Is this the year that Lance Lynn turns back into a pumpkin? He’s been living a charmed existence since getting to Texas, and it doesn’t make sense. He throws off-speed pitches just 10% of the time. Yet, somehow he has scored over 35 points per game each of the last two years. My worry with Lynn is that as he ages and the velocity comes down he won’t be able to keep hitters off balance. However, until we see signs of regression, his value as a $10 pitcher with 35 ppg upside is much higher than the prospect package it took to acquire him. I think Dozier should have exercised a bit more patience with this one. Kudos to Longball for striking while the iron is hot, but this is the kind of player that should have started a bidding war. I would have expected a Max Muncy type return for Lynn. From what I see, he was put on the trade block at 8:35p and traded at 9:48p. Which isn’t necessarily wrong, but sometimes you gotta let it breathe instead of taking the first offer.
Now for the prospects. As a Brewers fan, I’ve always been fond of Antoine Kelly. Big bodied kid with a huge fastball from the left side, but could end up in the bullpen with his command issues and inconsistent secondaries. Peguero is a glove first SS that you hope ends up being 5 and 5 with the bat. The Pirates traded for him, so they must see something they like? But they’re the Pirates so that’s probably a bad thing. Shane McClanahan is my favorite of the bunch, but I’d like him more if he wasn’t destined to be a twice through the order guy for the Rays. At best. Probably more like a multi inning reliever.
On the surface this trade looks lopsided. Aaron Nola is just 26-years-old, Steamer projects him as a top-15 overall pitcher in 2020, and he has consecutive 1,000+ point seasons on his resume. He checks every box as a top Dynasty Grinders asset (more on this in a moment). On the other side, there are two blah prospects and a spring training hype guy coming off Tommy John surgery who still carries a fair amount of reliever risk. This looks to be in favor of Marshall Law.
I do think it’s key to note the $33 savings here. This trade got Long Ball under $500 and that savings likely buys him at least another year of Kenta Maeda ($30), Michael Brantley ($29), or one of his higher priced pieces like Josh Donaldson ($77) or Zack Greinke ($67) that he’s been shopping. Those guys don’t show up in the Trade Accepted email, but they were no doubt a factor. My guess is, since Long Ball had listed all those guys on his trade block, there was zero interest across the board (because players that have salaries have cooties), so he ultimately sold whichever guy actually brought something back and that happened to be Nola. I’d argue the only “something” in this deal is Lamet, as the two prospects seem fairly disinteresting to me. Urbina is fine and has some long-term upside, Smith seems boring as a 1B-only with only 50 grade power. Whatever. It continuously blows my mind that upper tier players are traded in this league for churn-able prospects. Long Ball couldn’t get Vidal Brujan? Jazz Chisholm? As a rule of thumb, if a sub-$40 1,000 point player is traded, the prospects involved should really be guys Jordan has heard of before. Also, I probably would’ve rather just cut Maeda or Greinke or Brantley and kept Nola and missed out on Lamet. But the sum of Lamet plus whichever one of those guys would’ve been cut is probably close enough to Nola’s 2020 production to at least make the logical leap here.
I guess I’m mainly confused as to why a package headlined by Lamet and filled out by two prospects outside the top-250 was really the high offer.
Given Nola’s age, cost, and resume, he should’ve been coveted by literally every team, even the perpetual tankers. He was on the block publicly, so it’s not like his availability wasn’t known. I personally did not inquire on Nola, mainly because I’m sitting at $500 in keepers and The Bundle™ has ruined my mobility (weird how those rule changes that were met with such disgust ultimately did my team no favors), but I even sort of regret it now seeing this price. I could’ve probably afforded to punt a hitter to make room if push came to shove. If Long Ball waited until after auction, I would’ve probably thrown any prospects and picks he wanted at Nola and that terrifying $38 salary. Oh well.
How many other teams sat on the sidelines here? I guess people assumed the price would be too high and the mere thought of trading relevant prospects is unfathomable, but Urbina and Smith seem like fringe prospects at best right now. TBD and HLR will no doubt pick up far superior prospects for free throughout the season. Marshall will easily pick up better or comparable prospects to replace these guys himself. Even if Lamet meets his recent hype, Nola’s still likely to outscore him in 2020 and even teams like Senior Squids and We Talk Fantasy Sports and Who’s Your Haddy, who don’t intend to compete in the next half decade, should have been lining up here and could have probably beat this offer quite handily. You’re not getting a better asset than Nola at auction, so if that’s your game plan, good luck trying. If you were clinging to legitimate prospects out of fear of adding a whopping $38 in salary, well… whoops. And if you were out on Nola because you’re punting 2020, I guess I’m confused what the game plan is for 2021+ when you have no established good players in place when your prospects theoretically start getting promoted. The Bundle™ made Aaron Nola available for a low price and still no one with salary room took advantage? Hmm…
Overall, I like this deal for Marshall Law. If Lamet pans out, it probably buys Long Ball an extra player this year and next, maybe one more beyond that. For now I’ll gladly take the Nola side though.
