Monday, September 17, 2007

Transactions Analysis: Changing of the Leaves Edition

It's a toss-up as to whether we do another of these TA's this year, as we're really winding down the league in all facets, unless you're Darrin & Tucker dueling for the top spot. Personally, I do not intend to stop posting for the offseason; hell, the content may improve. Hell, I think a end-of-season wrap up may even be productive. It'll be lighter on Pat Neshek jokes, but that's to be expected. In the meantime, let us go forward with silliness and insight. (El Angelo)

I can only assume that the blog wil get even more random in the offseason, though we'll keep throwing stuff up there. At the very least we plan to finally come through with an awards/year-in-review edition, which has been promised each year for ther past three, but never come to fruition before the Yahoo! website got taken down for the year. Given the level of professionalism and perspicacity we generally exhibit here at the GRBG, look for the awards column sometime between the end of the season and, oh, March-ish. (Teddy)

The Sex Cannons

  • Signed Aaron Heilman, RP, New York (NL); Released Joel Piniero, RP, St. Louis [8/26]
  • Signed Barry Zito, SP, San Fran; Released Heilman [8/29]
  • Signed Heath Bell, RP, San Diego; Released George Sherrill, RP, Seattle [8/30]
  • Signed Braden Looper, SP, St. Louis; Released Lenny DiNardo, SP, Oakland [9/1]
  • Releaesd Bell; Signed Mike Pelfrey, SP, New York (NL) [9/4]
  • Released Pelfrey...Signed Bell; finished his beer [9/5]
  • Released Raul Ibanez, OF, Seatle [9/6]
  • Signed Zach Greinke, SP, Kansas City; Released Ryan Theirot, 2B, Chicago (NL) [9/8]
  • Released Greinke; Signed Slick Willy Taveras, OF, Colorado [9/12]
There's a little bit of zigging then zagging here, as the early transactions ostensibly include the Grossmans trying to at least get 3rd place money, while the balance seem in the cleanup mode phase, more indicative of the fact that they're getting 3rd place by the grace of Scot, and not by their own merit. This all adds up to the addition of Barry Zito, who sucks and isn't worth the extra keeper slot and Willy Taveras, who I think also has an extra keeper slot next year. So unless they're trying to capture SBs late or tank ERA in September, I can't see a lot of logic to this all. (El Angelo)

This all basically amounts to a lot of heat-chasing on the part of the Rex-N-Effeks, as they try to crack into the money for the first time. Things are looking a bit dim on that front, though that might be because I have put a triple whammy on the club in the hopes of keeping both of my forthcoming first-round picks in the lottery. The billy goat's on its way. (Teddy)

Ed Rooney's Office
  • Activated Phil Hughes, SP, New York (AL) from the prospect list; Released Moises Alou, OF, New York (NL) [9/12]
Moishe had no value whatsoever, so you really can't call that a loss. The question is whether you can call adding Phil Hughes a 'gain' in any meaningful way, since it occurred with 3 weeks to go in the season. Teddy, you cannot be happy about the fact that you basically just lost a keeper slot, can you? (El Angelo)

No indeed. I was hoping that one of the many random New York pitcher injuries would keep him from getting to the rookie innings limit. Still, though, that's a pretty delicate business given the recent history of Yankee pitcher ouchies. You could get something fairly innocuous, like breaking your non-throwing hand on a wall (Kevin Brown), or getting ganked at a diner (David Wells), which would keep Hughes out for the year without risking his long-term health. Then again, you could end up with something like Munsonitis (Corey Lidle) or vaginal cancer (Carl Pavano), and then where would you be? (Teddy)

The Spam Avengers

  • Signed Jake Westbrook, SP, Cleveland; Released Dan Wheeler, RP, Tampa Bay [8/26]
And we are left with....Jake Westbrook? I fail to see how this helps a squad going forward, unless Alex was in a pitched battle in his mind to reach 5th place, which has seemed pretty unlikely at all times. At least there's a non-zero chance Wheeler will be closing for Tampa next year; there's a zero chance Westbrook will be doing anything for anybody next year. (El Angelo)

Nobody has made fewer moves (just 25, less than 1/4 of the total of the Sex Cannons) this year than the TSA. I'm going to chalk this up to just knocking the rust off a little bit, getting back the feel for how the add/drop buttons work. As a roster-enhancer, though, this is right up there with the Red Sox recent acquisition of Royce Clayton as a pinch-runner/luggage handler for the stretch run. (Teddy)

