Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Transactions Analysis: Liberty Tree Mall Edition

In attempting to find the right Oscar Wilde quote to accurately describe a TA in general and the collection of inspired, useful and horrendous moves that were made over the last fortnight, I narrowed the list down to three:

(1) "Whenever a man does a thoroughly stupid thing, it is always from the noblest motives."
(2) "Ambition is the last refuge of the failure."
(3) "It is always the unreadable that occurs."

Bear these words of wisdom in mind as we enter the realm of Brad Ziegler. (El Angelo)

I have a cast-iron defense for that move, which I will spring upon an unsuspecting world below. (Teddy)

The Fighting Isaiahs
  • Signed Xavier Nady, OF, New York (AL); Released Jose Guillen, OF, Kansas City [7/30]
  • Signed Annibal Sanchez, SP, Florida; Released Randy Wolf, SP, Houston [7/31]
The releasing of Randy Wolf might mark the first time that a player was acquired for the stretch run and was subsequently cut by a fantasy team. The usual modus operandi if for a player to go from a non-contender to a contender, thus enhancing their value. Ed Wade, though, somehow thinks the Astros are in contention, despite, frankly, stinking. It's not that this team made a bad move in cutting Wolf, it's just an amazing turn of events. Another little known fact: Jose Guillen wasn't bitching for weeks about getting out of Kansas City, he really just wanted to be free of Jake's clutches. It's nice that he was such an accommodating owner. (El Angelo)

I admire the attempt to wring some value out of Annibal Sanchez during this lull between his already completed first Tommy John surgery, and his almost inevitable second Tommy John surgery. (Teddy)

Le Dupont Torkies
  • Signed Jeff Samardzja, RP, Chicago (NL); Released Jonathan Sanchez, SP, San Fran [8/1]
  • Signed Randy Winn, OF, San Fran, Bartolo Colon, SP, Boston and Adam Hoffman LaRoche, 1B, Pittsburgh; Released Glenn Perkins, SP, Minnesota and Carlos Gomez, OF, Minnesota [8/5]
Tucker returns from his honeymoon to bask in the glory of a humid DC summer, and pick up a guy who should be catching passes instead of putting an eyechart of the back of his baseball uniform. I actually don't mind the inking of Jeff Samardzja, who's got Joba-lite written all over him, I'm more curious about the DL-stash pickup of Bartolo Colon. What the hell? Was this team under the weight limit? (El Angelo)

I don't mind the Colon pickup--reports out of Pawtucket indicate that he has been eating off of flat ground for two weeks, and will begin eating off a mound within a week. Just as soon as he kills and eats Julio Lugo during his rehab assignment, he can claim the resulting roster slot. (Teddy)

It's Enrico Palazzo
  • Signed Kyle Farnsworth, RP, Detroit; Released Bartolo Colon, SP, Boston [7/30]
  • Signed Aaron Heilman, "RP", New York (NL); Released Greg Smith, SP, Oakland and Jason Kubel, OF, Minnesota [8/7]
There's certainly nothing wrong with trying to chase the Mets' saves after Billy Wagner went on the DL, but a simple email to any Met fan would tell you that Aaron Heilman was the dead-wrong person to turn to. He's given up nine homers as a reliever this year, pretty much all of which were in absolutely piss-poor situations, and struggled mightily against a hapless Padres lineup yesterday. Heilman doesn't need to be the closer or on the defending champs' roster, he needs to be brought behind the outhouse and given the Old Yeller treatment. (El Angelo)

For his sake, and the sake of the hardworking men and women of the FCC, I pray that new Met reliever Eddie Kunz is effective with the big club. Can you imagine the chants at Shea if Kunz fails? Yikes. (Teddy)

54◦40’ or Fight!
  • Signed Andy LaRoche, 3B, Pittsburgh, Justin Speier, RP, Anaheim and Scot Shields, RP, Anaheim; Released Chad Gaudin, RP, Philly, Micah Owings, SP, Arizona and Ryan Zimmerman, 3B, Washington [7/31]
  • Signed Adam Lind, OF, Toronto; Released Michael Bourn, OF, Houston [8/1]
  • Re-signed Zimmerman; Released Jeff Francouer, OF, Atlanta [8/4]
  • Traded Adam Jones, OF, Baltimore to Frank the Tank for Pedro Martinez, SP, New York (NL) [8/5]
  • Traded Howie Kendrick, 2B, Anaheim and their 8th round selection in the 2009 draft to Christmas Critters for Pat Neshek, RP, Minnesota and their 6th round selection in the 2009 draft [8/6]
I'll freely admit that mosst of this is playing in the margins, but with little in the way of dealable chips for next year, I made the most of what I had in getting rid of Howie Kendrick to move up 12-15 slots in next year's draft, which is a total freebie for me, as I wasn't keeping him next year. Ditto for Pedro, who's unlikely to be kept, but then again, so was Jones. Everything else is just lottery tickets--the Anaheim pitchers in case K-Rod walks and they replace him in house, LaRoche and Lind in case they go apeshit the rest of the year, and Zimmerman's contract having rest to zero by clearing waivers. If I get 1 keeper out of this, I'm thrilled, though I'm not counting on it. (El Angelo)

