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The Sleeper and the Bust Episode: 512 – Trades on Trades on Trades!

12/15/17

The latest episode of “The Sleeper and the Bust” is brought to you by Out of the Park Baseball 18, the best baseball strategy game ever made – available NOW on PC, Mac, and Linux platforms! Go to ootpdevelopments.com to order now and save 10% with the code SLEEPER18!

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Notable Transactions/Rumors/Articles/Game Play

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The Two Flavors of Trade

There are only two types of trades – those of necessity and arbitrage. Let’s talk about them today.

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Winter Moves Update: Ozuna, Piscotty, & Kinsler Trades

Yes, we did get 700 more middle reliever signings, buuttt we also got three trades of note. Meanwhile, these Manny Machado rumors are blazing hot and reports suggest he could be moved as soon as this weekend!

Ozuna’s breakout in 2017 might look isolated, but if you check his 2016 splits, you will see that he was having the breakout year through June before a wrist injury sapped his power and curbed production over the second half. Before the injury he had 16 HR and a .948 OPS in 299 PA, but then just 7 HR and a .605 OPS the rest of the way. He was brilliant in 2017 with no worse than an .873 OPS in all six months of the season en route to a 37 HR/.924 OPS campaign. It’d be prudent to bake in some natural regression, but a .290/30/100 season is very believable. Andrew Perpetua digs even deeper on the new Cardinal.

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Ozuna Has Room For Growth

Marcell Ozuna had a breakout year in 2017. If you haven’t been following him much over the past few years, Ozuna had a terrific year in 2014 which set high expectations for him going into 2015. Unfortunately, he had a terrible 2015 season and was eventually demoted to AAA. Some say it may have been related to his maturity or attitude. Michael Hill, Marlins President of Baseball Operations, had this to say about the incident:

“I’ve seen him since he was 16, and it was the first time I had ever seen him hang his head. We spoke after the game, and I was like, ‘Ozo, what’s up?’ He said, ‘I don’t know.’ He had no answers. He was completely lost. That was when we decided it was in his best interests to send him down. It’s hard when you don’t see Marcell Ozuna with a big smile; that’s who he is.”

Source: Miami CBS Local

Ozuna described being sent to the minors as a “jail sentence.” To his credit, he appears to have used the experience to propel his career forward. In 2016 he had a bounce back year. He matched his then career high 23 homers, posted a solid 106 wRC+, improved peripheral stats (more walks, fewer strikeouts), and played pretty decent defense on top of it.

He took another step forward in 2017, hitting 37 home runs, with a 142 wRC+, even better peripherals, and great defensive numbers. This career year, combined with the extra year of control the Marlins “earned” in 2015 by keeping Ozuna in the minors (nothing to see here) made Ozuna a valuable trade chip. The Cardinals, aiming to consolidate their resources, were happy to trade Sandy Alcantara, Magneuris Sierra, Zac Gallen, and Daniel Castano for an upgrade. So let’s see what sort of player they acquired. Read the rest of this entry »


Stolen Bases and Batting Order

I’ve already done some research on batting order’s impact on RBI and runs scored, and if a fantasy player is indifferent between the two—the way he likely would be in drafting a new team in a traditional roto format—then there isn’t a ton at stake. Over the first five spots in the lineup, a typical fantasy-relevant batter can be expected to gain or lose at most 6 RBI plus runs in a full season.

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Park Switch Fails to Boost Marcell Ozuna’s Value

The Marlins are in full-on fire sale mode and the latest player to say goodbye to Miami is 2017 breakout outfielder Marcell Ozuna. A career high .388 wOBA and 37 homers earned him a ticket out of town, as sources confirm he has been dealt to the Cardinals. We all know that Marlins Park was pitcher friendly, but unfortunately, he’s moving to another offense suppressing home park. Let’s check out the park factors, courtesy of StatCorner.

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Counting Stat Estimator For Hitters On The Move

In leagues with Runs and RBIs as categories, predicting how a player’s mix will change with a new team can be guessing. Some clown at Fantrax yesterday wrote the following:

“As for Headley, his value drops by going to a worse offensive team in a pitcher-friendly park. Part of the decline could be offset by a move up in the lineup since he mainly batted seventh for the Yankees last season.”

It could go up, it could go down, who really knows? While writing the statement, I needed a better answer so I created a couple quick and simple tool. If an owner can estimate a few stats, they can predict changes in plate appearances, Runs, RBI when a hitter moves from one team to another.

The key was to be simple and quick. For simplicity, only the following stats are needed.

  • New likely lineup location
  • Estimate of projected home runs
  • Estimated games played such 150 out of 162 games as a percentage.
  • Estimated Runs scored by a team. Used over on-base percentage because team level runs scored is easier to find and remember.

The estimated runs scored is the toughest value to come up with. I’d just go to FanGraphs team projection page to get a decent idea. Just take that year’s RS/G and multiply it by 162. Another method is to take the previous season value and plug it into the following regression equation:

`RS in Y2` = .575 * `RS in Y1` + 311

The goal is just to get a basic idea of possible changes.

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Winter Moves Update: Middle Reliever Bonanza!

The Hot Stove is operating a  simmer right now after the busy weekend with Shohei Ohtani and Giancarlo Stanton. We’re getting a couple moves per day, but they are far from blockbusters. In fact, it’s been a bunch of middle relievers of late with a pair of TJ recovering SPs mixed in. It’s never ending! As I was typing up this paragraph, the Mets agreed to terms with yet another middle reliever.

This is the first piece in a pen rebuild for the Cardinals. Trevor Rosenthal is out with Tommy John recovery so they non-tendered him while Seung Hwan Oh, Juan Nicasio, and Zack Duke are all free agents. Gregerson joins Tyler Lyons and Brett Cecil at the backend of the pen. Alex Reyes will also start the season in the bullpen, but probably as a multi-inning option earlier in games. Gregerson logged 47 saves in three years with Houston, including a 31-save season back in 2015. The Cards could tab the 34-year old as their closer, but I wouldn’t draft him as such right now.

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The Ohtani Rule

The Japanese sensation Shohei Ohtani is finally coming to MLB (and more specifically to the Angels), and in doing so will become the trailblazer that sets a new expectation for the future of the (possible) “two-way” player.  Because salaries and injuries continue to escalate in the game, a true double threat major leaguer is still hard to imagine in baseball, but if the 23 year old Ohtani does become the first player since Babe Ruth to make a regular impact on both sides of the ball, he will change the landscape of fantasy baseball, too.

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Let’s Talk About Ryan Schimpf Again

I think Ryan Schimpf is my favorite player. He takes the word extreme to an entirely new level, ranking at or near both the top and bottom of various statistical categories, for the better and for the worse. That’s what makes him such a fascinating hitter. He debuted with the Padres in 2016 to excellent results over about a half a season’s worth of plate appearances. He was a new breed of hitter – a five true outcomes type, as his plate appearances generally ended with either a walk, strikeout, fly out, pop-up, or home run. The approach worked that season, but failed miserably in 2017. His performance earned him a demotion to the minors, and ultimately a ticket out of San Diego.

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