Thursday, April 5, 2007

Transaction Analysis: Opening Day Edition

The first few days after the start of a new season always bring a flurry of activity, as teams realize who they managed to pick while on their fifth draft-day beer. Lots of good early work so far—honestly, the stupidest name that’s been picked up so far was grabbed by me. While that might cramp my analytic style, I’m willing to bet that Angelo will encounter no such problems. (Teddy)

Of all people, a fricking priest has put me in a horrific mood today, so watch the frick out. Let's get this s**t underway, and happy Holy
Thursday, Passover, and all other early spring holidays. (Angelo)

bobcat goldthwaits

Signed: Braden Looper (StL - RP), Mike MacDougal (CWS - RP), Bobby Crosby (Oak - SS)

Waived: Rich Aurilia (SF - 1B,2B,3B,SS)

Any day in which you cut Rich Aurilia is a day worth celebrating. MacDougal is the first of many closer spec plays we’ll see—it’s going to be very difficult to find saves lying around this year the way people are stockpiling setup men. The bloom is pretty far off the Crosby rose, but he’s an OK guy to have around to plug in if there’s an injury. Not a super-exciting set of pickups here. (Teddy)

Well, dumping Aurilia is automatically a good move. But. I. Cannot. Believe. For. The. Life. Of. Me. That a MET FAN picked up Braden Looper. Has Ironhead contracted amnesia to the 2005 season, where Looper blew donkey balls? I do like the McDougal snag though; not for baseball reasons, because he's a marginal setup man, but because this squad has him every year, as a cross between a useful player and a mascot. I wholly applaud continuity in this league, even if it's at the expense of an otherwise viable roster spot. (Angelo)

Ed Rooney’s Office

Signed: Chris Reitsma (Sea - RP), David Riske (KC - RP), Milton Bradley (Oak - OF)

Waived: Brendan Donnelly (Bos - RP), Jonny Gomes (TB - OF)

So much for the Donnelly experiment. I thought I had a pretty good track on who was going to emerge as the Sox’ closer, but the Papelbon move counterfeited my holding pretty quick. David Riske is in line to get some saves for KC while Dotel is banged up, though it’s tough to see him as a long-term option. Milton Bradley is here both because I need some more SLG out of my OF, and to combine with Brett Myers to give my team the ability to beat the hell out of both sides of the gender plate. Reitsma is next in line if JJ Putz's elbow goes farther south. (Teddy)

See, I think taking a reliever as a flyer to be a future closer is a nice move...if the guy's young and can morph into a future stud closer, a la taking a chance on a guy like Putz last year, Jenks the year before that, etc. Reitsma and Riske are basically Guys Who May Finish Games and are old and sucky. I don't really like those picks. I'd much prefer a stab at someone like Jose Capellan or Fausto Caramona, who at least can settle into the role for a few years. There's no chance Reitsma will help this year without injury (and even then, he's only there for fliapability to a contender in July), and he's certainly not keeper material for 2008. So I disapprove. Milton, grab your billy club and beat Teddy. (Angelo)

Evil Empire

Signed: Chris Sampson (Hou - SP,RP), Jarrod Washburn (Sea - SP), Gil Meche (KC - SP), Jason Varitek (Bos - C)

Waived: Chris Sampson (Hou - SP,RP), Tony Graffanino (Mil - 1B,2B,3B,SS)

Much like Aurilia, Tony Graffanino is a guy that looks interesting because of his multi-position eligibility, but really just sucks out loud at almost any spot on the diamond. Those guys tend to be traps, as there will usually be better options on the waiver wire to back up the spots that they could handle in the event of an injury. So there is no real need to keep Tony Graffs around unless you need somebody authentic to run as the Italian Sausage in the Milwaukee sausage races. (Teddy)

The siliness with Sampson aside, Varitek's an ok pickup for a catcher who could be productive if last year wasn't a sign of all things to come. I actually don't mind the Meche signing, who, for all the crying and crucifying that's been done, isn't a half bad pitcher. He won't win any games on a execrable KC team, but he's far from the worst idea I've seen to hold down a back of the fantasy rotation slot. Jarrod Washburn? He might be the worst idea I've seen. In the aforemention karma department, is this the first year Jake didn't draft him?

Hand Banana

Signed: Todd Coffey (Cin - RP), Mike Stanton (Cin - RP), Ken Griffey Jr. (Cin - OF)
Henry Owens (Fla - RP), Lastings Milledge (NYM - OF), Elijah Dukes (TB - OF), Dustin Hermanson (Cin - RP)

Waived: Dustin Hermanson (Cin - RP), Hong-Chih Kuo (LAD - SP,RP), Brad Wilkerson (Tex - OF), Henry Owens (Fla - RP), Brian Wilson (SF - RP)

Periodically, we here at the GRBG feel compelled to point out that owners don’t earn commission on their transactions. Hand Banana managed to complete not one, but TWO round-trip transactions before Opening Day, with both Dustin Hermanson and Henry Owens winning free rides on the carousel. We’re still awaiting official confirmation from the Elias Sports Bureau, but preliminary research indicates that this is a new FBBL record. So, tip of the cap to Senor Banana.

