I mean I guess the trading wasn’t THAT “high frequency” but there was certainly a handful of deals over the weekend and I CERTAINLY do not work on this blog unless paid to do so…..so now that we are back in the old office gonna cover them all now combined roundup. LET’S DO THAT….
The Main Street MooniniteZ trade [High Minors] OF Roman Quinn and [Low Minors] OF Victor Robles to the Point Loma X-Rayz for OF Keon Broxton.
THE MOONINITEZ RETURN:
Keon Broxton. Broxton is beloved in certain circles, and extra beloved by MooniniteZ management, because he hits the ball really fucking hard and also can steal a base or thirty or forty. And if that was all there was to this story that would be GREAT. However it is not all there is to this story because he also swings and misses like a lot, to the point where “Chris Carter that steals bases” has been mentioned. So there is jussstttt enough risk/reward here for me to break a mini one out JUST FOR ME:
Keon Broxton Risk: AN ABSOLUTELY HIDEOUS 36.1 K% last year (Carter was at 32%) over 244 plate appearances. That is the biggie. Pretty much everywhere he’s been he has ran a mid-20s K% at best and that ain’t great, 36.1% is atrocious. If he fails to get that under control he probably ends up a good bit disappointing and MAYBE even ends up replaced in the Brewers OF by MooniniteZ top prospect Lewis Brinson. Broxton also needed a .373 BABIP to hit just .242 last year, and that happens to be a pretty high BABIP even for someone who hits the ball as hard as Keon does. So again, significant Chris Carter-esque risks here and there is a reason nobody currently owns Chris Carter in this league (just yet). Oh yea one other thing, last year Broxton only hit .210 against righties NO BIGGIE.
Keon Broxton Reward: BUT WHAT IF CHRIS CARTER STOLE BASES I ASK YOU? I don’t want to really discuss that I just want to discuss the potential rewards more than the risks, for obvious reasons. For starters, as stated Broxton hits the shit out of the ball. A 90.2 mph exit velocity in 2016 puts Broxton in the 98th percentile in baseball. High exit velocity combined with elite speed gives hope for maintaining an average at least above like .230 one should fucking hope. Broxton’s numbers last year are also very much a tale of two appearances in the majors and dragged down by his first 28 games, where he hit .125 with a .254 OBP and just generally sucked balls. After being sent down and returning Broxton hit .294 (.399 OBP) over his final 45 games, with 8 HRs and 16 SBs. He also has strangely good plate discipline, with a 14.8% walk percentage in 2016 (11th best in baseball among batters with a minimum of 240 PAs). He was only swinging at 22.1 percent of pitches outside of the strike zone in 2016 (16th best) and ended up with a .354 OBP, which absolutely plays in this league. The real issue is that he just NEVER makes fucking contact on those outside the zone swings, and also ain’t exactly great at making contact in the strike zone either. This is starting to sound like more stuff for the “Risk” section need to wrap this up….. POINT IS the (sometimes batshit crazy) ESPN projections have him pegged for 13 HRs and 42 SBs next year and more conservative projection systems have him going around 15 HRs/30 SBs. Significant upside here if he fixes some holes in that swing, and MooniniteZ management is of the thinking that those final 45 games showed he already sorta has.
