Trade: In Line 4 the Win | The Foundation

 

In Line 4 the Win sends: SP Adam Wainwright ($28), LF/CF/RF Josh Reddick ($7)
The Foundation sends: SP Zach Davies ($4), 2018 1st Round Pick, Player to be Named Later (SP Braxton Garrett)

Andrew’s Thoughts: I like this for The Foundation. I think trading Wainwright at $28 for Davies at $4 plus a little kick back makes sense for IL4W. They get the cheaper, younger guy in that scenario. Honestly, they could’ve traded Wainwright for Davies straight up and I wouldn’t have loved it, but it’d make sense from a budget, long-term team building standpoint.

But Josh Reddick is what tilts this deal for me. He’s cheap, qualifies at all three outfield spots, and is currently averaging over six points a game. He’s had some platoon issues in the past, but he kills RHP, so he more often than not provides value. And this year he’s even hitting lefties.

Meanwhile, the pick going to IL4W currently projects to be 13th. I guess that gives IL4W four first rounders next year, so they can dominate the draft, but what are the odds they land someone better than Reddick with that pick? And again, Reddick is cheap. This is where I think the cost control thing gets blown out of proportion. Is a free/cheap teenager that could pretty easily be nothing really that much more valuable than a proven, solid performer that costs less than $10? I don’t really think so. If you’re rebuilding, maybe it makes sense, but I think making that same type of bet enough times just prolongs your rebuilding process.

The player to be named later aspect is fun. Braxton Garrett is broken though. He had Tommy John surgery near the end of June. He’s also 19-years-old and has all of 15.1 IP at Single-A. He’ll probably miss most or even all of 2018. He was at one point a top-100 prospect, but the lead time and risk makes me feel like you could just as easily find a guy like him off waivers. Also, while IL4W can acquire him once minor league rosters expand, they also have a ton of draft pick ammunition, so unless they funnel off those picks to acquire major league talent, they’ll eventually be cutting prospects to make room for Garrett and their picks.

Hustle’s Take: I agree with almost all of what Andrew said… THIS time so I’ll just interject with a few points that haven’t been addressed.

While I hear the notion that “this draft is weak”, I do think come 2018 minor league draft, guys will start to receive hype and some of the guys will have 1/2 a season of pro ball and some of the cream will rise.  I think there will be some good values in the first round that may not seem super obvious right now.  That being said, IL4W has 4 picks in the first round and 7 overall (none after round 3). That seems like overkill unless you just love the draft. I’d expect Aaron to be never busy during the draft.

Wainwright was unkeepable last year at 50 or so dollars. It’s not crazy that if he finishes the year strong, he’s worth keeping at 22 or shopping to someone with a lot of cap space. Mike Leake wasn’t someoneI wanted to keep last year at 16 and he was moved for a buck, kept, and has done very well.  For Jordan, the problem with Wainwright (as I see it), is he’s hard to use as a matchup play. There doesn’t seem to be a ton of rhyme or reason when Wainwright has a great game or blows up based on matchup. That’s frustrating as an owner.

That’s also not to say I don’t like getting Wainwright, because Jordan didn’t pay a ton. Zach Davies was a nice sleeper heading into the year. Ks are down, HRs are up, Walks are up.  Maybe he puts it together in the second half and becomes a cheap multi year keeper for IL4W.

I’m all for sexy assets when you’re out of it, but didn’t see much here. If Davies and/or Braxton Garrett are your guys, then this is a fine grab. Wainwright and Reddick are a pretty huge boost for Jordan, and one or both might be keepable…. so that’s a big win.

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.

2016 Auction Review – The Foundation

The Foundation

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It takes a real piece of work to attempt to write objectively about their own team. I was going to try to do, but everyone knows I will not do it anyway. Please email Bailey with your critiques, he forwards them to me with a tip of poison. That being said, I’m quite excited about my draft, I think I did really well despite missing out on my initial targets of Mike Trout and Bryce Harper (I have a hard time writing anything at all and ignoring Bryce).

Hitting – Good

Paul Goldschmidt is a contender to finish as the best hitter in the league. He finished second last year, and there is little reason to believe he does not compete for that title this year. Adam Jones, Alex Gordon and Kole Calhoun round out a solid outfield. Derek Norris is a sneaky catcher value as he plays more and more at first base. Justin Turner‘s red beard is as fierce as his value. There’s a huge hole at short stop, I can can be heard talking up Jean Segura last year on another podcast, and I was wrong. I don’t plan on being smart here, he was just the last one left. I hate Ian Kinsler so he’ll either give me more reason to hate, or probably he’ll continue his vodoo and be good. I can hate him for being good. Byung-ho Park is the x-factor in this line-up. He fills in at 1b and the primary utility hitter. Is the power for real? So far in spring it seems to be. Two years ago I reached for an unknown Jose Abreu. Here is to hoping I did not get too cute on my own.

Pitching – Great

Chris Sale was the pitching prize left on the table. He’s quite good. Felix Hernandez had a down year last year with his lingering injury issues that he choose to pitch through, but he was still crazy good. Jon Lester can’t pick guys off, but he’s a great pitcher otherwise. The bullpen isn’t amazing, but it’ll score more points than most other bullpens in this league. Relying on getting a fifth guy from Doug Fister, James Paxton, Bartolo Colon and Zach Davies seems like a safe bet. Brandon McCarthy and Brett Anderson could be refreshing additions to the team after they return from the disabled list. Gio Gonzalez is the weird fit in this rotation. He’s uncomfortable as your 3rd SP, but probably overqualified as the 4th SP. A good problem for me to have, last year he was let down by the Ian Desmond led Nationals’ “defense”.

Depth – Good

I am pretty in love with myself my pitching staff in particular. My hitters are also position flexible and good enough to start in a pinch. If Dustin Ackley does not win a daily job in New York, things get hairy pretty quickly. I’m giving myself credit for knowing that after I add the three or four guys to the disabled list that I took, I’ll be able to snag a few worthy players from the current waiver wire. Probably not fair, but you’ve already quit reading

Why 2016 would be bad… 

Well if those knocks happen to come, andthe pitchers I’m hoping to be able to sit on don’t come around. Yikes, things go to hell really quick. I have already ran through various scenarios to see where my team would be if Sale and Goldy are gone. It is not impossible to be good 2016 yet, but that might be enough to sink this team. Will I find myself in an early position to reload for next season?

Why 2016 would be good… 

Goldy is a top 5 hitter, there’s two top 10 starters between Sale, Felix and Lester. Those two accomplishments will carry this team from good to great pretty quickly. That is not asking a lot. The rest of the roster is in great shape and has room to take a few knocks.