Trade: TBD | Who’s Your Haddy?

TBD sends: $4 2017 Auction Budget, 2017 4th Round Pick
Who’s Your Haddy?¬†sends:¬†2017 3rd Round Pick

Andrew’s thoughts:¬†So TBD traded four bucks to move up and draft San Francisco Giants outfielder Heath Quinn. I’d never heard of Quinn, so obviously I’d rather have the four bucks, but I trust and defer to TBD’s prospect judgment here (and Beach Bum said he was poised to take Quinn, so it’s a good thing TBD jumped to get their guy).

Jordan’s thoughts:¬†I just like that deals like this are getting made now. I feel like $4 would have bought the moon last year, I think the market has corrected itself a bit. Hooray for that. Nobody wins or loses here.

Trade: TBD | Who’s Your Haddy?

Who’s Your Haddy? sends:¬†CF AJ Pollock ($54), CF Lewis Brinson (minors), 2017 2nd Round Pick
TBD sends: SP Zack Greinke ($80), SS Willy Adames (minors), 2017 4th Round Pick

Andrew’s thoughts:¬†I don’t love Greinke at his price or Pollock at his, but their track records are certainly cause for optimism. But man… was Greinke even getting kept? TBD was tight against their budget, he’s really expensive, and he’s coming off a discouraging year. I think it was like 60/40 he was getting sent to auction. So trading Pollock, a top-25-ish fantasy prospect, and a pick upgrade for him is a lot given that so many players that were going to end up cut seem to have been dealt at discount prices. I mean, within this same off-season, Greinke was already dealt straight up for David Peralta. So this looks like a really great short term investment for TBD.

The difficulty¬†with Greinke or any $80 player, really, is that they have to be elite to return value. And I love Greinke historically. I’d rather gamble $80 on him than some other guys and I think every now and then you have to roll the dice on guys that have been great year in and year out. But still, it’s a big gamble.

And I sort of hate to do it, but because it was such a hot button deal when it went down, I have to circle back to it: Pollock was originally acquired, along with David Dahl, for Mookie Betts. Remember that? Pollock was hurt and Betts at $61 seems totally reasonable, so at the time, everyone was just so taken aback. It looked so much like a deal to save some cash and turn attention to 2017, which is fine. But here we are, and now Pollock got swapped for Greinke, who is $10 more costly than Betts. It’s just really hard not to connect these two. It’d be different if Pollock was healthy at the time, but his arm was broke and he was effectively done for the year, so there was no other way to look at it then “eyeing 2017.” Dahl still came of that deal, and with Coors setting his floor, he looks like he’ll be solid. But Brinson’s a similar prospect, right? Worse park, obviously. But a year or two from now, might Brinson and Dahl be interchangeable? Maybe, maybe not. The point is, including Brinson kinda chews into some of the value of Dahl from that original deal.

But that’s a totally different trade. For this one… I just really prefer the TBD side. Their pitching can absorb not having to take the Greinke gamble. Pollock should be good. Brinson should be decent at some point. I like Willy Adames, but shortstop isn’t as weak as it once was, so how much is his playing there really worth? And jumping up two rounds in the draft is just a nice bonus.

Jordan’s thoughts:¬†Haddy gets another play that I really enjoy and like. Greinke. He’s awesome. But, what in the fuck are you doing here man? I believe Greinke bounces back, but Pollock should too right? There’s just something going on here. What does Haddy know that I’m not seeing? I’m lost.

Is Willy Adames the secret? Is his stock rising or something? Guh.

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: TBD | Capital City Ironmen

TBD sends: 1B Chris Carter ($5), 3B Ryan McMahon (minors)
Capital City Ironmen send: 1B Mike Napoli ($10), SP Franklyn Kilome (minors)

Jordan’s thoughts:¬†Mike Napoli received the most greed votes for Capital City.¬†This obviously identified, for Bailey, that he had something worthwhile on his roster left.¬†So he promptly¬†jettisoned this undervalued good player¬†for a player who was recently designated for assignment because his major league team decided they wouldd rather not have a first baseman over¬†paying Chris Carter a small sum of seven million dollars. Classic Bailey move.

In all honesty, they swapped mediocre players and mediocre prospects probably due to boredom.

