Trade: TBD | Who’s Your Haddy?

TBD trades away

  • Solak, Nick (prospect)
  • May, Dustin (prospect)
  • Adams, Jordyn (prospect)
  • Groshans, Jordan (prospect)
  • 2020 Draft Pick, Round 1 (The Process)

Who’s Your Haddy? trades away

  • Verlander, Justin $50

Jordan’s Thoughts

Justin Verlander is OLD. 36 is a high number for a baseball player and fantasy owners alike. However, this deal is about finishing this year strong. TBD currently in first place, is padding their roster for a deep playoff run. It is smart, makes sense, and its for a player that clearly makes a difference.

Verlander is currently 5th in highest points scored in our league. He’s averaging nearly 42 points a start. In a two start week, he can bury your opponent. He didn’t help Haddy enough, as the rest of your roster still matters, but for TBD’s duo, the rest of their roster was fine before they added Verlander.

For TBD making this trade is easy. Trading some of tomorrow’s lottery tickets for an actual top end upgrade for today is something you do every day. Prospects are easy to come by, teams need them, they’re nice to have, but this is the best way (in my humble opinion) to use prospects. To push to win. Waiting on them to mature is fine, you hope they make crazy weird jumps to relevance that makes you feel good and seem like a genius. But, none of us really know.

For Haddy, well if you’re out, these kinds of deals make sense. Verlander isn’t helping you win this year, winning is no longer a top concern. Verlander would help you win next year, however he is older, and he’s a pitcher and they break. If I’m Haddy I’m pretty happy with this return. He’s getting two top 100 prospects, May who’s a top 20, plus two other prospects who are better than interesting.

The two Jordan’s (Jordyn?) were first round top 20 picks in the MLB 2018 draft. Both grade out as 45+ FV guys with hit tools being their ticket. Betting on those guys is a good idea.

Dustin May (60FV) just got called up to AAA and will be tested by the new home run ball. So far in 2019 he has looked good and projects to be a middle of the rotation, perhaps potentially a top end starter.

Nick Solak (50FV) is also in AAA for the Rays/Expos and he walks and hits for power. He’s the classic profile I like to target for my hitters in these kinds of leagues. For me he looks like a high floor hitter, with a ceiling that potentially could be very sexy.

I like what Haddy got back, but he’ll miss Verlander next year when he’s going to push to get back into the playoffs again. TBD will have forgotten who these prospects are this time next year. They have shown time and time again their ability to reload the system cost effectively. Verlander doesn’t guarantee a championship, but it makes it harder for them to lose it.

Bailey’s Thoughts

Okay, so up front: Jordan’s already written his review, but I’m not going to read it first. So if I repeat anything he said, sorry.

In short: I love this for TBD and don’t understand it at all for Haddy. I really don’t.

Here’s the thing about this league, in my opinion: we’re in year four and there has, to my recollection, never been an “ace” starting pitcher at auction. Let me think. I think Luis Severino was in our second year, but he was just a random former prospect then. And are we confident he’s an “ace” currently? I’m sure not. I guess Zach Greinke, Madison Bumgarner, and David Price were the year before last. But is Price an “ace”? I think you want him as your SP2 or SP3, not SP1. Is Bumgarner an ace? I’d debate that, though he’s obviously good. Greinke’s an ace. So okay, in four years, one proven, surefire ace SP has made it to auction, and I think at the time there were looming questions about him. That’s the thing. These top tier starters do not hit auction. They don’t. Verlander won’t. TBD is 100% keeping him unless he suffers an injury, or I guess trading him.

I guess also, when I say “ace,” it’s kind of deceiving because it makes you think pitcher. I’m sort of thinking as just overall, elite player. Mike Trout doesn’t get to auction. Cody Bellinger doesn’t. Christian Yelich doesn’t. Freddie Freeman doesn’t. The only way you get these guys is by trading for them or by stumbling upon one.