Whatever Kyle’s Team is Named This Week trades away
$12 Auction budget
So I actually like CJ Cron as an under the radar, low cost solution to 1B/UT. He’s got 55 homers the last two years and should be starting every day now that he plays for the tanking Tigers. That said, one look at Long Ball’s roster and I think you can deduce Cron was getting cut. Would he go for more than $22 (his salary plus the acquisition cost here) at auction? I highly, highly doubt it. I feel like that only happens if a team takes $250-$300 into auction and realizes there’s nothing to spend it on, and even then, they need someone else to bid the price up. I also kinda feel like at that price, he’s no longer a “low cost solution.” I mean, maybe he goes for $15 but I think his $10 salary is about his cap at auction. If he would’ve gone for $15 then fine, you wasted $7 by making this trade and that won’t really sting. I don’t know. I’m pacing to cut Joey Votto and Steamer projects him as a top 25-30 overall hitter. How much more than $22 is he going for at auction, given most people don’t want old guys? It’s not a horrible deal but I would’ve rather just taken $22 into auction because I think you can come away with a better player than Cron. For Long Ball, this seems fantastic. He turned a cut into $12 and I reckon he can convert that $12 into at the very least a player comparable to Cron.
HUSTLE’s toxic $0.02
I prefer the side for Long Balls here, but not by that much. CJ Cron is a former HLR Legend, so I will always have respect for his contributions. $22 spent by Kyle to buy and keep him here seems fine, but bordering on probably not needed. It might be better to roll the dice in auction and spend a few more or less to get him if he’s your only option. CJ Cron has a lot of playing time coming his way if he can stay healthy, so he’s someone you’ll feel pretty good in fitting in a 1b or UT slot on most days, but he’s not a game changer and ideally you do want someone better in one of those spots. He cut his strike out rate almost 5 full points from the previous two years, but the paltry walk out rate for a slugger remains the issue that keeps him from being a fantasy star.
$22 for Cron is certainly better than the $26 for Bruce or $32 for Adam Jones last year. There weren’t basically any middle of the lineup hitters in last year’s auction, so that may have been a good price last year, but I imagine it might not be this year. Maybe it will. Cron is a nice depth piece to have, and even at $22 auction dollars total, that’s not a big price.
Long ball to LF (Johnnywise) trades away
Taillon, Jameson ($22)
hustle’s toxic $0.02
Really like this trade for Marshall. First and foremost, he gave up nothing. The picks are largely irrelevant. There should be a good sleeper available in the middle of round 3, but is LeavittBall going to be able to nab that one guy? History and track record says probably not. Marshall is committing $22 in Taillon’s salary for 2020 and $5 as a sweetener to LB for the right to own Taillon for $24 in 2021.
I think if Taillon was healthy and in auction for 2020, he probably goes above $50. Pirates cleaning house and having a new pitching coach can only be a plus for all Pirates pitching. Chances are you aren’t spending under $25 in auction and getting a good SP to keep. Last year I think Domingo German was probably the only pitcher in that range that actually seems like a great keep for 2020, and even he might have trouble getting a rotation spot.
Anyway, it’s a good allocation of basically $27 budget for Marshall, even if he won’t see meaningful points until 2021. Taillon won’t even count as a roster spot because he’ll have precious IL eligibility. There’s even a non zero chance that Taillon gets Marshall some meaningful points in September.
For LeavitBall, I’m not quite sure what to make of this. The $5 in theory gives him more ammunition to get a big name in auction, and I’m sure if that’s the plan, other moves for cash are probably in the pipeline. That being said, I’m not sure giving up an actual asset for a mid round pick and $5 makes much sense regardless of the plan. This seems more confusing to me because LeavittBall has plenty of budget due to his 2 best moves in DynastyGrinders history 1) Picking up Ronald Acuna of the waiver wire and 2) Picking up Juan Soto off the waiver wire. My guess is Leavitt was anxious to trade and Marshall was the only one willing to play ball. I think some of the other teams who have a lot of budget and have publicly/privately declared themself out for 2020, would have benefitted from a $24 Taillon in 2021. Keith, if you’re reading this review, let me know.
