Thursday, July 14, 2011

Transactions Analysis: French Revolution Edition

On June 17, 1789, the members of the Third Estate, now called the National Assembly, gathered at Menus Plaisirs, their regular meeting hall to conduct the day's business in advance of the June 23 meeting called by King Louis XVI, only to find that the door was locked and barred and guarded by the royal army.

Undeterred by the showing of force and fearful that violence was imminent, the delegates at the only space large enough to hold 577 people: the King's indoor tennis court. There, 576 of them swore to what is opularly known as the Oath of the Tennis Court, vowing to reconvene until a constitution was "drawn up and fixed upon solid foundations." 21 days later, the Bastille was stormed, and the French Revolution was in full swing.

I'll leave it to my co-author to inspire us with some profound French words, but in honor of the anniversary of one of my favorite moments in history, let's have a French Revolution-inspired TA. Perhaps we will determine who is the Maximilian Robespierre of the league. (El Angelo)

Allons a demi-semetre, enfants de la Wankdorf! Nous preferons que les lascars n'echangent plus cette annee, parce que nous avons des femmes et des postes, et en plus Ang jusqu'avoir un bebe qui nous pensons sera brut que dommage, comme ses parents qui nous si aimons.

Et souvenez toujours: Corey Lidle ne peut jamais d'enfer piloter un avion.

Come along to the mid-year break, Wandorfers! We'd prefer that you jackasses don't make any more trades this year, because we do have wives and jobs, and Ang is also most of the way to having a baby we suspect is going to be loud as hell, like his parents we love so much.

And always remember: Corey Lidle never had any idea in hell how to fly a plane. (Teddy)

The Little Green One
  • Traded Raul Ibanez, OF, Philly; Wade Davis, SP, Tampa; Mike Trout, OF (Prospect); and 1st and 4th round picks in the 2012 draft to Cosmic Douchery for Mark Texieria, 1B, New York (AL); Tim Lincecum, SP, San Fran; and 6th and 8th round picks in the 2012 draft. [6/7]

  • Traded Lincecum and Daniel Hudson (SP, ARI) to clarence clemmons had pretty feet for a #1 and trade chum.

  • Traded Teixeira to TSA for Rickie Weeks (2B, MIL) and Dick Harden (P, Mayo Clinic Softball Team)

  • Signed: Jason Bourgeois, OF, Houston; Travis Snider (DH, TOR); Kyle Seager (2B/3B, SEA)

  • Waived: Bourgeois; John Buck (C, FLA); Maicier Izturis (IF, ANA); Charlie Morton (SP, PIT); Jason Bartlett (SS, SD)

A historical first was followed by a reversion to the usual, akin to the ascension to power by the Directory in 1795, which rescinded universal suffrage and undid most of the change done by the National Convention. Of course, most of the "change" by the National Convention included guillotining thousands of Frenchmen, so perhaps a reversion to the norm was not such a bad thing for Parisians. Or our beloved commissioner.

Here, we saw the Commish take an actual run at the money, trading away an unprotected first rounder and super prospect Mike Trout for a pair of bonafide studs, Mark Texieria and Tim Lincecum. No sooner did they arrive, however, than did the team sink like a stone, leading to the reversal and trade of both players. So the net, for those keeping score at home:

Andy's 1st and 4th + Mike Trout for Sahil's 1st, Alex's 3rd and Rickie Weeks

In the end that's probably not a deal you'd make, because it's likely that Ironhead is going to finish ahead of Andy. Still, I like Weeks as a keeper because 2B is so shallow, and for Trout, it's worth remembering that for every Jason Heyward, there are multiple Fernando Martinezes. Not a "win", but a fine salvage job. (El Angelo)

So here's the thing: somebody has to come in third. The contenders are (a) the current 3d place team, which has never won anything and is punting an entire category; (b) the current 4th-place team which, as we'll see, hasn't made a transaction in about 6 weeks; and (c) the current 9th-place team, which is the current 9th-place team. Why not keep going for it? I mean, I ended up punting from almost the same position, but that's because I was less interested in clawing my way back to 3d again than I was in reloading for a future season in which I might finally win. If I hadn't cashed last year, I'd have bought instead of sold. (Teddy)

clarence clemmons had pretty feet

  • Traded his #1 and trade chum to TGL1 for Lincecum and Hudson.

