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#TDGX Transaction Report: The Domino Effect of Selling Off

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.

[This week was the craziest week of trading in the league’s short history. In fact, there was more activity in two days than in two months.]


5/6/14 – Craig Glaser/Tom Trudeau trade Matt Lindstrom to Craig Goldstein/Mauricio Rubio for a 2015 3rd round pick

Tom: “Somehow, some way Matt Lindstrom kept his ERA respectable enough to keep his job through April. After consecutive saves we found a taker desperate enough to give us a third round pick. Good riddance.”

Craig: “I’ve said before that I don’t value picks a ton, and while they’ll be worth more this year (due to the bidding consequences), I’m still of the mind that a player is worth more this year than the pick. Lindstrom is bad and this isn’t really a secret, but he is also a closer. With Casey Janssen’s return to health and Hector Rondon’s ascension to closer, our team has four closers now, something only one other team can boast. Our pitching has been brutal, but this seems like easy ground to gain points in, whether the closers in question are good or not.”

5/7/14 – Ben Carsley trades Jonathan Singleton, Luis Sardinas, Trevor Bauer and Oswaldo Arcia to J.P. Breen for Carlos Gonzalez, Vincent Velasquez, Joe Smith, Domingo Santana and Chris Denorfia

Ben: “I covered my reasons for trading for CarGo in depth here, but I’ll try to quickly summarize: Gonzalez is very good at baseball, and I traded several players who could be good but are not yet good for him. It hurts my depth and increases the average age of my team (again), but it makes me significantly more dangerous in 2014-2016. Also you can’t say no to Chris Denorfia.”

J.P.: “My team has suffered from injuries, poor drafting, and unexpected poor starts. My goal was two-fold: (1) to sell early enough that I could beat the rush of teams selling, and (2) to only take guys who would be ready to contribute in 2015. I admittedly gave up more than I planned. However, I acquired four players (importantly, three bats) who have the chance to be above-average producers. That’s huge in a league this deep. In short, I didn’t just need “better” players. I needed many more players who would be average to above-average players. And I managed to get four guys who should help out next season.

Also, I think people are undervaluing draft picks in this league, so I was happy to get a 2nd-round pick, which should acquire me a first-round level talent from the 2014 MLB Draft — if not a supplementary big-league piece that someone decided not to keep.”

5/7/14 – Ian Kahn/Tim McLeod trade Hector Santiago, Yonder Alonso, Mike Moustakas and a 2015 5th rounder to Jason Hunt for Adrian Beltre and Victor Martinez

Ian: “We are going for it all this year, and picking up strong albeit older CI spots for younger but still less proven players filled a need for power on our squad with Jay Bruce and Josh Hamilton both on the DL. We could possibly regret the deal in 2 years if Alonso has a Chris Davis late 20’s breakout, and if Moose becomes what people have always threatened he would be. If in time Santiago matures, he could develop into the High Strikeout guy we reached for in the draft. We will worry about 2016 when we get there.”

Jason: “Well, this one made some noise. That said, even with the trade for Nolasco last week, it has become abundantly clear to me that my chances for a championship this year with the squad I have are not great. If I am being honest with myself, the decision to rebuild rather than push to compete this year seems like more of a incorrect evaluation of my team as the draft and the first month of the season went along, and what I wanted the team to be for this year and future years. While I took players that could help for multiple seasons, I sunk a lot of my higher picks in players that will not contribute consistently this year, but rather starting in 2015 and beyond.