Anyway, this trade ultimately Seems Fine (TM), but I do like the forward thinking by Marshall here, and I’m not quite sure it even puts a dent in his present, which a trade like this generally should. I look forward to Leavitt’s public explanation of this trade, maybe I am missing something.
Leavitt’s public explanation: Good review. Maybe after reading it I should have been a little more patient, but as much as I like Taillon he is out for the year with no guarantees to be the same after a 2nd TJ surgery. I wasn’t about to waste 25 dollars of my budget on a 0. I tried to acquire a few prospects I liked but that didn’t go anywhere so I added a few dollars to his draft pick offers and took something for nothing in my view. I bought Garrett Richards for 5 dollars last year, I don’t think a guy out for the year was getting much more than 20, specially with this auction primed to be better with the new rules in place.
Hustle stole most of my thoughts about this trade, much like I stole Max Scherzer in a trade once.
The picks are nothing. The $5 is nothing (yay, $5 extra you can throw at Mike Leake!). Granted, for 2020 at least, Jameson Taillon is also nothing. But a year ago he was roughly a top-25 overall SP and he’ll be back and still young, albeit with a laundry list of injuries, in 2021. So for Marshall, this is a long-term investment of just auction budget and no actual acquisition cost. I like that. We see every single year that the auction is brutal. Teams bring in tons of cash thinking they’re going to land someone awesome and instead overpay mediocre players that won’t be kept beyond that year anyway, like $63 Yusei Kikuchi or $32 Adam Jones. So Marshall essentially flushed some percentage of his future auction cash now rather than later but added an asset that feels a lot safer and with more upside.
Hustle noted that “if Taillon was healthy and in auction for 2020, he probably goes above $50,” but I would actually throw out that if Taillon, in his injured state, made it to auction this year, he’d go for at least $30 just because there’s a half dozen teams with more than $200 to spend. So kudos to Marshall for sniffing that out and getting this done now.
For Long Ball, I hope this is just “I want to cut this dead 2020 salary anyway, so I may as well take this and be done with it” and not “I listed a bunch of stuff on my trade block and the thing with the cheapest salary is the only thing anyone wants because oMg SaLaRy AnD cOsT cOnTrOl.” There’s no telling. I do think he got effectively nothing and might have done better waiting around for some of the tankers with budget space to check in. But maybe not. Sometimes the bird in hand is just better.
Thank you to both owners for taking a brief break from FANTASY FOOTBALL SZN to partake in this trade.
Long ball to LF (Johnnywise) trades away
Kershaw, Clayton ($125)
Hustle’s Toxic $.02: Well it happened. The much anticipated 1st trade of the offseason and it’s a… swing and this miss for both teams. Bailey trades for a he can’t keep. Leavitt acquires a worthless pick. Boredom has set in. The long winter without fantasy baseball awaits us all, like death. The World Series hasn’t even happened, and we have already resorted to nonsense. Lucky for everyone, trade reviews will be back for the offseason because I was once told that “nonsense is your life blood”. Wise words. It’s been a while since I’ve done trade reviews. I’ve hibernated for months, and now I’m back. More toxic than ever. Hazardous masks will be required attire before reading my reviews. Again, to sum it up, terrible pointless trade other than to give me a voice to tell you both publicly. Thank you.
The Commissioners Office of Dynasty Grinders is pleased to announce the FAAB Pick Up of the Month for July 2019:Brandon Crawford of the San Francisco Giants!
Crawford, who went for $4 of otherwise worthless FAAB, amassed an astounding 56.3 points in a single day. It was a thin schedule day, making this streaming effort all the more amazing. Wow. Stunning. Congratulations to Mr. Crawford!
When pressed for the details behind this FAAB addition, Capital City Ironmen general manager Andrew Bailey said, “I can’t take all the credit. I couldn’t have done it without my spreadsheet. I have a complicated algorithm that really favors players in doubleheaders at Coors Field, especially when they have the platoon advantage against terrible pitchers.”
Travis d’Arnaud, who put up 49 points in a single game, was named the runner-up for this award. Better luck next month, Mr. d’Arnaud, and congratulations to Josh Leavitt and Long Ball to LF for having the month’s second best FAAB pick-up. 🤷♂️
Prospects Lucius Fox, who was picked up for $1 on July 13 by The Foundation, and Parker Meadows, scooped up by Trust the Process for $0 on July 12, failed to receive any votes for this coveted award. Both players are turds.
