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Outgoing Mail: C’mon, Man.

Dear Saget,

How do you trade Lucroy-plus for Perkins when you wouldn’t give me a bag of baseballs for K-Rod plus the Houston mess?


Hi CL,

Picked up Ahmed at SS…I had Lowrie in excess to sweeten a deal, closer very difficult to acquire. Lucroy and Perkins close in rank…..KRod had one good year last year, the fucker is old and he had 3 shit years before last year, no guarantee he will be good (aka….Jim Johnson last year). Qualls and Gregerson very good even without saves but they are still Astros… I would trade a top 100-120 bat for a closer in the top 80-130 like Robertson or Melancon or Perkins but not for KRod. Perkins has 2 very good years up to this year and there is no clear #2 who could take his job….plus Perkins K:BB is very very good.


Ask the Bookie

Dear Bookie,

I think the Nationals will win the World Series and the typical price is 6/1. Should I bet that?


Dear Wet Rub,

Don’t do it! I have no idea who’s going to win the World Series but that is a shit price.

You’re being asked to tie up your cash/credit space when what you should just do is wait and see if they make the playoffs then start betting each series near even money. Start with $1, double it in the NLDS to have $2, double it in NLCS to $4, double it in the World Series to $8. That’s 7/1, better than 6/1.

You might ask, well, what if the odds don’t let you double your money in each round?

Fair question.

I have no guarantees. Here’s what I would say:

Most series are fairly close to even money.

The AL team is usually the betting favourite in the World Series. That hasn’t paid off lately, but that’s usually the way. So you should get more than double in the last round.

The Dodgers are also 6/1, so that series should be close to even if it happens.

The Cardinals are almost joint third-choice to win the World Series (Angels are ahead of them in a few spots, behind in others) so that series should be decently close.

If the Nationals get stuck in the play-in game, that’s another chance to double up.

Finally, if it all goes to shit in the regular season and the Nats somehow miss the playoffs you’ve saved your money.

So although it’s bad for business, I’m telling you, don’t bet this! WAIT.

If you think the Nats will outperform in the regular season, bet the Season Wins total over, or just put in a standing order to bet them every day.


The Bookie

Who is Jose Peraza?

jose-peraza-2013-tf-300x225      The man himself.

Shaggy keeps trying to trade me Jose Peraza so I thought I’d look him up. When I put him into the Google Machine is comes back with “Did you mean Joel Peralta?” and no, I didn’t mean Joel Peralta, so I had to look further.

Peraza is 20 years old and depending on the source is the Braves #1 or #2 prospect, playing primarily shortstop. Like nearly all Latin shortstops, he can seamlessly shift second base. Starting in the Dominican Summer League at 17, Peraza has spent less than a year at each level, always a good sign. He’ll be one of the youngest players in AAA this year, another good sign. He stole 64 bases in the Sally League in 2013, and 60 across High-A and AA in 2014. So speed’s his thing. Major-League Equivalents only start at AA, but here you go on 2014’s limited AB there:

Jose Peraza, 2014 MLE: 185 AB, .315, 1 HR, 21 SB

So he can hit for average too!

So where the fuck is he?

A perfect storm has conspired against Jose Peraza making it to the bigs this year. I hope he gets a September call-up, as I’d like to see him play. But that seems like the upside.

Curacaoleni 2X Gold Glove, 1X Platinum Glove winner Andrelton Simmons blocks Peraza at short. Simmons has 6 years and $54M left on a team-friendly contract headed into his age 25 season.

Justin Upton was shipped to San Diego for prospects in the winter, and among the returns was second baseman Jace Peterson. The Braves traded for him; they’ll play him.

Peraza did some outfield drills last week before being optioned to AAA, but the Braves have slap-hitting Eric Young Jr. in centre for now until the shitty Upton brother returns.

And that’s the saddest part of this: It’s not just BJ Melvin Upton and EY2 who are shitty–the team sucks all over as it rebuilds around Freddie Freeman and a couple young arms. This writer thinks the only thing standing between the Braves and 100 losses this year is the 19 wins they get to split up with the Phillies.

So a lost season should be the time to play the super-prospects… but MLB service-time rules make sure it isn’t. The service-time thing needs to be fixed (Exhibit A: Kris Bryant) but that’s an article for another day. Under the current system, the Braves have every reason to hold Peraza down this year to delay his free agency, saving more major-league time for when the Braves will contend for the playoffs.

