We are now just over two months into the season and this roster is shaping up to be something. I wouldn’t exactly call it something to be proud of just yet, but there is a future here. The updated roster is below:
We have some legitimate prospects here! The first notable change is that Juan Soto is now a full-time big leaguer. There really was no sense of urgency for my team, since I am not anywhere really close to my contention cycle yet, but now that Soto’s in the big leagues, and producing well, I can have a better idea of how the outfield is going to shake out.
You’ll also notice that Whit Merrifield and Brendan Rodgers have joined the team. I acquired them in the same trade:
Send: Didi Gregorius, SS, NYY
Receive: Brendan Rodgers, SS, Col AND Whit Merrifield, 2B/OF, KC
This trade was really a no-brainer for me. Didi was fantastic at the beginning of the year but his production, I thought, was pretty unsustainable. I traded him just before he went on that brutal 0-whatever skid and I think I was able to sell him at just the right time. I honestly would have traded Didi for just Rodgers, but the fact that I was also able to grab Merrifield in the deal as well was an added bonus. I could continue to try to trade Merrifield for a prospect or two or just hold on to him. He’s a solid piece.
The main goal, at least for me, when making my first trade in a new league is to make a big splash. It doesn’t need to be a blockbuster, but this is the first judgment your new league mates will make of your trading ability, so you don’t want to show them you’re a pushover who can be easily taken advantage of.
In my case, I was able to cash in on what I perceived to be an overperforming veteran. Rodgers, a consensus top prospect in all of baseball, is a fantastic commodity for my team and should be a cornerstone at the shortstop position for the next decade. I’m very bullish on Rodgers; I own him in two of my three dynasty leagues now.
That trade set the tone for another trade that I made this past weekend and is not yet reflected on my roster (it is pending):
Send: Jordan Montgomery, SP, NYY
Receive: A.J. Puk, SP, Oak AND Stephen Piscotty, OF, Oak
In this deal, I was able to trade an okay starter for a starter with sky-high upside. I also did not really consider this as a motivation but now I have no Yankees on my team which is always a plus because I hate the Yankees.
This trade was actually offered to me. I initially offered Dan Straily for Puk but the other owner declined and countered with this, which isn’t much better of a deal, but is still a good trade for me and makes sense.
To generalize, I think trades like this are ones that should be relatively easy to make. Puk is on the disabled list due to Tommy John surgery but is still a very good prospect is easy and cheap to acquire (Montgomery is not even a top-75 starter in dynasty in my eyes) and guys like him are must-targets for rebuilding teams.
On to the roster. My outfield is actually looking pretty solid with Haniger, Marte, and Soto, plus Calhoun is waiting in the wings. I also was able to snag David Dahl off waivers (he was dropped for Mitch Moreland), so that was a huge break for me. My infield could use some work; I’m planning on trading all of my non-prospect infielders at some point. Additionally, by the time this is published, I will have Keibert Ruiz as a catching prospect on my roster.
As for my pitchers, those are coming along more slowly. Soroka made his big league debut then got injured which is obviously not optimal but he should return soon. I swapped out Nate Jones for Richard Rodriguez because I’m hoping Rodriguez will get the closer role or at least get some high-leverage work and be able to bring back some higher-upside prospects.
Speaking of prospects, I added Shane Bieber and Dennis Santana for their respective MLB debuts. I also cut Dexter Fowler for Dustin Fowler but I will be dropping Dustin when the impending trade processes.
Overall, solid progress is being made on the roster. There is still work to do, however. The problem is that a lot of what needs to be done beyond trading is waiting, and that is not always a lot of fun for the owners involved. Such is the life of a rebuilding manager.
Stay tuned for part five…