Recent Trade Involvement in the Denslow Cup | The Golden Sombrero Baseball Blog | MLB, Fantasy, College & High School Baseball News

Recent Trade Involvement in the Denslow Cup

May 22, 2010

Jim got engaged!  To a terrific young lady I might add.  Congratulations, buddy!  We’re really proud and excited for you.  Two more engagement shout-outs: first one for our buddy, Kevin (Kev Kong) Wilcox; second one for my dental school classmate/friend and cadaver dissecting partner, Val Sanchez.  Very fun things.

Before I get going with this post, I want to apologize for not posting anything lately.  My finals week lasted about 15 days/nights and was a truly painful experience for everyone involved.  I still am awaiting confirmation that I passed my last two exams, but I did not need to do that well on them to make it to 2nd year.  I don’t think when I began dental school or even when I was applying that I had any idea what it would actually be like.  Grinnell is a challenging undergraduate institution that consistently ranks among the most extensive in the country in terms of workload.  It did not remotely compare to what was expected of each student at Baylor.  They say the first year of professional school is the most challenging of any student’s career.  I really hope that is the case.

Moving on.  I have tried not to write much about fantasy on this blog because I am fearful of disclosing information that has helped me succeed in previous to my competitors.  The blog comes first now, though, so hopefully none of what I disclose is seen as particularly novel.

This post will center on some recent trades I have completed in my 16-team 7 x 7 (AVG, OBP, SLUG, HR, SB, R, RBI x IP, W, SV, K, ERA, WHIP, K/BB) league that I play in with my friends, many of whom write for the Sombrero.  Before I begin I should mention that I tend to give the team I drafted a month or so of a chance for two primary reasons.  First, it takes approximately 100 plate appearances or so to produce a meaningful set of results capable of evaluation.  Second, this evaluation should help determine a reevaluation of the predraft rankings implicit within are new projections and expectations.  This reevaluation should generate some inefficiencies and potential bargain deals throughout any league.  Hopefully a month into the season every one of your players are playing over-their-heads and producing at unsustainably high levels.  This will inflate their values to the point that they are capable of fetching players ranked considerably higher in the predraft rankings.  A month into the season the rankings that should be taken the most seriously remain those produced prior to the draft because they are based in the most extensive and reliable numbers.  Some players are streaky, and some streak/slump oscillations express periods of a month or longer.  For these reasons, I target May as the month in which I need to work the hardest in fantasy.  This unfortunately coincides with finals and has been hindered more than usual this year.  Nevertheless I have made a few moves that I think will really help my squad, the Heights Knights (named after my 8th grade basketball team), find their stride and hopefully begin to climb in the standings.

CLAR traded Kevin Youkilis, Bos 3B to A-holes
CLAR traded Nate McLouth, Atl OF to A-holes
CLAR traded Kevin Slowey, Min SP to A-holes
MVW traded David Wright, NYM 3B to Knights
MVW dropped David DeJesus, KC OF to Free Agency
MVW dropped Nick Hundley, SD C to Free Agency

This trade took place in early May and heavily reflects my love for David Wright and very little else.  Simply put, I lost this trade.  Youkilis plays for a better team in a better yard, makes contact more often and has better control of the strike zone, probably more power, is more consistent, and, most importantly, will be an easier guy to move later on.  This final reason is a product of the fact that as the season progresses, Wright’s strikeout totals will likely seem more astronomic by the day.  The Mets are a pathetic organization.  I blame their management and front office entirely for David’s recent and ongoing struggles with contact.  That’s a different subject for a different day, though.  Back to the trade.  Slowey’s command is second to none, and even though he lacks a put-away pitch or above average anything, his ability to locate makes him a serviceable two or exceptional three in any rotation.  In a league like ours that uses IP as a category, Slowey is a horse and will always outperform his 5×5 ranking.  McLouth has not looked like the all-star he was in 2008 because he is not making contact often enough.  He will continue to lose playing time as long as he fails to put the ball in play, but, when near his best, McLouth makes Melky Cabrera look like the minor league journeyman he should be.

Eunuch (MVW) beat me on this trade, but I have David, my favorite player, and I am much happier moving forward now as a result.

TOWL traded Nick Markakis, Bal OF to Knights
CLAR traded Yovani Gallardo, Mil SP to Corporate Towls

This trade was mostly a reflection of our cap on starts.  Essentially three starters should be able to reach the cap (100), and I had five at the time.  Gallardo was my highest ranked according to ESPN, but in our league should have been dropped extensively due to his notoriously high pitch counts and less-than-ace-caliber walk totals.  In standard formats, these are virtually meaningless, but in our league make Yo a 4-category contributor in a 14-category format.

Markakis has been one of my targets since 2006.  His ability to both differentiate balls and strikes as well as center the baseball make him lethal in formats such as ours that utilize both average and OBP categories despite having just 15 to 20-bomb power.  Because OBP is not included in the standard format, Markakis is far more valuable in the Cup than he is according to ESPN.

