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Archive for the ‘Trade’ Category

Roster updates

Still in active roster

  • MI Scooter Gennett
  • 2B Joe Panik
  • 3B Jake Lamb
  • OF AJ Pollock
  • OF Randall Grichuk
  • OF Ender Enciarte
  • UT Arismendy Alcantara

Traded

  • SS Wilmer Flores
  • OF Wil Venable
  • JP Crawford
  • Jenry Mejia
  • Tony Cingrini

Acquired

  • SP Zack Greinke
  • SS Jhonny Peralta
  • SP Matt Garza
  • OF Justin Upton

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There is not a single way to prepare for a NL or AL only keeper league draft.  In these type of leagues, its important to get a good read of who came over from the other league in the off season, and figure out how their skills will do in the new league. As, they go directly to the new player pool that will be available for bidding on in the draft. Each owner in evaluating the players coming over to a new league should consider :

  • the ball park the player is coming from/to
  • the playing time the player may receive with the new team
  • with pitchers coming from AL to NL, the lack of DH in NL suggests better results

The list goes on, but lets take a look at the movement with the NL teams this off season.

The Braves bullpen is remade with the Wagner and Saito signings, but one of their best pitchers Javier Vazquez traded away. The Doctor is in for the Phillies, but sent Cliff Lee packing for Seattle pitchers Philippe Aumont and Juan Ramirez and outfielder Tyson Gillies. The Marlins traded away Jeremy Hermidia for Boston prospects Hunter Jones and Jose Alvarez.  The National brought in Matt Capps, Pudge, Miguel Bautista, Adam Kennedy, and Chris Duncan. Along with Jason Bay, the Mets signed Hisanori Takahahi From Japan. The Diamondbacks blew up the team with starters Ian Kennedy and Edwin Jackson coming over in blockbuster deal. They remade the left side of the infield in Adam Laroche and KellyJohnson/Tony Abreu. Their bullpen was upgraded with Bob Howry and Aaron Heilman. The Cubs took on Carlos Silva, and obtained pitcher Jeff Grey in trades. Chad Tracy and Kevin Millar were signed as possible backups. The Brewers added Randy Wolfe, Doug Davis, and outfielders Jim Edmonds Carlos Gomez. The Pirates traded with Rays for Aki Awamura, they signed Ryan Church, and added pitcher RHP Chris Jakubauskas.  The Reds shocked people by signing the Cuban defector Chapman, along with SS Orlando Cabrera, reserves Miguel Cairo and Josh Anderson. The Astros Ed Wade overspent for a new back end of bullpen. The Cards signed Brad Penny and Fellipe Lopez. The Rockies brought in Tim Redding and Melvin Mora. The Giants signed Mark DeRosa, 1B Aubrey Huff, and pitcher Todd Wellemeyer. The Padres stayed busy with additions of both the Hairston brothers, Aaaron Cunningham, John Garland,  Catcher Torrealba, and P Radames Liz. The Dodgers stayed busy with divorce issues and only signed Josh Towers, Jamey Carroll, and Nick Green.

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It was with the Toronto Blue Jays that Jeff Kent first came on the radar.  He had some pop even back then with his bat when the Blue Jays were giving him some play at 3B.  The Mets did the unthinkable and traded the player who meant so much to the team in David Cone.  It was believed the center piece of that trade was Ryan Thompson who Peter Gammons seemed very high on. The other player was Jeff Kent who I atleast knew something about in his recent callup to the majors with Jays.

The Mets moved Kent immediately to 2B and Thompson came over soon enough and was thought to be Al Harazin’s CF for the next decade.  Its funny how things play out. Over the next few years with the Mets,  Kent showed decent power for a second baseman and after making the position change to a middle infielder, it was where he wanted to remain.  He was a gritty hard nosed player. Though, he never was known for his personality.

The Mets never waited to see what Kent the player would evolve to.  Nor did the Indians who used him for just the one season when they traded for him in a playoff run. It was his time beginning with the Giants that Jeff Kent took his game to the next level and became the player we will remember him as. He became one of the most feared hitters in the game, packaged in a middle infielders body. He did it right way we believe even though he played in the steroid era.  He went on to become the 2B baseman that we all compare the new wave of elite second baseman to. A name Chase Utley comes to mind.

