Fantasy Baseball Blog Fantasy Baseball

The Cautionary Tale Of Gordon Beckham

With the White Sox finally pulling the cord on Gordon Beckham this past week, there is a fantasy lesson to be learned here, even if 2014 fantasy owners shouldn’t touch Beckham with a long-reaching object.

Beckham was a fantasy baseball darling upon getting called up in the first week of June 2009. He hit the ground running, slashing .302/.369/.465 with five home runs and four steals over his first 50 games. The last thing on any owner’s mind was to sell him at this point. A bond between player and owner was developing.

 

It’s so cool that I have this guy! I’ll get to own him for the next 10 years in this dynasty league! Damn, I’m smart.

 

Sadly, he hit just .243 over the rest of his rookie season (53 more games) and has managed a career .244/.305/.373 slash line while perhaps hitting his low point this season as one of just three qualified players with an OPS under .600 (Jean Segura and Zack Cozart being the other two).

Inseason Dollar Values: Setup Men

The RotoWire Inseason Dollar Values tool  — which you can access here: http://www.rotowire.com/baseball/dollarvalues_bat_lastyear.htm — is a great resource for not only comparing player values, but also for finding value that may be overlooked for one reason or another.

With dollar values based solely on season-to-date production, the tool is not an indicator of rest-of-season value, but it is helpful for analyzing trade offers, evaluating potential waiver wire additions, etc. It is customizable for league size, position eligibility requirements and scoring categories.

After running the tool Friday afternoon for a 15-team, mixed 5×5 rotisserie league with 14 hitters and nine pitchers, one thing stood out to me: the relative value of some of the league’s top setup men. With a $260 salary, Dellin Betances checks in as a $12 player, meaning he’s been as valuable as Hyun-Jin Ryu, Jeff Samardzija, and even Jordan Zimmermann to this point. Believe it or not, he’s returned more value than the likes of Kenley Jansen, Jonathan Papelbon, Lance Lynn and Jake Arrieta.

Keeper Trading: Staff League 2

The real-life trade deadline came and passed, as did many fantasy league trade deadlines, but for those in keeper leagues still with the ability to trade, now is not the time to pack it in. In fact, now is the time to really start thinking about 2015 and beyond, no matter if you’re in first place or last. Well, especially if you’re in last.

Whether it’s plotting keepers and/or extensions, looking for ways to condense keepers, or scouring for bargain contracts, draft picks, etc., owners should be proactive in roster evaluation and exploring avenues for future success. Trading is easily the best way to go about improving your roster and outlook. In re-draft leagues, trading is pretty much cut and dry, but trading in keeper leagues is a different monster entirely. There are a number of additional factors which affect player values, including the following:

  • salary (or round value) and profit potential
  • keeper eligibility, control
  • numbers of keepers per team
  • inflation
  • position scarcity
  • minor league spots

Back in late May, I made a trade with Derek VanRiper in the RotoWire Staff Keeper League 2, sending Andrew McCutchen, Chris Sale, Enny Romero and J.R. Graham his way in exchange for Charlie Blackmon, Carlos Martinez, Corey Seager, Raimel Tapia and Jesse Winker. At first glance, it may look like I was robbed — a Twitter user kindly pointed out as much —  but it’s far less one-sided when considering the deeper context. First, it’s an 18-team mixed league with rosters consisting of 23 active major leaguers (14 hitters, nine pitchers), seven reserves and 10 minor leaguers, with keeper prices subtracted from a $260 annual auction budget.

Nats Add Asdrubal Cabrera

Asdrubal Cabrera

In 2012, general manager Mike Rizzo made the infamous decision to sit down Stephen Strasburg to prevent any injuries following rehab from Tommy John’s surgery. The Washington Nationals eventually lost in the divisional round in heartbreaking fashion, and to this day, fans still accuse Rizzo of punting on Washington’s chance to make the World Series that season by sitting Strasburg.

This season, while no shut-downs are involved, Rizzo seems to be taking the opposite stance this season, by trading prospect Zach Walters to the Cleveland Indians for Asdrubal Cabrera.

The front office could have just as easily sat tight at the trade deadline, hoping that Ryan Zimmerman gets healthy in time for the playoffs, and roll with the offensively challenged Danny Espinosa at second base, while moving Anthony Rendon to third.

Trade Deadline – Dodgers Don’t Part With the Big Three

When you think of “Big Three” in the sports world these days, of course the names LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh come to mind first, but the Dodger have a Big Three of their own in the forms of SS/3B Corey Seager, OF Joc Pederson, and SP Julio Urias. Each were ranked among the top 20 prospects in the game in Baseball America’s mid-season update published on July 7. A quick note on each:

Urias – 17 year-old left-handed prodigy can touch the mid-90s and is already being compared to Fernando Valenzuela. He is already so polished that there’s talk about a big league debut as early as 2015 when he’d be all of 18 years old.

Pederson – Toolsy outfielder is ready now. Not only is he the best defensive center fielder in the organization (big leagues included), but he’s also batting .315/.443/.580 with 23 home runs and 25 stolen bases for Triple-A Albuquerque.

Seager – Brother of Kyle, Corey may very well wind up as the more talented brother. He was just promoted to Double-A Chattanooga after batting .352/.411/.633 for High-A Rancho Cucamonga. He’s probably a third baseman in the big leagues, but he could be ready to take over as early as the second half of next season.

Leading up to Thursday’s trade deadline, the Dodgers were thought to be in the market for a starting pitcher as well as bullpen help. With Josh Beckett’s hip injury and Dan Haren’s recent ineffectiveness, shoring up the back-end of an already very good rotation looked to be priority one. Being they are the Dodgers, an organization flush with both cash and high-upside prospects, you couldn’t hear the names David Price, Jon Lester, and Cole Hamels being mentioned without a statement that the Dodgers were rumored to have interest.

The club was reportedly willing to part with one of three plus other parts in a deal, but all three? That was never going to happen and GM Ned Colletti turned out to be a man of his word. All this is why the Dodgers’ big acquisition in July was none other than Darwin Barney.