Trade: Offseason Double Stuffs | Hustle Loyalty Respect

Offseason Double Stuffs send: 1B Greg Bird ($13)
Hustle Loyalty Respect sends: 1B Wil Myers ($19), 1B Colin Moran ($3; cost controlled), LF Starling Heredia (minors)

Andrew’s thoughts:¬†I used to be a big Wil Myers fan. But these days I feel kinda underwhelmed by him, especially at $19. I wish I still had the chart I made for Hustle that showed where Myers ranked on a Pt/PA basis up against other guys. We’ve talked about him a lot privately. I forget who was on there now, but Lucas Duda was for sure better. It just seems weird. And I get it, no one’s buying Duda (or whoever) in lieu of Myers just because of the rate stats alone. And there were other Duda-esque guys on that list that just require some platoon management. First base is deep and while Myers is effective, he just hasn’t been a consistent difference maker there. Doesn’t mean he won’t become one. If he gets some outfield eligibility back, that adds value. He’s still in his prime. In June 2016, he was so scorching hot that he was traded in a package for Bryce Harper. But since then, while he hasn’t gotten worse, he hasn’t gotten markedly better either. Over the last two seasons, he’s 15th among 1B’s in wOBA.

Bird, meanwhile, is interesting. He only had a WRC+ of 86 last year in a limited sample of 170 plate appearances. That’s awful. But Steamer projects him for a 122 this year with a .356 wOBA. He’s got a career .339 wOBA over 348 PAs and is two years younger than Myers. He’s riskier, for sure — haven’t even mentioned his injuries — but Hustle’s roster is in a spot where he can afford the gamble, I think. Granted, Myers is essentially his only 1B, so if the gamble fails, he’s going to potentially have a big 1B void.

And maybe you could argue the Double Stuffs need to gamble as well to climb out of the basement of the standings, but the fastest way to improve is to exchange risk for safety. It’s not sexy. In this case, they’re sending off potentially more upside in Bird for Myers’ relatively high floor, and are just shifting their risk to Colin Moran‘s swing changes and Starling Heredia‘s prospect profile. With only a $27 Maikel Franco (is he even keepable?) as their only real 3B option, gambling on Moran (who should unlock 3B quickly) while replacing Bird with Myers seems to have a potentially greater payoff than just gambling on Bird alone anyway. In order to get better, bad teams need to take gambles, but they also need to expand their portfolio of assets.

I guess I like it for both teams. I know Hustle really wanted Bird, so here you go. He’s got him. It probably looks like a slight overpay, but sometimes you pay a bit more for guys you really want. No big deal.

And I know Ferns is a competitive guy and hates losing, so while maybe Bird might have a higher ceiling than Myers over the long haul — Steamer projects him for a better Pt/PA than Myers next year, although it projects Myers to accumulate more points based on pure volume — this seems like a move that pushes his team’s floor up and still gives him ample upside. I think he’s more likely to be a bit more competitive in 2018 with this move, and being competitive now seems better than not.

Mostly, I’m just happy to see Hustle and Ferns in harmony together, at least until the next time Ferns forgets to start a seventh guy and Hustle calls him on it or until Hustle proposes some outlandish rule change.

Hustle’s less toxic $.02: If I told you I sent 100 Greg Bird trade offers this offseason to Ferns, it would not be an exaggeration by much if at all. A bet on Greg Bird is a gut call for me. One of my earliest lessons in fantasy is not to give up on players you love because of one bad season. I was big on him last year and not a lot has changed for me. Bird was a monster in spring training, his rookie year, once he got back from injury last year and in the playoffs. He was taking elite lefties deep with elite exit velocity. When evaluating trades it’s tough to separate enthusiasm with realistic expectations and Bird tows that line for me.

Colin Moran had 0 value a week ago, and while I think he’s big time sleeper this year, I would probably kick myself over and over again if Bird blew up and the reason I didn’t own him was Colin Moran. I’m torn on if Moran actually became a new player last year or he benefitted from being a 24 year old in AAA, I lean the fact that hes actually going to be a contributor next season. I like Heredia ¬†a lot too, but I have a lot of prospect outfielders I like as is.

I think Bird has a better shot to be a difference maker and ¬†I’ll bet some surplus to see if I’m right. The fact that Bird is 6 dollars cheaper and 2 years younger is also encouraging for his value, let alone potentially hitting between Judge and Stanton. That being said, I think Ferns got a very strong haul that improves his team right away.

 

 

 

Three Up Three Down – Carlos Santana

Carlos Santana signed a 3 year $60 mil deal with the Philadelphia Phillies, after 8 MLB seasons with the Cleveland Indians.  It was the Los Angeles Dodgers that signed him as an amateur free agent back in 2004, before trading him to Cleveland for Casey Blake, near the 2008 trade deadline.  He started out as a catcher, but by 2014 he would no longer play the position, moving to 1B/DH.

With the addition on Edwin Encarnacion last offseason, the Indians felt comfortable letting Santana walk in free agency.¬† They also just signed Yonder Alonso for 2 years and $19 mil, a bargain compared to Santana’s price tag. Cleveland also has two 1B prospects in Bobby Bradley and Nellie Rodriguez.¬† Both are big HR and SO guys.

