The Dynasty Guru Experts League is a 20-team (40-man roster) 5×5 rotisserie dynasty league founded by BP managing editor Bret Sayre in 2014. It is intended to satisfy the deep-league needs of all, down to just the right amount of Alexi Amarista. We roster 23 starters (C/1B/2B/3B/SS/MI/CI, along with two additional utility hitters, five outfielders and nine pitchers). We also roster seven bench slots and have 10 spots designated for minor leaguers, although a quick scan of the league finds that most teams utilize most of their bench spots for additional prospects. That means that there are an additional 100-120 prospects that are rostered above the 200 spots reserved for them.
These write-ups are intended to pair nicely with Mike Gianella’s Expert FAAB Review, as we will look at each week’s TDGX free-agent acquisitions, as well as include thoughts on every major trade that occurs during the season. The yearly budget for free-agent transactions is $100, with $0 bids allowed for major leaguers and prospects.
This installment covers the Week 8 FAAB period, along with any trades that have taken place over the past week.
Corey Kluber (SP)—Indians to Tom Trudeau/Craig Glaser—MLB.com
For the second week in a row, the MLB.com crew (currently atop the TDGX standings) has landed a legitimate ace. Last week it was a package of four (Albies, Altherr, A. Hicks and D. Leyba) for Max Scherzer and useful parts (E. Nunez and Jim Johnson), and this week, it’s a package of three for Kluber. Much like the first deal for an ace, this one struck me as a great move for the MLB.com duo. I’m lower than the consensus on Adames, as I just don’t see him running enough to offset what I perceive to be his lack of an impact bat at the major-league level to make himself a worthy starter at SS in a league of this size. Adames should be fine as a MI option, and Kahnle should be recovered from LaTroy Hawkins completely throwing him under the bus in time to close for the White Sox when they move on from David Robertson and Nate Jones prior to the trade deadline, so Melchior should be able to flip him for something more preferable when the time comes.
Week 8 FAAB Transactions
“Big City” was sent packing to Atlanta after Freddie Freeman’s tragic wrist injury left the Braves scrambling for an actual major league first baseman. Adams was acquired mainly so that Braves followers would not have to be further subjected to Jace Peterson scaring absolutely nobody in the lineup at first, which is my way of saying that Adams doesn’t have anybody to challenge him for playing time while Freeman is out, either at the major-league level or at Triple-A Gwinnett, where the Ryan Howard experiment was thankfully cut short prior to Freeman’s injury, and the James Loney era ended with Adams’ arrival. Adams got the starting nod in left field five times while with the Cardinals, and a team that is deploying Matt Kemp on an everyday basis seemingly isn’t too concerned about stellar defense in the outfield, meaning Adams could be able to work his way into the lineup with some frequency after Freeman returns. I’m sure the Braves–like Mitchell, here–are hoping that Adams impresses with Freeman out and can be moved along for more useful pieces, and the formerly not-slim Cardinal has been productive (two homers in four games) in his first week as a Brave.
“Well, I finally made the decision to cut ties with Jaime Garcia in this league after contemplating making the move approximately a dozen times over his past 20-30 starts, and then he goes out and has his best start of the year against the Nationals on Sunday. I did not see the line on that start until after the move to drop him for James Pazos was final, so there is a slight element of regret there. As for Pazos, everything I've heard from Jerry Dipoto suggests that he trusts Pazos the most against righties and lefties among the crop of relievers who will be vying for saves in Seattle, and the strikeout profile is nice enough that even if he isn't getting saves, he could still return value.”
Closer speculation sure is fun, isn’t it? Pazos was scooped up (along with Steve Cishek below) after it looked as though Edwin Diaz would be removed from the role for a bit, but Diaz has now pitched three consecutive scoreless outings after his meltdown May 15, earning a save while pitching the ninth against the Nationals on Thursday afternoon. Pazos pitched a scoreless seventh inning prior to Diaz entering the aforementioned game against the Nats, and despite his impressive work (2.74 DRA, 82 cFIP, 31.8 percent strikeout rate), it looks like he’ll continue to fill a setup role for the Mariners, and should be a solid source of holds over the rest of the season—which comes in handy in many leagues, just not this one.