As a result, I went looking for younger hitters at similar positions, and specifically a couple of post-hype players I believe still have a lot more upside than they have shown to this point. With Alonso, I still see a high batting average (.280-.290 in most years) with the potential for 15-20 home runs at first base, and think that his struggles this year are temporary ones. Moustakas has shown signs this season that he may finally be poised for the power breakout that has been expected for years, but has been brutally unlucky on balls in play so far this year. I am a believer that he can provide 20-25 home runs with a reasonable batting average (.250+) in most years. Both players are entering their prime years, and I think they both can be good contributors even this year, with the potential for more in 2015 and 2016.
Santiago was traded this off-season, and has struggled pretty mightily so far this year. He has had some back issues at times during this season, and I think they are causing the majority of the problems with the current performance. When he’s on, he has the potential to be a mid-rotation starter with some potential for even more when he is controlling his walks effectively. He is capable of getting strikeouts at a good rate when that happens, and providing solid performance in both ERA and WHIP as well. I think that he gets himself right over the season, is in a better situation in Anaheim, and provides solid but not spectacular innings primarily over the next few years.
The draft pick is a nice asset to have as well, despite not cashing in any picks for my draft position. It either becomes a trade chip for future discussions, or a potentially more interesting player than someone on the back end of my roster in a year’s time.
This trade will undoubtedly be a turning point for the long-term outlook for my team. When you commit to a rebuild in a league this deep, it has the potential to take a very, very long time and get derailed at any number of points. If this trade works out the way I believe it will, I have three players who will contribute to the next competitive window, which I believe could be no later than 2016. If it doesn’t, this will be the point which I look back at and wonder where it all went wrong. There really is no in-between on this one.”

5/7/14 – Craig Goldstein/Mauricio Rubio trade Jarrod Parker and Edwin Diaz to J.P. Breen for Francisco Liriano

Craig: “Our pitching has been an absolutely abomination thus far and Parker wasn’t going to be able to help any time soon. To upgrade from someone who is unable to contribute this year, and possibly won’t contribute going forward to a wild card like Liriano seems worthwhile at the expense of a prospect I like, but isn’t exactly top notch, like Diaz. Liriano can be one of the best pitchers in the league – I don’t think that will come to fruition but it’s possible. Parker has undergone his second Tommy John, and the rate of return from that isn’t nearly what it is for the first TJ, and even if he does return, there’s no guarantee he’s effective or a starter. Our team is likely going nowhere in 2014, which is fine. The pick wasn’t worth much to me for 2015 and I think Liriano can be an asset next year as well. Diaz is several years away even in a best case scenario, and while his prospect star should shine brighter in the coming months and years, I think we can backfill a prospect with similar ceiling in the meantime.”

J.P.: “It’s one injury-prone pitcher for another injury-prone pitcher, and I was able to add Edwin Diaz in the process. I like Edwin Diaz. I understand the probability of a guy successfully returning from a second TJ surgery isn’t exceedingly high, but if Parker does make it back, I didn’t give up long-term value and was able to add a nice young arm. Plus, I’m not a fan of Liriano’s velocity drop and perpetual injury risk.”

5/7/14 – Craig Glaser/Tom Trudeau trade Maikel Franco, Alex Meyer and Sean Nolin to J.P. Breen for Jose Reyes

Craig: “Yes, this trade may seem weird when taken in the context of how we drafted our team but it was a value play, plain and simple. Part of our strategy of loading up on prospects was the idea that veteran players would have a built in premium on their price during the draft and that we would have to opportunity to acquire some veteran guys later on in the year at a lower cost. Reyes is not an ideal asset. He’ll be 31 in a month, he’ll probably never steal 30 bases again, but he’s still a pretty solid SS, especially in a league this deep. Reyes was a 4th round pick in this league’s draft and ranked #92 on the top 500 in the consensus rankings of this site. Compare that to Franco (rd 11/#220), Meyer (rd 17/247) and Nolin (rd 37/unranked) and we felt like the value was there. We also have our eye on a few free agents and clearing up a couple of spots to pick those guys up is icing on the cake.”

J.P.: “Jose Reyes is an aging player, who is severely injury-prone. He isn’t someone to build around for the future. Thus, I continued to build a wide base of players who should be able to come in and contribute in 2015. I liked Franco and Meyer prior to the draft, so it was natural for me to target them for a player who cannot stay on the field.”

