Trade: Long Ball to LF | Marshall Law

Marshall Law trades away
SP Dinelson Lamet ($5; cost controlled)
RF Misael Urbina (prospect)
1B Pavin Smith (prospect)

Long Ball to LF trades away
SP Aaron Nola ($38)

BAILEY’S THOUGHTS

On the surface this trade looks lopsided. Aaron Nola is just 26-years-old, Steamer projects him as a top-15 overall pitcher in 2020, and he has consecutive 1,000+ point seasons on his resume. He checks every box as a top Dynasty Grinders asset (more on this in a moment). On the other side, there are two blah prospects and a spring training hype guy coming off Tommy John surgery who still carries a fair amount of reliever risk. This looks to be in favor of Marshall Law.

I do think it’s key to note the $33 savings here. This trade got Long Ball under $500 and that savings likely buys him at least another year of Kenta Maeda ($30), Michael Brantley ($29), or one of his higher priced pieces like Josh Donaldson ($77) or Zack Greinke ($67) that he’s been shopping. Those guys don’t show up in the Trade Accepted email, but they were no doubt a factor. My guess is, since Long Ball had listed all those guys on his trade block, there was zero interest across the board (because players that have salaries have cooties), so he ultimately sold whichever guy actually brought something back and that happened to be Nola. I’d argue the only “something” in this deal is Lamet, as the two prospects seem fairly disinteresting to me. Urbina is fine and has some long-term upside, Smith seems boring as a 1B-only with only 50 grade power. Whatever. It continuously blows my mind that upper tier players are traded in this league for churn-able prospects. Long Ball couldn’t get Vidal Brujan? Jazz Chisholm? As a rule of thumb, if a sub-$40 1,000 point player is traded, the prospects involved should really be guys Jordan has heard of before. Also, I probably would’ve rather just cut Maeda or Greinke or Brantley and kept Nola and missed out on Lamet. But the sum of Lamet plus whichever one of those guys would’ve been cut is probably close enough to Nola’s 2020 production to at least make the logical leap here.

I guess I’m mainly confused as to why a package headlined by Lamet and filled out by two prospects outside the top-250 was really the high offer.

Given Nola’s age, cost, and resume, he should’ve been coveted by literally every team, even the perpetual tankers. He was on the block publicly, so it’s not like his availability wasn’t known. I personally did not inquire on Nola, mainly because I’m sitting at $500 in keepers and The Bundle‚ĄĘ has ruined my mobility (weird how those rule changes that were met with such disgust ultimately did my team no favors), but I even sort of regret it now seeing this price. I could’ve probably afforded to punt a hitter to make room if push came to shove. If Long Ball waited until after auction, I would’ve probably thrown any prospects and picks he wanted at Nola and that terrifying $38 salary. Oh well.

How many other teams sat on the sidelines here? I guess people assumed the price would be too high and the mere thought of trading relevant prospects is unfathomable, but Urbina and Smith seem like fringe prospects at best right now. TBD and HLR will no doubt pick up far superior prospects for free throughout the season. Marshall will easily pick up better or comparable prospects to replace these guys himself. Even if Lamet meets his recent hype, Nola’s still likely to outscore him in 2020 and even teams like Senior Squids and We Talk Fantasy Sports and Who’s Your Haddy, who don’t intend to compete in the next half decade, should have been lining up here and could have probably beat this offer quite handily. You’re not getting a better asset than Nola at auction, so if that’s your game plan, good luck trying. If you were clinging to legitimate prospects out of fear of adding a whopping $38 in salary, well… whoops. And if you were out on Nola because you’re punting 2020, I guess I’m confused what the game plan is for 2021+ when you have no established good players in place when your prospects theoretically start getting promoted. The Bundle‚ĄĘ made Aaron Nola available for a low price and still no one with salary room took advantage? Hmm…

Overall, I like this deal for Marshall Law. If Lamet pans out, it probably buys Long Ball an extra player this year and next, maybe one more beyond that. For now I’ll gladly take the Nola side though.

Trade: TBD | Preseason Double Stuffs

TBD sends: RF J.D. Martinez ($36)
Preseason Double Stuffs send: 2017 2nd Round Pick, 2018 1st Round Pick

Andrew’s thoughts: Getting a healthy $36 JD Martinez for just a couple draft picks is a steal. Of course, Martinez is not healthy, and he likely won’t be until sometime in early to mid-August, if not later. The Double Stuffs also have the worst record in the league, so (a) Martinez won’t help this year, and (b) that 2017 2nd Round Pick is likely to be somewhere in the 17-18th overall range. Though I’m honestly not sure you couldn’t find a prospect on waivers right now comparable to whoever the 17th or 18th best draft-eligible one will be.

(Keep in mind, the draft pool will feature incoming MLB Draftees, international prospects without Major League deals — so teenagers¬†like Kevin Maitan and Lazaro Armenteros — and any prospects that aren’t already¬†owned. There will be guys everyone likes, but not necessarily guys that are valuable. There’s a difference, I think.)

But oh well. After his off-season raise, Martinez will¬†cost $38 in 2017 and I think he’s easily worth it. So this is a solid future move for the Double Stuffs. I do value draft picks, but I think the cost control nature of prospects you get with them are somewhat overvalued. Martinez is a beast in his prime and is priced reasonably. Old favorite Byron Buxton costs a mere $4 less than him. Randal Grichuk costs $1 less. Michael Brantley, who is forever broken, costs $1 more. Whoever gets drafted this year and next may or may not ever even reach the majors. And if they do, they could just suck. Sure, if they make it and are at least average, the cost control aspect is nice, but I’d still rather have Martinez. I don’t love that the Double Stuffs won’t draft in the first or second round in each of the next two years, but I suspect they can recoup some draft currency at some point and I think you can probably offset lacking for picks by simply “scouting” harder.

