Now that the season is over, I wanted to go through my dynasty league trades throughout the 2016 season and give my analysis. I gave the analysis of my team earlier last week, but this analysis is for a very different team. This team is currently rebuilding and had by far the biggest roster turnover during the 2016 season. Austin, the owner of the team, asked me to analyze his team, so I figured I would share my analysis of his deals (there is A LOT of them). Before going into the trades, let me give you a quick overview of the rules and regulations of the league:
-16 team dynasty league founded 1.5 years ago
-Head to head categorical scoring (offensive categories include: Runs, RBIs, HRs, SBs, Slugging, OBP, Strikeouts for hitters, Total Bases.... Pitching categories include: H/IP, BB/9, Total Strikeouts, ERA, WHIP, Quality Start %, Saves, and Holds)
-Roster: 19 active on the roster (C, 1B, 2B, SS, 3B, LF, CF, RF, UTL, 5 SP, 5 RP), 12 bench players, and 21 minor league prospects
-Active salary cap (max of $20 million per player) of $168 million based on actual MLB contracts
-Annual amateur draft for the most recent MLB amateur draft during the offseason (if I mention a draft pick in a trade, that is what it is referring to)
Following a last place finish in 2015, this is the active roster this team ended the year with:
C: Blake Swihart
1B: Mark Teixeira
2B: Brett Lawrie
3B: Trevor Plouffe
SS: Ketel Marte
LF: Rusney Castillo
CF: Anthony Gose
RF: Curtis Granderson
UTL: Michael Conforto
Pitching Rotation: Patrick Corbin, Steven Matz, Danny Salazar, Masahiro Tanaka, Alex Wood
Bullpen: Trevor Gott, Jared Hughes, Addison Reed, Blake Treinen, Pat Venditte
OFF. Bench: Didi Gregorius, Domingo Santana, Jon Singleton, Erick Aybar, Oswaldo Arcia, Jonathan Villar
P Bench: Jarred Cosart, Archie Bradley, Drew Hutchison, Matt Moore, Kendall Graveman, Luis Avilan, Mike Morin, Alex Claudio, Paco Rodriguez
OFF. Prospects: Joey Gallo, Jose Peraza, Jorge Polanco, Colin Moran, Hunter Dozier, Garin Cecchini, Alex Yarbrough, Roberto Baldoquin, Tyler Alamo
P. Prospects: Julio Urias, Dylan Bundy, Sean Newcomb, Ian Clarkin, Chih-Wei Hu
Owners Perspective: “I don’t think anybody will be surprised that this team ended in last place. I went 1-9 in our inaugural season, and the one win I got I probably didn’t deserve. I clearly needed to do a lot to improve this team for the future since I had very few promising young players. For this reason, I had to make a LOT of trades this season. There were so many that I only included a little over half. Some of these trades will be hard to grade because I have already traded away everyone that I received in the trade, but I’ll try my best. I knew that I was building for the future and I made it clear to the league that nobody was off limits because I had to do my best to trade for as many quality young players as possible. Now we’ll review the trades and see if I was able to make my roster any better by building up through youth! Hope you enjoy reading, and like in Trey’s post, all trades prior to the season are in bold.”
**NOTE** All analysis by “Trey” was done without seeing the analysis by the owner in order to get rid of any potential bias. Also, this is by far the longest article written on my blog, so I apologize if it is a bit much. I wanted to make sure I analyzed all the trades my friend took the time to analyze himself.
1 - Danny Salazar and Patrick Corbin for JP Crawford and 2016 21st overall pick:
Owner's Outlook: "This was the first trade of the youth movement. I inquired about almost every top prospect around the league. I was very high on Danny Salazar, but I didn’t think he would have the great first half of the season he did. I liked Corbin as well, but I never saw him as anything more than a #3 starter and his 2016 season was truly dreadful. At the time of this trade, Crawford was the #1 prospect on many prospect lists, and I felt his OBP and low K’s would play well in this league. I’m a bit disappointed that he wasn’t able to make it to the majors this year, but I think he will still be a great fantasy player in the future. Verdict: Tie for now. If Salazar turns back into the ace he was in the 2nd half, I lose. If he keeps it up and Crawford becomes above average, I win."
Trey's Outlook: This trade is very contingent on Salazar and Corbin staying healthy, but I think Salazar is the BIG deal breaker here. I’m not a huge fan of JP Crawford, which is why I’m giving the win to the Salazar side. I think he will be a great everyday ball player, but I don’t think Crawford will be elite in the fantasy baseball world. He should get on a base at a decent clip and he will be very flashy in the field, but his lack of pop will hurt his fantasy value. If Salazar can stay healthy, I think he is a top-10 to 15 pitcher in dynasty league formats. Verdict- Lose.
2 – Masahiro Tanaka and 2016 18th overall pick for Anderson Espinoza, Jorge Mateo, & 2016 16th overall pick:
Owner's Outlook: "This trade may seem familiar and that’s because it is the only one this season I did with Trey! I loved Tanaka (and got him very late in the startup draft), but he was an “older” player and didn’t fit into my future plans. I was able to pick up Espinoza before any of the top prospect lists came out and I definitely bought way too high on Mateo as he was the key piece on this trade for me. This is one of the harder trades to evaluate because both players were later traded away (although I ended up getting Espinoza back later). Verdict: Win (for both sides). I was able to get an elite pitching prospect and a player who can win the stolen base category each week."