  • Signed David Robertson, RP, New York (AL); Alex Gonzalez, SS, ATL; Josh Tomlin (RP, CLE); Jason Bartlett (SS, SD)

  • Released Grant Balfour, RP, Oakland; Yuniel Escobar, SS, TOR; Todd Helton (1B, Still, COL); Alex White (SP, CLE); Gonzalez
One of the great things about a keeper league maturing is you get to see a ton of different approaches. And here, we've got Ironhead's approach: completely punt saves, ride the two best hitters in baseball (Bautista and Gonzalez) and try to rack up a shitload of strikeouts and wins from hard throwers that actually aren't very good. I can't see them winning with this strategy, but I can see them hitting the board.

Also, it's not every day you can brag that you picked up an All-Star off waivers. Of course, when it's Dave Robertson, it removes a little bit of the shine. (El Angelo)

Here we see an actual swarthy person formerly oppressed by an entrenched oligarchy forcefully asserting his right to participate amongst them as an equal. Vive la revolution! I wasn't previously aware that French anticolonial social theorist Frantz Fanon played fantasy BB, so this will be a treat to follow. (Teddy)

Chicago Residents

  • Traded his #1 and #4 picks, Mat Latos (SP, SD); Mike Minor (SP, AAA) and Tony Rizzo (1B, SD) to More Fish for Kunta in return for Ryan Braun (OF, MIL) and Troy Tulowitski (SS, COL)

  • Signed Rubby de la Rosa, SP, Los Angeles; Anthony F'ing Rizzo, 1B, San Diego; Ty Wigginton, 3B, Colorado; Eric Thames (OF, TOR); Cory Luebke (SP, SD)

  • Released Jonathan Herrera, 2B, Colorado; Chris Narverson, SP, Milwaukee; Tyler Colvin, OF, Chicago (NL); Billy Butler (1B, KC);
Ballsy. I don't mean going for it, I mean picking up Ty Wigginton, he of the career .325 OBP and 16 net steals in a ten-year career. Should a team that's actually starting Ty Wigginton be trading off a first round pick in a play to hit the money this year? Especially when they're in 9th place?

Maybe. The 9th place standing is a bit of an illusion; compression has made 4th - 10th place a tight pack, and two teams ahead of him have already chucked it in. And there's a shitload of room for improvement on the hitting side of the ledger. So knowing that David Wright is probably coming back in July, that Jason Heyward should hit better for the rest of the year...sure, why not add Tulo and Braun? Especially when you already have Will's #1 in the bank.

The real question is whether the price paid was too steep. I can't see this team finishing any worse than 6th with the current roster, meaning at worst, it gave up the #7 pick, plus Mat Latos and some lottery tickets in Minor and Rizzo. As I noted, I don't mind giving up the pick, it's trading away Latos that I question. Not that they'll need him next year, they may need him now. The team's #2 starter (Josh Johnson) is probably toast, and their #4 starter (Shawn Marcum) is playing in front of a historically awful defense. So while they'll pick up some ground on offense, I wonder if they're going to give some ground back on Latos, especially because he's ripe to improve off a first half laden with bad luck. (El Angelo)

I'm involved, so I obviously can't really comment. I do love me some Mat Latos, though, even if he spells his name like an utter douche. (Teddy)

More Fish For Kunta

  • Traded Ryan Braun (OF, MIL) and Troy Tulowitzki (SS, COL) to Chicago for #1 and #4 picks, Mat Latos (SP, SD); Mike Minor (SP, AAA) and Tony Rizzo (1B, SD)

  • Signed David Hernandez, SP, Arizona; Derek Holland, SP, Texas; John Lannan, SP, Washington; Andrew Miller, SP, Boston; Felipe Paulino (SP, KC); Dan Duffy(SP, KC); Billy Butler (1B, KC)

  • Released Dan Duffy, SP, Kansas City; Allen Craig, 2B, St. Louis; Dexter Fowler, OF, Colorado; Jonathan Lucroy (C, MIL); Hong-Chih Kuo (RP, Bellevue); Lannan; Miller; Hernandez

Cash out! The #1 plus lottery tickets isn't a bad return for two half seasons of studs. They have to now hope that Corey suffers from Elders syndrome and goes nowhere.

