You might think that Phase 1 (the initial trades/adds) is the most difficult period of your rebuilding process, but it’s not. Once you get used to that fast-paced, exciting time of new prospects and sleepers and guys you’re looking to dump, it’s tough to slow down – but that’s exactly what happens in Phase 3 of the process. You wait. Settling on the time horizon is one thing, but to then have to sit back while your time horizon gets here is an entirely different monster.
It’s the waiting game that can make even the most experienced of owners feel antsy. And when you’re antsy, you make bad decisions. You make decisions that are not focused on your long-term goal. And this is what can get you off-track. I’ve been guilty of this in the past as well, but one of the positives about being in 10 leagues (like I am right now) is that I don’t have as much time to get myself into trouble. Of course, I also sometimes don’t have time to set my lineups correctly in all 10 leagues, but that’s a different story altogether.
But, don’t take this advice to mean that you should be sitting still – there are always more ways to improve the makeup of your roster while keeping with the goals that you have in mind. For example, since I wrote about the initial trades in Part 4 of this series, I’ve made three more trades and even more adds/drops. As you’ll see below, they are still in the greater spirit of the rebuilding project as I’ve been able to unload four players I was not banking on to be integral parts of the 2014 roster for prospects and draft picks. The three trades were:
1) Traded Daisuke Matsuzaka for a second round draft pick (6/26)
2) Traded Kevin Youkilis and Glen Perkins for Eddie Rosario, Rougned Odor, Noah Syndergaard and a second round draft pick (6/26)
3) Traded Travis Wood for Kyle Crick and Victor Sanchez (7/8)
Yes, I got someone to take Dice-K off my hands (before he went on the DL for a neck injury – likely whiplash from all of the hard-hit balls he was giving up) for anything of substance. In case you’re counting, this now gives me two first round picks and three second round picks in the upcoming off-season draft – but we’ll get to more about that in the next section, shocking titled “The Draft.”
Additionally, I created some more natural turnover on my roster as I got further away from my initial trade discussions. Once you’ve been talking to teams for about a month or so about players who you don’t want, you can really gauge whether you’re better off just dropping them or not. Since if you don’t want them, and no one else seems to want them (or at least to give up anything of value for them), sometimes you’re better served just moving on. Here were my adds/drops:
Adds – Will Swanner, Jeimer Candelario, Ryan Brett, Clayton Blackburn, Bobby Parnell, Travis Blackley, Gregory Polanco, Dorsyss Paulino
I picked up Parnell and Blackley for two reasons. First, why not? Second, you never know who will have trade value in the weeks leading up to the deadline. If I can move Dice-K and Glen Perkins, maybe I can move these guys too. The other six are prospects I had my eye on.
Drops – Kyle Drabek, Jonathan Sanchez, Greg Holland, Donavan Tate, Michael Taylor, Jiovanni Mier
Sanchez was terrible and had no trade value. Drabek went under the knife for his second Tommy John surgery, and I’d rather use that roster spot in a different way as it’s not like he was pitching well before he got hurt anyway. Tate, Taylor and Mier are guys I had been trying to use in trades, but people were not interested. I understand why as their values are minimal even in a league this deep. Dropping Holland was a mistake, but it happened when he was struggling and it looked like Broxton was only 50-50 to get dealt – I’ll get over it.