2016 Fantasy Baseball Dynasty League Trades Analysis

By dynastydigest
Oct. 18, 2016

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Now that the season is over, I wanted to go through my dynasty league trades throughout the 2016 season and give my analysis. Before going into the trades, let me give you a quick overview of the rules and regulations of the league:

-16 team dynasty league founded 1.5 years ago

-Head to head categorical scoring (offensive categories include: Runs, RBIs, HRs, SBs, Slugging, OBP, Strikeouts for hitters, Total Bases.... Pitching categories include: H/IP, BB/9, Total Strikeouts, ERA, WHIP, Quality Start %, Saves, and Holds)

-Roster: 19 active on the roster (C, 1B, 2B, SS, 3B, LF, CF, RF, UTL, 5 SP, 5 RP), 12 bench players, and 21 minor league prospects

-Active salary cap (max of $20 million per player) of $168 million based on actual MLB contracts

-Annual amateur draft for the most recent MLB amateur draft during the offseason (if I mention a draft pick in a trade, that is what it is referring to)

Following a 2nd place finish in 2015, this is the active roster I ended the year with:

C- Travis d'Arnaud

1B- Brandon Belt

2B- Robinson Cano

3BAnthony Rendon

SS- Brandon Crawford

LF- Yoenis Cespedes 

CF- David Peralta

RF- Bryce Harper

UTL- Daniel Murphy

Starting Pitchers- Madison Bumgarner, Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard, Sonny Gray, Justin Verlander

Relief Pitchers- Ken Giles, Daniel Hudson, Jonathan Papelbon, David Robertson, Shawn Tolleson

Off. Bench- Robinson Chirinos, Justin Bour, Jonathan Schoop, Alex Rodriguez

P. Bench- Nick Martinez, Carlos Rodon, Arquimedes Caminero, Jenrry Mejia, Drew Pomeranz, Tom Koehler

Offensive Prospects- Chance Sisco, A.J. Reed, Kean Wong, Tim Anderson, Jorge Mateo, Eloy Jimenez, Manuel Margot, Bradley Zimmer, Brett Phillips

Pitching Prospects- Edwin Diaz, Anderson Espinoza, Michael Fulmer, Taylor Guerrieri, Pierce Johnson, Yoan Lopez, Francis Martes, Alex Reyes, Jack Flaherty, Casey Meisner, Luis Ortiz

While I did finish the season in 2nd, my roster needed some serious improvements. I had a lot of faith in my ability to scout prospects, so I figured it was time to unload some prospects for win-now talent and trust my ability to refill my minor league system with less publicized talent. You can see all of the trades I made in the offseason and during the 2016 season in order from oldest to most recent below (all trades made prior to the season are in bold and in season is in italics):

Trade Analysis

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

1. Anderson Espinoza, Jorge Mateo, & 2016 16th overall pick for Masahiro Tanka & 2016 18th overall pick: Prior to the start of the season, I didn't feel comfortable with my depth at pitching due to injury concerns from Matt Harvey, Sonny Gray, and the youth and inconsistency of Carlos Rodon, Drew Pomeranz, and Nick Martinez. Tanaka has his own injury concerns, but I thought he provided the perfect depth to play match-ups. Outside of the depth issue, I was also on the verge of dealing Matt Harvey (see below), so I knew I'd need a solid replacement. Following the 2016 season, I was very pleased with Tanaka's performance and health, but his max salary did handicap me at times. I am still kicking myself for giving up Anderson Espinoza, but I thought this was a decent trade. Verdict: Win in the short-term, lose in the long-term based on Espinoza ceiling and Tanaka's max salary

Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

2. Matt Harvey (prior to injury) Robinson Cano, & Eloy Jimenez for Miguel Sano, Dee Gordon, & Mark Melancon: Considering I had Anthony Rendon starting at third base, I thought it was necessary to upgrade third base because I didn't trust his injury history or his consistency. I was very high on Robinson Cano heading into the season, but his max salary and older age provided the perfect time to unload him in a trade for younger talent. I was also high on Eloy Jimenez, but I knew it was necessary to give up a decent prospect in order to get an elite young bat. Unfortunately, I have a very bad feeling Jimenez might be the best piece of this trade if he pans out like I think he will. I thought Matt Harvey was expendable based on his peripheral statistics and injury conerns. I was very glad to unload Harvey prior to his 2016 struggles and eventual injury. Miguel Sano didn't quite pan out in 2016 like I expected, but I am still very high on his potential. Dee Gordon was the key to this trade as I needed stolen bases, but clearly his drug suspension was not expected. Luckily, he should return to his stolen base ways in 2017, but his high BABIP scares me within the next few years if his speed decreases. Melancon provided a consistent save outlook to my current relief pitchers, which helped me dominate that category all year long. This trade really hinges on whether or not Harvey can come back from his injury, but I have a strange feeling he will never return to his previous form. Verdict: Win unless Harvey returns to full strength

Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

3. Daniel Murphy, Michael Fulmer, & Manuel Margot for Carlos Martinez & 2017 2nd round pick: Well dang. I lost this trade by a country mile. Daniel Murphy should get a few MVP votes and Michael Fulmer should win the American League Rookie of the Year Award. I would have never guessed that both Murphy and Fulmer would have had the seasons they had, but clearly I was wrong. I was very happy with the progress of Carlos Martinez this season, but it's hard to find any happiness in this trade. I'm just going to stop talking about it because I'm starting to tear up just thinking about it (completely kidding, but not really).  Verdict: Big time lose

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

4. Anthony Rendon & Michael Taylor for A.J. Pollock (prior to injury): I thought this was a slam dunk of a trade prior to the season. I just traded for Miguel Sano, Taylor didn't have a spot in my outfield, and Pollock was a top-10 fantasy player in 2015. With my luck, Pollock was injured in early April and I never reaped the benefits of this deal. I still think this trade was great, but I'll have to wait until 2017 to fully benefit from this transaction. I will say that Rendon impressed me quite a bit this year following his struggles in 2015, but I still think A.J. Pollock is the better all-around player heading into the future. Verdict: Tie until Pollock proves he is back to his 2015-self

Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

5. Yoenis Cespedes & Carlos Rodon for Chris Sale & Michael Kopech: This trade was made prior to the injury to A.J. Pollock and I thought it was a steal. My outfield had plenty of talent and it was great to get rid of the expensive Yoenis Cespedes' contract. I love Carlos Rodon's potential, but I just don't see anything more than a #3 or #4 starter based on his continued control struggles. If he does put it all together, he could very well be a #2 starter, but the chances are slim. The addition of Chris Sale further bolstered my pitching rotation to dominate on a weekly basis (Madison Bumgarner, Chris Sale, Noah Syndergaard, Carlos Martinez, Masahiro Tanaka, Justin Verlander Sonny Gray). While Chris Sale was the prized piece of this trade, Michael Kopech was on my radar for quite some time. This Red Sox prospect has one of the most live arms I've ever seen at his age. He has consistently touched triple digits this season and there is even rumors he touched 105 MPH. This trade was made prior to all of the hype, but I was very high on Kopech prior to the 2016 season. Verdict: Tie because of what is about to happen in trade 6 and Chris Sale's decline in the 2nd half of the season

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

6. Carlos Martinez for Carlos Gonzalez, Derek Fisher, & Austin Riley: This is what I like to call a desperation trade. I just traded Yoenis Cespedes, but only a few days later I learned that A.J. Pollock was lost for most of the 2016 season. With the pitching depth I had acquired, I knew I'd have to give up a pretty big name to get a decent outfield replacement. I wasn't a huge fan of CarGo because I was worried the Rockies could trade him at the deadline, but I knew he would put up decent numbers at Coors Field. I think I overpaid a little based on the contract I was taking on for Gonzalez (I think it was $17 million), but it was a very necessary move if I wanted my offense to compete. Outside of CarGo, I was a big fan of Derek Fisher and Austin Riley as prospects. They weren't house hold names at the time, but near the end of the season, they were both top-100 prospects on most prospect lists. Verdict: Lose

