Organized Chaos trades away:
- SP Rick Porcello ($25)
Hustle Loyalty Respect trades away:
- 1B Grant Lavigne
- SP Lucas Sims ($5.50)
- 2020 3rd Round Pick
If I had to bet money on who in this league is the biggest “Rick Porcello fan,” I’d put money on myself. Yet… despite Porcello being relentlessly offered to everyone, I never pulled the trigger. And I’m okay with it.
Porcello’s been a good, if not great, pitcher throughout his career who offers a solid, boring floor and some occasional clunkers. He’s durable and reliable. This year there have been more clunkers than normal, but at least one (the stupid London) game you can safely disregard. Going forward, I expect Porcello to be a decent depth starter that usually won’t kill you. In this league, my problem is his salary for what he is. If there weren’t salaries, his value goes up, in my opinion. But because there are and he’s $25 ($27 to keep, minimum)… I find him in a weird gray area of keepable players. You could keep him. But I wouldn’t, personally. Those clunkers I just mentioned have been going up in frequency and the floor seems to be getting lower and lower, which is all fine because it’s still a fairly safe floor, but Porcello at $27 isn’t all that different from a bunch of $10 or less dart throws. I suspect that — and what I’ve got to say, was a crazy high asking price — is what made this trade take so long to finally happen. Another thing about Porcello: there’s great temptation to sit him in tough match-ups, but he’s a pretty good pitcher overall, so sometimes he does really well in those games. He’s good to randomly dominate the Yankees on your bench once a year. Which does you zero good and is really frustrating.
In the end, Swinson got, for starters, basically a fringe top-150 prospect in Grant Lavigne, who I feel like falls outside the top-200 in most circles if not for the prospect of playing home games in Coors Field. I haven’t paid much attention to him, but I believe Hustle offered him to me recently, and one thing I think I know about Hustle is this: he’s really good at finding prospects (“he’s the single greatest prospector I’ve ever played with, hands down, no exceptions” – Steve Fernsler), but if he offers you one, he’s either getting something awesome in return or feels comfortable replacing the guy with someone else off waivers. I think the latter is the case here. Lavigne’s a teenage 1Bman-only prospect that beasted last year but has underwhelmed this year over a larger sample. So basically, the upside isn’t there and the wait time is too long for a guy that plays a position that’s super easy to fill, so this trade shuttles him off with profit and lets Hustle add a better lottery ticket off waivers. Seems fine!
So in addition to Lavigne, there’s Lucas Sims, who was once a top prospect but sort of fell off the map, then reappeared this year in Cincinnati. He had one good start in May and then… vanished. I mean, not vanished. He’s alive and pitches. But it’s in the minors, where he’s got a 1.09 HR/9. He’s also not cost controlled, so he’s $7 to keep right now, which really is fine. If he was cost controlled he’d be $1 instead and the $6 is pretty irrelevant. But still. That makes Sims a tad less valuable. Cost control is life.
And finally, there’s a third round pick which… okay, cool. Whatever.
In the end, this trade is weird to me as someone who received a ton of Porcello offers over the months. This deal is Porcello for Lavigne in my eyes, which is… well, seems like a way lower asking price than I ever recall seeing. Maybe I’m just not high enough on Sims and don’t care enough about draft picks (I recently traded a first rounder for Andrelton Simmons and legitimately have no idea why, but someone else actually traded a pick for a relief pitcher so I don’t feel as bad about that anymore). And again, if one owner maybe, possibly thinks they can pick a better prospect up off waivers tomorrow in Lavigne… what’s that say about the haul?
Anyway, trade is obviously fine overall. I’d rather have HLR’s side here even if cutting Porcello at year’s end, but I at least like knowing that Coach shopped and shopped and presumably landed here, on a deal he likes.