I figured I would post an update since quite a bit has happened since my previous posting. The All-Star break is also as good a time as any to take a step back and re-evaluate the players on my roster. Here’s what my squad looks like as of publishing:
Not that much movement overall, but some minor adjustments. One move that is not reflected is a trade that was offered to me and accepted the day before this was published:
Send: Jhoulys Chacin, SP, Mil
Receive: Roberto Osuna, RP, Tor
This trade, like the other trades I have made so far this season, was a no-brainer. I woke up with this offer in my inbox and could not have accepted faster. Osuna is a stud 23-year-old closer and while he may not be a great person, he’s great at baseball and that’s what matters for my fantasy team. Chacin, on the other hand, is a 30-year-old mediocre starting pitcher who will certainly fall out of relevance, even in an 18-team league, in the near future. I essentially nabbed myself a closer for the next decade for the price of an underwhelming starter. You can chalk that one up as a W.
In addition to making that swap, I picked up Jesus Luzardo and Diego Castillo, both of whom I thought would be more useful than the guys they replaced (Richard Rodriguez and Dennis Santana). It’s not that I don’t love me some Richard Rodriguez, but I think Castillo has a clearer shot to closing and his youth gave him the edge in my opinion, so I made the move.
On the other side of the ball, I added Keibert Ruiz, Yordan Alvarez, and Jo Adell. Ruiz has been somewhat underwhelming with the bat at AA so far this season, but he’s still a 19-year-old holding his own in AA as a catcher which is incredible and certainly worth a roster spot in a keep forever 18-team dynasty league.
Adell I added because he’s been a stud and will likely be up at some point in 2020 if not next year. Alvarez is similar to Adell in that he is getting a lot of love this year in prospect circles, but I added him more because I have a need at first base (Gurriel will not cut it there for much longer) and Alvarez will likely get a shot at first base in the majors.
Speaking of Gurriel, I currently have a trade offer of Ronald Guzman and Joe Musgrove for Gurriel. It fits a lot better with my time frame but the only issue is that I would have to drop someone, so I’m still undecided about making that move. I guess you’ll just have to stick around until the next update to see what happens.
We’ve also had another minor league prospect call-up, which is always huge for rebuilding clubs. Willie Calhoun, one of the Rangers’ top prospects, was recalled on Friday and (as of my writing this) went 1/5 with two strikeouts, a walk, and an RBI. Not too shabby.
I want to now take a minute to zoom out and look at the team as a whole and how it is progressing. Obviously, when handed a trash team as I was in the very beginning, the goal is to give the team a future. I think I have done just that here; 17 of the 28 players on the roster are younger than 25 years old. When I inherited the team, there were just two players under 25 years old. That’s the chief way to go about rebuilding a roster in a dynasty league: acquire young talent through whatever means possible, be it the waiver wire or via trade. I have done a little bit of both this season, but the waiver wire and free agent pickups have been the main vehicle by which I have improved my team.
And that brings us to the old adage about fantasy sports: you cannot win your league at the draft, but you certainly can lose it. In this case, there is no draft, but the saying holds true; you cannot win your league by simply selecting your keepers, you need to stay active on the waiver wire and constantly re-evaluate your team to determine whether there are prospects or guys sitting out on the wire that should be picked up. This is a list of all the players I acquired through free agency or waivers this year that should be legitimate assets in an 18-team keeper league:
Keibert Ruiz, Juan Soto, Mitch Haniger, Willie Calhoun, Royce Lewis, Keston Hiura, Jo Adell, Yordan Alvarez, David Dahl, Shane Bieber, Keone Kela, Diego Castillo, Triston McKenzie, Nick Kingham, Shohei Ohtani (pitcher), Jesus Luzardo, Mike Soroka.
That’s a list of 17 guys, or 61% of the team. Free agency and waiver wire pickups are what keep your team competitive (or expedite the rebuild, in my case), so that’s where you should look to make your move early in the process. Yes, trades are great, but when you begin your team with so few assets, it’s a lot harder to make trades than it is to be active on the waiver wire and hope that something you pick up sticks. So that’s what I realized when I took a pause during the All-Star break to evaluate my team: free agency activity is the way to go.
With that being said, I will still try to move Gurriel, Beltre, CarGo, Straily, and any of the other folks that do not fit my window. As I have said many times before, and will continue to say, acquiring young talent is the name of the game in the early stages of the rebuild. But this roster, just halfway into season one, looks as though it may be developing into something. Just maybe.
Stay tuned for part 6…