Monday, March 3, 2008

Transactions Analysis: Pre-Draft 2008

After five-plus months of dicking around and dozens of posts with little or no relevance to this league, or baseball in general (but some fantastic insights on the Super Bowl, the Breeders Cup and Ivy League hoops), we bring you back to our bread and butter. That's right folks, it's TA time!

We're now in Year Five of these things (are we really, Teddy?) and have recycled the Ryan "Cum" Dempster jokes to the point where there are macros in our computers to make them, though thankfully, he's about to return to closer status, which will just make it so much tastier. Still, there's always a time, place and forum for unwanted yet much-warranted criticism of your fellow owners and writers, including self-flagellation for the inevitable pickup of Ryan Shealy. Ready for a new year, co-captain? (El Angelo)

Pumped and jacked. The other posts on this site require thought; these require only mockery of friends, acquaintances, and Pat Neshek. Hopefully, our new offseason throwing program on this blog has our arms ready to go right from the starting bell this year, though, as always, avoiding injury is a primary concern at this time of year. You can't be insightful while trying to write through a tweaked oblique. (Teddy)

54° 40' or Fight!

  • Traded Ryan Braun, OF, Milwaukee to Decatur Commies for Josh Beckett, SP, Boston. [2/13]
  • Traded the 25th pick in the 2008 draft to Le Dupont Torkies for Rich Hill, SP, Chicago (NL) and the 71st pick in the 2008 draft. [2/18]
For the record, I picked this team name not only because it's one of my favorite historical references and movements, but because the use of numbers allows my crappy 2008 edition to come first in all TA's and get the madness out of the way. (I suppose you could argue that it should be under "F", but I scoff at your alternative collation methods.)

Regardless, what we've got here is swapping out a redundancy for an ace--the squad already was banking its future on Alex Gordon to man the corner spot, making Ryan Braun's potent bat somewhat expendable. To say the least, the efficacy and success of this trade depends on Gordon's maturation this year, but even that's somewhat offset by the fact that Braun's 3B eligibility is over after this year. Josh Beckett does eat up an extra keeper slot, which is a nuisance, but less so when your team's potential 12th keeper is Michael Bourn or Jonathan Broxton.

The other trade is a straight-up tradedown out of the 3rd round to the 6th round to pick up a potential young stud; given my lack of enthusiasm for the draft market after the first 20 or so picks, I felt it was a reasonable gamble. (El Angelo)

If you can maintain your enthusiasm for this draft class 20 picks deep, I salute you. We might be facing the first fantasy draft ever in which teams pass so that they don't have to admit to having drafted Jeff Francis in the second round. (Teddy)

Decatur Commies
  • Traded Josh Beckett, SP, Boston to of 54° 40' or Fight! for Ryan Braun, 3B, Milwaukee. [2/13]
You absolutely cannot argue with picking up the reigning ROY and adding potentially 40 HRs to your lineup, especially when it's with 2 more years of eligibility at a single slot. The potential negatives are limited to the fact he may be an OF at the end of the year, and the fact that you're losing a helluva pitcher in the process, but the staff already has Justin Verlander and Johan St. Johan to man the rotation. A smart use of resources, and actually, something of a win-win trade, which we never see. (El Angelo)

You'd think that I'd be pretty enthusiastic about this trade, given that I, you know, made it, but that's no longer the case. Don't get me wrong, I'm still excited about Braun, and very much dig my team's power core of Braun, Adam Dunn, and Victor Martinez. But the trade was premised on the idea that I'd be better off with Braun and A.J. Burnett than I would keeping Beckett and losing that extra keeper slot.

However, that assumed I'd also have Kelvim Escobar around; now that he's hurt, everyone else in the rotation moves up one, meaning the extra keeper slot now gets used on Phil Hughes. That's a pretty big drop in certainty right there. Of course, if Hughes lives up to the advance billing he was getting last year, I'll look like a genius. (Teddy)

Le Dupont Torkies
  • Traded Rich Hill, SP, Chicago and the 71st pick in the 2008 draft to of 54° 40' or Fight! for the 25th pick in the 2008 draft. [2/18]
Now, there's a pair of ways to look at this trade. The first one is that trading up 46 slots is never a bad idea, especially when you haven't given up a player that was a real "keeper" for your team, and in essence you've gotten something for nothing. But I respectfully don't buy that point of view---Hill's eminently a better keeper than Bobby Abreu, and the third round, I think, is going to have either prospects going to early or veterans who are fungible with guys available 4 rounds later. So while there's obviously nothing wrong with trading up in the draft, the real query is whether you should have just kept Hill instead. I say yes, which isn't surprising given that I dealt for him. (El Angelo)

The other way to go might have been to keep both Abreu and Hill, cut Xia-Yuan Figgins, and try to find some steals in the draft. That said, it's traditionally been easier to find arms late in the draft than it has to find speed and OBP, so I can understand why the Torkies went this route. (Teddy)

More pre-draft content coming later this week, as soon as we finish absorbing the idea that (1) we live in a world where people keep the backup center fielder for the Red Sox and (2) keeping him might even be the proper play.

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