Catching Up With The Trades: NL Edition

A few deals slipped by without comment in recent weeks.

June 28, 2013
Mike Gianella gets: Jordany Valdespin NYM from Phil Hertz
Phil Hertz gets: Wilmer Flores NYM from Mike Gianella

Comment: Gianella gets a vexing, argumentative, underachieving player on the active roster. Hertz gets a minor leaguer with some potential, though without a defensive position that makes sense, and probably not for a year or two.

June 30, 2013
Derek Carty gets: Wilmer Flores NYM from Phil Hertz
Phil Hertz gets: 2 FAAB dollars from Derek Carty

Comment: Hertz is tireless at trying to get something/anything for the pieces he’s going to unload.

July 5, 2013
Tristan H. Cockcroft gets: Ben Revere Phi from Scott Wilderman
Scott Wilderman gets: Ryan Howard Phi from Tristan H. Cockcroft

Comment: When it happened it was a classic power for speed move. The next day Ryan Howard went down, out until mid-September. Six days later, Revere broke his foot and is out for the season.

July 12, 2013
Scott Pianowski gets: Paul Maholm Atl from Steve Gardner
Jean Segura Mil from Steve Gardner
Steve Gardner gets: Adeiny Hechavarria Mia from Scott Pianowski
Adam Wainwright StL from Scott Pianowski

Comment: Gardner upgrades his pitching, while Pianowski upgrades his offense. The gem here is Wainwright and Gardner has a lot of points to gain in ERA, WHIP and K, while Segura, regardless how much power he shows, will help Pianowski in BA and SB especially.

July 16, 2013
Mike Gianella gets: Everth Cabrera SD from Scott Wilderman
Starling Marte Pit from Scott Wilderman
Tyler Clippard Was from Scott Wilderman
Travis Snider Pit from Scott Wilderman
Scott Wilderman gets: Carlos Beltran StL from Mike Gianella
Aaron Hill Ari from Mike Gianella
David Freese StL from Mike Gianella
Matt Belisle Col from Mike Gianella

Comment: Gianella gets the best basestealer in the game to add to his lowest-ranking steals squad in the league, while Scott converts the cat he’s far ahead in first in for some additional power. For teams like Scott’s (and my 11th place team), the goal is to get to 60 or more points, to avoid the FAAB penalty, and to pass as many teams as possible to move up in the 2014 reserve draft.

July 17, 2013
Peter Kreutzer gets: Gerrit Cole Pit from Phil Hertz
Todd Helton Col from Phil Hertz
Carlos Villanueva ChC from Phil Hertz
Phil Hertz gets: Brad Ziegler Ari from Peter Kreutzer
Drew Storen Was from Peter Kreutzer
Jose Constanza Atl from Peter Kreutzer

Comment: I found myself with the Dbacks’ putative closer, a status that could work out or could be undermined at any moment. Since I’m 20 some odd saves behind the 11th place team, holding onto Ziegler had almost zero value (apart from the innings). I offered him up to the league and fell into productive talks with Phil, who is looking to strip his staff of average (or worse) innings, looking to bring his ERA and WHIP down. While I’m wary about adding mid-level starters, for the same reason, Cole’s ERA improves me, and so does Villanueva’s WHIP, and I do have points to gain in K. Phil gets two lottery tickets for saves, plus significant reliever strikeouts. I also get a hitter who should have a decent average and a few RBI in 15 or so AB per week. That’s a lot better than I’ve been playing.

July 18, 2013
Mike Gianella gets: Taylor Jordan Was from Phil Hertz
Phil Hertz gets: 2 FAAB dollars from Mike Gianella

Comment: Hertz sheds guys he doesn’t want, gets a little something back. Jordan is a risky guy to play, he’s not been overpowering, but while he fills in for Ross Detwiler he could be helpful to a team that could use some innings. Mike points out that he’s got two starts next week, versus the Pirates and Mets. After that he may well be gone.

