The Indians addressed an obvious need Thursday, trading for the Padres’ Brad Hand and Adam Cimber in exchange for prospect Francisco Mejia. What had been a strength last year – and not just merely as strength, but a huge advantage at 8.6 pitching fWAR, second only to the Yankees. This year that strength has been a glaring weakness, with Indians’ bullpen checking in at -1.3 fWAR, worse than anyone other than the Royals. What happened here? The top four relievers for the Indians last year were Andrew Miller, Bryan Shaw, Cody Allen and Joe Smith. Miller has made two trips to the DL, pitching in only 17 games so far. That’s a big domino to fall – losing his contributions from last year alone has cost the Indians slightly over two wins in WAR. Shaw is toiling (really toiling, unfortunately) for the Rockies, Allen has a 4.99 ERA and Smith is on the Astros. Last year’s surprise contributors Nick Goody and Tyler Olson have respective ERA’s of 6.94 and 7.50. Making matters worse, Danny Salazar hasn’t thrown a pitch this year and Josh Tomlin has imploded both as a starter and as a reliever.
In a rare All-Star break blockbuster, Manny Machado has officially been dealt to the Dodgers, in exchange for Yusniel Diaz, Rylan Bannon, Dean Kremer, Zach Pop and Breyvic Valera. My first reaction to the deal was that the Orioles didn’t get enough for Machado … though frequently that’s my reaction when the player dealt is a rent-a-player such as Machado. My cynicism was further fueled because it’s the Orioles, and I’m predisposed to slag any move that they make. Moreover, they didn’t send over any money to help the Dodgers save salary, or more importantly for the Dodgers, luxury tax relief, which strikes me as standard operating procedure for Peter Angelos and the Dodgers.
Tonight was the first “Beat Chris Liss” draft, a 12-team NFFC Online Championship with the standard rules: 1-QB, 2-RB, 3-WR, 1-FLX, 1-TE, 1-K and 1-D. It’s full PPR and with 10 bench spots. I drew the eighth pick (with third-round reversal.)
Here are the results:
Two weeks ago, I was in Minneapolis for the Fantasy Sports Trade Association conference, and a big topic on the agenda was the recent Supreme Court decision overturning the federal ban on sports betting. I listened as the panelists – one of which was ESPN gambling reporter David Purdum, another of which was RotoWire’s Peter Schoenke – explained how each state would have to come up with its own regulations and how those regulations might take shape.