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 5 FAAB period, along with any trades that have taken place over the past week.
Is this the part where I complain about losing Madison Bumgarner and Miguel Cabrera to the disabled list? I would never do that; it surely would be bad form. I’ll just use this space to complain about how we only have three DL slots available in a league of this size, which is absurd, and I currently have five dudes—AKA all of the depth—on the disabled list.
Week 5 FAAB Transactions
Aaron Altherr (OF)—Phillies won for $55 by Tom Trudeau/Craig Glaser—MLB.com
With Howie Kendrick hitting the disabled list, and Michael Saunders not doing much hitting to this point in Philadelphia, it looks as though Altherr has earned Pete Mackanin’s corner-outfield trust ahead of Daniel Nava, hitting second in the order in his past four starts and starting in each of the team’s last six contests. Altherr is in his age-26 season, and has two home runs and two steals in his first 39 plate appearances of the year, slashing .361/.425/.639. If Altherr continues to play everyday while hitting second in the Phillies order, this pickup should look pretty good in a few months, but if he struggles to make contact as he did in his largely terrible 2016 campaign (.202/.304/.293, with a 30.4 percent strikeout rate in 227 PA), the MLB.com crew might wish they had more than half of their FAAB money back by this time next month.
Bud Norris (SP)—Angels won for $26 by Ralph Lifshitz—Razzball
Norris has more saves than Edwin Diaz nearly a month into the season—just like we all thought.
“Miley was a Fantasy asset as a rookie way back in 2012, so there's that. I don't know where all the strikeouts came from and am skeptical he's turning over a new leaf in his sixth big-league season, but in a league where everyone with genuine upside is owned, you can't be too persnickety. He has a two-hitter and a one-hitter among his three starts, so let's see where it goes.”
I deployed #2HitWhit in this league for much of his productive first-half of last season, where he hit for a .290 AVG with two home runs and five steals in 200 plate appearances–production that no doubt was helped by a .370 BABIP. After a lackluster second-half (an empty .271 AVG with no homers and three steals), I chose not to keep Merrifield this spring after it appeared the Royals were committed to some type of Raul Mondesi/Cheslor Cuthbert pairing at second base this season. Mondesi flamed out after a sparkling .346 OPS in his first 14 games of the year, opening the door once again for Merrifield, who smacked three home runs in nine games at Triple-A Omaha. The hope is that Merrifield can piece together another solid half year’s worth of production while Marcus Semien (my MI starter) recovers from his wrist injury.
Allen Cordoba (SS)—Padres won for $9 by Ralph Lifshitz—Razzball
Mac Williamson (SS)—Giants won for $4 by Jeff Zimmermann—FanGraphs
Ryan Cordell (OF)—Brewers won for $4 by J.J. Jansons—Baseball Prospectus/TDG
To say for some time now that I’ve been interested in Cordell’s journey (which brought him to Triple-A Colorado Springs this season) is a gross understatement. I believe Cordell, who turned 25 in March, might get the first chance at a promotion when the Brewers dip down for an outfielder this season, even ahead of more-ballyhooed prospects Brett Phillips and Lewis Brinson. He has started at all three outfield spots this season, can play the infield if needed as well, and is two years older than both Phillips and Brinson. It’s obviously very well known that the Brewers would like to move Ryan Braun (and soon), and Cordell impressed Brewers officials with a strong spring after coming over as the PTBNL in the Jonathan Lucroy trade. Cordell, who features a nice power/speed profile, has smacked four home runs and swiped two bases in his first 16 games of PCL action, after hitting 19 home runs and stealing 12 bags at Double-A Frisco in 2016.
Greg Garcia (3B)—Cardinals won for $2 by J.J. Jansons—Baseball Prospectus/TDG
Enrique Hernandez (LF)—Dodgers won for $2 by J.J. Jansons—Baseball Prospectus/TDG
This is what desperation for middle-infield help looks like. With Jhonny Peralta sidelined, Garcia could work his way into a semi-platoon with Jedd Gyorko at third base while playing elsewhere on the infield a bit, and Hernandez should continue to play regularly against lefties, at a minimum.
J.C. Ramirez (RP)—Angels won for $1 by Al Melchior—FanGraphs/FanRag Sports
Ramirez’s good work in the Angels rotation has caught my deeper-league eye, as the 28-year-old has made the only three big-league starts of his career (his first starts at any level since Double A in 2011, for that matter) over the past few weeks with Los Angeles. Ramirez has punched out 19 batters in 17 1/3 innings, and has held opponents to a .197/.262/.339 in the three outings, good for a very playable 21.2 percent K/BB rate. I don’t think Ramirez is quite ready for 12- and 16-team mixed leagues just yet, but he’s a solid add in 20-team or deeper leagues, and I think Al may have gotten a steal for a buck here.
Shane Peterson (OF)—Rays won for $1 by Ralph Lifshitz—Razzball
Daniel Nava (OF)—Phillies won for $0 by Ben Carsley—Baseball Prospectus
Trevor Clifton (SP)—Cubs won for $0 by Nick Doran—The Dynasty Guru/Rotoworld
Demi Orimoloye (OF)—Brewers won for $0 by J.P. Breen—Baseball Prospectus
J.P. made my two favorite prospect adds this week, as both the toolsy Wilson and Orimoloye are starting to produce this season. Wilson, the 69th-overall pick in the nice 2014 draft by the Diamondbacks is putting together one of the more impressive lines in all of the minors so far this season. Basically splitting his time between center field and left field at Low-A Kane County, Wilson has walked as much as he’s struck out in 85 plate appearances, smashing his way to a .362/.470/.696 line with five home runs and four steals.
Orimoloye, a fourth-rounder in the 2015 draft, is striking out at a 28-percent rate in his first taste of Midwest League action with Low-A Wisconsin, but he already has hit five home runs and stolen five bases in 18 games. Wilson is looking more and more like a top-200 fantasy prospect at this point, and Orimoloye could join him if he improves his contact rate. Regardless, both feature the type of fantasy profile worthy of being added in deeper leagues, and Breen did well to add both for no money here.
Dawel Lugo (3B)—Diamondbacks won for $0 by Luke Chatelain—The Dynasty Guru
Joakim Soria (RP)—Kansas City won for $0 by Tom Trudeau/Craig Glaser—MLB.com
Jaff Decker (OF)—Athletics won for $0 by Scott White—CBS Sports
Kyle Muller (SP)—Braves won for $0 by Luke Chatelain—The Dynasty Guru
Tommy Kahnle (RP)—White Sox won for $0 by Tom Trudeau/Craig Glaser—MLB.com
Jorge De La Rosa (SP)—Diamondbacks won for $0 by Tom Trudeau/Craig Glaser—MLB.com