The substance of the moves was more defendable, with Dukes and Milledge showing nice upside. Dukes appears to have nudged aside Jonny Gomes for the 4th OF/DH slot in Tampa, while the Mets are either going to have to play Milledge because of injuries, or trade him to shore up their rotation. I guess Paul Coffey (D – Pit) and Elizabeth Cady Stanton (S – Seneca Falls) are here on the assumption that Stormy Weathers sucks. While that’s true, this assumption overlooks the fact that Stanton and Coffey are no prizes themselves. (Teddy)

That's a lot of Cincinnati relievers, which also belies the fact that the Reds are awful this year. Yeah, I know, I'm the first guy to preach the every-team-gets-40-saves mantra, but sheesh, it looks like they're going to be spread between all the vultures known to mankind. Coupling that with picking up the dessicated remains of Ken Griffey, Jr., and you've got an owner who clearly either loves the Queen City or is a sadist. Unsure which is true. I agree that Dukes & Millidge are nice pickups, but moreso for next year than this one, though I suppose they'll make sufficient trade bait, much like they will for Omar. (Angelo)

It's Enrico Palazzo

Signed: Matt Lindstrom (Fla - RP), Zack Greinke (KC - RP), Mark DeRosa (ChC - 2B,3B,OF)

Waived: Scott Linebrink (SD - RP)

It always warms the cockles of my heart to see somebody pick up Mark DeRosa, my inaugural last-round pick and fellow Oxymoronic Fighting Quaker. That said, DeRosa parlayed three fluke months last year into a new deal with the Cubs, despite the very high likelihood that those three months represented his non-academic peak in life. I like the Zach Grienke pickup as much as you can realistically like the addition of a guy with a diagnosed, though unspecified, mental illness. Greinke better hope he's never traded--if KC drove him mad, New York would cause everything north of his eyebrows to explode. (Teddy)

DeRosa was indeed a Mr. Irrelevant in our first draft, so nice call Teddy. I certainly can't argue with picking up Greinke as a flyer, who looked superb 3 years ago only to have the wheels fall off once BP declared that his collapse rate was 0%. Oops. Someone get Wollner on the horn to have him add to PECOTA an adjustment for mental issues. My only quibble here is casually discarding Linebrink, who I think is gonna get flipped for a position player at some point, and become a closer for his new team (and I'm looking, Tampa Bay). (Angelo)

Le Dupont Torkies

Signed: Noah Lowry (SF - SP), Justin Duchscherer (Oak - RP), Pat Neshek (Min - RP)

Waived: None

All three guys are young arms with various ratios of success and potential. The Duke is a legitimately great RP in real life; however, the A's use of him as a Bill James-style fireman means that he accumulated neither wins nor saves. That obviously limits his fantasy value. Lowry used to be the Next Big Thing in San Francisco until Matt Cain and Tim Lincecum came on the scene. He's good guy for spot starts at home against some of the weaker teams in the division, though you probably don't want to run him out there in starts in Colorado or Arizona. (Teddy)

These are three guys you want on your real team, not on your fantasy team. Lowry is a fine 4th-starter that eats a shitload of innings and doesn't strike out a pissload either, well in the Giants tradition started by Kirk Roto Reuter earlier this decade. Neshek and Duchsherer are very nice relievers to have around, but taking those guys are really lottery tickets for vulture wins and saves. Sometimes you get lucky, like I did with Jesse Crain a few years ago, when he won 9 games for absolutely no reason, but usually you don't. I actually do tend to think that good middle relievers are useful in a league where you have daily changes, a great lineup and a few front line starters; the problem here is that they're missing the last part of that equation. (Angelo)


Signed: Mark Mulder (StL - SP), Fernando Rodney (Det - RP)

Waived : None

If you glance down a few posts, you'll see that I have Mulder on my HACKING MASS team this season, which pretty well sums up my feelings about him. Being on the DL might be the best thing that could happen to him. Fernando Rodney is another candidate to step into the closer's role in Detroit once Todd Jones finally gives up the ghost. He actually has more closing experience than Zumaya, so if Detroit is feeling either: (a) traditional, and wants to give the job to a Proven Closer; or (b) sabremeterrific, and want to keep Zumaya as a fireman, then Rodney might have some value. I think what this grab again really shows is how far down the RP food chain we already are this season. (Teddy)