Andrew’s thoughts:¬†The Brewers dumped Chris Carter this morning, so he’s in as much free agent limbo as Mike Napoli now. I think Napoli’s perceived as the safer free agent gamble,¬†but they’re very similar players — especially for fantasy purposes. They both walk a good bit, strike out a ton, and hit for power. Last year, Carter had a 0.3% better¬†walk rate, Napoli had a 1.9% better strikeout rate, and Carter had the superior wOBA by .03 and the better wRC+ by 1. So… same guy. In fact, here’s a chart:

Same guy!

So I felt like, what the hell, going from Napoli to Carter saves me $5 and gets my roster five years younger.

Between Ryan McMahon and Franklyn Kilome, meh, I’m just hedging on a prospect that might get to play his home games at Coors Field one day. He’s blocked at third by Nolan Arenado though, so who knows. Kilome has the greater upside, but he’s also further away and comes with significant risks. Swapping two prospects like this is essentially flipping a coin.

As a funny side note, go look at who TBD put their greed dollar on for my team.

Trade: TBD | Capital City Ironmen

TBD sends: C Russell Martin ($20), 2017 5th Round Pick
Capital City Ironmen send: 2017 2nd Round Pick

Andrew’s thoughts:¬†I don’t love the $20 salary but it’s tough to argue with the consistent production of Russell Martin. Here are his ranks at the catcher position over the last six seasons, working backward from 2016: 8th, 3rd, 4th, 11th, 10th, 8th.

The catcher position sucks. Being the 10th best catcher isn’t a special accomplishment. But last year, I opted to punt the position with platoon players and free agent streamers¬†and it was just a horrible mess.

I started¬†Alex Avila and¬†Dioner Navarro, the White Sox tandem that had decent career platoon numbers, a combined 101 games at catcher. I figured one of them would be in the lineup every day and they’d combine to produce mediocrity which, because it cost me nothing, was fine. But the active, starting catchers in my lineup (Avila, Navarro, and random scrap heap guys) last year scored 358.15 points and averaged 2.94 per game. That’s really just embarrassing. Twenty three individual catchers scored more than that. Gary Sanchez played in just 53 games and Willson Contreras and Sandy Leon played in fewer than 80 a piece and they scored more than that. Martin¬†was garbage all of March, April, and May (which I don’t think he’ll do again and which I think suppressed some of his perceived value right now) and still totaled 628.4 points. He outscored my catchers by 270.25 net points.

So, for me, it’s pretty much that simple. I’ve got cap room to spare. I’ve still got four of the top-11 minor league draft picks, and my rankings start to feel really boring around the 15th¬†spot anyway.

Jordan’s thoughts:¬†C

Trade: TBD | Rocky Mtn Oysters

TBD sends: RF David Peralta ($19)
Rocky Mtn Oysters sends: SP Zack Greinke ($80)

Andrew’s thoughts:¬†Coming into the 2016 season, David Peralta was one of my favorite players. He broke out in a massive way the season prior, posting a .380 wOBA, which was good for a 12th in all of baseball. He only had a .299 wOBA against LHP, so he was still a platoon option, but at least he was destroying RHP. His batted ball profile also looked great: a meager 13.3% soft hit rate flanked by a 35.4% hard hit rate. Only 30 players hit balls harder than Peralta in 2015.

All that said, 2016 was a disaster. He came to the plate only 183 times and his wOBA dipped to a replacement level-like .308. Worse, while he got it up to .306 against LHP, his wOBA versus RHP plummeted to .309. But most of his pitfalls last year can be attributed to injury. His wrist ailed him all year and he eventually had surgery in August, which is the easiest explanation of what went wrong.

As a $19 bet for 2019, you could do a lot worse than Peralta. That salary is obviously way too much for a guy¬†with a wRC+ of 84, as he hit last year. But a wRC+ of 137 like he did in 2015? Or even a 109 like he had in 2014? For $19, you’ll take it.

DrivingTheBus

But while Peralta has easy excuses for his poor 2016, Zack Greinke really doesn’t. He had the oblique injury, but he did his DL stint and came back from it. He moved from Los Angeles to Arizona and that obviously hurt him. At home last year, Greinke pitched to a 4.35 FIP, a 4.54 xFIP, and had a K-BB% of 8.9%. Peralta’s injuries can heal. Only a trade can rescue Greinke from hitter’s park purgatory.