Philly and Santana were not exactly a perfect match, but they worked things out.  The Phillies already have a future 1B in Rhys Hoskins, who took the MLB by storm this past summer, hitting 18 HRs in 212 PA.  That was a 58 HR pace!  Hoskins will turn 25 before the 2018 MLB seasons throws its first pitch and now has to share an OF with Nick Williams (24), Odubel Herrera (26) and Aaron Altherr (27).  There is also Tommy Joseph (26), who is likely to get his ABs at 1B.  The Phillies either have a trade in mind, or they just stunted the growth of some of their top prospects who might never reach their full potential.  Only time will tell.

Overall, the switch-hitting Santana has turned in a .363 OBP in nearly 4600 plate appearances since establishing himself as a Major League regular back in 2011, averaging 153 games played and 24 homers per season along the way. One would think that a move to a much more hitter-friendly environment, Philadelphia’s Citizens Bank Park, should help to improve his power output as well (though his .196 ISO in that time is already plenty strong). РMLB Trade Rumors

Let’s take a look at how Carlos Santana compares to other 1B and the rest of the league over the past two seasons. We will look at HRs, ISO, wOBA, OBP & BB%. When sorted by each category, we will find Santana and then list the players ranked 3 spots above and below him.

Home Runs

Of the 22 qualified 1B, according to FanGraphs, Santana ranks 10th over the last two seasons in total home runs with 57.  The average total is 51.2 with a high of 80 (Edwin Encarnacion) and a low of 18 (Joe Mauer).

$92 Paul Goldschmidt 60
$66 Jose Abreu 58
$19 Wil Myers 58
$31 Carlos Santana 57
$75 Miguel Cabrera 54
$19 Hanley Ramirez 53
$3 Ryan Zimmerman 51

*2018 Salary

Zimmerman’s 51 HRs for $3 is the highest $/HR at 1B – 17.¬† Goldschmidt ranks last at .65.¬† Santana ranks 10th at 1.84.

16 of the 48 qualified hitters with 50 home runs over the last two years are 1B eligible.

There are 131 qualified bats according to FanGraphs.  Santana ranks 32nd in HRs since 2016.

ISO

Santana ranks 9th of 22 at 1B.

Only 7 1B eligible players have more XBH than Santana over the last two years.

Santana ranks 30/131 eligible bats in the MLB since 2016.

The Phillies new 1B ranks 25th overall in XBH during his final two years with the Indians.

wOBA

Carlos Santana ranks 10th in wOBA at 1B.

He ranks 31st out of 131 eligible bats at all positions.

OBP

Santana ranks 9th in OBP at 1B.

He ranks 31st out of 131 eligible bats across all positions.

BB%

Carlos Santana ranks 7th in BB% since 2016.

He ranks 10th in the MLB with Mike Trout, Bryce Harper, Josh Donaldson and Jose Bautista being the only non 1B eligible.

When looking at these five categories and focusing on just 1B, Santana ranks very similarly to Goldschmidt, Abreu, Cabrera & Belt.  When you take it into the league, of 1B that cost at least $20 and have scored a total of 1,000+ fantasy points over the past two seasons, Santana has the 2nd highest fantasy points per dollar, behind Belt, while Goldschmidt & Cabrera sit at the bottom.

 

Trade: Senior Squids | Hustle Loyalty Respect

HLR sends: SP Joe Ross ($16), SP Jose De Leon ($1), 2018 4th Round Pick
Senior Squids sends: 1B/RF Wil Myers $17)

Andrew’s thoughts:¬†Joe Ross gets annihilited by left handed hitters (.408 wOBA!) and his value was very questionable a week ago before having that one awesome start against the Manny-less, Jones-less Orioles. His game log is weird. He’s either had great starts or disastrous starts this year. There’s been no in between. Jose De Leon is hurt or something, isn’t he?

Don’t get me wrong. I like Ross and De Leon well enough. I loved Ross in particular before the season started. But a year ago Wil Myers was the key piece to buying Bryce Harper. He’s young, cheap, and good. I mean, I guess downgrading at first from Myers to a platoon of Trey Mancini and Danny Valencia is fine in the short-term. It’s not a death blow. Mancini’s BABIP is elevated and 25% of his fly balls are going for homers. He just… doesn’t feel real to me yet. And if he’s not real, what happens when you’re relying on Valencia, who was dumped on waivers fairly recently, to hold down your 1B fort?

I don’t know. I guess it could work out either way. Myers doesn’t strike me as an untouchable, transcendent type guy, and the way hitters are exploding right now, it seems like you could find production similar to his much easier than you could find two wild card pitchers.

I guess that’s sort of my underlying feeling here too. In the last week, Squids has gone bonkers for pitching despite an offense that entered this week ranked 11th in the league. I’m not sure that in 2017 you can trust pitchers to carry the day anymore. Offense is the safety net now, and this move would in theory weaken an offense already struggling to stay afloat by going from Myers to two guys you’d probably rather see as back-ups. But who knows, I think Squids has some more moves in the pipeline, so we’ll see.

