Thursday, August 11, 2011

Transactions Analysis: The Greatest TA Ever Edition

Without a doubt, this is, to me, the best TA ever. Why? Is it because Corey signed Jarrod Saltalamacchia? Because of the Mets' goofy win over the Padres on Monday? Or an on-point reference to Biens Nationaux? To be revealed. (El Angelo)

That's sort of a cheap trick from a reader-service perspective. But, then again, so is about 38% of the average TA. I'll allow it. (Teddy)

Cosmic Douchery
  • Signed Mike Dunn, RP, Florida [7/15]
  • Signed Gordon Beckham, 2B, Chicago (AL); Released Jordan Schaefer, OF, Atlanta [7/17]
  • Released David Aaaaardsma, RP, Mayo Clinic [7/18]
  • Signed Matt Capps, RP, Minnesota [7/22]
  • Signed Edwin Encarnacion, Train Wreck, Toronto; Released Glen Perkins, SP, Minnesota and Mark Trumbo, 1B, Anaheim [7/26]
  • Signed Rex Brothers, RP, Colorado and Vinnie Pestano, RP, Cleveland; Released Rodney Fernando, RP, Anaheim and Raul Ibanez, OF, Philadelphia [7/28]
  • Signed Daniel Bard, RP, Boston; Released Brothers and Placido Polanco, 2B, Philly [8/2]
  • Signed Eric Young, 2B, Colorado and Luke Hochevar, SP, Kansas City [8/9]
When you're out of it, the three best things you can do to prepare for next year is trade off assets you won't keep, stockpile new assets, and plummet in the standings to get a better draft pick. Having dealt off most of the players that the contenders might want, the Asshole Astronauts are fully ensconced in themes 2 and 3 for the final ten weeks of the season. I mean, how can you rationalize picking up E5dwin E5ncarnacion if you're not tanking? Or keeping Raul Ibanez until August, when he's been stuffed by a taxidermist since Arbor Day? Or even thinking about giving Eric Young a shot?

There are some decent ideas here. I love the Dan Bard pickup as a hedge for the Boston closing spot in 2012; he's actually not a bad play in general for the rest of the year to soak up innings and provide garbage W's and saves. Gordon Beckham strikes me as precisely the type of risk you should take in August when your team's out of it--especially with his contract reset--though I'll note as his former owner that he perpetually turns it on after The Feast of the Assumption, only to do nothing the following spring. And maybe Mike Dunn will close next year. But it's hard for me to sign off on a series of transactions that actually includes the addition of Matt Capps. (El Angelo)

Do we do contract resets anymore? I thought I killed that when I tried to enable a reset grab of Eric Gagne by engaging in sham transactions until the intial drop of Gagne was hidden from view. I am why we can't have nice things in this league.

Also, if you're looking for vulture wins out of the Boston 'pen, don't mess around with My Boy Dan Bahhd--skip straight to Alfredo Aceves. He is 8-1 this year, has a career record of something crazy like 22-2, and is an FA in the league right now. He also has a fun alliterative name, unlike Rex Brothers, whose name sounds like the secret identity of a failed 1950's radio serial superhero. Superhero name? The Pewter Parachutist. (Teddy)

Jeters Never Prosper
  • Signed Javy Vazquez, SP, Florida and Brett Anderson, SP, Oakland; Released Jim Johnson, RP, Baltimore and Andres Torres, OF, San Fran [8/4]
  • Signed Dexter Fowler, OF, Colorado; Released Daniel Murphy, Non-Walking Corpse, New York (NL) [8/8]
I get taking a stab on Dexter Fowler, who may or may not be any good, and playing stash-and-see with Brett Anderson, who could be a stud and a curious 12th keeper next year. What I don't get at all is why a team that already has Jered Weaver, John Danks, Jeremy Hellickson, Dan Haren, Jair Jurrjens and a rehabbing Johan St. Johan would waste a minute with Javy Vazquez. I mean look at that rotation. It's quite good. It doesn't need someone that was last effective for a full season in 2002. (El Angelo)