Trey's Outlook: Ironically, this trade was against me. Tanaka was fantastic in 2016 and he actually stayed healthy, which was huge. I think this was a win in the short-term for the Tanaka side, but Anderson Espinoza’s upside could absolutely crush this deal. I give the long-term win to the Espinoza and Mateo side. I think Espinoza could possibly be the top pitching prospect in the minor leagues in 2017. Verdict- Tanaka Side Wins Short-Term, Espinoza Side Wins Long-Term
3 – Brett Lawrie, Matt Moore, & Jon Singleton for Vince Velasquez, Stephen Piscotty, Jesse Winker, & 2016 25th overall pick:
Owner's Outlook: "I was lucky to trade away Singleton while he still had some value and people didn’t truly realize how bad he was. On top of that, Lawrie and Moore both had pretty disappointing and mediocre seasons. Nobody saw Vince Velasquez’s amazing season coming, and getting him alone was probably more than I deserved for this trio of players a year later. Piscotty and Winker were both players I had high hopes for as well. Verdict: Win. HUGE win."
Trey's Outlook: If you would have asked me prior to the season, I think I would have taken the Moore side (I’m a big, big fan of Moore IF he can figure out his control issues). After the 2016 season, I think this is an easy win for the Piscotty side. Piscotty saw a huge dip in his batting average, but that was expected after posting a .372 BABIP in 2015. He still put up a great 2016 slash line of .270/.334/.429 with 22 home runs, 86 runs, and 85 stolen bases. I think Piscotty could do big things in 2017, which will show why he is the center piece of this deal. Many people will argue the Velasquez was the center piece after his strong start to 2016, but his brutal 2nd half (5.33 ERA in 9 starts) has me wondering if I was right all along when I said I think he belongs in the bullpen (I think he has closer “stuff”). Verdict- Win.
4 – Henderson Alvarez, Garin Cecchini, Hunter Dozier, 2016 9th overall pick, 2016 16th overall pick, 2016 25th overall pick, 2016 32nd overall pick, for Austin Meadows, Starlin Castro, 2016 5th overall pick, 2016 36th overall pick, 2018 3rd round pick:
Owner's Outlook: "I know I know, this one is hard to wrap your heads around. Alvarez, Cecchini, and Dozier were all players that I was beginning to lose faith in, so I was glad to be able to get some value for them. I traded away the #9, 16, 25, and 32 overall picks which showed the amount of draft picks I had acquired. This trade is included because it netted me Austin Meadows and the #5 pick. That draft pick turned into Alex Bregman (I still don’t know how he got to 5). A year later this was an absolute steal in my eyes as I traded away those 4 picks for Austin Meadows and Alex Bregman. Believe it or not this deal was originally around just Starlin Castro, but it expanded from there and I am glad it did. Verdict: Win."
Trey's Outlook: Holy draft picks. This one is pretty hard to comprehend. This deal can pretty much go either way depending on the needs of each team (quantity or quality). Hunter Dozier had a breakout year this season, but after many rough years in the minors, you have to be worried this could have been a fluke (I don’t think it is for what it’s worth). Castro and Meadows have the most talent in this deal, but I worry about how relevant Meadows will be in a fantasy league. His defense is great, but I don’t think he will be anything more than a #3 or #4 outfielder in most fantasy leagues based on his offensive skillset. The real truth about this trade will come during the draft since there were so many picks swapped. I’m not a huge fan of the quality of players at the top of the draft, but if a team does their research, I think there is an abundance of talent that could be stolen in the middle or late first/second rounds. Verdict- Win.
5 – Kenta Maeda, Domingo Santana, Colin Moran, 2016 20th overall pick, 2018 2nd rounder for Nick Williams, Brent Honeywell, Kodi Medeiros, & 2016 34th overall pick:
Owner Outlook: "I need to preface this trade by saying that I used my #1 waiver position to get Kenta Maeda only a few days before this deal. I traded the #30 overall pick for the #1 waiver position, so I used the reasoning that I got Maeda for the #30 pick as a reason to sell very low on a bad deal. This trade is one I would not have done if I had given up a lot to acquire Maeda, but given what I gave up, this turned into Nick Williams and Brent Honeywell for Domingo Santana and Colin Moran, which is clearly a steal of a return. Looking back at this trade, I really wish I had demanded more for Maeda even though I acquired him for practically nothing. Verdict: Lose. In the long run I still feel I 100% win this trade (given the cost of Maeda for me to acquire and my rebuild) but given how much I should have gotten for him, it feels like a definite loss."
Trey's Outlook: Kenta Maeda proved he was the real deal this season. After putting up a 16-11 record, 3.48 ERA, and 179 strikeouts in 175.5 innings pitched, I think he could truly be a 2/3 starter on most fantasy teams. On the other side, I’m a big Brent Honeywell fan. His repertoire of pitches could be very dangerous at the big league level, but it’s a matter of getting there of course. I still have faith Domingo Santana can be a #2 OF in dynasty leagues, which is why I give him the slight advantage over Nick Williams. Kodi Medeiros still can’t throw strikes and I’m pretty positive his future is not looking pretty. With that said, here is how I value the deal: Maeda, 2nd round pick, and 20th overall pick>>>Honeywell and 34th overall pick, Santana>Williams, Moran=Medeiros. Verdict- Lose.
