Trust the Process: Tearing It Down

Written by: Andrew Lowe (@ALowe710)

Follow us on Twitter: @Prospects365

In my introduction to this series, I talked about Trusting The Process and what that actually meant in terms of dynasty fantasy baseball.

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s put some names to these ideas and roll out the roster I will use throughout this series. I’ve won the championship twice, including LAST year, and I find myself in playoff contention this season. I didn’t have to sell. But, heartbreakingly, Jose Fernandez passed away. I couldn’t keep Ryon Healy. Jung Ho Kang’s issues loomed throughout my offseason decision making. And, in my league particularly, Miguel Cabrera was losing value fast. When I sniffed the slightest whiff of trouble and felt my team’s window beginning to close, I channeled my pale-skinned role model, Mr. Hinkie.

When I started my fire sale, I had four goals:

1) Get a young potential ace to replace Scherzer

2) Stock up a war-chest of draft picks, one of which needing to be a a top 10 pick

3) Acquire players who could eventually be flipped for more assets

4) Unload Miguel Cabrera

 

Here are the trades (note that trades beginning with Healy and ending with Kang were made during the offseason):

 

Sent Away Received
Ryon Healy Alex Verdugo
   
Jose Quintana Triston McKenzie
Taylor Trammell Franklyn Kilome
  Scott Kingery
  Taylor Guerrieri
   
David Dahl Joe Panik
Luis Urias Willy Adames
  Ronald Acuna
   
Jung Ho Kang Roniel Raudes
  Estevan Florial
   
Ivan Nova late 2018 1st
   
Marcell Ozuna Michael Fulmer
Sent Away Received
Paul Goldschmidt Carlos Martinez
Felipe Rivero Blake Snell
(1) Re-sign Dominic Smith
  late 2018 1st
  2019 3rd
   
Max Scherzer Yonder Alonso
Dallas Keuchel Yasiel Puig
  Brent Honeywell
  Willie Calhoun
  2018-2019 1st-4ths
   
Miguel Cabrera Brandon Belt
Matt Andriese early-mid 2018 1st
(1) 2018 Re-sign Aristides Aquino
Late 2018 3rd $15 FAAB

 

What follows are the remains. As bare as Jay Bilas’s “beard.” You and I will build a dynasty out of this. You’ll see we run pretty deep. There’s also some roster mechanics that are too silly to explain. I am trying to tank, yet I’m still in the playoff hunt:

C – Cameron Rupp

1B – Yonder Alonso

2B – Joe Panik

3B – Anthony Rendon

SS – Addison Russell

LF – Brandon Belt

CF – Ender Inciarte

RF – Domingo Santana

UTIL – Yasiel Puig

Bench – Jurickson Profar, Brad Miller (DL), Blake Swihart, Cory Spangenberg*

SP – Carlos Martinez

SP – Michael Fulmer

SP – Blake Snell

SP – Tyler Anderson (DL)

SP – Ty Blach*

RP – Ken Giles

RP – Francis Martes

RP – Mike Montgomery

RP – Alex Colome

RP – Jonathan Holder

Bench – Brock Stewart, Andrew Triggs (DL), Rubby De la Rosa*, Trevor Williams*, Austin Bibens-Dirkx*

Players notarized with an asterisk (*) are players I’m using to simply meet roster requirements. I have no long-term plans with these players unless I can trade them to an opposing owner. 

Here’s where the fun begins…..

Prospect Bats: Eloy Jimenez, Ronald Acuna, Willy Adames, Alex Verdugo, Dominic Smith, Derek Fisher, Estevan Florial, Scott Kingery, Willie Calhoun, Christian Arroyo, Aristides Aquino, Andres Gimenez, Keibert Ruiz, Anderson Franco

Prospect Arms: Brent Honeywell, Triston McKenzie, Franklin Perez, Franklyn Kilome, Roniel Raudes, Nick Kingham, Taylor Guerrieri

And to top it all off….

I now own FIVE 1st round picks and 11 picks overall in the next draft, plus two 1st round picks and nine picks overall in 2019.

 

The minor league rosters in my league are unlimited, but prospects can only be selected in our four-round Prospect Draft each January. About 300 prospects are owned already in my league. That means that June Rule 4 draftees, July 2 teenagers, and prospects that fall through the cracks are the only prospects unowned in my league.

What are the lessons to be learned? Have specific goals in mind and accomplish them. And while you should always keep it in mind, not every trade you execute in fantasy baseball (dynasties, especially) has to match or maximize value.

The first dam to break was trading Goldschmidt to a championship-caliber team. The other owner was persistent and admittedly wore me down. After many poor offers, he finally offered something interesting: young potential ace Carlos Martinez. He added some sweeteners, but mandated that I include both Felipe Rivero and a re-sign. The trade checked off a few boxes for me, including opening my opponent’s mind to the potential of more trades. He may have won this battle, but I will win the war.

Why give up extra pieces? When I ask for extra targets, the other owner usually shows reluctance, perhaps a coy ploy by them (although most owners aren’t that smart). Despite losing a little value holistically, I am willing to include inconsequential pieces to get a deal done because it shows the other owner I am not trying to screw them over. It fosters good future negotiations. Of course, you can take it too far and channel Dave Stewart or Billy King and give up assets unnecessarily. Figure out the difference between your opponent attempting to take advantage of you and your opponent simply seeking what they perceive as fair value while negotiating a trade.

The rest of the trades listed above helped accomplish the goals I had laid out and prioritized beforehand, including the unloading of Miguel Cabrera. I am trying to sell Yonder Alonso and rebuild Yasiel Puig’s value through conversations with my leaguemates. No, I didn’t unanimously win each and every trade I executed along the way, but my minor league system will nearly double in size over the next two years thanks to the moves I made, which should be a huge goal for any team attempting to rebuild in a dynasty league. After all, this is chess, not checkers.

You’re all caught up now. We’ll work together to fix this team. Through this process, I will detail the mechanics of my rebuild including ways to sell and accumulate value, tell you what I look for in prospects, discuss creativity and adaptability, analyze behavior, address biases, and share how to optimize your use of information and resources. I hope you Trust The Process and continue on this journey with me.

Follow prospects-365.com on Twitter: @Prospects365

Credit for featured image goes to MLB.com.

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