5/7/14 – Jason Hunt trades Hiroki Kuroda to Nick Doran for Taylor Guerrieri and Billy McKinney

Jason: “With the rebuild on, Hiroki Kuroda was definitely a player that has more value to a team that isn’t rebuilding. It’s possible he returns again for another year in 2015, but I’m not convinced that he will. With Guerrieri, his timeline is a bit longer than was previously expected due to the Tommy John surgery this year, but I believe he can rebound to the potential that made him a top 50 prospect before, and come up with my second-wave of pitching prospects between 2016 and 2017. McKinney is a personal favorite of mine, as I think his approach leads him to be a high average, solid power outfielder down the line. I originally thought during the offseason that his timeframe to the majors was closer to 2017 given that he was a high school draftee, but the A’s pushed him to High-A this year, and a strong showing there could get him to the majors even faster. I love the upside of both for a player that doesn’t factor in the next competitive window for me.”

Nick: “I traded prospects Taylor Guerreri and Billy McKinney for aging veteran pitcher Hiroki Kuroda. Starting pitching is the weak point of my roster so I had to overpay a bit to get this upgrade. Kuroda has gotten off to a slow start but his ratios are still good and I believe he will be a solid stalwart in my starting rotation. Every winter there are rumors that he will retire or return to Japan. Hopefully I will get more than just a one year rental.”

5/9/14 – Mike Buttil trades Albert Pujols, Seth Smith and Jemile Weeks to Luke Chatelain for Jorge Soler, Eduardo Rodriguez and Jeimer Candelario

Mike: “When we drafted Albert Pujols this past March we had no intention of carrying him on our team for very long. Our team is young, with solid MLB players under 25 and some quality prospects. Our goal here was to shop Pujols in an effort to continue to build that type of roster.

The draft pick could not have worked out better. Pujols had a great first month of the season with 10 home runs and shouts of “he’s back” all around him. Paul and I are both big fans of Soler, who seems to have been lost in the shuffle. When we saw Luke put Soler on the block we naturally went after him, knowing Pujols was our best available chip for the corner outfielder.

We also put Pujols on the block for the entire league, but we weren’t liking the prospects being offered, so we stuck with Luke and built around Soler. Good prospects and young MLB players are spread out in this 20-team league, and with our 20-keeper penalty for Trout, we were focused on quality instead of quantity in the return.

Candelario has the skills to enter the top 100 prospect lists in the near future and it’s not his fault he plays for a system loaded at third base. Rodriguez is already a nice pitching prospect who’s been ranked in the Top 50 on some lists. Additionally we received a 2nd round draft pick, which now gives us double picks in each of the first five rounds in next year’s draft.

Pujols is a great player. He might have a couple really good years left in the tank. But for our team (currently 12th of 20) and the squad we are trying to build, we could not be happier with this trade.”

Luke: “After assessing our team it seemed like we were still in a decent place to make a run for this year, Chris Davis was coming back from the DL our pitching was holding together without Chris Sale and we are hopeful Gregory Polanco can make an impact. With that decision made it was time to go out and find some talent, a couple teams were selling but Pujols was the biggest bat out there that fit our need at CI and we felt he was a good buy low opportunity because of his age. In the end we sent away some good prospects, Soler is the one who hurt the most, but we got back a ton of win now talent, especially with Seth Smith being thrown in. Looking back at the draft we acquired a 4th round talent for our 14th, 25th and 32nd rounders and it’s not like Pujols has done anything to hurt his value so far this year.”

5/11/14 – Alex Kantecki trades Jayson Werth, David DeJesus, Francisco Rodriguez and Jarrod Saltalamacchia to Chris Crawford for Nick Castellanos, Eddie Rosario and Tyler Glasnow

Alex: “After the week that was, I decided I needed to make a move. [As of Monday] I’m in 15th place. I have some very nice pieces, but my bench is bleh and I have zero pitching depth. The only way I saw myself climbing the standings was by exhausting my prized prospect, Carlos Correa, but he’s too important to the future of my team. Would moving from 15th to ~10th really be worth it?