If you’re looking to trade for an NA SS-stash in our redraft league this year, forget Peraza. Call Curacao Littleleague about Francisco Lindor. I’m not sure which one is the better player, but the SS “blocking” Lindor only has 237 MLB at-bats himself, and the Indians hope to win the AL Central this year, along with everybody else. So if Tito & Co. think Lindor can contribute, he’ll be up.

Shaggy’s a year early on Peraza. A redraft league is just like in the stock market: if you’re early, you’re wrong.

Curacao Survey Responses

1. Did your own draft play out the way you wanted it to?

Absolutely. I had six guys I targeted in the first three rounds, and I got all six. Still pinching myself that Abreu was there at sixth overall. Had some contingency plans if guys dropped (such as GoGo dropping to 10th, or Tulo being there in the second round). But that never happened and I got who I thought I’d get.

I’ve come in for some abuse on the Dee Gordon pick but Billy Hamilton went before him and nobody’s said shit about that. Gordon hits for average occasionally, plays on a better team, and plays second base. If he does what he did last year (.289, 64 SB) that’s a first-round earn. Spring games don’t count, but he’s seeing the ball well (.344). I got the same shit for taking GoGo to start the second round last year, and that worked out OK.

2. Where did you end up strong?

I have an amazing set of first basemen (Abreu, E-5, Votto, V-Mart… in an OBP league those guys are all even better) and superior middle infielders (Gordon, Desmond, Segura, J. Ramirez). The ‘pen will be average-plus once the DL spots open up.

3. Where is your team weak?

Third base is a mess. I’m going to try to hold the outfield together with strong-side platoons until Pence comes back. I actually think the platoons will take a couple minutes’ effort each day but are going to work out OK. Seth Smith in particular has always crushed righties.

4. Do you like your team? Why or why not?

Yeah, because I got my top six guys, and when it was my turn to pick again there was plenty of serviceable pitching left. I’m going to throw about 1100 innings this year. If the ‘pen gets 400, that means I need 700 from the rest. 450 from (Ross, Cashner, Salazar) and 250 from (Niese, JoFer, and Garcia) gets it done. Brett Anderson is a lottery ticket for as long as he lasts.

5. Thinking more generally about the draft, what surprised you or didn’t go the way you expected?

Like Mendoza said, I expected more emphasis on pitching and it just never happened. I expected to have to draft more hitting once I started picking again in Round 11 and trade it for pitching but I didn’t have to do it.

6. Who has the strongest team?

The Computer loved Nookie’s team and I do too. I expect I’ll own half of it by Easter.

7. Is there a team you look at and wonder what on earth that owner was thinking? If so, what’s so bad about his team?

Frodo’s team and Shaggy’s team are just ugly.

Frodo has six guys in his starting lineup with injury history (Utley, Reyes, Wright, Cuddyer, Bourn, Pagan) and Betre is 50 years old. The pitching is top-heavy.

Shaggy has a bunch of no-names and I guess that’s by design, but while the top half of his team looks OK, the bottom half is abjectly terrible.  I have no idea who the hell Jose Peraza is, but I know the best defensive shortstop in baseball is blocking him in Atlanta. The Braves, rebuilding, have no incentive to either start his service clock or trade him. Shaggy improved his team by trading for Conor Gillaspie–’nuff said, Son!

Fuck this Shit, I’m Going to Bed.

Saget picked up Broxton off the wire and tried to extort a trade out of me because I have K-Rod.

After much back and forth, we could not come to an agreement.

Broxton back on the wire, I note.

Fuck this, I’m going to bed.

Bah. Don’t even know what I’m doing here with all this goddamn snow. Spent February in S. Europe. We were in MC Hammer’s tour group in one of the museums. Saget reminds me of the guy who followed him around, repeatedly asking him if we could touch the various exhibits.

Shagsters/Burger Trade

Shagsters gives: Cole Hamels, Brett Cecil

Burger gives: Nolan Arenado, Dioner Navarro

Never-mind the useless trade done earlier where Burger shipped Shaggy the scrub with turf toe: this is the first trade of substance and Burger won it as well.

Burger gets an ace and a closer who will both make an instant impact. Now that the Jays sent Delabar down, Cecil has no short-term competition. Hamels won’t get many wins on a bad team, but everything else is elite and he’s in trade rumours every day.