But even away from home, Greinke wasn’t his usual self. His road FIP was 3.88 and he gave up bombs at a 1.46 HR/9 clip. You put all these things together and you’re looking at a replacement level type pitcher.

Prior to 2016 though, Greinke was one of the premier starting pitchers in baseball. His $78 salary last year was perfectly fine. He’d had seven straight seasons where he posted a FIP of 3.34 or lower. So in trading for an $80 pitcher with Greinke’s history, TBD is taking a rather expensive gamble that last year was a fluke. And I don’t hate that gamble.

Even as bad as Greinke’s numbers looked, he still averaged 24.81 fantasy points per start. This is because he’s on the depth chart as an ace, he’s paid to be an ace, and so he’s managed like an ace. A rotation’s fourth starter may struggle through four or five innings and get pulled, but that won’t happen to Greinke often. He’ll stay in and grind through six or seven innings. His floor is pretty safe.

And while ideally, yes, you want $80 of value or more from a guy you’re paying $80 to, TBD can sort of justify Greinke just being an expensive safety valve with colossal upside when they’ve also got a $4 Tanner Roark, a $8 Jon Gray, and a $5 Steven Wright. Looking at it through that lens, you’re investing $97 in four pitchers ($24.25/each). ¬†And if Greinke struggles against in 2017, oh well, just cut him next year. For the short term though, I count six players, including Greinke, with $409 worth of salary — and that’s pre-greed allocation. So this is setting up be the stars-iest and scrubs-iest roster of them all.

I think this trade makes sense for both sides. Dusty absolutely had to dump salary and I can’t imagine many teams willing to give up anything significant for Greinke. TBD had been trying to sell Peralta for months, so clearly the market for him wasn’t strong. It’s very obvious that both of these players, given their 2016 seasons, are big time risks at their current salaries. So I also think you could very easily argue that both players should just be cut and sent back to auction.

Jordan’s thoughts:¬†My early projections still had Dusty keeping Greinke despite his poor 2016 campaign. Zack dipped down to his 2010-2011 levels of mediocre pitching. He has a well documented case of issues that aren’t related to his physical health which could be coming into to play here. He also has 2200 innings under his belt and could just be beginning his decline.

There’s a lot of if’s surrounding Grienke. I still like him to bounce back to the good, but perhaps not great level of performance. He does seem to stay mostly healthy, so you should be able to count on him starting all season. If you can get 28 fantasy starts of 27 points per start out of a reliable starting pitcher, $80 isn’t really that much to ask. A high price sure, but not a terrible one.

Giving up David Peralta here is not hard to do. He’s keepable at that salary, but its not a fun keeper in my opinion. Depending on how big the free agent auction pool will end up being this March, he could have probably gone for less than $10 or ¬†more than $30. Supply and demand is going to be an interesting experiment this off-season.

I don’t love or hate this deal for either team. Fun trade!

Rule Change Voting 2016

After giving it some thought, we’ve decided that staggering rule change discussion and voting is likely to be the clearest, most efficient way of doing this. Dedicating a couple¬†days to discuss, debate, and then vote on each rule allows the league to stay focused on one thing at a time and not get sidetracked.

Rules to discuss and proposals to vote on are listed below.

Results will be published here as they are determined.

As a reminder, it is NOT majority vote. In order for a new rule to be voted into policy, it must receive at least 10 votes.

One vote per team.

Expand postseason championship bracket from four teams to six.

  • Goal: increases odds of teams to make playoffs, thus incentivizing buying, de-incentivizing selling, etc. More playoff spots also keeps teams in the playoff race longer, i.e. wildcard spots in real life.
  • Proposal: expand championship bracket to six teams, where the top two teams that qualified for the bracket based on W/L receive a bye.¬†
  • Follow up: Changes to payouts for post-season would be rewritten and voted upon.

RESULT: Vote passes. Championship bracket will be expanded to six teams.

Adjust payouts based on playoff expansion.

  • Because of the change of the playoffs, there needs to be a chance in payouts, two options came from the discussion.

RESULT: 

Regular Season:
Most Points Scored: $150
Best H2H Record: $150

Post Season:
1st $850
2nd $400
3rd $250
4th $175
5th $150
6th $150
7th $75

Push trade deadline to mid-week.