Tout NL Trade: Elite Pitcher for Elite Hitter


Peter Kreutzer trades Cliff Lee to Tristan Cockcroft
Tristan Cockcroft trades Jay Bruce to Peter Kreutzer


I (Kreutzer) drafted a team of starting pitching, with Lee, Greinke, Minor and Lynn. I bought hitters but made a fatal gaffe paying $8 for Dee Gordon. His subsequent demotion left a sizeable hole in the lineup, one exacerbated by an early injury to Ryan Zimmerman and a more recent one to Angel Pagan. Plus, until Ryan Sweeney’s recent explosion, none of the flyers I added on draft day or on waivers have paid off on offense. This is a team that needed another big hitter.

Cockcroft, the league’s 2012 winner, has a commanding lead in HR and RBI thanks to explosive seasons from Paul Goldschmidt and Carlos Gomez, but despite excellent ERA and WHIP it is middle of the pack in Wins and Strikeouts. Adding an elite pitcher should bring up both cats.


I was trying to figure out how to make a trade with some of the teams that are strong in hitting but weak in pitching, when Tristan sent out a note to the league offering a hitter for a pitcher. I offered him Lee for Bruce (better for me than anything else I could find) or Lynn for Howard (lesser impact, lesser risk). I contemplated offering the troubled Greinke for the troubled BJ Upton, but felt Greinke was too big a price to pay to take on the Upton risk (even though Greinke carries similar risk). Call that handicapping.

Tristan got back to me after a bit, saying he’d do Bruce for Lee, but would add his Pettibon for my Matt Adams if I wanted to mitigate the pitching hit some. I did not, I’m looking for offense and if a spot opened in St. Louis Adams could be a big help, so we went with the simple one for one deal.


My hope is that my recent acquisition of Roy Oswalt and the rejuvenation of Chris Capuano, plus my sizeable (six over third place) cushion in Wins, means that giving up Lee doesn’t cost me too many qualitative and K points. The return of a healthy Marco Estrada would help here, too, I dream. Meanwhile, Jay Bruce should gain me a few points in HR and a couple more in RBI, and more importantly get me into position where another hitting add via FAAB or reserves might make a big difference (and a handful more points). As it stands right now, I have the most FAAB money.

Deducting Bruce’s stats from Tristan’s HR and RBI totals would cost him one point total at this point (though some more in Runs), so giving him up is almost like free money. He was nine wins and eight strikeouts behind me in pitching, however, so I’m going to lose there, but Tristan was sure to make a trade with someone, so those points were likely gone anyway.

The bottom line, we both shore up a weakness and balance our teams a bit. I have more upside and downside at this point. while Tristen secures his position in first place and should be much harder for everyone to catch.

A Tout Wars Mixed Auction Trade (an insider’s opinion): June 24, 2013

puig_yasiel640By Paul Singman

Here’s the deal:

Seth Tractman gets:
Yasiel Puig LAD from Paul Singman
Edward Muijica STL from Paul Singman
A.J. Burnett (DL) PIT from Paul Singman

Paul Singman gets:
Gio Gonzalez WSH from Seth Tractman
Troy Tulowitzki (DL) from Seth tractman


Because why not? As a participating member of this deal, of course I think that the effects are huge. But even evaluating objectively, you can’t ignore the number of impact players involved, who also happen be some of the most polarizing names in the game. Quite easily this trade could end up a major win for either Seth or myself, given all of the risk involved.

On the surface I (Singman) get an upgrade to my rotation in Gio Gonzalez. Even though I am strong in ERA and WHIP (13 points in each), my two weakest categories are wins and strikeouts (8 points in each). Adding Gio should hopefully address both of those underbellies.

In the short term, Tractman gets a hitting upgrade in the form of Cuban wunderkind Yasiel Puig. When you render Vin Scully speechless, you know you’ve done something significant. Puig should help Seth remain competitive in the fierce home run battle and also boost his 4-point standing in steals. This short-term upgrade might come at a long-term expense though, as it cost Seth one of the premier hitters in the game (when healthy) in Troy Tulowitzki. Tulo is, of course, on the shelf for a month with a broken rib. But whether two months of Tulowitzki will be more valuable than three of Puig is a question worth asking. The answer mostly depends on where you fall on the pessimist vs. optimist spectrum regarding Puig.

Lastly the deal also gives Tractman arguably the most impressive closer this year in Edward Mujica. He went from two closers to zero when Brandon League and Jim Henderson lost their jobs, and Mujica should help him tread water in the saves category, where he currently ranks sixth. I had no problem relieving myself of a closer, given I had three at the time (since then I also traded Jim Johnson in a separate deal) and hold a commanding 20 save lead over Fred Zinkie, who is second in the category.


