Pine Mountain Podstars | The Evil Empire 2.0

6 Things that Resemble the Death Star | Mental Floss

Pine Mountain Podstars recieves:

C.J. Cron $23

Eloy Jimenez $5cc

The Evil Empire 2.0 recieves:

Blake Snell $31

Ke’Bryan Hayes $1

Rece Hinds $0 (prospect)

Felix Valerio $0 (prospect)

Carlos Duran $0 (prospect)

Maddux Bruns $0 (prospect)

2023 4th round pick (Marshall Law)

2023 4th round pick (The Fantasy Baseball Team)

2023 5th round pick (Longball)

2023 5th round pick (Wallbangers)

Podstars was one of the more unlucky teams last year. First he loses Walker Buehler to Tommy John, then Fernando Tatis gets ringworm, and then he trades for Javier Baez. Horrrrrible things were happening to him left and right. After moving on from Nolan Arenado, it was time to bring some thump back to this lineup. However, lets start with the new guy…

The Evil Empire 2.0: I love this trade for you. This roster has been in desperate need of attention for a long time. I honestly think that if my dog and 4 year old son had co-managed this team last year, it would’ve gone better. Now we get a guy with strong energy, and an excitement about the league, and I couldn’t be happier. And his first trade is a banger. I was actually typing out an offer to Podstars for Snell and Hayes when this trade notification came through. Blake Snell is a great get for a team lacking talent. At only $31 he bring you some veteran stability without the huge price tag. If he gets anywhere close to the 911 points he’s projected for, you’re in great shape. I’m a little leery of the rest of the pitchers. Hopefully you get Flaherty healthy and the Giants can unlock Manaea like they have with so many others. In this deal, I especially love the flyer on Ke’Bryan Hayes. I recently read that he was hurt all of last season, and that led to his poor performance. I think we see a different Hayes this year with a sizeable bounce back. I’m a recovering Rece Hinds believer. There’s alot to like with him, and dreaming about his power in Great American Ballpark is oh so fun. Can he hit. Will he ever hit. I like the flier here as well. Valerio, Duran, and Bruns along with the four late round picks are great for a team that had 33 open minors spots. 33 spots! That’s some managerial malpractice right there. Nice to see things looking up for this roster.

Pine Mountain Podstars: Morgan needed to add some offensive fire power with the loss of Nolan Arenado, and he gets some with C.J. Cron and the oft IL listee Eloy Jimenez. The former is one of the more perplexing mashers in baseball. He’s a reverse splits right handed hitter, demolishes righties, but struggles against lefties. He also does all his damage at Coors. Home games see him scoring 7.4ppg, while on the road he’s just 3.4ppg. Cross your fingers that the Rockies never trade him. Eloy Jimenez is either hitting, or hurting. He played 55 games in 2021 and 84 in 2022. My concern with him is that sooner or later, the White Sox are going to make him a DH to try and keep him healthy. As long as he’s healthy and producing, you don’t mind him being UTL only, but the bat has to be Yordan-esque to feel comfortable having him parked in your UTL full time. At $5, why not take that gamble. Podstars side of the deal has the higher ceiling short term, but Evil Empire made the most of his assets and maximized the return on two mashers with legitimate question marks.

RM

 

Neptune Sharks | Suplex City Shooters

Mark Brown/Getty Images

Neptune Sharks recieves:

Manny Machado $108

Spencer Strider $18

Casey Mize $3cc

Marco Luciano (prospect)

Garrett Cooper $7

Hunter Bishop (prospect)

Trevor McDonald (prospect)

Thairo Estrada $9

Joey Bart $1cc

Suplex City Shooters recieves:

Bobby Witt Jr. $1cc

Jeffrey Springs $8

Tanner Bibee $0 (prospect)

Ceddanne Rafaela $0 (prospect)

Michael Massey $1cc

Daniel Montesino $0 (prospect)

Allow me to use what I remember from high school math to reduce both sides of this equation. Just as I expected. Everything cancels out with a remainder of Garrett Cooper. But like with high school math, gotta show your work::