Here’s what happens, time and time again: all the stud pitchers get sold for prospects because their salary or age is so terrifying. Oh no, Verlander is 36 and my goal is to build a dynasty that dominates for eight years in a row, gotta dump him. Then there’s 6-8 teams with $200+ of cap space to spend on the ace they assume will get cut, but instead, those 6-8 teams get to fight over Chris Archer or Dallas Keuchel or Buster Posey whoever. One of each of that tier of player gets dispersed to those 6-8 teams, but because those 6-8 teams gutted themselves to get a low salary, that one player doesn’t change anything. And also half those players bust because they were risky to begun with, thus being sent back to auction. Rinse and repeat. The year we had Greinke, Bumgarner, Price, and oh yeah, Shohei Ohtani, guess what? Four separate teams totaling $218 in salary. So if you’ve rebuilt down to $250 of cash to spend, you better: (a) hope there are four players like that at auction, (b) win two or three, if not all four, and (c) then hope the player actually pans out to be an impact player. Living the auction dream is scary shit.

I want very badly to know what the market was for a $50, starting at $52 to keep, Justin Verlander. At worst, he gets $15 of greed and costs $67. THAT. IS. NOTHING. He’s the 5th overall scorer right now, this year. He finished third last year. He finished 19th the year before and third a year earlier. I get that pitchers are fragile, old pitchers especially, but this dude will impact your team more than almost any other player. I continue to not understand why a guy like this is considered such a bad risk but a pitching prospect isn’t. JV’s a 99th percentile performer and he fetched… two good prospects (May, Groshans), a couple prospects that teams like HLR, TBD, and Long Ball scoop off waivers with regularity, and a draft pick. That’s it? I’m a dipshit for not submitting offers. Shame on me. I didn’t think I had the pieces. But I want to know if any “rebuilders” inquired here. Haddy? Did you get offers from the teams that have gutted their rosters down to $200? Why didn’t you engage with me on Trevor Story (was it the Matt Chapman thing, where cost control is only cool until the player is a stud, then it’s not sexy anymore) for Verlander? WHYYYYYY?!

I like Dustin May and all, but TINSTAAPP. I like Jordan Groshans too, but optimistically, he’s not scoring fantasy points until 2021. Maybe Nick Solak becomes Jeff McNeil or something, which is helpful but lacking real impact. A first round pick? What freakin’ ever.

If I’m Haddy, I’d rather just keep Verlander and run it back in 2020 and maybe 2021 and maybe even 2022, especially after already dumping Chris Sale. Cut freakin’ Jose Abreu‘s $70 salary and just keep Verlander. Or trade Abreu for half this same package. Easy. Sure, maybe you flip all the ones you just got for this type of guy later, but maybe not. Again, the list of guys who produce like JV is super slim. Bird in hand, etc. I’m not taking this package for Scherzer. I doubt HLR’s taking it for Arenado. Dan’s not taking it for Yelich or Gerrit Cole. Maybe May becomes Syndergaard 2.0, but cost controlled, and I look foolish. Except not really, because even if that happens, that’s not even remotely the most likely outcome. That’s dumb luck. If he ever, at any point, becomes Verlander right now, you basically hit the lottery. I’ll just leave this here:

Trade: Rocky Mtn Oysters | We Talk Fantasy Sports

Rocky Mtn Oysters sends: SP Max Scherzer ($86), SP Rookie Davis (minors)
We Talk Fantasy Sports sends: SP Tyler Glasnow (minors), CF Manuel Margot (minors), SP Robert Stephenson (minors), SP Lucas Sims (minors), 2017 2nd Round Pick

Andrew’s thoughts: This is a really interesting deal. I think for both sides, it works out well.

For We Talk Fantasy Sports, this has been a unique season. They are 9-6 and in prime spot to challenge for the final playoff spite despite being objectively bad. They are 15th in total points which, since we’re mid-week, is a little finicky because some teams have used more starts than others. Still, an extra start or two isn’t going to make much difference. My stinky team is 14th in points and has a 324.3 point edge over WTFS. To say that WTFS, who has had the fewest points scored on them by a margin of 527.95 points over the next team, has been lucky is just a massive understatement.

But whatever! I think in some ways, simply being so lucky and being in this spot is all the reason you need to push in some chips. It could be ill advised and screw future seasons, but I would hope everyone’s goal is to win championships, not just out-kick your coverage and finish seventh (their current place in the standings). It’s almost August, they’re in playoff contention, so why not go for it (especially as it looks like all the other teams are content standing pat)?

