Trade Targets: 4 Starting Pitchers to Go After and 1 to Avoid

This is a great time of year to make some trades. The All Star break is a natural time for people to evaluate their teams. Many team owners have now realized they are out of contention and may be willing to sell off some of their assets. Other owners who are in contention will want to beef up their squads before the upcoming trade deadline. For all of these reasons late July is historically a time when trading activity heats up. It is one of the best opportunities of the entire year to improve your team. Make sure you get in on the action!

Let’s take a look at some starting pitchers who can be expected to put up better stats in the 2nd half than they did in the 1st half. You should be able to obtain these guys at a bargain price compared to their future production…

Wade Miley — Arizona Diamondbacks

Miley’s season line of 5 Wins, 118 Ks, 4.18 ERA and WHIP of 1.24 isn’t very good. He is playing for one of the worst teams in baseball and they are unlikely to get better any time soon. Continue reading

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Preparing for the Second Half Closer Carousel

Every year a couple Major League teams in contention, complete with Major League analytics and player evaluation departments, inevitably decide that in order to put themselves over the top and into the post-season the one thing they absolutely, positively cannot do without is a Proven Closer to nail down the ninth inning. So in the interest of keeping up with the times, let’s take a look at a couple of the potential heirs apparent in the event that some closers currently speculated to be on the block do end up changing laundry over the next couple weeks.

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Value is a tricky thing

So I’ve been thinking about this for some time, and yet it still feels like this is going to come out half baked, for which I apologize. I’m going to try not to delve too deep into numbers, even though they’re very important, because I don’t want people to get caught up in the examples so much as the concept itself. The concept in question is value. It’s a big word these days, and the focus of many minds, both in the fantasy and real life realms.

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#TDGX Transaction Report: Marco! ………………..(polo).

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.

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

Luke Chatelain trades Jaime Garcia, a fourth round pick and a fifth round pick to Andy Barnes/Noel Baldwin for Drew Smyly.

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Trader’s Corner: Take An All-Star Break

Everybody needs a break once in a while. The whole purpose of this column is to “judge” trades via polls, but can I ask that readers of my column take a break from something this season? Can we agree to take a break from bashing other people’s trades at this year’s fantasy deadline? Can we stop using the word “raped” when talking about a fantasy baseball trade? Can we admit that maybe we don’t have crystal balls and that even the worst looking deals sometimes end up favoring the “loser”? I’m asking because my guess is that most of us play in leagues where the same owners compete year to year and in most cases they are people we are friends with in real life. Don’t burn any bridges just because you think a deal was a dumb move. Talk to people on the internet the same way you’d talk to them if they were sitting across from you at your kitchen table. If you’d like your trade to appear in this column, simply email it along with your league’s details to traderscornertdg@gmail.com. Have a great All-Star Break and enjoy tonight’s game! Here are this week’s trades… Continue reading

Four Prospects I’d Like to See Traded at the Deadline

“Who are some prospects we might see traded for Giancarlo Stanton?”

“What do you think it would take to land David Price?”

“Can you believe what Kevin Towers did?”

Such are the questions we’re most accustomed to seeing when it comes to trade deadline analysis. Engaging in hypothetical trade discussions is fun, allows for midseason rosterbation and also gives us plenty of Twitter fodder. I don’t want these questions to go away.

That being said, they’re not entirely useful from a fantasy POV. Speculating on players who could change teams before they in fact change teams is a fool’s errand, and, unless you’re playing in AL- or NL-only leagues, is unnecessary to boot. When it comes to MLB trades, it’s better to read and react than try to predict.

What’s perhaps more useful than trying to ping down who might be dealt at the deadline is who we’d like to see dealt, from a fantasy POV. And while MLB players may come to mind more readily, it’s a useful exercise for prospects, too.

With this timely notion in mind, here are four prospects I’d like to see moved at the deadline thanks to contextual factors, organizational depth and what we know about each team’s player development. Continue reading

Breakout Prospects: Berrios, Nimmo, Williams and Renfroe

Time for another look at some fresh names that are thriving in the minor leagues. This week we will examine several players who made it onto the Midseason Top 50 lists published by Baseball Prospectus and/or Baseball America this week despite not being considered consensus Top 100 prospects prior to the season. There were several other players who met the same criteria but I have already written about them in prior columns (links below).

Jose Berrios — Starting Pitcher, Minnesota Twins

The 2012 1st round pick from Puerto Rico put up a solid season in Low A ball last year with a 3.99 ERA and 100 strikeouts in 103 innings along with 40 walks, although in the second half he lost a lot of steam that degraded his stuff and depressed his overall season stats compared to his stellar first half rates. But it was good enough to get him ranked this Spring at #75 on the Baseball Prospectus Top 101 Prospects, #93 by FanGraphs, #90 by MLB.com and #102 by The Dynasty Guru, but he wasn’t ranked by Baseball America or ESPN. He kicked his game up a notch here this year in the High A Florida State League where he put up a 1.96 ERA with a fantastic 109:23 K:BB ratio in 96 innings. He was promoted to Double A last week and managed to give up 5 runs in 5 innings in his first start, although he only gave up 3 hits. That bump from High A to AA is considered the biggest jump in baseball, so we could find out really quickly just how good the 22 year old Berrios really is. He gets a lot of velocity from his smallish frame. His fastball averages about 94 mph. He also sports a plus slider, a good curveball and a solid changeup.  About a month ago I traded Berrios to ESPN’s Chris Crawford for Michael Lorenzen in the #TDGX experts’ league, so of course Berrios has been on an epic hot streak ever since. Yikes. My trade doesn’t look quite as good as it did at the time, although Lorenzen also made the BP top 50 list just a few slots behind Berrios so I am still happy with the deal. Verdict: Top 40 Prospect. Potential #3 starter. Continue reading