I targeted Castellanos and started adding pieces after that. Castellanos is someone I see hitting .290 with 20-25 home runs annually, and the third-base eligibility is an added bonus. I originally requested Blake Swihart, but was rebuffed and moved onto Rosario, whom I’m still high on even after a 50-game suspension. His value changes heavily if he can’t cut it at second, but I’m confident he’ll hit and be a productive major leaguer. Glasnow needs to work on his command, but I see a 200-K season in his future, and he immediately becomes my best pitching prospect (Marcus Stroman and Carlos Martinez not included).”

Losing Werth, The Jesus, Salty and K-Rod isn’t going to destroy my chances of winning in 2015. I had several inquiries about Miggy, Gomez and Strasburg, but that would set me back multiple seasons, and my goal is to compete in 2015 while building a better team for the future.

Chris: “Trading Castellanos and Glasnow was incredibly difficult, as they were two of my favorite prospects coming into the season, but with my team in contention and the depth of pitching I have, I thought it was a necessary move. I’ve long been a fan of Werth, and think he can help me in every fantasy category, certainly more than the other garbage I have in the outfield right now. Saltalamacchia is a nice replacement for Wieters, DeJesus sadly becomes a quality utility bat for me, and K-Rod gives me three quality closers. It’s a risk, but one I think is worth taking because of the depth I have in the minor leagues.”


Wilson Karaman adds Drew Pomeranz for $16

“I’ve always liked Pomeranz and thought he’d one day make for a nice post-hype guy as I watched Colorado perform bizarre four-man rotation/pitch count limit experiments on him from afar, and now it looks like he might be getting his shot in Oakland. It remains to be seen if he can legitimately make it as a big league starter, as he’s a two-pitch guy at best and features an expected and significant platoon issue as a result. But his first turn in the A’s rotation went well against Seattle last week, and it looks as though injury attrition will force Oakland to give him a longish look in the rotation. It’s certainly a good organization for him to try and find himself and I like his value a lot as a back-end and match-ups guy in deep leagues if he sticks.”

Luke Chatelain adds Tyler Lyons for $12

“We drop 12 bones on Tyler Lyons and then he went out and almost allowed that many runs against the Cubbies. I saw a solid lefty with good K rates low BBs and decent GBs, but he did nothing to help us in his first start. I’ll be the first to admit that this might have been a bad purchase for us but we also liked the insurance he gave us against Jaime Garcia.”

Luke Chatelain adds Bryan Shaw for $6

“I was actually surprised we got Shaw for this cheap since he had just picked up his 2nd save a night or two before the waiver claims were to be put in. If he ends up running with the closers job this is a great win for us, if he doesn’t it was a find speculation at $6.”

Mike Rosenbaum adds James Jones for $6

Avisail Garcia’s season-ending injury destroyed my planned outfield configuration and forced me to start Nate McLouth (.411 OPS in 64 plate appearances) for the better part of the last five weeks. Well, I’m happy to announce the Nate McLouth Era has come to an end; he’s being replaced with Mariners outfielder James Jones, who I secured this week via free agency with a $6 bid. Jones, 25, posted a .776 OPS with 32 extra-base hits (six homers) and 28 steals last season in 405 plate appearances at Double-A Jackson. It’s obviously a small sample size, but Jones is batting .389/.476/.500 in 22 plate appearances this season between two stints with the Mariners. More importantly, the organization is running him out there in center field on a daily basis (in the wake of Abraham Almonte’s demotion to Triple-A), which could make him a solid source of runs and steals for my team.”

Mike Newman adds Jace Peterson for $5

“An excellent athlete with speed and up the middle defensive ability, Peterson should have already been stashed in TDGX. To my surprise, he was available when scanning the waiver wire for upside talent. Yes, the Padres prospect is a little old to be making his debut, but sometimes tools take longer to develop. Having seen him in Arizona in the spring of 2013, I’m confident in his ability to become a solid MLB player in time. Plus, the Padres afford plenty of opportunity for any prospect with a pulse.

