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REL baseball logo new20 weeks into the season!  Damn it’s flown by.  As has our Trade Deadline which didn’t quite have the fireworks of the MLB Trade Deadline, but I think that’s because we all manage our teams smarter than MLB GMs.  Why wait until staring down the barrel of a gun at 2:45 at a 3:00 PM deadline to make a deal; you know you need something, make it happen to help your team earlier!  My Brewers did that for CC Sabathia, and we needed every ounce outta the big guy!  Just like he needed every ounce out of the kegerator…

Not much going on in the standings with the Nats and Blue Jays still leading, but The Tribe continue to be knocking on the door in the AL after making several trades the past month.  Let’s see if they can build on the Cavs success!  Here’s how week 20 went down in the 2016 REL League:

NATIONAL LEAGUE
REL Dynasty – NL
Nationals 139 Waiver Adds and Prospect Callups Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $88 n/a
Cubs 115 Waiver Adds and Prospect Callups Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $92 Edwin Jackson SD – SP,RP $1, Anthony Recker Atl – C $0, Enrique Burgos Ari – RP $2, Jimmy Paredes Phi – 2B,OF $1
J.T. Marlin 104.5 Waiver Adds and Prospect Callups Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $100 n/a
Suplex City Cards 98.5 Waiver Adds and Prospect Callups Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $79 Luke Weaver StL – SP (called up)
Pirates 98 Waiver Adds and Prospect Callups Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $57 José Ureña Mia – SP,RP $3
San Fran Giants 95.5 Waiver Adds and Prospect Callups Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $6 Peter Bourjos Phi – OF $0
Knoche’s Rockies 85.5 Waiver Adds and Prospect Callups Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $54 n/a
NY Dodgers 85 Waiver Adds and Prospect Callups Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $94 Grant Dayton LAD – RP $2, Erik Goeddel NYM – RP $2, Justin Grimm ChC – RP $2
With fanfare equal to Magic Johnson buying in on the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2012, I (Michael Halpern) took over the REL Dodgers just two days ago, and my first move was to bring them back to New York! That’s right, say hello to the NY Dodgers! After a short 36-hour session of reading, and re-reading, the 6-page constitution, I was finally ready to start wheeling and dealing to turn this abandoned franchise around. That was when JB told me the trade deadline had already passed.  Undaunted, I powered ahead and locked up three emerging relievers on the waiver wire: Grant Dayton, Erik Goedell, and Justin Grimm. If that doesn’t strike fear into the heart of my opponents, I don’t know what will.
Mookie Mets 75.5 Waiver Adds and Prospect Callups Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $95 Damien Magnifico Mil – RP (called up)
Cincinnati Reds 67.5 Waiver Adds and Prospect Callups Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $5 Tony Renda Cin – 2B,OF $0
Diamondbacks 64 Waiver Adds and Prospect Callups Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $66 n/a
Philadelphia 60 Waiver Adds and Prospect Callups Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $45 n/a
Brewers 44 Waiver Adds and Prospect Callups Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $22 Adam Morgan Phi – SP $0, T.J. Rivera NYM – 3B $0
Pretty boring week for The Crew…  Although Keon Broxton coming along and becoming virtually must-own in mixed roto leagues has been pretty encouraging.  They’re playing him every day, he just glides in CF defensively, and stealing at a near Billy Hamilton-esque clip.  He’s been about the only interesting thing going in my active lineup.  Andrew Susac gets the ultimate “head-scratcher” award as he’s 2-30, yes .067, since being traded and playing in AAA Colorado Springs!  Ugh.  Oh, adding T.J. Rivera for free was an interesting little surprise.  I don’t know if he’ll play next year and I might move on as he was a backup bid, but he’s carried over a nice average from AAA to some hits in the Majors.

On the pitching side, at least Josh Hader is looking better despite being in the tough PCL, and I’ve gotten a few starters in Adam Morgan and Keyvious Sampson.  Both had really good numbers in AAA stints this year, and Sampson is off a great 5 innings of mop up duty for Cody Reed who got absolutely murdered by my Crew and demoted.  I’ll be happy if one of those guys is in the rotation to start next year as a scrubby backend starter for me – Sampson is easily the most intriguing with a 93-94 MPH fastball and nice tight slider.

Otherwise it’s more of the same – try to field something usable to maintain a 3rd-last finish while preparing for 2017.  7th place in 2017 here I come!

