Trade: In Line 4 the Win | The Foundation

 

In Line 4 the Win sends: SP Adam Wainwright ($28), LF/CF/RF Josh Reddick ($7)
The Foundation sends: SP Zach Davies ($4), 2018 1st Round Pick, Player to be Named Later (SP Braxton Garrett)

Andrew’s Thoughts:¬†I like this for The Foundation. I think trading Wainwright at $28 for Davies at $4 plus a little kick back makes sense for IL4W. They get the cheaper, younger guy in that scenario. Honestly, they could’ve traded Wainwright for Davies straight up and I wouldn’t have loved it, but it’d make sense from a budget, long-term team building standpoint.

But Josh Reddick is what tilts this deal for me. He’s cheap, qualifies at all three outfield spots, and is currently averaging over six points a game. He’s had some platoon issues in the past, but he kills RHP, so he more often than not provides value. And this year he’s even hitting lefties.

Meanwhile, the pick going to IL4W currently projects to be 13th. I guess that gives IL4W four first rounders next year, so they can dominate the draft, but what are the odds they land someone better than Reddick with that pick? And again, Reddick is cheap. This is where I think the cost control thing gets blown out of proportion. Is a free/cheap teenager that could pretty easily be nothing really that much more valuable than a proven, solid performer that costs less than $10? I don’t really think so. If you’re rebuilding, maybe it makes sense, but I think making that same type of bet enough times just prolongs your rebuilding process.

The player to be named later aspect is fun. Braxton Garrett is broken though. He had Tommy John surgery near the end of June. He’s also 19-years-old and has all of 15.1 IP at Single-A. He’ll probably miss most or even all of 2018. He was at one point a top-100 prospect, but the lead time and risk makes me feel like you could just as easily find a guy like him off waivers. Also, while IL4W can acquire him once minor league rosters expand, they also have a ton of draft pick ammunition, so unless they funnel off those picks to acquire major league talent, they’ll eventually be cutting prospects to make room for Garrett and their picks.

Hustle’s Take:¬†I agree with almost all of what Andrew said… THIS time so I’ll just interject with a few points that haven’t been addressed.

While I hear the notion that “this draft is weak”, I do think come 2018 minor league draft, guys will start to receive hype and some of the guys will have 1/2 a season of pro ball and some of the cream will rise. ¬†I think there will be some good values in the first round that may not seem super obvious right now. ¬†That being said, IL4W has 4 picks in the first round and 7 overall (none after round 3). That seems like overkill unless you just love the draft. I’d expect Aaron to be never busy during the draft.

Wainwright was unkeepable last year at 50 or so dollars. It’s not crazy that if he finishes the year strong, he’s worth keeping at 22 or shopping to someone with a lot of cap space. Mike Leake wasn’t someoneI wanted to keep last year at 16 and he was moved for a buck, kept, and has done very well. ¬†For Jordan, the problem with Wainwright (as I see it), is he’s hard to use as a matchup play. There doesn’t seem to be a ton of rhyme or reason when Wainwright has a great game or blows up based on matchup. That’s frustrating as an owner.

That’s also not to say I don’t like getting Wainwright, because Jordan didn’t pay a ton. Zach Davies was a nice sleeper heading into the year. Ks are down, HRs are up, Walks are up. ¬†Maybe he puts it together in the second half and becomes a cheap multi year keeper for IL4W.

I’m all for sexy assets when you’re out of it, but didn’t see much here. If Davies and/or Braxton Garrett are your guys, then this is a fine grab. Wainwright and Reddick are a pretty huge boost for Jordan, and one or both might be keepable…. so that’s a big win.

Trade: Hustle Loyalty Respect | TBD

Hustle Loyalty Respect sends: SP Mike Leake ($16)
TBD sends: $1 2017 Auction Budget

Jordan’s thoughts:¬†Per usual,¬†I’ll take the potentially useful pitcher for the price that’s just a bar higher than what Jesus Sucre goes for. I don’t love Mike Leake. But, I’d rather have the option to cut him or keep him if I potentially have a spot for another pitcher, than the dollar.

Andrew’s thoughts:¬†Mike Leake isn’t great, but he’s a consistent innings eater. He had a 3.83 FIP and 3.76 xFIP last year, so he¬†was better than league average there. His career numbers aren’t as good though and because he doesn’t strike anyone out, there’s not much upside here. Sixteen bucks doesn’t strike me as ideal and he was probably getting cut, but I get this move for both sides.

I prefer the TBD side adding Leake for basically free and avoiding having to bid on him, if he’s a guy they really want.