Neptune Sharks: I always love a new team making an aggressive move to address a team need. Upon taking over, Nestor Cortes was really the only reliable SP on this roster, surrounded by a lot hopes and dreams. I hope Lucas Giolito can return to his pre2021 form, I hope ERod can keep it together off the field, I hope Neptune Sharks decides to fire Patrick Corbin into the sun. You can dream on Trevor Rogers, dude is still only 25. Nate Pearson and Casey Mize were once hyped prospects that are still young enough to be worhtwhile. Adding Strider to this mix, does he give you the stability this rotation requires, or do we have another Trevor Rogers beginners luck scenario on our hands? The guy has started his career unlike many have, but there’s no way of knowing if this two pitch quadzilla can keep it up. Atlanta has gone all in with Strider, already extending him, so this is probably a good gamble for the rebuilding Sharks. Manny Machado fills in for the jettisoned Bobby Witt, and probably doesn’t cost you much production in the short term. Long term, you’re gonna have to have another plan at 3B in a year or two. Now, for brief analysis on the remaining pieces in this trade:

Casey Mize: Dude is hurt more than Mike Soroka

Garrett Cooper: as average as a player can get

Marco Luciano: looks the part, just can’t find the barrell

Trevor McDonald: WHO?

Joey Bart: Hard to believe Neptune aquired the top 2 picks in the 2018 MLB draft in this trade and neither are relevant

Hunter Bishop: He’s tall

Thairo Estrada: I’d like to think he was the final piece that made this deal work. “I’ll do the trade if you throw in Thairo”, pause, pause, pause, “Goddammit you’ve got a deal”

Suplex City Shooters: While I think Neptune Sharks did well on this trade, I think Suplex gets the slight win here. When trades like this go down, I usually favor the team that gets the best asset, and in this deal, it’s Witt. He’s gonna anchor your SS,3B spot for the next 5 years and you wont have to think twice about it. Jeffery Springs is the best pitcher in baseball that nobody has ever heard of. One of the Tampa Bay Rays guys that is suddenly dominating after they found him lifeless on the Red Sox scrap heap. I consider myself a pretty hardcare baseball fan, and I was absolutely shocked to learn that Springs made 25 starts and had an ERA under 2.50. Suplex also comes away with the better prospects. Bibee and Rafaela are sneaky top 100 guys, one gets to develop in the Cleveland pitching lab, and the other is ripening at AA already. I think I’m already to the point that I prefer Rafaela to Luciano?? That would be absurd to say a year ago, but I’m starting to think it’s close.

Michael Massey: Plays for the Royals right?

Daniel Montesino: Only a matter of time before Preller ships him out.

 

RM

 

 

 

 

 

Homestead Grays | Wallbangers

Max Scherzer injury: How long will New York Mets star be out?MLB Rumors: Dodgers' Freddie Freeman to Change Agents After Being 'Angry' About FA | News, Scores, Highlights, Stats, and Rumors | Bleacher Report

Homestead Grays recieves:

Max Scherzer $109

Bobby Dalbec $1cc

Wallbangers recieves:

Freddie Freeman $98

 

A legitimate win for both teams. Wallbangers has pitching for days, but badly needed an impact bat and Homestead Grays bolstered his young up and coming pitching staff with a true ace. Huzzah!

Homestead Grays: Of the new owners, J’Mere was blessed with arguably the best roster of the open teams. This team, had it been managed even a little bit last season, should have been a contender and not a basement dweller. This team enjoyed the breakouts of Dylan Cease, Brady Singer, and Kyle Wright and now adds a horse like Scherzer. No reason this team can’t enter the upper echelon of teams in 2023. I like this even more because he was able to deal from depth. Having Pedro Alonso at 1B made Freddie Freeman expendable and using it to get Mad Max was so smart. Not sure what to make of Bobby Dalbec anymore. Over the last 3 seasons, Dalbec has sported a K% of 42, 34, and 33. This is not going to work. He still hits the piss out of the ball, but he rarely makes contact anymore and was even bannished to the minors last season. Maybe there’s something there, but you’ve really gotta squint to see it.

