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Update on a Deep League Roster Reconstruction

A few weeks back, I wrote a piece on taking over a team from another owner, inspired by a new team I had acquired in a 20 team, 45-man-roster 5×5 (OBP, not AVG) league. In that piece, I mentioned three trades I made, moving five pieces and acquiring six.

Since then, I have made two more trades and wanted to take a quick look at how far my roster has come in the two months since I took ownership. I am not ready to calling it a winning (or even better) team, but it is certainly different and is starting to show the values of the new owner.

In addition to the three deals mentioned in the last piece (James Shields for Lance Lynn, Jenrry Mejia and Yusmeiro Petit; Jeremy Hellickson and Josh Hamilton for Matt Dominguez, Jason Castro, and Asdrubal Cabrera; Cabreara, AJ Ellis and Luke Jackson for Michael Cuddyer) I have since done the following:

Zach Lee, Yordano Ventura and Tim Anderson for Junior Lake, Grant Green, and Ike Davis
My 5th Round Pick (90th overall, but with 560 keepers, really the 650th best slot) for Justin Ruggiano and a 9th rounder (175th overall)

I am very happy with the Ruggiano trade. Playing time is an issue in a potentially crowded Miami outfield, but Ruggiano has too much value to be on the bench and I expect Miami will either end up using him (due to injury or ineffectiveness elsewhere) or trading him. He’s older than you might expect (he’ll be 32 shortly after opening day), but he also clubbed 18 homers and stole 15 bases in about 3/4ths of a season last year. If he moved to a team where a full-time job waited, 20/20 would be a reach, but not out of the question at all. And while his .222 AVG and .298 OBP are not pretty, a .260 BABIP had a lot to do with that.

I don’t love the other trade – I am extremely high on Yordano Ventura, but felt that my young pitching staff allowed me to shop him and this was easily the best offer I got. Lee and Anderson are not nothing, but neither of them are guys I care much about. Lee could still turn into something solid, but I don’t believe Anderson (a SS in the White Sox system) is destined for great things (although Marc Hulet ranked him as #6 in the Sox system).

The prize for me in that deal was Davis, a guy whose virtues I have extolled to anyone who will listen, and who I still believe is a small adjustment away from big, big things. Lake and Green are upside plays, particularly Lake, who I expect will be a starter for the Cubs and whose tools make him a decent play in a league with 80 starting OF and 40 starting DH.

The net of all of this dealing is that I have moved AJ Ellis, Mike Aviles, James Loney, Josh Hamilton, and Ed Lucas out of my lineup, replacing them with Jason Castro, Ike Davis, Matt Dominguez, Michael Cuddyer and Justin Ruggiano. If you pair those guys up in the order listed, I will take my new starter over my former starter in all five cases. Among those guys, the biggest loss is Hamilton, but I still have Loney, Aviles and Lucas on my roster (if I want to keep them).

At the same time, I have moved Hellickson, Shields and Ventura out of my rotation (or perhaps my future rotation) and replaced them with Lynn, Mejia, and Petit. The growth is not nearly as obvious here, but I like the upside of Mejia and Petit quite a bit. In addition, in a 20-team league, having Max Scherzer and Jordan Zimmermann, along with Jamie Garcia, Nate Eovaldi, Wandy Rodriguez and Tom Milone is not a bad rotation. If the youngsters can develop (I also have a handful of other pitching prospects), that could be a solid group.

As I said at the beginning, I am not even convinced that this team is better than it was before. What it is, I think, is a team that is a bit more flexible (I had no depth, but by adding numerous starters and keeping many of the players they displaced, I have helped to remedy that) and it is much more a reflection of my approach.

I am not done yet (I think), but I am much happier with the roster I have today than the one I inherited.