Elsewhere, I like the Billy Butler pickup as a complete flyer, especially if he gets traded to a real team. Of course, we said the same thing about James Loney two years ago, and look how that turned out. (El Angelo)

Whether this trade looks good in hindsight will come down to one thing: do Ubaldo Jimenez and Jon Sanchez revert to 2010 form in the second half? If so, I could have bought one more arm and made a run at 3rd. If not, no amount of offensive production from Braun and Tulo was going to get me above 70 points, and I'm better off with two 1s next year.

And yes, the Butler pickup might help me. Lance Berkman can now move to OF to replace Braun without opening a Derrek Lee-sized hole in my roster, and Butler will help fill the OBP hole caused by running CarGo and Wells out there every day. (Teddy)

Rancho Carne Toros

  • Traded Curtis Granderson, OF, New York (AL), Zach Britton, SP, Baltimore and 2nd and 6th round picks in the 2012 draft to Cosmic Douchery for Josh Hamilton, OF, Texas; Kyle Farnsworth, RP, Tampa; Joel Hanrahan, RP, Pittsburgh and 5th and 9th round picks in the 2012 draft

  • Traded Bud Norris (SP, HOU) and Matt Garza (SP, ORLY?) to clarence clemmons had pretty feet in return for Dustin Pedroia (2B, BOS)

  • Traded Jay Bruce (OF, CIN); Wandy Rodriguez (SP, HOU) and #1 & #5 picks to Rumack for Carlos Lee (MVP, Houston-Area DQ), Jon Lester (SP, BOS) and Roy Halladay (SP, PHI)

  • Called up Dustin Ackley, 2B/OF, Seattle

  • Signed JJ Hardy, SS, Baltimore; Garrett Jones (1B/OF, PIT); Jason Bourgeois (OF, HOU); Mitch Moreland (1B/OF, TEX); Lonnie Chisenhall (3B, CLE); Mimi Bonifacio (3B, FLA)

  • Released Sean Rodriguez, Jack of All Trades, Tampa; Wilson Betemit, 2B, Kansas City; Chad Qualls, RP, San Diego; Sean Burnett (P, WAS); Casey McGehee (3B, MIL); Hardy; Bouregois; Moreland.

While I've amassed the second-best offense so far this year, I've done it with minimal contribution from Hanley Ramirez and a below-par season from Albert Pujols, with both spending time on the DL. That's a fair chunk of what the deals are about: hope and faith that the two of them will rebound and have big second halves to offset the loss of Jay Bruce and Granderson (which Hamilton & Pedroia do offset). I also have to note that purging my roster of Granderson had a salutary effect; I've been 90% happier that I don't have to now root for the Yankees to do anything good on offense.

On the pitching side, the calculus is that stud pitchers trump middling pitchers, though unless Jon Lester is healthy, this gamble isn't going to work. But you know what? Unless you build a fortress of greatness like Alex did this year, you only get a chance to go for it every couple of years. I may have overpaid in draft picks for the roster I ended up with. But I'd rather overpay and lose than stand pat and never have a shot. (El Angelo)

I think that last sentence is also a Springsteen lyric. Or possibly a Successories poster--I sometimes have trouble distinguishing between the two.

Anyway, any team that hasn't hit the board for a while and finds itself in a solid second place might as well pull the trigger. Those back-to-back 19 point seasons seem pretty far away. (Teddy)

The Spam Avengers

  • Signed Tim Stauffer, SP, San Diego; Released Brett Myers, SP, Houston

  • Released Octavio Dotel, RP, Toronto

  • Traded The Dessicated Remains of Jason Bay and a 6th round pick in the 2012 draft to Cosmic Douchery for Kevin Gregg, RP, Toronto and a 10th round pick in the 2012 draft

  • Traded Rickie Weeks (2B, MIL) and Dick Harden (P?) to TLG1 in return for Mark Teixeira (1B, NYY)

  • Signed Tim Stauffer, SP, San Diego; Frank Francisco (RP, TOR); Jason Bay (It's Alive!!!, NYM)

  • Released Brett Myers, SP, Houston; Octavio Dotel, RP, Toronto; Mitch Moreland (1B, TEX); Ian Desmond (SS, WAS)

I can't believe I'm losing to a guy who voluntarily picks up Jason Bay. (El Angelo)

I feel like that trade was made inside one of those nuclear power plant clean rooms where the workers manipulate objects using gloves built directly into the wall. Everyone was moving kind of gingerly, and moved objects towards themselves only reluctantly.