Wallbangers: There’s still some fun moves to be made this offseason, as his budget sits at a staggering $811 currently, but for this singular move, Josh addressed a major need. Last season when Bryce Harper missed significant time this his broken thumb, Wallbangers offensive output evaporated. With arguably the best pitching staff in the league, the offense just wasn’t enough to compete while Harper was on the shelf. Now, he adds the incredibly consistent Freeman to a young hitting core comprised of MJ Melendez, Andres Gimenez, Jose Miranda, and Corbin Carroll. There’s alot to like here. Maybe we get to see Jarred Kelenic and Jonathan India do something this year too.

RM

 

 

Trades. Trades! TRADES!! Pine Mountain Podstars | The Fantasy Baseball Team

Nolan Arenado Is Staying Put in St. Louis | FanGraphs Baseball

 

Just like that, Dynasty Grinders is alive and kicking again! Five trades were made today. We’ll see how many I can get to. Welcome back everyone, let’s get it started with Russell and Morgan.

Pine Mountain Podstars recieves:

Cade Cavalli (prospect)

2023 4th round pick (FBT)

The Fantasy Baseball Team recieves:

Nolan Arenado $107

Walker Buehler $38

 

Morgan is probably just happy to get something for Arenado at his current cost, but it’s hard to not see this as a win for FBT. Fortune favors those with cap space.

Podstars: At the start of the offseason, Morgan had a team salary around $740 and alot of work to do to get his salary under the $500 threshold. This is probably just the first of a few salary dump trades coming for this team. This is the worst part of having a good team with expense talent, eventually you’ve got to punt them to the auction or try and trade them for crumbs. And I don’t mind the crumbs here. I loved Cade Cavalli coming out of college and had hoped he’d slide to me in the second round. That didn’t happen, but ever since he’s been passed around the league. If memory serves, I think this is his fourth team and dude is still only in AAA. Kudos on getting an SP that most likely debuts this year, and will have plenty of leash in Washington.

FBT: This is a winning move. For so long the league has been plagued with a tanking epidemic and I feel like that is coming to an end. Much appreciation to the teams that have joined recently and immediately tried to win or at least get better. So many times we watched new owners join the league and let their rosters be picked over by the existing teams. In my opinion, the league is stronger now than ever before. But I digress, I love this move for FBT. Giving up a late pick and a pitching prospect for the national league MVP runner up fills an obvious need. Fantrax has Arenado projected for 831 points, but I’d strongly bet the over. You’d be hard pressed to find a more reliable hitter in our format over the last 7-8 years. Not only that but you also get a strong future asset rostering Walker Buehler while he recovers from Tommy John. Yeah you burn up $38 this season, but next offseason you can trade him for something significantly more than you gave up, or keep him around and watch him score 900 points for you.

RM

5. Beach Bum

A 2022 breakout candidate for every National League Central team – The Athletic

Beach Bum

2021: 15-5
4th place finish

Favorite draft pick: Michael McGreevy 4th round

I can’t figure out Beach Bum. He doesn’t make a lot of moves, but he’s always one of the best teams. He’s methodical. Draft and develop. Just because he took him, I’m expecting we see Wes Kath in Cooperstown. I can’t make sense of it. Christian Yelich has struggled for two years, then suddenly Marcus Semien becomes a superstar to take his place. Gleyber Torres loses his mojo, and then Josh Bell figures it out again. Every time one of his star players falters, another guy shows up out of nowhere. It’s uncanny. 

Not much to say about Beachlers offseason. I couldn’t even find a meaningful trade to include in this review. He’s just gonna run it back, and end up with a top 5 finish. Just like every other season. I like what he did at the auction, I think? I just know that while it’s not flashy, they’re all going to be meaningful contributors. 

Shrugged shoulders emoji. Beachler is a playoff team again. 