Budz dropped Kris Medlen, Atl RP to Free Agency
Budz dropped J.J. Putz, CWS RP to Free Agency
Budz traded Billy Butler, KC 1B to Knights
CLAR traded Todd Helton, Col 1B to ChronicL’s
CLAR traded Josh Willingham, Was OF to ChronicL’s
CLAR traded Matt Lindstrom, Hou RP to ChronicL’s

Ty9 traded Carlos Lee, Hou OF to Knights
CLAR traded Billy Butler, KC 1B to POO

These trades happened within hours of each other, so I will treat them as one mega deal in which I move Helton, Willingham, and Lindstrom for Carlos Lee.  A trade like this is only possible if you really know the other managers in the league.  My first trading partner in this deal was Griff.  Griff is after a first-place finish this year, and I know it.  He has produced increasingly higher finishes each year and made it into the top-5 last season for the first time.  In a 16-team league, saves are a big deal.  Not only are there only 30 closers at any time but also a 0 in any category means a lot more when one team is getting 16 and the average team is snagging 8 or 9 from that category.  I find it very hard to envision a first place team getting last or even close to last in the saves category.  A single stable closer (30 saves) for the entire season is probably enough to avoid a catastrophically low saves total, and closers are hoarded in our league as a result.  The effects of this hoarding are an enhanced demand and a reduced supply of saves.  Griff recognized that the longer he waited, the less the return and the higher the cost.  By a stroke of luck, Alfredo Simon, the new Orioles closer was available as well as Manny Corpas making Lindstrom somewhat expendable.

Willingham is another guy who is worth more in our league than in a standard league because of his skill at reaching base, but what some folks have been slow to accept is the quality of the heart of the Nationals order.  Hitting behind Adam Dunn should provide Hammer with a shot at 100 RBI’s.  He has a chance this season to be an all-star and is especially valuable in a platoon.

Todd Helton again is more valuable in our league due to his combination of average and on-base skills.  Jason Giambi is a ridiculous distraction and almost comical nowadays, but he should be eliminated shortly I suspect due to the imminent season-ending injury that surely accompanies 39-year old, fat, steroid abusers.  Griff actually got Helton at a time when his value may be somewhat deflated due to his slow start, and in general this trade is looking as though I came away the loser.

However, I knew if I could just snag Butler that Ty9, a lifelong and diehard Royals fan, would probably give me Carlos Lee in exchange.  Lee has been getting a lot of bad publicity recently because of his slow start, but the guy can take every square inch of the zone 450 ft.  I saw his slow start as an obvious opportunity to buy low on a guy that has a 3-year mean OPS over .880 and a 5-year average of 31 dongs/season.

Everyone other Tyrone won this one.

Bob dropped Mike Adams, SD RP to Free Agency
CLAR traded David Ortiz, Bos DH to of Shelley
CLAR traded Chris Coghlan, Fla OF to of Shelley
Bob traded Carlos Pena, TB 1B to Knights

As noted earlier, I have a tendency to fall in love with certain players.  Carlos is one of those guys for me.  I have never had him on my team.  He is clearly underperforming right now, but has shown the ability to stay inside and above the ball with good lower body action in the last week or so against good arms.  The ball Gardner took away was an excellent swing, and the next night Carlos went deep twice.  I love him and rolled out the red carpet this morning for him.

I’m a Coghlan believer.  I think his mechanics at the plate allow him to handle almost all pitches even though they probably are good for no more than fifteen jacks/season.  As everyone has always known about Coghlan, his skills play better at 2B than at a COF spot.  Not going to happen with Uggla on 40-jack pace.  Still, Coghlan should be around a .300 hitter the rest of the way while walking at a respectable clip.

Papi is so tough to evaluate right now.  Sometimes he looks as good as ever, and sometimes he looks like he could go 0-for a beer league game.  This suggests that Papi is guessing and cheating his hands at the plate to compensate for either reduced pitch deciphering abilities, reduced bat speed, injury, or a combination of the three.  I suspect that I may have moved him at the perfect time, and while I have normally been a fan of Papi, the failed PED test was a big turnoff for me.  Considering I plucked him off of waivers a week before this deal, it was easy to pull the trigger.

I am very satisfied with these trades and the way my team is looking.  This has been one of my more successful Mays, and, with the addition of luck, health, and a few more quality moves, it should put me in position to challenge for my first title.

The current Knights:

C Carlos Ruiz
1B Carlos Pena
2B Dustin Pedroia
3B David Wright
SS Hanley Ramirez
OF Michael Bourn
OF Nick Markakis
OF Carlos Lee
UTIL Adam Dunn
Bench Jim Thome
P Cole Hamels
P Alfredo Simon
P Manuel Corpas
P Aaron Heilman
P J.J. Putz
P Carlos Villanueva
Bench Scott Baker
Bench Jeff Niemann
Bench Ted Lilly
Bench Ervin Santana
DL Mike GonzalezDL15

1 Comment

  1. That guy says:

    “a 5-year average of 31 dongs/season” Sounds like you’re getting a lot of dong action out of this one man!