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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The #TDGX Transaction Report: An Elite Prospect Changes Hands

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

3/22/14: Mike Buttil trades Andrew Cashner to Ian Kahn/Tim McLeod for a 2015 1st round pick and 2015 3rd round pick

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Bret’s Eleven Bold Predictions for 2014

In what’s now becoming a yearly tradition at The Dynasty Guru, the writers here have been (and will be) putting their boldest predictions out there as they relate both to the major leagues and minors. And for completeness, here were my predictions from last year, and then my review of these same predictions from the end of the season. They’re fun pieces and at this point you know exactly what to get out of them. They also don’t need any longer of an intro than this. Let’s have some fun–and yes, these go to eleven.

1) Albert Pujols will be a top-3 fantasy first baseman in 2014, only behind Miguel Cabrera and Paul Goldschmidt.

The blessing and the curse about writing a lot during the off-season is that you already know who my guys are–and Pujols is clearly one of my guys heading into 2014. He’s healthy and ready to remind people that it wasn’t too long ago that he was considered one of the best hitters in the game. I believe that Spring Training stats mean as little as anyone else, but one thing I did notice this weekend was that Pujols hit a triple on Sunday and just the fact that he felt good enough to stretch it in a meaningless game is noteworthy.

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Team TDG Overlord, Rounds 11-40 of #TDGX

Last week, I went through the first ten picks of my TDGX draft. This week, I’ll talk about the rest. I’m still amazed how quickly we finished this draft–it was finished in under three weeks, which worked out to over two rounds per day! So rather than spread this out over a longer period of time, let’s take a look at the finished product.

After the first ten rounds unfolded the way they did, my plan was to wait a bit on prospects and focus on getting some steals in the short-term–and that’s exactly what I did. Picks 11-18 were all major leaguers to fill out my starting lineup, and by the time that stretch was complete, I only had a catcher, middle infield, outfield and utility spot to fill.

Pick 11.211 – Norichika Aoki, OF, Kansas City Royals (Rank: 217)
Pick 12.230 – Michael Bourn, OF, Cleveland Indians (Rank: 291)

These were my speed plays. I had Aoki ranked towards the top of my available players anyway, but they should both combine for around 50 steals in 2014, which should go a long way towards a run at contention. Hitting at the top of their respective lineups doesn’t hurt either, as they could both challenge for 90 runs, given a full season of health. As of right now, I just to hope Bourn doesn’t miss much time to start the year as depth is very hard to come by in a league this size.

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Team TDG Overlord, Rounds 1-10 of #TDGX

Those of you following along either on Twitter or the Google doc know that The Dynasty Guru Experts League draft has been moving along very quickly–we’re through more than 30 rounds in under two weeks. This is a testament to the writers involved, who have all made a dedicated effort to push this thing forward despite having plenty of obligations to be concerned with. But despite the speed of the draft, I’m continuing with my plan for writing this up–as you know, I like to stick to plans unless forced otherwise–and tackling my first ten picks of the draft today.

The biggest reason to break the draft out like this is that I divided it up mentally based on what I set out to do. In the first ten rounds, I set out with two goals and two goals only: 1) Get the best value possible with each pick, and 2) Grab one high-profile prospect, if possible, but don’t reach for him. You’ll notice I didn’t set out with a competitive goal, as I wanted to see how the draft would shake out before committing to one approach over another. In the end, I felt like I accomplished both goals I set out, but ended up with a very different team than I thought I might. Just for reference sake, I put each player’s ranking on the Dynasty 500 next to his name–even though the rankings aren’t meant for such a deep league, it’s still a good approximation of value.

And now, Team TDG Overlord:

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Ten Burning Questions From the First Five Rounds of #TDGX

As you surely know by now, 20 of us are currently drafting teams in The Dynasty Guru Experts League. The festivities can be followed on Twitter at #TDGX. So in lieu of talking about my team today, which I will get to in due time, I reached out with ten specific questions to ten specific owners–getting them to talk about things that have helped shape the first five rounds of the draft. Whether it’s strategy or particular picks, there was no shortage of things that I wanted to know from the first 100 picks, and the answers did not disappoint. Thank you to all of the owners who provided the insight below.

1) Craig Glaser/Tom Trudeau, Bloomberg Sports & MLB AM

Q: Did you guys set out with the strategy of taking all very young players up top and would it have been different if you had not picked at the #2 spot? Did you have particular players in mind for each of those picks? When do you think your team can reasonably be contenders?

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The Top 500 Overall Dynasty League Rankings

There’s a certain amount of creativity that needs to go into a list like this. And that’s a good thing, as there is just so much to balance when you’re comparing players across not only positions but fantasy value horizons as well. The latter is so important because while it’s one thing to draw player values up in a vacuum, it’s another to realize that both rebuilding teams and contenting teams are going to be looking at this and saying to themselves “how to I translate this into my current team’s needs?”