  • Goal: Having the trade deadline on a Sunday kinda sucks, because people have shit to do and aren‚Äôt necessarily around on the weekend.
  • Proposal:¬†Instead of the end of Week 17 (Sunday), move the deadline up to Thursday of Week 17 at 11:59 PM/EST.

RESULT: Vote passes. The trade deadline will be moved to Thursday of Week 17 at 11:59 PM/EST.

Enforce a minimum number of starts per week.

  • Goal: We had a couple instances where teams only used four or five of seven starts, but ideally teams are using all or almost all of their allotment to compete.
  • Proposal: Minimum of six (6) starts per week, with a -15 applied to each start that goes unusued below that number. Setting it to six sets a baseline for competitiveness but also frees managers up to ‚Äúprotect‚ÄĚ big leads over the weekend by not risking using a seventh start that could go haywire.

RESULT: Vote cancelled. No start minimums will be enforced at this time.

Simultaneous Schedule

  • Goal: Create a balanced schedule atmosphere and further removing variance of luck involved in a week to week world.
  • Proposal: Creating a schedule where each roster faces off vs three other teams in the league per week. Each team would play each other team four times in a season. Each team would only manage the one lineup.

RESULT: Vote cancelled/proposal retracted.

Replace free agency with FAAB.

  • Goal: Make it tougher to stream players, add strategy, eliminate the first come/first serve aspect.
  • Proposal: Each team gets $150 worth of free agent budget. This is separate from a team‚Äôs auction budget. Use a blind bid system where highest bid wins. You pay what you bid (not $1 more than next highest bid). Minimum bid is $0. Winning bid does not become salary (you may keep a player you add next year for $5, plus they are eligible for greed — same FA system as 2016). Tie bids will be broken based on current standings. Bids process daily at 11 AM/EST (a single processing time makes it so that owners cannot simply wait for lineups, then poach available players who are playing that day). FAAB budget is not available for trade.

RESULT: Vote passes. A FAAB waiver system will used beginning with the 2017 season.

Prohibit adding free agents directly to the disabled list.

  • Goal: It is conceivable that a valuable player is unowned, gets added to their MLB team‚Äôs disabled list, then picked up by a team and immediately placed to the DL without a corresponding drop/penalty. Probably doesn‚Äôt matter but can‚Äôt hurt to vote on.

RESULT: Vote cancelled. No one seemed to care about this. There’s an easy option in Fantrax that prevents it, so we may just flip it on.¬†

Draft order decided by consolation playoff outcome.

  • Goal: To make the playoffs have meaning for more teams, to encourage year long roster management, to disincentivize bottoming out for a better pick.
  • Proposal: TBD pending possible playoff format change

RESULT: Vote cancelled. There was not enough support to move forward to a vote.

Lift the rule prohibiting minor leaguers (green flags) from being held on the 30-man major league roster.

  • Fantrax does not have anything built in that will police prospects being on the major league roster as “invalid roster.” Last year, we manually enforced a rule by spot checking rosters for prospects that had been held up for a week (one week was treated as a buffer for when a player gets unexpectedly sent down by his MLB team).¬†

RESULT: Vote does not pass. The manually enforced rule lives on.

Congrats Team Hydra

The inaugural¬†Dynasty Grinders regular season is over! Team Hydra edges out TBD on the back of recently traded Corey Kluber. We’ll never know if the 90 point swing was enough to sink TBD or not.

Hustle Loyalty Respect edges out the Trumpa Loompas to finish in 3rd place. We Talk Fantasy Sports topped Team Canada to win the second tier bracket. Who’s Your Haddy beat Rocky Mountain Oysters to win the third tier. Finally, In shorter line for the win topped The Foundation to win the Toilet Bowl bracket.

The first season was a real experience. I’m already looking forward to season 2! Have a fun off-season.

Trade: TBD | We Talk Fantasy Sports

TBD sends: LF/CF Charlie Blackmon ($28), 2017 3rd Round Pick
We Talk Fantasy Sports sends: SP/RP Michael Kopech (minors), 2017 1st Round Pick

Andrew’s thoughts:¬†I like this one for We Talk Fantasy Sports. They needed a centerfielder anyway because Byron Buxton sucks, but that need grew over the weekend when Buxton was demoted to the minors because of the lingering issue of him sucking. Also, WTFS has some guy named Andrew McCutchen. Enter Charlie Blackmon!

