Trade: Senior Squids | The Wilfred Brimley Fighting Diabeetuses

Senior Squids trades away:

The Wilfred Brimley Fighting Diabeetuses trades away:

Jordan’s thoughts: Squids punches the ticket on three prospects who are or were recently on top 100 lists. The shine on Alcantara, Lewis and Jones is not as bright as it once was, but likely it is not all gone either.

In return, he gets two fairly priced starters. Both players are currently MLB free agents so there is definitely more than a healthy dose of uncertainty. In a vacuum I really enjoy this trade for Squids. You trade three prospects who might be useful, might not be, and turn them into players you should be able to bank on holding down 3B and C for you.

If you’re punting your season before Christmas like WBFD here, I guess tossing away two guys for three prospects is fine. I don’t love it, but its fine.

Andrew’s thoughts:¬†I like this one for the Squids.

Neither Mike Moustakas or Wilson Ramos are super exciting players but they’re the kind of players contending teams need and frankly, as cheap as they are, I’m not sure why WBFD didn’t just hang onto them. I can’t imagine buying better players for better salary at auction, and this trifecta of prospects strike me as guys that you hope develop into depth pieces rather than building blocks.

I mean, I get that WBFD is rebuilding. But this isn’t a move that slashes a ton of salary. Neither Moustakas or Ramos were in position to be cuts. They weren’t “take whatever I can get” salary dumps. Like, if you re-invest the $29 into a single player at auction, what is that likely to buy you? Adam Jones? Curtis Granderson went for $27 last year. Is a $29 Steven Matz plus these three prospects better than Moustakas and Ramos? Maybe! I don’t really know. These prospects just don’t excite me enough to want to dump proven major league talent for them and then have to gamble on getting decent replacement talent at auction.

Trade: Senior Squids | TBD

Senior Squids sends: SP Corey Kluber ($82)
TBD¬†sends:¬†C Gary Sanchez ($5), 3B Matt Chapman (minors), LF Peter O’Brien (FA)

Andrew’s thoughts:¬†This¬†just looks like theft to me.

Matt Chapman is clobbering minor league pitching, so there’s that. Scouts will tell you though: when it comes to minor leaguers, scouting the stat line is often a bad idea. But while Gary Sanchez and Peter O’Brien are “prospects” in real life, they are not cost controlled prospects here because they debuted in 2015. So to start 2017, which Squids is focusing on now, they’ll cost $5 (O’Brien) and $7 (Sanchez) — and that’s before potentially getting hit with any greed. Twelve bucks and two roster spots is an interesting investment. Those aren’t prohibitive salaries and ultimately five poorly distributed dollars won’t hurt you much. But the point of the cost control aspects for prospects is to mitigate against busts, which prospects do quite often. This is why I don’t like the idea of trading for a $32 Byron Buxton or for Sanchez/O’Brien here. There’s nothing padding you from these players busting. There’s no real incentive for risk.

To be clear: I don’t think trading for¬†salaried prospects is fundamentally wrong, but I don’t like making them the key cogs in a trade. If Gary Sanchez is an add-on to a larger trade, it makes sense because his salary isn’t so much an albatross that it’s not worth some¬†risk. But looking at this one, he’s like… the main piece.

Prospect lists are not gospel. I get that. But Chapman is¬†unranked on Baseball America’s list and Baseball Prospectus’ list (BP’s regular list as well as their dynasty fantasy list),¬†and ranks just 100th on MLB’s. Again, not gospel. You could argue that these rankings are altogether meaningless and I wouldn’t bother fighting you on it. But I’m just not sure how this is the only¬†prospect — and I’m defining the word here as cost controlled prospect in our league — in a trade for a pitcher of Kluber’s pedigree. I’m not sure how you send Kluber off without securing yourself¬†the type of prospect that is universally coveted.

With regards to Sanchez, he’s already being paid more than Wilson Ramos (#2 catcher), Yadier Molina (#5), Welington Castillo (#6), and Jason Castro (#12). It’s easy to say in hindsight just pick up those guys instead of acquiring Sanchez, but my point is just that all three of those catchers took years and years to be even serviceable options and still cost less than $5. Catchers develop slowly. The odds are good that Sanchez follows the same career path, except he’s already more expensive than them.

Sure, Sanchez has “upside.” But he just doesn’t strike me as a very good value. And that ignores all the catchers that are already producing and are priced more than Sanchez, but within just a few bucks. I still feel like in order for a catcher to be worth a lot, they have to be a Posey (or Lucroy!) type that really separates from the pack. Is Sanchez that guy? I don’t think he is.

Oh, and O’Brien sat in free agency for like six¬†weeks not that long ago. TBD added him on March 24, cut him on April 2, and added him back on May 16. Maybe that’s a bit like saying, six months after a draft, “well I took so-and-so in the secound round, I can’t give him up for this-or-that because you took him in the fourth.” Values change. But it warrants mentioning that for 43 days, O’Brien sat free to any team.