Monday, June 30, 2008

Transactions Analysis: Heat of Summer Edition

To begin, let me clear my throat: A-hem. Man, between that and Ang's performance over the past 2 years in the Triple Crown, we here at the GRBG appear to have been gifted with a second sight. Well, except for predictions regarding the league. Still, we're not the types to let mere facts get in the way of sharing our opinions in a TA. (Teddy)

Let's dispense with the chit-chattiness and get right to exactly how everyone in the Northeast should feel after this weird weather month:

Much better. (El Angelo)

Presidential Timber

  • Signed Kevin Millar, 1B, Baltimore [6/14]
  • Traded Tim Hudson, SP, Atlanta, Brad Lidge, RP, Houston and Aaron Rowand, OF, San Fran to Matsui's Fissure for Brandon Phillips, 2B, Cincy, Carl Crawford, OF, Tampa Bay and Alfonso Soriano, OF, Chicago (NL) [6/15]
We kick off this fortnight's edition with a pair of curious transactions from the Clinton Crotches, the first being the addition of Kevin Millar, which I can't quite endorse because he sucks. Yeah, I know someone had to man the 3-slot while Big Al Pujols went on his brief DL stay, but they've already got Yoooooouks to handle first base duties, and there are a slew of more interesting and useful 3B options out there that you can turn to versus Millar's stellar .247 batting average.

As for the deal, it's on its face a great swap, but this team probably isn't winning the title this year, and will be hard-pressed to get money this year. I have to think the impetus is picking up another non-plus year of Phillips, and the ability to re-flip Crawford and Soriano down the line, because while they didn't give up a ton, there's no scenario under which either outfielder contributes to this team next year, whereas both Lidge and Hudson could have. (El Angelo)

I feel as though elite players have been consistently undervalued in this league, so I'm on board with the concept of trying to hoard them. That said, I'm not sure whether that trend will continue as we move into the Brave New World of +3 players this offseason. Regardless, in the absence of pretty strong countervailing considerations, Good Players > Bad Players.

How's that for some crackerjack analysis? (Teddy)

Le Dupont Torkies
  • Signed Joey Devine, RP, Oakland; Released Chris Ianetta, C, Colorado [6/14]
  • Signed Marcus Thames, OF, Detroit [6/15]
  • Released Thames [6/19]
Marcus Thames has been the protagonist in a slew of funky baseball moments. He homered in his first major league at bat, off the Big Eunuch. He was traded for Ruben Sierra, which would be something of a compliment had it occurred ten years earlier. He was once sent to the minors so Timo Perez could be called up. And he had a streak where eight consecutive hits were home runs. He doesn't deserve a starting spot on a fantasy team, but he's definitely earned the right to be in the Hall of Trivia. (El Angelo)

Is Chris Ianetta officially a bust yet? I feel like he's been on and off rosters in this league for the past 3 years and has yet to get into a game. He needs to either improve once and for all or accept his destiny and open up a struggling cannoli shop in Boulder. (Teddy)

Decatur Commies
  • Signed Dionner Navarro, C, Tampa Bay; Released Rafael Betancourt, RP, Cleveland [6/16]
  • Signed Elijah Dead Dawg Dukes, OF, Washington; Released Eric Greg Gagne, RP, Milwaukee [6/25]
These are a couple of fun lottery tickets for a team that's clearly building towards next season. Dave Navarro's poor brother is definitely a tier below the McCann-Martin-Mauer level of catchers, and is somewhat redundant on a roster with Victor Martinez's corpse, but could blossom in the 2nd half and make himself into a 12th keeper for next year. Dukes is nothing but talent and insanity. If he could apply half of his anger into his baseball game, he'd be the next Jim Rice. As it stands, I'm leaning more towards the Kevin Mitchell career arc, which still isn't awful as it yielded an MVP award. A pair of good gambles by my co-author. (El Angelo)

Everybody who bet that, as of July 1, King Felix would have more HRs than VMart, please raise your hands so that I can get contracts put out on you. Christ. (Teddy)

54°40' or Fight!