There are many perspectives through which to view this deal. One is to view it in terms of the healthy vs. injured players. Regarding the healthy, Puig and Mujica for Gio favors Seth, while Tulo for Burnett is a monstrous win for me. Although it will be at least a month before I can reap the benefits. In terms of draft day dollars it’s quite lopsided; I’m trading a total of $4 while for Seth it’s $47. This is because Puig and Mujica were both fortuitous waiver pickups, not auction bought. It took 19 well-spent dollars to land Mujica, and a lucky $1 bid placed Puig on the team the week before his call-up and subsequent exploits.

The bottom line, though, is that I was able to acquire two premium players in this deal, and premium players are worth taking chances on in mixed formats. Time will tell if it will be true in this case.

May 15 Tout NL Trade: Jansen for Scutaro


The following trade has been inserted, effective 05.20:

Todd Zola gets:
Marco Scutaro SF from Phil Hertz

Phil Hertz gets:
Kenley Jansen LAD from Todd Zola


Early this morning Todd Zola sent an email to his Tout NL competitors:

“Page 28 of the So-Called Experts Manual says I am supposed to put Kenley Jansen on the block tonight since he got a high-profile save in impressive fashion.

So, if someone has offense to spare and wants to take a shot this is a harbinger of future Dodger ninth innings, let’s discuss.


Early this afternoon Todd sent another email:

“I have an offer for Jansen on the table that is acceptable. If anyone wants to see if they can offer something more acceptable, I’ll wait a couple of hours.

 Thanks for the indulgence.”
A few minutes ago, THE WHAT landed.
Zola is chasing Tristan Cockcroft for first place right now, but despite his broad offense he’s in the second division in all categories but BA. He has two closers, Sergio Romo and Bobby Parnell, and saw a chance to leverage Jansen, who is on his bench, for something more. If he becomes the Dodger closer he’ll kick himself, but he helped himself now.
Phil Hertz is down with the rest of us in the pack, looking for any edge we can get. He’s been strong in saves, on Jason Grilli’s broad back, but he had to recognize that adding another closer would be smart. How to pay for it? His team’s strength is lots of AB, Runs and RBI. Scutaro adds in those cats because he plays, but he’s not what anyone would call a big run producer. Phil decided to take a flier on Jansen, in part because he could afford to.
On Draft Day Scutaro cost $13, while Jansen cost $11. Scutaro was paid for his consistency, while Jansen was paid for his ceiling. It seems not much has changed since then.

May 10 Tout Mixed Draft Trade: McCaffrey chucks saves, Van Hook embraces them

The Deal

05.13 Gene McCaffrey GBalfour Oak Trade 05.08 @ 15:44
05.13 Gene McCaffrey RDetwiler Was Acquire 05.08 @ 15:44
05.13 Perry Van Hook GBalfour Oak Acquire 05.08 @ 15:44
05.13 Perry Van Hook RDetwiler Was Trade 05.08 @ 15:44


Gene sent out this note: “I have one closer (Balfour), and I am entertaining the notion of dumping Saves. Any one of you can help me with this decision by offering a hitter or starting pitcher of comparable value. I know that nobody wants to witness the spectacle of my indecision; you are sensitive souls. Thank you for your consideration.”

Perry responded with the best player.

Gene has one point in Saves with one closer. He could have added another, but that would have cost him a decent player and likely points in other categories.

Perry has gotten 43 innings of excellent ERA out of Detwiler, who has allowed a fair number of baserunners and shouldn’t be expected to continue with a >3.00 ERA, so dealing him has an element of sell high about it.


Gene was able to deal his near-worthless (t0-him) reliever for one of the more beloved young pitchers this year. As a starter Detwiler helps in strikeouts only a little, since he isn’t a K/9 guy, but Gene is in good position to gain with any increase in Ks. Detwiler should also help in Wins, even if he is not a plus in ERA and WHIP. Meanwhile Perry, who is in the middle of the pack in Saves, has a chance to gain 5.5 easy points by adding a third closer (joining Holland and League). Perry’s risk is in strikeouts, where he could quickly lose four or five points. Gene stands to gain a few more points than Perry in the deal, but any points the frontrunner (Van Hook) could prove decisive.