Why haven't we extended the naming tradition that we began with Jorge Julio Jorge to now include Fernando Rodney Fernando? It doesn't roll off your tongue the same way, but it works fairly well. (Angelo)

Nigerian Gentlemen

Signed: Oliver Pérez (NYM - SP), Kenny Lofton (Tex - OF), Moisés Alou (NYM - OF), Jim Edmonds (StL - OF), Jon Lester (Bos - SP), Aubrey Huff (Bal - 3B,OF)

Waived: Jon Lester (Bos - SP), Joel Piñeiro (Bos - SP,RP)

Hmm. So the Sese Sekos added (at least temproarily) two good, if flawed, young arms, presumably in an attempt to compete down the road. They then turned around and added FOUR past-their-prime outfielders, in what looks like a win-now strategy. Obviously, it's a touch early to completely abandon this season (unless you're Angelo, in which case you're already preparing your draft list for 2009), but the mixed signals are odd. (Teddy)

Well, they waived Cancer Boy Lester, so there's really just adding one arm, and that's the volatile Oliver! Perez. I've seen dumber ideas. Like....signing 3 guys who are well fit for a HACKING MASS squad and Jim Edmonds' corpse. Vomit. (Angelo)

President Skroob

Signed: Juan Rivera (LAA - OF), Carl Pavano (NYY - SP), Kip Wells (StL - SP), Joe Crede (CWS - 3B)

Waived: Jon Lieber (Phi - SP), Milton Bradley (Oak - OF)

Boy, if I hadn't made myself vulnerable by picking up Chris Reitsma, I'd be jumping in with both feet on the Carl Pavano move. Put it this way: the 50-ish female office manager at my firm came up to me on Opening Day and said that she'd need to leave early that day because someone would have to be ready to take over for Pavano in the 3rd inning. (Teddy)

C'mon, I'm at the point where I have to take some chances, and Pavano's in the category of not-great-but-sensible gambles: he's on an offensive juggernaut that should allow him to win 12-15 games if he stays healthy, and was pretty good in '04. I'm tilting at windmills a bit, but that's the thought anyway. Kip Wells, by contrast, is solely a Dave Duncan move; he seems like the kind of guy Duncan will straighten out. (Angelo)

The Sex Cannons

Signed: Juan Salas (TB - RP), Gary Matthews Jr. (LAA - OF), Johnny Estrada (Mil - C), Casey Kotchman (LAA - 1B), Cla Meredith (SD - RP), Al Reyes (TB - RP)

Waived: Cla Meredith (SD - RP), Juan Salas (TB - RP), Gary Matthews Jr. (LAA - OF), Melvin Mora (Bal - 3B)

The Rexies continue their years-long effort to sabotage this column by racking up enough transactions to blow up the GRBG mainframe. Leaving aside the THREE round-trip jobs (Senor Banana's record was short-lived), you end up adding an intriguing 1B flyer in Casey Kotchman, and a couple of spare parts in Estrada and Reyes. Kotchman is running out of excuses for his poor performance in the majors. His most recent explanation was last year's case of mononucleosis, which he totally got from making out with Heather-Amber Szyzmanski behind the batting cages after 5th-period Health class. Still, there's a chance he'll break out one of these years, and he'll get every chance on this year's Angels team, which needs all the offense it can find. (Teddy)

Am I crazy for saying I like the Al Reyes move a lot? He's actually a good arm that Tampa may let close and could hang on to. See, these are the relievers that make sense to pick up, not Chris Fricking Reitsma. (Angelo)

The Spam Avengers

Signed: Scott Linebrink (SD - RP), Aaron Heilman (NYM - RP), Ray Durham (SF - 2B)

Waived: None

This team was in pretty good shape to start the season, so it had the luxury of taking good players rather than players who filled needs on the club. Can't really argue with any of these moves. I think, though, that Scott Linebrink is the first recycled, "One Man's Trash Is Another Man's Treasure" snag of the season. That makes Linebrink the leader in the clubhouse for the Corey Lidle Memorial Trophy, (a.k.a. the "Pewter Parachute"), which is awarded annually to the player who appears on the most fantasy rosters over the course of a season. Quite the honor, obviously. (Teddy)

Bringing up the Late Corey Lidle allows me to bring in the photo on the right, of Alec Baldwin bitching at a cop who won't let him back to his apartment while they clean up the crime scene left by Lidle's plane accident. As Gawker said, even in tragedy, Alec Baldwin is an insufferable prick. (Angelo)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Re: Washburn and such... I haven't had him for several years, although someone always seems to take the plunge. In my defense, he won 18 games for me the first year and I kept him based on that. Of course, I'm usually a year too early on guys -- Hafner and Lackey come to mind. So if I drop any young players sometime this season, you can be sure they'll blow up next year.