Trade: Preseason Double Stuffs | We Talk Fantasy Sports

Preseason Double Stuffs send: 2B DJ LeMahieu ($15)
WTFS send: 2B Rougned Odor ($29)

Andrew’s Thoughts: I’m not a Rougned Odor fan at all really. His OBP last year was a crummy .296 and it’s down to .260 last year. He never walks. Basically, unless he hits a home run, he’s a zero for your team. He did hit 33 last year and has 12 so far this year, which is cool, but everyone is a home run hitter now.

To that end, LeMahieu only hit 11 home runs all of last year. And that’s playing half his games at Coors. So Odor’s power output from this season, in which he’s been a big disappointment, is better than LeMahieu’s last year, in his career season. DJ’s older and he’s boring, but his floor is pretty high.

If the costs were the same, sure, trade the boring safe guy for the flashy recent prospect with “upside,” especially if you’re retooling. I get that. In this case, I don’t really get paying an extra $14 for the riskier guy, particularly when, without walks and getting on-base, the upside doesn’t seem all that high. And LeMahieu isn’t 29 yet, so it’s not like he’s some old veteran that you need to cash out on now. But I guess if Odor suddenly decides to walk 8% of the time and stops hitting easy infield flies, there’s room for growth and the power will still be there. I just don’t feel very excited about keeping a $31 (minimum) Odor into 2018.

I like it for WTFS most, who have now freed up $14 for 2018. That money will assuredly help subsidize all Byron Buxton‘s -3 point days on their bench for another year.

Hustle’s Thoughts:

I too like this better for WTFS. LeMahieu (not an actual DJ) was the better fantasy option this year and last and is half the price. The massive power difference between Odor and LeMahieu is washed away by the walk and strikeout rates.  Unless Odor shows significant improvement in those areas, I don’t see this trade working out for Ferns.

That being said Odor is only 23 and 5 years to LeMahieu’s junior and certainly has time to improve and with the power has monster potential.

 

 

Trade: Rocky Mtn Oysters | Preseason Double Stuffs

Rocky Mtn Oysters sends: SP Touki Toussaint (minors), SP Cody Sedlock (minors), 2020 1st Round Pick
Preseason Double Stuffs sends: SP Dylan Bundy ($9), RP Zach Britton ($12)

Hustle’s thoughts: I probably value first round picks a little bit more than most people, but even saying that, I like this trade for Dusty. The two pitchers Ferns are getting are a bit away and really aren’t too exciting for me. Maybe one is a diamond in a rough that Ferns knows something about that I don’t , but I see them combined as a 25% likelihood as putting together what Bundy has so far this season (and even that may be a high percentage). The first round pick is a nice piece to your team 2-3 years down the line if you make a good pick (which per the average fantasy player is probably well under 50%). I know Ferns didn’t have a 1st or 2nd rounder last year so maybe there is some desire to start making picks as this is the second high pick Ferns has acquired recently.

Still, this trade screams “I just want to get rid of Bundy”. He’s averaging almost 30 points per game and costs $9 and was once the top (or close to) pitching prospect in baseball. He’s probably not as good as he’s been so far, but he seems like a cheap starter you can have for a few years (with some upside). At least I believe Bundy was shopped and this was the best offer they could get.

The main problem for me with this trade is the 2 prospects acquired are somewhat borderline. If you’re going to tank, you need those prospect roster spots for top end guys you could aquire, locking yourself into Touki and Sedlock seems unwise. They are on the level of a deep guy who gets hot and starts getting some publicity who will be available on the wire. Edwin Rios (who Ferns dropped this morning) might not be that far off either guy he just acquired. If Ferns continues to make moves for the future he has less spots for minor leaguers or has to start releasing guys from previous hauls (like this one), making those previous trades less valuable.

Andrew’s thoughts: This is a weird one. I don’t trust Dylan Bundy at all despite the 29.11 points per game he’s scoring. He’s not striking guys out (6.09 K/9) and he had been suppressing homers at a crazy rate. His career HR/9 is 1.28, but he’s at 0.94 today. His career HR/FB rate is 11.2%, but it’s at 8% today. His 4.78 xFIP is way higher than his 3.92 FIP. I just see so much regression in this profile.

But, I mean…. 29.11 fantasy points per game. At some point, fantasy points are really what matters, right? Given that, I’d rather have Bundy for cheap ($11 next year is nothing) and just hope he hangs on. Toussaint and Sedlock are fine, but they also both have 40-ish IP at A+. They’re two years away? Three? And they’re pitchers, so that assumes they don’t hurt themselves at any point along that timeline.