Final Note

Phil Hertz had a piece in USA Today this week about how you can throw draft day prices out the window once the season starts, that once the season starts values change because draft prices sometimes reflect draft conditions rather than player value, and a player’s value on his fantasy team changes in context depending on how the categories in his league shake out. While Phil’s certainly right that it isn’t fair to judge his recent NL Tout trade of Ike Davis ($25) for Jeff Samardzija ($14) based on the prices, figuring out what is going on in the league and how teams did, in this case, on draft day,  makes those prices pertinent. So how much did Balfour and Detwiler cost? Gene took Balfour in the 13th round, while Detwiler lasted until the 19th. In the Tout Mixed Auction Balfour was $11, while Detwiler was a reserve pick. I guess Gene would agree with Phil.

May 4 Tout NL Trade Analysis

The Deal:

The following trade has been inserted, effective 05.06:

Mike Gianella gets:
Welington Castillo ChC from Derek Carty

Derek Carty gets:
Matt Garza ChC from Mike Gianella


Despite having Clayton Kershaw, Carty’s team is last in ERA and WHIP. He needed reinforcements and had three catchers. He in fact offered any of the three, including Buster Posey, and this was the best deal he could shake loose. Despite spending $18 on Mat Latos and bupkis on the rest of his pitchers, Gianella has had strong results. Matt Garza has been on the DL and won’t be back for another two weeks, while Mike’s been playing two blanks at catcher.


Castillo was a $4 catcher on draft day, but is off to a good start, hitting for a good average. Garza was a $7 draft day DL starter who has yet to return. That’s close enough for a fair deal. One concern for Gianella is that with Hanley Ramirez just returning from the DL, and Aaron Hill coming back around the end of this month, his offense-heavy squad may not need a catcher who plays, while he may wish he had Garza once Travis Wood and Barry Zito end their hot streaks. Unless Tim Lincecum puts it back together, Carty needs starting pitching. Garza could be a good pickup if he can get and stay healthy.


5/4, 5:26pm ET: What I didn’t know that Mike Gianella certainly knew when he made the deal is that Hanley Ramirez is going to the DL for an extended period with a hamstring injury, meaning that Mike’s offense isn’t quite what it seemed like it might be.

May Day NL Trade!

Here’s the deal: 

Chris Liss gets:
Ike Davis NYM from Phil Hertz

Phil Hertz gets:
Todd Helton Col from Chris Liss

Jeff Samardzija ChC from Chris Liss


Classic deal. Hertz has 12 points in runs, 11 in HR and 12 in RBI. Liss has 7 in Wins, 10 in ERA, 10 in WHIP and 12 in Strikeouts.


Hertz’s strength in power has been fueled by surprising power from Nick Hundley and Dexter Fowler, while Ike Davis has underproduced. He runs the risk of not having the bats to sustain his leads as the season goes on. On the other hand, his underpowered pitching staff needed starting help, and nothing helps that more than adding a quality starter early in the season. The cost? A player highly coveted on auction day.

Liss has apparently improved his strong staff by adding Tony Cingrani and Jose Fernandez through waivers, allowing him to deal the $14 Samardzjia for the $25 Ike Davis. Helton will even things up some when he comes off the DL, depending on how much he’s able to play.



Tout NL Contenders Speak!

I asked the Contending and Out of It Tout owners some questions, and got back some answers. Here are the answers from the Contenders in Tout Wars NL:


What are your chances of winning as a percentage? 45 (keeping in mind that I’d say at least four teams are still very much “in it” — or have a 10+ percent chance of victory).

What percentage of your success this year was based on your draft? 90, maybe more. Eleven of my 12 most valuable individual players this season were original draft picks, and two other current starters were also draftees.

What percentage was based on trading? 8. Juan Pierre was a critical pickup, and Shane Victorino and Ryan Dempster have (so far) proved important, but I can’t forget that all three were acquired for players who were original draftees.

What percentage was based on waiver pickups? 2. I can’t entirely discount the contributions of Erik Kratz, D.J. LeMahieu, Andrelton Simmons, Brad Lincoln, Jonny Venters or Mitchell Boggs, but does any one of those names really drive a team? I say no, being that not a single one has contributed more than 125 useful AB or 60 useful innings (so far).