6 – Joey Gallo, Stephen Piscotty, Jonathan Villar, Starlin Castro, Trevor Plouffe, & Wei-Yin Chen for Daniel Norris, Henry Owens, Josh Hader, Matt Olson, & 2016 10th overall pick:
Owner's Outlook: "This was simply the case of me wanting to get rid of the risk that Joey Gallo brought to the table. I loved his power potential, but the strikeouts and average really scared me. Trading Piscotty as well is something that I regretted after the trade. I really thought he was going to be a big part of my team moving forward, but as I mentioned earlier, nobody was off limits. I was fine with trading away Castro, Plouffe, and Chen. Even though I had just traded for Castro, he was someone who I was hoping would have a bounce back season, and I would be able to sell high after buying low. I was able to acquire a trio of pitching prospects in return. I believed that Norris would soon be the Tigers ace and I bought in to the potential of Henry Owens. Hader had a much better season than I expected in the minors and Olson was a huge disappointment. The biggest blow in this one was how good of a season Villar had. I drafted him and had held onto him for so long, and he was just a toss-in in this trade. Verdict: Lose if Villar keeps it up and Gallo pans out. Win if the prospects I got all panned out."
Trey's Outlook: This might be the easiest one to decide out of all of these deals. Put it this way, Gallo has 80 power and immense upside if he ever gets a chance, I’ve already said how much I like Piscotty, and Villar had a MONSTER 2016 season. Regarding Villar, I’m still shocked at the numbers he put up. For those of you who don’t know, he hit .285, with 19 home runs, 62 stolen bases (I repeat, 62 stolen bases), 92 runs, 63 RBIs, .369 OBP, and a .457 slugging percentage. Villar went from a free agent pick up in many leagues to a potential 2nd or 3rd round pick in 2017 drafts. I don’t think anyone could have predicted this season for Villar, but I’m excited to see what he does in 2017. On the other side, Josh Hader had a great year and has the upside of a 2/3 starting pitcher in the future. This trade isn’t even close for me though. Verdict- Lose.
7 – Vince Velasquez and Archie Bradley for Carson Fulmer:
Owner's Outlook: "This one happened during the draft and was me buying into the Carson Fulmer hype and trading up for him. I knew at the time that I was giving up too much, but I really believed in Fulmer. Archie Bradley was terrible again this season, so I don’t regret trading him. Boy did I mess up in trading Velasquez though. One of the downsides to constantly trading players to try and get better is that I am bound to trade a few studs for duds. I can take solace in the fact that none of these trades were just trading for the sake of trading, and were always to make my team better for the future. Unfortunately, this one was definitely a bad one. Verdict: Lose."
Trey's Outlook: Carson Fulmer certainly disappointed a lot of folks this season. After struggling between Double-A and Triple-A, Fulmer was called up to the big leagues and continued to struggle even more. He finished the year with an 8.49 ERA in 8 MLB appearances. He does have great upside, but I think Fulmer is destined for the bullpen and needs to make some adjustments after his brutal 2016 season. I’ve already discussed Velasquez in this article, but I do think he has decent value. Bradley was once considered the top pitching prospect in the minors by many, but he has really battled injuries his whole career. He struggled in 2016, but he still has value as he is only 24 years old. Every person in this trade struggled at one time or another, but Velasquez at least showed some promise and success during the first half. This trade isn’t very close for me. Verdict- Lose.
8 – Julio Urias, Sean Newcomb, Ketel Marte, Ian Clarkin, Cameron Varga, Jorge Polanco, Bubba Starling, Ryne Stanek, Jhailyn Ortiz, 2016 11th overall pick, 2018 1st round pick, 2018 3rd round pick for Corey Seager, Dominic Smith, Forrest Wall, 2016 16th overall pick.
Owner's Outlook: "This is the big one! Corey Seager! It took months to complete and in the end, I had to take the chance on getting the elite young bat. Let me break it down a little bit with what I thought at the time. I took it as Urias, Newcomb, 11th overall pick for Seager. This was a lot to pay at the time, but I wanted the elite SS prospect and was willing to pay up. Ketel Marte and the 11th overall pick for Dominic Smith and Forrest Wall. Jorge Polanco for the 16th overall pick. This is how I thought it through in my head. At the time I was told that I was crazy for trading away so much talent, but I knew that it would be worth it with how good Seager looked. Urias has looked great but Newcomb, Marte, and Polanco have all struggled which made this much easier to take. If you all thought that my “No player is off limits rules” would change, you will be disappointed. Seager didn’t stay with the team long and was traded again (which will be listed a few trades below). Verdict: Win. If Newcomb becomes an ace then this probably turns into a lose but Seager is so good that at this point, a year later, I think that he would command a much higher price than this."
Trey's Outlook: This one had the entire league going crazy. I’ll be honest, Corey Seager, Dominic Smith, Forrest Wall, and Julio Urias are the only people of interest for me in this deal, and everything else is just quantity. Many people will think I’m crazy for not including Newcomb, but I think he is destined for the bullpen based on his walk rate. Then again, his ceiling puts him as a #2 starter, so I could be very, very wrong if he puts it together. I love Urias and I think he is a future ace, but it’s impossible to ignore the reason for this trade, Corey Freaking Seager. This man has one of the brightest futures out of any player in Major League Baseball. At only 22 years old, Seager hit .308, with 26 home runs, 72 RBIs, 105 runs, .365 OBP, and a .512 slugging percentage. If the Dodgers decide to bat him 3rd or 4th in the lineup in 2017, it would not surprise me to see Seager put up 30 home runs and a 100+ RBI season. Clearly I love Seager, but let me give some credit to the other side as well. They got some great “quantity” pieces. For a rebuilding team, I understand trading Seager for this kind of return. If you are trying to build a rotation for the future, Julio Urias is a great place to start with and Newcomb could be a gem if he figures out his game. Clarkin has also interested me quite a bit. The other side also got a ton of value in draft picks to pick up future talent. Overall I’m going to give this deal to the Seager side, but the quantity could work out. Verdict- Win.
