Monday, May 5, 2008

Transactions Analysis: Matrix Glitch Edition

Between a wedding, a pair of job shifts, the Kentucky Derby, and just being a couple of old grumpfarts in general, we sorta missed a month's worth of our old standby feature, the analysis of transactions made in our fantasy baseball league. No bother. We're just playing a big fat ignore on anything that occurred more than 10 days ago and starting fresh, as we don't see the upshot of putting 300 moves through the blog and trying to analyze them all. So we'll just be looking at the stuff from the first two pages or so of the transaction log. Unless you haven't had a transaction that recently, in which case we'll just do your last one or two. Work for you Teddy? (El Angelo)

Agreed. Let us draw the curtain of charity across the earlier transactions. Lesson learned: my second wedding will NOT take place at the start of baseball season. (Teddy)

clemens the pederast
  • Waived David Bush, SP, Milwaukee [4/28]
  • Signed Fred Lewis, OF, San Fran; Waived Felix Pie, Nuttwister, Chicago (NL) [4/30]
After our signal failure at keeping up with our TA duties, I'm a little bit loathe to launch right in with a condemnation of a move that was clearly made at the margins of the Rocket Girls' roster.


Not sure I like the Fred Lewis/Felix Pie swap. As noted by the titanically awesome Fire Joe Morgan, Lewis's BABIP to date this season is a cool .414. Last year no player with at least 100 ABs put up a BABIP that high. He is not going to keep this up. Which of course doesn't mean it's a bad idea to snag him--hot streaks are real things, and if the McCrough and McCreadys can get the benefit of Lewis's, so much the better for you. But that lottery ticket is not worth the cost of Pie in a keeper league, not when most analysts think Pie has some long-term value. Am I wrong here, Ang? (Teddy)

I don't disagree much, but in fairness, Pie is going absolutely nowhere with that squad, as Sweet Lou has elected to bury him and relive the Hee Seop Choi experience. For reasons unclear, it's not like they're trotting Mickey Mantle out there every day. Hell, they're not even trotting out Mookie Wilson. So cutting bait isn't really a poor idea, though I get the general gist of your idea that Fred Lewis isn't the long-term answer. Still, I guess theres's always the chance he could stay hot a la Xavier Nady and become trade bait. (Not-so-subtle message to all owners of league.)

What find more refreshing is not only the return to a team name that reflects pedophilia, but also that the last transactions allow us to use 'bush' and 'testicle' together. Yeah, I'm 7. (El Angelo)

Christmas Critters
  • Signed Scott Downs, RP, Toronto [4/21]
  • Signed Carlos Quentin, OF, Chicago (AL); Released J.D. Drew, Hacker, Boston [4/29]
  • Released Downs; Signed Juan Pierre, OF, Los Angeles [5/2]
Carlos Quentin has been hitting the bejesus out of the ball, so it's tough to quibble with that signing. Despite his struggles with the bat, I can also understand the signing of Juan-for-five Pierre, as I still think that he's a worthwhile bench guy for someone willing to do their homework--spot start him against lousy catchers, or when your normal OFs are up against bad platoon matchups, and you can probably vulture 15 or so steals at minimal cost. His time as an everyday starter is done, though. (Teddy)

You certainly can't argue with the Quentin pickup, but Pierre strikes me as a colossal waste of time unless you're really desperate for steals, because he simply kills you in OBP and really doesn't help in the other counting stats besides maybe runs. Yes, you can platoon him well, but there's still the question of him being a nullity on the roster 2/3 of the time, which I think makes it a poor pickup. However, steals are the toughest thing to add through the waiver wire, so I can see the logic, even if I don't agree with it. (El Angelo)

Decatur Commies
  • Signed Carlos Silva, SP, Seattle; Released Jeff Niemann, SP, Tampa [4/23]
  • Released Orlando Hudson, 2B, Arizona [4/28]
  • Signed Andre Ethier, OF, Los Angeles [5/1]
As the proud owner of both Phil Hughes's rib and Justin Verlander's soon-to-be-diagnosed labrum tear, I'm scuffling a bit to set up my rotation. Carlos Silva should be a good play in home starts, where Safeco Park will eat up some of his many FB in play. Andre Ethier is a straight hedge against the continued suckening of Andruw Jones, as Ethier is first in line to get Jones's ABs. (Teddy)

I'm not trying to pile it on my co-blogger here, but this just goes to show how fickle pitching can be. Arguably the owner of the best staff last year, he's lost pretty much all that mojo between injuries, trade, craptitude and general inertia. When your healthy 4th starter goes from Josh Beckett to Hiroki Kuroda, you know it might be a long season. That said, while I like both pickups as placeholders, my co-writer would be well advised to heed his own wisdom: starting Silva yesterday against the Yankees in the Bronx worked out roughly as badly as you should have expected. (El Angelo)