2022 prediction: same as it ever was, top 5 finisher

6. Long ball to LF (Johnnywise)

Will Juan Soto be MLB's richest player? - Sports Illustrated

Long ball to LF (Johnnywise)

2021: 16-4
1st place finish

Favorite offseason move: traded 5th round pick for Clint Frazier

Favorite draft pick: Lazaro Montes in 3rd round

Best auction find: Zack Grienke $31 and James Paxton $4

The reigning league champion rosters the two best outfielders in the game, Juan Soto and Ronald Acuna Jr. He’s also surrounded them with studs Jose Ramirez, Xander Boegarts, Bo Bichette, and Cedric Mullins. The offense scares you, but what’s to come of the pitching? I worry that his stacked offense won’t be able to overcome some the shortcomings in the rotation. As with a number of teams in the league, I think Longball’s season depends on what he can get out of his veteran pitching staff. What do Zack Greinke, Sonny Gray, and James Paxton have left in the tank? Lance Lynn is already banged up. We know Robbie Ray will be good, but he’s had a couple bad starts at the beginning of the season. Can the young duo of Triston McKenzie and Ranger Suarez continue their success? Are either Chris Paddack or Luis Patino any good? Starting to think “no” on Chris Paddack, and Patino has been put on the 60 day since I wrote this. 

I don’t know if there is a prospect package that Longball can put together to land a top tier pitcher. Maybe this is the time to trade one of his offensive stars for a pitcher. I’m excited to see what comes of his situation. 

Longball’s offense is good enough to drag his pitching staff to the playoffs, but I don’t think there is enough pitching to be confident in a repeat.

2022 prediction: playoff team

7. Who’s Your Haddy?

Steven Kwan has five hits in Guardians big win

Who’s Your Haddy?

2021: 15-5
6th place finish

Favorite offseason move: traded Chris Taylor for Starling Marte and Trey Sweeney

Favorite draft pick: Will Bednar in 3rd round

So little separates the teams at the top of the power rankings. I think all remaining teams have a legitimate shot to win the league championship, so we’re really splitting hairs at this point. 

Haddy comes in at #7 for a couple of reasons. First, of the playoff teams, I think he’s going to get the least amount of help from his minors this season. Other than Nick Lodolo, I don’t think he has a prospect on the roster that will be a meaningful contributor in 2022. When the injury bug comes, Haddy will have to be active in the trade market, or hit on some waiver pickups to keep pace with some of the other teams. Secondly, the Trevor Bauer situation. Having a pitching core with Zach Wheeler, Logan Webb, Frankie Montas, and Kevin Gausman is great, but every team left to be reviewed has a great rotation. I think there are still some worries about Wheeler’s shoulder, so a lot could hinge on the availability and productivity of Trevor Bauer.

The most impactful trade of Haddy’s offseason was trading away Mike Trout. The trade netted a number of prospects and provided some much needed salary relief. That budget space that was used to cover the cost of Starling Marte and to keep costly sluggers Jose Abreu and J.D. Martinez. I was initially worried about the production loss going from Trout to Marte, but I didn’t realize that Steven Kwan was going to be a franchise cornerstone for Haddy. 

Haddy still has an entire draft worth of Suplex Shooters draft picks, and I think that draft capital will come in handy when moves need to be made at the trade deadline. I think the success of those moves will dictate where Haddy lands on the final standings.

2022 prediction: playoff team with a chance to win it all

8. Senior Squids

Ex-Mets prospect Jarred Kelenic, agent express frustration with Mariners - New York Daily News

Senior Squids

2021: 7-13
11th place finish

Favorite offseason move: traded Marco Luciano for Nick Gonzalez, Austin Martin, and 1st round pick

Favorite draft pick: Marcelo Mayer 1st round

Best auction find: Noah Syndergaard $44

This is the best team Senior Squids has had. I think he is primed to jump up the standings if he can make one or two more moves to solidify his offense and maybe get another arm. I think we could see him make a splash at the deadline if he’s in the playoff hunt. He has arguably the most prospect ammunition in the entire league. This is the riskiest part of his rebuild however. Which prospects do you trade? Which ones do you keep? It’s a good problem to have, but it can be nerve wracking. 

