2017 TRADE DEADLINE PREVIEW: IDENTIFYING THE BUYERS/SELLERS/IN-BETWEENS FOR THE 2017 SEASON

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The trade deadline will soon be upon us, ESPN is yelling at me on my team page about this fact, and I voted for it to come much sooner than this but the democratic system felt otherwise. NEVERTHELESS when it arrives we will be in a unique position in the league, as this is the first year of the shortened season format and the second year where all players will be kept into the offseason. Ergo, the deadline is going to be CLOSELY followed by the playoffs and ERGO 4-for-1 trades aren’t useless in the way that they might have been for teams in a pre-dynasty format. Certain teams no doubt have their eyes on the prize for 2017, certain teams might be all but mathematically eliminated (or actually mathematically eliminated) from contention for 2017, and certain teams might be somewhere in between. What follows is a brief preview of what are IN MY HUMBLE OPINION the Buyers, Sellers, and In-Betweens in the Backyard this season. Will also dig in a bit about possible trade targets, areas of weakness or strength, etc. etc. etc. for each. Just fucking read it or fucking don’t what do I care……..

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THE BUYERS

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Manchester MooniniteZ:  9-2-3, Current #1 Seed

POSSIBLE NEEDS:  QUALITY starting pitching, as in starting pitchers that can deliver quality starts. Also perhaps in the market for an impact middle infielder.

POSSIBLE TRADE CHIPS:  Injured High Minors SP Alex Reyes, Low Minors OF Ronald Acuna, High Minors OF Lewis Brinson, one of their many many First Basemen types perhaps?

ANALYSIS:  While not necessarily in NEED of a deal, I happen to know this owner pretty well and happen to know he subscribes to the FLAGS FLY FOREVER thinking so this is a team that could be on the lookout for a “win now” move due to their proximity to a first round bye. In years past other teams have used the deadline to bolster their roster on the way to a championship, and the MooniniteZ certainly have their sights set on one this season so it would make sense that they will keep an open mind to any deadline deals that can help in that quest. Perhaps the most interesting trade chip, with that thinking in mind, is Alex Reyes. The top prospect is out for all of 2017 as he recovers from TJ surgery, which makes him a prime candidate to be flipped to a team looking towards 2018. THE MOONINITEZ CANNOT EVEN SEE 2018 RIGHT NOW.   

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River City Bad Dudes:  8-5-1, Current #2 Seed or #3 Seed we would know better if this waited a week BUT IT DIDN’T

POSSIBLE NEEDS:  Perhaps some pitching, perhaps they could squeeze in ONE bat upgrade or something, perhaps nothing.

POSSIBLE TRADE CHIPS:  High Minors SS Franklin Barreto, Low Minors SP Yadier Alvarez, High Minors SP Frances Martes, maybe High Minors SP Sean Newcomb while he still has a smidge of value….

ANALYSIS:  The Bad Dudes have never been shy about pulling the trigger on deadline deals they feel can help the playoff push, and I wouldn’t expect them to start now as they hone in on a possible 3rd straight championship game appearance. There isn’t a tremendous amount of flexibility for offensive upgrades unless they want to move on from Maikel Franco or something, but the Bad Dudes are notorious for looking to shore up any pitching holes (NOTORIOUS CHEATERS) and have already dipped their toes in those types of waters a few times in 2017. Don’t rule out further toe dipping. Gross.

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Point Loma X-Rayz:  7-6-1, Current #4 Seed or # 5 Seed we would know better if this waited a week BUT IT DIDN’T

POSSIBLE NEEDS:  Perhaps some power or some OBP boosts for the UTIL spots, perhaps nothing.

POSSIBLE TRADE CHIPS:  Low Minors SP Sixto Sanchez, Low Minors 1B Rhys Hoskins, maybe 1B Eric Thames…..

ANALYSIS:  The X-Rayz have already done a good bit of re-tooling WHICH MEANS naturally that they can be considered a good bet to do possibly more re-tooling as we approach the deadline. After shuffling around bullpen pieces a bit and moving on from Chris Davis, tough to see where they might be seeking an upgrade but it has been made clear through their transactions that they are all in on 2017 (Chris Devenski becomes mighty useless in 2018 and they shipped out hyped prospect Victor Robles and such). If Robles went then that puts all prospects on notice, if you ask this amateur trade deadline assessor person. While not necessarily in NEED of a deal, I happen to know this owner pretty well and happen to know he subscribes to the FLAGS FLY FOREVER thinking so this is a team that could be on the lookout for a “win now” move due to their proximity to a first round bye. DEJA FUCKING VU MAN.  

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Barnegat Banana Slugs:  8-5-1, Current #3 Seed or #2 Seed we would know better if this waited a week BUT IT DIDN’T

POSSIBLE NEEDS:  Power hitting of any kind.