Personally, Rockies players frustrate me because you never know if they’re good or if Coors is just gassing them up. Often their home/road splits make them platoon players, but Blackmon has been good both in and away from Colorado. He’s got a .369 wOBA at home and a .350 on the road, though his career road wOBA is just .299. Maybe he’s just played at altitude long enough to finally be able to make the proper road adjustments.

Michael Kopech is a decent enough prospect and that pick is nice, but as of today, it projects to be 10th overall. Good, not great. Best¬†case for TBD, it’s probably eighth overall. I think I’d rather just have Blackmon. His salary is reasonable and he seems like a guy you can ride until the Rockies eventually trade him. They were slow to pull that trigger with Tulo and have been equally slow, if not slower, with CarGo. I imagine they won’t rush to deal Blackmon.

For TBD, I get it. Leonys Martin has been useful and Andrew Benintendi just got promoted and is indisputably the greatest baseball player that ever lived before ever actually accomplishing anything and an immediate marked upgrade over literally any other outfielder, so Blackmon was expendable. This way they free up some future budget space and get a couple assets. This trade works for both sides, I just like the side getting the finely priced proven commodity amid a playoff race.

Jordan’s thoughts:¬†I read the Benintendi line and immediately thought about the last player to have that tag… Buxton. So with that, Blackmon is a useful upgrade here. Paid a smallish price of a couple of future assets that may or may not be interesting. Seems like a great deal for both sides.

Trade: Team Hydra | TBD

Team Hydra sends: 2B Yoan Moncada (minors)
TBD sends: SP Corey Kluber ($82), RP Dellin Bettances ($14)

Jordan’s thoughts:¬†What a disaster. I get it. You have lots of aces. But, any veteran of fantasy baseball should be well aware, that come fantasy playoff time, pitching rotations change. Two-start weeks start to disappear. That’s why you want seven good and reliable starters, because when it counts (unlike MLB where you can get away with just 3), you need 6 (if you’re lucky) or 7 starters.

Yoan is an impressive prospect, I get it. He probably will see playing time next season. That’s not very helpful now. I don’t see the value in this trade even if TBD was not in the playoff hunt. Trading two real assets for one 21-year-old who is doing quite well in AA seems foolish. Sure, if Moncada comes up and is a top-5 2B, great, you’re sitting on a fat pile of value for a few seasons. However, sitting on players who have great value doesn’t guarantee a future dynasty. Far from it.

Championships require a good roster, great value, but most of all luck. Even if Moncada is a monster and a top 15 MLB fantasy hitter, you still need the other 29 spots on your roster to work out in any given season. And you took a great roster that has a real chance to win it all this season and bruised it hard.

Hydra gets way better here. I love this move for them. They probably can figure out how to keep both players, and they’ll provide more value in the next three or four years than Moncada. Easy move. EVEN IF THEY DON’T keep either player, their shot of winning the whole league just went up because they took from the team they’re tied with and added to their own. Brilliant.

If TBD wins it all anyway, great. “Better lucky than good” is something I hear all too often.

Andrew’s thoughts:¬†Maybe I’m just jealous because I tried to get Moncada and failed, but as soon as this trade popped up in my e-mail, the instinctual feeling I got was “man, prospects are way too valuable.”

I hate this move for TBD and love it for Team Hydra. Respectively, they are the third and fourth place team. They are clinging to the last two playoff spots. I realize TBD can simply fall back on Madison Bumgarner,¬†Jacob deGrom, Tanner Roark, et al now. But I just don’t love¬†punting an indisputable ace and the top overall relief pitcher at this juncture of the season. Granted, RPs aren’t super valuable, but still.

I get the logic. They rode Kluber long enough to get to this point¬†and¬†are in great postseason position with the most points in the league, thus giving them the tie-breaker should they finish with the same record as another team. They are now handing the keys to luck and in turn, getting arguably the best prospect in baseball. But I’m not sure they got enough for handing a direct postseason competitor two players of this caliber.

Oh well!

One other thing: I had forgotten what the original deal TBD made to get Kluber was and when I went back and looked… my god.¬†This trade somehow manages to make that one look even worse. And from TBD’s perspective, you could argue that since they got Kluber for essentially nothing¬†to begin with, he was just house money anyway. Their low initial investment in Kluber does make me like this move a little more for them.