THE X-RAYZ RETURN:
Those EVER-SAVVY X-Rayz managed to get the MooniniteZ to throw Roman Quinn in this deal, due to aforementioned Broxton love, and Quinn is a super speedy OF prospect that perfectly fits the X-Rayz philosophy and still has 73 ABs of high minors eligibility. Last year, in a 15 game cup of coffee with the Phillies, Quinn posted a .373 OBP with 5 steals in 57 ABs. Prior to said cup of said coffee Roman spent most of his time in AA, where he posted a .361 OBP and stole another 31 bags in 286 ABs. Goes without saying that a guy that gets on base at a very good clip and then steals additional bases is a guy that can be very very valuable within the parameters of our fantasy league, and at least for now Quinn has shown himself to be nothing short of that…kinda…guy. He is currently blocked in the Phillies OF by veteran bums such as Howie Kendrick and Michael Saunders, but they will move out of the way one way or another and he will eventually be back to the show in 2017. When when he is he will very likely provide the X-Rayz with excellent value. Even with his potential Quinn is not the centerpiece prospect in this deal; that title belongs to a one 19 year old (soon-to-be 20 year old) Victor Robles. Robles is widely regarded as the top prospect for the Nationals and is currently the #13 prospect in all of baseball according to Baseball America, #7 according to MLB.com. Considered a potential “5 tool player” in the future, for fantasy purposes the tools that the X-Rayz will look for are the bat and the wheels. And Robles has flashed both in his young minors career, last year popping 8 HRs and swiping 37 bases over 401 ABs. Those numbers come at A ball (.305 AVG/.405 OBP in 285 PAs) and A+ ball (.262 AVG/.354 OBP in 198 PAs), but if the power develops and the bat stays solid at the higher levels this is a potential fantasy superstar. Even if the power never arrives you have a potential .300 hitter that can steal like 40+ some odd bases, like a slightly slower version of Billy Hamilton that can actually fucking hit. So we are talking a ceiling of “best CF not named Trout” type superstar, albeit with all the usual PROSPECT VOLATILITY risks in mind. This blog is all about the word “volatility.”
SIDE SEAN LIKES MORE:
The MOONINITEZ. That’s right I am siding with myself because I feel like I should probably always do so. Once I broke this rule below I figured I should come back and amend this, THE X-RAYZ SIDE WINS. Of course prospects are volatile and of course Robles could go the way of AJ Reed or [insert better example of failed prospect here] OH I GOT IT LASTINGS MILLEDGE…… but yea, Keon Broxton is at the moment just as volatile as anyone despite the buzz in those “certain circles” I keep inventing. Wide range of possible outcomes for how good of a player Broxton will be by the time Robles arrives in Washington, but in the meantime the X-Rayz get to reap the benefits of some minors eligible speed in 2017 once Roman Quinn returns to Philly. A smart move by the X-Rayz to capitalize on KEON BROXTON FEVAH, of which MooniniteZ management has a particularly bad case.
The Main Street MooniniteZ trade C Yasmani Grandal to the Q-Tip Morning Wood for [High Minors] 1B Dan Vogelbach.
THE MOONINITEZ RETURN:
This fucking team again. Being that I am plugged into the MooniniteZ roster plans I know for a fact that they were just trying to get ANYTHING for Yasmani Grandal before resorting to dropping him, and in this case the ANYTHING turns out to be Dan Vogelbach. Vogelbach enters 2017 fresh off a 2016 cup o’ coffee where he hit 1 single in 12 ABs while also walking once and striking out 6 times. So….unimpressive. Prior to that he had been raking away for the Cubs AAA affiliate, and then the Mariners AAA affiliate, to the tune of a .400+ OBP and 23 HRs in 459 ABs. Who the hell knows if that translates to the bigs, the Mariners are hoping so as they have him penciled in as the strong side of a first base platoon. And the MooniniteZ are hoping so as well, in the sense that at worst they would like a few HRs from Vogelbach subbing in from their bench during his 118 remaining high minors ABs.
THE MORNING WOOD RETURN:
Now HERE IS A MAN whom knows a good deal when he sees one. Shane smartly balked at Grandal offers that asked for Josh Hader back and then wisely jumped on an offer of Yasmani Grandal for Vogelbach (MooniniteZ management unwisely tried to use ESPN’s “personal message” box to request a draft pick in the deal as well but that failed, MooniniteZ management regrets the error). YASMANI GRANDAL IS A REALLY GOOD PITCH FRAMER. Nobody gives a shit about that in fantasy though, so here is what Grandal is in fantasy: A CATCHER, that weak ass position, that just hit 27 HRs in 390 ABs with a .339 OBP. One that will likely bat 5th in a Dodgers lineup that will likely score some runs. Grandal’s pitch framing abilities keep him in the Dodgers lineup as long as he stays healthy, and he actually ran an even higher OBP (.353) in 2015 thanks to his elite walk percentages (14.6% over the past 2 years, 8th best % in baseball for batters with a min. of 500 PAs in that span). So what we have here is a probable top 10 catcher in our particular fantasy league, with the potential to end up top 5. Nearly dropped and instead sold for some fat fuck “prospect”.