And the first round pick is almost three years away from even being made. To me, the pick is more exciting as a future trade chip if the rest of the team can turn the corner. If the Double Stuffs can be competitive early next year, now that draft pick is another asset in play for a trade to improve.

I don’t fault the Stuffs for selling high on Bundy, but this to me isn’t high. Also, if they’re punting the year and rebuilding, they might have essentially clogged two minors spots with risky pitchers that aren’t close. We really need like 50 minor league spots so that you can acquire guys without being forced to dump comparable ones, and so that you don’t reach a threshold where roster spots prohibit improvement. Again, I don’t love Bundy, but he’s been good enough fantasy-wise and he’s cheap enough, that even a rebuilding team should want him.

Trade: Rocky Mtn Oysters | Preseason Double Stuffs

Rocky Mtn Oysters sends: 3B Ryon Healy ($5)
Preseason Double Stuffs sends: SP Matt Cain (FA)

Andrew’s thoughts: I don’t find either of these players super exciting, but I’d much rather have Healy because he’s only 25 and has a .355 wOBA over his first 403 MLB plate appearances. That’s quite good, though he’s probably more of a back-up than a guy you want starting. Also, his parents spelled “Ryan” wrong and I find that irksome.

Cain, on the other hand, was most recently a passable starting pitcher in like 2013. I guess you could use him as a streamer exclusively when he’s pitching at home, but he’s been awful there over the last few years. It’s not like we award points for getting Cy Young votes six seasons ago.

Like… Scott Feldman, who I picked up off waivers last week, has out-performed Cain’s FIP since 2013, when he had a 4.03 and Cain had a 3.93. So even then, it was close. So why trade Healy for Cain when you could just grab Feldman off waivers for free? Also, can I please trade Feldman now for a decent hitter? Please and thank you.

Trade: Hustle Loyalty Respect | Preseason Double Stuffs

Hustle Loyalty Respect sends: 3B Maikel Franco ($25), SP Wily Peralta ($3)
Preseason Double Stuffs send: 3B Nick Castellanos ($18), LF Michael Conforto ($23), 2019 3rd Round Pick

Andrew’s thoughts: I think I might rather have Castellanos than Franco at even money. Those two are close though. I assume some of Ferns’ willingness to spend an extra $7 on possibly the same player is based on Phillies fanhood, which is totally fine. If Vladimir Guerrero or Cal Ripken were still in the player pool, I’d gladly pay them $7 a season just to sit on my bench and look pretty.

The rest of the trade feels like a dart throw. Michael Conforto is basically Byron Buxton: a hot prospect that’s already priced like a steady contributor, so the bar he has to jump is higher. I like Conforto and he was awesome in a small 2015 sample. If he hits like that, he’s easily worth $23. If he doesn’t or if he can’t find regular at-bats, wasting $23 sucks but isn’t the end of the world. Almost every projection system likes Conforto to be around a .335-ish wOBA player, but with only 300-400 plate appearances. I think you could make a case that 400 PA of a .335 wOBA is worth $10-$15 or so by itself. It’s a decent gamble.

Wily Peralta was awful in the first half and pretty good in the second half. I watched him pitch a game once last year and man, it was brutal. He just threw slider after slider after slider and the batters just took ball after ball after ball. But yes, sorry, good in the second half. He also seems like a decent gamble, but with a much cheaper price. I need to ask Ferns how much Chris influenced acquiring Peralta. Peralta is such a Chris player. If there’s one thing Chris loves, it’s filling a roster with “sleepers” and “post-hype sleepers” and guys with “upside.” Chris is the Steve Bannon of the Preseason Double Stuffs. His only objective is to see the whole roster come crumbling down into chaos and disrepair. And Ferns over there, well, he’s too distracted by getting angry at what people say on the internet to notice.

Jordan’s thoughts: I really like Peralta. I really think he is the difference in this trade. I think Franco’s ceiling is higher as well. I think I’d prefer the Double Stuffs side on this trade. Michael Conforto can’t seem to break through in New York despite the hype and that makes me worried about his ability to come through.

The 2017 Minor League draft has been completed!

Our 2017 minor league draft has been completed. You can check out the full draft board and results right here.

