never thrown more than 136 innings and I feel like if you’re buying him, you’re probably worried he won’t be available when it matters most (H2H playoff time). At the same time… he costs only $10, $12 minimum to keep, and that is effectively nothing. Even if he gets greeded up to $20, that’s peanuts for a player of his caliber. He could miss all of 2019 for whatever reason and still be cheap enough to keep into 2020. I guess what I’m saying is, he’s riskier than your average pitcher, but his price and ability outweigh a good majority of that risk. I agree with Hustle’s general sentiment that, for a rebuilding team, Paxton is the most obvious chip to move (and that he should’ve been traded first and instead of franchise piece Gary Sanchez).

On the other side, Joe Musgrove also appears to be an injury risk. He’s only pitched in four MLB games this year after battling injuries all winter and spring. I like Musgrove, but I’m a little shocked he’s the main piece in a deal for a Paxton-like stud. I’m having flashbacks to Lewis Brinson — in other words, a guy who pops up on the trade block sporadically for months, then is suddenly headlining a deal for a star. In this case, three of Musgrove’s four starts have been good, so I guess that’s enough to make him valuable.

In essence, Long Ball paid three prospects — O’Neill, Wright, and a pick — to upgrade Musgrove to Paxton. And I love it. He had to do it. He didn’t, in my opinion, touch any of his premium prospects to get this deal done (if I’m Squids and trading Paxton to Long Ball, I’m getting Juan Soto or Bo Bichette back or I’m shopping really hard elsewhere). Musgrove seems good, but Paxton is elite. To me, Tyler O’Neill is a depth piece in our league. The power will play, but his cost control clock has already started ticking and he’s on a team that doesn’t have room for him. Is he just a fourth outfielder? Kyle Wright ranked 24th on FanGraphs’ new prospect list, but I don’t know much about him. He’s a pitcher, and if I’m tanking this year and probably next as Squids appears to be doing, I’m just not pumped to do it all around pitchers.

Ultimately I can’t escape the feeling here that Squids decided Paxton had to go ASAP and just took whatever offer looked best. Yeah, Paxton’s risky, but given his performance and cost, literally every team should have shown interest. Paxton is more valuable to even a rebuilding team than almost any prospect or combo of 2-3 prospects. I’d love to know if any “rebuilding” teams inquired. I know Squids has taken some pleasure in trying to play the “top teams” against each other as he tears down, but the market for Paxton should’ve been vast and the return just seems underwhelming. Oh well. Paxton’s arm could melt off at any moment (he had forearm cramping during his last start!) and this deal could then look fantastic simply by virtue of getting something. There aren’t a lot of studs in the league for under $20, but Paxton’s one of them and injury history be damned, I feel like he should’ve fetched a Bichette, Soto, or some prospect of that ilk a tier or two below the Vlads and Acunas of the world. Kyle Wright feels very blah to me. It’ll be interesting to see how this one plays out and if injuries play a role in the narrative.

 

 

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: 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: 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: Long Ball to LF | TBD

 

TBD trades away
O’Neill, Tyler
2018 Draft Pick, Round 4 (Capital City Ironmen)

Long ball to LF (Johnnywise) trades away
2018 Draft Pick, Round 3 (Who’s Your Haddy?)
Foltynewicz, Mike

Bailey’s Championship take

I think this is a toss up, matter of preference trade. Third and fourth round picks are fairly interchangeable, because that deep into a draft the prospect tiers are gigantic and all the players run together. Yeah, you’d rather pick sooner than later. TBD got the better pick, so hooray.
Foltynewicz, meanwhile, is a cheap pitcher with some upside. He’s super erratic though. But as a $5 spot starter, he could be of use. He’s in the NL East, so hey, just start him against the Marlins!
O’Neill, meanwhile, is one of those fringe prospect types with a lot of variance on lists. I don’t know a ton about him to be honest. My impression is he’s one of those low contact, power happy guys. But that’s what they said about Aaron Judge! He could be just a guy, of course. The balls are juiced, so everyone hits homers.
Again, team preference here. Foltynewicz is combustible. O’Neill’s a prospect with an iffy profile, so he’s risky. Pick your poison.”

 

 

Hustles Toxic $.02

First thing that stands out about this trade is that these two teams have the worst team names in the league. And that’s say something when we have a The Wilfred Brimley Fighting Diabeetuses.  It’s been over 2 years and Joe/Fito haven’t bothered to come up with a team name and/or somehow think TBD is acceptable.  For Long Ball, I actually like the team name, I’m just confused why “JohnnyWise” is in parentheses after.  As for best team names in the league I like Who’s your Haddy and In Line for the Win.

The picks involved in this trade are pretty meaningless. It’s nice to pick earlier, but they are just wildcards at this point.  I thought it was interesting that neither pick that was traded was their own.

As for Folty vs Tyler O’neil, it’s a pretty even trade. Long Ball certainly needs the hitting help more than TBD. I know Joe has coveted getting Folty for a while now, so congratulations are in order. I don’t think the price dropped off much despite a poor overall season for Folty (he did improve his k rate, but his command got worse)   The Braves have a lot of arms coming up from the minors, so he’s going to need to prove himself in his age 27 season. Tyler Oneill is a guy who is pretty blocked at the moment (Pham, Fowler, Bader, Grichuk, and Ozuna all in front of him).  Perhaps this is a reason Joe decided to move him.  Oneill has been touted as a future 25-30 home run hitter, and can probably get there if given the shot.   This trade doesn’t have a clear winner now, but I’ll lean with the major league talent.

Maybe it’s the holidays, but I’m  genuinely happy for both these teams because they got a guy they like. Merry Christmas.