The Foundation trades away
- LF/CF Andrew McCutchen ($54)
The Process trades away
- 2B/LF Shed Long ($0)
The Foundation lost Andrew McCutchen fairly early last season to injury and still, against all odds and logic, made the playoffs. So up against budget constraints this year, he seems like an okay guy to just chalk up as unnecessary and punt. And that’s what this is. A punt trade. Cutch got dumped off for a cheap, fringe prospect that should get lots of PAs next year as the Mariners continue their sink to the bottom. Shed Long is likely a bench hitter in this league without the hassle of throwing a dart at Neil Walker or Freddy Galvis at auction. McCutchen is undervalued because of age and salary, so as we often see, this isn’t a fair fantasy baseball trade (McCutchen was pacing for his third consecutive 900+ point season and fetched a fringe top-200 fantasy prospect, yay) so much as the shuffling around of fictitious units of “salary.”
For The Process, this has to be the blueprint for 2020+, right? If you tank for years to amass cheap assets and don’t eventually supplement those guys with reliable points-scorers like Cutch (bankable veteran on a high salary), then it’s not much of a process, is it? It’s just… trying to have a cheap team to no real end. So I like this for The Process. If you’ve got $200-$250 of budget room open and aren’t scouring teams for hand-outs like this, you’re basically waving the white flag already. If Cutch is healthy, he’ll be good and make this team better. He’ll also probably be $60 or so after greed but, again, who cares? You’re paying these player salaries in pretend currency and they’re all one-year deals (or not even that; if The Process struggles, he can pretty easily flip Cutch in-season for something comparable or probably better than Shed Long, right?). Ultimately the name of the game is scoring the most fantasy points (🤯) and Cutch, if fully healthy, is fairly assured of getting you 900 or more of them. To put that in perspective, with the juiciest of juiced balls in 2019, there were still only 53 hitters with 900+ points.
Good trade for both teams, especially The Process for trying to win now.
HUSTLE’S TOXIC $0.02
Bailey wrote a novel about this before I could get a chance to get my bearings, but trade ultimately Seems Fine (TM). I guess I like Shed Long a bit more than Bailey, and if he continues to lead off, it wouldn’t be surprising if he had a better season than McCutchen. I like McCutchen to score more and easily consider him a better player, but at a $54 price difference, one of these two pieces is obviously a better value. That being said, both teams did what they needed to do, Jordan cut budget for a lesser player with value upside and Ferns added some stability to his team. I think it’s a buyer’s market right now, and a lot of teams haven’t been capitalizing on it yet. Welcome to the offseason Ferns and Jordan!