Monday, October 31, 2005

Jason Giambi

I've written many times (here, here, here, here) about Giambi. (And about Aaron Hill, and Jonny Gomes and Brett Myers, but I digress.)

Now that he has restablished himself as a legit HR hitter again, I am getting daily offers for him. At $15, he is clearly undervalued by the same. I doubt anyone would find Giambi carrying a $30 tag in any book, but I base mine on experience (Yes, I am a scout and those books and mags are Moneyball!) Any hitter who hits 30 HR in a AL/NL-only format will go for $30+. Good or bad, it is reality and the quicker you recognize it, the easier it will be to compete.

But the offers! I am currently loaded with 1B, 2B and OF. If a team knew that, they could tailor their offer to complement that fact i.e. don't offer me a 1B, 2B or OF. An offer of a C, SS, 3B or pitcher would fit nicely.

Instead I get offers with Terence Long in them! Jeez, I already have Emil Brown. Nevermind whether I would want Terence Long if no one played the OF!

When I trade, I tend to look closely at the degree of full-value the players have. If Giambi is $15 under-valued, then I want that in return. For example, do not offer me a $14 CC Sabathia for him. I see Sabathia as, most generously described, fully-valued. (And if you add Terence Long as a sweetner....)

Even with that considered, I also look at scarcity and replacement costs. What will it take for me to land a 30 HR hitter at the draft? get a player of similar perfromance and price as the one offered? If I can't get what I deal or can get what I acquire easily, then I will require an even better offer than another player $15 under-valued.

A team could try to sweeten the offer with more players, but I usually have nearly the maximum number of keepers already so I will see that as unappealling despite the allure of future trading options.

Anyway, I am beyond trading for trading's sake. Unfortunately, this type of strategy tends towards much less trading..

Sunday, October 30, 2005


Rotoworld notes the D'Rays will pick-upthe option on Julio Lugo. This generates two questions.

The first is where BJ Upton will play in 2006. SS? 3B?

The second, and more important one, is what do you pay for Lugo? Will he steal 34 again? The answer to that is more important than Upton's position because 30+ SB is gold in AL Roto.

I do not know the answer to that question as I am still stunned he stole 34! (And was on the league-winning team along with 41-Save teammate Danys.)

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Some Thoughts

Now that the World Series is over, I need only wait another 8 or 9 days before free agent questions begin to be answered. Once this occurs, my off-season trading will quicken.


The Dodgers fired Moneyballer, Paul DePodesta. From my POV, Tommy Lasorda is a poisonous advisor. The fact he had the McCourts' ear says they are not fit to run a team. The Dodgers system looks extremely strong at the highest levels which will allow the club to make one-year gambles while feeding the roster with potential minimum salary/maximum performance players.

Where is the Bill Parcells of baseball (a manager who sees a teams full of talent and takes it over and gets credit for making it better.) Whomever takes over that club will put a play-off contender on the field. Any Roto player can step in a sign enough talent to make that so.

I wonder if ol' Tommyboy is thinking of getting back into the game?


A team made his $7 final year in 2006 Morgan Ensberg available. He wants something supersexy - a cheap stud and hot prospect, both with more time that Ensberg. This type of trade is always a loser for the one who meets the asking price as only a league win can offset the extra time available on the traded player contracts. And a league win is not guaranteed by one hitter - no matter how good or how cheap.

Nevermind, Ensberg will lose value once the season begins and teams look at his contract when considering his value. The team that traded him will have the pieces with future value.

Out of time studs must be acquired with "discounted" with-time players.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Chase Utley

I have him at $10 going into his final year. I am going to raise him, likely to $20. That will lock his salary in for 2006, 2007 and 2008.

I received an offer of three draft picks for him. - 4th, 13th and 17th. Normally, I take three picks for a player already priced over $20, but with the lack of stud 2B, I do not see Utley as replacable via the draft at $20. And if I backed off my first ever two-year raise, then $15 would make him untouchable.

With my experience picking minor leaguers, I am confident I can land two decent players of the three picks. (I selected Utley in the 2nd in 2002. I took Miguel Cabrera #7 in 2003.)

What I don't want to lose sight of is the fact that whomever I pick won't be better than utley in 2006. And if Utley performs at his 2005 level, then I'd have to select a Miguel Cabrera to have a chance of breaking even. (A "Miguel Cabrera" is a player taken in the draft and comes up that season and contributes immediately in a no-doubt-about-it-way. Ryan Howard is that type of player. David Wright is too.)

Friday, October 14, 2005


I just can't get myself to make trades right now, and it isn't for a lack of effort.

There is too much uncertainty at this time to deal. Free agents haven't sniffed offers. Teams haven't decided on arbitration. Too much can change, and, therefore, players values can't be reasonably ascertained. As a result, I am very cautious.

What do I give-up to the chance to draft Stephen Drew #1? A full-valued Juan Pierre? (Yes.) And undervalued Adam Everett? (Likely.) How much more than Adam Everett, if he isn't enough? Pierre and Everett? That seems to have passed into too much as Stephen Drew will not play in AZ next season versus the lock on PT (and SB production) for Everett and Pierre.

How much is potential versus real contributions worth in Rotisserie in keeper leagues?

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Post-Season Trades

Bartolo Colon came out of last night's game with a sore shoulder.

The lesson learned is players still get hurt in post-season games and this effects Roto.

My suggestion is to hold-off dealing for any players who are still playing when the games don't count.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Jorge Sosa

Can he repeat 2005?