54°40' or Fight!
  • Claimed Max Scherzer, SP, Arizona off waivers; Released Kurt Suzuki, C, Oakland [5/2]
Well, shit, like the rest of us I saw the SportsCenter clip of Scherzer striking out everyone in Houston up to and including Yao Ming, so I can't really argue with this signing. (Teddy)

Would it be an accomplishment to strike out Yao Ming? The guy's got an epic strike zone, one functioning leg, has never seen a fastball, and would probably approach an at bat like he was playing cricket. And he appears to be something of a wuss and would just mutter to himself confused on the way back to the dugout. Hell, I think it'd be tougher to strike out Mark Eaton. By contrast, Dikembe Mutombo would be impressive, as he poses the same physical challenges as Yao (very tall, confused about baseball, decrepit), but there's a fair chance he'd summons up the energy charge the mound and scare the ever-living shit out of the pitcher on the first inside slider, despite being 60 years old. Before I start rambling further into a Simmons-esque "shows I'd love to see", I'll wrap up by saying Kurt Suzuki blows. (El Angelo)

The Fighting Isaiahs
  • Signed Aquilino Lopez, RP, Toronto, Eric Chavez, 3B, Oakland and Joel Zumaya, RP, Detroit; Released Juan Pierre, OF, Los Angeles, Mark Lowe, SP, Seattle and Shawn Hill, SP, Washington [4/25]
  • Released Lopez; Signed Luis Castillo, 2B, New York (NL) [4/27]
  • Released Castillo; Signed Santiago Casilla, RP, Oakland [4/28]
So I guess the question is this: Did the Unemployed Franchise Arsonists decide to cut Castillo for Casilla, or did they intend to pick up Casilla all along and just click the wrong button? Someone get the Daily News on this. (Teddy)

I'm going with intentional---Castillo went 3-for-5 on the 27th, and I could totally see Jake coming home shitfaced on a Sunday night, firing up the computer, seeing a second baseman had a nice night and picked him up, only to wake up the next morning and find out it was Luis Fricking Castillo and quickly try to destroy all evidence of the acquisition. But the TAs catch everything, unless it occurred in the first three weeks of this season. (El Angelo)

Frank the Tank
  • Signed Josh Willingham, OF, Florida; Released Doug Brocail, RP, Houston [4/23]
  • Signed Chad Gaudin, SP, Oakland; Released Jose Lopez, 2B, Seattle [4/24]
  • Signed Matt Albers, RP, Baltimore and Greg Smith, SP, Oakland; Released Jon Garland, SP, Anaheim and Mark DeRosa, Jack of All Trades, Chicago (NL) [4/26]
  • Signed Paul Maholm, SP, Pittsburgh; Released Hong Chih Kuo, SP, Los Angeles [4/27]
Just to get the substance out of the way quickly: Maholm's a nice signing; surprised Willingham was still there to be snagged; Mark DeRosa went to Penn, yada yada.


Doug Brocail was on a roster? Really? At various points the man has been traded for Jose Lima and Andujar Cedeno. Was Scott Sanders unavailable? I didn't know 1994 All-Star appearances was a scoring category in the league this year.

Aaaaand so forth. (Teddy)

When you say that you didn't realize Brocail was on a roster, did you mean major league or fantasy? Because he obviously shouldn't be anywhere near a fantasy squad unless you're playing in a NL Central only league, and he's only on the Astros because they're terrible. I will say that swapping Willingham for him is possibly the biggest gap in talent between two players in a single transaction in our league history, with other possible contenders being Scot calling up Tim Lincecum to take the place of Carlos Gomez last season and anytime an owner has dropped Armando Benitez. (El Angelo)

It's Enrico Palazzo
  • Signed Mike Pelfrey, SP, New York (NL); Released Joaquin Benoit, RP, Texas [4/20]
  • Added and dropped Jair Jurrgens despite him being on someone else's prospect list and someone else making the same mistake a week earlier. [5/2]
  • Added and dropped Jair Jurrgens despite him being on someone else's prospect list and doing the same goddamn thing the day before. [5/3]
  • Finished his beer. [5/4]
There's very little I can say to add to the majesty of that transaction summary, so I'll pass the mic to Ang. (Teddy)

I actually loved Darrin's excuse that he thought the computer broke so he picked up Jurrgens again anyway. The Pelphrey Train is an interesting one to ride; there's some latent talent in there, but if you start him against any NL team that has a middle of the order with power, you're gonna get punished because he's this year's Kirk Reuter. Somehow, he's the Mets' third starter and they're not in last. God bless the NL. (El Angelo)

