Two trades over the weekend, because that’s what you people DO over the weekend. You make trades and then expect me to cover them on my first day of the work week PROBABLY, REGARDLESS of how much shit I might actually have to do in terms of actual work related to my actual “job”. Just selfish really. And in response to that selfishness I took my sweet ass time getting to these reviews. But I know you people are still as trade happy as ever, so let’s discuss these two deals before another trade goes through and I have to work it in…. which would be tragic. X-RAYZ ALL OVER THIS THING….
The Point Loma X-Rayz trade OF Khris Davis and SS Ketel Marte to the Springfield Isotopes for SP Matt Moore and OF Tyler Naquin.
THE X-RAYZ RETURN:
The X-Rayz have long prided themselves on rostering talented ex-Rays and they add yet another one, picking up Matt Moore from the ‘Topes. Matt Moore has held promise for some time now but has also never reallllly capitalized on that promise, apart from a 2012 season where he struck out very nearly a batter an inning over 177 IP for the Rays (3.81 ERA). That sonofabitch Tommy John came calling around the beginning of the 2014 season and Moore has spent the remaining years more or less working his way back from that, putting together a pretty terrible 2015 (5.43 ERA, 6.57 K/9) and an uneven 2016 (4.46 “first half” ERA, 3.63 “second half” ERA). It is that 2nd half that hints at the promise that the X-Rayz are paying for here, as Moore enters 2017 entrenched as the Giants third starter. Pitching for an NL team in baseball’s most HR-suppressing home stadium might be just what the doctor ordered for Moore, as he has always sported a ground ball to fly ball ratio of basically 1:1 and could certainly benefit from more of those fly balls staying in the park. Moore is still only 27 (28 in June0 and, if he’s right, he can be a top 40 or top 50 fantasy pitcher ish. The other part of the X-Rayz return is Indians OF Tyler Naquin, a man who burst onto the fantasy scene last year and put up a .371 OBP over 321 ABs. How many ABs Naquin acquires this year will depend upon his production, the health of Michael Brantley, Cleveland’s timeline for Bradley Zimmer, etc. etc. etc. but if there’s an increase in ABs it will be interesting to see what kinds of numbers Tyler can put together. Not to rain on parades but Naquin DID have a .411 BABIP in 2016, highest in baseball for players with at least 300 PAs, and that number is unsustainable going forward (nobody can really keep up a .400+ OBP NOT EVEN BERNIE WILLIAMS HIMSELF). He also put up a 30.7% K percentage which, if it were to hold, would hint at some major OBP downside. Despite the red flags last year’s version of Tyler Naquin plays in fantasy; 14 HRs over 321 ABs and a .371 OBP don’t grow on trees folks. Difficult to see him putting up those power and OBP numbers again this year but ONLY ONE WAY TO FIND OUT.
THE ISOTOPES RETURN:
The Isotopes, in this writer’s opinion, have quietly put together one of the stronger offseasons in this league. One could make the case this continues with the acquisition of Khris Davis, power hitting LF extraordinaire of the Athletics. Davis most recently ripped 42 HRs in Oakland, with baseball’s second-worst home stadium for HRs (2nd only to SF) not seeming to have much of an effect on Khris. Davis had always hinted at this power potential, hitting 27 HRs in 121 games in 2015 for example, but injuries kept getting in the way. Hence the 121 games in 2015. The knock on Khris Davis would be that he doesn’t walk nearly as much as Chris Davis, and strikes out nearly as much. This puts a hard cap on his OBP, which makes him essentially a slightly better slighly blacker Adam Duvall. If one wanted to criticize Isotopes management, and let’s be honest everybody probably hates this guy these days, they would note that the ‘Topes traded Adam Duvall only to essentially trade to get him back. Also Isotopes management is too skinny. SEE THIS IS EASY. O
n the other side of things, the ‘Topes also picked up Ketel Marte aka a guy the X-Rayz signed from the FA wastelands like NOT THAT LONG AGO. (Edit: WRONG Ketel was just dropped or something, leaving the next part in though cuz IT IS STILL TRUE)….. SEE HOW EASY IT IS MIKEY T, TO JUST CRITIQUE PEOPLE AND TALK ABOUT BEING ABLE TO FIND A BETTER GUY ON THE WAIVER WIRES EVERY FUCKING TIME A TRADE IS MADE. You certainly can find a better guy than Marte on the waiver wires, is what I am saying, because Marte probably does not have a starting gig on the Diamondbacks at press time. If he eventually gets the second base gig he can offer some speed and WHO KNOWS maybe he pulls off a homeless man’s version of Jean Segura, but the ‘Topes already got Segura and also Marte can’t really fucking hit. My point is Marte is probably dropped any day now.
SIDE SEAN LIKES MORE:
THE X-RAYZ. Only because I don’t want to publicly voice support for the owner of the Isotopes these days, THAT GUY IS TOXIC right about now. Judging by Sunday morning reviews of Saturday evening chats. Also again, he traded white Adam Duvall and then traded for black Adam Duvall and I am going to give him shit for that here because I can.