SIDE SEAN LIKES MORE:
The MORNING WOOD. Forget what I ALMOST said above about siding with myself always, it isn’t always about me. Sometimes I “lose” the particular trade, like for example this time (and maybe the time above). This was a pure roster dump trade where the MooniniteZ attempted to get ANYTHING AT ALL for Grandal prior to resorting to dropping him. And it is to be determined whether or not Dan Vogelbach will qualify as “anything at all,” but it IS determined that the QMW (starting to already resent this ode to boners team name) got themselves a likely top 10 (possibly top 5) catcher at a STEEP discount. If I am the QMW I make that deal every time and I am not them but they are them and they made that deal and good on them and SHAME ON ALL OF YOU who didn’t want Grandal. You know who you are.
The Point Loma X-Rayz trade [High Minors] 1B AJ Reed and their 2017 Player Rights Draft 1st Round Pick to the OceanGate Trout Fishing Club for [Low Minors] SS Ozzie Albies.
THE X-RAYZ RETURN:
As usual the X-Rayz find themselves at the forefront of Backyard innovation (sounds kinda like a sex thing), becoming the first and only team to trade a Player Rights draft pick (name subject to change there). And in doing so they put the cap on an impressive couple days or so of DRAMATICALLY upgrading their low minors roster, a la the White Sox or some shit. After acquiring Yankees prospect Jorge Mateo and Nationals top prospect Victor Robles in earlier trades, the X-Rayz were not content to rest and went out and got themselves Atlanta Braves 2nd ranked prospect SS/2B Ozzie Albies. Don’t let the #2 ranking there fool you, as Albies would be the Braves top-ranked prospect if not for SS Dansby Swanson. And it is the presence of SS Dansby Swanson that probably leads to a position change for Albies, with a potential promotion to play second base in ATL as early as this season. Albies is the 11th best prospect in all of baseball according to Baseball America (#10 according to MLB.com), and in typical X-Rayz fashion represents a significant speed threat because WHAT FUCKING ELSE DID YOU EXPECT. Ozzie struggled a bit across 222 ABs in AAA last year but was far more comfortable in AA, stealing 21 bases with a .391 OBP across 330 ABs. If he can display that comfort in AAA to start this season and continue to play strong defense at second, he will be up as soon as the Braves get tired of trotting out old man Brandon Phillips. As such, the Oz man represents the Low Minors X-Ray most likely to see time in the majors in 2017, and before long he could be just another X-Ray frustrating opponents with 5+ SB weeks.
THE FISHING CLUB RETURN:
Credit where credit is ALSO due, as the Fishing Club becomes the first team to trade for a “player rights drafts pick” and generally seemed to be the team most devoted to the idea of acquiring a few extra selections in the inaugural draft. Placeholder player headed back to the Fishing Club in this deal ends up being familiar face AJ Reed here, one time top prospect who famously looked fucking LOST last year at the major league level. Reed still fits in a High Minors slot as of right now, but unfortunately will only have 8 ABs to show something before the Fishing Club will have to decide if he is worthy of a major league roster spot. My money is on that decision not being even possible after 8 ABs, so look out for AJ Reed coming to a waiver wire near you. MIGHT BE WORTH A FLYER EVENTUALLY. As for the draft pick that went to the OGTFC, that was spent on A’s hurler Sean Manaea and I view that as a quietly excellent selection as someone whom is very high on Sean Manaea. Manaea jumped to the majors after only 18 AAA innings last year, and scuffled in the first half to the tune of a 5.24 ERA over 67 innings. After landing on the DL in June Manaea returned and pitched much better, a 2.67 ERA over 77.2 IP and a 1.13 ERA over 24 IP in September. IN OTHER PEOPLE’S DRAFTS Manaea has been in the mid 40s in terms of starting pitchers off the board, going around and ahead of names like Vince Velasquez, JA Happ, Lance McCullers, and James Paxton. You will note that I just named most of my pitching staff, which is to say that Manaea would have been a great fit with the MooniniteZ and POSSIBLY their 2nd round pick had he made it all that way. So I am a Manaea fan, is what I’m saying. Could be pretty damn good pretty damn quickly.