Jeff Kent performed at an elite level for 10 or so years which brings me to my conviction that  Jeff Kent is a Hall Of Fame player. His entire career was not Hall of Fame material, like an Albert Pujols thus far. But, he has enough of a resume to make a case that he belongs in the Hall. His so called motorcycle accident, and his refusal to socialize with other players are factors, but they have nothing to do with what Jeff Kent did on the field.

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We are already past “Pitchers and Catchers”, and the exhibition games for the 2008 baseball season are underway. Its that time of the year that baseball fantasy owners are monitoring very closely what is going on in the Cactus League in Arizona, and the Grapefruit league in Florida.

One of the better blogs I came across this off-season is called Greener On the Other Side where they offer Objective Insight to Sabermetrics and Strategy In Fantasy Baseball. Brett Greenfield and I participated in a blog exchange of questions and answers. My responses to his questions appear at Greener on the Other Side. Brett’s responses to my questions appear below in bold.

1. Just like in Major League baseball, after a while you can recognize
the type of players or strategies certain GMs favor. In fantasy baseball keeper leagues, what type of patterns among other fantasy owners do you see pretty often?

Many owners fail to realize mistakes they’ve made. We all do it. For example, those who drafted or kept guys like Alex Gordon or Delmon Young last year are highly likely to keep them again this year.

An intelligent owner cuts bait on his these players and goes for the certain thing. Nobody knew Ryan Braun would be as productive as he was last year and become a first round pick this year. Sometimes it takes guys like Young and Gordon time to develop and other times they never do.

So a trend I see all too often is holding on to a player just because you thought highly of him in the year before. I also see rosters that have players in common. There is usually the owner who drafts all young players and not enough proven veterans to contend. Every team needs a Todd Helton. Other teams only take the older guys who have “slipped” to them because other owners think they are too old to draft in a “keeper league.”

Finding a happy medium usually results in success. While in a keeper league everyone needs to remember that your primary goal is to win this year not in 2010.

2. The saves and stolen bases always seem to be the hardest categories
to fill out on your fantasy roster with. Do you suggest going after the high fliers in those categories and having to pay for it, or go after with several cheaper players that get you the stats collectively?

Saves and stolen bases are the hardest to fill out. This is the case mainly because the players who provide these two categories don’t provide you with any help in other categories. Closers for example help your ERA and WHIP yet only give you that help in about a third of the innings of a starting pitcher.

Even the best closers who strike out 100 still give you a total as low as Chien-Ming Wang. I prefer landing cheaper sources of saves such as Todd Jones and Kevin Gregg. In such a volatile position I hate to use a high draft pick on a player who only provides me with 3 categories at most. Stacking up on high-end SP’s who can get you help in four categories and then drafting late closers works best in my opinion.

The same can be said for stolen bases when a large majority of your SB guys include Figgins, Pierre and Taveras. They rarely provide you with much help elsewhere.

That being said for my first two rounds in the draft I try to target players like David Wright, Carl Crawford, Grady Sizemore, Brandon Phillips, Alfonso Soriano, etc.

A guy like Ryan Howard in the first round gives you zero SB and his .261 AVG is a lot more real than his .300 AVG from the year before.

In targeting SB I prefer to get an all-around player and when targeting saves I prefer to wait until rounds 17-20 and grab lesser values closers much like Al Reyes and Kevin Gregg last year.

3. It seems you always hear to spend a certain percentage of your team
on offense and certain percentage on pitching. Why is it that offense is always at a premium percentage of your overall budget when both offense and pitching both contribute to five categories?

Generally speaking, offense usually comprises a larger portion of a fantasy roster. In addition, hitters suffer far less injuries than pitchers and are more reliable because of that. Lastly, even the best pitchers like Peavy and Santana don’t provide you with 5 categories since they won’t be getting any saves. A hitter like David Wright provides above average assistance in all 5 categories.

So in rotisserie leagues, its always worth spending the big bucks on the guys who provide you with help in the most categories as possible.

