I have decided to take this fantasy baseball article to a whole new level. Instead of talking about the "who's hot" and "who's not" in baseball today, like most fantasy articles tend to go for, why not explore some actual trades in the fantasy world. Personally, I think the trading and acquiring of players off waivers is one of the most exciting parts of fantasy sports (other than the draft and the whole "winning" part of it). Those aspects of fantasy sports are what make a fan feel like he's actually a manager/owner of a team. Therefore it appeals to me the most.
Let me use the league I am in on ESPN.com for a sample. Yes, that's right, I use ESPN.com for my fantasy sports (other than the leagues I am in with AGM on Yahoo.com). I personally enjoy ESPN.com much better than Yahoo. It is more user friendly, in my opinion. Not only that, but the friends I compete against like ESPN's much better, as well. If you don't like it, turn right on around and go home. I don't want any complaints in the comment section.
Throughout the three months of the 2009 Major League Baseball season I have proposed, accepted, and declined several potential trades from opponents and I would like to take this time to look back at them and attempt to "analyze" them a little bit. I have realized that a few of them were pretty dumb on my part, but it was for the good of the team... and some were just for the heck of it! Currently I am in third place in my division and sixth overall (out of ten teams). My record--which goes by overall categories won, lost and tied, not head-to-head matchups won--stands at 58-54-8. Yeah, I know, pretty ugly, huh?? That's why I just completed the huge blockbuster trade which was accepted today, I am looking for a strong comeback.
Here we go...
Saturday March 14th, 2009
HECK (me) trades Akinori Iwamura to CYCS for Brian Fuentes
Ah yes, my first completed trade of the season. We were still almost a month away 'til we were underway, but since we had just completed the draft, I was sooo in the mood for a little trade talk. The infielders I had drafted weren't exactly the best out there, so I mistakenly decided to take a top guy from my already-weakened bullpen and deal him in exchange for a solid middle infielder. If I had known Fuentes would've been the ML saves leader (22) at this point in the season, I never would've even thought about moving him. Because of my stupidity, I give myself a trade grade of about 1.5 (out of ten). Inexcusable!
Tuesday March 17th, 2009
HECK trades Justin Morneau and Freddy Sanchez to TbK for Derek Jeter
It took a lot of guts for me to trade Morneau, but I did it and do not regret it despite Morneau's power numbers (.313 BA, 19 HR's, 64 RBI's, 54 runs). Because I already had almost an entire roster of power (a lot, anyway), I could afford to give up some of that power for some consistency, which Jeter possesses. Jeter, since the trade, has been my number one shortstop, and will most likely still be my number one shortstop at the end of September. I shall give myself a 7.5 for this one.
Monday April 6th, 2009
HECK trades Ken Griffey Jr. to HOFF for Chris Young and Delmon Young
Well, the season had just got underway so this was really based on name and not any sort of statistics. I drafted Griffey with my last pick in the draft, hoping I'd get a couple long balls from him early on. But, after looking over what Junior did with the White Sox last season and remembering his long list of injuries in his prolonged baseball career (plus his increased age), I found someone to dump him on my good ol' friend, Robert Hoffman. Neither Delmon nor Chris are on my roster today, but hey, Griffey never did anything for Robert. This trade grade is a 2 and a lose-lose situation. Ugh!
Sunday April 12th, 2009
HECK trades Rafael Furcal and Chris Young to PZZ for Matt Lindstrom
While drafting, it seemed I had completely forgot about relief pitchers. Either that, or I just didn't care for them. Either way, I had landed myself a sweet deal in this one. Team PZZAM no longer has Furcal or Young on his team, smart move by him, and until just recently, I had a great closer on my active roster. Lindstrom was placed on the 15-day disabled list and hasn't pitched since June 23. This forced me to drop Lindstrom to save room for active players on my roster (Jake Peavy is occupying my DL slot, still). But this was one of my better trades and I will give myself a trade grade of 8.5 for this one.