Nigerian Gentlemen
  • Signed Yadir Molina, C, St. Louis; Released Ramon Hernandez, C, Baltimore [8/28]
  • Released J.D. Drew, OF, Boston [9/2]
  • Signed Fernando Rodney, RP, Detroit; Released Luis Vizcaino, RP, New York (AL) [9/4]
  • Released Molina [9/9]
  • Claimed Nick Swisher, 1B, Oakland off waivers; Released Scot Shields, RP, Anaheim [9/12]
And with the release of JD Drew, out went 3/5 of the bundle that was to be sent to the Late Mike in the ill-fated trade of 2007. I'm not going to even say anything negative about Jake or Mike on this one, as Drew's been so awful, he's even money to replicate Kevin McReynolds' career, which is not exactly something to aspire to.

The Nick Swisher pickup strikes me as interesting, but I cut him, so maybe I'm biased. He's not a bad player by any means, but he's about the definition of replacement level at 1B and OF, and he's not going to pop 40 dingers or 40 SBs at any time. I wouldn't have used my waive priority on him, but I guess saving it up for Jeff Niemann or Philip Humber at this point is dumber, especially since they both stink. (El Angelo)

I like to think that I fall into the rational, analytical wing of Red Sox fandom. I recognize the misleading nature of small sample sizes, so that I am still capable of watching Jacoby Ellsbury run the bases without adding the ability to hang my Red Sox cap at waist level. I am not sad that the team let OC go, even though he executed celebratory handshakes at an all-star level. But:

Fuck you J.D. Drew. Fuck you for a myriad of sins. But most of all, fuck you for swinging and missing at roughly 2,645 breaking balls on 2-1 or 3-1 counts this season. Bulletin: Boston plays in the American League. American League pitchers do not want to be killed, and so do not groove 3-1 fastballs. Be. Fucking. Alert. For. The. Fucking. Changeup. Jesus Tittyfucking Christ. (Teddy)

bonderman's grundle
  • Renamed his squad after the ephemeral Jeremy Bonderman [9/12]
I'd normally let this go without even a comment, but we've had quite a run with names from the Healer this year, ranging in topics from Bobcat Goldthwait to the Va Tech shooting to the frail Abe Vigoda to now basically saying "fuck you, Jobu" to his putative ace. Touche. The saving grace in an otherwise disappointing season. (El Angelo)

As was noted at the time of the change, we here at the GRBG are in favor of the word "grundle" and admire the lowercases' attempt to promote it. If your team is going to suck, it might as well suck with panache. (Teddy)

President Skroob

  • Signed Carlos Gomez, OF, New York (NL), John Buck, C, Kansas City and Luke Scott, OF, Houston; Released Kurt Suzuki, C, Oakland and Alexi Castilla, 2B, Minnesota [9/7]
  • Claimed Adam Jones, OF, Seattle off waivers; Released Nick Swisher, OF, Oakland [9/9]
  • Released Scott and Kevin Cameron, RP, San Diego [9/12]
The last two releases are less so the fact that those players suck (though they do) and more to the fact that I had to adjust from some players coming off the DL. The only real thing of note for me (other than gaining a token Met) is taking a flyer on Adam Jones, who I'm not sure if I'll keep, but is a better option than Jon Lester at this point. My potential keeper OF list is Jones, Corey Hart, Matt Kemp and Michael Bourn; no studs, but probably nothing hideous either. Next year may be long, too. (El Angelo)

Adam Jones is one of those annoying players who is probably too chancy to keep, but who will get snatched up in a bout of exuberance by somebody in Round 2-3 if he's allowed to go into the draft. He's a fantastic talent; however, the M's are talking about resigning Jose Guillen next year to play right field. With Ichiro (in CF), Raul Ibanez (in LF) and Jose Vidro (at DH, somehow), already signed for next season, it's not clear where the AB's would come from for Jones. Nice flyer for the hot stove season, though. (Teddy)

Lefty's Revenge
  • Signed Chris Carpenter, SP, St. Louis [8/28]
Da hell? He's +2 next year, why the hell would you want him? (El Angelo)

Eh. Maybe he can be flipped, depending on how the health reports come back. Certainly no downside at this point in the season, (Teddy)