4. We have seen some teams make bold moves with a player they acquired
this off-season either through trades or free agent signings. Which move in particular strikes you as a move that we can call the “Fools Gold” transaction of 2008?

The fool’s gold transaction of the 2008 offseason was the White Sox and A’s trade involving Nick Swisher and Gio Gonzalez. Last year, Gio led the minor leagues in strikeouts and sported a 3.18 ERA to go along with a 1.15 WHIP. He was blocked in Chicago by a slew of pitchers that they’ve had including Vazquez, Garland, Contreras, Buehrle, Danks and Floyd. Now moving from an extreme hitters park to a pitcher’s paradise with a great chance to log 150+ innings, expect him to be the “Fools Gold” of 2008 as Billy Beane has done it again.

5. The Houston Astros Roy Oswalt was one of the top pitchers in many
draft boards last season. Tell me why I should avoid or go after
Houston Astros Pitcher Roy Oswalt in 2008?

Roy Oswalt has seen his stats decrease over the last few years. His strikeouts have decreased at a clip of 20 per year over the last 4 seasons and his strikeout rate dropped to a career low 6.5/9. His ERA, while still at 3.18 has risen over the last three years and his WHIP was a career high last year. For those interested in Sabermetrics, Oswalt’s Component ERA was 3.72 and his DIPS ERA was 3.51, both higher than his 3.18 ERA looks on the surface. His two back to back 20-win seasons are in the past as his run support has dwindled over the last two seasons. Avoid Roy Oswalt.

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With The Orioles bringing in quite a haul with the Erik Bedard trade, you have to think that they will continue to look to the future and unload Brian Roberts.  The Cubs are a good trade partner, but like we have said before, You win with Mark DeRosa. The trade does make sense for the Cubs, but Pie its not going anywhere. It seems they will settle on starting pitching.

After a long while, the Fire Joe Morgan fellows have unmasked themselves. Sorta like when Kiss took off the makeup.

Kevin Goldstein does double duty counting down the prospects at SI.

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What a day for the N.Y. Mets, as they finally reached an agreement with the Twinkees to acquire southpaw Johan Santana. I thought I would do a “best of” from the blogosphere about the deal. One thought, before I go around the web. Let’s say the Mets still had lefty Scott Kazmir, they probably are not making this trade. If,If,If. Lets just say this trade leaves the Mets front office off the hook.

Just to recap the “Free” Johan Santana time line. This is a rags to riches story. First as the Twins Rule V draftee, to the live arm out of the Twins bullpen, to making his way into the Twins pitching rotation, to eventually claiming the top spot in the rotation, to a two time Cy Young winner. As Gleeman writes today:

The early days of this blog were filled with a “Free Johan Santana!” campaign that urged the Twins to move their young left-handed phenom into the starting rotation. After Santana spent the majority of four years in the bullpen and another half-season at Triple-A, the Twins finally gave him a permanent spot in the rotation to begin the 2004 season. He immediately became the best pitcher in baseball, winning the AL Cy Young by going 20-6 while leading the league with a 2.61 ERA and 265 strikeouts.

The Santanamania sweepstakes are over!

Yankees winners of Santana deal because Sox did not get him

Neyer sees a better Santana (if thats possible)

Mets and Twins: Who Fleeced Who

The players involved timeline

Reactions from opposing Players , Mets Players

New Top 10 Mets Prospects

Santana Forced Deal ?

Mets Blog said it December 8th:

having talked with a variety of people over the last few days, ranging from those who are connected to the team to people connected to player reps to those who work in media and for teams who are following the negotiations, from what i can gather, Johan Santana prefers to be on the Mets, where he can a) be in New York City, and b) get out of the hitter-dominant American League…

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It’s preview season at Beyond the Boxscore and people are taking notice . I had the opportunity to ask R.J. Anderson, Columnist at Beyond the Boxscore and DRaysBay a bunch of questions. Anderson has also appeared at Deadspin and just completed a book on the Tampa Rays called Lamar-itis.

With the loss of 40 year old Tom Glavine to Braves, how much of an impact to the Mets pitching staff of the Mets be affected? To what extent will this help or hurt the Braves in the N.L. East?

