Jordan’s thoughts: My initial reaction was praise towards this deal for Dusty. I like what he’s doing here. Get two keepable players, only shell out some auction cash that is potentially not valuable.
Breaking this down for Long Ball to LF. You’re cutting Keuchel most likely. He was not quite elite last year, and while a bounce back is possible, its not probable. If you have to cut someone, he’s easier to manage. Devon Travis was hurt last year, and while quite keepable at $11, there was at least a decision to be made. But, now with an offer of $30 which is unheard of in this league so far, this was an easy trigger to pull. Long Ball turns nothing into another decent player.
Back to Rocky Mountain. I still understand what’s going on. He is still going into the draft, having essentially spent $110 on two reasonably good players that he gets to keep going forward for less. Was that available in the draft anyway? Possibly. Could Dusty have done better? Possibly. I think my biggest concern is the price paid, but it could be reasonable. If you like Keuchel and Travis going into 2017 I can like this trade.
Andrew’s thoughts: Keuchel was 100% getting cut. Travis is good (.349 wOBA over his first 670 PAs), young, and cheap. Spending auction budget on Travis is fine. Thirty bucks seems steep though and my impression was that Keuchel could have been had for next to nothing.
So I guess I would hope he was just a random throw in here that Dusty plans to cut, but at least now he’s guaranteed his availability at auction. Like, how much of the $30 was allocated for Travis and how much for Keuchel? Does it even really matter? I feel like $10-15 is more than generous for Travis. Buying him sort of acts like a front-loaded deal, where after this season you just have Travis starting at $13. Also, Travis has been in the majors for two seasons and has been hurt in both. It’s not like he’s a sure thing. With $41 ($30 + his $11 salary) you might be able to buy two or even three similar gambles at auction and hedge a little.
Long Ball lost a good talent but is in a much better keeper/auction position now. Dusty went from having more auction budget than almost every team to having very little to spend. Even if the pool does end up being rough, it feels like a sudden panicked shift in game plan given recent — like for instance the seeming salary dump of Jake Arrieta. Weeee!