Le Dupont Torkies
  • Claimed C.J. Wilson, RP, Texas off waivers; Released Chris Carpenter, SP, St. Louis [8/1]
  • Traded Jason Bay, OF, Pittsburgh, John Smoltz, SP, Atlanta, Todd Jones, RP, Detroit and their 5th round pick in the 2008 draft to It's Enrico Palazzo for Vernon Wells, OF, Toronto, Chone Figgins, Util, Anaheim, Michael Young, SS, Texas and the 2nd round pick in the 2008 draft [8/12]
  • Released Barry Zito, SP, San Fran [8/12]
  • Released Salomon Torres, RP, Pittsburgh and Jason Bartlett, SS, Minnesota [8/14]
  • Claimed Clay Buchholz, SP, Boston off waivers; Released Kerry Wood, SP, Chicago (NL) [8/17]
  • Signed Ubaldo Jimenez, SP, Colorado [8/20]
  • Released Fat Bob Wickman, RP, Arizona [8/27]
  • Signed Brian Wilson, OF, San Fran; Released Anthony Reyes, RP, St. Louis [9/4]
  • Signed Nate McLouth, OF, Pittsburgh [9/5]
  • Released Wells [9/9]
  • Wasted time with Adam LaRoche, 1B, Pittsburgh; Zach Miner, SP, Detroit; Garret Anderson, OF, Anaheim; Bobby Seay, RP, Detroit; Jack Wilson, SS, Pittsburgh; Jayson Werth, OF, Philadelphia; Chad Qualls, RP, Houston (twice!); Alan Embree, RP, Oakland; Edwin Jackson, RP, Tampa Bay; and Javier Valentin, C, Cincinnati [7/31-9/14]
The original by-laws of the Gowanus Rotisserie Baseball Gazette required me to accurately report all transactions that occurred in the league. I've since amended that unilaterally in what will be known as the Farman-Elders Proviso, mandating that if you futz around with shitty players for no obvious or real gain, you do not get the full transaction written out. Hence the paragraph of Crapiness that's above, wherein we see a bunch of players that are a 2B and 3B shy of actually being a full starting lineup, albeit one that's worse than mine. So let's instead focus on the four most interesting things here, namely:

(1) Correctly discarding Chris Carpenter and Barry Zito, the fruits of my deal with Tucker from July. Now, granted, he gave up zilch in the way of picks, and you could argue that Billingsley & Loney aren't exactly Grade A prospects either, but here's a deal where he actually got nothing in return for a couple of prospects. It wasn't that this was a bad idea at the time, it's more indicative of how everything just hasn't quite broken the way of the Defending Champs this year.

(2) The absolutely ballsy trade of Sahil's ex-players to the first place team for Wells, Figgins & Young, especially while all three are suffering down years. Granted, he picked up a deuce in the process for his troubles, but he also ran the risk of re-arming his chief competitor in the process, especially when it was clear that IEP! was going to be around at the end. Which then lead to...

(3) Waiving Wells, which has to be considered one of the bigger surprises from this year. It wasn't hard to come up with the idea that Sir Vernon would regress from his contract push last year, but he's in the Alou category of outfielders this year, with a second half that would make Mike Greenwell blush. It's a fair criticism to say that the Torkies have made absolutely no progress on the trade front this year, and have yet to make a trade that looked poor at the time it was made. However, as a slight save at the end is the....

(4) Claiming of Buchholz. I'd argue that I'd rather have him than Philip Hughes at this point. Nice save. (El Angelo)

The IEP! trade looked to me more like an attempt to solidify 2d than an effort to get over the top for 1st. At this point in the season, it's getting down to a bit of a crapshoot anyway. I for one kind of enjoy watching the leaders agree to shut the door on everyone else, and play the rest of the way for the cash. Going for it now is generally an underrated play in this league, as people get scared of the keeper ramifications. But flags fly forever, and the case of Lowenbrau that you can buy with the 2d-place money will last . . . well, probably not past the next week of NFL games. So never mind, I guess. (Teddy)

