These trades don't and wouldn't happen. But what if they could?
Prospect-for-prospect trades fascinate me. They aren’t common, which makes them all the more fascinating, like a rare comet or a good Ben Stiller movie. They often are “challenge” trades; deals where a team essentially says that they believe in the guy in your system more than you do, and they’re willing to give you something in their system to prove it.
The 2019 World Series might just hinge on what the Yankees do in the next 11 days.
The Yankees have won three games in a row, but they can’t fool us. They’re still no better than the third-best team in their division, and our Playoff Odds Report gives them a seven percent chance of reaching at least the Wild Card Game. There’s no question that this team needs to sell at the deadline, and the charade the team’s front office and ownership group are conducting through the tabloids in New York is just that. They’ll trade Carlos Beltran and Aroldis Chapman this month. It’s just a matter of time.
For my money, though, the team shouldn’t stop there. Andrew Miller is the hottest name on the trade market, but only because it’s so non-controversial to suggest that an elite relief pitcher on a bad team be traded. The Yankees should trade Miller, but they shouldn’t stop there, either. The next good Yankees team, at this moment, is three or four years away. The market is shaping up perfectly, though, to allow Brian Cashman to shorten that term of mediocrity, to push the pedal to the floor and speed his team back to the brink of contention—with an organization full of young talent, this time.
Notes on prospects who stood out yesterday, including Yadier Alvarez, Engelb Vielma, Austin Gomber, and Christin Stewart.
Prospect of the Day: Yadier Alvarez, RHP, Los Angeles Dodgers (Single-A Great Lakes): 5 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 10 K.
Alvarez showed he was way too advanced to be facing AZL pitching and earned a promotion to the Midwest League. He’s probably too advanced to be here, too. Alvarez has an easy 80 fastball that will touch triple-digits with life, and he’s showing a plus slider at times to give hitters from both sides of the plate fits. The command still has a long way to go and there’s some effort here that may make him a reliever long term, but outside of Julio Urias, he has the highest upside of any arm in the Dodgers system.
A look at the moves made by the experts in the TDGX dynasty league this week.
Welcome back to the latest installment of TDGX Transactions, BP’s weekly series providing fantasy owners with an inside look at The Dynasty Guru Experts League (TDGX), a 20-team (40-man roster) 5x5 rotisserie dynasty league. It is the literal embodiment of the phrase “deep dynasty.” It’s also populated by some of the most talented fantasy baseball analysts and competitors on the planet. In addition to taking an in-depth look at each week’s TDGX free agent acquisitions ($100 FAAB budget per team with zero dollar bids allowed) we will also break down every major trade, with perspectives from both sides of the deal.
Wondering whether release point effects the likelihood of getting a favorable (or unfavorable) call, and so on.
Seventeen inches across, from the “hollow of the knee” to the midpoint between the belt line and the shoulder. Despite the potential ambiguity introduced in setting the lower boundary at something called a “hollow,” the rulebook strike zone is a fairly straightforward thing. Fans of the game know, though, that the defined zone doesn’t always have that much to do with the zone as called. Lefty hitters have a different effective zone than righties; it’s easier to get a called strike on 3-0 than on 0-2; the effective zone has been expanding downward for years now. Every season sees calls for #RobotUmpsNow; there are countless Twitter bots posting information about whether a particular strike/ball call helps or hurt a team of interest. Thinking about the strike zone in preparation for this article has lead me to sympathize a lot with BP E-I-C Sam Miller’s proposed definition of a strike: “A ball, delivered by the pitcher while standing wholly within the lines of his position and facing the batsman, that, so delivered, is determined by the umpire to be a fair pitch.” Still, I don’t think the game is all that close to adopting Sam’s idea, so we’re left to try to evaluate the strike zone as best as we can.
The current model for called strikes here at BP produces a stat called Called Strikes Above Average. It’s built from a mixed model that accounts for, among other things, the pitcher, umpire, batter, and current score. CSAA, in turn, builds upon called strike probability, estimated from a proprietary PitchInfo model that reflects PI’s pitch classifications and adjusted PITCHf/x data. With that in mind, I set out to find an answer to a very specific question: All else being equal (pitch type, amount of movement, etc.), does a pitcher’s release point have an effect on whether a pitch is called a strike? In researching the topic, I found that yes, it does (though minimally); I also found that pitch type continues to play a role in the “above average” part of the equation (so to speak), even after being accounted for in the initial calculation.
It's the East of the East. Like that Jean-Claude Van Damme movie except about baseball. Sort of.
Last week the Eastern League held its all-star game, and Adam McInturff and Grant Jones were there to take in the festivities. Below are their notes on some of the most prominent stars from the Eastern Division. In case you missed it, they wrote about the best of the West yesterday, and you can find that piece here.
Why most barters occur on the day weekly transactions are processed, and how to take advantage of such trends.
Fantasy baseball trades, as we have discussed previously, tend to happen at certain times. They happen after the last of the big free agents sign in the offseason, right before the keeper deadline, and right before the league’s trading deadline. More than anything though, at least in the leagues in which I participate, trades happen on the day of weekly transaction. For many leagues, this day is Sunday. These days, especially at this time of the year in leagues with active trade markets, are fun days. If we’re lucky, the messages, emails, and texts are flying as we see what is out there and try to improve our team.
The Indians head into the trade deadline in first place, but are they really capable of running with the best teams in this year's playoffs?
In 1999, the world was anticipating the Y2K bug, Rachel and Ross had just (accidentally) married, and Enema of the State and The Slim Shady LP were selling millions of records against the backdrop of Napster’s ascent.