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

7. Dalton Pompey, Justin Bour & 2017 2nd round pick for Gregory Polanco: This was prior to Polanco's break out in 2016, but I had a feeling Polanco was going to increase his power numbers in 2016 based on his improved discipline and approach at the plate. I wasn't crazy about giving up Bour because I loved his power potential, but I knew Brandon Belt and A.J. Reed should provide plenty of value at 1B over the next few years. This deal was primarily made for the same reason I listed above, A.J. Pollock's injury. While I expected Polanco to have an improved year in 2016, it came as a very pleasant surprise at how well he did. This trade was actually made the same day as trades 5 and 6, as you can tell, I was scrambling to fix my lineup after losing Pollock. Verdict: Win

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

8. Jonathan Papelbon & 2017 2nd round pick for 2017 1st round pick & 2017 3rd round pick: This isn't much of a trade, but it was really just to get rid of Papelbon's contract while he still had value as a closer. Considering I picked up a first round pick (although it was a late round pick), I was very happy. It did cost me a middle-of-the-road second round pick, but I thought it was worth it. Considering Papelbon lost his closer job and was released, I was quite happy with this deal to sell high. Verdict: Win

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

9. Drew Pomeranz & Michael Feliz for Jon Gray & Wellington Castillo: I can't quite wrap my head around this trade. I dealt Pomeranz when I thought his value was at an all-time high, but he continued to pitch lights out well after the deal. I was in drastic need for a catcher on a Sunday because d'Arnaud was placed on the DL and I needed a catcher for the week. I could have picked one up off of waivers, but I was holding my waiver pick in order to pick up Kevin Maitan later in the season. I'm still not sold that Pomeranz is anything more than a #4 starter long-term, but I could be completely wrong. I bought Castillo when he was on fire, but he quickly cooled down. I love Jon Gray's "stuff," but no "stuff" is good while pitching at Coors Field. Towards the end of the season I started to use Gray much more when I could match him up against favorable match-ups on the road, which was a nice luxury. Overall, based on the success of Pomeranz this season, while I'm still not convinced, I think I lose this trade by a decent bit. Verdict: Lose

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

10. Yusniel Diaz & Luis Ortiz for Jose Quintana: This might have been the turning point of my season. I was on the verge of a wild card berth, but I just couldn't seem to catch a break during my weekly match-ups. I made a move for Quintana while he was going through a cold stretch, which turned out to be a great move. Based on his FIP, ground ball rates, and BABIP, I knew Quintana was battling some bad luck, which is why I jumped on him quickly. Don't get me wrong, I'm a big fan of the prospects I gave up, but I knew I had to turn some prospects into a win-now piece if I wanted to make the playoffs. Luis Ortiz's injuries and his overweight physique scare me, but if he can stay healthy, he has the ability to be a very solid #2 or #3 starter. Yusniel Diaz is someone I've been touting all year long and for good reason. I think he has the bat to ball skills along with the speed to be a dangerous threat in fantasy baseball. I think I got the win on this trade, but that could quickly change over the next few years if Diaz or Ortiz pan out to their full potential. Verdict: Win for now

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

11. Tim Anderson & Michael Kopech for Jameson Taillon & Ryan McMahon: I was all aboard the Jameson Taillon train during this trade. This was about two weeks prior to his promotion to the big leagues, but I knew he was going to be something special. Realistically, I made this deal because I didn't have room, nor was I a fan of Tim Anderson, but I hated to deal Michael Kopech. I think Kopech has an insane ceiling, but Taillon's floor was too hard to pass up. I still hate that Kopech isn't on my roster anymore, but I think I got a good return. McMahon really struggled in 2016, but he still has the ability to be a very relevant fantasy player, especially if he hits at Coors Field. If McMahon can redeem himself in 2017, this trade will point in my favor, but until then, it's a tie. Verdict: Tie

Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

12. Bradley Zimmer, Gavin Cecchini, Jack Flaherty, Pierce Johnson for Dellin Betances, Aroldis Chapman, and Forrest Wall: If you can't tell I was going for the win during this trade, then I don't know what else I could do. My rotation was set, my offensive lineup was getting the job done, but the bullpen was the final piece of the puzzle. This deal was made prior to the actual Aroldis Chapman trade to the Cubs, which is was key because I needed the holds from Betances. Once Chapman and Miller were traded from the Yankees, I just punted the holds category on a weekly basis and focused on saves. Bradley Zimmer was my only hesitation with this deal since I typically don't like trading top prospects for closers, but Chapman is one guy I'm willing to deal an elite prospect for. Zimmer has insane upside, but his splits can be a little worrisome and his strikeout rate is no joke. While those are definitely concerns, I think he will be an insanely good fantasy baseball player. This trade filled the needs of both teams included in the trade (one trying to win now and the other rebuilding), which makes it a very fair deal, but I think my team filled the biggest holes. Verdict: Win

Derik Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

13. David Robertson, Brett Phillips, Ke'Bryan Hayes, & 2017 1st round pick for Yoenis Cespedes, Jung Ho Kang, A.J. Ramos, Yusniel Diaz: Once again, I'm doing anything I can do to add win-now pieces. While this trade looks like a huge win on paper, I am taking on a lot of salary in 2016 and in future years. I needed another bat in the outfield and third base due to injuries. Once I realized Chapman was going to be traded at the deadline, I knew I had to go 100% after the saves category, which is why I went after Ramos. The loss of David Robertson wasn't a big deal, but I did give up a decent share of prospects. Phillips struggled this season once he was promoted, but he still has the talent to be a top-50 prospect in 2017. I've been a huge fan of Hayes since the 2015 draft because of his hit tool. If he can develop average to above average power, he could be a very serious threat in all fantasy baseball formats. The 2017 1st round pick was probably the most attractive part of this trade for the rebuilding team who made this deal with me. While I do think I won this trade, I think it makes a lot of sense for the other team since they were rebuilding. Verdict: Win

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

14. Gregory Polanco, Jameson Taillon, 2018 3rd round pick for Mookie Betts & 2018 2nd round pick: I would be lying if I didn't say I was smiling very big when I saw Mookie Betts added to my roster. I loved Polanco this season and I love him in the future, but Mookie Betts is a top-5 overall player in my opinion. I've already stated how much I love Taillon earlier, but I just couldn't pass up a deal to add Betts. Not only does Betts have some of the best talent in the league, but he also has the best baseball name of all-time. If Taillon can continue to progress, I think this trade could end up pretty fair because of Polanco's emergence this year, but I think Betts is a perennial all-star. I think this trade will be virtually a tie in a few seasons, but I'll give me the win for now until Taillon proves he is a front of the rotation starter, which he will. Verdict: Win

Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

15. Carlos Gomez & Taylor Guerrieri for David Ortiz: The team who had Ortiz was selling him off for basically nothing because they were out of playoff contention and they knew Big Papi wouldn't be worth anything when he retired at the end of the season (Please pull a Brett Favre and come back, Big Papi). With that said, I knew Ortiz would be a huge addition to my lineup as a win-now team, but I didn't have the salary cap room to take him on. I picked up Carlos Gomez off waivers a few days prior (I actually have faith he will recover from his pitiful 2016 season), but I knew I could afford to give up him and his salary to take on Ortiz. After trading for Ortiz, he went through a dry-spell and I actually ended up starting Carlos Gonzalez more often at the UTL spot based on match-ups. While I didn't give up too much to get an effective 2016 Big Papi, I definitely didn't benefit as much as the previous owner of Ortiz. Verdict: Lose

Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

16. Masahiro Tanaka, Welington Castillo, 2017 1st round pick, Casey Gillaspie for Lance McCullers & J.T. Realmuto: My catcher situation was pitiful all. season. long. Welington Castillo and Travis d'Arnaud were miserable in the second half and I knew I needed to upgrade this position if I wanted to clinch a playoff spot. I have been a huge fan of Realmuto's bat and fantasy ability, which I think could turn into a top-5 catching option over the next few years. I thought, and still think, Lance McCullers was the big piece of this trade, but his injury-plagued last few months put a huge damper on this deal. Luckily I had the depth in my rotation to not get hurt by McCullers' injury issues. As many of you well know, I think McCullers has the "stuff" and ability to be a legit #2 starter, but he must get ahead and stay ahead in the count. Trading Masahiro Tanaka would have really hurt if I didn't have depth in my rotation, but that wasn't an issue. Realistically, I just wanted to get rid of Tanaka's max salary contract heading into the 2017 season. Looking back on this deal, I'm not happy I gave up a 2017 1st round pick, but I think this deal could pay off in the long-run. Verdict: Lose in the short-term, but likely win in the long-term

Below you can find the final roster comparison from 2015 to 2016:

2015 Final Roster

2016 Final Roster 

C- Travis d'Arnaud

C- J.T. Realmuto

1B- Brandon Belt

1B- Brandon Belt

2B- Robinson Cano

2B- Dee Gordon

3B- Anthony Rendon

3B- Miguel Sano

SS- Brandon Crawford

SS- Brandon Crawford

LF- Yoenis Cespedes

LF- Yoenis Cespedes

CF- David Peralta

CF- Mookie Betts

RF- Bryce Harper

RF- Bryce Harper

UTL- Daniel Murphy

UTL- David Ortiz

SP- Madison Bumgarner, Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard, Justin Verlander, Sonny Gray

SP- Madison Bumgarner, Chris Sale, Noah Syndergaard, Jose Quintana, Justin Verlander

RP- Ken Giles, David Robertson, Shawn Tolleson, Jonathan Papelbon, Daniel Hudson

RP- Aroldis Chapman, Dellin Betances, Ken Giles, A.J. Ramos, Mark Melancon

Off. Bench- Robinson Chirinos, Justin Bour, Jonathan Schoop, Alex Rodriguez

Off. Bench- Travis d'Arnaud, A.J. Reed, Jonathan Schoop, Jung Ho Kang, Danny Espinoza, A.J. Pollock, Carlos Gonzalez

P. Bench- Tom Koehler, Drew Pomeranz, Carlos Rodon, Nick Martinez, Arquimendes Caminero, Jenrry Mejia

P. Bench- Lance McCullers, Sonny Gray, Jon Gray, Tom Koehler, Daniel Hudson, Alex Reyes

Prospects- Chance Sisco, A.J. Reed, Kean Wong, Tim Anderson, Jorge Mateo, Eloy Jimenez, Manuel Margot, Bradley Zimmer, Brett Phillips, Edwin Diaz, Anderson Espinoza, Michael Fulmer, Taylor Guerrieri, Pierce Johnson, Yoan Lopez, Francis Martes, Alex Reyes, Jack Flaherty, Casey Meisner, Luis Ortiz

Prospects- Chance Sisco, Byung Ho Park, Forrest Wall, Hunter Dozier, Kevin Maitan, Ryan McMahon, Austin Riley, Jonathan Arauz, Dermis Garcia, Luis Garcia, Brendan Rodgers, Derek Fisher, Yusniel Diaz, Pedro Avila, Nathan Kirby, Yoan Lopez, Francis Martes

Overall, I was very happy with my acquisitions all year long, but they weren't enough. I clinched my division heading into the playoffs, but I lost in the first round and finished 5th overall this season. While it was for sure a disappointing end, I'm very happy with my starting lineup for the 2017 season. Please let me know what you think of my acquisitions this season and any comments you may have for my team. I appreciate all of my reader's support and I hope you enjoyed my annual league analysis.

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