Trade: Organized Chaos | Hustle Loyalty Respect

Organized Chaos trades away:

Hustle Loyalty Respect trades away:

  • 1B Grant Lavigne
  • SP Lucas Sims ($5.50)
  • 2020 3rd Round Pick

BAILEY’s Thoughts

If I had to bet money on who in this league is the biggest “Rick Porcello fan,” I’d put money on myself. Yet… despite Porcello being relentlessly offered to everyone, I never pulled the trigger. And I’m okay with it.

Porcello’s been a good, if not great, pitcher throughout his career who offers a solid, boring floor and some occasional clunkers. He’s durable and reliable. This year there have been more clunkers than normal, but at least one (the stupid London) game you can safely disregard. Going forward, I expect Porcello to be a decent depth starter that usually won’t kill you. In this league, my problem is his salary for what he is. If there weren’t salaries, his value goes up, in my opinion. But because there are and he’s $25 ($27 to keep, minimum)… I find him in a weird gray area of keepable players. You could keep him. But I wouldn’t, personally. Those clunkers I just mentioned have been going up in frequency and the floor seems to be getting lower and lower, which is all fine because it’s still a fairly safe floor, but Porcello at $27 isn’t all that different from a bunch of $10 or less dart throws. I suspect that — and what I’ve got to say, was a crazy high asking price — is what made this trade take so long to finally happen. Another thing about Porcello: there’s great temptation to sit him in tough match-ups, but he’s a pretty good pitcher overall, so sometimes he does really well in those games. He’s good to randomly dominate the Yankees on your bench once a year. Which does you zero good and is really frustrating.

In the end, Swinson got, for starters, basically a fringe top-150 prospect in Grant Lavigne, who I feel like falls outside the top-200 in most circles if not for the prospect of playing home games in Coors Field. I haven’t paid much attention to him, but I believe Hustle offered him to me recently, and one thing I think I know about Hustle is this: he’s really good at finding prospects (“he’s the single greatest prospector I’ve ever played with, hands down, no exceptions” – Steve Fernsler), but if he offers you one, he’s either getting something awesome in return or feels comfortable replacing the guy with someone else off waivers. I think the latter is the case here. Lavigne’s a teenage 1Bman-only prospect that beasted last year but has underwhelmed this year over a larger sample. So basically, the upside isn’t there and the wait time is too long for a guy that plays a position that’s super easy to fill, so this trade shuttles him off with profit and lets Hustle add a better lottery ticket off waivers. Seems fine!

So in addition to Lavigne, there’s Lucas Sims, who was once a top prospect but sort of fell off the map, then reappeared this year in Cincinnati. He had one good start in May and then… vanished. I mean, not vanished. He’s alive and pitches. But it’s in the minors, where he’s got a 1.09 HR/9. He’s also not cost controlled, so he’s $7 to keep right now, which really is fine. If he was cost controlled he’d be $1 instead and the $6 is pretty irrelevant. But still. That makes Sims a tad less valuable. Cost control is life.

And finally, there’s a third round pick which… okay, cool. Whatever.

In the end, this trade is weird to me as someone who received a ton of Porcello offers over the months. This deal is Porcello for Lavigne in my eyes, which is… well, seems like a way lower asking price than I ever recall seeing. Maybe I’m just not high enough on Sims and don’t care enough about draft picks (I recently traded a first rounder for Andrelton Simmons and legitimately have no idea why, but someone else actually traded a pick for a relief pitcher so I don’t feel as bad about that anymore). And again, if one owner maybe, possibly thinks they can pick a better prospect up off waivers tomorrow in Lavigne… what’s that say about the haul?

Anyway, trade is obviously fine overall. I’d rather have HLR’s side here even if cutting Porcello at year’s end, but I at least like knowing that Coach shopped and shopped and presumably landed here, on a deal he likes.

Trade: Rocky Mtn Oysters | We Talk Fantasy Sports

Rocky Mtn Oysters sends: SP Max Scherzer ($86), SP Rookie Davis (minors)
We Talk Fantasy Sports sends: SP Tyler Glasnow (minors), CF Manuel Margot (minors), SP Robert Stephenson (minors), SP Lucas Sims (minors), 2017 2nd Round Pick

Andrew’s thoughts: This is a really interesting deal. I think for both sides, it works out well.

For We Talk Fantasy Sports, this has been a unique season. They are 9-6 and in prime spot to challenge for the final playoff spite despite being objectively bad. They are 15th in total points which, since we’re mid-week, is a little finicky because some teams have used more starts than others. Still, an extra start or two isn’t going to make much difference. My stinky team is 14th in points and has a 324.3 point edge over WTFS. To say that WTFS, who has had the fewest points scored on them by a margin of 527.95 points over the next team, has been lucky is just a massive understatement.

But whatever! I think in some ways, simply being so lucky and being in this spot is all the reason you need to push in some chips. It could be ill advised and screw future seasons, but I would hope everyone’s goal is to win championships, not just out-kick your coverage and finish seventh (their current place in the standings). It’s almost August, they’re in playoff contention, so why not go for it (especially as it looks like all the other teams are content standing pat)?

