Embracing the rebuild…Part 1

I run a 24 team dynasty league which is hosted by Proboards and Fantrax.  This league is a unique league in that we pay out ($24 league fee) for H2H and Roto champions.  We utilize a 6×6 category scoring.  On offense: AVG, OPS, R, HR, RBI, SB and on the mound: IP, QS, ERA, WHIP, K, Svs/holds.

Since inception 4 years ago, one team, San Francisco Giants, has seen numerous turnover in ownership and none of the owners have left the team in better shape than when they found it.  In fact, I have paid the league fee the past 2 seasons and allowed owners to play for free in hopes that I could find someone reliable.  Hoping against hope they would take a free year, embrace the rebuild, and become invested in the process.  This never happened.

Going into the fall of 2017, my team had won the H2H World Series and finished runner-up in roto, winning a $175.  With a booming farm system and young controllable talent such as Arenado, MadBum, Ozuna, Owings, Hosmer, and Khris Davis; I felt like a repeat was in the cards.  However, I receive as much joy from running the league as I do in competing and a league is only as strong as the weakest team.  Coming into the offseason, there were four openings, including San Francisco.  I tweeted looking for replacements and received a lot of interest but nobody wanted San Francisco.  It was a dumpster fire.  I was tired of begging and paying for people to play, so I fell on the sword, and gave up my championship squad and took over the dumpster fire in San Fran.  Below you can see the roster.

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When I took over the team, I was faced with 2 choices.  A squad featuring guys like Chris Taylor coming off a career year, Odubel Herrera under team control for multiple seasons, and Greinke and Tanaka in the rotation isn’t necessarily a bad start in a league this deep.  And it warrants mentioning that SF plays in one of the weaker divisions.  However, the expensive contracts of Greinke, Tanaka, and Miguel Cabrera making a combined $75 million of my $162m cap would lend itself to challenges regarding depth.  Also, a look at this minor league system outside of Glasnow, Stephenson, Cionel Perez, and Walker Buehler leaves little to be desired and little on the way.

Let the rebuild begin

My first roster move was to use our league’s New Owner Free Drop clause to rid myself of Miguel Cabrera and his enormous real life contract.  While not being a new owner, the league agreed to allow me to do so.

On 11/18/17, I made my first trade, trading Zack Greinke and his $24m salary for Beau Burrows, Isaac Paredes, and Kyle Muller.  Byung Ho Park’s ridiculously $33m contract over 3 years was included to offset Greinke’s salary.  Park was immediately bought out at a 50% rate.

Having cleared ~$50 million, I was still in a good position to build depth while keeping a serviceable core and kept telling myself that I could compete with this team in 2018.  I don’t know what changed my mind but I decided to put every player on the block and see what I could get in return.

Two days later, I traded Odubel Herrera for Albert Abreu and Dillon Tate.  Having covered Tate’s re-emergence in 2017 in Tampa, I felt I was able to turn a serviceable young outfielder with a low ceiling and high floor into 2 dynamite arms.

On December 1st, our Amateur draft began.  This draft includes all international free agents from the July 2 signing period, 2017 June draftees, and any other international professionals signed to MLB deals.  With the first overall pick in the draft, I selected Shoehei Ohtani.  The next day, I traded Chris Taylor for the 19th and 41st picks in the draft.  I took Nate Pearson at 19 in the first round, Seth Romero at 2.1, Jeter Downs at 2.14 (41st overall), and acquired 2.22 and 10.14 for 3.1 and my 2018 3rd.  At 2.22, I selected Daulton Varsho.

On 12/6/17, I acquired Hunter Pence and his $18.5m salary with C.J. Cron and pick 3.21 for picks 9.1 and 10.1.  At 3.21, I selected Baltimore lefty and strikeout machine, Zac Lowther.

It warrants mentioning that in the deepest of dynasty leagues, there are always guys that phone it in after the big names fly off the draft boards.  I was able to acquire the 7th pick in rounds 4-10 for Demi Orimoyle, Peter O’Brien, and $2m in 2018 cap space.  The 20th pick in rounds 6-10 plus 2 additional compensation picks at the end of rounds 6 and 10 for 2018 picks in the 4th and 5th round, the 14th pick in the 5th round for $2m, and so on and so forth, giving me about 4-5 picks each round starting at round 6.  Below are the selections for the rest of my draft:

