Monday, March 24, 2008

Flapjacks Fantasy Transactions

For the other participants in my "Flapjacks" Yahoo keeper league, let's take a look at some of the recent waiver wire transactions over the weekend and see if we can assess their impact.

1. Adrian's Revenge (that's me) trades Xavier Nady to Dissect Yourself (Micah) for Austin Kearns.

This was a straight up value swap in that each team gave up an outfielder from their bench for another player that they valued more. Micah gets some more pop for his team, since Nady should hit 20-25 HR, though I think Micah's hoping for a breakout year of around 30 HR. Micah does have a need for more power as he only has a few solid HR sources (Jim Thome, Manny Ramirez, Alfonso Soriano, Matt Holliday); most of his squad is filled up with with guys who hit for average (James Loney, Kelly Johnson, Daric Barton) and speedsters (Juan Pierre, Corey Patterson). Nady will hit for power, but he's never had 500 at bats in a season and there are quite a few options in the Pittsburgh outfield. I wanted to get a player with a bit more upside and job security, which is why I targeted Austin Kearns.

Austin Kearns has the talent to hit 25 or more HR in a season, but like Nady, he'd never played a full season until last year. Kearns power was trending upward a couple of years ago in Cincinnatti; he hit 18 HR in 387 at bats in 2005 and 16 HR in 325 at bats in 2006 before being traded midway through the season to Washington. Since coming to Washington, he's hit 24 HR in 799 at bats, his power being severely stunted by his home park. Last year he hit .228 with a .695 OPS at home, while on the road he hit .301 with .832 OPS. Washington moves into a more offensive-friendly park this year, and my hope is that Austin Kearns will have a season more along the lines of his 2007 road stats, maybe .280/25/90. It's not much of a gamble on my part as neither Kearns nor Nady would have started the season anywhere but on my bench. Kearns will be blocked by Carlos Lee, Chris B. Young, Hunter Pence, Josh Willingham, Raul Ibanez, and Rick Ankiel, but Kearns could break into that group with a good first month or two, especially if there's an injury. At the very least I can spot start him right away against lefties.

I think this trade will work out well for both teams. Neither of us gave up someone we wanted and we both got someone we valued.

2. Val Kilmer's Asshole (Mark) drops Homer Bailey and picks up Mark Ellis.

Mark (whose team was previously known as the Kiwis) had dropped Freddy Sanchez last week for Doug Davis, and needed to fill his empty MI spot. Ellis is a solid yet underappreciated MI who should provide some pop. He's one of the better hitters on the Oakland team, so he should have some good RBI opportunities. Mark could have gone with someone like Jason Bartlett for more speed, but his team is pretty balanced, and I think Ellis is a good choice.

I like Homer Bailey a lot, and he may still have a good year in 2008, but he's just one of a couple pitchers fighting for the fifth spot in the Reds rotation. Mark already had seven starting pitchers before dropping Bailey, so it makes sense to lose a pitcher, but I think I would have dropped Davis and kept Bailey. Davis has been declining as a pitcher the last couple of years, and I don't think he'll turn it around soon. Better to keep Bailey and hope he gets called up to the rotation in a month.

I think Mark did a good job to fill a hole on his team, but I think he needs to replace Doug Davis in his rotation.

3. Naterade (Nate) drops Franklin Morales and adds Wily Mo Pena and Travis Buck.
Nate dropped a talented rookie - which is surprising because most of his roster is made up of talented rookies - who has struggled this spring and is not assured of a roster spot.  Franklin Morales has one more spring training start to try and impress the Rockies, but it looks like he needs more time in AAA.  Nate has a decent pitching staff, though both Francisco Liriano and John Smoltz are recovering/hurting from injury, so Morales won't be much of a loss.  

Nate picks up Wily Mo Pena to stash on his DL and Oakland outfielder Travis Buck, who plays tomorrow in the first game of the season.  I have a feeling Nate grabbed Buck to take advantage of the two games that Oakland plays this week.  Nate can get a headstart on his opponent by gaining some early stats.  I'm willing to bet that Buck will be back on the waiver wire this weekend, which is where he should stay as he the only value he has is a starting job.

Pena will start the season on the DL with a torn oblique and should be back in May.  He has lots of power - he hit 26 HR in 336 at bats playing for Cincinatti in 2004 - and is just entering his prime, but he has problems hitting righties, batting .203 in 177 at bats last year.  The talented but troubled Elijah Dukes will man left field while Pena is out, and Pena may have to split time if Dukes produces in the first month.  No harm in keeping Pena in your DL spot as a speculation pickup.

4. Dissect Yourself (Micah) picks up Tony Pena.
Micah had a roster spot open and picked up Arizona reliever Tony Pena.  This is a good pickup for a few reasons.  Our league has a 9-start limit per week, so relievers gain a greater value because the innnings they do not count against the start limit.  Pena should be the first in line for saves if Brandon Lyon is unable to hold the closer position.  Pena has decent DOM ratios, but he needs to improve his command just a little.  He'll have solid value, especially if he can take over as closer.

5.  Adrian's Revenge drops Jason Giambi and picks up Pat Neshek and Kurt Suzuki.
With Brad Lidge going on the DL to start the season, I had a roster spot open.  I wanted a relief pitcher so I could take advantage of their ability to rack up innings without counting against our start limit, and Pat Neshek was one of the best available.  Neshek had a DOM rate of 9.47 and a Command rate of 2.74 last year.  He made 74 appearances in 2007 and tired as the year went on, but he's pitched well this spring with no walks in eight innings.  He again be a dominant reliever to start the season.

I picked up Suzuki for the same reason that Nate picked up Travis Buck, because Suzuki plays for one of only two teams that have games this week.  I'm hoping Suzuki might give me a couple RBI this week before the rest of the league takes the field.  I dropped Giambi because he was the most expendable player on my roster.  He is one to watch though, for those speculating on power.

1 comment:

Tim said...

Kelly Johnson has more power then most second baseman. I think he hits 20HR this year for the Braves. He hit 16 for for them in his first semi-full season. That is good power at 2b. I really wish he was on my team.