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.

Trade: Preseason Double Stuffs | We Talk Fantasy Sports

Preseason Double Stuffs sends: SP Ian Kennedy ($6), 2B Rougned Odor ($22)
We Talk Fantasy Sports sends: SP Tai Walker ($27), CF Odubel Herrera ($2)

Jordan’s thoughts: Have you seen what Ian Kennedy has done recently? He scored 43 last week despite giving up a homer. He want 7 deep and struck out seven. The strikeouts seem be working for Kennedy since signing with the Royals this offseason. He looks incredibly good. Two starts is hardly a sample size for a reasonable change in value, but at $6 and after two starts, this seems like a good buy.

Odor on the other hand has had a rough go in 2016 thus far. He’s not getting walks, the base hits will come, but they are not here yet. While there’s reason to believe the 22 year old will find his own and continue to grow as a MLB hitter, its unlikely that he is a keeper at season’s end for $24. He can fill the hole for now, but next year you want him at a lower price.

I really like Tai Walker a lot. Obviously I’m a biased Mariner fan who cannot get over Walker’s stuff. His first two starts this year have been alright, going six innings in both, four strikeouts a piece. Not awesome, but not terrible. He’s 23 and potentially still an ace. He was a top prospects not long ago. I like Walker to get better as he continues to learn how to pitch through an inning. I watch a lot of him, and I believe he relies on his stuff more than he needs to. If he can put it together he will be electrifying.

Herrera has been hot this year. 5.96 points per game for the Philles so for this year. You have to like that he’s walked 12 times in 13 games, has three extra base hits and a stolen base to boot. If the walk rate is legit, then Herrera is a big threat to be very valuable in this league.¬†Last year he got on base 34% of the time, a slight improvement is not unlikely, and there is reason to believe his batting average can come up.

This trade is harder to break down than most. I would much rather have the Walker/Herrera side, but the arguments that Odor (being much better than this) and Kennedy (being legit again) hold their own. Likely I see Walker being better than Kennedy, and Odor being slightly better than Herrera, but not by much. Win for the oreos.

Andrew’s thoughts: I think Taijuan Walker and Ian Kennedy may just be the same guy when all is said and done. They’ve both struggled some with consistency. Kennedy because of walks and homers, Walker because he’s young and young guys tend to be rollercoaster ride performers. I certainly don’t think Kennedy is $21 worse than Walker, particularly not pitching in front of that Royals defense. I’m not even sure Walker has more “upside” than Kennedy. Kennedy’s always been a high strikeout guy and he’s had some stud seasons — see 2011 and 2014 — so if he can resolve the walk/homer issue, there’s no reason to think he can’t make a huge leap. He’s only 31. He’s not old.

If you consider the pitchers roughly equal, then the Roughned Odor versus Odubel Herrera contrast is what makes or breaks the deal. And for me, I want Odor, though his $22 kinda stinks (hahahah get it?!).

Herrera was quite a breakthrough last year as a Rule 5 pick and has been even better this year. It’s super early, but he’s got a .366 wOBA, a 22.6% walk rate, and his ISO is up .025. All of that is good, but again: small sample. Either way, this was a 3.9 win player in 2015, so he’s quite good. That he only went for $2 at auction suggests he was viewed as a fluke, but his start to 2016 hints at maybe that being fallacy.

Odor, meanwhile, posted a March/April wOBA of .250 that sunk to .153 in May of last year. He’s at .284 two weeks into 2016, so he’s actually starting better than he did a year ago. But once the calendar flipped to June, Odor was a monster. His month-by-month wOBAs from June 2015 forward: .443, .405, .354, .304. Those are some superstar numbers. (To be fair to Herrera, he had a .415 in July.)

To me, this looks like a young player who makes adjustments. Maybe he’s just a slow starter. But the talent is in there.

Really though, Herrera and Odor are about as equal to one another as Walker and Kennedy, and the cash difference is there too. They play different positions, so for their acquiring teams, they can afford to make theoretical lateral moves if it means eliminating positional needs.

For next year, Kennedy’s price advantage over Walker is more alluring to me than Herrera’s advantage over Odor. I’d want the cheap pitcher.

So I think I prefer the Kennedy/Odor side myself, but it’s really close.

2015’s starter roulette round up

Continuing on to squeeze as much use..full?less? information from the Baseball Reference’s Play Index 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 – We Talk Fantasy Sports

We talk Fantasy Sports

wtfs

These guys talk fantasy sports and it shows. Their line up is solid, on the daily they should have good production from the offensive side of the ball. Without diving deep into it, clearly this team is the favorite for best bullpen. It might not be close for a dozen of the other teams. That will play out this season.

Hitting – Great

If you removed the names from this list and just looked at the numbers, you would probably see something closer to outstanding. However, I settled on great. Andrew McCutchen, Justin Upton and Chris Davis are all easy to pencil in for top five at their position. Adrian Beltre, Jason Heyward, Devin Mesoraco, and even Brandon Phillips could find themselves there at the end of 2016. The line up here is stacked with options. They found values here as well. That being said these guys have names. Chris Davis is what he is. Has been awesome, has been awful, which one did we get? Honestly at $46, he’s a candidate for steal of the draft. I love Beltre more than anyone else in this league, but he’s old even before you consider he was probably actually 18 when he got caught for being only 15 (great long con).

Pitching – Not quite

Can you believe it, the bullpen is bunching this rating up a notch. Craig Kimbrel, Ken Giles, Trevor Rosenthal and Jeurys Familia could expertly be shuffled to maximize those three spots in a way that all the other teams just can’t do. But that only goes so far. I love Taijuan Walker, but he’s still learning how to pitch. Raisel Iglesias is the hype man this year, will it pan out? Lots of things to like about Jordan Zimmermann (efficient innings eater), Michael Pineda (big game potential), Kyle Hendricks (trending towards good). The problem here just is, that there is five guys here you¬†would like to be your 3, maybe 2 in a pinch. Nobody here you really want to be your Ace or number two fantasy starter. Could that change? I hope so, go Tai Walker.

Depth – Good

I like the 4th bullpen option a lot. The bench guys at the starting pitcher spot could all spot start just fine. Even the hitters are¬†well filled out. He’s covered at every position likely three or four deep. That says a lot when skimming each day for as many points as possible without having to expose players to the waiver wire. I like what I see. This team has the opportunity to create its “own” luck from week to week.

Why 2016 would be bad…¬†

The pitchers here are¬†just okay, meaning they’re inconsistent. Its pretty awful when they’re spinning up starts like aces and following them up with 2 inning outings that cripple your week. This rotation outside of Jordan Zimmermann begs that question each and every start. Beltre might be X-factor here on this squad, he doesn’t have a clear backup and he needs to be good. Justin Upton is already hurt, does it linger?

Why 2016 would be¬†good…¬†

Things are great when the line up delivers and one of the starting pitchers make the magical leap to the tier one spot that pitchers tend to make. Odds are on Iglesias or Walker, but anyone of them could theoretically do it. It’s not impossible for this team to be good with a bunch of average starters, I’ve seen it done.