The other bone you could pick is that before this trade, the Double Stuffs were projected somewhere around $150-160 over next year’s cap, and adding to that only increases the amount that’ll need to be cut. But I’m not sure that’ll be a problem. Looking at their roster, would anyone scoff if they sent $75 Chris Archer back to auction? Or $27 Taijuan Walker? Or $23 Carlos Gomez? That’s $125 right there. Point is, yeah, adding Martinez means they have to cut more, but I don’t think that’ll ultimately prove to be a major¬†problem.

For TBD, I¬†don’t love¬†the timing. In fourth place currently, they could’ve held Martinez and been able to add a dangerous bat just in time for the post-season. Unless the picks get flipped, they aren’t helping¬†for the rest of this season. Also, our first roster cut down isn’t until January (full off-season schedule is here). If Martinez comes back in August and finishes out the year healthy, I suspect he would have been worth significantly more than, at best, the 17th overall pick and a first-rounder two drafts away, in trade between October and that first cut down date. So if keeping him even at $38 was an issue, there would have been time to address alleviating that salary and, in the process, probably getting more back in trade.

Jordan’s thoughts: As my own chances to win have nearly evaporated, and my chances to bottom out are also faded, deals like this seems like the new soft market. I applaud our oreo loving friends. They got the option to a player who is almost guaranteed to be worth his keeper price. For the cost of a few pennies.

Say Martinez has a setback and his 2017 becomes unclear. Whatever. Bailey said it best, the prospects incoming are exciting, but they’re a long ways out. Until our minor league rosters are 25+ players, sitting on 18 year olds is a costly gamble. I think sitting on Martinez is a cost-effective¬†gamble.

For TBD, while I don’t mind losing Martinez for draft picks, I really feel like if this is the price tag for keepable stars, I’m just holding.

2016 Auction Review – Long Ball to LF

Long Ball to LF

lblf

Where have all the first basemen gone… Alright step back take a second look. Perhaps Hanley Ramirez does take over at first base for Boston, qualifies, and now you have Michael Brantley in left, Jacoby Ellsbury in center. Eh. I mean, the best news for Hustle Loyalty Respect and Long Ball to LF, is that between them, the shortstop market is all but cornered. And except when they play each other, they should handily win that position battle each week. This was one of the hardest teams to project. I see the logic behind the roster, but I don’t love forcing the issue of transactions to get better roster utilization.

Hitters – Alright

This¬†group is so close to good you can almost taste it. There is just pieces missing at key positions. First base is a concern even with Hanley presumably taking over. Josh Donaldson and Jose Bautista are awesome in Toronto, but was last year the ceiling? Brantley appears to be ready to go to be ready close to opening day, but he’s had issues staying healthy. I don’t think any of us wanted a short stop to be a primary utility guy, and there’s almost no way around it here. Matt Kemp and Ellsbury sure, but they’ll be mixed into the outfield often enough. Just seems like a first basemen short. LBLF has that same rotating door utility problem. It’s not a glaring issue, but it can turn into one with an injury or two. It is not a huge problem that LBLF is also relying on Devon Travis, but three Blue Jays means on Toronto off-days this roster may have open slots.

Pitchers – Uh-oh

Dallas Keuchel is amazing. Now that he is out of the¬†way. He’s capable of being dominate in 2-start weeks. That’s fine. The other 12 weeks when he’s not starting twice, you’re depending on Wheeler being healthy, Leake being above average, and a bunch of maybes and hopefuls. Sure, pitching is a finicky bitch and perhaps 6 good starters come out of this group of 12. It just seems like a ballsy risk in order to own three shortstops. The bullpen isn’t great either. Best case scenario is that six or seven guys from this group flesh themselves out to be good enough fast, and two or three make themselves easy to chop and replace with other depth.

Depth – Good

So while things on the pitching side don’t look amazing, the depth here is actually good. I just dogged the group of guys in the back of his rotation as guys you want to depend on, but I like Tyler Skaggs, Aaron Nola, Josh Tomlin, Taylor Jungmann, and Daniel Norris, they could be quite dependable. It’s not unrealistic. And while I assume one of the short stops is getting traded for something, even if they don’t. The hitting depth in the outfield is great, catcher is good, and if you find some 1B to move Logan Forsythe to a backup roll, even better. Those pitchers should¬†be able to fetch something on the market and you can count on that happening most likely. Even with the Toronto issue¬†on offense, I like the depth here.

Why 2016 would be bad…¬†

Both Xander Bogaerts and Francisco Lindor trend downward and become possible candidates for release next off-season. Keuchel loses his touch. The team never finds a first baseman. Take your pick. This team will take some real grinding to push to the top, especially if the market for shortstops does not bring something equivalent to what was spent.

Why 2016 would be¬†good…¬†

I could just be wrong. Lindor and Bogaerts are amazing, they are good enough even if they have to server the utility role. Devon Travis stays healthy and ends up a top 5 2b. Hanley Ramirez ends up being a steal and hits like a top 15 first baseman. Michael Brantley returns to 2014 form. Jose Bautista and Josh Donaldson nail their encore. Of the twelve starters just six have to be good. There’s trade bait all around this team.