What was the best thing that happened to your team this year. Aroldis Chapman discovered his command. There probably hasn’t been any one more important piece of my team than Chapman; he has stabilized my ratios and his emergence at closer afforded me the ability to trade two closers, Santiago Casilla and J.J. Putz, to fill other needs.

What was the worst thing? And how did you get over it? If it’s not Vance Worley’s elbow problems, then surely it’s the revolving door I’ve had at the middle infield spots. How did I get over it? Well, Martin Prado gained 2B eligibility, which helped, and LeMahieu has been a serviceable pickup. But consider that this season, I’ve used Prado, LeMahieu, Matt Downs, Freddy Galvis, Ronny Cedeno, Jack Wilson, Alex Gonzalez, Jean Segura, Simmons and Emmanuel Burriss between 2B/MI. That’s right, 10 different players for two spots. It’d sure be nice if Simmons could return this weekend at anything close to the form he showed before getting hurt!


What percentage of your success this year was based on your draft? 55 percent

What percentage was based on trading? 35 percent

What percentage was based on waiver pickups? 10 percent.

What was the best thing that happened to your team this year. My pitchers for the most part worked out, and if I’d executed on draft day and taken a closer instead of Jurrjens and Wandy Rodriguez, maybe I would have a lead at this point. The other big plus this year were some Rockies taken on reserve or during waivers. Tyler Colvin, Chris Nelson and Josh Rutledge didn’t cost me anything but some aggressive claiming, and have bolstered an offense that misfired from the get go.

What was the worst thing? And how did you get over it? My hitting draft was awful. I hit on Jason Hayward and Buster Posey, but everyone else (Gaby Sanchez and Chris Heisey particularly) either stunk or got off to a slow start. Eventually Aramis Ramirez and Drew Stubbs came around, and I was able to add Bryce Harper and Carlos Quentin in a trade, and the team banged in August. If it keeps it up in September maybe I can get to 95-97 points.

The other issue was a trade I made in June. There wasn’t much of a power market for Juan Pierre, but I had such a lead in steals I knew I had to trade him or Emilio Bonifacio. Unfortunately Bonifacio was on the DL, so I eventually traded PIerre to Tristan Cockcroft for one of the best closers in the NL to that point, Santiago Casilla. Unbelieveably, after two and a half years of excellent relief work (I didn’t care about saves so much as clean ERA and WHIP) Casilla began crashing from the first game he was on my team. And Pierre ran and ran for Cockcroft. The difference in that deal may end up being the difference between first and second, if that’s the way we finish.


What are your chances of winning as a percentage? 30%

What percentage of your success this year was based on your draft? 30%

What percentage was based on trading? 60%

What percentage was based on waiver pickups? 10%

What was the best thing that happened to your team this year? Either Ruggiano’s breakout or being able to find tons of trade partners to retool my team for the stretch run

What was the worst thing? And how did you get over it? Injuries. Lots of injuries leading to either lots of missed time or loss of PT/role upon return (Morse, Storen, Stauffer, Helton, Hernandez etc)


What are your chances of winning as a percentage? Less than 5 percent.

What percentage of your success this year was based on your draft? 65%

What percentage was based on trading? 10%

What percentage was based on waiver pickup s? 25%

What was the best thing that happened to your team this year. A very good reserve round draft! I took Aoki, Lombardozzi, Parnell and Arredondo. While I eventually cut Arredondo, the other three made significant positive contributions. That’s among my best reserve round draft ever – I’d say best, except in one league a long time ago, I drafted some guy named Pujols in the reserve round.

What was the worst thing? And how did you get over it? Pitching injuries – my three most expensive starters coming out of the draft were Luebke, Lilly and Nicasio, all of whom wound up out for the season (although there are a few noises that Lilly may resurface briefly this month). I tried trading, but eventually gave up when I traded for Gee two days before he wound up in the hospital. For the last few weeks, I’ve been going more and more with just relief pitchers – I’d probably have gone even more in that direction, but for the league’s minimum innings requirement. So far I’ve netted 4-6 points by sacrificing wins – I was already last in strikeouts – for whip and ERA improvement.