Marshall Law trades away
SP Dinelson Lamet ($5; cost controlled)
RF Misael Urbina (prospect)
1B Pavin Smith (prospect)
Long Ball to LF trades away
SP Aaron Nola ($38)
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.