  • Signed Chase Headley, 3B, San Diego; Released Akinori Iwamura, 2B, Tampa Bay [6/16]
  • Signed Chad Qualls, RP, Arizona, Taylor Buchholz, SP, Colorado, Mark Buerhle, SP, Chicago (AL) and Dana Eveland, SP, Oakland; Released Edwin Jackson, SP, Tampa Bay, Homer Bailey, SP, Cincy, Xavier Nady, OF, Pittsburgh and Carlos Gonzalez, OF, Oakland [6/20]
  • Signed Edwin Encarnacion, 3B, Cincy and Jeremy Bonderman, SP, Detroit; Released Ian Stewart, 2B, Colorado [6/24]
The middle rung of transactions is just a combo of me being pissed off at my team and an effort to try to get some players of potential flip value like DJ Qualls and The Other Buchholz, not to mention the cornering of the market on a last name. I'm not exactly counting on Edwin "Tito" Jackson to figure things out finally under Dusty Baker's tutelage or Chase Headley to be the next Evan Longoria or for Jeremy Bonderman to come back all fixed and perfect next year, but hey, that's why they're dubbed flyers. (El Angelo)

At least with Bonderman there might be a reason for his poor performance other than pure sucking, and the price was certainly right. I mean, are you really going to regret the Xavier Nady cutting? Maybe he'll end up putting things together, but suck tends to find its own level over the amount of time he's been in the league. (Teddy)

ceratomyxa shasta
  • Signed Vernon Wells, OF, Toronto; Released Scott Downs, RP, Toronto [6/19]
  • Released Wells; Signed Andy Sonnenstine, SP, Tampa Bay and Casey Blake, CI, Cleveland; Waived Blake DeWitt, 3B, Atlanta [6/20]
  • Released Blake; Signed Russell Branyan, 1B, Milwaukee [6/24]
  • Traded Vladimir Guerrero, OF, Anaheim to The Fighting Isaiahs for Jair Jurjjens, SP, Atlanta and Todd Jones, RP, Detroit [6/30]
For the record, I like that it took Vernon Wells exactly 22 hours to piss off Ironhead and warrant waiving. What the hell could have transpired that one night to make that happen? Sure the guy went 0-for-4, but unless Sahil's scouting abilities noticed something new, I'm befuddled. As for the deal, it's a little depressing to see Vlad the Impaler go for a young pitcher and a mysoginist reliever, but it's pretty evident that Vlad's days as a franchise outfielder are in the distant past, and this haul is actually pretty fair for a guy that's a 3-month rental. (El Angelo)

Yeah, Vlad's down to a 3 category player at this point, but still, you'd better like Jajijr Jujrjejns pretty good for this trade to work out as a positive on the talent side. Alas poor Vlad.

Also, this is finally going to get me off my duff to write about the Original First Round at some pint over the next 2 weeks. Whether that counts for or against the trade is left to the reader's discretion. (Teddy)

Frank the Tank
  • Signed Luke Scott, OF, Baltimore and Mike Aviles, SS, Kansas City; Released Randy Winn, OF, San Fran and Vernon Wells, OF, Toronto [6/15]
  • Signed Jeff Baker, 1B, Colorado; Released Kaz Matsui, Anal Disaster, Colorado [6/23]
  • Signed Kevin Slowey, SP, Minnesota and Josh Banks, SP, San Diego; Released Greg Smith, SP, Oakland and Jose Contreras, SP, Chicago (AL) [6/26]
The Commish continues to try to claw into contention by riding the hot players and jumping off those that cool down as quickly as possible. Greg Smith, had a couple of so-so starts? Don't let the door hit you on the way out! Mr. Banks, come on in! This is nowhere clearer than the inking of Mike Aviles, who's riding a hot streak at the plate to a .350 OBP that is 90% average driven. Given that Kevin Goldstein has no idea who the hell he is, look for this team to be in the market for a new shortstop come Bastille Day. (El Angelo)