The Vazquez grab looks better in light of its cost, Andres Torres, who is currently re-enacting the last third of Flowers for Algernon every night in San Francisco. I have to say, I do like the Anderson stash--while he's threatening to enter Erik Bedard territory in terms of health, he's also in...well, Erik Bedard territory in terms of performance when healthy. Either guy would be keepable if you could talk yourself into the idea that you could get even 180 IP out of them. (Teddy)

Le Dupont Torkies
  • Signed Vance Worley, SP, Philly; Released Brett Anderson, SP, Oakland [7/14]
  • Signed the Corpse of Jorge Posada, C, New York (AL); Released Raffy Furcal, SS, Los Angeles [7/20]
  • Threw Posada's Corpse off the back of a barge in the East River; Signed Alberto Callaspo, 2B, Kansas City [7/22]
  • Signed Cameron Maybin, OF, San Diego; Released Jason Bourgeois, OF, Houston [7/23]
  • Signed Jason Bartlett, SS, San Diego; Released Danny "O!" Valencia, 3B, Minnesota [7/25]
  • Released Bartlett [7/27]
  • Traded Dan Uggla, 2B, Atlanta, Ryan Vogelsong, Fluke SP, San Fran, Logan Morrison, OF, Florida and their 5th round pick to Kicked in the Nuts for Michael Young, 2B, Texas and a 3rd round pick [7/31]
  • Signed Jerry Hariston, Jr., Jack of All Trades, Milwaukee, Jeff Niemann, SP, Tampa and Ian Desmond, SS, Washington; Released Carlos Carrasco, SP, Cleveland [7/31]
  • Released Hairston [8/4]
  • Claimed Paul Goldschmidt, 1B, Arizona off waivers; Released Bobby Parnell, Useless Pitcher of Death, New York (NL) [8/5]
The only real negative that I see here is trading away Dan Uggla after he was completely useless for 3 months, only to have him embark on the best hitting month of his life. Other than that, it's arguable that the Torkies have "won" the TA, to the extent that eating other players regurgitated Chipwiches can be deemed winning. Vance Worley has gone from a guy with an odd name to a legit #4 starter in Philly and a definite keeper. Hell, he'd be useful on most teams in contention right now. Paul Goldschmidt isn't a horrible idea either, especially if it involves tossing Bobby Parnell a cement block while he's screaming for help in Flushing Bay. Even Jeff Niemann and Desmond are decent ideas for seeing what they have around and if they're part of an answer in 2012.

As for the trade, I'm generally of the opinion that when you give up 3 players that you shouldn't keep and get back a higher draft pick, you did well. That the Torkies also got Michael Young--he of apparently 2000 hits, which I find amazing--is just icing on the cake. Well done, Tucker. I feel like my co-author's prediction that they'll make a run at 5th just to spite others is near true. (El Angelo)

I think the Torkies thought they were selling Uggla at the top of the market, only to see him extend his streak another two weeks. Regardless, a team that picked only twice during my first four beers of the draft last year needs to draft in bulk next year, and this trade lets them do that without giving away the store. (Teddy)

The Little Green One
  • Signed Denard Span, OF, Minnesota, Peter Bourjos, OF, Anaheim and Alex Presley, OF, Pittsburgh; Released Kyle Seager, IF, Seattle [7/16]
  • Released Bourjos [7/24]
  • Signed Yonder Alonso, 1B, Cincy [7/27]
  • Released Span [7/28]
  • Traded Chris Carpenter, SP, St. Louis, Zack Greinke, SP, Milwaukee, Mariano Rivera, RP, New York (AL) and their 8th and 11th round picks to The Spam Avengers for their 1st and 4th round picks, Dillon Gee, SP, New York (NL), Tim Stauffer, SP, San Diego and David Freese, 3B, St. Louis; Signed Brett Cecil, SP, Toronto [8/1]
  • Released Freese; Signed Brett Lawrie (2B, TOR)
The line looks impressive, but color me somewhat meh. Yes, they got back a #1 for to pitchers that they couldn't keep in Carpenter and Greinke, which isn't shitty, and if the trade was just those two guys for a 1, this would be a good deal to me, even if they got no keepable players back, which they didn't.