Le Dupont Torkies
  • Signed Jonathan Sanchez, SP, San Fran; Released Tom Gorzelanny, SP, Pittsburgh [4/26]
  • Signed Aaron Cook, SP, Colorado and Jake Westbrook, SP (DL), Cleveland; Released Chris Ray, RP, Baltimore and Fernando Rodney, RP, Detroit [4/30]
It's time once again for America's third-favorite game show, Mid-Rotation Starter Roulette! Jon Sanchez continues to strike guys out at a nice clip, though he won't have much to add in the wins column (which is where the Torkies are weakest at this point) pitching in front of the Yomiuri Giants this season. Aaron Cook has been BABIP lucky to this point in the season--his BAA is down 50 points, despite no change in his K rate--though again, if you can ride that lucky streak, you might as well do it. A short leash would seem to be in order, though. And Jake Westbrook didn't cost anything but a DL slot, so why not? It all adds up to a bunch of short-term fixes, though if the Torkies stay near the top of the league another 6 weeks or so with these guys, they can look to make a trade for a real starter for the stretch run. (Teddy)

The 2006 Champs have a lot more faith in Colorado starters than most, but they're in second place now, so apparently they know something we don't. There's not much to say here beyond Teddy's pearls of wisdom, except to note that this team is in second place despite not having a starter that would merit even remote All-Star consideration. Yikes. (El Angelo)

Matsui's Fissure
  • Signed Dionner Navarro, C, Tampa; Released Joe Crede, 3B, Chicago (AL) [4/30]
  • Released Manny Acosta, RP, Atlanta [5/3]
Joe Crede is really hurt by the fact that this is an OBP league, not a BA league, and he's made expendable by the return from injury of Mike Lowell. I like the Dionner Navaro signing as cover for the injured Ratface Posada, as Navarro is just about the only available catcher who hasn't been conclusively proven to suck. (Teddy)

Navarro's actually better than a third of the catchers currently on starting rosters in the league, so kudos to the Anal Tears to jump on him. When I saw that Crede had been cut I had hoped it meant that Josh Fields had been called up. Sadly no, especially because he's hitting his weight in AAA. (El Angelo)

Presidential Timber
  • Signed Ryan Church, OF, New York (NL); Released Corey Patterson, OF, Cincy [5/3]


I have my suspicions, but I guess we'll all find out. Any thoughts from our resident Mets expert? (Teddy)

Somewhere in the middle, he's less St. John the Divine than your local half-empty on Sunday St. Adalbert's of Elmhurst. If he continues on this clip to hit 40 HRs this year, I will renounce all bad things I've ever said about Omar. Don't see it happening. Still, not a bad pickup as a spare part outfielder. (El Angelo)

The Spam Avengers

  • Released Jack Cust, OF, Oakland [4/22]
  • Signed and released Jair Jurgens when he realized someone else already had him on their prospect list. [4/23]
  • Signed Boof! Bonser, SP, Minnesota [5/2]
This is an awful lot of fooferall over a man named after my wife's brand of moisturizer. (Teddy)

I'm more impressed you know your wife's moisturizer, unless we're going start tuning these TA's into postings about Teddy's auto-erotic functions. Given that I know he watched the Derby on Saturday, I'll just stop typing now. (El Angleo)

Wu Tang Financial
  • Signed Johnny Damon, OF, New York (AL), Jesse Carlson, RP, Toronto and Armando Gallaraga, SP; Released Coco Crisp, OF, Boston, Aaron Heilman, RP, New York (NL) and Cla Meredith, RP, San Diego [4/27]
  • Signed Aquilino Lopez, RP, Toronto; Released Barry Zito, SP, San Francisco [5/3]
We'd be remiss if we didn't lead with this, so that it is preserved for posterity: the LEAGUE-LEADING analysts have truly been nothin' to fuck wit' so far this year. Hell, even the recent injury to Tulo shouldn't hurt that much with Rafael Furcal waiting on the bench.

I guess the big news here from a neutral's perspective is the shivving of erstwhile fantasy stud Barry Zito. Barry's 2008 has gone only marginally better than Nick Zito's, with neither guy contending for any honor beyond Miss Congeniality. Presumably the Giants would love to follow WTF's approach and just cut bait on Zito; instead, they've chosen to make him the highest-paid middle reliever in baseball history by a factor of about 5. Not good times. (Teddy)

This isn't even close---Barry Zito's having a much better year than Nick. Nick has to deal with the fact that War Pass' scratch and injury took away his best horse and basically handed the Derby to Big Brown, his best prospect Aquarian dropped dead on him while working out and the fact that he has to kiss Marylou Whitney's old ass all summer just on the hope he'll make $500k for the year. Barry, by contrast, gets paid $16 million so long as he keeps breathing. What's his worst case scenario, he becomes the latter-day Mike Hampton? That don't suck. (El Angelo)

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