Trade: The Foundation | Hustle Loyalty Respect

The Foundation sends: SP Felix Hernandez ($68), LF Alex Gordon ($17)
Hustle Loyalty Respect sends: LF Melky Cabrera ($4), LF/CF/RF Harrison Bader (minors), LF Alex Jackson (minors)

Andrew’s thoughts:¬†All the playoff teams are snapping up pitching.

This one’s interesting. For The Foundation, going from Alex Gordon to Melky Cabrera is a very solid upgrade, both in performance and salary. Gordon has traditionally been very productive, but at $19 next year and given how he’s looked this year, he’s an easy cut. Melky at $6 in 2017 is a candidate for greed because of how good he’s been. At just 31-years-old, Melky has a few solid years left and the low starting nature of his salary should keep him on Jordan’s team for 2-3 years.

The balance of the trade is a $68 King Felix, who looks like he might be broken, for two quality outfield prospects that have promise but aren’t atop many lists — though Jackson spent two years in the top-50 or so.

In Bader, The Foundation gets a 22-year-old Cardinal prospect — Cardinals prospects¬†always seem to be worth something — who has hit at four minor league levels in two seasons. He’s not a big time prospect, but he looks like he could be another Stephen Piscotty and if he is, that’s worth quite a bit. Jackson, meanwhile, is risky. He’s almost 21-years-old and still at A-ball, but he’s got a .348 wOBA there this year and may be getting back on the right track. After the 2014 season, he was Baseball America’s 20th ranked prospect, so there’s pedigree here. But Mariners prospects are like the antithesis of Cardinals prospects, so who knows?

Meanwhile, at $70 going into next year, Felix is on track to end up cut and back at auction. He’s been right around a league average performer — he’s averaging 24.73 points per start — but is clearly not what he used to be. His strikeouts are down, his walks are up, and his FIP and xFIP are decisively mediocre. The downward trend that started last year has continued into 2016. He has 10 seasons of 190+ innings in his rearview mirror and it may be finally catching up to him.

So what I’m saying is, I don’t think Felix was worth a big haul. If he was prime Felix, sure. But this is 30-year-old rental Felix,¬†with maybe a hope that he turns it around the rest of the way and gets kept. Bader and Jackson, plus turning Gordon into Melky, seems about right. I maybe would have preferred a pick upgrade or some other asset to go to The Foundation just as a “pitcher tax,” but that’s nitpicking.

For HLR, this is a fine upgrade heading into the postseason. His rotation is fronted by Adam Wainwright and Junior Guerra, then there’s a big dropoff to Mike Leake, Kevin Gausman, and Yordano Ventura. This is a volatile pitching staff and Felix is, at this stage of his career, a volatile pitcher. But the price was¬†very reasonable and there’s considerable upside in Felix’s arm for the rest of the season. HLR is in a great spot, but his is a team that I don’t think can afford to just stand pat while his competitors get better, as the three other teams that currently hold playoff spots have all outscored his squad on the season.

Jordan’s thoughts:¬†Trading Felix feels like breaking up with that girlfriend that you still care for, but you’re going in different directions. You leave the door open, perhaps our paths will cross again, and you say good bye.

For HLR getting Felix provides some ample depth at a position they could use. Gordon for Melky for this season is not a huge swing in either way, plus they have other hitters to cover. They’ve out grinded the rest of the league anyway.

For me, Bader is an interesting prospect, perhaps he’s good, perhaps he’s not. He is in a crowded system for a team that does not have an extra spot for hitters. I don’t expect him to help me soon. Swapping for Melky just made sense to me. Finally, acquiring Alex Jackson solved the issue of getting offered Alex Jackson on a weekly bases since the day he was drafted. Win-win-win.

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.

Seven Starts – Choose Wisely

We have now played 10 weeks, and things are clear – pitching is VERY important. Not only do you need to make sure you can get seven starts out of your roster, but you need to choose the RIGHT seven starts.

Take us for instance – we acquired Colby Lewis, Mike Leake and Collin McHugh in the last couple of days and saw Anthony DeSclafani make his season debut. Add that to Jordan Zimmermann, Ian Kennedy and Michael Pineda and that is seven starters. We also have Robbie Ray and Chase Anderson as insurance.

We had to make tough decisions to choose just seven of the 13 starts our rotation had this week. Unfortunately, we picked nearly all the wrong ones.

Lewis was brutal on Monday, with a 14.5 point start, but rebounded nicely on Saturday with a 43 point day. Unfortunately, by Saturday, we had used up all of our starts.

Leake was even worse in his first start of the week, posted 7.5 solid points. But wouldn’t you know it, on Sunday he pitches a 49.5 point gem, that we could not use.

McHugh was just brutal on Thursday, failing to complete four innings and earning just 6.5 points.

DeSclafani’s debut wasn’t great, as he earned just 4.5 points.¬† The only run scored was on a solo HR, but he allowed 11 runners to reach base in six innings, walking three with just 2 strikeouts.

