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.

2015’s starter roulette round up

Continuing on to squeeze as much use..full?less? information from the Baseball Referenceā€™s Play IndexĀ I wanted to answer this question. If you did have some choices from the free agent pool for the start you need to pick up, because you planned poorly for the bad luck that was inevitable, which match-up should you choose?

Great question! 2015 offered a nice spread of teams. If the pitcher you looked at picking up was facing off versus the Toronto Blue Jays, don’t!

17.16, All 162 starts taken against the Blue Jays line up last year averaged out to be poopy day. There is so many negative starts here. They include some names too. Poor Chris Tillman was basically a tee for the Blue Jays going negative four times. Rick Porcello, Garrett Richards, Michael Pineda, JA Happy, Taijuan Walker among a couple dozen others all had really bad days versus this lineup.

There were eleven teams though that gave opposing pitchers easy days. If you were looking for a pitcher who was facing off the Phillies or Padres? That was likely a better outcome. 28.8 and 28.2 respectively, were the average point totals for starts against those line ups.

White Sox, Brewers, Twins and Marlins all averaged 27 points per start against, and the Angels, Braves, Rays, Pirates and Cardinals round out the better than average start against group.

The most surprising team on this list for me was the Mariners coming in at 22.12 points per start against. Looking at their list a bit delivers some serious outliers. Jeremy Guthrie’s -51 makes an appearance here. Ross Detwiler, Collin McHugh, Eddie Butler, Jesse Chavez and Chris Tillman all went for more than negative 20 against the Mariners last year.

Last year you wanted to avoid the Jays of course, but also the Red Sox, Rangers, Yankees, Rockies (mostly in Coors), Mariners, Dodgers, Nationals (unless Harper was out), and Indians.

Looking ahead to next year, some of those lineups project to be better or worse, but there might be some data worth considering early on if you need a week two or three emergency start.

Avoid Joey Bautista and friends.

Average Points Per Start Vs Each Team

TOR 17.16
BOS 20.72
TEX 21.29
NYY 21.37
COL 21.97
SEA 22.12
LAD 22.25
WSN 22.51
CLE 22.88
HOU 23.39
BAL 23.52
SFG 23.60
DET 23.80
OAK 23.85
CHC 23.87
NYM 23.89
ARI 23.96
CIN 24.66
KCR 24.67
STL 25.39
PIT 25.69
TBR 25.73
ATL 26.55
LAA 26.56
CHW 27.05
MIL 27.25
MIN 27.39
MIA 27.49
SDP 28.20
PHI 28.80

2016 Auction Review – Team Hydra

Team Hydra

hydra

Hail Hydra! Buster Posey could end up being the steal of the entire draft. A player who’s easy guess for the best player at their position, top 30 hitter and should get extra playing time compared to his peers, all for under $50. Awesome. But why the backup catcher? Silly. Hitting on this team is top notch, full of value. Pitching was left on the cutting room floor apparently, and what value that was gained, was overspent on some reaches.

Hitting – Very Good

Posey, Prince Fielder, Nolan Arenado, AJ Pollock and Nelson Cruz are a great core of hitters. That is not something many should be able to argue against. All of them except for Posey, because of his limited playing time, are candidates for 1,000 point seasons, and possible top ten hitters. It could happen that they all do. After that it becomes much more dicey. The extra money spent on Jonathan Lucroy to be a utility man hurts. DJ LeMahieu is alright, Domingo Santana seems like a reach. Marcus Semien was another guy I thought was special last year, less special this year. This line is going to be hard to deal with as an opponent as those homers fly over the fence.

Pitching – Not Quite

David Price! Yes you have your ace. The only bad things you can say about him is that he has been pitching forever, he just got paid, and now he’s in Boston. Lots of variables. Either way good buy. Your number 2 is. Your number 3 is. Your number 4 is Julio Terhran, Wei-Yin Chen, Rick Porcello, Jon Niese. Your number 5 is one of those guys. Your number 6 is Rich Hill, Kyle Gibson or JA Happ. Jason Hammel and Chris Tillman are sneaky interesting. Ā Bullpen here is wet, sticky and hot garbage. All things aside. Hail Hydra bought high? low? on a slew of starting pitchers. I don’t particularly like any of them for the role they’re being asked to do.. This team is a solid #2 starter away from being a different story.

Depth – Very Good

I like the bench picks. Obviously Lucroy is unecessary but great insurance. Steve Pearce, Zack Cozart, Jose Peraza all seem poised to be good fillers on the infield. It should be easy enough to find a solid fourth outfielder, preferably moving Santana to that spot with an upgrade at left field. I love the pitching depth here. It goes on for days and they are all guys I covet like Scrooge McDuck covets gold coins.

Why 2016 would be bad…Ā 

If David Price goes down, things get hard really fast. If Prince Fielder cannot sleep and quits hitting again that’s a huge potential problem. Posey and Lucroy are both catchers with injury history, thatĀ isĀ unfavorable. Was Nelson Cruz in Seattle last year something we see more of, or has the boom stick run dry? It really does not take a lot to punch holes in this roster full of good players only.

Why 2016 would beĀ good…Ā 

The hitters here will just crush a lot and the pitchers are all happily average. Not spinning 30 point starts but rarely going below 20. The narrative is clearĀ to see, the staff is set for that kind of turnout. The hitters are locked and loaded. The team has pieces to move and could really bolster this roster without hurting this year, perhaps they do it.