Trade: The Foundation | Senior Squids

The Foundation sends: 1B/CF Wil Myers ($12), SP James Paxton ($3), LF Jesse Winker (minors), C Mike Zunino (FA)
Senior Squids send: CF/RF Bryce Harper ($109), SP Jaime Garcia ($16)

Andrew’s thoughts:¬†Independent of all else, I like the three-headed package of Wil Myers, Jesse Winker, and James Paxton. I’m a pretty big Myers fan and as he’s just 25-years-old and in the midst of what appears to be his breakout season (he’s very quietly a top-40 overall fantasy hitter), see him as a better bet than¬†most any prospect. He’s $12, but that’s really a fantastic¬†price for what he’s doing and the potential he has. His only big question marks¬†are¬†his ability to stay healthy and how much appeal he loses after this season, when centerfield eligibility is gone and he may only be able to slot in at 1B. There are positive question marks too though.¬†If the San Diego Padres opt to blow their team up — and they should — Myers is their one big chip. They’re more likely to try to build around him, but their roster is so bad that odds aren’t good they can re-build it in time to compete with him still on it. If he gets moved to any other ballpark, he ticks up.

Winker’s a nice piece whose bat should play up at Great American Ballpark, which may as well be the Midwest’s Coors Field. I’m only slightly down on him because he’s likely a left fielder only, and LF might be the easiest position to fill. That’s nitpicky. And Paxton is, to me, a fine dice roll as part of a package heading to a rebuilding team. He costs $3 now and $5 into 2017, which is basically nothing, and does have some track record of MLB success.

Having said all that, I don’t think it’d be unrealistic to see those three players swapped for $16 Jaime Garcia alone. Granted, I’m a big Garcia fan. I’m likely the high guy on him in our league. And I know he’s super prone to injury and has scuffled over his last four or five starts. I’m not saying Myers/Winker/Paxton for Garcia is perfectly even, but if that trade gets consummated, I’m not really scratching my head. You might see where I’m going with this.

I haven’t gotten to Bryce Harper yet.

To me, this is another example of Harper being undersold. I just don’t think there are enough pieces. Or maybe there are too many pieces, with Garcia being the superfluous one. Obviously, if I think the return¬†(I’m considering Zunino a throw-in and nothing more) is a fair trade for just the guy being included with Harper, I can’t justify saying the package is good enough for Harper alone, much less Harper and a 27 point per game starting pitcher that only costs $16.

Maybe Myers/Winker/Paxton is an okay baseline for Harper, all factors considered. It just looks, to me at least, like Garcia was dumped in here for free.

Again, I don’t think Myers/Winker/Paxton is a bad¬†starting point. Maybe there are so few pieces so as to keep negotiations simple. But I once again think Harper was sold without the seller sapping every possible morsel of value. I don’t care that Harper costs $109 now and will be $111 next year. He’s so transcendent a talent, you can make that work. I also look at Squids’ roster and see plenty of easy cuts that could be made to keep Harper (with $2 raises, the combined salaries of Revere, Parra, Martin, Grichuk, Inciarte, and Colabello will be $108 in 2017, or $3 less than just Harper), so it’s not like — especially in June — clearing his salary was an urgent matter.

Over the next three seasons, The Foundation has six second-round picks and a first-round pick in 2019. If I’m Squids, I want to tap into¬†those. I want Jeff Hoffman, a cost-controlled pitching prospect with enormous talent who will have to throw in an admittedly crappy home park, too. I probably want Brett Anderson, a perpetually injured $2 pitcher that can be safely stashed on the DL and decided on later. I want Zach Davies, a decent $2 flier that could provide depth to my rotation. I’d like to snare one more prospect piece as well, maybe Braves’ minor league shortstop Ozzie Albies, who reached Triple-A at just 19-years-old. Squids is also down $20 of auction budget next year. Why not ask for The Foundation to reimburse some of that?

The point is, I think once you’ve got the key components of a Bryce deal ironed out (Myers/Winker/Paxton), you can probably ask for all or most of those things and get them included without it grinding all the gears to a halt. That’s not nickel and diming. Most of those things listed above aren’t hot commodities that would’ve hurt Jordan to part with. But if you’re selling one of the most prized pieces in the game (plus a solidly above average pitcher!), you need as many potentially useful pieces as possible. I wouldn’t necessarily advocate holding out for every last drop every time you make a trade, but when you’re trading Bryce, or Mike Trout, or Clayton Kershaw, etc, then yeah.

Interesting to note: to date, Harper, who like Myers will also likely lose CF eligibility after this year, has been worth just 43.2 more points than Myers. Come the end of the year, I expect that gap to be significantly larger and I realize that using just net points is a rather dumb measure of anything. But¬†Monday morning we’ll be exactly halfway through the regular season and barring a monster weekend, Harper will only be something like 4-5 points/week better than Myers, but¬†with a salary $97 higher. Just interesting, is all. I guess the point is that Myers is really quite a valuable asset.