In other news, both of the top two teams are completely ridiculous at this point. If TSA wins again, he's going to crown himself emperor in front of a frowning league commissioner, Napoleon-style (Teddy)

Kicked in the Nuts

  • Signed Mike Cuddyer, IF, Minnesota; JJ Hardy (SS, BAL); Ervin Santana (SP, ANA)

  • Released Josh Tomlin, SP, Cleveland; Brian Fuentes (RP, OAK)
Snore. Let's turn to my favorite random part of the French Revolution. For some reason, the Girondin decided to create a brand new calendar, creating 12 new months, instituting a 10-day week, and changing 1789 to "I year of Liberty" and giving each day a corresponding animal, fruit or tool. Today (7/12/11) would be 24 Messidor, CCXXII year of Liberty, also known as Alkanet, a flower used to give Rogan Josh its color.

Abolishing this system was either the best or worst thing Napoleon did, depending on your perspective. (El Angelo)

Josh Rogan is a second base prospect for the Diamondbacks, right?

This team is notable for being the first one in living memory to throw in the towel on a day when it was sitting in a money position. Weird league this year. I feel like the Torkies are going to make six win-now trades and come in third just to express his horror at all the sell-offs. (Teddy)

Paging Dr. Rumack

  • Traded Carlos Lee (MVP, Houston-Area DQ), Jon Lester (SP, BOS) and Roy Halladay (SP, PHI) to Rancho Carne for Jay Bruce (OF, CIN); Wandy Rodriguez (SP, HOU) and Angelo's 1st and 5th round picks and Scot's 5th round pick

  • Called up Eric Hosmer, 1B, Kansas City from the Prospect List

  • Signed Greg Holland, RP, Kansas City; Melky Cabrera, OF, Kansas City

  • Released Jerry Sands, OF, Los Angeles; Arthur Rhodes, RP, Texas; Jerry Sands (OF, LAD); Denard Span (OF, MIN)

This team was going absolutely nowhere this year, but in the span of 3 weeks, you can see the structure for 2012 coming together. Carl Crawford needs to come back healthy and with his head screwed on straight, and Buster Posey needs to rebound from having his lower half shredded. Coupled with a decent core of Hosmer, Bruce, and two first round picks, and this offense has the makings of a competitive one next year. Of course, their top two starters are now gone and they're actively shopping their best closer (Walden), but there's a plan here, and it was fairly well-executed. (El Angelo)

There is more there than you'd expect on offense, though a lot of things are going to have to go right for him to get that pitching staff back where it was. It seems like every year we expect that the first round will finally go 11-12 deep. If that finally happens this year, these guys are in good shape. If it's Chad Billinsgley time again, maybe not. (Teddy)

Le Dupont Torkies

  • Signed Alberto Callaspo, 2B, Anaheim; Alexi Casilla, MI, Minnesota; Miguel Olivo, C, Seattle; Yuniel Escobar, SS, Atlanta; Carlos Carrasco, SP, Cleveland; Charlie Blackmon, OF, Colorado; Steve Cishek, RP, Florida;

  • Wasted time with Dee Gordon, SS, Los Angeles;

  • Released Jake Arrieta, SP, Baltimore; Scott Downs, RP, Anaheim and Jorge Posada, C, New York (AL); Callaspo; Mike Aviles, MI, Kansas City; Casilla; Cishek.

I'm trying to find a single player here that's going to make a difference in 2011 or beyond. Maybe Yuni Escobar if he rebounds? Maybe. What I find interesting is how shallow the waiver pool has been this year, and I feel like I made the same remark last year. Has the player pool gotten shallower or the league tougher? (El Angelo)

The introduction of the prospect slots and the extra DL slot killed the waiver wire pretty good--that's three extra guys that teams can just squat on. Take 36 guys out of the waiver pool and things get pretty dire pretty quickly.

Carlos Carrasco has shown signs of life when not pitching against the Yankees--that was a legit snag. But, yeah, as a multiple-time former owner of Bert Callaspo I can testify that his presence on a roster generally means that something has gone amiss somewhere. (Teddy)

Jeters Never Prosper

  • Signed Jim Johnson, RP, Baltimore; Daniel Murphy, 1B, New York (NL); Alexei Casilla (MI, MIN)

  • Released Vincente Padilla's Remaining Ligaments, RP, Los Angeles; Carlos Villanueva, RP, Toronto; Aubrey Huff, 1B, San Fran [6/14]

In 1793, the Committee for Public Safety rounded up all people that they dubbed criminals or threats to their powers and executed them. I would like to see something similar done to the entire Mets dugout every time they have Daniel Murphy--a fine complimentary player with no power--bat cleanup. (El Angelo)

Jim Johnson's name is a little too close to "Jim Jones" to start talking about mass killings.