Jordan’s thoughts: Prospect for prospect trades are always mildly interesting. Sure, some are better than others, but we’re basically trading guys positioned on opinion lists for each other. We don’t get to scout or know anything more about these players than the writers who are interpreting what they see, or worse, what other people say they are seeing.
That being said, Luis Patino according to the hive-mind at FanGraphs.com was ranked 60th on the prospect list at one point. He’s a 50 FV prospect with a high risk and estimated 2023 debut. I understand that since that ranking his stock has improved. Okay. He is listed at 6’0 150 lb. I get called quite skinny, and I’m 5’4 145lb. Yeesh.
Pache is ranked higher on the list I have. Again probably outdated. 60 FV, 18th on the top 100. Without digging deeper, perhaps his stock is high because of defensive value. While we don’t get points for defense, we do get points for players that play and typically great defenders get lots of chances to learn how to hit.
Gavin Lux has been traded for a second time and he’s still a 45 FV prospect who apparently is climbing some charts. He hit well in AA last year.
Everyone wins this trade because trades are fun.
Andrew’s thoughts: I’m not prepared to argue either side of this trade is better than the other, so good for both teams. I think Cristian Pache is probably the highest “ranked” guy, but all the scouting reports I’ve read suggest to me that he’s all defense and speed and maybe you’re lucky if he’s Kevin Pillar or Kevin Kiermaier, well, that’s not particularly relevant to our scoring. But if he can hit at even a league average level for centerfield, well, at zero cost, maybe that’s useful.
Patino, meanwhile, just seems forever away. Remember Anderson Espinoza from a few years back? He was the next Pedro Martinez until he got hurt and fell off the face of the planet. Personally, I tend to devalue pitching prospects with long lead times. This seems to me like Long Ball is betting on Patino climbing prospect lists so that he can flip him for something better.
But whatever. This trade seems fine to me overall.
Long ball to LF (Johnnywise) trades away SP Duffy, Danny $10 2020 Draft Pick, Round 2 (Long ball to LF (Johnnywise))
The Foundation trades away
SS Lux, Gavin
Hustle’s Toxic $.02I rather have Lux than Danny Duffy, who ended his season with a shoulder impingement. That being said, thats probably a my team sort of thing. Jordan went into last season with Gio Gonzalez as his staff ace and not a whole much behind it. Getting Duffy and Ivan Nova to keep for under $20 seems like a massive improvement. Neither are Aces (and I’ll let Bailey review the Nova deal) but both are quite useful in this league.
Maybe everyone is afraid of the auction this year so they spend their money before, but if I walked away from last season’s auction with a healthy Duffy and Nova for $19 I would have been dancing. I’d say every team needs about 8-10 starters, so approximately 144 should be owned. These two guys have both shown at times they could be weekly starts and their spots in their own major league rotation are pretty safe. I’m not going to do a pitchers rankings, but both guys are somewhere between 70-120 best pitchers with a chance to leap that in a good season.
Lux is a nice prospect, might have been The Foundation’s best one, so that’s a little tough to see parted with for Duffy, but Jordan’s team should be able to compete better next year. As a Dodger Fan, I naturally like Lux. Posting a 147 WRC+ across two levels last year including make it to AA, he could be a modest power hitting middle infielder for the Dodgers in 202 with a very good approach.
Andrew’s thoughts: I’m not a big Danny Duffy fan, but it’s hard to quibble too much over a decent pitcher under $10. And Duffy’s decent. He’s just got a bunch of injury flags and he’s not a guy you’ll ever totally trust from start to start. For Jordan, this seems like a fine investment. Getting the second round pick also softens the blow of losing whatever Gavin Lux is as a prospect. I suspect you can get a comparable prospect with that pick.
For Long Ball, Lux likely just has more future trade value than Duffy, and he’s got enough pitching so as to not really need Duffy anyway. Worst case, he’s out a useful but not spectacular pitcher and instead has a future cost controlled asset, which will pay dividends if he can then surround them with salary dumps in exchange for inferior players or turd prospects.