9 – Jorge Mateo, Josh Hader, James Kaprielian, 2018 2nd round pick for Julio Teheran:
Owner's Outlook: "I really wanted Teheran because I believed that he would be an ace, even when nobody else in the league did. He proved me right during the year, putting up extremely good numbers while most in the league still talked about how bad he was, despite the numbers proving otherwise. I paid a lot to get him as I got caught up in this trade and all three of the players I traded have, in my eyes, decreased in value from the time I made the trade to now. Also, unsurprisingly, I traded Teheran at the deadline to a contender in need of a high-end arm. Verdict: Lose. I think I got the better end of this deal a year later, but at the time I think I paid way too much when my plan was to trade for as many young players and prospects as possible and not packaging them for a player. Outside of this reasoning I think it was a win, but similar to the logic for Maeda I view it as a loss."
Trey's Outlook: For those of you who don’t know me, I’m not a big Teheran fan (Sorry Austin, I know we disagree on this a lot). To me, Teheran’s peripherals scream a #3 starter at best (in fantasy baseball). Many people will disagree with me, but I’m going to stick to my opinion on this one. Teheran’s FIP suggests his ERA is lower than it should, he doesn’t put up “ace-like” strikeout numbers, and his fastball velocity continues to drop year after year. As for the other side, I LOVE the return. Mateo has the wheels to be dangerous in fantasy, but will his bat get him on base? Hader had a monster year, but is he anything more than a 3 or 4 starter? I’m not quite sold on Mateo, but I do think Hader could be a relevant 2 or 3 starter in fantasy. I think the true steal here is James Kaprielian. This man has electric stuff and he is proving it in the AZL right now. The reports look great and if he can stay healthy, I think we could have a legit #2 on our hands. While it does stink he is playing half his games at Yankee Stadium and against the AL East, I still think he will be very effective. Verdict- Lose.
10 – Brent Honeywell, Forrest Wall, Dominic Smith, Kendall Graveman, & Ruben Tejada for Nick Castellanos, Michael Fulmer, Matt Wisler, Albert Almora, Brandon Finnegan.
Owner's Outlook: "Wait. Did this guy just get Castellanos and Fulmer in the same trade! Yes, I did. Now you must be wondering if I managed to screw it up by trading one away before they went off during the season. Yes, I did! I’ll keep up the suspense by not saying which one I traded away later! I was a big fan of the 3 prospects I traded away, but I saw a great opportunity to buy some players who I thought would all have good futures. At the time I saw it as Honeywell for Finnegan, Smith for Fulmer, Wall for Wisler, Graveman for Almora, and Tejada for Castellanos. That’s right, I essentially got Castellanos and Fulmer for only Dominic Smith and…Ruben Tejada?! Verdict: Win."
Trey's Outlook: This is a no doubter…. I’m not even going to try and argue the other side. Give me the Castellanos and Fulmer side all day long. Verdict- Win.
11 – Rusney Castillo and Tyler Jay for Eduardo Rodriguez
Owner's Outlook: "I made a small trade for Tyler Jay just to finish this deal and I am glad that I did. At the time Rusney Castillo was on the Red Sox roster and wasn’t in the terrible situation he is now. I was able to get E-Rod for a price that seemed low to me and I pounced. He had a very disappointing beginning to the season that made me question this trade, but he was able to pick it up in the second half. Verdict: Win."
Trey's Outlook: Rusney Castillo has been nothing but a bust so far. Considering he has so much salary in our league, this was huge just to get rid of him. Tyler Jay showed some flashes this year, but I think his true value will be in the bullpen one day. After his dominance out of the pen in college, I think he could be a dominant closer. E-Rod struggled to stay healthy and pitch well this year, but he still has the talent and upside to be fantasy-relevant. If E-Rod can put it together, I think he could be a very reliable #3 in fantasy baseball. Verdict- Win.
12 – Michael Fulmer and Nick Williams for Shelby Miller
Owner's Outlook: "I’d like for everybody to please stand for a moment of silence. Thank you. Similar to Trey, I traded Fulmer before he became the better Fulmer. At the time he was still in Carson’s shadow. Still, how foolish of me. At the time I thought I was buying low on Shelby since I viewed him as an ace who was having a bad season. Call me crazy but I think he’ll turn it around still. Maybe not into the ace I thought he would be but to a very serviceable pitcher. He had a good string of starts at the end of the season in the minors and majors. Hopefully he has tough skin and can shake off his tough performance in 2016 and succeed in 2017. He needs to listen to some Taylor Swift for that to happen. Verdict: Lose."
Trey's Outlook: This trade backfired very badly for the side getting Shelby Miller. I predicted Miller was going to have a rough year and regress, but I would have never guessed this bad of a regression. I’m also very shocked at how well Fulmer pitched in 2016. I do think Fulmer will pitch more like he did in the 2nd half (3.94 ERA in 82.1 innings pitched). In fact, I’d be trying to deal Fulmer after he wins the AL Rookie of the Year (I’m assuming he will) because I don’t expect him to repeat his first half 2016 success in 2017. Overall, this trade doesn’t have much to discuss except for the fact that the side the traded for Miller is deeply regretting this deal. Verdict- Lose.