This offseason he made his minors the best in the league by trading Marco Luciano for Nick Gonzalez, Austin Martin, and a draft pick that would become Marcelo Mayer. Big win for Squids in my opinion. Mayer looks to be the real deal, and I think Gonzalez and Martin are at least major league regulars. Trading away Luciano’s massive upside for this trio is a solid move. He used his other two draft picks to take Jordan Lawlar who had fallen down the board, and exciting Mariners talent Harry Ford. He then went on to make a number of quality picks at the auction headlined by Noah Syndergaard. This could be the steal of the auction if he can stay healthy and return to his 30 ppg self. 

As currently constructed, I think Squids major league roster is in the middle of the pack, but there is so much ceiling here that I could see him in the playoff hunt.

2022 prediction:  on the top middle group for now, should be vying for a playoff spot

9. Suplex City Shooters

Mike Trout | 2019 MVP Highlights ᴴᴰ - YouTube

Suplex City Shooters

2021: 5-15
14th place finish

Favorite offseason move: traded prospects for Mike Trout

Favorite draft pick: Lonnie White Jr. in 4th round

Best auction find: Charlie Blackmon $29

Suplex may have had my favorite offseason. He used his extensive auction budget to acquire superstars in Manny Machado, Carlos Correa, and Mike Trout. He also made a move or two that made me scratch my head, but from last year to now, he has flipped his roster faster than anyone that comes to mind. Fantasy baseball is about having fun and this team is a lot of fun. Getting to root on Machado, Correa, and Trout is awesome for any fantasy owner. What I’m most interested to see is, where do we go from here? Does he decide to flip one or two of them at the deadline to add some much needed pitching depth? Or does he just keep this core because the team around them is still relatively cheap? There are also a few youngsters to really like here. What do we get from Joey Bart, Jazz Chisolm, Brandon Marsh, Shane Baz, and Casey Mize?

He had limited draft capital after all his moves, but Suplex used in on an all upside no floor guy in Lonnie White Jr. We will have to wait and see what he turns into. I also like him adding Charlie Blackmon in the auction for some much needed outfield help.

Now in his second season, Suplex has proved to be one of the most active traders in the whole league. His tear down took him all the way to the first pick last year, and this year we see the start of the rebuild. Hard to argue against any rebuild done around Mike Trout. His pitching staff still needs some improvement, and I think that keeps him from being a legitimate playoff contender. 

2022 prediction: middle of the pack with the lowest floor of the group

10. Betters Bombers

Minnesota Twins 2022 Preview: Can Byron Buxton be an MVP candidate?

Betters Bombers

2021: 7-13
12th place finish

Favorite offseason move: traded away Jasson Dominguez and Kristian Robinson for Byron Buxton

Favorite draft pick: Khalil Watson 1st round

Best auction find: Chris Sale $58

This is Betters sophomore season and he’s one of my favorite fresh faces in the league. Im certain that Betters Bombers are going to be a problem. Maybe not in 2022, but he’s coming. Every move he makes, makes sense. He’s got a plan and he’s executing it. Whenever I get the email notification of a Betters Bombers trade, I usually think he’s won the trade. He doesn’t just collect prospects, or trade all his prospects for MLB guys, he’s in the middle. Right where you wanna be. He just does the right things. 

 Betters added Byron Buxton in what I believe to be the best move of the offseason. Up until his injury Buxton was the best player in our format. He had a staggering 12.1 points per game in April!! Health will always be a concern with him, but this is a gamble I love for this team. He backed that up by adding reliable outfielders in Michael Brantley and Andrew McCutchen. I also really like the movement he’s made on the pitching side. Last year he got Justin Verlander for cheap. Now that he’s back, Betters can flip him (hey H-Town), or just keep him because he’s 30ppg when right. There’s some injury risk with his best pitchers: Chris Sale, Verlander, Madison Bumgarner, and Andrew Heaney, but I think he’s offset that well with up-and-coming pitching prospects George Kirby, Matthew Libertore, and Taj Bradley. 

Not sure if this is the year, but we’re gonna see Betters Bombers in the upper echelon of the league before too long. 

2022 prediction: middle of the pack, could threaten a playoff spot