What tips the trade the other way is that the Kermits also had to give up Mo Rivera, which to me, was a pretty steep price to pay for a non-lottery pick. Rivera's still going to save 35+ games for the Yankees next year, only takes 1 keeper spot next year, and in the draft would probably go somewhere between 10 and 16. (Hell, Brandon Lyon went 22 this year.) And you know that Alex's pick is not going to be any worse than 10th, and is about 70% likely to be #12, which will allow you to draft someone like...oh, I dunno, Heath Bell?

Lastly, Yonder Alonso would be a great pickup in Strat, where he wouldn't be blocked by Joey Votto or constrained by the inner thoughts of Dusty Baker. Unfortunately, we're not playing Strat. (El Angelo)

I like the trade better than that. Contrary to the slavering proclamations of Michael Kay, Rivera will in fact age. He'll be a little less valuable next year, and a little less valuable than that the following year. The Seasick Baby Crocodiles can hope to replace 80% of his value with that 4th-round pick, and maybe use the 1 on something shiny and fun.

I also like the pickups of Alonso (who could be freed up for some PT if the offseason breaks right, or even if Dusty forgets what it felt like to watch Jonny Gomes try to play the OF) and Brett Lawrie (who plays an increasingly shallow position and will play in an increasingly deep lineup in TOR next year). These guys are pulling off a pretty orderly retreat, which is all you can ask at this stage. (Teddy)

Rancho Carne Toros
  • Released Lonnie Chisenhall, 3B, Cleveland [7/24]
  • Wrongly signed Dee Gordon, SS, Los Angeles; Released Dave Pauley, RP, Seattle/Detroit [8/3]
  • Cut Gordon; Signed Jason Bartlett, SS, San Diego [8/4]
  • Traded Yovanni Gallardo, SP, Milwaukee, Justin Masterson, SP, Cleveland and their 4th round pick to amy winehouse had pretty feet for Tim Lincecum, SP, San Fran and their 7th round pick [8/5]
  • Signed Matt Joyce, OF, Tampa [8/6]
  • Released Garrett Jones, 1B, Pittsburgh [8/10]
The downside of my Three Aces strategy was revealed to me the other night when I forgot that Homer Bailey was in my rotation as my 4th starter. Whoops. I'll let Chad comment on a fairly benign set of transactions, since I have little to say. What I'd prefer to do is taunt my co-author about Jose Valverde, who he compared to 1630s Tulipomania in our season preview. Saturday marked Valverde's 32nd save of the year with zero blown. I'll sit down now, since I've just tempted fate. (El Angelo)

Hey, plenty of people get rich during bubbles. It's getting out before you get poor that counts.

Anyway, I agree that this is a pretty blah set of moves, though I will say that it's getting pretty late in the day for a contender to be picking up guys like the Petco-crippled Jason Bartlett. As impressive as it is that this team is going to drag the zombiefied Hanley Ramirez to a spot in the money, you can't help but wonder what the standing would look like if Hanley had showed up this year. (Teddy)

Paging Dr. Rumack
  • Traded Kevin Youkilis, 3B, Boston to Chicago Residents for Desmond Jennings, OF, Tampa and their 6th round pick [7/22]
  • Signed Ty Wigginton, 3B, Colorado [7/23]
  • Signed Alexei Casilla, SS, Minnesota [7/26]
  • Released Casilla; Signed Raffy Furcal, SS, Los Angeles/St. Louis [7/28]
  • Signed Jason Kipnis, 2B, Cleveland; Released Theodore Roosevelt Lilly, SP, Los Angeles [8/3]
  • Signed Dee Gordon, SS, Los Angeles; Released Juan Uribe, SS, Los Angeles [8/7]
Kipnis and Gordon could be a fun middle infield next year. And I actually love that this team cut Uribe for Gordon. Do you think Ned Coletti wishes he could do just that? (El Angelo)

They added a ton of speed in Gordon and Dez Jennings, who is playing like the love child of Carl Crawford and Jacoby Ellsbury right now. There are actually a lot of fun pieces lying around on this roster, especially if you think that Crawford's collapse is a one-year blip. At the very least a right side of Kipnis and Eric Hosmer would be fun to follow in 2012. (Teddy)

