The Dynasty Guru Experts League

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.


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.”

Luke: “Colabello isn’t this good and I don’t expect half of the production he is putting up right now but everyday ABs in the middle of a MLB order, even one as meh as the Twins, has decent value. He showed tons of power in AAA and a 20 HR pace from here on out is what I’m hoping for, if he can pair that with a .260ish BA this will be a good win for us. As for what we sent away with rosters as deep as they are sending away a 3rd round pick, which is really round 38, has little negative consequences and would most likely be a flyer player or lowly prospect. Here is to betting on production today over that tomorrow.”

4/18/14: Mike Buttil trades Mike Moustakas to Ian Kahn/Tim McLeod for a 2015 4th round pick and a 2015 5th round pick

Mike: “We had some depth at the hot corner with Arenado and Rendon, so Moustakas was a piece we were willing to trade. Whether or not he’ll turn it around, we’re just not sure, but we’re seeing the writing on the wall. Ian had extra picks and like the Cashner deal, we were interested in accumulating as many picks as possible in the first five rounds of the 2015 draft due to the Trout handicap. With this trade, we now have nine draft picks in the first five rounds and we still have our 20 keepers intact. This is a great time to tell you that it’s not a coincidence that Kahn has made two trades with us already. He does something really smart when making trades…he picks up the phone and takes the time to both talk and listen.”

Ian: “Cody Asche causes heartburn. With 3B a wasteland in a 20 team league, we felt that getting Moustakis for  4th and 5th round picks was a risk worth taking. Yes, in 2015 we are giving up pieces that will have value in this format, but we felt it worth it. Since opening Day Asche has done little to make us look intelligent for choosing him over Plouffe. Now we have two underperforming starters at 3B, and that at least gives us a chance to get some counting numbers from the 3B slot.”

4/20/14: Ian Kahn/Tim McLeod trade Wei-Yin Chen to Wilson Karaman for a 2015 2nd round pick and a 2015 5th round pick

Ian: “Wei Yen Chen was great depth. However, with Kershaw (when healthy), Tanaka, Ryu, Cashner, Quintana, Smyly, Santiago, Harang, and Chavez, we felt that we have the depth to keep up in the Starting pitching world. We got a 2nd rounder and a 5th rounder back for Chen who was going into a two start week, and was coming off an excellent start. I am a believer in Chen, having targeted him in the draft, but we wanted to get back to our full complement of picks after our Moustakas deal.”

Wilson: “My pitching has dragged down my overall line to date, but it’s early and I still really like my staff moving forward. That said, my biggest achilles heal remains my lack of a viable closer/path to saves, so if I’m going to compete this year I know I’m going to need to be not just good, but REALLY good in the remainder of the pitching categories. Rotation depth is therefore paramount, particularly with regard to fickle Wins and bulk strikeouts, and I saw an opportunity here to add helpful potential in both categories without sacrificing too much in the way of a likely ERA or WHIP hit. Chen’s been remarkably consistent in his first two seasons, and makes for a strong 4th or 5th starter in a league as deep as this.

And as far as the price tag goes, it was certainly in line with what the market has set for a pitcher of this caliber, mirroring as it did the acquisition price paid a few weeks ago for Travis Wood. It’s a gamble on the present to be sure, but I’ve got plenty of time to recoup those picks if the season unfolds in such a way as to dictate selling assets later on, and the relative depth of next year’s FA class on account of keeper years sacrificed for this spring’s draft positions means I haven’t entirely priced myself out of the talent pool as is, either.”


Jason Hunt adds Shawn Kelley for $28

“Failing to leave the draft with more than one closer has left me in a tight spot for the saves category. You really don’t want to be chasing saves if you can avoid it, and after seeing the first week’s FAAB prices for closers (Lindstrom at $30, K-Rod at $26, Broxton at $15), I felt I would need to go with a large bid to get either of the two who had recorded a lot of saves in the previous week. While I knew that Kelley would be a short-term fix, I figured that if he ends up getting 3-4 saves while Robertson is on the disabled list, it could move me in the standings still 3-4 points by the end of the year.”

Jason Hunt adds Kevin Kouzmanoff for $25

“With Adrian Beltre hitting the disabled list on the 13th, I was hurting a bit in the lineup. Obviously losing a high pick to the DL doesn’t help, but in terms of the actual line up it created a bigger hole for this week. The only players I had to fill the 3B slot were Mark Reynolds (currently the CI) and Eric Chavez, who is not playing consistently right now. Kouzmanoff was called up specifically because Beltre got hurt, and I wanted to ensure that I had him on my roster, and was able to use him to fill in should Beltre have another injury (since, you know, he’s not exactly always the healthiest guy on the field).”

Jason Hunt adds Anthony Bass for $20

“Bass looked an awful lot like he would continue to get a shot at closing, but with the team not winning since he saved the game on the 12th (7 games), and Chad Qualls getting a shot against Oakland on Saturday with Bass pitching in the 6th inning, that one looks like lost money. I do think that Bass could get another shot, but the cost on this one was clearly too much. (Time will tell if my $1 bid for Joel Hanrahan provides value for saves as well, but it could be a bit before that happens.)”

Alex Kantecki adds J.B. Shuck for $8

“Shuck will get regular playing time with Josh Hamilton and Kole Calhoun on the sidelines, and he’s an upgrade over part-timer Jose Tabata, who mainly sits on my bench. In the meantime, I expect Shuck to be a nice source of runs and batting average—he hit .302 across six minor-league seasons, and batted .293 over 129 games in his rookie debut. In a 20-team dynasty league, every major league starter deserves a roster spot, and $8 for Shuck isn’t overkill in a fine Angels offense.”