Mike Buttil adds Eduardo Escobar for $5

“We needed a replacement for the recently traded Pujols, and while Escobar doesn’t offer a ton of fantasy value, we felt like he was a better option than Eric Chavez, who was the next best available corner infielder.”

Luke Chatelain adds Wade Davis for $4

” We needed some arms to help along until some of our SPs got healthy and Davis is flashing insane K potential right now. If Holland ever gets hurt Davis immediately becomes an elite closer but for now Davis will fill in adding in Ks and keeping our ratios down.”

J.P. Breen adds Chase Anderson for $3

“In what seems to be an effort to acquire the whole Diamondbacks’ pitching staff — which is perhaps a reason my team has been terrible — I acquired Chase Anderson for a couple bucks. He’s a young arm who has posted solid peripherals throughout his minor-league career, and it’s a no-risk proposition for me at this point. I dropped Daric Barton because he’s not good.”

Mike Newman adds Kyle Blanks for $3

“Abraham Almonte and Robbie Grossman disappointed, so cue a Quad-A slugger Kyle Blanks. For years, the 1B/OF has teased with a combination of size and power. Will this promotion be any different? Probably not, but I’m willing to take a chance considering the Padres first base position is a mess and Blanks can run into a mistake every now and then. With only four active outfielders, something is better than nothing.”

Mike Newman adds J.R. Murphy for $3

“Murphy has overachieved in his brief MLB call up, posting a .407/.429/.556 triple slash line in 27 at bats. Having scouted the catcher in 2010, the projected “tweener” has improved defensively and is expected to remain behind the plate. This raises Murphy’s profile even though he’ll always be considered a bat first player. Team ROTOscouting is catcher heavy, but unexpected demotions have left a void at the utility positions. Without much on the waiver wire, Murphy was a logical, but uninspiring choice.”

Jason Hunt adds Steve Pearce for $2

“Pearce had been filling in for the injured Chris Davis, and had been on a pretty nice hot streak over the past week or so. He is likely to get at bats as the DH for the Orioles for a bit, and is a nice source of power while he is playing regularly.”

Ian Kahn/Tim McLeod add Efren Navarro for $1

“Efren Navarro has some AB’s to go before we HAVE to bring him up, and it seems it’s smart to grab a bat that could have upside. Probably will go back on the wire, but we had a spot on the roster to speculate.”

Chris Crawford adds Franklin Morales for $0

“Josh Fields was my sleeper closer, and that didn’t work out so well. Morales is nothing special, but he’s on a big league roster and has pitched reasonably well over the past few weeks.”

Wilson Karaman adds Alfredo Aceves for $0

“I don’t like Alfredo Aceves. I want to be clear about that. But he’s going to be filling in for the DL-bound Sabathia for at least the next two turns of the Yankee rotation, and those turns are scheduled to happen against the Mets and Cubs, so…yeah, let’s see if we can’t snag a vulture win or two, eh?”

Nick Doran adds Jonny Gomes for $0

“I picked up Jonny Gomes to fill in temporarily for Adam Laroche and Kole Calhoun while they are on the Disabled List. I am also waiting for Kendrys Morales to sign with a team. Gomes doesn’t play a whole lot being on the short side of a platoon situation, but he can generate some counting stats without doing too much damage to my batting average over the next couple of weeks.”

Nick Doran adds Rafael Furcal for $0

“My final acquisition was Rafael Furcal, who is recovering from a couple leg injuries. He could be back to the Marlins’ lineup in a week or two if all goes well. He won’t be a difference maker on my roster but any warm body who is playing nearly every day is a valuable commodity in a league as uber-deep as TDGX.”


Mike Buttil adds Harold Ramirez for $56

“When we saw 19-year-old outfield prospect Harold Ramirez enter the free agent pool, he immediately became a target. He’s shown a nice mix of pop and speed already, and while he’ll likely grow into some more power (and a shift to a corner outfield position) he complements our other outfield prospects Jorge Soler and David Dahl. The extreme bid was shows how much we wanted him and knowing that Chris Colabello went for $50 earlier in the year guided our decision. There isn’t a Pirates prospect list where this kid hasn’t been mentioned and we’re thrilled to add him to our roster.”