SIDE SEAN LIKES MORE:
The X-RAYZ. Manaea may turn out to be pretty great but SO MIGHT ALBIES, and it stands to reason that an Albies-type prospect would not have been available to the X-Rayz had they kept the 10th pick in the draft’s first round. AJ Reed is gonna be a weak low-energy loser over 8 ABs and then dropped.
The Springfield Isotopes trade OF Adam Duvall and 1B Freddie Freeman to the Forked River Three-Eyed Fish for 1B Wil Myers, RP Mark Melancon, and SP Jose Quintana.
THE ‘TOPES RETURN:
THIS ONE HERE, this one was the one tried and true blockbuster over this last weekend. So it is probably the most interesting, and it only included MLB players (Typical ‘Topes, remember this theme for later), and I am tired of talking fuckin’ prospects, so LET’S DISCUSS EVERY PLAYER INVOLVED HERE A BIT:
Wil Myers: Up until last year Wil Myers had seemingly done nothing but spend all of his time in the majors breaking his wrists and shit, but then that allllll changed. Last year Myers finally cashed in on the prospect hype that has followed him around all these years and put up a super impressive 28 HRs 28 SBs season as the Pads first basemen. If you believe that shit was for real then you may conclude that the ‘Topes ended up trading a really good young 1B for the next best young 1B, plus other stuff. And that ain’t bad. There’s a bit of “show me it again” with regards to both the HR and SB numbers but if he can stay healthy he’s probably a good bet for SBs at least in the teens and HRs at least in the twenties. And that is a nice little combo to get out of your 26 year old first basemen.
Jose Quintana: The quietest ace in all of the fantasy world, JOSE QUINTANA IS A QUALITY START MACHINE. Seriously look it up: 23 QS last year, 25 the year before that, 21 the year before that, 17 the year before that. All of these years over 200 IP, all of these years an ERA of about 3.50 or under (3.20 last year), all of these years 7.5 or so Ks per 9 (7.83 last year). Quintana has quietly been a stud fantasy pitcher for a longggg time now and sadly now that Amateur Fashion Model Talent Scout and 3EF Team Owner Connor FINALLY agrees to part with him it is to Mikey T. Quintana’s value also figures to take a bump at the trade deadline, at the latest, when the White Sox figure to ship him off to some contending team or wannabe contending team. Possibly for another major haul, those crafty White Sox.
Mark Melancon: Mark Melancon is a perfectly serviceable closer who will no doubt save a good chunk of games for the San Fran Giants, probably with a mid 2s ERA and mid 8s Ks per 9. Last year he only gave up 3 HRs over 71.1 IP, and that number could shrink somehow even smaller in that HR killing stadium the Giants play their games in. For a team that desperately needed a good closer, being able to add one of Melancon’s caliber as the 3rd best player in the package is a nice get for the Springfield Isotopes. And if I have to keep saying that I will vomit in my mouth, or on my keyboard if you prefer.