Everyone I've read is still high on Andy LaRoche, so assuming that's not a promotion fmor your callup list, I like the signing. As for the Kendrick deal, while I don't mind it, this year's draft is going to have to be significantly deeper than last year's for the pick upgrade to matter. (Teddy)

Christmas Critters
  • Released Ryan Franklin, RP, St. Louis [8/2]
  • Signed Eddie Guardado, RP, Texas; Release Jerry Hairston, Jack of All Trades, Cincy [8/5]
  • Traded Edinson Volquez, SP, Cincy and their 2nd round selection in the 2009 draft to Frank the Tank for Danny Haren, SP, Arizona and their 5th round selection in the 2009 draft [8/6]
  • Traded Pat Neshek, RP, Minnesota, and their 6th round selection in the 2009 draft to 54'50 or Fight! for Howie Kendrick, 2B, Anaheim and their 8th round selection in the 2009 draft [8/6]
A pair of deals net the Mistletoe Maggots an ace starter and a young second baseman for a declining starter and a couple of picks. Can you argue with this? Well, no, not really. Flags do fly forever, and they've essentially thrown down the gauntlet for LDT and IEP to come and get them. Also, Scot has continued his perpetually annoying trend of picking up a newly minted closer 30 seconds after getting the job with getting Everyday Eddie Guardado. My criticism of Aaron Heilman is only reinforced by the fact that he declined to pick up his dessicated remains. (El Angelo)

Concur. Boring but true. (Teddy)

Decatur Commies
  • Signed Brad Ziegler, RP, Oakland; Released Andruw Jones, OF, Atlanta [8/1]
My talented co-author's first transaction in six weeks, and it involves picking up a movie theatre. How did it feel to dump Andruw, Teddy? (El Angelo)


And now for the promised defense of Brad Ziegler, whom I signed for two reasons. First, Ziegler has thrown 34 consecutive scoreless innings since being called up by Oakland. Second, and more importantly, I greatly admired Ziegler's work on 90210, and wanted to honor him accordingly. (Teddy)

Frank the Tank
  • Traded Danny Haren, SP, Arizona and their 5th round pick in the 2009 draft to Christmas Critters for Edinson Volquez, SP, Cincy and their 2nd round pick in the 2009 draft [8/5]
  • Signed Willie Bloomquist, 2B, Seattle; Released Mark Ellis, 2B, Oakland [8/6]
  • Traded Pedro Martinez, SP, New York (NL) to 54'50 or Fight! for Adam Jones, OF, Seattle [8/6]
The stupidity with Wee Willie Bloomquist aside (I mean really, why corner the market of crappy second basemen?), the Haren deal is an absolute win for the Streakers. Haren is about to enter his +2 year, and for him, they not only get an interesting-if-overrated flyer in Volquez, they also move up about 40 spots in the draft into the useful second round, plus the additional two keeper spots that Haren would have taken up. This isn't to say that Haren is a bum--he's not, but for a team that's out of it for this year, you have to consider Volquez + 1-2 keepers + a 2nd round pick greater than Haren's value in 2009. Nice job. (El Angelo)

Not so fast, my friend. The valuation on this deal depends on where you see Volquez's floor after the bubble bursts, and what the team does with the additional keeper slots. being after the bubble bursts. If Volquez drops back into the pack of mid-range fantasy starters that tend to go around rounds 4-8 in our league, you're trading Haren for a 3-round draft upgrade, and some additional roster flexibility that only matters if there are enough other keepers on the roster for it to matter. If the two additional keeper slots are used on studs, great. If they get used on downballot keeper types, maybe the value there isn't that great.

Looking at the Tank's roster (admittedly, without the benefit of a contract chart in front of me), I'm not certain that there was really a keeper logjam that needed to be broken. But part of my skepticism here is based on my worry that Volquez will have a hard time keeping up his value in that terrible park in Cincy. But of course, I've been wrong before (see Jones, Andruw above)

Matsui's Fissure
  • Signed Raul Ibanez, OF, Seattle; Released Aaron Rowand, OF, San Fran [7/28]
  • Signed Paul Maholm, SP, Pittsburgh; Released Randy Winn, OF, San Fran [7/31]
I'll let old Oscar cap off my comments by his apt description of thinking that Raul Ibanez will contribute anything to a fantasy team: "Man can believe the impossible, but man can never believe the improbable." (El Angelo)

The idea that Aaron Rowand and Randy Winn were both on a single fantasy roster fills me with dread and sorrow. I'm not emotionally equipped to handle that combination, and so will sign off here. (Teddy)

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