THREEEEE WAYYYY ACTIONNNNN. I am not even entirely sure how to write this out here, let’s try something like this:
The Q-Tip Morning Wood and Point Loma X-Rayz take turns on the Barnegat Banana Slugs.
Q-Tip Morning Wood acquire OF Ender Inciarte (via X-Rayz), SP Zack Greinke (via Slugs), [Low Minors] SP Tyler Beede (via Slugs), and [Low Minors] SS/2B Franklin Barreto (via Slugs)
Point Loma X-Rayz acquire RP Edwin Diaz (via Slugs)
Barnegat Banana Slugs acquire RP AJ Ramos (via X-Rayz), [Low Minors] SP Brent Honeywell (from X-Rayz via Morning Wood), [High Minors] SS Dansby Swanson (via Morning Wood), [Low Minors] SP Josh Hader (via Morning Wood), SP Jon Gray (via Morning Wood)
THE MORNING WOOD RETURN:
NOT TOO SHABBY. Talent was definitely parted with but it takes talent to get talent and some talent comes back to the Morning Wooders here. Starting with Ender Inciarte, the Braves OF acquired in the initial little side deal with the X-Rayz. Inciarte is completely devoid of power, but like a good little slap hitter he doesn’t strike out too often/can draw the occasional walk/can steal some bags. Inciarte should bat leadoff for the Braves this year and if the offense ever gets their shit together, that would be to his fantasy benefit as it could get him to score a few more runs. The Slugs provided the real meat of the return for the Morning
Meat Wood, starting with FORMER GOOD PITCHER Zack Greinke. I for one have never much cared for Greinke, that cherub looking motherfucker, but I would at least concede he was a decent pitcher up until last season. Last season a bit of gopheritis set in, as Greinke’s HRs per 9 jumped from 0.57 in 2015 to 1.30 in 2016. One would immediately conclude this was perhaps aided by the AZ air, but Greinke actually gave up 3 more HRs in the road in about the same amount of innings (Note: I know what you’re thinking but only 1 HR came in Coors, with 5 coming in his former home in LA). Going forward there are questions: Greinke’s final ERA of 4.37 isn’t terrible but it went from 3.62 over 109 first half innings to 6.02 over 49 second half innings. 49 innings isn’t a lot, and there is a chance Greinke rebounds to more closely resemble his form from previous seasons, but he’s also 33 and there is a chance he does not. Such is life. Tyler Beede is a pitcher whom is younger than 33, about 23.75 to be exact. Beede currently ranks as the Giants’ best prospect according to Baseball America (#89 overall BA, #88 MLB.com FINALLY SOME AGREEMENT), and is currently allegedly vying for the Giants’ fifth starter spot. If he gets it perhaps he is good, perhaps he isn’t I dunno read the scouting reports. Old Man Yells At Prospects. AND ANOTHER PROSPECT, to round out the deal, in Franklin Barreto. Barreto is the A’s best prospect according to BA (#40 overall, #52 MLB.com) and is also according to what IIIIIII have heard, more of a future CF than a future middle infielder. Which changes things in fantasy now does it. Barreto hit 10 dingers and swiped 30 bags across 462 AA ABs last season, numbers that would play at CF if that is where his eventual future lies. The speed is for real but, as with most prospects, how the hitting progresses through the higher levels remains to be seen (he did go 6 for 18 with a triple and a homer in 4 AAA games last year so credit for that I guess).
THE X-RAYZ RETURN:
LORD KNOWS how the X-Rayz even get involved in something like this, as they basically just hop in out of nowhere and grab RP fucking stud Edwin Diaz. Diaz was at one time going to try his hand at SP but it turns out he makes for a really really good RP so that is where he shall stay forever, because again he is really really good at it. Last year over 51.2 major league innings he struck out 88, with an ERA of 2.79 (2.02 FIP, learn about it HERE you simpletons). Get even nerdier in the ERA estimators game and he posted a Skills Interactive ERA or SIERA (learn about it FUCKING HERE you fucking simpletons) of 1.82. Which was the fourth best in baseball among pitchers with a minimum of 50 IP (your top 3: 1- Andrew Miller 2- Kenley Jansen 3- Zach Britton). All of this is to say that Edwin Diaz is very very good and throws the ball very very fast and he will be a likely top 5 fantasy reliever for the foreseeable future.