This year’s draft kicked off on February 1 and wrapped up today, so it took us two weeks to get through five rounds and 80 picks. If my count is correct, there were 10 trades during that time, mostly of the auction budget-for-pick variety. So that was fun.

Jordan and I were asked if we were going to do a recap post of some kind and weren’t super interested. Aren’t people sick of our opinions on trades and stuff? Apparently not!

So just for fun — and because we have nothing to do until our final pre-auction cut down on February 27 — I decided to skim over the draft board and share some random thoughts as they pop into my head. Here goes…

Thought #1: Picking second, I was really shocked that Kevin Maitan went first overall. That’s what comparisons to Miguel Cabrera will do for you. For my own taste, a player that just turned 17-years-old is a bit rich for my blood here regardless of what the “upside” might be.

Thought #2: TBD had a great draft, both cashing in their own picks and aggressively acquiring others. Their haul: Alex Kiriloff, Cal Quantrill, Lucas Erceg, Walker Buehler, Jahmai Jones, Heath Quinn, and Bryan Reynolds. I hadn’t heard of Quinn, but all the other guys check boxes for me.

Thought #3: Defending champs Team Hydra did well too. They got Leody Taveras and Ramon Laureano early, two guys that are rising up lists fast, and then added Dustin Fowler and Jorge Bonifacio later. So they addressed a future outfield quite well. Plus, they somehow turned later picks into a total of $12 auction budget. I think if you can get a couple wildcard prospects and cash instead of just wildcard prospects, you’ve killed it.

Thought #4: So, speaking of trading picks for auction budget…

Look, I shipped out $6 to pick up Lourdes Gurriel because I’ve got a bunch of money and he’s major league ready. Or at least close. But man, Dusty dropped $26 by my count on assorted picks (Taylor Trammell, Will Benson, Joey Wentz, Mason Thompson, Cionel Perez, Jorge Ona). I have a really difficult time seeing how any of those guys are significantly better than whoever will be available after auction when free agency opens. The difference, of course, is $26. All prospects are gambles. I’d rather gamble that $26 on a bounce back player at auction who has the chance to be worth $40-$50 as soon as 2017 then to spend all that money just to fill roster spots.

Thought #5: Who’s Your Haddy? added $22 of auction budget by trading picks and still ended up with Miguel Andujar, who is close to contributing for the Yankees, and Adonis Medina, who shockingly came in at #91 on Baseball Prospectus’ top-101. This, to me, is just an awesome draft and a great use of non-premium picks.

In other words, the deeper you get into a draft, the less and less separation between players. We’re all throwing darts, but the bulls eye starts to shrink. So the difference between a fourth round pick and 10 assorted guys who will go undrafted and be picked up after the draft is slim. Why not take cash for those picks then and just add the undrafted guys for free?

Thought #6: The Wilfred Brimley Fightin’ Diabeetuses had a really good draft too. He tabbed Mickey Moniak and Delvin Perez in the first round, then took the lead on Rockies’ pitcher Riley Pint. That’s a lot of talent to take away from the draft. Pint’s a huge risk, obviously, but it’s not like he’s guaranteed to be in Colorado forever.

Thought #7: I like Senior Squids grabbing Zack Burdi in the last round. Relievers probably aren’t worth big salaries in our league right now, but he could be a closer in Chicago as soon as this year and costs nothing, then be $1 next year. Getting MLB-ready RPs in the draft seems like a good cheat code at the position assuming they perform decently.

Thought #8: The first player I didn’t immediately recognize was Daniel Gossett, who We Talk Fantasy Sports took in the back half of the second round.

Thought #9: Speaking of WTFS, they took Zack Collins with the 9th overall pick. He’s a catcher that is probably destined for 1B, which would obviously hurt his value. But I’ll be honest: if Nick Senzel had gone first, I was taking Corey Ray and then Collins. I obviously like guys that are close to the majors, and Collins provides extra value at catcher and his bat would play, at worst, as one of the two UT positions.

Thought #10: Shocker, Jordan took pitchers! Jason Groome, the first pitcher taken, is young and a ways off but felt like the obvious choice at #8. Adding Braxton Garrett and Ian Anderson, two guys on most top-100 lists, was good value too.

Thought #11: I love the gamble of Dinelson Lamet to cap a strong draft by Hustle Loyalty Respect with the very last pick. He’s not a highly thought of prospect, but he’s posted big minor league K numbers, has made it to Triple-A, and have you seen the Padres rotation? If he can simply crack the big league rotation, it’ll be worth it. And if he’s anywhere around average, he’ll be cheap and have value.