Max Scherzer is a difference maker. He instantly becomes WTFS’s best pitcher and it isn’t really even close. Their second best starter is Michael Pineda, who is just around league average. Of course, the price to take on the league’s sixth-highest paid player is a big one. Tyler Glasnow was a top-5 overall pick, Manuel Margot is a prized outfield prospect (I’m not super high on him for fantasy purposes), Robert Stephenson is a regular on top-100 lists (he’s another guy I don’t like because he can’t stop serving up homers and will get to pitch his home games in Coors Lite), and Dusty’s team stinks, so that pick (his own pick, which he’d previously dealt) will probably be top-20. Given all the context — that WTFS has been far more lucky than good — I assume they’re making this move with the intent of keeping Scherzer beyond this year, which seems reasonable. While I like that they aren’t taking their fortune for granted, I’m not sure they swing this move for a rental knowing that they still have tons of ground to cover, even with Scherzer on board. It’s really just your run of the mill high risk, high reward move for WTFS. I respect their aggressiveness.

For Dusty, the truth is, there was never really a good reason to ignore (and in some cases dismantle) his offense in favor of his nasty pitching staff (formerly Scherzer, plus Jake Arrieta, Zach Greinke, Kyle Hendricks, and John Lackey). Instead of a balanced team, he punted offense and went all-in on arms which is probably the biggest reason he’s at the bottom of the standings. By swinging this deal, he doesn’t do much to fix his offense. Margot pretty much has to be a stud from day one to be a marked upgrade over Brett Gardner in center. To be clear, if Margot produces exactly like Gardner, that’s great, because Gardner is good and Margot would cost nothing. I think too often people get tantalized by “upside” and ignore that players can be really valuable just simply by being good. It’s just that, adding a single good hitter won’t magically propel an offense. Anyway, he does free up $88 headed into next year, which gives him better odds of keeping the rest of those pitchers if he wants.

The problem is, I’d actually looked at his team recently and thought it looked fairly simple to keep all those pitchers in tact, which would then clearly outline an offseason gameplan where you need to address only hitters. I mean, you can just cut Jason Heyward ($50 in 2017) and Mike Fiers ($13) and then apply the $20 auction cash you have sitting in till to keep Scherzer. That covers him almost completely. $16 Blake Swihart looks like an easy cut, $9 Hyun-Jin Ryu probably should be dumped unless his arm regenerates itself, $18 Neil Walker doesn’t strike me as a keepable investment, paying Josh Harrison, who looks like he’ll only qualify at 2B next year, $15 seems pointless. Keeping Scherzer was certainly a realistic option. I love Glasnow’s talent though (I almost took him third overall) and if you think he hits his ceiling, he’s certainly a better value than Scherzer at over $80. Plus you get Margot, Stephenson, a Lucas Sims lotto ticket, and that pick. But if I can afford to keep my studs, I’d rather do that, I think. I’m a Scherzer fan, so I’m likely harboring some bias toward him.

That all probably sounds like I don’t like it for Dusty, but I do. Bottom line is he didn’t need all the pitchers he amassed, and this way he distributes his talent a little better and frees up significant budget space. The trade is done so I don’t think it matters now, but I had very loosely pursued Scherzer and just didn’t want to part with the prospect package Dusty wanted, and I didn’t think Dusty would find anyone who would. The package he ended up getting is lighter, I think, but it’s close. Like I said, I think both sides come out clean on this one. There’s risk — there always is — but sometimes you have to just push down on the gas and see what happens.

Jordan’s thoughts: It’s really boring to just say that I agree with Andrew on all points, because I do. I love this deal for Dusty. Yes, Max is very keepable. Yes, its not a bad strategy to keep Max. Yes, there is reason to not sell off despite being “out of it.” But, Dusty’s trading one major asset for a bunch of interesting ones. Some more than others obviously.

Dusty still has a formidable staff and gets to punt on Max who has shown signs of shakiness (oh wait, that’s all pitchers in 2016, the worst year of baseball since 1994) at times. The flexibility he adds in four decent minor leaguers has its perks.

I love this trade even more for We Talk Fantasy Sports. Honestly, who gives two shits about prospects when you have a legit shot at a championship? I don’t. You shouldn’t. Max in this kind of a formatted league offers a huge upgrade. Late August/early September, Max will be throwing against tired and expanded rosters. Probably toss a couple of 50 spots in playoff weeks. If you get a 2-start week in the playoffs from Max, hot dog, you nailed the jackpot. Sure, any of the prospects could be hard to lose, but at this point for WTFS you’re playing for now and winning today is more important than having a chance at some serious talent in two or three seasons.

Trade: Hustle Loyalty Respect | We Talk Fantasy Sports

We Talk Fantasy Sports sends: SP Mike Leake ($14)
Hustle Loyalty Respect sends: SP Lucas Sims (minors)

Jordan’s thoughts: I think this is a pretty square deal for all sides considered. Sims is a prospect, but not a huge one. If he turns out, great, if not whatever. Mike Leake is useful, but not necessarily someone you need to keep around for that big score.

Andrew’s thoughts: This is fine. I still don’t like Mike Leake, so there’s that. Of course, my dislike doesn’t mean he isn’t still a league average pitcher, which for 9-1 Hustle Loyalty Respect is considerably more useful than a 50 FV prospect.

For WTFS, this move dumps some future budget, frees up a major league roster spot, and upgrades a minors spot. It works. I feel like there are probably a dozen pitchers akin to Lucas Sims sitting in free agency that could’ve been had at no cost, but what do I know? Prospect values vary a lot and if there’s a guy you really like, I won’t fault you for paying to get him.