13 – Corey Seager and 2018 3rd round pick for Christian Yelich, Dansby Swanson, Billy Hamilton, & Jed Lowrie:
Owner's Outlook: "I know what you’re thinking. This guy must just be trading every time somebody is interested in a player and trades just for the sake of trading. I promise you it isn’t true, even though at this point it probably seems like it. Every one of these trades in my eyes made my team better for the future, and as you may remember, my 2015 team was downright terrible. We were the Cleveland Browns and Philadelphia 76ers of the league. Now to the trade, and sorry for my digression! I didn’t think I would ever trade away Seager, especially not only 4 months after acquiring him in that huge deal. At the end of the day this came down to how I viewed the players I was getting. I knew Seager would be great, but I wondered if he alone would be worth more than these 3 key players (Lowrie was obviously very minor here). I decided that Yelich, Swanson, and Hamilton would be worth more to my team than Seager, and trust me it was a hard decision. I was glad to to see Swanson play at the end of the season and he looks like the real deal. Verdict: Win. Seager is Seager, but the trio that came in return all look to be very good. Even if Seager wins multiple MVP’s I’m comfortable with this."
Trey's Outlook: I love this trade on so many levels. So many talented players involved and a very tough one to decide a winner on. I’ve talked about how much I love Seager already, but my love for Yelich is right up there as well. This kid’s approach at the plate is special and I think he has the potential to be a top-10 outfielder. He hit .298 this year, with 21 home runs, 98 RBIs, 78 runs, nine stolen bases, .376 OBP, and a .483 slugging percentage. His huge increase in power was not expected, but an absolutely great surprise. Billy Hamilton was also a steal in this deal (pun intended). His approach was much better in 2016 and that led to even more success on the base paths (when he was healthy). Hamilton single handedly wins his team the stolen base category weekly, which is obviously a huge advantage. I’m not as big of a fan of Dansby Swanson, but I think I’m in the minority on this one. He did surprise me with his success in his first 38 games this season, so my love for Swanson is slowly rising. I thought he would be a better MLB player than a fantasy player, but only time will tell. Regardless of what his production is, I think Yelich and Hamilton could provide more overall value than Seager, but Swanson is the cherry on top. Verdict- Win.
14 – Michael Conforto, Henry Owens, & Alex Wood for Yasiel Puig, Dillon Tate, Josh Hader, Forrest Wall, & Ian Clarkin:
Owner's Outlook: "This trade was me trading high on Conforto to a Mets fan. This was probably about a week (if even that) before Conforto stopped his hot streak and went cold. I was happy with the return and also was able to buy low on Puig while also getting three top 100 prospects. Dillon Tate is somebody I really wanted because he is from my city (Claremont, CA). Verdict: Win."
Trey's Outlook: Michael Conforto was red hot at the beginning of the season, but he quickly cooled off and earned himself a plane ticket to the minor leagues. Henry Owens was once a highly touted prospect, but that has come to an end. Alex Wood still has good stuff, but he doesn’t look like anything special. With that said, I’m a huge fan of the other side. We all know about Puig’s drama, but the man still has talent. He was a great buy low option, but it didn’t come at a crazy high price. Dillon Tate was also a nice buy low option. He struggled all season and a dip in velocity had people worried, which eventually earned him a trade to the New York Yankees. He is now throwing in the AZL and I’m hearing that his velocity is back up and he is looking very improved. I’ve already expressed my love for Josh Hader and Ian Clarkin, but I’m also a huge fan of Forrest Wall. Shoot, how can you not be a fan of any hitter who could potentially hit at Coors Field? Verdict- Win.
15 – Carson Fulmer, Jesse Winker, & Forrest Wall for Marcus Stroman, Mallex Smith, and Spencer Adams:
Owner's Outlook: "I decided to buy on Stroman while he was struggling in hopes that he would turn it around. Little did I know that I was buying the wrong Blue Jays pitcher and that Aaron Sanchez would be the stud this year. Luckily I didn’t need Stroman to be a stud this year and I think he has plenty of great years in front of him. On top of this I was able to pick up a great source of OBP, runs, and stolen bases in Mallex Smith. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him become a more viable fantasy option than Billy Hamilton. Adams was essentially added in the trade with Wall as I thought I needed another pitching prospect and I had completely lost faith in Wall. Verdict: Win."
Trey's Outlook: Very interesting trade. This deal really all hinges on whether or not you think Stroman has #2 starter potential. He looked great in 2014 and 2015 after returning from an unfortunate knee injury, but he struggled a good bit in 2016. With that said, he did throw over 200 innings, which is great for a 25-year-old. His strikeout rate bothers me from a fantasy perspective (7.3 K’s per 9 in his career), but he still provides great depth. Mallex Smith has some great upside as well, but I don’t see him and Spencer Adams as anything more than bench depth in the long run. I’ve discussed my worries about Fulmer, I love Wall, and Winker has some potential at the plate. Overall, I think this is a fair deal, but I’m going to give the nod to Marcus Stroman since he has proven he can be a reliable asset. Verdict- Win.
16 – Josh Hader and Dylan Bundy for 2017 1st round pick and 2017 2nd round pick:
Owner's Outlook: "This is a trade that I only did so that I could complete the next trade on this list, but I felt I had to include it. Ask anybody in my league and they will tell you that I absolutely love Dylan Bundy. It pained me to deal him and I couldn’t believe that I did. I felt that I was selling absurdly low on both of these guys, but the trade that is next was worth it to me. Verdict: In a vacuum, clearly I lose. Given the next trade it becomes much more fair in my eyes."