THE 3EF RETURN:
Freddie Freeman: Ohhh Frederick Freeman. FOREVER IMMORTALIZED by what I will continue to feel is the worst trade I have ever seen in this league, when the then-Missiles sent him to the Isotopes for Trevor Rosenthal while YOUR FAIR WRITER was in the woods of Delaware unable to talk some sense into anyone. But I am not allowed to talk about how terrible that trade was here (I’ve talked about it at length elsewhere), so let’s instead focus on how good Freddie Freeman was last year. Again citing what I’ve already written about it:
“But let’s look at what Freeman did in June: .426 OBP, .656 SLG, 9 doubles, 4 triples, 5 HRs, 13 runs, 14 RBIs, FUCKING EVEN THREW IN TWO STEALS.” –Me
So that was just Freddie’s June, and to be fair it came after an uneven April and May but the final numbers were this: .400 OBP, 43 doubles, 6 triples, 34 HRs, 102 Rs, 91 RBIs, 6 SBs. Just a MONSTER season, to the point where one wonders why T was so willing to trade him rather than finally cutting the cord on Miggy or something. The Braves will be in a new stadium this year and I’ve even seen it argued the new dimensions could lead to a few more HRs for Freddie, but even if it doesn’t Freeman is only 27.5 years old and just put up his best season eva. Possibly a top 5 fantasy 1B heading into next season, possible room to grow. HELLUVA PLAYER.
Adam Duvall: This writer has always been of the thinking that Adam Duvall kinda sucks, and no amount of research arguing otherwise will change his mind. Duvall ripped 31 doubles, 6 triples, and 33 HRs last year (albeit with a .297 OBP) and will bat directly behind Votto in the Reds lineup. He even chipped in 6 SBs, albeit while also being caught stealing 5 times. So this writer is actually sort of invested in him not sucking with the whole batting behind Votto thing. But still feels like he sucks. Those are pretty solid numbers though, even if they were HIS ABSOLUTE CEILING. Sucks. He sucks it is decided.
SIDE SEAN LIKES MORE:
The ISOTOPES. AND I HATE THAT THIS KEEPS HAPPENING. I like this trade for both teams in a lot of ways (except for the Adam Duvall part cuz fuck him) but I think the Isotopes did an excellent job of extracting value from their Freddie Freeman sale, EVEN MORE SO if you describe it as basically trading Trevor Rosenthal for this package. Lobman’s FUCK UP isn’t the 3EF’s fault of course, and Freeman I think is an absolute beast, but at the end of the day I just think Mikey T made yet another wise trade in a quietly solid offseason for him (I still project him to miss the playoffs because it is fun).
UPDATE: Now with two fucking more to discuss because everyone’s throwing relievers all around…..
The Forked River Three-Eyed Fish trade RP Ken Giles to the OceanGate Trout Fishing for [Low Minors] OF Bradley Zimmer and RP Tony Watson.
THE 3EF RETURN:
The Three-Eyed Fish infamously took Ken Giles in the first round of our last ever post-keepers draft, and now after one rocky season Giles is shipped out of town. But the return is NOT A BAD LITTLE RETURN: Bradley Zimmer and Tony Watson. Zimmer, the Indians’ 2nd best prospect according to Baseball America (#62 overall, but #31 after the 2015 season and currently #22 according to MLB.com), projects to possibly settle into an OF gig in Cleveland as early as this season. And once he does he has the chance to be an impact player in fantasy baseball, as he has displayed a good blend of speed and power throughout his minors career. Most recently, in 2016, Zimmer hit 14 HRs and stole 33 bases over 340 ABs at the AA level, with a .371 OBP to boot. The power evaporated over a 37 game stint with the Indians’ AAA affiliate while the strikeout % rose, and that might be the one area to watch for Zimmer going forward. He posted a strikeout rate of 28.3% at AA and 37.3% in his brief AAA stint, and rates that high at the minor league levels can sometimes spell trouble for future major league production. But the tools are all there to be a valuable fantasy OF for many many years. And in Tony Watson, the 3EF get themselves a middle of the road closer who could also eventually end up in a setup role elsewhere WHO KNOWS. But he’s fine. It’s fine he’s fine.
