Welcome to another 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) 5×5 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.
There were only three trades in TDGX this past week, but once again, no shortage of intrigue. The most notable deals once again featured veterans moving to contending rosters in exchange for up-and-coming prospects on the verge of ascending onto industry-wide top prospect lists by the end of the current campaign.
Tom Trudeau & Craig Glaser (MLB.com) acquire:
Khris Davis OF Oakland
Al Melchior (CBS) acquires:
Kevin Newman SS Pittsburgh
“Now that I'm in rebuild mode, Davis was clearly an expendable piece for me. That I was able to get Newman, a shortstop with great contact skills and stolen-base potential, made it the right time to part with the slugging outfielder. I had rejected Clarkin in some earlier trade proposals, as he has not been impressive in the Florida State League, but he made a nice second piece in this deal. He showed promise two seasons ago in the South Atlantic League, and given that he is coming back from elbow issues, it may take time for him to find consistency.” –Al Melchior
“I was thrilled to nab Newman with a second-round pick during this year's draft. He's my kind of player for a league this deep, since his proximity to the major leagues makes him a good bet to become a starter in short order. So far this spring, he's shown the premium hit tool that compelled the Pirates to select him in the first-round last June, hitting .353 with more walks than strikeouts. A former first-round Yankee selection, Clarkin is a talented pitcher who needs to find a way to stay healthy. He was added in as a sweetener to close this deal. Considering that Davis checked in 114th on my preseason top-500 list, it was exciting to acquire him, after his home run barrage this past week, for what essentially amounted to a second-round pick and a waiver addition. Clearly, I believe in the legitimacy of his power. It's easy to say that it's his only carrying tool, and discount his overall value, but that one tool is elite.” –Tom Trudeau
D.J. Short (Rotoworld) acquires:
Matt Chapman 3B Oakland
Nick Doran (Fake Teams) acquires:
James Shields SP San Diego
John Jaso 1B Pittsburgh
“My team is on the periphery of championship contention in TDGX but I am still going for it. Chapman has been obliterating Double-A this year (.261/.371/.521 with 11 home runs and three stolen bases in 43 games) and I really hated to let him go. However, my team desperately needed an infusion of players I can rely on right now. Jaso is getting long in the tooth at 32 years old with a lengthy injury history, but continues to receive everyday at-bats for the Pirates. His .312/.380/.468 slash line will provide a nice boost to my stagnant offense. If he can keep hitting that well there’s a realistic chance he won't get pushed aside even if the team promotes Josh Bell. My team is impossibly thin in the outfield due to injuries, and while Jaso doesn't directly fix that problem, he should help give me enough roster flexibility to make another deal or two to fix my outfield quagmire.
At 34-years-old, Shields is a dinosaur as well, but he’s stayed healthy and continues to pitch well (2-6, 3.07 ERA) this season, which is something many much younger hurlers cannot say at the moment. He’s no longer an ace-level pitcher, but in a league without innings limits, a durable workhorse can deliver a ton of value. Another 200-240 inning campaign appears to be a stone cold lock at this point, especially considering that he’s eclipsed the 200-inning plateau in nine consecutive seasons, dating back to 2007.” –Nick Doran
“I had been shopping Shields and Jaso for weeks and wasn’t all that thrilled with what I was finding out there in the market. I understand that their appeal is a bit limited in this kind of format, so I was happy to ultimately land an intriguing prospect like Chapman for them. We know Chapman can play a mean third base, so the question has mostly been able whether he’ll hit enough. Well, he currently leads the Texas League in home runs, slugging 11 in 42 games. Sure, the contact issues (28 percent strikeout rate) are still there, but I’ll gladly absorb a low batting average if the power and on-base percentage are there. And again, his defense should give him a longer rope. It might not be long before we see him in the majors. I’ll happily add him to my growing list of young bats.” –D.J. Short
Nick Doran (Fake Teams) acquires:
Tom Trudeau & Craig Glaser (MLB.com) acquire:
“I picked up the Reds' temporary closer (Cingrani) for the cut rate price of $3 FAAB. Having lost my only closer (Shawn Tolleson) and having a couple of free roster slots to play with, I decided to take a low-priced gamble. Cingrani has always had an excellent strikeout rate but he issues way too many free passes to ever be a reliable closer. There are two more negative factors in play here as well. The most prominent of those being that Cingrani is a left-handed pitcher. Southpaws rarely become closers unless they are insanely good due to managers’ tendencies to keep them in a situation role to face left-handed hitters in the late innings. Finally, the Reds don’t have many leads to protect. On the bright side, the Reds have absolutely no one else in their bullpen even remotely good enough to rely upon as closer. I expect a revolving door closer committee in Cincinnati all season long.” –Nick Doran
Let’s agree to never mention the Reds bullpen in this space over the remainder of this season.