I again note that this team is one of only about 3 who haven't yet formally renounced the possibility of third place. That's somewhat amazing, especially given that the owner has spent the last five weeks amassing what I think he would admit is a pretty beige transactions list. If he comes in third with all of his draft picks in place and without much keeper trouble for the offseason, a couple of other owners will be waiting with lead pipes at the next draft. (Teddy)

Cosmic Douchery
  • Traded Mark Texieria, 1B, New York (AL) and Tim Lincecum, SP, San Fran and 6th and 8th round draft picks to The Little Green One for Mike Trout, OF, Prospect List, Raul Ibanez, OF, Philly, Wade Davis, RP, Tampa and 1st and 4th round draft picks;

  • Called up Wilson Ramos, C, Washington from the Prospect List

  • Traded Kevin Gregggggg, RP, Toronto and a 10th round pick to The Spam Avengers for Jason Bay's Carcass and a 6th round pick

  • Traded Josh Hamilton, Methadone, Texas, Kyle Farnsworth, RP, Tampa, Joel Hanrahan, Pederast, Pittsburgh and 5th and 9th round picks to Rancho Carne Toros for Curtis Granderson, OF, New York (AL), Zach Britton, SP, Baltimore and 2nd and 6th round picks

  • Signed Jose Contreras, RP, Philly; Glen Perkins, SP, Minnesota; Rodney Fernando, RP, Anaheim; Wilton Lopez (RP, HOU)

  • Released Cameron Maybin, OF, San Diego; Jason Bay (OF, NYM); Ervin Santana, SP, Anaheim; Frank Francisco,

It's a results-oriented game, and you can't argue with someone who flips everything not tied down into a #1, #2, some middling picks and Mike Trout. But the real score here might be Curtis Granderson, who's either having a super fluke year or is a bonafide stud. An outfield of Trout-Granderson-McCutchen is a helluva place to start in 2012, let alone having two top 7 picks to boot. Well done, Monsieur. (El Angelo)

This roster has now turned over so much that I can't quite figure out the keeper situation. But assuming that there are 12 slots of guys left worth keeping, this team is set up great for next year. The sole remaining drama for the year is whether Trout breaks through the 15 GP barrier and consequently has to be kept on the main roster instead of the prospect list for next year. CD is no doubt rooting for Trout to come down with a case of the "Hellenic Flu." (Teddy)

Wu Tang Financial
  • Signed Mike Leake, SP, Cincinnati

  • Released Darwin Barney, Muppet, Chicago (NL)

July 13 marks the 209th anniversary of Jean-Paul Marat granting Mme. Charlotte Courday an audience while bathing (and writing--he had a desk in his bathtub, the 18th century equivalent of emailing on the shitter). After 20 minutes of conversation, Courday got up, drew a blade, and stabbed Marat in the heart. His final words were "Help me, my dear friend!" I feel like we've been hearing this same cry from Jon for 8 years. Somebody make sure he's not in the tub. (El Angelo)

My only regret is that Ang went first in this TA, because by all rights this thing should have smash cut to black right after that 18th century shitter-email joke. Bien fait. (Teddy)


Corey said...

Well, Latos is +1 next season, and he's only above average this season. I'd be surprised if he significantly outperforms Luebke the rest of the way, who I picked up immediately after the trade. Besides, my whole staff is due for some luck... Can I actually finish DAFL in wins while being near the top in all four other pitching categories?

Given that I may have had to release Minor and Rizzo anyway, plus the fact that I could trade Braun and/or Tulo for picks in the offseason, I view this trade as Latos and a 1 for Luebke and the Braun/Tulo rental. Regardless, the final verdict depends on where I finish. Here's hoping that #1 never enters the lottery.

Also, have you looked at Wiggy's stats over the past three weeks?

El Angelo said...

I've looked at Wiggy's stats for the last 8 years. Anyone can have a hot streak that's meaningless--Shane Spencer made an entire career out of it.

Corey said...

That wasn't my point. I picked him up when both my 3B's went down and happened to start him for an insanely hot streak. I claim no genius in this, but contrary to your derision, both picking him up and starting him were not only justified, but have also been well worth it. One of the few instances of good luck I've had this season.