More Fish For Kunta!
  • Signed Edwin Jackson, SP, Chicago (AL)/St. Louis and Macier Izturis, SS, Anaheim; Released Travis Morning Wood, SP, Cincy and Bartolo Colon, SP, New York (AL) [7/15]
  • Signed Pedro Alvarez, 3B, Pittsburgh; Released Derrek Lee, 1B, Chicago (NL) [7/21]
  • Signed Jemile Weeks, 2B, Oakland [7/22]
  • Signed Tsuyoshi Nishioka, 2B/SS, Minnesota [7/26]
  • Released Weeks [8/5]
  • Released Lawrence Jones, 3B, Atlanta [8/8]
Here was how I felt when I heard that my worthy co-author cut Larry Jones:

Aw man. No more Larry. Don't let the door hit your ass on the way out. The day Lawrence Q. Jones was cut from a fantasy team was truly, truly, a glorious one. In fact, it makes for the Greatest TA Ever. (El Angelo)

At the risk of interrupting whatever bacchanal celebration you're engaged in right now (I'm envisioning something like the shootout scene in Boogie Nights with Angelo in his house blasting Night Ranger and a little kid randomly lighting off firecrackers in the background), Larry was scooped up by WTF just after I cut him. Neither Ang nor the Mets will ever be free of Larwrence Chippocrates Jones. He named his son Shea, who will eventually name his own son Citi, and the family will take up residence in the inflatable apple in centerfield. All of this has happened before, and all of it will happen again. Selah.

Hey, does this mean this is no longer the greatest TA ever? Can I stop trying now? Cool. I'm going to go grab some Skittles. (Teddy)

The Spam Avengers
  • Signed Matt Lindstrom, RP, Colorado; Released Jason Bay, Crapshitass, New York (NL) [7/19]
  • Released Lindstrom [7/28]
  • Traded their 1st and 4th round picks, Dillon Gee, SP, New York (NL), Tim Stauffer, SP, San Diego and David Freese, 3B, St. Louis to The Little Green One for Carpenter, SP, St. Louis, Zack Greinke, SP, Milwaukee, Mariano Rivera, RP, New York (AL) and their 8th and 11th round picks [8/1]
Steal. The team's currently tied with two others for seventh place in wins, and gets two guys that should rack up some W's down the stretch. They add Rivera, which probably doesn't get them ahead of my 5-closer crapfest, but may have them add another point or so and drags down Andy, bringing a higher ceiling into play. It's rare you can trade two picks and no players and gain 3-7 points of upside, but that's exactly what they did here. Beautiful work, Alexis. (El Angelo)

Again, I think "steal" is probably strong, because I don't think the Commish did that badly. The analysis of the upside to Alex is spot-on, though. I think at the end of the season we're going to look at the rosters of the board teams and just laugh, because the depth is just getting ridiculous at this point.

I fucking hate green Skittles. They should sell bags with no green and double orange. (Teddy)

Kicked in the Nuts
  • Released Corey Patterson, OF, Toronto/St Louis [7/19]
  • Traded Michael Young, 2B, Texas and their 3rd round pick to Le Dupont Torkies for Dan Uggla, 2B, Atlanta, Ryan Vogelsong, Fluke SP, San Fran, Logan Morrison, OF, Florida and their 5th round pick; Released Torii Hunter, OF, Anaheim and Aaron Hill, 2B, Toronto [7/29]
  • Signed Mark Trumbo, 1B, Anaheim [7/30]
I consider myself to be reasonably intelligent and on the right side of the bell curve when it comes to fantasy baseball. I get roster management, playing for this year and next year, and all the machinations that go into having a team on a keeper league. I understand that some positions are deeper than others, etc., and that not everyone values players the same way. I understand all of this.

Which is a short way of saying I am completely stumped by the trade from Will's perspective. If you've declared you're out of it for this year, and the standings tend to back you up...why are you dealing off a #3 for component parts like Ryan Vogelsong? (El Angelo)

See, I viewed this as KitN's undeclaration . At the time he made the trade, there were only three teams playing for three money slots. One more GFIN team would mean there are 4 teams for thee slots. Logically,* then, any that additional GFIN team would have a 75% shot of hitting the board. Why not take a shot and pray for Troy Tulowitski or Ryan Braun or Tim Lincecum to get crippled?