Trey's Outlook: There really isn’t much to say about this trade. I really like Hader and Bundy showed some promise this season after all of his struggles with injuries, but depending on the owner, those 2017 picks could be very, very valuable. With that said, I’m going to give this trade a tie since it’s hard to say what those picks will turn into. Verdict- Tie
17: Chris Tillman, 2017 1st round pick, 2017 2nd round pick, 2017 2nd round pick for Victor Robles, Reese McGuire, & Antonio Senzatela:
Owner's Outlook: "I sold high on Tillman here as I didn’t believe that he could keep up his hot start to the season. I was correct and he regressed, but even if he didn’t, I liked the trade at the time. I looked at it as two 2nd round picks for McGuire and Senzatela which I would have gladly done at the time. I then saw myself trading Tillman and a 1st round pick for Victor Robles. This was before the midseason prospect lists came out, so the first rounder for Robles seemed like a bit of an overpay at the time. Once the midseason prospect lists came out, I was very pleased to see Robles near the top of almost every person’s lists. He’s a top 20 prospect in my eyes and I think I got a great deal here. Verdict: Win."
Trey's Outlook: Dang this is a hard one. Those picks look awfully attractive and Tillman still provides decent value (outside of his salary). I’m a huge fan of Victor Robles and I think he could turn into a top-25 fantasy option at his prime. Reese McGuire also showed some promise this season, but his lack of pop concerns me. I’m also a fan of Senzatela, but I’m very cautious to like any pitcher who pitches for the Colorado Rockies. He does have great stuff and the potential to put up some big strikeout numbers, but Coors Field always puts a damper on things. This deal is incredibly close to a tie in my opinion, but I’m going to have to go with the elite potential of Victor Robles. Verdict- Win.
18 – Nick Castellanos, Yasiel Puig, Tyler Skaggs, 2017 3rd round pick, 2018 3rd round pick for Clint Frazier, Tyler Glasnow, 2017 1st round pick, 2017 2nd round pick:
Owner's Outlook: "I wasn’t sure if Castellanos would keep up his amazing start to the season, so I decided to shop him around since I wasn’t finished with building talent in my rebuild. I wanted to get rid of Puig as well and the first and second round pick I received was for him and Skaggs. At the time the pick was in line to be the #3 overall in the draft, but it ended up being the 6th overall pick. This deal was all about me turning Castellanos into Frazier and Glasnow. I was comfortable trading away Castellanos since I knew I had Alex Bregman coming up and that he was most likely to play 3B. Getting Glasnow was great as I see him being a future ace once he gets his control fixed. Verdict: Win unless Glasnow and Frazier falter and Puig returns to his rookie form."
Trey's Outlook: I’m a huge fan of the Glasnow side of this deal. If I remember correctly, this deal was made when Castellanos was red hot and the owner truly sold high I think. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan of Castellanos, but this just looks like a great return. Glasnow has front of the rotation stuff, which is hard to come by, but his control issues do concern me a bit. He is still young and I think he will figure it out, which is scary. I saw Frazier play this year and he looked scary good. He has put on a ton of muscle and I think he could be a serious home run threat at Yankee Stadium over the next few years. You then throw a 1st and 2nd round pick on top of this deal, easy win if you ask me. Verdict- Win.
19 – Brandon Finnegan, Daniel Norris, Anderson Espinoza, Dillon Tate, & 2017 1st round pick (the one acquired in trade 18) for Gerrit Cole, Daz Cameron, Jake Bauers, 2018 first round pick, 2018 first round pick:
Owner's Outlook: "This trade originated with the owner telling me he would offer me three 2018 first round picks for the 2017 first rounder I had just acquired. The owner already had the guaranteed top 2 picks and wanted to lock up the top 3. I jumped at the possibility and it should be noted in this deal that it is more like two separate deals. He ended up not acquiring the third first rounder he would have traded me and instead offered Cameron and Bauers. I accepted this, but before we put the deal through on Fantrax, we got to talking about Cole. This turned into me traded Finegan, Norris, Espinoza, and Tate for Cole. I was hesitant to give up 4 very good prospects, but I still had a lot of pitching depth, and I was willing to give it up for an ace. If you’re catching how my trading has gone so far, you can probably figure out that Cole didn’t end the season on our team. Verdict: Win on the draft pick trading. Lose on the Cole part if two of the prospects turn into aces."
Trey's Outlook: Another easy win here folks. I love Anderson Espinoza just as much as the next guy, but when you pick up Gerrit Cole and more talent, you know you did something right. I do like quite a few assets on the other side, but the two first round picks along with three great players was a great haul. Daz Cameron had a very disappointing year, but I think he can turn it around in 2017. I’m very high on Jake Bauers. This guy looks like he could be the real deal and I think he could be a big time breakout guy in 2017. Overall, this trade wasn’t close for me. Verdict- Win.
20 – Julio Teheran for Lewis Brinson, Rowdy Tellez, and Harold Ramirez:
Owner's Outlook: "This one was hard for me to pull the trigger on because of how much I had paid for Teheran and how much I liked him. At the end of the day, I viewed it as Brinson > Mateo, Tellez >= Hader, and Ramirez = Kaprielian and a 2nd rounder. I was really, really high on Brinson and Tellez, and I think that Brinson has absurd potential. I was thrilled to get him and after his trade to the Brewers I think we see that the numbers he put up in their system better reflect his talent. I also think this was selling high on Teheran. I believe he will keep up great numbers, but his numbers really couldn’t have possibly gotten any better than when I traded him. Verdict: Win if Brinson reaches his full potential."