Thought #12: Okay, one more quick compliment for HLR: I like the Andres Gimenez pick a lot. He spent $1 to trade up a few spots and probably didn’t need to, but whatever. This is an 18-year-old at rookie ball, so make of that what you will, but last year he walked 46 times and had only 22 strikeouts in 275 PAs. That’s just silly.

Thought #13: In the group chat, Chris of Preseason Double Stuffs balked at Trumpa Loompa’s pick of Wladimir Galindo in the fourth round, saying, “18, GCL, questionable bat speed. No thanks.” Two things: first, I had no clue who this guy was so I looked him up. Second: he’s apparently not 18, he’s 20 (he was 19 during last playing season). And he didn’t play in the GCL, he played for the Eugene Emeralds of the Northwest League. The Cubs don’t even appear to have a GCL team. Nice right hand man you’ve hired, Ferns.

Thought #14: In Line 4 the Win picked someone named Jesus Luzardo was drafted. It made me think of these guys.

Thought #15: I can muster no more thoughts at this time. We’re having grilled cheese and soup for dinner, I think. Soup is awful but grilled cheese is pretty good. I put pickles on mine. Goodbye.

Trade: Rocky Mtn Oysters | Preseason Double Stuffs

Preseason Double Stuffs sends: SP Lance McCullers ($30), 2017 5th Round Pick
Rocky Mtn Oysters sends: CF Manuel Margot ($1; cost controlled), SP Luiz Gohara, 2017 3rd Round Pick

Andrew’s thoughts: I like Lance McCullers, but he’s been hurt a lot and it’s hard to place trust in him to compile innings, at least in 2017. The most innings he’s thrown in a season was 125.2 in 2015. He only hit 81 last year. Is 150 a reasonable, maybe even optimistic, over/under for him in 2017? In a H2H league, can you trust him to be healthy come the postseason? The Double Stuffs need to cut salary, so someone had to go. Given the price here of a decent prospect and spare parts, I assume McCullers was a cut or at least on the bubble.

I mean, I like this for Dusty getting a talent like McCullers. I question a bit why he’s splurging his cap space on pitchers when that’s already his strength. Of course, McCullers probably has more re-sale value in season if he pitches well to start the year or even just after the auction, when people look at their teams and feel light on pitching.

But if the Double Stuffs were going to dump McCullers anyway, getting a cheap CF prospect with some upside is fine. The other pieces don’t amount to much, I don’t think.

Jordan’s thoughts: I think McCullers ends up being a bullpen pitcher, which in our league has some value, but not at that price tag. I’d probably shy away from paying his auction salary this year to see if I’m wrong.

I like Gohara for some reason. Probably because he’s in the Mariners organization and I hear his name more often than necessary. Is Margot going to amount to anything? Easy to pay $1 to wait and see for another year.  I like this deal for the Double Stuffs.

The deal could work out for RMO, the didn’t pay a ton for McCullers, besides the presumed auction price tag.

Trade: Rocky Mtn Oysters | Preseason Double Stuffs

Rocky Mtn Oysters sends: SP Hyun-Jin Ryu ($9)
Preseason Double Stuffs send: 1B Tommy Joseph ($5)

Andrew’s thoughts: At first glance, I thought I’d rather have Ryu on my team (particularly if I can get him for someone I’m going to cut), see if he’s healthy come February, and then if not, oh well, cut him. But I looked at some stuff and changed my mind.

Joseph posted a .342 wOBA last year in almost 350 plate appearances. Steamer projects him for a .334 next year. Fantrax projects him as a useful piece. I usually defer to the pitcher, but in this case, I’d rather roll the dice on Joseph. He’s a few bucks cheaper, hasn’t suffered through a million injuries, has a clear path to playing time, and is only 25-years-old. And Dusty’s offense looks very weak, so he could immediately be a contributor at UT and seems like a reasonable back-up at 1B for Hanley Ramirez.

I think I prefer this move from Dusty’s end. I imagine Ferns was going to cut Joseph, but I probably would’ve just kept him.

Trade: Team Hydra | Preseason Double Stuffs

Team Hydra sends: 2B DJ LeMahieu ($15)
Preseason Double Stuffs send: LF/CF/RF Derek Fisher, $5 2017 Auction Budget

Andrew’s thoughts: Love this for the Double Stuffs, who essentially traded Derek Fisher for DJ LeMahieu straight up, then gave the Rockies’ 2B a $5 raise.