One could say he cannot, but I counter that there is not enough data to establish a base performance level for Sosa for several reasons.

He spent three years in Tampa with 99.1, 128.2 and 99.1 innings pitched. Given the dysfunctional baseball practiced there, I would consider a change of scenery as a positive influence.

Also, he moved from the AL, specifically the AL East, to the NL and its 7 batter line-ups. This should be considered a major factor in improved performance.

Third, Sosa was a converted feilder so his professional; pitching experience is less than similarly aged pitchers.

This three variables combined with Leo Mazzone could lead one to believe Sosa may be this good.

Intuitively, I don't think Sosa will repeat his 2005, but I do believe he will remain a quality starting pitcher as good as Mike Hampton.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

NL Finish

I also finished 5th in my NL league. Here the problems were much more difficult to pinpoint.

I'd certainly been better off letting Mike Adams go for $19 or Austin Kearns for $23. In the first case, closers had typically gone for more than $20. Heck Looper went for $24 the year before. I saw an opportunity to get a cheaper closer as a few teams did not have one still with only Brandon Lyon and Jose Mesa available. If I had known neither of them would break $20, I'd have let Adams go. I did throw out Turnbow for $1 at the end, when everyone was going for that, but another team went $2 and I had nothing left.

As I usually do, I sat out the high bidding on hitters figuring a slew of good players would fall into the high teens. That didn't happen unless you consider Ryan Klesko at $17 and Kenny Loften at $18 that type of player. At the time, most of the most attractive hitters were gone and going for $30+, and I had just lost out on Brad Wilkerson for $30. (Yes I took him to $29, and, yes, my season could have been worse if I did get him.)

I decided to get Kearns, a player I had hoped to get for low teens as a player who could have a breakout $25+ year. He did hit a career-high in HR and RBI, but not exactly the way I had projected. Nevermind, the month spent in AAA!

With the slew of AL pitchers making their way to the shortened NL line-ups, I targeted Tim Hudson as the most likely to approach Pedro's dominance in the ratios at a 25% discount. Huddy had been very good in those categories as an A. What I didn't forsee was his new found ability to pitch to contact! (Or whatever it was that saw his WHIP move to the 1.40 range.) He did repeat his 2nd half dominance, though, and I retained him because of it despite offers for him.

I was also on the wrong end of a couple of trades. Prior to season's start, I dealt Chad Tracy for Hee Seop Choi and Jason Nix. If I had known Tracy would set a professional high in HR while qualifying in the OF, I'd have kept him, but at the time, I saw it as a trade of HR/RBI for AVG. Heck, he nearly hit more HR in 2005 than he had in his entire professional careeer combined! (27 vs 32) Don't forget the hype surrounding Conor Jackson and the Glaus signing. Both left Tracy with nowhere to play. Or hindsight-aided, nowhere he had played before as a professional

I used Felipe Lopez in a bail trade and received Adam Everett, Jerry Hairston and Larry Walker. If other players hadn't been included, I would have won this, but unfortunately, is notYahoo! so I had to include two other active hitters. One, Kenny Kelly, worked perfectly. The other did not. JJ Hardy went on a "tear" and hit .289 with 8 HR after I dealt him and his .179 AVG. I eventually dealt Walker for a $2 Ryan Church but that was just some lipstick on a pig.

Some breakout surprises were Chase Utley, who is arguably the top NL Roto 2B, and Jorge Sosa who, despite my thoughts of him as a closer, turned out to be a much better SP while breathing the Leo Mazzone air.

I also benefited from all the pre-draft talk about Ryan Howard being blocked by Thome and grabbed him #6. He was just too good to pass-up at that point. His 21 HR were the 2nd most hit on my team after Utley. (Jason Lane finished with 25, but I dealt him when he had 17.) I did select Matt Cain at #13, too. So in my ever-aware of bail trading, I feel good going forward. ( I also acquired Jeremy Hermida in an off-season deal involving Jeromy Burnitz.)

With only three breakout surprises, my weak, but money-finishing, performance can be partly explained. However, no one decision or player can account for a disappointing season.

Monday, October 03, 2005


5th in my AL thanks is great part to Curt Schilling, Jarrod Washburn and Bob Wickman. (8, 8, and 0 wins, respectively, for 2 points total in wins.)

Also, Curt Schilling's horrendous ratios.

Other than that, I had 9 points in HR, RBI and AVG and 10 points in SB for hitting. For pitching, I finished with 9 points in Saves, 8 points in ERA (Schilling be damned!), the aforementioned 2 in Wins, and 2 points in WHIP.

Overall, a decent season as I had to overcome the immediate drop to the lower third in the standings for most of the 1st half. I also benefitted from an astute eye for call-ups as I grabbed Jonny Gomes and Scott Baker for $5 each. Either will get a good return this off-season.

Amongst my disappointments are missing that Gerald Laird was not on the active roster when I drafted him for $1. Chris Widger did just fine as a do-no-harm 2nd catcher, though. Although Ichiro had a good year (15 HR .303 AVG and 33 SB), I counted on a much higher AVG (not .370) and a couple handfuls more SB. Either of which would have made a difference of a couple points.

I projected incorrectly on Ichiro, Schilling and Washburn and did not receive any contributions in Saves from Tom Gordon or JJ Putz.

Amongst my successes were trading Tony Womack right after his 14 SB tear for Craig Monroe, drafting Emil Brown for $3, waiving him for Gomes at $5, and claiming Brown off waivers afterwards. Also, I didn't trade any relievers were turned into closers later in the season. ( I just hate that.)