It won’t hurt or help either team as much as his name would suggest, last year he was below average and I’m not sure I really can see him responding like he did in 2004 with a 119 ERA+, but who knows, maybe he has one last run in that left arm. It certainly can’t hurt the Braves to have him as their third starter at least it’s not someone like Mark Hendrickson.

The Mets are rumored to be considering surrendering a ton of minor league minor league talent to the Twins to land Johan Santanta. The package of Fernando Martinez , Philip Humber , Carlos Gomez, Kevin Mulvey, and Mike Pelfrey to land the Ace of its staff. Would you make this deal to win now?

No, the deal reeks of short-sightedness and frankly I don’t trust either Omar Minaya’s prospect valuing skills or the idea that Johan will simply re-sign with the Mets without at least fishing on the open market for a few days. Do I think the Mets will end up with Johan? Wouldn’t surprise me, this is the same general manager who went for a “win now” approach with the Expos and Bartolo Colon, how’d that end up?

Chipper Jones has been a household name for the past decade for Braves. Would you consider him a Hall of fame player. Is he worthy of a gold glove at this point of his career?

I really don’t get into either the Hall of Fame or Gold Glove arguments since both are pretty arbitrary, but at first glance I’d assume he’s pretty close to being a HOFer, I’m not sure if he is or not though.

The Royals have made a alot of moves the past few years. How do you see the moves working out this upcoming season?

Dayton Moore has done a solid job, but I didn’t really like the Jose Guillen signing, it seemed like he was their third choice – at best – and they decided to write a large paycheck to get their “man”. I’d like to see them finish in front of the White Sox, but even that might be a bit of challenge.

How much of an impact offensively will Mike Cameron be aided by his move to the Brewers ?

I’m not sure how much it’ll help him with his bat – although moving from PETCO elsewhere can’t hurt. If nothing else it gave the Brewers a reason to move Ryan Braun to left.

The Mets obtaining a defensive minded catcher Brian Schneider and Ryan Church for youngster Lastings Milledge, how sweet of a trade was this for an up and coming team like Nationals?

Very sweet in a vacuum; the market for “troubled” young outfielders is non-existent and the Nats took advantage in both the Milledge and Elijah Dukes deals. If neither work out people will mock the Nationals, personally I don’t blame them for either deal, consider they essentially acquired two players who would be top prospects in their organization for a top 10 in their system and two major league players who I don’t think they’ll miss too much given their glutton of outfielders.

Is Rockies Chris Iannetta worthy of playing time in Colorado or should Torrealba be given most the work at catcher?

I think they should give Iannetta more playing time, it’s not like he could do much worse than Yorvit Torrealba did with the bat last year.

Tell me about Michael Bourn and what he may be able to do now that he gets a starting job in Houston . Is he Juan Pierre II?

He’s a young lefty bat who went to the University of Houston and was actually drafted by the Astros in 2000 but didn’t sign. I suppose he’s Juan Pierre like, and I don’t doubt he’ll produce better than Willy Taveras as soon as next year.

Who got the better end of the Troy Glaus / Scott Rolen Trade?

I think the Cardinals, Glaus is younger, lately a little more consistent, and not nearly as volatile. He has his own issues, but at least he’s not gun powder waiting for a spark.

Is Josh Hamilton going to stay healthy and break out this year?

Didn’t he break out last year? Health wise I have no idea, two seasons in a row ended by injuries, eh it’s a trend that can be broken at least.

When Dan Haren was last in the NL, he was not special the way he is today. Why was he successful in Oakland and not under LaRussa?

Well he barely had over 100 innings in St. Louis , and remember Oakland ’s ballpark dimensions include a ton of foul room, there probably isn’t a correlation between Haren’s success and his departure from St. Louis.

Tell me about Brian Barton who came to St. Louis in Rule V draft. Was he the best talent made available in the Rule V draft?

He’s a rocket scientist, seriously. I’d like to think he wasn’t the best talent in the draft because he slipped and I’d like to believe the teams picking would’ve taken the best talent. Speaking of the Rule V isn’t it a bit amusing that the purpose is to prevent farm system monopolies yet in theory the teams with the highest potential to have a good farm system – bad teams with high draft picks – are the ones who pick first?

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