Week 8 – FAAB Acquisitions
“Presently starting (once again) for the Royals, Duffy has looked pretty good in his abbreviated runs (though he's probably benefitting from being able to air it out a bit since he know he won't be going deep into games). Still, my rotation is in shambles due to Eduardo Rodriguez's inability to come back from a knee injury he suffered in spring training and my recent trade of Jake Odorizzi. Sure, sure, my season is all but over, but I still enjoy competing and grabbing worthwhile players. In a league as bereft of starting pitching talent as this one, snagging a guy like Duffy could be a decent boon.” –Craig Goldstein
Junior Guerra $14 (Al Melchior, CBS)
“I added Guerra in several leagues after his masterful performance against the Cubs last week. Because Guerra is 31 and had been pitching in independent leagues and Italy before getting picked up by the White Sox last season, I hadn't expected much from him when he was added to the Brewers' rotation earlier this month. Guerra's splitter has been highly effective during his short time in the majors, and he could be a good source of strikeouts. I do worry about his fly-ball tendencies, but given his unexpected upside, I'm giving him a shot on my active roster.” –Al Melchior
“Well, I blew the remainder of my FAAB not even two months into the season, which means I will be limited to $0 transactions the rest of the year. In all honesty, I expected to be out bid with over 60 percent of the FAAB budget available to spend in the league. I was lucky no one else was as interested. I had been eying him for a few weeks to help with my outfield. He went on a little mini hot streak this month hitting .320/.358/.500 after really struggling after making the jump to the majors.” –Jeff Zimmerman
“He started the season off terribly, but has made some progress in his last three outings. The earned runs are down, the walks rate is reasonable, and most importantly the strikeouts are trending back up. I bid $10 because I think he has something left, he pitches in a good park and for a winning team. As long as Cain doesn't completely collapse, he will be on my roster for the foreseeable future, which is why I put in a relatively sizable bid to ensure that I landed him.” –Chris Mitchell
Matt Bush $5 (Mike Rosenbaum, MLB Pipeline)
The 25-year-old backstop weathered an ice-cold stretch, going 2-for-24 in his immediate return from the disabled list. Fortunately, he has started to heat up over the last week, recording a hit in four of his last six games, including his first home run of the year. McCann isn’t a superstar, but if he continues to hit, he’s relevant in a league that deploys 20 starting catchers.
Dillon Gee $4 (Ian Kahn & Tim Mcleod, Patton & Co.)
Chris Herrmann $4 (Mike Rosenbaum, MLB Pipeline)
Desmond Jennings $3 (Nick Doran, Fake Teams)
Joe Kelly $3 (Tom Trudeau & Craig Glaser, MLB.com)
“I preferred Duffy, but was pleasantly surprised to land Kelly for $3 in a league with plenty of Red Sox fans in it following his no-hit bid over the weekend. According to Brooks Baseball, his slider is generating 29 percent whiffs-per-swing and overall his swinging-strike rate is comfortably in the double digits this year. You guys, pitching is weird. I don't pretend to understand it, which is why I try to avoid paying for it if I can. Maybe Kelly has converted stuff to production. I'll pay a few bucks and a roster spot to find out.”
I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t mention that Kelly’s stuff is great. You knew it was coming.