Mike Rosenbaum adds Dellin Betances for $7

“It took eight seasons in the Yankees’ system, but Dellin Betances has finally carved out a role in the major leagues. Betances, 26, made the team’s Opening Day roster after a strong spring training, and so far he’s allowed just one hit in eight innings with a 14/6 strikeout-to-walk ratio. The 6-foot-8 right-hander has shown a high-90s fastball and nasty curveball while working the seventh and eight innings, and I added him to my roster—as I did with Aaron Barrett a few weeks ago—with the hope he emerges as the team’s closer down the road.”

Ian Kahn/Tim McLeod add Gonzalez Germen for $3

“Gonzalez Germen, though clearly a bad week, has the stuff and the age to be a force at the back of the Mets Bullpen. We grabbed him last week for a small price, because we saw that Valverde was beginning to “Valverde” at the end of games. Was a risk to grab him, but we felt that the upside was there if he got the job. Farnsworth for now. Germen is coming.”

Craig Goldstein/Mauricio Rubio add Hector Rondon for $0

“The Cubs’ gamble on Hector Rondon has been sour early and it’s lead to a rather unfortunate bullpen by committee on the north side. Veras will be given chances to get that job back and Pedro Strop is the next likely candidate should Veras continue to struggle but there’s an outside chance that Rondon blows everyone away with his obvious stuff and wrestles that job away. That’s the lotto ticket we’re riding here.”


Chris Crawford adds Michael Lorenzen for $0

“I still believe in Severino’s right arm, but Lorenzen was a guy that was too appealing to leave on the waiver wire. I have my doubts as to whether or not he’s going to be a starting pitcher, but his arm strength is ridiculous, and even in relief he’s a very valuable arm.”

J.P. Breen drops Henry Urrutia

“It was designed to be a calculated move, in which I would only drop Urrutia if I won the waiver claim on Danny Valencia. I sought insurance at the hot corner in case David Freese cannot turn it around this summer, and it’s only a matter of time before Moustakas begins to lose significant playing time. It seemed to be a user error in terms of the add/drop processes. But such is life. Urrutia doesn’t have a clear path in Baltimore and had performed terribly this spring. There are other fringe outfield bats available, if I needed to pick up someone down the line.”


Wilson Karaman adds Kyle Farnsworth for $34

“I “won” Kyle Farnsworth for a third of my FAAB budget as a solitary trombone moaned begrudingly in the dark, cold distance. Saves are saves, and I need saves. Spending that much on a commodity as fleeting as a closer, let alone a begoggled retread like Farnsworth, feels so, so dirty. But the market for waiver wire replacement closers has been pretty well set in the high-20’s-to-low-30’s range, and after losing out on a couple previous bids for saves I decided to be aggressive here. If he nets me 10 saves I’ll consider this a win of an investment, anything more is delicious gravy.”

Craig Goldstein/Mauricio Rubio add Alfredo Simon for $10

“We spent $10 on Alfredo Simon knowing full well that his impossibly good start is unlikely to last. However, we’ve been hit hard on the pitching front (Latos, Parker, Janssen) and needed some stability, even if it comes in the form of a back end type. Simon’s stat line isn’t the only thing that’s looked good, as he’s hardly put anyone on base with a BB/9 below two. He’s not missing bats which could be a problem going forward but if he can limit the walks, the damage done by balls in play should be mitigated, at least in part.”

Ian Kahn/Tim McLeod add Tommy Medica for $7

“Tommy Medica was a player that we were considering during the draft as a Handcuff to Yonder Alonso. Well Darnit, we might need that handcuff. Alonso has yet to break out, and with only 90 some odd at-bats in the majors, we can stash Medica for a bit in our Minors. It is a wait and let’s see approach there.”

Bret Sayre adds Ian Stewart for $6

“With both Ryan Zimmerman and Adam Lind hitting the disabled list within a week of each other, I had a major need at corner infield–and Stewart was the best option available. I’m not at all confident that David Freese will both right the ship in Los Angeles and stay healthy, so while Stewart is every bit a washed out prospect, he is potentially looking at playing time (and even hit cleanup on Monday). If he can hit a couple of homers and knock in a few runs until my better players come back, it’s a net win for me. But don’t get me wrong, this is still Ian Stewart.”

Nick Shlain adds Dallas Keuchel for $6

“As a big time AL-Only player, I’ve had my eye on Dallas Keuchel for some time now. He has a three pitch mix and the stuff started to produce strikeouts even though he was still getting hit around last September. We know he can get ground balls. Since the start of 2013, he’s fourth in all of baseball in GB% (min 150 innings). So far this season he’s been able to put up a K% of 21 to just a BB% of 6.7. With all of these strikeouts and grounders, I’m higher on Keuchel than I’ve ever been. I think he might actually be able to keep his 3.50 ERA and 1.33 WHIP up this season.”

Luke Chatelain adds Jordan Lyles for $0

“I don’t really know what to make of Lyles but at one time he was a 20 year old dominating older hitters at AA. However, the reason he’s available off the wire is because that domination was in 2010. Still Lyles is only 23 and while being in the Rockies rotation is usually a kiss off death their lies a small chance that we are seeting Lyles come into his own. That chance is worth a flyer in the deepest of leagues.”


Craig Glaser/Tom Trudeau add Dante Bichette Jr for $0

“Dante Bichette Jr. — former Yankees draft-day reach, turned legit prospect, turned bust — began spring training attached to some “new approach” narrative following another awful season in 2013. The early returns back that narrative up, making him worth a roster spot.”

Nick Doran adds Ben Lively for $0

“2013 4th round pick has 79 strikeouts in 58 career innings with a 0.78 ERA. If he were to pitch a complete game allowing only a single run his career ERA would go up! That is how good he has been. He is now in High A ball and could be a fast mover through the minors. I will take a flyer on him.”

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