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 a majority 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 17 FAAB period, along with any trades that have taken place over the past week.
Week 17 FAAB Transactions
Matuella’s age-23 numbers don’t jump out at you this season at Low-A Hickory (3.91 DRA, 21 percent strikeout rate), but he’s been healthy enough to throw 46 innings (14 starts) and that’s really the only thing that’s important with his development at this point. Prospect team member Jarrett Seidler gave him a very good report in his viewing last week and if the front-end upside is indeed still intact, Matuella makes for a very interesting late-season pickup in leagues that roster 200 or more prospects.
"This bid was essentially a play in three acts. Act One: I see Jarrett and Jeff tweeting about Matuella and how the stuff looks. Act Two: I check TDGX to see if he is owned. Act Three: I bid almost all of my remaining FAAB. With a number of rebuilding teams, the number of prospects who have strong fantasy upside are all either taken or are spending this summer in either the DSL or the complex leagues. A pitcher with an amateur track record of excellence and current stuff that flashes potential impact is better than I'll be able to do with my FAAB the rest of the season considering I'm too far behind the leaders to make a realistic run this year."
It comes as quite a surprise that Goodwin has attempted only three stolen bases to this point in the season after being given 237 plate appearances by Dusty Baker. He could be slated for some type of prominent role on the 2018 Nationals, but if he’s not running, I’m not interested, even in a league that starts 100 outfielders. Goodwin’s career-best .248 isolated power this season makes him intriguing if he does start running, but he’s going to have to improve his work against right-handed pitching (.743 OPS) to work his way into next year’s lineup as anything more than a fourth or fifth outfielder role.
Yates was grabbed prior to the trade deadline and still will factor into the late-inning mix along with Brad Hand and Phil Maton (more on him below) in San Diego. How profitable of a timeshare that ends of being for anybody besides Hand over the rest of the season remains in question, but Yates is certainly worthy of being rostered in a league of this size, as his 38 percent strikeout rate places him seventh among all relievers (min. 20 IP).
Kaleb Cowart (3B)—Angels (Won at $4) by Al Melchior—Fangraphs/Fanrag Sports
JT Riddle (SS)—Marlins (Dropped)
Maton was also grabbed in hopes that Brad Hand would be taking up new residence at the deadline, but this is a guy that I firmly believe will be closing games for the 2018 Padres at some point. After being drafted in the 20th round in 2015, Maton shot through the minors last season, reached Triple-A El Paso and was closing there this season (13 SV in 23 games with a 30 percent strikeout rate) prior to being summoned on June 11th. Maton’s carried over his 30 percent strikeout rate and combined it with a glorious walk rate of just 2.4 percent in 23 major league appearances, and I think the only thing that keeps him from closing as soon as Opening Day 2018 is service time/arbitration games by A.J. Preller and company, as Hand and Yates are both prime candidates to be dealt this winter.
Brad Ziegler (RP)—Marlins (Won at $3) by Scott White—CBS Sports
Ji-Man Choi (1B)—Yankees (Dropped)
Blake Treinen (RP)—Athletics (Won at $2) by Scott White—CBS Sports
Eric Sogard (2B)—Brewers (Dropped)
The clear winner of this year’s Trade Deadline Closer Speculation Game (™) is CBS Sports’ Scott White. He plucked Ziegler and Treinen, as both are now closing, per Matt Collins’ latest Closer Report. White is in second-place overall behind the MLB.com duo, trailing by 29.5 points, and in sixth place in the saves category while only trailing by 11 saves to BP’s Greg Wellemeyer. White still has his work cut out for him in chasing down the MLB.com crew, but these were two massive steps taken towards doing so.
Conley is a guy that I have been monitoring in deeper leagues since he was demoted to Triple-A New Orleans in early May, but I resisted grabbing him in prior weeks, as his DRA (8.61) and his 8.3 percent K:BB rate were just plain ugly while in the minors. However, Conley’s pieced together a 1.74 ERA (with a much-improved five percent walk rate) in three starts since re-joining the Miami rotation, which now will be without Edinson Volquez for the remainder of the season (and likely 2018 as well with TJS). Conley should have a stranglehold on a rotation spot over the rest of the season, as I just can’t be convinced that Vance Worley, Chris O’Grady, Justin Nicolino and Tom Koehler are options that the Fish should (or will) be taking a look of ahead of their 27-year old left-hander that had an career ERA below 4.00 prior to the season.
I made the tough call to drop Miguelangel Sierra and Derian Cruz, two toolsy, lower-minors shortstops that I was previously very high on. Based upon their 2017 performances, I just can’t view them as top-200 prospects at this point. After reaching the NYPL as a 18-year old last season and struggling with the bat there, Sierra has struggled once again with the bat as a 19-year old in the NYPL, not hitting for anywhere near the type of power that he flashed in the Appalachian League, and only swiping four bases on his way to a .570 OPS. Cruz, 18, looked extremely overmatched at Low-A Rome (.443 OPS with only three SB in 29 games) and just hasn’t looked much better after getting demoted back to rookie-level Danville (.629 OPS). These guys obviously both should have been dealt while they had value last season, but instead now they will go back on the pile of Wilkerman Garcias known to some as the TDGX waiver wire.
Junichi Tazawa (RP)—Marlins (Won at $0) by Tom Trudeau/Craig Glaser—MLB.com
Taylor Rogers (RP)—Twins (Won at $0) by Tom Trudeau/Craig Glaser—MLB.com