TBD trades away
SP Corey Kluber ($86)
SP/RP Dennis Santana ($3.50)
SP Michael King (prospect)
$20 in 2019 Auction Budget
We Talk Fantasy Sports trades away
Corbin Burnes (prospect)
German Marquez $7
2019’s 1st round (1st Overall) minor league draft pick
Jordan’s Thoughts: I think that German Marquez is quite valuable. Last year he started 33 games and scored 1107 points. That’s a pretty huge value for a $7 starter. However, I get that he’s kinda scary being a pitcher (they blow up), he’s a Colorado Rockies pitcher (no explanation necessary), and early projections have him regressing a tiny bit.
Corbin Burnes went from a starting pitcher prospect to getting shoved into the “out-getter” (bullpen) role for the Brewers organization. He was mildly successful in his 30 appearances, but projection systems do see him getting back into a starting role. He seems quite useful despite the slight risk. He’s cost controlled and easy to slot into your roster until the Brewers make up their mind.
Obviously the first overall pick has tremendous potential value, and here presented itself a a decent piece in a trade for Corey Kluber.
We Talk Fantasy Sports got Corey Kluber and two spare parts. Michael King seems like he might have some potential, and while Santana if he makes the Dodgers rotation is immediately valuable, he will receive the free agent minimum in 2019.
Using STEAMER projections Kluber is projected to be the best starting pitcher available. Almost no matter how you value pitchers, Kluber’s keeper value is really favorable. Tossing in the $20 is icing on the cake. Kluber projected to be right in line with where he was last year which was basically 40 points a start. If you have money to spend, Kluber is the right guy to spend it on.
Now everyone’s favorite part where I pick the winner, and I have to go with TBD. I think its pretty close. I don’t like that WTFS sent off Marquez in this deal, and with him in it, clearly understand why TBD took the offer. Marquez is just too valuable to let go in my opinion.
Andrew’s Thoughts: I agree with most of what Jordan already said and think it’s pretty obvious this trade hinges on German Marquez. If he’s truly the guy he morphed into last year, this is likely a massive win for TBD, as they get a much, much cheaper ace and the #1 overall pick. All of Marquez’s numbers from last year look legit to me. But… like 15-20 starts ago, he was “just a guy.” A guy on the Rockies. So Marquez is a fairly risky proposition still.
Kluber, meanwhile, is beginning to decline a bit I think but is still a top of the rotation stud. He averaged almost 40 points per game in a year a lot of his peripherals slipped. Pretty amazing.
Both teams accomplish something they needed here. TBD takes on some risk in order to free up some budget space and WTFS lands a bankable pitcher. I’ll say that I like this more for WTFS simply because they got back a more reliable piece, but again, if 2018 Marquez is future Marquez, then this deal looks fantastic for TBD. I will also confess that part of why I like it for WTFS is because this trade screams “quick rebuild” and I’m pro teams trying to turn things around for their teams quickly.
Andrew’s Thoughts: I loved Jake Lamb coming into last year. I think at the time he was a top-20 wOBA guy against RHP over the previous season, or maybe even the previous two. But he battled the new humidor in Arizona and, more importantly, injuries all year. I like him as a solid bounce back candidate. For $11, he’s a good gamble for Long Ball and trading the more expensive Puig to get him shaves off some money from the budget.
For The Foundation, well, this team needs outfield help in a big way. Still does. Playing time has been kind of fickle in LA for the enigmatic Puig, but maybe this is the off-season they finally trade him. Either way, he’s a consistent hitter, albeit I think he’s still living a bit off of the 2014 season he’s never come close to duplicating. Still, Jordan had a surplus at 3B with Justin Turner and Jurickson Profar (and I guess maybe even Hunter Dozier), so Lamb as a flier on his bench was worth a lot less than Puig in that RF slot as often as the Dodgers (or whoever he gets traded to) start him.
Hustle’s Toxic $0.02: I like this trade for both teams. I guess acquiring former HLR legend Jake Lamb signals some combo of Sano and/or Donaldson gets thrown back into the pool by LB. I kinda like what Puig was doing towards the end of last season and he sure has really “figured it out”™ potential. LB has a decent amount of OF so this makes sense. Having $1 Acuna/Soto next year while simultaneously pushing for teams to have less budget in auction may seem a little disingenuous and cheap™, but also makes sense for him to do.
Both guys seem underrated heading into 2019 and it fills position needs for both teams. The benefits of a daily league is if you’re active, you can manage platoons and get a lot of value out of guys who only hit righties well, like Lamb. I don’t think either team will be kicking themselves later for making this. Dollar for Dollar Lamb is probably better, but the dollars dont matter much here as both teams can easily afford the guys and are better off at solving roster construction pre-auction.