Welcome back! A little has changed since the last installment of “Creating a Dynasty.” Here’s a look at the much-improved roster:
(I also dropped Hunter Pence for Joey Bats in the hope that Bautista will be good and I can flip him but that move has not yet processed so I have no Joey Bats on my team).
I went ahead and got rid of nearly all the players I said I was going to. Guys that are no longer on the team: Ben Gamel, Danny Valencia, Jesse Chavez, AJ Cole, Chris Flexen, Domingo German, Miguel Gonzalez, Junior Guerra, Rafael Montero, Hunter Pence and Trevor Rosenthal. I also have a waiver claim in to try to grab Tyler Austin for Josh Tomlin.
As you can see, I injected a bit of youth into this team. The above players that I got rid of made up nearly 40% of the roster at the start of the year! I don’t think the team I have now is a championship contender by any means but it certainly looks a lot better for the future.
The rule of thumb at this stage is stockpiling your roster with young talent. For me, this took the form of prospects and Nate Jones, which I will talk about a little more below. It’s virtually impossible to get through a rebuild without some top prospects, so make sure that you scour the wire for available youngsters whenever you join a new league. Also, inquire about prospects you like because other owners may be looking to deal prospects to win now.
In my case, I was able to nab Ohtani (pitcher) with the #2 overall waiver claim. Had I not gotten him, I would have gotten Fernando Tatis Jr., but Tatis was taken with the #1 claim. I also picked up some top prospects in Royce Lewis, Keston Hiura, Juan Soto, and Mike Soroka, who figures to make his MLB debut within the next month. I took a flier on Yonny Chirinos when he showed some upside earlier this year and went ahead and added Nick Kingham when the news came out that he would be starting this past Sunday (April 29th). In case you don’t know or somehow have had your memory erased since Sunday afternoon and today, Kingham went seven scoreless with nine strikeouts, one hit, and no walks. I have already received an offer for him (Willie Calhoun), and I’m still not sure if I want to do that.
I’ve gotten a handful of other trade offers but none particularly enticing. An interesting one I was offered was Tommy Pham for Didi Gregorius, but the way Didi is hitting right now makes him worth much more than just Tommy Pham so I decided to hold tight. I will be sure to write an update when I make my first trade.
The other guys I have picked up fall into two categories: trade hopefuls and Mitch Haniger. In all likelihood, you will not have a Mitch Haniger on your wire when you join a league, but I did and took the chance to scoop him up. It has paid off in spades. Haniger has been a stud this year and I really do not understand how he was available in a 18-team league. I’m not complaining, though.
The trade hopefuls are the players that will be available in most every league. I picked up Nate Jones, Keone Kela, Jose Bautista, and Dexter Fowler with the hope that they will become valuable enough to flip for a lower-level prospect at some point during the season. I mentioned this earlier in the series, but it is always best to trade your closers when conducting a rebuild because it is nearly impossible to tell who will be closing for each time two months down the line, let alone two years. I’ll flip Jones and Kela when a good opportunity presents itself.
Bautista and Fowler are in a class with guys on my roster such as Ian Kinsler and Carlos Gonzalez in that they are not valuable right now, but if they get hot I might be able to flip them to a team to fill a hole. Whenever rebuilding, it’s usually a good idea to take a shot on veterans with a track record to see if you can trade them for anything valuable should they turn it around, even in a small capacity. I’m not expecting to get prime Kinsler, Bautista, or Gonzalez, but any value that any of them returns will be surely welcome on a roster that is still not very talented.
The next step is staying active on the waiver wire and in trades. I don’t want to make a fool of myself with the first trade I make in this league so I have held my hand close to my chest thus far, but those will come in the next few weeks and months. As for the waiver wire, I have this to say: anybody can do the preseason preparation, but fantasy championships are won on the wire. If a manager sits back and puts the team on autopilot without actively looking for chances to improve the roster, that manager will never win. Guys like Preston Tucker and Matt Davidson who are more likely than not to just be flashes in the pan are not worthy of an add, but players who could have legitimate future value or could pick up a closer job are nearly always worth grabbing, especially if there are aging vets that are expendable.
Stay tuned for part four…