The answer is simple, the translation isn’t necessary. For example, if you are dealing away Clint Frazier and you’re looking to win now, you may decide that Jon Lester (one spot ahead of Frazier on the list) is a good fit and go for him. That’s all fine and good, but that doesn’t make trading him for R.A. Dickey or Shane Victorino a bad idea either. And the opposite works if you’re a rebuilding team. The point of this list is to give an idea for the type of value you should be shooting for either in a draft or a trade. Needs in a dynasty league are obviously important and skew values to the point where everyone on this list should be viewed within a 10-15 percent range, depending on what your team looks like.

Before we jump into the list below, I want to thank all of the writers at TDG, who did a fantastic job in putting all of this together. I never would have been able to do it in such a successful manner without them. I was jealous of their high-level blurb writing and can’t wait to see what they have in store for all of us this season. And most importantly, I want to thank you–the readers. Without you, we wouldn’t be doing this and this site wouldn’t exist. We run on your energy, enthusiasm and willingness to debate (not to mention, your donations) and we love it. As the site grows, we’ll all grow together.

And one last time, we hope you have enjoyed the rankings package for 2014. And if you did, I hope that you will make a donation to show appreciation for the content you’ve seen here at the Dynasty Guru. You can do that through this link, or by clicking the “Donate” button on the top-right corner of the homepage. All donations are truly appreciated.

So now, the final list of the 2014 Dynasty League Rankings. This one was not possible to do as a consensus, so it is all mine from start-to-finish. No more talking, just the #Dynasty500:

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Welcome to The Dynasty Guru Experts’ League

If you’re familiar with our work here at the Dynasty Guru, you’re likely already aware that we are both actively excited by, and not afraid to dip our toes into, very large undertakings. We just finished the second annual Dynasty League Rankings by position (and the Dynasty 500 will be dropping later this week) and in the past I’ve written extended series about both Rebuilding a Dynasty League Roster and drafting one from scratch.

The Background/Teams

This is no different. The idea for the league had been kicking around ever since I started the site back in 2012, but was never feasible to start heading into the 2013 season. This year, we made it feasible and I started by enlisting friends of the site (and of Baseball Prospectus). Before we knew it, we had an extensive roster of smart fantasy minds representing big fantasy sites to go alongside the minds you already know and love here at The Dynasty Guru. So before I jump into talking about what this league is and why it exists, here are the owners that make up the 20 teams involved and their site affiliations:

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The Dynasty Guru’s Top 75 Dynasty League Relief Pitchers, Nos. 21-75

From the 21st of January to the 20th of February, the writers at TDG will be taking you through our rankings position-by-position. As I mentioned in the primer, this year we’re doing things a little differently. Instead of having my personal rankings up on this site, like last year, these rankings for 2014 are of the consensus variety and being brought to you by all of the TDG staff. Everyone put a lot of work into this project, so we hope you enjoy the end result. And if you are looking for my personal dynasty league rankings, you can find them this off-season at Baseball Prospectus.

So we hope you enjoy the rankings package that we’ve put together here. And if you do, I hope that you will make a donation to show appreciation for the content you’ve seen here at the Dynasty Guru. You can do that through this link, or by clicking the “Donate” button on the top-right corner of the homepage. All donations are truly appreciated.

Now the final 55 best relief pitchers in dynasty leagues, starting with an underrated closer who toils in the midwest in obscurity:

21) Jim Henderson, Milwaukee Brewers (Age: 31, Previous Rank: 75)

Henderson enters 2014 as the closer for the Brewers and if his 11.3 K/9 in 2013 is any indication, he should be able to hold the gig. One weak point was his propensity to give up home runs (1.2 HR/9), but his only real threat should he stumble is Francisco Rodriguez.

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The Dynasty Guru’s Top 75 Dynasty League Relief Pitchers, Nos. 1-20

From the 21st of January to the 20th of February, the writers at TDG will be taking you through our rankings position-by-position. As I mentioned in the primer, this year we’re doing things a little differently. Instead of having my personal rankings up on this site, like last year, these rankings for 2014 are of the consensus variety and being brought to you by all of the TDG staff. Everyone put a lot of work into this project, so we hope you enjoy the end result. And if you are looking for my personal dynasty league rankings, you can find them this off-season at Baseball Prospectus.

So we hope you enjoy the rankings package that we’ve put together here. And if you do, I hope that you will make a donation to show appreciation for the content you’ve seen here at the Dynasty Guru. You can do that through this link, or by clicking the “Donate” button on the top-right corner of the homepage. All donations are truly appreciated.

At last we’ve reached the final position of the series. And it’s a bit of a let down since it’s the least important position in dynasty leagues. You’ve likely heard me or many of the other writers at the site say this ad nauseum, but closers are the most fungible commodities in fantasy leagues outside of prospects. If you have an elite one, great. If you have a decent one, that’s fine. But if you have find yourself with depth at closer, don’t hold your cards for too long–it’s like holding a penny stock at $1.50 because you think it can reach $3. And if you’re in a head-to-head league, I advocate trading all of your closers always–assuming you can get good value for them (which you usually can)–unless you are so dominant in the category that it’s nearly a guaranteed win each week.

Now the 20 best relief pitchers in dynasty leagues, starting with a closer who is so good that there’s now a term named after him which essentially means being super awesome at your job:

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