Tuesday April 14th, 2009
HECK trades Adam Dunn to CYCS for Carlos Zambrano
We go from one of my better trades to one of my worst trades of the year '09. I figured had enough power--my roster consisted of Albert Pujols, Alfonso Soriano and Dan Uggla plus the hefty Dunn--and I was hitting HR's all over the place, so I decided to sacrifice one of those powerful sluggers to add a little depth to my starting pitching, which was a little top-heavy after C.C. Sabathia. This trade started out terrible for myself. Zambrano quickly got himself in some trouble and was suspended for six games, which just added on to the fact that he was struggling to find the strike zone to begin with. Dunn, of course, was home runs-galore, and still is (.260 BA, 20 HR's, 56 RBI's, 36 runs this season). As of late, Zambrano has picked the pace up a bit, so I will give myself a 6 for this swap. Very generous, if you ask me. You will hear more on Dunn later on..
Monday May 11th, 2009
HECK trades Brandon Inge and Hank Blalock to CC for Mark Teixeira, Mike Fontenot and Randy Wells
Upon figuring out that I made a minor mistake for the previous swap, I waited a while to propose/accept another trade. But I hit jackpot with this one. I was a little cautious at first, because I was unsure whether or not I should deal Inge, who was on quite a power surge (and I didn't have another solid 3B, but the waiver wire solved that minor mishap). But, acquiring Blalock off waivers a week before, I decided to deal him in order to land this big bat (Teixeira). I was very fortunate that this owner was ignorant enough to willingly offer Teixeira. I no longer have Fontenot on my roster, but Randy Wells has been a pleasant surprise (2 Wins, 2.57 ERA, 41 K's) and a big key in my pitching success. I gave up more than I was hoping, but got a mountain-load more in return. I will award this trade an 8 and a pat on the back for sparking my club's turn-around.
Monday May 25th, 2009
HECK trades Matt Wieters to PZZ for Rafael Furcal
This was just a case of me being very impatient. I had used several different catchers throughout the season (Chris Iannetta, Jorge Posada, Yadier Molina and John Baker), at this point, and was in negotiations that would land me Brian McCann of the Atlanta Braves, who had just returned from a DL stint. I realized, as soon as I hit the 'accept' button, that I had asked WAY too little in return for the hottest prospect in baseball. Wieters was due to come up in just a couple weeks, and I had waited that long for his ML debut. But, after thinking about the situation, I went through with it. It was going him take him some time to get into the groove of things anyways. He probably won't be a top fantasy catcher until next season, anyways. But because of my stupidity in not asking for more than just Furcal--who I threw out, once again, just a week later--I am giving myself a 3.5 for this awful deal.
Tuesday June 2nd, 2009
HECK trades Matt Capps to MIL for Brian McCann
FINALLY! After several weeks of talking and countless offers and declines, I agreed to a rather simple deal with the Milwaukee Beer Tappers (what an odd name). He simply wanted a pitcher who can close the door on teams late in the game. I got the powerful catcher, McCann, who I've needed all season long, and he got a guy who he could count on in the 'pen. That's all there is to it. I give myself an 8.5 for this one. That's how you do it!
Wednesday July 1st, 2009
HECK trades C.C. Sabathia and Shin-Soo Choo to CYCS for Adam Dunn and Dallas Braden
This is the deal of all deals, and it is a very fair trade indeed. My good friend John Higginbotham gets his power pitcher he's been looking for, plus the Cleveland Indians outfielder, Shin-Soo, who's been hitting homers and has a great batting average, too (.297) while I get my Adam Dunn back plus a very underrated starting pitcher in Braden. I knew he would go for it if I threw Choo and Braden in there, because Braden is not a stand-out kind of guy, but he sure does get the job done. He goes deep into games (7+ IP in six of his last ten starts) and has a pretty solid ERA (3.26) with 64 strikeouts and five wins. But, because of what I had to give up to accommodate my biggest needs, I'm only giving this trade a grade of 8.
Not only do fantasy owners win championships via trade, but it is also key to explore the waiver wire a couple times a week. Every once in a while you will find a gem in there. Just take a look at some of my bigger waiver wire pickups so far this season..
- Brandon Inge, 3B, Detroit Tigers: .275 BA, 18 HR's, 52 RBI's, 46 runs, 2 SB's (Note: Inge was later traded)
Whew, now that I think about it, my team has pretty much been built from the ground up through transactions. Always remember: talent can be found anywhere.
How would you grade my team?!