LeMahieu made some crazy offensive strides last season — and not just in Coors (he had a .326 road wOBA) — that put him in the conversation as a top-8 or so 2B. Mainly, his walks and strikeouts both moved dramatically in positive directions. At $15, he’s an incredible value. Based on Steamer’s projection and my early auction calculator, he’s projected to be worth $31. So that’s a big swing. Still, he had an absurd .388 BABIP last year, so I think some regression is in his 2017. But even if he’s the guy he was in 2015, he’s worth $15 (or $20, however you want to look at it). Playing in Colorado pushes his floor up too.

For Hydra, they essentially make $20 worth of budget room, add an interesting prospect, and still have Steve Pearce and Jose Peraza (who is way more interesting in 5×5’s, but whatever) to man second. Their entire off-season has revolved to this point around keeping both Corey Kluber and David Price, so this trade works well to that end.

Fisher, meanwhile, is a good if unexciting get. Baseball Prospectus recently ranked him eighth just in the Astros’ system, but that’s largely because his defense isn’t very good. He may be a LF, which isn’t so unfortunate given how shallow that spot currently is. In that same ranking, they pegged him as a good dynasty piece, though one who’s probably more “ceiling” than “floor.” If your main objective is to purge salaries though, then getting a guy back who does have significant upside is a good gamble.

Jordan’s thoughts: I think Double Stuffs really got a great deal here. I could echo everything Bailey said, but I won’t. They paid a relatively low price for a very useful asset. They created value at the cost of a prospect and a couple of auction dollars.

For Team Hydra, their auction dollars are as valuable as anyone’s in the league. So from their perspective you have to love the deal as well. I would not want to have to sell players who have value for 70 cents on the dollar. But, being in that position, with the rest of the league knowing it, and still getting 70 cents on the dollar is really actually quite good.

There’s some chance that the prospect is good and a good value for Hydra. But, they don’t need him to ever reach the Majors for this deal to work. They got something for potentially nothing (if they were going to have to cut players who have value). Quite a score for them.

Bravo to both teams!

Trade: Preseason Double Stuffs | Team Hydra

Preseason Double Stuffs sends: SP Sonny Gray ($47), 2017 4th Round Pick
Team Hydra sends: 3B/SS Ryan Mountcastle (minors), 2018 2nd Round Pick

Jordan’s thoughts: There are two clearly different schools of thought circulating around. Either you believe there is some small value in cutting a player, or you believe you get nothing when releasing a player at the end of a season. I think both camps are ultimately right. However, I believe this deal is about getting whatever you can get for a player who has already given you nothing.

Sonny Gray, as you’ll read soon by Andrew, has done poorly. Ryan Mountcastle has done alright for a 19-year-old in A-ball. I’m not impressed with this return for a pitcher who at any point could return to glory. Sure, the draft pick bump counts, but not a lot. You’re now possibly stuck keeping a 19-year-old who is not on any kind of pace to see the Major Leagues prior to age 21 for three or four seasons. By the time keeping these kinds of long shots makes sense, you’re hoping Mountcastle is ready. We shall see.

I think the better strategy for our Oreo squad here, is to hold Gray until the bitter end. If you end up cutting him, great. If he finishes strong, $49 isn’t really that unrealistic. Maybe he regains trade value in the off-season. Maybe not, and you’re out a long shot and a pick upgrade.

Andrew’s thoughts: I realize Sonny Gray has been a disaster this year and could very well just be permanently broken, but I’d rather gamble that he finds himself the rest of this season and makes keeping him a possibility and then just cut him if he doesn’t than punt him for a second round pick two drafts away.

Gray’s xFIP is only up by 0.41 and his HR/FB is more than double what it’s been in any other season, so there are some indicators that he’s just been getting the worst possible bounces. His .321 BABIP this year is .043 above his career average. His batted ball profile was always super lucky, so maybe that luck has just run out and he’s garbage now.

But let’s just say he turns a corner the rest of the year. Let’s say he starts 10 more games and averages 30+ points per start over that stretch. I’m not saying that locks him into being a keeper — he’s been so bad, it may not even move the needle — but at least you have the option. Finishing that strong could also make him worth something in trade again this off-season. I don’t necessarily think any of that is likely, but I’d rather gamble on those possibilities than on a draft pick in 2018 and a prospect three years (at least, probably) away from the big leagues who probably has a dozen or so comps sitting in free agency.

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.