Where were you Monday when Jesse Winker was called up to the majors in enough time for me to set my weekly roster for The Dynasty Guru Experts (#TDGX) dynasty league?

Sure, it might not seem like an event of much importance to you. But to me? It was practically a holiday. Because for the first time in a long time–I want to say at least a season-and-a-half–it allowed me to start a full lineup of MLBers in TDGX.

My previous TDGX rebuilding update came in May of 2016, so I’ll summarize briefly here: I’m rebuilding, and I have been since the 2015 offseason. In 2014, the first year of TDGX, I was competitive but had an older team that probably only had one or two good runs left in it, or so I thought. In 2015, I was middle of the pack, which is pretty much the worst thing to be when your team is also old. So, kaboom, I blew it all to hell, with the hopes that I’d be able to compete by 2018 or, perhaps more realistically, 2019.

That meant lots and lots of trades early a season ago, which you can read about through the link above, but not quite as much action during the back half of 2016. We’re currently dealing with one super-team in the league (courtesy Tom Trudeau and Craig Glasser), so people are skeptical about cashing in and trying to compete. Meanwhile, we’re faced with a glut of rebuilding teams that make me happy I started the process a year early, because right now, people with good MLBers are definitely in the driver’s seat.

If you’re keeping score at home, that’s how you end up with a roster that couldn’t/wasn’t designed to feature 23 MLBers all playing together at once. Until Jesse Winker, of course.

This is all a long-winded way of saying that my roster has changed substantially since my previous update, but it’s happened more via FAAB and the draft than through trades. That being said, I have made two notable deals this calendar year, and while I’m currently in 15th place in the league, I’m still eyeing 2019 as a possibility.

How’s that going? Well, you be the judge. Here are the notable trades I’ve made this season:





Team Razzball

Michael Fulmer

Rafael Devers

Charlie Tilson

Nick Williams

Tom Murphy

This one is pretty straightforward. While I buy Fulmer as a legit fantasy SP4, I thought his value would never be higher than it was coming off his AL ROY campaign. I thought Murphy was an overrated prospect thanks to Coors, but many viewed him as a top-100 guy. In exchange for those two and a throw-in, I got two top-25 dynasty prospects in Devers and Williams, the latter of whom I have loved deeply for some time. Fulmer has been solid this year and should be for years to come, but I feel good about this trade so far.





Greg Wellemeyer

Yonder Alonso

David Paulino

Trevor Bauer

Lucas Erceg

Alex Wilson

Archie Bradley

My most recent transaction also centers around trying to sell high on players. Hey, maybe Yonder Alonso really is Prime Albert Pujols now, but I have a feeling he’ll fall back to earth. Bauer is more valuable than you’d think in leagues like this—I received a good amount of interest in him when I put him on the block—but in the end I liked the package I got back enough to include him. Paulino is a guy I view very similarly to Bauer (albeit with more health risk), Erceg is a top-100 prospect and Bradley has blossomed into a dominant reliever. This one could definitely go either way, but with the possible exception of Alonso, I don’t think I gave up a guy I won’t be able to replace if I do get a shot at competing in 2018.

In terms of the FAAB additions I’ve made (who are still on my roster), here’s what we’re looking at:

Player Added/$ Spent

Player Dropped

David Freese, $6

Billy McKinney

Matt Davidson, $0


Jordan Zimmerman, $8

Kyle Zimmer

Leonys Martin, $2

Kyle Gibson

Alex Meyer, $0

Daniel Nava

Franchy Cordero, $0

Yeyson Yrizarri

Lewis Thorpe, $7

Brett Anderson

Aristides Aquino, $1

J.J. Hardy

All in all, here’s why my roster looks like today:

C: Willson Contreras, CHC

SP: Julio Teheran, ATL

1B: David Freese, PIT

SP: Jordan Zimmermann, DET

2B: Brandon Drury, ARI

SP: Mike Foltynewicz, ATL

3B: Jacob Lamb, ARI

SP: Daniel Norris, DET

SS: Jose Peraza, CIN

SP: Alex Meyer, LAA

CI: Matt Davidson, CHW

SP: Jeff Hoffman, COL

MI: Wilmer Flores, NYM

SP: David Paulino, HOU

OF: Carlos Gonzalez, COL

RP: Archie Bradley, ARI

OF: Aaron Judge, NYY

RP: Drew Storen, CIN

OF: Bradley Zimmer, CLE

OF: Michael Taylor, WAS

OF: Ben Revere, LAA

UT: Jesse Winker, CIN

UT: Franchy Cordero, SD

BN: Leonys Martin, OF, SEA

BN: Jake Thompson, SP, PHI

BN: Rymer Liriano, OF, CHW

DL: Tyler Skaggs, LAA

DL: Dalton Pompey, OF, TOR

DL: Vince Velazquez, PHI

MiLB: Amed Rosario, SS, NYM

MiLB: Rafael Devers, 3B, BOS

MiLB: Franklin Barreto, SS, OAK

MiLB: Nick Williams, OF, PHI

MiLB: Michael Kopech, SP, CHW

MiLB: Jason Groome, LHP, BOS

MiLB: Lucas Erceg, 3B, MIL

MiLB: Yusniel Diaz, OF, LAD

MiLB: Chance Sisco, C, BAL

MiLB: Justin Dunn, RHP, NYM

MiLB: Jomar Reyes, 3B, BAL

MiLB: Desmond Lindsay, OF, NYM

MiLB: Lewis Thorpe, LHP, MIN

MiLB: Aristides Aquino, OF, CIN

As you can see, I’ve managed to cobble together a fairly interesting offensive core. Contreras, Lamb, Peraza, CarGo, Judge, B. Zimmer, Drury… there’s some talent there that should (with the exception of CarGo) get even better in the coming years. Plus, I have two top-10 dynasty prospects in Rosario and Devers and two more top-20ish guys in Barreto and Williams. You’d expect all four to be in the majors next year and established by 2019.

As for the pitching, well, that’s in worse shape. Teheran and Zimmerman are having atrocious years, though I was happy to get the latter on a modest FAAB bet and he’s been better as of late. Folty, Norris, Velasquez, Thompson and Meyer are all as (or more than) likely to be relieving by 2019 as they are mid-rotation starters. I really like Skaggs and Hoffman, actually, but health and Coors hurt, respectively. Plus, Kopech is my only MiLB arm who figures to be relevant anytime soon. I’m going to need to trade for at least one stud SP and two tolerable mid-rotation options if I want to be competitive on the mound.

Past league transactions make me confident that I can trade for those types of arms successfully, especially as many other teams tear down their rosters. We all know what happens when you assume, but I’d rather have young offensive players and need to trade for pitching than vice versa.

Is 2018 a bit of a pipe dream? Not for a top-10 finish, but for a top-three finish, yes. I have a bottom-five pitching staff. I have no closers. And some of my next wave of talent—Williams, Barreto, Devers, etc.—is far from guaranteed to earn 500-plus PA next season. But if I don’t screw up any trades and am able to grab another good player or two through FAAB, 2019 might not be so crazy after all.

At the very least, my team should be good enough by then that “starting a full lineup” will no longer be a milestone I remember.

Thank you for reading

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Interesting write up. I love to see the thought process of other dynasty owners. I wish there was a bit more of this at BP. Often, it feels like the pendulum swings prospect heavy to redraft (unless it's the off-season).

I'm interested in hearing your additional thoughts on adding a relief arm like Archie Bradley. Your colleague, George Bissell, stated on the FFF podcast that relievers are too fickle for any sort of long term investment. Here it seems like you've bought into the idea that some late inning arms are worth it. What helps you make that call?

Also, with regards to Contreras and catcher in general, it seems like fool's gold to label them as a foundational piece of your team. Why not treat a catcher like you would a closer? A valuable trade asset to a contending team and acquire a catcher later when you're ready to make the jump?
Bradley was the third-most important piece in the deal. I think we can all agree that we'd rather have Bradley than Alex Wilson in Dynasty, so it was just another little angle I worked in at the end to try and tilt the scales another 1% in my favor. It's a strategy I use often in trades.

I think we disagree on Contreras' potential. I'm with you that most catchers aren't worth investing in big-time, but I'm also confident that Contreras is a top-7 Dynasty backup, and all he cost me was a third-round pick two years ago. He plays more, has more versatility than and more upside than your average (non-elite) catcher.
Somewhere a Blake Swihart owner just shed a tear to this sentiment.
Or a Sal Perez owner nodded his head in agreement.