POSSIBLE TRADE CHIPS:  Injured OF Adam Eaton, SP Jake Arrieta, OF Tommy Pham, High Minors SP RP Jarlin Garcia if they want to get in on that sweet sweet SP relievers market…..

ANALYSIS:   Barnegat finds themselves in an interesting position, because on one hand the recent return of Starling Marte is almost like acquiring a player in its own rights and on the other hand StarMar would not have had 35 HRs right now had he avoided a suspension. Which is ABOUT the # the Slugs are missing in order to make them competitive in HRs, aka fantasy baseball’s most important category. If you are the X-Rayz you can survive light power by loading up on guys that can steal bases and score runs that way, if you are the Slugs you probably want a bit more power than you have mustered this year. Which makes the deadline an interesting opportunity to look around and see what sort of power bats might be available, either from teams still in it (think Mark Reynolds, Khris Davis, Todd Frazier, Nelson Cruz) or teams that are closer to out of it (think Logan Morrison, Jay Bruce, Corey Dickerson, Anthony Rendon). The Slugs have managed to put themselves into the playoffs without sluggers, but it would be prudent of them to at least consider adding one at the deadline in order to make themselves more competitive in the power hitting categories.

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Rojo’s Renegade Force:  6-7-1, Current #8 Seed

POSSIBLE NEEDS:  JUST LIKE ONE CLOSER, JUST COMMIT TO ONE GOOD CLOSER AND SEE HOW IT FEELS FOR A FEW DAYS.

POSSIBLE TRADE CHIPS:  SP/RP David Phelps, Low Minors OF Corey Ray, Low Minors OF Victor Robles if we want to keep up that carousel.

ANALYSIS:  The Force is STRONG, particularly on offense where it is outscoring every team in the Backyard and out-homering and out-RBIing and out-OBPing most teams in the Backyard. So no need to really fix what ain’t broken there. And really not much to complain about from the starting pitching, although they could perhaps use one more great starter and everyone should always be on the lookout for SP help SPs are fickle creatures. So really this comes down to whether or not you think the RRF have just been UNLUCKY, because a lot of their stats support the idea that they should have a better record, or whether or not you think it is HIGH TIME to hedge bets a bit  and attempt to balance with JUST LIKE ONE CLOSER. I see a couple of losses to teams that only got one or two saves and like one hold, which to me says you didn’t need allllll these extra Holds guys and could keep folks a bit honest if you have one solid closer on a team due for Ws (Wade Davis or Corey Knebel perhaps?). Or they could stay the course, but any team this close to being either in or out of the playoffs should at least look at the roster and the strategy and see what might be improved upon. Or yanno just pick up Matt Albers or something…..   

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THE SELLERS

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Q-Tip City Morning Wood:  2-11-1, Current #10 Seed

POSSIBLE NEEDS:  MANY NEEDS. All the needs. This roster is looking a bit barren.  

POSSIBLE TRADE CHIPS:  Logan Morrison, Corey Dickerson, Jay BruceZack Greinke? Anyone that a “win this year” team might fancy, assuming that team is willing to deal a surplus of players or prospects to acquire said player…..

ANALYSIS:  Oh, Q-Tip City. The rush of the trade may have gotten to this franchise a bit, which is why it is a bit ironic that I will now deem them “sellers,” BUT you can sell in a smart way. Many Morning Wooders have previously been seemingly GIVEN AWAY and those former deals have hurt the current roster, as reflected in the record of the current roster. However this does not mean future deals should be avoided, simply this means that future deals should be approached in a more thoughtful manner. This team is very clearly already onto 2018 and beyond, and it never hurts at that point in a season to at least explore the possibility of making deals with one of the 6 projected playoff teams. WISE DEALS, DO NOT JUST GIVE AWAY YOUR BEST PLAYERS.  

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Toms River Titans:  4-9-1, Current #9 Seed

POSSIBLE NEEDS:  I dunno something on offense maybe, something in the bullpen maybe….. starting pitching still seems fine.

POSSIBLE TRADE CHIPS:  OF Ryan Braun, OF Matt Kemp, 3B Anthony Rendon, whichever one of their Ace SPs they are willing to deal…..

ANALYSIS:  The Titans may have gone a bit tooooo far in one direction, not unlike Trevor Story going too far with the Fly Ball Revolution thing and turning himself into a less powerful Ryan Schimpf. But yea, the Titans have rounded up alllll the pitching and are as tough to beat as expected in those categories but the Springer for Darvish deal might have finally pushed this team too far towards one-dimensionality (kewl word bro). FORTUNATELY if the Titans are looking to head back in the other direction they have no shortage of aces to dangle in the market. They also find themselves in position to move on from a few aging stars and/or guys just playing over their heads, if any in-the-race teams are looking for those types from the out-of-the-race teams. Because SADLY the TRTs currently find themselves all but out of the race for the second year in a row. Certainly not desperate to make a deal, there’s no rule against having too many aces or anything, but the Titans would be wise to keep their ears and mind open should VULTURES come circling.