Hand Banana
  • Signed Zach Greinke, SP, Kansas City; Released Antonio Alfonseca, RP, Florida [7/28]
  • Released Greinke; Signed Oscar Villereal, RP, Arizona [8/10]
  • Released Villereal; Signed Bobby Howry, RP, Chicago (NL) [8/13]
  • Traded Willy Taveras, OF, Colorado, Chuck James, SP, Atlanta , Ian Snell, SP, Pittsburgh and their 1st round pick in the 2008 draft to The Sex Cannons for Roy Halladay, SP, Toronto, Roy Oswalt, SP, Houston, Kevin Gregg, RP, Florida and their 6th round pick in the 2008 draft [8/13]
  • Signed Doug Davis, SP, Milwaukee; Released Jeff Francis, SP, Colorado and Brian Fuentes, RP, Colorado [8/15]
  • Released Howry [8/24]
  • Claimed Ian Kennedy, SP, New York (AL) off waivers; Released Adam Jones, OF, Seattle [9/6]
This deal deserved an earlier TA, but them's the breaks. Ignoring the deck-chair shuffling known as their relief corps, the real interseting point here is the deal, which really turned out to be Snell & a 1st rounder for Oswalt, Gregg & Halladay and a 6th rounder. If you're going to give up a first rounder, you'd better get something good in return, and here's a pair of studs thrown to a team that was in the thick of contention on the date of the deal.

A month later, it doesn't look as good, because now you've got a pair of aces that cost 3 slots next year and a horrible closer, and are in all likelihood out the 10th pick in the draft. This team's great at mid-level picks in March, and maybe they'll double-keep Halladay for next year, but it's tough to call this a huge win for this team. Still, I applaud the stones of someone who makes a concerted effort to win, and that troika did help get this squad into the 80's point-wise. Of course, I also tried this last year, and I'm stuck in last place until the 2012 election.

The other fun question is whether their splitting the difference of winning now and later worked with the Kennedy/Jones trade-out; Kennedy has looked good so far, but even putting TINSTAAP aside, all indicators are that his upside is that of a 3rd starter, which doesn't exactly make him ripe keeper material. (El Angelo)

Ang has the trade nailed down pretty good, so I'll just chime in on Ian Kennedy. I think he has a nice fantasy career ahead of him as a pitcher who isn't quite good enough to keep, but who makes whoever drafts him in the 7th round happy most years. There are worse fates. (Teddy)

Evil Empire
  • Released Chris Capuano, SP, Milwaukee [9/3]
Man, now here's a guy who was underrated for years and just flopped miserably in this campaign. I can't criticize EE for picking him or dropping him, but when picks like this don't pan out for you, it makes the degree of difficulty in fantasy leagues geometrically harder. (El Angelo)

Agreed--I had Capuano circled on my draft sheet, but ended up not going there because I somehow acquired the entire American League all-star pitching staff by about Round 8. Think I might have gone after too much pitching last year? (Teddy)

It's Enrico Palazzo
  • Signed Andy Phillips, 1B, New York (AL) [7/21]
  • Released Scott Rolen, 3B, St. Louis [8/5]
  • Released Phillips [8/8]
  • Signed Mark Ellis, 2B, Oakland [8/10]
  • Traded Vernon Wells, OF, Toronto, Chone Figgins, Util, Anaheim, Michael Young, SS, Texas and the 2nd round pick in the 2008 draft to Le Dupont Torkies for Jason Bay, OF, Pittsburgh, John Smoltz, SP, Atlanta, Todd Jones, RP, Detroit and their 5th round pick in the 2008 draft [8/12]
  • Signed Shawn Hill, SP, Washington; Released Michael Cuddyer, 3B, Minnesota [8/16]
  • Signed Dmitri Young, 1B, Washington [8/23]
  • Signed Rafael Soriano, RP, Atlanta [8/28]
  • Released Hill [9/5]
  • Signed Kevin Millar, 1B, Baltimore; Released Hideki Okajima, RP, Boston [9/12]
You have to laugh at any transaction line that begins with Andy Phillips, because defensive stats have never counted in this game. Outside of the deal with the Torkies, which I covered pretty extensively above, everything else is window dressing and unproductive, though it's a bit sad to see Hideki Okajima lose out on getting a ring at the end of the year from this squad. And I reiterate my applause once again of not only making a bold deal at the end of the trading season but for also doing it with your chief competitor. The top 4 guys this year all took big risks with varying levels of success, but it's great that they did so and made this one of the more interesting years to watch the league. (El Angelo)

I just enjoy the idea of picking up 2 Washington Nationals during the stretch run. It's like IEP has decided to try to win with a degree of difficulty. (Teddy)

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