  • 4.1 Conner Uselton, OF PIT
  • 4.7 Kevin Smith, SS TOR
  • 5.1 Drew Lugbauer, C ATL
  • 5.7 Ji-Hwan Bae, SS FA
  • 5.10 Landon Leach, RHP MIN
  • 5.14 Peter Solomon, RHP HOU
  • 5.22 Jelfrey Marte, SS TB
  • 6.1 Nick Margevicius, LHP SD
  • 6.7 Elijah Morgan, RHP CLE
  • 6.10 Trent Deveaux, OF LAA
  • 6.14 Rylan Bannon, 3B LAD
  • 6.20 Ricardo De La Torre, SS MIN
  • 6.23 Drew Strotman, RHP TB
  • 6.25 Aaron Bracho, SS CLE
  • 7.1 Adrian Hernandez, OF NYM
  • 7.7 Luis Garcia, SS PHI
  • 7.14 Jose Caballero, SS AZ
  • 7.20 Dallas Carroll, 3B MIL
  • 8.1 Parker Dunshee, RHP OAK
  • 8.7 Wildred Patino, OF AZ
  • 8.14 Nick Egnatuk, 3B MIL
  • 8.20 Zach Logue, LHP TOR
  • 8.23 Davis Schneider, 3B TOR
  • 9.7 Jose Miguel Fernandez, 2B LAA
  • 9.14 Keyber Rodriguez, SS TEX
  • 9.20 J.P. Sears, LHP SEA
  • 9.23 Brandon Sandoval, OF LAA
  • 10.7 Ernesto Martinez, 1B MIL
  • 10.14 Travis Jones, 1B KC
  • 10.20 Alan Trejo, SS COL
  • 10.23 Troy Conyers, LHP ATL
  • 10.25 Gary Schwartz, OF ATL

I know what you’re thinking.  Adding more no name minor leaguers doesn’t necessarily make a system better.  While true, I targeted athletic up-the-middle bats with projecatbility and pitchers with high K/9 rates.  Given that this league has unlimited minor league rosters, if 25% of this list turns into top 10-15 organizational prospects, then I have succeeded.

A few of the names listed above that I am really high on are Morgan, Margevicius, Strotman, and Dallas Carroll.  I can’t wait to see what Morgan does in a full season.  His K rates are ridiculous while Strotman boasts the best curveball in the Ray’s farm system.

Back to the trades

on 12/14/17, I found a suitor for Tanaka and his 4 year $99m contract, trading him with $12m in cap in 2018 and $7m per year in 19-21 for Joe Panik, Erick Fedde, Josh Morgan, and Johan Carmago.  While not spectacular, I do like Fedde’s arm and Morgan’s potential.  Carmago is a versatile piece in the infield and Panik would later be moved.

Also on that day, I turned two former top 100 prospects in Glasnow and Robert Stephenson into Franklin Perez, Myles Straw, Conner Capel, Willi Castro, Taylor Hearn, and A.J. Minter.

1/6/18 – I traded C.J Cron for Dane Dunning and a 2018 5th round pick.

One month later on Jan. 14, I sent $30m in cap space for the 2018 season to my old team for 13 prospects.  I could have asked for better prospects than the ones I received, however, I make it a mission of mine not to try to take advantage of new owners or even leave the appearance that I am doing so.  I scouted all 13 of these prospects when I drafted them last season ( I really like all of them) and I had a ton of cap space to burn.  Additionally, the new GM of my old team needed cap space as the arbitration salaries rolled in and wanted to keep a championship core together.  The 13 players I acquired were

  • Jake Rogers, C DET
  • Jose Siri, OF CIN
  • Tim Lynch, 1B NYY
  • Cristian Santa, 3B LAD
  • Jordy Barley, SS SD
  • Wes Rogers, OF COL
  • Sandy Baez, RHP DET
  • Yonny Chirinos, RHP TB
  • Seranthony Dominguez, RHP PHI
  • Tyler Bashlor, RHP NYM
  • Jose Mesa, Jr., RHP BAL
  • Carlos Ramirez, RHP TOR
  • Caleb Smith, RHP MIA

With free agency looking barren, I was able to acquire four arms that could see time on MLB mounds in 2018 in Ramirez, Smith, Mesa, and Chirinos.

The next day, Joe Panik was traded for Devin Mesoraco’s awful $13m contract.  Included in the deal my way to offset such a horrible contract were Magneuris Sierra, Luis Arraez, Marco Gonzales, Albert Suarez, and Matt Albers.

As of today, one more cap space for prospects deal was made.  I sent $10m in cap for the following

  • Joe Perez, 3B HOU
  • Marcos Brito, SS OAK
  • Yenci Pena, 3B TEX
  • Mile Gordon, OF CIN
  • Willie Abreu, OF COL

I am close to filling out a full roster with about $32 million going into free agency.  I’ll look to add buy-low candidates like Lucas Duda that can be swapped for picks during the season.  I’m up to 100 minor leaguers now and with our weekly MiLB FA pick ups starting in March, there will be more to come.  I am probably done buying prospects until I know what free agency offers as $30 million can dry up quickly.

So if you stuck with me through 1500 words and countless prospects that put the DEEP into deep sleepers, let me know how I did.  This series will continue throughout the season with updates on acquisitions.

2 thoughts on “Embracing the rebuild…Part 1

  1. Pingback: Embracing the Rebuild…Part 2: Rebuild Boogaloo – The Storm on the Horizon

  2. Pingback: Embracing the Rebuild Part 3: Rebuild with a Vengeance – The Storm on the Horizon

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