With yet another hitter (Carlos Gomez) hitting the disabled list, I needed to grab Sanchez to avoid zeroes throughout the week. Sanchez has hit for a good average (.329) in May and is running (2-for-5 on SB attempts), which is really all I need while Gomez is out. My expectations are extremely tempered for this pickup, but it’s not like he has to jump over Robinson Cano on my depth chart when Gomez returns, and Whit Merrifield is currently starting at second base these days.
Moroff just keeps clubbing home runs this season at Triple-A Indianapolis. After hitting 25 in his first five minor leagues seasons, eight of which came in his first go-around at Indianapolis a season ago, Moroff has smacked 12 in 169 plate appearances. With the exception of the homers, most of Moroff’s numbers are similar to his 2016 campaign, particularly his strikeout and walk rates, but this season he has been hitting the ball in the air more frequently, raising his FB rate from 35.4 percent in 2016 to 42.9 percent this season—a career-best mark. However, Moroff has seen those balls in the air leave the yard at a 28.6 percent clip this season, which is nearly quadruple his 7.8 percent rate from 2016. There’s a lot to like from a fantasy aspect with Moroff, namely that he’s been playing mainly shortstop this season after rotating around the infield last season, even though his HR:FB rate (currently the highest in the IL) will likely drift back down quite a bit as the season progresses.
Jose Urena (SP/RP)—Marlins (Won at $3) by Ralph Lifshitz—Razzball
Leonys Martin (OF)—Mariners (Won at $2) by Ben Carsley—Baseball Prospectus
Derek Dietrich (2B/3B)—Marlins (Won at $1) by Al Melchior—Fangraphs/Fanrag Sports
Michael Feliz (RP)—Astros (Won at $1) by Bret Sayre—Baseball Prospectus
Heath Quinn (OF)—Giants (Won at $0) by Scott White—CBS Sports
Nick Plummer (OF)—Cardinals (Won at $0) by Tom Trudeau/Craig Glaser—MLB.com
Andrew Moore (P)—Mariners (Won at $0) by Tom Trudeau/Craig Glaser—MLB.com
Robinson Chirinos (C)—Rangers (Won at $0) by Chris Mitchell—RotoExperts
Steve Cishek (RP)—Mariners (Won at $0) by Nick Doran—The Dynasty Guru/Rotoworld
Josh Morgan (3B/C)—Rangers (Won at $0) by Luke Chatelain—The Dynasty Guru
Wilmer Font (P)—Dodgers (Won at $0) by Greg Wellemeyer—Baseball Prospectus
Wait, what year is this? Still somehow “only” 27, Font has been dominant this season in the PCL, posting a 0.98 DRA with a 37.8 percent strikeout rate in 47 innings. Font’s stellar work has been masked by his 4.40 ERA, and one would think he won’t be long for the minors if he continues to walk hitters at a 5.7 percent clip in combination with his eye-popping strikeout numbers while at Oklahoma City.
Eric Sogard (2B)—Brewers (Won at $0) by Greg Wellemeyer—Baseball Prospectus
Alex Meyer (SP/RP)—Angels (Won at $0) by Ben Carsley—Baseball Prospectus
Meyer has struck out 28 across his first five starts of the year (23 1/3 IP), and his stay on the disabled list (back spasms) is expected to be a short one. Meyer’s cFIP of 94 indicates that Carsley may have gotten a solid back-end starter for pennies but, as always, health is a concern with the former Twin and National. If Meyer can stay healthy—and ahead of the incoming Doug Fister on the Angels depth chart—he should be able to continue to flash the the talent that led Carsley to place Meyer as high as No. 24 on a dynasty prospect list as recently as August 2014.