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THE IN-BETWEENS

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OceanGate Trout Fishing Club:  4-5-5, Current #7 Seed

POSSIBLE NEEDS:  Perhaps an upgrade for a replacement for whichever player is currently still injured here. Perhaps a good SP or 2.

POSSIBLE TRADE CHIPS:  Low Minors 3B Nick Senzel, Low Minors SS Amed Rosario, Low Minors OF Eloy Jimenez, THERE IS PLENTY OF MINORS GUYS HERE. Also maybe 3B Todd Frazier, 3B Justin Turner, OF Gregory Polanco…..

ANALYSIS:  OceanGate is currently doing everything both in their power and outside of their power to fuck up their title defense and fail to even make the playoffs. I mean LOOK AT THAT RECORD. So part of me says they should be Buyers while part of me says “meh” maybe the return of Trout can right the ship all on its lonesome. Trout, however, is probably not scheduled to pitch at all for the remainder of the 2017 season and pitching has been less than stellar in OceanGate. So it wouldn’t hurt to explore the market there and see if a good starter or 2 can’t be pried away. But then again Madison Bumgarner should be back at some point and he could certainly smooth over a lot of those ills as well. HENCE. IN-BETWEEN KINDA TEAM.

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Lacey Township BackdoorSliderz:  7-6-1, Current #5 Seed or #4 Seed we would know better if this waited a week BUT IT DIDN’T

POSSIBLE NEEDS:  Pitching hasn’t been great, therefore Lacey shouldn’t shy away from possibly pitching upgrades.

POSSIBLE TRADE CHIPS:  LF Adam Duvall, SP Rich Hill, one of the many minor leaguers recently acquired…..

ANALYSIS:  One thing that can be said about both new owners is that they both have shown no trepidation about working the trade markets and working them hard. NOT ALWAYS A GOOD THING, see: at least half the Morning Wood’s trades, but admirable nonetheless. Lacey Township is a team that was sitting reallllll pretty in playoff positioning that then happened to fall off a cliff and lose 5 straight that has now happened to win 2 outt 4. All of which has put them tantalizingly close to the playoffs, but they fall in the In-Betweens due to the fact that they have already made several trades in recent weeks as is. Those trades perhaps addressed future teams more than the current roster, so another move or two (particularly for pitching because they continue to struggle there and traded away MY BELOVED Jacob Faria) could be in play but they could also just be content to hold onto minor league pieces for possible future glory. Ain’t gonna catch me waiting around on some 17 year old prospect, no sir. But you’re probably gonna catch the BackdoorSliderz doing precisely that, and that dichotomy is what makes this league wonderful.

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Astoria Isotopes:  7-6-1, Current #6 Seed

POSSIBLE NEEDS:  PERHAPS STARTING PITCHING. Perhaps everyone should trade for at least one starting pitcher.  

POSSIBLE TRADE CHIPS:  LF Khris Davis, Low Minors SS Gleyber Torres,  1B Mark Reynolds,  1B Cody Bellinger if they’re feelin’ fuckin’ froggy…..

ANALYSIS:  The Isotopes find themselves in the “In-Betweens” section for the simple fact that they have been a team INVIGORATED by the youth movement, and jumping into trade talks might ultimately threaten said movement. The ‘Topes are comfortably in the league lead in the HRs and RBIs cats and also comfortably mediocre in most pitching cats, however the return of Dallas Keuchel and a return to form for Jose Quintana might signal a turnaround there. The ‘Topes are too powerful to really want to sit this year’s playoffs out and find themselves fighting for a spot, so if they see a deal that might help them in that fight it would be wise to consider it. However there just isn’t a dire need here to make a move so any transactions could be of a non-blockbuster variety. WHO KNOWS YOU PEOPLE ARE ALL UNPREDICTABLE.

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So there you have it. A bit of a preview of where IN MY HUMBLE OPINION all of your teams fall, and then an attempt to spice up the deadline by identifying possible trade chips and team needs and then just floundering and declaring everyone could use pitching. CUZ EVERYONE CAN, this is the most ERAs over 4 that this league has ever seen (probably a juiced baseball issue but still). So there. You have it. Happy Trading everybody….

 

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2017 TRADE DEADLINE PREVIEW: IDENTIFYING THE BUYERS/SELLERS/IN-BETWEENS FOR THE 2017 SEASON

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