A day of major trades (for me anyway)

First of all kids, don’t do 10 fantasy baseball leagues in a season. It’s not good for your health.

One fun part (sometimes) about having 10 fantasy baseball teams in a season is getting involved in a ton of trade talk. I’ve been known to go heavy on the reject button, but just this morning I came across two deals I couldn’t pass up.

League FB365 Dynasty
Teams: 12, mixed, 26-man roster
Categories:Standard 5×5

This league has a five-man minor league roster, which can only be filled by players with less than 50 IP/130 AB in the major leagues. Once players are called up to the MLB roster by their owners, they cannot return to the MiLB roster.

I contacted an owner about a possible deal after he had posted that his team is looking to get younger. While my team is a perhaps best fit to contend in a year or two, I’m looking to make a push this season as well. I had mentioned to that owner that I was willing to deal my first-round minor league draft pick, Aroldis Chapman (we held a minor league draft before our regular draft), and that I was interested in Adam Dunn. My first-base eligible players are Lance Berkman, Carlos Pena, Michael Young and Mitch Moreland. Only Moreland is any sort of long-term option, but even he lacks the star power normally associated with the position (though, as I wrote this he went deep for his sixth home run of the season).

Though my team’s real need is pitching, I can’t help but continue to be inclined to trade pitching for hitting and fill in with FA or minor league pitching later. That’s why when the other owner came back to me asking for Madison Bumgarner as part of the package, I thought I might go ahead and do the deal.

Adam Dunn

for

Aroldis Chapman
Madison Bumgarner

Yes, Bumgarner is young, turning his 2011 season around and projected to be a fine starter for years to come, but I think I can replace him with Danny Duffy, who is on my minor league roster, perhaps as early as late this season. As for Chapman, to be honest, I’ve lost all faith in him. He’s only 23 and when he was a baby the gods reached down and turned his left arm into a thunderbolt, but not unlike Nuke LaLoosh, Chapman often doesn’t know where the ball is headed once it leaves his hand. While control can improve over time, I’m not confident in Chapman’s ability to do so, given his wild arm action. To me, he’s a reliever long-term. A possible closer? Sure, but I’d rather give his minor league roster spot to an arm I’m confident will stick in a major league rotation.

I’m buying low on Dunn for two reasons: 1) His ISO and HR/FB rates are way lower than his career averages. 2) Sometimes players struggle to adjust to a new league and considering that Dunn has played nine full seasons in the National League before this season, such a struggle is understandable. Before long, Dunn is going to start mashing again and I’ll be reaping the benefits of the best part of his season. Long-term, the 31-year-old should have at least 3-4 more good seasons before a possible sharp decline. The way my team is structured, I hope to contend each of those seasons.

League: Blog Wars
Teams: 15, mixed, 25-man roster
Categories: Standard 5×5

Out of 10 leagues, my highest draft position was second and I was more than elated to see Hanley Ramirez taken first in that league. As a result, I was able to draft Albert Pujols. That excitement has turned to uttermost frustration. The AVG is well below his standard and he hasn’t homered in two weeks. Still, I believe by season’s end, he’ll still rank among the elite. Blog Wars was not the league in which I drafted Pujols, but he’s on my roster now. I was proposed this…

Albert Pujols

for

Jacoby Ellsbury
Adam Lind

Ellsbury is finally starting to come around and he’s certainly capable of hitting .290-.300 with plenty of stolen bases going forward. Lind was showing his 2009 form before back tightness caused him to miss a few games. While he will avoid the DL, I’m always a little leery of back problems, as they can linger. The key to the deal for me is obviously Pujols. I had a chance to acquire a top-end bat and I was willing to pay the price to do so. I now have Pujols, Pedroia and Tulo to anchor my offense. Unfortunately, I had to auto draft after round 11, so my pitching is extremely thin — not good for a deep league.

On draft day, Pujols went for $52. I spent $21 on Ellsbury and $15 on Lind.

Ultimately, it’s going to be difficult for me to put together enough pitching to contend in this league, which is what I expected after auto drafting the second half of my team. Still, I’m not going to just lay down for the season and adding an elite bat like Pujols is the type of bold move I had to make.