Brett Eibner $2 (George Bissell, Baseball Prospectus)
Cut from the same prototypical fourth outfielder cloth as Paulo Orlando, currently filling in for an injured Alex Gordon, there’s a rapidly increasing probability that the 27-year-old outfielder finds his way to the land of heavenly barbeque at some point this summer. If Eibner doesn’t get a shot in Kansas City, he will for another major-league organization in due time.
There isn’t much left for Eibner to prove in Triple-A. He’s one of only eight Pacific Coast League hitters to rank among the top 15 league leaders in both on-base percentage (.403) and slugging (.527) this season. To put those numbers in context, he’s failed to reach base in just seven of his first 40 games, recorded 10 multi-hit efforts and racked up 13 extra-base hits already. Stockpiling outfield depth is a priority in TDGX and Eibner is someone who could make an immediate impact if called upon right now.
“Outfield depth is a problem for many teams in the league, including mine, after the recent demotions of Delino DeShields and Eddie Rosario. The Angels' left-field situation is a wasteland and with their season slipping away, there isn't much reason to run Daniel Nava or Craig Gentry out there whenever they come back. Ortega isn't special, but he has solid on-base ability thanks to a discerning eye and decent bat-to-ball skill, and he can run a little.” –Greg Wellemeyer
Cesar Ramos $1 (Craig Goldstein, Baseball Prospectus)
Dustin Fowler $1 (D.J. Short, Rotoworld)
Edmundo Sosa $1 (D.J. Short, Rotoworld)
“Not dead-set on keeping either of these prospects, but I liked both of them coming into the year. I was even considering making an offer for Sosa before he was thrown back into the pool recently. I could drop one or both for the next intriguing young bat that I see.” –D.J. Short
Jamie Westbrook $0 (Luke Chatelain, The Dynasty Guru)
“I've neglected my prospects this year, trading away most of my talent as I focused on major leaguers that can help now. However, with 10 designated minor-league slots in this league, you can't ignore them forever. Westbrook is an extremely interesting 20-year-old prospect holding his own at Double-A. With middle-infield eligibility, and advanced feel for the strike zone, he's a pop-up candidate that could land on some top 100 lists at the end of the year.” –Luke Chatelain
Jake Diekman $0 (Jeff Zimmerman, FanGraphs)
Boog Powell $0 (Jeff Zimmerman, FanGraphs)
“I don’t trust that Sam Dyson (Brad Ziegler clone, no Ks, high ground-ball rate) can keep the Ranger’s closers role so I gambled on Diekman. I wasn’t the only one who has little faith in Dyson since Mike Rosenbaum picked up Matt Bush. Powell is player who the scouts hate, but the projection systems love. Another example of shooting darts and hoping for a young player to stick in the outfield.” –Jeff Zimmerman
Nick Ahmed $0 (Mike Rosenbaum, MLB Pipeline)
Kirk Nieuwenhuis $0 (Nick Doran, Fake Teams)
Austin Barnes $0 (Greg Wellemeyer, Baseball Prospectus)
“I'm not exactly sure what to make of Barnes as a prospect, but he sure is fun. He’s played catcher, second base, third base, and centerfield in Triple-A this season while hitting a hair below .300 and converting all ten stolen base attempts. His power has mysteriously disappeared, but he's only a Yasmani Grandal injury away from The Show, which is to say he's not very far away at all.” –Greg Wellemeyer
Leonardo Molina $0 (Tom Trudeau & Craig Glaser, MLB.com)
J.D. Davis $0 (Tom Trudeau & Craig Glaser, MLB.com)
Chih-Wei Hu $0 (Tom Trudeau & Craig Glaser, MLB.com)
Jon Harris $0 (Tom Trudeau & Craig Glaser, MLB.com)
Phil Hughes $0 (Tom Trudeau & Craig Glaser, MLB.com)
“If you missed on Robles last year and Ronald Acuna this year, the Yankees' 2014 bonus baby (Molina) might be your best bet at a mulligan. So far he's been above average with the stick in Low-A despite being only 18 year old. Depending on your league size, he's worth monitoring or picking up to see if the breakout comes.” –Tom Trudeau