Zimmermann went negative on Wednesday night, as the Blue Jays hit two home runs off him in less than 5 innings. It was the first time Zimm went negative all year.

Kennedy was at his worst, allowing four home runs to the White Sox and posting a season low -34 fantasy points.

Pineda was our only good pitcher that counted this week, earning 72 points across two starts. However, we only saw 32 of those points from his first start.

We missed out on a 53 points gem from Anderson and a 59 point night from Ray.

Needless to say, it was a tough week.

On a more positive note, here are the top 10 pitchers through 10 weeks and the graph shows their weekly point totals.

spTop10

Jon Lester is the only pitcher in the top 10 to have had a negative week.

Clayton Kershaw has been the weeks top pitcher three times, while Jose Fernandez has done so twice.

Despite being the 2nd best pitcher in the league through 10 weeks, Johnny Cueto has two of the lowest weekly point totals among the top 10 pitchers.

TC (Cueto, Strasburg), IL4W (Syndergaard, Quintana) & TBD (Kluber, Bumgarner) each own two of the top 10 starters.

Trade: In Line 4 the Win | We Talk Fantasy Sports

In Line 4 the Win sends: SP Mike Leake ($14), SP Colby Lewis (FA)
We Talk Fantasy Sports sends: RF Jay Bruce ($11)

Jordan’s thoughts:¬†I believe this was a desperate grab to add starts after WTFS dropped a 4 start week last week. Jay Bruce isn’t a huge price to pay and live arms are hard to find. I like the deal for both sides.

Andrew’s thoughts:¬†I notoriously favor pitchers over hitters, but I think this deal is pretty even and, in fact, may even prefer the side getting Jay Bruce.

It could maybe be this simple: I’m already on record as not being a fan of Mike Leake and I’m even less of a fan of Colby Lewis. Both pitchers have been serviceable this year, but their peripherals aren’t very good. Bruce, meanwhile, has rediscovered some of what made him such a budding star a couple years ago. He’s still not putting up a huge OBP, but his wOBA right now would be his highest single season figure since 2010. He’s also still just 29-years-old and only costs $11, so if he truly has returned to form, he carries more value here than both pitchers.

Trade: In Line 4 The Win | Long Ball to LF

In Line 4 The Win sends: SP Matt Moore ($9)
Long Ball to LF sends: SP Mike Leake ($14), 2017 3rd Round Pick

Andrew’s thoughts:¬†I don’t mean to open this on a negative note, but my first thought upon seeing this deal was “wow, two pitchers I really don’t like.” I’m not really sure what it is, but neither Leake nor Moore have ever been guys I’ve been interested in on any level at all, really.

Leake is, to me, the definition of an okay emergency seventh starter. He’s got a career 4.24 FIP, a HR/9 of 1.13, and he barely strikes anyone out. He’s useful here and there, but it’s tough to predict when those games will be.

In Moore’s case, it seems like he’s still living a bit off the roto hype of 2012, when he had a solid first full season with a sub-4.00 ERA on a good Rays team. In 2013, he was a hot “sleeper” because he’d get wins and a presumably low ERA. But in our league, his linear weights just aren’t that enticing. He’s posted a 4.06 FIP and a 0.99 HR/9 in his career, which is meh on both fronts, while striking out 8.51 batters per nine and walking 3.99.

To me, these two pitchers are identical. Moore strikes a couple more batters out per nine than Leake, but he also walks a couple more to wash away any positive effect. Moore’s a year and a half younger, so I guess there’s “upside” at play, but he also pitches out of the tough AL East while Leake gets to throw in the NL, where half the teams are rebuilding.

I really don’t mean to be such a downer. It’s just… seriously, if you made me list five pitchers pre-auction that I would be completely out of the market on, these two guys would’ve made the list.

Having said all that, as a trade, this is fine. The pick is negligible — I feel like anything later than a 2nd rounder won’t carry much value — so essentially what you’ve got is a pick your poison move. Two identical guys but I like yours and vice versa, so let’s do it. And even with their flaws, as I said, both guys are solid as rotational depth. You won’t feel terrible starting Leake on a Sunday as your seventh. Back end starters like that are worth something (at least this is what I’ll keep telling myself as I attempt to sell Mat Latos, who isn’t all that dissimilar from either of these two guys).

Jordan’s thoughts:¬†I really do not have much to follow up after Bailey’s thoughts. The one thing I want to hit on is that the projections systems still have Leake as the better pitcher. He has to face the Cubs and Pirates more often, and that sucks, but otherwise he’s in the NL which is great. I think Leake has startable starts available, and I’m not a big fan of Matt Moore except in emergency.

The draft pick is weird.