Now, c'mon, Ang, be reasonable. It's not as though there's a history of BA-driven KC rookie shortstops coming to grief. (Teddy)

Matsui's Fissure
  • Traded Carl Crawford, OF, Tampa Bay, Brandon Phillips, 2B, Cincy and Alfonso Soriano, OF, Chicago (NL) to Presidential Timber for Tim Hudson, SP, Atlanta, Aaron Rowand, OF, San Fran and Brad Lidge, RP, Philly [6/15]
  • Signed Brandon Jones, OF, Atlanta, Ricky Nolasco, SP, Florida and Kyle Lohse, SP, St. Louis [6/18]
The chips of Crawford and Soriano have been cashed in, and while the haul isn't impressive, it's important to remember that Soriano's on the DL for a while and Crawford has been fairly unimpressive this year, so getting much back for them wasn't to be expected. At some level, the deal boils down to Phillips for Lidge and Hudson, which is probably a bit more favored towards the team that gets the speedy middle infielder, but Lidge appears to have forgotten the ghosts of Albert Pujols and reverted to being a stud closer, making the deal acceptable. What I'm most impressed about is that this team managed to claim THREE guys in one day that weren't on the disabled list without dropping another player, thanks to Bad Penny and Rafael Soriano breaking at the exact same time. This team's having as much injury luck as the Mets, and sadly, about as much success in what looked to be a solid season back in March. (El Angelo)

It is an extremely bad omen to have Ricky Nolasco on your fantasy roster. I wouldn't be surprised if Ricky spends his off-days perched upon a bust of Pallas just above the clubhouse door. (Teddy)

Wu Tang Financial
  • Signed Matt Thornton, RP, Chicago (AL); Released Aquilino Lopez, RP, Toronto [6/20]
Thornton appears to be well on his way to the Jesse Crain Award for most garbage wins and saves by a mediocre middle reliever. There's always one or two of these guys every year who manages to get 8-10 wins without having a good role or dominant stuff, so if you can luck into him, more power to you. It certainly beats having Aquilino Lopez taking up room on your roster, because he's in the minors. (El Angelo)

How the hell could we have failed to track and name the Jesse Crain trophy prior to now? That should have been right in our collective wheelhouses. I'm going to go pick up Mike Timlin as pennance. (Teddy)

The Fighting Isaiahs
  • Signed Aubrey Huff, 1B, Baltimore; Released Raul Ibanez, OF, Seattle [6/19]
  • Signed David DeJesus, OF, Kansas City; Released Eric Chavez, 3B, Oakland [6/26]
  • Traded Jair Jurrjens, SP, Atlanta and Todd Jones, RP, Detroit to ceratomyxa shasta for Vladimir Guerrero, OF, Anaheim [6/30]
We have to come up with another award for guys like Aubrey Huff, who I think Jake has had for 6 straight seasons without ever drafting him. I had a similar obssession with Paul Quantrill back in the day. Is that admitting too much? (El Angelo)

Not at all--peep that smoldering gaze on Quantrill at right. That would make any red-blooded male turn queerer than Richard Simmons's masseur. (Teddy)

It's Enrico Palazzo
  • Signed Jason Kubel, OF, Minnesota; Released Ryan Rowland-Smith, RP, Seattle [6/18]
  • Signed Mike Jacobs, 1B, Florida [6/19]
  • Signed Jo-Jo Reyes, SP, Atlanta; Released Jeff Kent, 2B, Los Angeles [6/22]
  • Released Reyes [6/24]
This is all window dressing on what's been the most significant development of the last 4 weeks in the league: after a slow start, the Defending Champs are back near the top of the league. Everyone else is chasing them and their well-constructed roster, once again. Gulp. (El Angelo)

I'm just happy to see that IEP observed Newton's Second Law of Punctuation Conservation by replacing one hyphenated fringe player with another. The world will continue spinning another week. (Teddy)

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