Max Scherzer is a difference maker. He instantly becomes WTFS’s best pitcher and it isn’t really even close. Their second best starter is Michael Pineda, who is just around league average. Of course, the price to take on the league’s sixth-highest paid player is a big one. Tyler Glasnow was a top-5 overall pick, Manuel Margot is a prized outfield prospect (I’m not super high on him for fantasy purposes), Robert Stephenson is a regular on top-100 lists (he’s another guy I don’t like because he can’t stop serving up homers and will get to pitch his home games in Coors Lite), and Dusty’s team stinks, so that pick (his own pick, which he’d previously dealt) will probably be top-20. Given all the context — that WTFS has been far more lucky than good — I assume they’re making this move with the intent of keeping Scherzer beyond this year, which seems reasonable. While I like that they aren’t taking their fortune for granted, I’m not sure they swing this move for a rental knowing that they still have tons of ground to cover, even with Scherzer on board. It’s really just your run of the mill high risk, high reward move for WTFS. I respect their aggressiveness.

For Dusty, the truth is, there was never really a good reason to ignore (and in some cases dismantle) his offense in favor of his nasty pitching staff (formerly Scherzer, plus Jake Arrieta, Zach Greinke, Kyle Hendricks, and John Lackey). Instead of a balanced team, he punted offense and went all-in on arms which is probably the biggest reason he’s at the bottom of the standings. By swinging this deal, he doesn’t do much to fix his offense. Margot pretty much has to be a stud from day one to be a marked upgrade over Brett Gardner in center. To be clear, if Margot produces exactly like Gardner, that’s great, because Gardner is good and Margot would cost nothing. I think too often people get tantalized by “upside” and ignore that players can be really valuable just simply by being good. It’s just that, adding a single good hitter won’t magically propel an offense. Anyway, he does free up $88 headed into next year, which gives him better odds of keeping the rest of those pitchers if he wants.

The problem is, I’d actually looked at his team recently and thought it looked fairly simple to keep all those pitchers in tact, which would then clearly outline an offseason gameplan where you need to address only hitters. I mean, you can just cut Jason Heyward ($50 in 2017) and Mike Fiers ($13) and then apply the $20 auction cash you have sitting in till to keep Scherzer. That covers him almost completely. $16 Blake Swihart looks like an easy cut, $9 Hyun-Jin Ryu probably should be dumped unless his arm regenerates itself, $18 Neil Walker doesn’t strike me as a keepable investment, paying Josh Harrison, who looks like he’ll only qualify at 2B next year, $15 seems pointless. Keeping Scherzer was certainly a realistic option. I love Glasnow’s talent though (I almost took him third overall) and if you think he hits his ceiling, he’s certainly a better value than Scherzer at over $80. Plus you get Margot, Stephenson, a Lucas Sims lotto ticket, and that pick. But if I can afford to keep my studs, I’d rather do that, I think. I’m a Scherzer fan, so I’m likely harboring some bias toward him.

That all probably sounds like I don’t like it for Dusty, but I do. Bottom line is he didn’t need all the pitchers he amassed, and this way he distributes his talent a little better and frees up significant budget space. The trade is done so I don’t think it matters now, but I had very loosely pursued Scherzer and just didn’t want to part with the prospect package Dusty wanted, and I didn’t think Dusty would find anyone who would. The package he ended up getting is lighter, I think, but it’s close. Like I said, I think both sides come out clean on this one. There’s risk — there always is — but sometimes you have to just push down on the gas and see what happens.

Jordan’s thoughts: It’s really boring to just say that I agree with Andrew on all points, because I do. I love this deal for Dusty. Yes, Max is very keepable. Yes, its not a bad strategy to keep Max. Yes, there is reason to not sell off despite being “out of it.” But, Dusty’s trading one major asset for a bunch of interesting ones. Some more than others obviously.

Dusty still has a formidable staff and gets to punt on Max who has shown signs of shakiness (oh wait, that’s all pitchers in 2016, the worst year of baseball since 1994) at times. The flexibility he adds in four decent minor leaguers has its perks.

I love this trade even more for We Talk Fantasy Sports. Honestly, who gives two shits about prospects when you have a legit shot at a championship? I don’t. You shouldn’t. Max in this kind of a formatted league offers a huge upgrade. Late August/early September, Max will be throwing against tired and expanded rosters. Probably toss a couple of 50 spots in playoff weeks. If you get a 2-start week in the playoffs from Max, hot dog, you nailed the jackpot. Sure, any of the prospects could be hard to lose, but at this point for WTFS you’re playing for now and winning today is more important than having a chance at some serious talent in two or three seasons.