Mike Rosenbaum adds Danny Santana for $6

“My other free-agent addition this week is switch-hitting shortstop Danny Santana ($6), who, in my opinion, is a nice piece to have moving forward considering the Twins’ uncertainty at the position. Plus, he gives me more roster flexibility as a potential middle-infield option.  Santana, 23, is batting .421/.450/.579 with three doubles in 20 plate appearances since arriving in the major leagues (May 5), and his immediate production already has the Twins exploring different ways to get him in the lineup—evidenced by his three innings in center field on Sunday.”

Ian Kahn/Tim McLeod add Mike Fiers for $3

“Mike Fiers is shutting down offenses in AAA. Had 13 K’s in his last start, and because of the settings for the league, we can stash him in the minors until he gets the call.”

Jason Hunt adds Johnny Giavotella for $1

“While the Royals try to determine what to do to get my other new acquisition (Moustakas) going at the plate, they have added Giavotella to the major league roster in the hope that his hot hitting at AAA might finally translate with a team struggling for offense. With Sam Fuld being placed on the concussion disabled list, I needed another bat for my everyday lineup, and I think Giavotella could see time at 3B as well as 2B in the short term.”

Ben Carsley adds Zach Eflin for $0

“I’ve been driving the Eflin bandwagon for a while, as the right-hander was one of my favorite pitchers taken in the 2012 draft. He’s a ways away and he lacks “zomg”-level upside, but considering I’m dealing with prospects in the 200-250 range right now, I’m quite leased to land him. I think Eflin can be a No. 3 starter in Petco Park, and as we’ve seen many times, that’s a very valuable fantasy asset to have. He won’t be a sexy trade piece, but I’d be hard-pressed to part with him anyway.”

Nick Doran adds Nick Travieso for $0
Nick Doran adds Jorge Polanco for $0

“To replace the two prospects I traded away, I picked up Nick Travieso and Jorge Polanco to fill up my minor league roster. Travieso is a starting pitcher in Low A ball for the Reds. He was a 2012 1st round pick who had a disappointing debut last year but has righted the ship this year. His velocity has picked up while he has improved his K:BB ratio to 34:6 in 39 innings with a 1.59 ERA. Polanco is a Twins 2B prospect in High A. His stock is on the rise and I believe he is working his way toward top 100 consideration if he keeps playing well.”

Craig Glaser/Tom Trudeau add Max Muncy for $0

“A bit old for AA, but hard to ignore such a stellar K:BB rates now that he’s at the upper levels of the minors.”

Craig Glaser/Tom Trudeau add Ian Clarkin for $0

“Nice pedigree, nice start to 2014 for the young lefty.”

Craig Glaser/Tom Trudeau add Luis Severino for $0

“The time to add Severino is upon us now that has continued to pitch well without the kid glove pitch count.”

Craig Glaser/Tom Trudeau add Armando Rivero for $0

“The Cubs bullpen is bad enough to take a flier on a AA closer prospect.”

Craig Goldstein/Mauricio Rubio add Victor Reyes for $0

“Mostly spurred on by positive reports from Ethan Purser of the BP prospect team, Reyes intrigued us for several reasons. He’s currently punishing Low-A as a 19-year old switch hitter (.375/.415/.425) and has swiped six bases to boot (albeit in 10 tries). There is legitimate question as to whether he’ll develop more than 10-15 hr power, despite his 6’3/170 pound frame. If he does, he’s a potential star, and even if he doesn’t, he’s a worthwhile lottery ticket at this stage. We love his ability to put bat to ball, and are willing to chance the other aspects to his game.”

Craig Glaser/Tom Trudeau adds Manuel Margot for $0

“Margot is a guy we liked coming into the season but had to cut earlier to free up a spot. He’s  raw but he’s striking out less, hitting for more power and stealing bases at a better clip this year than last. We’ve had out eye on adding him since we cut him and freeing up a few spots on the roster meant we had one for him again.”

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