Trade: Long Ball to LF | Marshall Law

Marshall Law trades away
SP Dinelson Lamet ($5; cost controlled)
RF Misael Urbina (prospect)
1B Pavin Smith (prospect)

Long Ball to LF trades away
SP Aaron Nola ($38)

BAILEY’S THOUGHTS

On the surface this trade looks lopsided. Aaron Nola is just 26-years-old, Steamer projects him as a top-15 overall pitcher in 2020, and he has consecutive 1,000+ point seasons on his resume. He checks every box as a top Dynasty Grinders asset (more on this in a moment). On the other side, there are two blah prospects and a spring training hype guy coming off Tommy John surgery who still carries a fair amount of reliever risk. This looks to be in favor of Marshall Law.

I do think it’s key to note the $33 savings here. This trade got Long Ball under $500 and that savings likely buys him at least another year of Kenta Maeda ($30), Michael Brantley ($29), or one of his higher priced pieces like Josh Donaldson ($77) or Zack Greinke ($67) that he’s been shopping. Those guys don’t show up in the Trade Accepted email, but they were no doubt a factor. My guess is, since Long Ball had listed all those guys on his trade block, there was zero interest across the board (because players that have salaries have cooties), so he ultimately sold whichever guy actually brought something back and that happened to be Nola. I’d argue the only “something” in this deal is Lamet, as the two prospects seem fairly disinteresting to me. Urbina is fine and has some long-term upside, Smith seems boring as a 1B-only with only 50 grade power. Whatever. It continuously blows my mind that upper tier players are traded in this league for churn-able prospects. Long Ball couldn’t get Vidal Brujan? Jazz Chisholm? As a rule of thumb, if a sub-$40 1,000 point player is traded, the prospects involved should really be guys Jordan has heard of before. Also, I probably would’ve rather just cut Maeda or Greinke or Brantley and kept Nola and missed out on Lamet. But the sum of Lamet plus whichever one of those guys would’ve been cut is probably close enough to Nola’s 2020 production to at least make the logical leap here.

I guess I’m mainly confused as to why a package headlined by Lamet and filled out by two prospects outside the top-250 was really the high offer.

Given Nola’s age, cost, and resume, he should’ve been coveted by literally every team, even the perpetual tankers. He was on the block publicly, so it’s not like his availability wasn’t known. I personally did not inquire on Nola, mainly because I’m sitting at $500 in keepers and The Bundle™ has ruined my mobility (weird how those rule changes that were met with such disgust ultimately did my team no favors), but I even sort of regret it now seeing this price. I could’ve probably afforded to punt a hitter to make room if push came to shove. If Long Ball waited until after auction, I would’ve probably thrown any prospects and picks he wanted at Nola and that terrifying $38 salary. Oh well.

How many other teams sat on the sidelines here? I guess people assumed the price would be too high and the mere thought of trading relevant prospects is unfathomable, but Urbina and Smith seem like fringe prospects at best right now. TBD and HLR will no doubt pick up far superior prospects for free throughout the season. Marshall will easily pick up better or comparable prospects to replace these guys himself. Even if Lamet meets his recent hype, Nola’s still likely to outscore him in 2020 and even teams like Senior Squids and We Talk Fantasy Sports and Who’s Your Haddy, who don’t intend to compete in the next half decade, should have been lining up here and could have probably beat this offer quite handily. You’re not getting a better asset than Nola at auction, so if that’s your game plan, good luck trying. If you were clinging to legitimate prospects out of fear of adding a whopping $38 in salary, well… whoops. And if you were out on Nola because you’re punting 2020, I guess I’m confused what the game plan is for 2021+ when you have no established good players in place when your prospects theoretically start getting promoted. The Bundle™ made Aaron Nola available for a low price and still no one with salary room took advantage? Hmm…

Overall, I like this deal for Marshall Law. If Lamet pans out, it probably buys Long Ball an extra player this year and next, maybe one more beyond that. For now I’ll gladly take the Nola side though.

Trade: Evil Otters | Marshall Law

Evil Otters trades away
Ureña, José ($5+)
Diaz, Yusniel (ML)
Brujan, Vidal (ML)

Marshall Law trades away
Cabrera, Miguel ($51+)

Jordan’s Thoughts: Miguel Cabrera is that old guy who seems to continue to be good. Last year he had a bad year. Injuries are painful. STEAMER projects him to be over 900 points again and I think that makes his price at $51 more then fair. Miggy’s ceiling seems potentially high to me as well.

Jose Urena was pretty good last year, scoring 846 points. STEAMER does expect some what of a step back, I’m not sure that’s warrented or not. Either way following Hustle’s rule of any starter under $10 being valuable. That’s an asset. Both Diaz and Brujan are prospects that on first glance of a fangraphs search both look pretty good. Brujan in A+ league last year looks really talented. 55 steals last year, but also has power and plate patience.

Marshall Law clearly rebuilding and the pieces he got back for Miguel Cabrera seem pretty great. I wouldn’t be surprised that the market for Miggy is pretty low and he got a decent haul. For the Evil Otters, you’re still getting a future Hall of Famer coming off an injury plagued year. Have to like the deal for both teams. I know that declaring a winner will make me look stupid in three years when I look back, so I’ll go ahead and do it now…. Evil Otters will regret trading Vidal Brujan (hi future Jordan!)

Andrew’s Thoughts: Here’s a fun fact: while playing injured last year, Miguel Cabrera put up a .360 wOBA and a 128 WRC+. All the Statcast and xStats stuff looked good too. I know he’s old, big-bodied, and brittle. I know that $53 pre-greed is a pretty sizeable cost. But as long as he’s on the field and playing, he’s still a damn good hitter and if you have any intention of winning, well, you need damn good hitters and I don’t really think you can twiddle your thumbs all off-season and hope you win one or two at auction.

I like that Marshall Law, who is rebuilding, was able to get two top-100 prospects and a serviceable, cheap pitcher back for him. And more than that, I like that the Evil Otters paid that price. Miggy is exactly the type of player that I felt would be hastily given away for practically nothing rather than a viable package, so I’m just happy to see this deal at all.

This seems like a win-win deal to me.