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The Invisible Hand: One Year Later

At this time last year, Bret and the gang created the Dynasty Guru Experts’ League (TDGX) and I was lucky enough to participate in the inaugural season. The twist heading into last year’s initial draft was the Invisible Hand method of determining the draft order. It’s been covered before on this site, but in a nutshell each team placed blind bids on draft slots with keepers as their currency. I sacrificed 15 of my 35 keepers to draft from the #1 slot. I believe the next highest bid was 13 keepers, so I have no regrets as far as the number I sacrificed. How this decision has shaped my roster is a different story and it’s why I wanted to come back to post on this a year later.

In the initial draft, it was about taking the best players available, and whether they were in the major or minor leagues wasn’t as big a factor – value was value. With Trout in hand, the team could go win now or win later, since the main building block was the best player in baseball at 22 years old. Win now was a daunting task in a 20-team league, and if my team wasn’t strong enough to take the crown in 2014, the idea of throwing back half the roster prior to this year would only make it more daunting. For this reason I decided that building around a young MLB core but making a more concerted effort to win in say 2016 or 2017 might be the smarter play. Selling off an older piece like Pujols in order to acquire a younger bat like Soler is one example of a move that fit this strategy/change in direction.

In addition to moving some of the older players on the roster, I also started to acquire 2015 draft picks. To the teams keeping a full 35, picks in the five-round reserve draft may not have held much value. But to me they were an opportunity to at least plug the holes that would be created by the one-time Trout penalty. Had I not done this, I would have still been able to select players in a supplemental draft after the first five rounds, but that would be reverse order and would not snake – meaning I’d pick last in each round while attempting to fill ten roster slots outside the top 100 available players.

Through trades, I acquired 19 picks in the first five rounds, essentially taking my team out of the supplementals completely and putting me in the mix with the other 19 teams drafting 2014 signees and players that had been cut. You can see who I took with these picks in the link below. Looking at who was available at the major league level to fill the holes in my roster, I think I made the right choice not to go for it in the short term. With those 19 picks, I selected as much upside as I could get my hands on – ETA be damned – with the thought that I may be able to flip some of those pieces to speed up the arrival of my team’s competitive window. Worst case scenario I sit on them and hope some surface in 2017/2018 – Trout would still only be 26 years old by then. The oldest player on my current roster is Garrett Richards, who would still be under 30 in 2018. In any event, I feel good that I took my chances on talent in this draft and now have a roster that I can actually keep 35 players from moving forward.

It’s still debatable whether I made the right decision with the Invisible Hand bid, and whether I should have steered the ship in a different direction mid season. But I like this team a lot and I think it’s going to make some noise down the road. It’s just not going to be this year. The next big decision? If 2015 is a wash…do I just punt it altogether and try to grab the most lottery balls for Yoan Moncada in the 2016 reserve draft?

Here’s a quick look at how the team would have looked for 2015 had I not made any trades or acquired any picks (green) versus what it looks like now (blue). On each roster I put the reserve picks in parentheses.

I’d love to hear thoughts from readers on the whole process and whether you think I went the right direction. You can vote in the poll and/or comment below.

[polldaddy poll=8666471]

Good luck in your dynasty leagues this year…

The Author




  1. Travis
    February 24, 2015 at 5:01 pm

    I did a very similar move with my team (and still doing it) and absolutely love the direction! Good luck, these 20 team leagues are so tough to take home!

    • February 24, 2015 at 5:24 pm

      thanks! you too!

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