Trey's Outlook: Interesting, very interesting. I already talked about how I thought Teheran was overrated in this article, but I also find the top prospect on the other side to be overrated. Many people got upset with me when Brinson wasn’t at the top of my prospect lists, but I just wasn’t sold on this outfielder. As for the other prospects involved, I’m a big fan of Rowdy Tellez. I think his hit tool could play very well in the big leagues. I’m also a fan of Ramirez, but I’m not sure he will be anything more than depth at the big league level. Verdict- Win.
21 – Justin Turner and 2017 2nd round pick for Jeff Hoffman and 2017 1st round pick:
Owner's Outlook: "Justin Turner clearly had no future on my team as I won’t be winning in the near future. He was also insanely hot and I sold him during that hot streak to a contender. I was thrilled to get Jeff Hoffman and even happier to include a 2nd rounder to get a pick in the first round. The first rounder I got ended up being #7. Oh, and want to know what makes this trade even better? I picked up Justin Turner off of waivers two months before this trade when another team dropped him after his slow start. This is one of the trades I am happiest with as I turned literally a waiver pick and a 2nd round pick into Hoffman and the #7 overall pick. Verdict- Win."
Trey's Outlook: The Justin Turner owner was trying to flip him all year long when his value was high, so he jumped all over this trade when it was offered. I do think Turner is one of the most underrated players in baseball, so I do lean to his side. Hoffman is a great pitcher, but he turns into a very average pitcher since he pitches at Coors Field. This 1st round pick is nice, but he had to give up a 2nd round pick to get it. Based on the owner’s roster, I completely understand why he sold Turner, but I’m not thrilled about the value he received in return (for some reason, no one showed much interest. I tried to go after Turner, but I wasn’t willing to pay barely anything since I was pretty set at third base). Overall, I’m going to stick with the Turner side of the deal even though I get both sides of the trade. Verdict- Lose.
22 – Clint Frazier, Jake Bauers, Ronald Guzman, Travis Demeritte, Antonio Senzatela, Harold Ramirez, & 2018 3rd round pick for Anderson Espinoza, Brady Aiken, Mark Appel, 2017 1st round pick, 2017 1st round pick.
Owner's Outlook: "This trade was based around the guy really wanting Frazier. I was able to turn Frazier into Espinoza and a first round pick. I then was able to add on the other 5 prospects to get another first, Aiken, and Appel. I don’t have much faith in Appel, but I figured I might as well take the chance on him. I wanted to improve my pitching depth and I feel great about getting Espinoza back and getting Aiken. I think Aiken will become a front of the rotation pitcher and will shoot up prospect boards soon. Verdict: Win."
Trey's Outlook:This deal isn’t close for me. Anderson Espinoza side wins by a mile. I’m actually kind of shocked I don’t remember this deal. I love Aiken, I always have. I think he is primed for a big 2017 season. I already discussed my love for Espinoza earlier in this article. Appel makes me shed a few tears every time I see his name since I’m an Astros fan. We will leave that one there. Then you get two first round picks as well? Easy pick for me. Verdict- Win.
23 – Billy Hamilton for Gleyber Torres, Rhys Hoskins, and Isan Diaz:
Owner's Outlook: "Oh man do I love selling to contenders. Billy is not only an obvious source of steals, but at this point in time, he was also hot and reaching base at an unsustainably high rate. I was able to turn him into a high end SS in Torres, a potential 40 homer 1B in Hoskins, and an underrated infielder in Diaz. I think Hoskins (along with his teammate Dylan Cozens) are this year’s AJ Reed. This trade also was made because I knew that Billy was never going to be my long term CF. I have Austin Meadows, Lewis Brinson, and Victor Robles as CF prospects. This also makes my Seager trade look better in my eyes, as I now traded Seager for Yelich, Swanson, Torres, Hoskins, and Diaz. Verdict: Win."
Trey's Outlook: Another interesting deal. I love what Hamilton showed this season and he is a very dangerous threat in fantasy. I wasn’t sold on Torres, but after his massive showing at the AZL so far, I’m sold. This man has the potential to be an absolute super star and he is playing in a hitter friendly stadium. Isan Diaz looks like he could also be the real deal as well. Many people are very high on this Brewers prospect, including multiple Brewers players I’ve talked to. Rhys Hoskins mashes the baseball, that is all. I like all sides to this trade, but the prospects have me salivating a little bit. Verdict- Win.
24 – Addison Reed, Rajai Davis, Matt Andriese, 2017 3rd for Brandon Nimmo and 2017 2nd rounder:
Owner's Outlook: "I had been shopping Reed around for about a month, since he was one of the best relievers in our format this season. I figured the time to sell was now, but I do believe that I could have gotten a better return. The only thing was that nobody was offering it. I do think that Reed has long term potential, but I have decided that I am probably never going to be a person that has elite closers since holds is a category. My plan is to punt saves and simply go for holds. Even with this mediocre team (15th place) I was 2nd in the league in holds. For the offers coming in, I was happy to move Reed, Davis, and Andriese for a potential .300+ hitting OF. Verdict: Lose in the short run and in the long run if Nimmo doesn’t develop."