Going the other way, Arenado is a top-5 3B but hit all-but-two of his dingers at Coors last year. If he starts getting pitched around during home games, his poor patience is going to make him look an awful lot like Brett Lawrie (minus the 2B eligibility). In a one-catcher league, as long as Dioner Navarro is in Toronto getting 10 AB/week he’s worse than guys on the wire. 10 AB/week looks like a ceiling if Josh Thole is Dickey’s personal catcher. Navarro will get the occasional start at DH and be stuck pinch-hitting until there’s an injury. Kurt Suzuki leads the wire and is a better get.

Even worse is where this leaves Shaggy. His only remaining saves source is Detroit, where an old, bad Joe Nathan is handcuffed by Joakim Soria. Soria will be fine, but Shaggy’s going to have to watch Nathan get torched a few times first–hurting ERA and WHIP. This burns two roster spots for now. Even when Soria takes the job, one closer isn’t enough to win Saves. Not clever.

Mendoza Survey Responses

Barry Zito, Stream-of-Consciousness Style:

I had a number of scenarios planned based on how the first round played out and when I could get a crack at some 1Bs.  Luckliy my Plan A worked out and then some.  I got Rizzo in the first and that opened me up to look at pitching early, gaining Prince Fielder helped me even more since I was convinced everyone and their dog was planning on Votto or Fielder before I picked in the third. 

“I had planned on getting Kluber in the 3rd but there was a ton of pitching available and I knew Underdogs had no interest in pitching (he was sitting beside me during the draft) so I took the best available in Strasburg.  I wanted Ryan Zimmerman and Jean Segura at times during the draft but they were snatched up.  Gyorko, Owings, Taylor were all part of my MI plan as they were buried in the Yahoo rankings and guessed they were not on many people’s radar. 

Late in the draft I was worried about power from my utility spots so I took Kendrys and Tex although I kinda had to plug my nose while I took them.  I doubt they last the season on my roster (i.e. traded).  Overall, I like my draft, I think I can compete with the hitting heavy clubs and still battle the pitching heavy teams

“I think my pitching is strong and that I can beat a number of the perennial playoff teams with it as things stand at this point, although I assume guys like CL and Saget will improve their pitching over the season.

“I am light in power and speed.  I made a concerted effort to draft better OBP guys this year but it didn’t translate in speed at all.

“I really like my team.  Balance was my goal.

“I was surprised that more teams didn’t commit to pitching after the success that Shagsters and Champion had late [last year] wiping people out sweeping all the pitching categories.  I hope Why Not Me sticks with it and shows new strategies can succeed here other than just having the most HRs.

“I think the strongest teams will be Burger,Slumpy, Assclowns, Why Not Me and don’t ask me why but I think Pimps has a team that he can work with this year.

[“Just like Saget, here I go:

Slumpy: Love his pitching, but after Trout and Harper I don’t see where the offense comes from.

Pimps: Tonnes of pitching, don’t like his depth but he can fix that.

Saget: Great draft, unorthodox pitching strategy could work…I see him dumping it mid season.

Assclowns: Great value early, didn’t like the picks 6-16 other than the closers…he could surprise again this year.

Champion: Preached pitching all off season then pussied when it came to crunch time.  I think he’s 2 SP short and light on power. [2 SP… “Short”… I see what you did there–Ed.]

CL: Drafted a crap load of hitting and speed.  Told him I didn’t like the Dee Gordon pick in the third and his pitching is a mess…lots of work for him to do in my opinion.

Cash Bail: Rookie rolled the dice and took Kershaw but kind of forgot about pitching after that.  Lots of risky picks like Fiers, Baez and Weaver.  Not sure how it will play in the league.

Coach:  Love this team…except he drafted Chew-nel which vetoed him from my top squads, haha…seriously though a nice team but light on pitching.

Nookie: Another great hitting team, gonna live and die with pitching.

Why Not Me: Spectacular pitching, Needs guys like Cano, Davis and LaRoche to have big years.  Probably moves a pitcher at some point if he can;t compete.

Burger: Started questionably with Jones (OBP nightmare), Pujols and 2 good 3B…it got better as the draft went on and built a strong team.

Mendoza: Boring and balanced.

Underdogs:  Good team, he at least draft some pitching this year.  MI’s great, CI’s not so much…it will be interesting to see it play out.

Shagsters:  Appears to me he fell into a value trap as he drafted all the falling players when he started picking in the 4th.  Don’t like his pitching and he doesn’t have a lot of names for his traditional big trades.  Going to be a long season for him if he can’t make up for the majority of his last 15 picks.


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