Or maybe he just really believes that Vogelsong will keep it up next year. Stranger things have happened--ask Sahil how he's feeling about Jose Bautista. (Teddy)

*May not in fact be logical.

Chicago Residents
  • Released Ty Wigginton, 3B, Colorado [7/19]
  • Released Matt Joyce, OF, Tampa [7/20]
  • Traded Desmond Jennings, OF, Tampa and their 6th round pick to Paging Dr. Rumack for Kevin Youkilis, 3B, Boston [7/22]
  • Released Daniel Bard, RP, Boston [7/23]
  • Signed Jarrod Veal Saltalamaccchia, C, Boston [7/28]
  • Signed Jason Bourgeois, OF, Houston; Released Justin Smoak, 1B, Seattle [7/30]
  • Signed Yadier Molina, C, St. Louis [8/3]
I thought Corey made a great deal picking up Yook for the homestretch and told him that right after the deal. To prove that I have no real idea what I'm talking about, since that deal, Desmond Jennings has an OPS over 1.000, has stolen 8 bases, and has basically shown that the Rays were morons for not calling him up in May. Wank. I do think the trade helps Corey this year, but this may be one he looks back on and regrets quickly. (El Angelo)

Yeah, this has a chance to be the fantasy equivalent of Doyle Alexander for John Smoltz. But, hey, the Tigers won the division that year.

Since Ang sort of half-kicked the Jarrod Saltalamacchia pickup earlier, I feel compelled to chime in. Guy was .327/.407/.538 in June and .283/.343/.550 in July. His counting stats haven't been quite as impressive because Varitek is catching all of Beckett's starts, plus the usual day-game-after-night-game rotations. But he's been an above-average catcher for about 3 months now. (Teddy)

amy winehouse had pretty feet
  • Signed Johnny Damon, OF, Tampa and Josh Willingham, OF, Oakland; Released Matt Capps, RP, Minnesota [7/17]
  • Released Willingham [7/18]
  • Released Damon [7/29]
  • Released Rafael Soriano, RP, New York (AL) [7/31]
  • Traded Tim Lincecum, SP, San Fran and their 7th round pick to Rancho Carne Toros for Yovanni Gallardo, SP, Milwaukee, Justin Masterson, SP, Cleveland and their 4th round pick [8/4]
  • Released Kyle Lohse, SP, St. Louis and David Robertson, RP, New York (AL) [8/5]
  • Signed Aubrey Huff, 1B, San Fran [8/9]
Fantasy imitates life. In his newsletter and podcast, Joe Sheehan has been screaming about Aubrey Huff playing over Brandon Belt for a total of 93 hours and 76,000 words this year, insisting that the Giants are morons. (Which they are.) So you can only imagine what Sheehan would say about this pickup if he were analyzing our wonderful league. It might be enough invective to make Michelle Bachmann blush. (El Angelo)

I dig the trade--Yo! is a nice piece, Masterson has absolutely murdered RHB this year, and both are young enough to contribute in future seasons. But setting the trade aside, the median age of the players in these moves is about 35. At this risk of getting overly technical, I'm compelled to point out that future seasons will take place in the, well, future. 35+ year-old ballplayers tend not to thrive in the future. (Teddy)

Wu Tang Financial
  • Released Grady Sizemore, OF, Cleveland [7/18]
  • Re-signed Sizemore; Released Russell Martin, C, New York (AL) [7/20]
  • Claimed Jose Altuve, Midget, Houston, off waivers [7/23]
  • Signed Doug Fister, SP, Seattle/Detroit; Released Kevin Correia, SP, Pittsburgh [7/24]
  • Signed Lawrence Chippocrates Jones
Also prevalent on the Sheehan podcast and newsletter: mocking Jim Hendry for twiddling his thumbs with a last place roster instead of being active, as Hendry has this notion that the Cubs' roster as currently constituted, can compete in 2012. When you pick up a guy that hasn't been healthy for 4 years, a borderline #4 starter and a midget middle infielder, you can see who you're best compared to. (El Angelo)

This is just all anti-Chipper vitriol. If WTF had snagged John Franco instead, Ang would be calling for him to run for office. (Teddy)


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