THE SLUGS RETURN:
The Banana Slugs, MUCH LIKE THE MORNING WOOD, made the necessary sacrifices of talent but ended up with some talent of their own, and young talent at that (so for those counting only 2 out of the 3 teams involved had to give talent to get talent, WEIRD RIGHT?!). The most MEH of this deal is current Marlins closer AJ Ramos, whom I already wrote about back when I sent him to Odom. Let’s just copy and paste that back into here:
AJ Ramos saved 40 games last year for the Marlins, while striking out 10.27 batters per 9 and posting a 2.81 ERA. VERY GOOD NUMBERS, which is why the
X-Rayz traded for him and why the closer market may be DEVASTATED by the return the MooniniteZ fetched for the fella. If there’s one thing to be said about that it is that the closer market is much stronger at the trade deadline, fantasy imitates life. If there is a second thing to be said about that it is that the Marlins seemingly HATE AJ Ramos and that has to be mentioned in any potential deals here. The Fish openly courted both Kenley Jansen and Aroldis Chapman all damned offseason, as well as being tied to Raisel Iglesias in trade rumors, and just generally acted like a team that does not at all want AJ Ramos as their closer. In the end they only ended up with Brad fucking Ziegler, but one still must wonder what kind of leash AJ is working with. If he is the closer all year he can flirst with 35+ saves again and great K numbers, if he falters early he can be reduced to a holds guy and concede the closer job to Ziegler or BEARCLAW.
So that covers Ramos, a pretty good closer with a pretty non-ideal leash. The award for second most MEH in the Slugs return goes to Brewers low minors eligible SP Josh Hader (Brewers #2 prospect BA, #33 overall BA, #38 MLB.com). Hader Third most MEH for the Slugs, IMHO, is Rays low minors eligible screwballer Brent Honeywell (Rays #3 prospect BA, #30 overall BA, #31 MLB.com). Honeywell is getting all sorts of love of lately in the baseball world, on the back of a 2016 that ended with 59.1 innings of 2.28 ERA ball for the Rays AA affiliate. The important thing to note with him is the screwball isn’t some sort of novelty act, he also features a fastball that can dial up to 97 mph. How effective the screwball is in the majors remains to be seen, Hector Santiago evidently threw one 31 times last year AND LOOK WHERE THAT GOT HIM. But Honeywell’s is a better pitch, and he has better pitches setting up that pitch, and there’s a good chance he makes an appearance in the majors in 2017. And then we can all see how that pitch does. And nowww we are getting somewhere, with these last two pieces in the Banana Slugs returns puzzle, both of whom I like very much. First up is Jon Gray, a very good pitcher whose main flaw is probably that he’s pitching for the Colorado Rockies. Gray struck out a super sexy 9.91 per 9 in 2016, albeit with a 4.67 ERA. This is another one of those things that keeps happening where you THINK you can guess the reason for someting and end up wrong; in this case, one might assume Coors Field is to blame for Gray’s struggles but he actually posted a better ERA there (4.30 Home ERA, 4.91 Road ERA). How a pitcher is affected by seeing the way his pitches move at Coors one start and then adjusting to the way they may move on the road in the following start BLAH BLAH that is something that can be analyzed by a man who gives more of a fuck maybe. For our purposes, we will just say that Gray is a 25 year old pitcher that just pitched to a 3.60 FIP over 168 IP (19th best among pitchers with at least 160 IP) and also struck out 26% of all the batters he faced (11th best under the same minimum). There is both real talent here and real room for improvement. Nobody loves owning a Rockies pitcher but Gray could be the one Rox pitcher that rises above the stigma, NOT UNLIKE 2009-2010 UBALDO JIMENEZ (RIP). Next up and last up is the key piece to this wholeeeeeee thing (I imagine), Braves top prospect Dansby Swanson (#3 overall BA, #4 MLB.com). Above all else this is the guy that made the Slugs make the move, and it’s hard to fault them really. The Diamondbacks are idiots and so they traded Swanson for fucking Shelby Miller, but that shouldn’t be held against the young shortstop. Quite frankly Swanson hasn’t seen much experience, and if one were to simply look at his minors performance thus far one wouldn’t get much of an idea for his ceiling. BUT he was the 2015 first overall pick for a reason, and in 38 games with the Braves last year he very much held his own (.302 AVG, .361 OBP, 7 doubles, 1 triple, 3 HRs, 3 SBs). Swanson is probably a better “real life” prospect than a fantasy prospect but a future fantasy outlook might resemble IIIIIII dunno, better Brandon Crawford? (Editing note: I definitely just decided that all future prospect analysis will include name-dropping some other player as a comp) The power profile seems to look more like 12-15 HRs as opposed to 18-20, steals might approach double digits, OBP should be strong. He will quite literally lose his minors eligibility after like 1 AB (129 ABs currently) and I am sure the Slugs will be able to squeeze him into their majors roster regardless of that fact. This is one of the rare times where I trust the pedigree and the rankings with regards to a prospect; Swanson already had his cup of coffee and didn’t at all look intimidated. Fucking Diamondbacks man….
SIDE SEAN LIKES
THE X-RAYZ. Then the Slugs then the Morning Wood. I originally had the Slugs in dead last, hence the MEH-filled review and the discussion of them being tagteamed earlier, but ugh I just hate Greinke….. and Swanson is very likely the special-est of all the prospects changing hands here, and I love me some Jon Gray. But yea IRRELEVENT because the X-Rayz waltzed into this deal and essentially ended up with Edwin Diaz for AJ Ramos plus Ender Inciarte. Which would be a weird valuation for Diaz even if you really really really like AJ Ramos. And nobody should because the Marlins don’t even like him. The X-Rayz win.