THE OGTFC RETURN:
The Fishing Club fortifies the bullpen a bit here, mayyyyybe at the expense of the future mayyyyybe who cares about the future FLAGS FLY FOREVER. And back to back championships are an even harder flag to come by, I HAPPEN TO KNOW. So yes Ken Giles, he of the terrible start and terrible finish leading to an overall terrible year last year. Giles gave up 10 runs in 10 IP in April, and then closed with 9 runs in 11.1 IP in September, but in between that he wasn’t toooo bad. And his previous season in Philadelphia he was quite good, which is how he ended up traded to the Astros in the first place. If he is right Giles has the chance to be a top 10 closer with room for more. All these reviews have been heavy on me throwing the “top ____” phrase around BUT I BELIEVE IN ALL OF THEM. Stand by ’em all.
SIDE SEAN LIKES MORE:
The 3EF. Solely because it gets Ken Giles off his team after he fucking picked him in the first fucking round. Also Bradley Zimmer might end up really good. Onwards and upwards for Live Action Shrek Stunt Double and 3EF Owner Connor.
The River City Bad Dudes trade SP Dylan Bundy and the rights to [Low Minors] SP AJ Puk to the OceanGate Trout Fishing Club for RP Francisco Rodriguez.
THE BAD DUDES RETURN:
The Bad Dudes, in a transparent attempt to gain the early upper hand in their highly anticipated Week 1 matchup with the MooniniteZ, go out and get themselves another closer in Francisco Rodriguez. To which MooniniteZ management reportedly says “LET THE GAME OF CHESS BEGIN.” K-Rod, as he was affectionately nicknamed 15 years ago back when he could throw the ball fast, saved a whopping 44 games for the Tigers despite a fastball that now averages 89.2 mph. He is no longer the double digit Ks per 9 threat that he once was (8.02 K/9 in ’16, down from 9.79 in ’15) but he can still get the job done, as long as he doesn’t break down due to being like 35 or whatever. This was a case of the Bad Dudes knowing they wanted another closer, looking out into the FA pool and not liking what they saw. WHICH IS THEIR PREROGATIVE. I personally think there might have been some better options in the FA pool but it’s whatever, the Bad Dudes got their (old) man. Gotta start the “we are playing each other” pettiness early in case you couldn’t tell.
THE FISHING CLUB RETURN:
The Fishing Club return = Dylan Bundy and the rights to [Low Minors] SP AJ Puk. And what can be really said, about these two. Here I will try. Bundy remains chock full of potential, and had an all time high trade value after putting together two really good starts last August. Unfortunately for Heroy and the OGTFC, they didn’t trade him and he didn’t keep it up. His final result was an ERA that actually beat his FIP (usually doesn’t happen), 4.02 to 4.70. His struggles mostly related to a HIDEOUS “third time through the order” FIP of 9.30, which may have been partly a stamina issue as his fastball loses a full tick off its speed around that time. If he can get the stamina up there is potential there, but also maybe he CAN’T hack it as a starter and the Orioles start to get creative. POTENTIAL FUTURE SP ELIGIBLE RELIEVER ALERT. As for AJ Puk, I don’t know anything about him. Notta thing. Currently the A’s 2nd best prospect according to BA (#83 overall BA, #69 overall MLB.com), Puk was the 6th overall pick of last year’s draft and pitched like 32 innings in low A last year and that is it. THOSE INNINGS LOOK DECENT I GUESS: 11.02 K/9, 3.03 ERA, 1.93 FIP. He also allegedly made a “strong impression” on A’s manager Bob Melvin in a recent bullpen session. So good on him. And he’s 6-7. NEXT
RANDY JOHNSON JEFF NIEMANN?!
SIDE SEAN LIKES MORE:
The Fishing Club. Which isn’t to say I don’t get why the Bad Dudes made the deal, because they traded two likely lottery tickets for a proven closer, but that closer is old and also fuck Lobman and also MAYBE THIS IS WHEN DYLAN BUNDY PUTS IT ALL TOGETHER. Making him the only young pitcher on the OGTFC roster to “put it all together.” I have already discussed at length how the rest won’t.