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.

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Trader’s Corner: TDGR Trade Deadline

If you are a regular reader of TDG, then you are aware of the TDGX experts’ dynasty league. It’s a 20-team dynasty league with 40-man rosters of which we protect 35 players. What you may not know is that a group of readers set up a league that mirrors TDGX and is made up of readers from this site. The TDGR league recently had its trade deadline, just like TDGX, and we were sent some of the moves that were made for this post.

For some more league context the 40-man roster consists of 14 hitters, 9 pitchers, a 7-man bench, and 10 minor league spots. The bench can be composed of either major or minor league eligible players. Scoring is standard 5×5 categories and there is one catcher slot along with two utility slots. Players may be kept forever with no penalty or contract system in place. A big thank you to TDGR member ‘Kris’ for sending in what I think are some really interesting transactions. Here are the trades… Continue reading

Trader’s Corner: The Value of Corey Kluber

We’re at the point where most leagues’ trade deadlines have passed or are close to passing. That means trader’s corner will likely glide to a gentle stop over the next two weeks. We did have several submissions this time around and next week I’ve got a big TDGR trade deadline extravaganza planned, so stay tuned.

One of the names I see coming up frequently is Corey Kluber. He’s had a dominant season and at 28 years old he’s being targeted in a lot of keeper and dynasty formats. In 2014, Kluber has a 2.46 ERA (2.69 xFIP) with 187 strikeouts and 36 walks in 171 innings pitched. Those are ace numbers and improvements across the board over his quality numbers from 2013. So the question is really whether dynasty and keeper league owners value Kluber in that “ace” tier now. Is he somebody you build a fantasy rotation around or is he a fantasy #2?

Personally, I’d be happy to have him as my fantasy ace going forward and I’d imagine this winter we’ll be talking about who next year’s ‘Kluber’ will be. His breakout has been a huge boost to Indians fans here in Cleveland, and I’m a little sore that I didn’t have more faith in him this preseason. Here are this week’s trades… Continue reading

Trader’s Corner: Deadline Deals

As exciting as the MLB trade deadline was for all of us last week, it’s equally exciting for fantasy owners when their league trade deadline draws near. Over the next two weeks, we’ll look at a few moves that readers have made and give you the chance to vote on which side won each deal. As always, you can send in your pending or completed trades to Please include as much relevant info as you can so your trade can be assessed fairly. I’m really excited about how many trades have come in this year and we may even have enough to do something similar in the offseason, since we all know there really is no offseason in dynasty leagues. Speaking of which, if you’re not already listening to the TINO podcast with Bret, Ben, Craig, and Mau you are really missing out. It’s a fun way to keep up on the dynasty league news and hear their opinions/analysis on all things dynasty.

Here are this week’s trades… Continue reading

Trader’s Corner: Getting Started

I recently took over an abandoned team in a dynasty league and I thought it would be interesting to lift up the hood for readers as I move forward. We’re pretty transparent in TDGX, and I think that it’s helpful for dynasty players to see the thought processes behind decisions. The league is 30 teams deep with 25-man MLB rosters and 45-man MiLB rosters. Holds and SLG make it a 6×6 scoring system with OBP instead of average. There is a $100 million salary cap, a $5 million signing bonus stipend mid-season, and three tags that can be used for players with expiring contracts. There’s a restricted free agent tag that provides pick compensation, a franchise tag that assumes the real life contract of a player, and a flex tag that can be used as either. It’s a very active league as I’ve already made some trades and have been back and forth with several owners.

I love how deep it is and how the contracts impact the decisions I need to make going forward. Obviously the team wasn’t in great shape, but there are some nice pieces on the MLB roster and I was able to take over the team just before the mid-year MiLB free agent signing, allowing me to snag some prospects for what was a pretty thin farm. You’ll see what I mean after the jump…   Continue reading

Trader’s Corner: Seeing Is Believing

I just took over a dynasty team. There are 30 teams in the league with 65-man rosters, so it’s deep. The team has some major league assets but there isn’t much going on in the farm. The trade deadline is in three weeks, and I can clear some cap space between now and then while getting some quality prospects in return if I play my cards right. The problem is that in a league this size, a “quality prospect” isn’t necessarily going to be a top 50 or even top 100 name. This is where it gets tricky for me when evaluating trades. I can go on the leaderboards and look up the stats on the players I don’t know, but that’s dangerous territory.

Since I don’t have much free time to visit every major league affiliate in America, my “eyes” need to be the first hand reports of the people who do see the games. Folks like fellow TDGX members Nathaniel Stoltz at Fangraphs and Mike Newman’s team at the new are really invaluable tools to me in a league like this. I can see stats, but they can see the player in the flesh. Deep league dynasty players who are dabbling in lesser known prospects need to utilize actual scouting reports and information from the ballpark.

As always, send in your pending and completed trades to I will respond to each email and post the trades as polls here on the site. Here are this week’s trades… Continue reading

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 Have a great All-Star Break and enjoy tonight’s game! Here are this week’s trades… Continue reading

Trader’s Corner: #TDGR

Trader’s Corner is back after a brief vacation. Did you know that there is a DynastyGuru readers’ league that mirrors TDGX? The format is exactly the same, including the Invisible Hand bid process for the initial draft. This week, we received two big trades to post from that league. It’s a 20-team dynasty with 40-man rosters…

Trade 1- Team 1 is in 18th place (rebuilding), Team 2 is in 10th place (2-year window).

Trade 2- Team 1 is in 7th place. Team 2 is in 19th and rebuilding.

Feel free to send in your pending and completed trades to I’ll reply to as many emails as possible and post each trade as a poll for our readers. Here are this week’s trades… Continue reading

Trader’s Corner: Macho Machado Man

I’m on the road all week, so I’ll get right to this week’s trades (there’s a lot). As always, send your pending and completed trade inquiries in to and I’ll post each trade as a poll the following week. This week, let’s start with what I thought was a solid buy on Manny Machado. Machado is coming back from a significant injury and is also one of the youngest players in the majors. I think the reaction to his poor season opened the door for dynasty players looking to acquire a nice piece for the left side of their infield. Here are this week’s trades…

Trade #1

15 team 6×6 League

Minor league players cost 0.3M to keep protected. Once a player accrues 50 IP or 150 AB, their arbitration clock starts, which is for a total of 6 years. First 3 years are on a fixed scale (0.3, 0.5, 1.0), and then the remaining years are calculated based on the previous year’s stats, with a minimum of $1.0.

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Trader’s Corner: The Salesman

We deal with trades here and part of that deal is interacting with other human beings (usually online). One of my favorite parts of playing in a dynasty league is the relationships built with the other owners over a long period of time. Like anything else, there will be those who hit it off and find making trades easy to do. Then there will be others who are less casual and who make trading difficult at times. One of the tactics that I find a little irritating is the “sale”. This is when an owner approaches with an offer and a pitch (usually a long one) that describes exactly why I should be over the moon to receive an offer such as this. It turns me off because it assumes I can’t see my own team’s strengths and weaknesses. If it’s a good trade, you shouldn’t have to sell it.

Thanks for sending in your pending and completed trades to Trader’s Corner. As always, every email sent will get a response and trades will be posted here for our readers to cast their votes. Send your trades to Here are this week’s trades…

Trade #1

12 team, 12 keepers. 5×5. Lose pick in round that you selected your keeper

Trade #2

15 Team 5X5; Roto; Keep forever no inflation

Trade #3

10 team 5 x 5 salary dynasty league

Trade #4

18 team ROTO dynasty