The #TDGX Transaction Report: Closers Be Expensive, Yo

You’ve been following TDGX. You love TDGX. We all love TDGX.  And every week here at The Dynasty Guru, I am going to be bringing you commentary from our flagship experts’ league, directly from the participants themselves. Today we’re going to cover all of the transactions made post-draft, including a few trades–one involving an elite prospect and another involving a potential high-end starting pitcher.

The goal here is to give you insight into the moves made by our group of experts so that you can use this information the next time you need to make a trade or prominent FA move in your league. So let’s not mess around with too much longer of an introduction. We’re going to break this up into three sections: trades, major league additions, minor league additions.

TRADES

4/17/14: Craig Glaser/Tom Trudeau trade Chris Colabello to Luke Chatelain for a 2015 3rd round pick

Tom: “As good as Colabello has been, trying to trade him felt like a race against time. We won him off waivers in hopes of quickly trading him to a team in need of a bat, but no one was biting. This second waive of productivity afforded us a chance to turn him into an asset, if only a modest one, before he turns into a pumpkin.”

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Prospect Smackdown: Garin Cecchini vs Maikel Franco

In last week’s Prospect Smackdown, we examined two second base prospects with awesome names and varying skill sets.  Voters decided that they preferred Rougned Odor to Arismendy Alcantara, by a margin of 54 to 46 percent.

This week, we take a look at two hot corner fantasy prospects with questionable defensive futures, incomplete games, but serious fantasy potential.

Prospect Smackdown No. 9: Garin Cecchini vs. Maikel Franco

The Case for Cecchini

Quite simply, the case for Cecchini begins with his hit tool. Widely regarded as a plus tool, we’re at the point where we as a community need to begin regarding it as a plus-plus tool instead. When I’ve seen Cecchini, he’s taken a short, direct path to the ball, looked comfortable tracking offspeed pitches and hit the ball hard on a line, despite not generating a lot of loft with his swing. To me, Cecchini is a future perennial .290-plus hitter, fully capable of using the whole field and also able to turn on inside pitches when need be. He’s dominated at every stop in the minors, routinely posting OBPs north of .400 and walking in over 15 percent of his PA. While speed won’t be a major part of his game, Cecchini is also an incredibly savvy base runner who could challenge for 10 swipes a year in the majors despite average speed. Continue reading

Ace Pitchers Shot Down in Flames, Time to Panic?

This young season we are seeing a lot of top pitchers get off to terrible starts. Its scary as Hell when your ace pitcher’s stat line is as bloody as a scene from a Quentin Tarantino movie. Stephen Strasburg, R.A. Dickey and Danny Salazar may be crushing your team’s championship hopes, but at least they are not on the overloaded conveyor belt into Dr. James Andrews’ operating room.

This week I will take a look at a set of really good starting pitchers who have gotten off to terrible starts here in 2014. All of these guys were drafted early and expected to perform much better than they have thus far. Who will bounce back and who really does suck? Let’s figure out which of these guys you should try to dump and which of them you should trade for while their owners in your league are panicking over their putrid April.

Homer Bailey — 0-1 record, 8.16 ERA, 2.02 WHIP (Yahoo Rank: #1323)

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Trader’s Corner: Readers Been Busy

Lots of trades to get to this week, so we’ll get right to brass tax. Thanks to everyone who submitted, and keep sending us your recent trades and trade proposals to: traderscornertdg@gmail.com or on Twitter @643ball. Last week we tallied over 200 reader votes for three trades. Hopefully it was helpful for those who submitted and fun for those who read/voted. Some trades/leagues are more complicated than others so I’ll post the relevant info at the top of the poll for each. Here are this week’s trades…

Trade #1

Keeper points league, 9 keepers, Profar on the DL

My other pitchers are Zack Wheeler, Gio Gonzalez, Sonny Gray, Shelby Miller, Tyson Ross, Tyler Chatwood, Joe Kelly, Brett Anderson, Archie Bradley, Charlie Morton, Corey Kluber, Jake Peavy

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Buy Or Sell: Brian Dozier & Melky Cabrera

It’s only the third hump day of the season, and I’ve already seen some ridiculous transactions, whether it’s in the form of adds, drops or trades. Paying $26 FAAB for Francisco Rodriguez? Really? Come on man.

Writing a “Buy or Sell” article this early is just asking for trouble, but I’m a glutton for punishment and my #TDGX team needs an intervention.

Buy: Brian Dozier, 2B, Twins

Looking at the top-five second basemen in 5X5 leagues through Wednesday (Dee Gordon, Chase Utley, Emilio Bonifacio, Neil Walker, Dozier), you may be wondering why you paid for a second baseman at all. On April 16, Robinson Cano and Dustin Pedroia have yet to leave the park, while 5-foot-11, 160-pound Dee Gordon has already matched last year’s total with one—off 2013 AL Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (of course).

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Prospect Smackdown: Rougned Odor vs. Arismendy Alcantara

In last week’s Prospect Smackdown, we took a look at two of the top three or four fantasy catching prospects in the game in Blake Swihart and Gary Sanchez. Despite the latter’s status as an elite prospect a few years ago, TDG readers appear to favor the probability that comes with Swihart, as he earned a hearty 136-46-vote victory over the Yankees backstop.

This week, we move from one shallow fantasy position to another and examine the consensus two best fantasy second base prospects in a battle of hit tools, speed and really, really cool names.

Prospect Smackdown No. 8 – Who’s the better fantasy infield prospect: Rougned Odor or Arismendy Alcantara?

The case for Odor

If you prefer Odor – and many do – the primary reason why has to be his hit tool, which both Baseball America and Jason Parks rated as a potential 70 tool before the season. With superb bat-to-ball ability and sexy bat speed, Odor hit .305/.369/.454 in High-A last season before excelling in a brief stint in Double-A. He projects to have potential low double-digit homer power and is a lock to stay at second base. In a vacuum an MLB ETA toward the end of 2014 would be within his reach, and if we allow ourselves to project contextual factors for a moment, he’d have a home ballpark that would bolster his offense. Put it all together, and we’re looking at a player how could routinely finish as a top-10 fantasy option at his position. Continue reading

Targeting Dan Haren, the Once and Future Ace

Dan Haren was the stalwart leader of many a championship fantasy pitching rotation for almost a decade. He has won 130 major league games and made three All Star teams and has even been a Cy Young contender in both leagues. He began his career back in the days of high-octane offenses during the steroid era and has thrown 200+ innings 8 times, providing tons of production for his fantasy owners. Haren’s career 4.09 K:BB and 1.87 BB/9 ratios are the best of all active pitchers, well ahead of Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, Adam Wainwright, King Felix, Justin Verlander, and Clayton Kershaw in the most important peripheral stats for pitchers. In fact, Haren ranks near the top in almost all of the career statistical categorys among active pitchers. That is a very impressive feat!

Given Haren’s remarkable track record of success, why is it that he was available for free in so many fantasy leagues last summer? He was actually unowned in 50-75% of Yahoo, CBS and ESPN leagues during June through July of last year. Why would a proven ace pitcher who had been so good for so long suddenly get dropped by so many fantasy owners? Well, after a stellar year in 2011 (16-10, 192 Ks, 3.17 ERA, 1.02 WHIP!) in which he was a Cy Young contender, Haren had a shaky and somewhat disappointing season in 2012. It was not bad enough to dump him, but then came a shockingly rude stretch of poor pitching in 2013. Most of his owners gave up on him way too quickly and allowed some patient, observant bystanders to snap him up with a few well-timed mouse clicks. Let’s take a closer look… Continue reading