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.