Trey's Outlook: This trade just doesn’t do it for me on either side honestly. I don’t think any player involved is very fantasy relevant, but I’ll give the win to the side that got the 2nd round pick. Verdict- Win.
25 – Gerrit Cole for Lucas Giolito, Trea Turner, Franklyn Kilome, & 2017 3rd rounder:
Owner's Outlook: "This was my final trade of the year! I didn’t expect to use 25 trades (especially since Trey only wrote about 16), but all of these trades were major and I couldn’t find one to leave out. I thought that I was done dealing, but at the deadline (literally at the deadline, the trade went through with about 3 minutes to spare), I ended up dealing Cole for what I viewed as an absolute ransom. Trea Turner rewarded me early by going on an absolute tear right after I traded for him. Giolito on the other hand made me worry a bit as he was pretty mediocre in his starts this year. I’m not worrying too much though with his big time potential. Kilome could be a top 50 prospect in two years and I think could put this trade way over the top. Verdict: Win."
Trey's Outlook: From what I can remember, this trade was the last blockbuster deal of the season. The team trading for Cole drastically needed pitching to make a playoff run. I do think Cole is slightly overrated in fantasy, but I understand why he went after him. I think the team that go Giolito and Turner is going to be very, very happy for a very, very, very long time. Giolito had some struggles this season, but he still has ace-like stuff. Even if he doesn’t pan out, Trea Turner is the real deal. Turner should have been an everyday starter for the Nationals all year long, but he only receive 307 at bats in 2016. During those at bats, he hit .342, with 13 home runs, 40 RBIs, 53 runs, 33 stolen bases, .370 OBP, and a .567 slugging percentage. Those are some Mookie Betts-type numbers right there. I’m not sure I quite buy the power he put up, but if he can put up 15-20 home runs in a season, he will consistently be a top-20 player in all fantasy leagues because of his almost certain stolen base and run scoring potential. Turner will have multi-positional eligibility in 2017 and will be a huge asset in every fantasy baseball format (outside of AL only leagues of course). This trade is a steal for the Turner side ladies and gentleman. Verdict- Win.
Below you can find the final roster comparison from 2015 to 2016:
2015 Final Roster
2016 Final Roster
C- Blake Swihart
C- John Jaso
1B- Mark Teixeira
1B- Pedro Alvarez
2B- Brett Lawrie
2B- Trea Turner
3B- Trevor Plouffe
3B- Alex Bregman
SS- Ketel Marte
SS- Dansby Swanson
LF- Rusney Castillo
LF- Jose Ramirez
CF- Anthony Gose
CF- Christian Yelich
RF- Curtis Granderson
RF- Domingo Santana
UTL- Michael Conforto
UTL- Melky Cabrera
SP- Patrick Corbin, Steven Matz, Danny Salazar, Masahiro Tanaka, Alex Wood
SP- Marcus Stroman, Eduardo Rodriguez, Steven Matz, Shelby Miller, Matt Wisler
RP- Trevor Gott, Jared Hughes, Addison Reed, Blake Treinen, Pat Venditte
RP- Mauricio Cabrera, Cam Bedrosian, Derek Law, Alex Claudio, Nick Wittgren
OFF. Bench- Didi Gregorius, Domingo Santana, Jon Singleton, Erick Aybar, Oswaldo Arcia, Jonathan Villar
OFF. Bench- Blake Swihart, Jed Lawrie, Mallex Smith, Brandon Nimmo
P. Bench- Jarred Cosart, Archie Bradley, Drew Hutchison, Matt Moore, Kendall Graveman, Luis Avilan, Mike Morin, Alex Claudio, Paco Rodriguez
P. Bench- Steven Brault, Chad Kuhl, Jared Cosart, Drew Hutchinson, Cesar Vargas, Manny Banuelos, Paco Rodriguez, Trevor Gott, Nick Vincent, Rob Zastryzny, Aaron Barrett, Glen Perkins
OFF. Prospects- Joey Gallo, Jose Peraza, Jorge Polanco, Colin Moran, Hunter Dozier, Garin Cecchini, Alex Yarbrough, Roberto Baldoquin, Tyler Alamo
OFF. Prospects- Victor Robles, Austin Meadows, Lewis Brinson, JP Crawford, Gleyber Torres, Richard Urena, Daz Cameron, Matt Olson, Reese McGuire, Rhys Hoskins, Rowdy Tellez, Christian Arroyo, Harrison Bader, Luis Urias, Max Schrock, Isan Diaz, Jahmai Jones
P. Prospects- Julio Urias, Dylan Bundy, Sean Newcomb, Ian Clarkin, Chih-Wei Hu
P. Prospects- Tyler Glasnow, Lucas Giolito, Anderson Espinoza, Brady Aiken, Jeff Hoffman, Robert Gsellman, German Marquez, Rob Whalen, Joe Jimenez, Mark Appel, Walker Buehler, Riley Ferrell, Chih-Wei Hu, Chris Ellis, Nick Kingham
Owner Final Thoughts: “This change in roster is amazing. The major league roster has way more talent (The Turner, Bregman, Swanson infield has me salivating) and the amount of prospects I have has gone from Urias, Gallo, Newcomb and others to a multitude of elite prospects. I’m clearly nowhere near Trey’s team yet as far as competing goes, but I’m happy with how much talent has been added in the past year. Now that I’ve build up this depth of prospects there probably won’t be much trading of star players in my future. Again, thank you for reading!”
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