Braves 37 Waiver Adds and Prospect Callups Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $84 René Rivera NYM – C $0, Dansby Swanson Atl – SS (called up)
 HAPPY NEW YEAR! For those of you who didn’t notice, today is the second day of the first year of our lord and savior Dansby Swanson as he reaches the majors (and debuts with a 2-4 appearance, but seriously WTF is he doing batting 8th). Meanwhile Ayabar was shipped to the Tigers for a High-A catching prospect, Kade Scivicque, who is 23 and….. the rest of that sentence was irrelevant since he is a 23 year old and still in High-A. Unless a player is A) rehabbing from an injury, B) got drafted out of college 1 month ago, or C) hitting .380/.450/.500 then being 23 in High-A means there is an almost zero chance he makes it to The Show. Pretty worthless trade all around. Now that Swanson is in the big leagues the thing I am most excited about is finishing 14/15 in REL while the Braves finish 15/15 in the NL, which should tell you a lot about the state of the Braves, but what do I care? I’m going to be drunk off Champaign for the next two weeks celebrating Swanson taking the Braves back to late 90’s brilliance! Oh, whats that? This isn’t Basketball? One player can’t turn a franchise around? …… See Ya’ll in 2018!
Padres 31 Waiver Adds and Prospect Callups Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $100 n/a
AMERICAN LEAGUE
REL Dynasty – AL
Blue Jays 136 Waiver Adds and Prospect Callups Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $79 Jacob Turner CWS – SP,RP $1, Nick Buss LAA – OF $0
I will forewarn you all that the following passage may be painful if you happen to be the owner of The Tribe.

I watched key parts of 2 games the last couple days, and apologies to my competition, but they were two of the most satisfying innings that I’ve watched in a while. The first was the Jays/Yankees game on Tuesday, where the Jays started the 8th inning down 6-4 and the Yankees sent Adam Warren out to pitch the 8th. Adam Warren who is owned by The Tribe in the REL. Warren proceeded to walk Josh Donaldson to lead the inning off and then give up a 2 run HR to Edwin Encarnacion. One out later he gave up a single to Troy Tulowitzki and then another 2 run HR to Russell Martin this time. I should note that all hitters are owned by me as well. Damn that inning felt good. The next night I caught the 9th inning of the Cleveland/White Sox game where Cody Allen (owned by The Tribe) came in to try to pick up a save and secure the win for starter Carlos Carrasco (you guessed it, owned by The Tribe). Allen gave up an infield single to Todd Frazier, who got to second on a throwing error by Lindor. Then another infield single to J.B. Shuck, a walk to Tim Anderson, and an RBI single to Dioner Navarro, leaving the bases loaded for Adam Eaton. Who proceeded to hit a massive grand slam off of Allen. I think I shed a tear of joy at that moment. I think that’s a 135.00 ERA and a 15.00 WHIP for Allen on Wednesday. Whew!

All of this is to say that my 13+ point lead from last week was down to 1.5 points I think before the last few days where some things turned around for me. That lead is now back up to 9 points thank goodness. The stretch run is going to be tight, especially since The Tribe and I are very close in a few categories, which could cause some 2 point swings rather quickly.

The last week has been pretty good to me. My team’s gone from 132 points all the way up to an AL season high this year of 136 points, which is only 3 off of those juggernaut Nats in the NL. Leading the way for my offence has been the guy I just traded for in Brad Miller, who’s been the number 4 player in the AL this week with a 6/5/9/0/.348 line, which is more than I can say for the other big piece I traded for in Jordan Zimmerman. Plenty of hitters have helped out though with Russell Martin 6/4/8/0/.421, Edwin 6/3/6/0/.375 and Tulowitzki 5/2/5/0/.375 rising to the top. On the pitching side I continue to get stellar performances from J.A. Happ, Aaron Sanchez, and Marcus Stroman. Along with solid bullpen work from Roberto Osuna and Jason Grilli. The Jays are really stepping up.

There wasn’t a whole lot of action at the trade deadline, though there was plenty leading up to it of course. Overall I feel pretty good about my team, especially the fact that I have the depth and positional flexibility to absorb some injuries the rest of the way. As long as I catch some breaks I like my chances to hold down the AL, but it’s gonna be an interesting stretch run. Especially the 3 game series that starts tomorrow between the MLB Jays and Indians. That series could have a big say in how the REL standings look when we get an update next week. As always, good luck all.

The Tribe 127 Waiver Adds and Prospect Callups Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $55 n/a
Orange Birds 106.5 Waiver Adds and Prospect Callups Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $72 Justin Smoak Tor – 1B $2, James Hoyt Hou – RP $0
The trade deadline came and went. While I was in talks with multiple managers, nothing came to be. I was mostly trying to improve my squad for next year when I hope to compete again. Most of my players are in their prime so I will really need to be more committed to winning next year.The past two weeks I have been slowly falling in the standings as the Orioles bats have gone quiet for the most part. I would love a third place finish so I hope things turn around as I continue to lose points in Runs, RBIs, and Saves/Holds.

I have learned there is no way to win in a league this deep while tanking a category. Balance is key which is something I definitely wish I addressed earlier in the year. I am very excited for the World Series to be over (as much as I do not want baseball season to end) so that we can trade again. I have never been a part of a league with off season trading and am really looking forward to it. My main goals for the rest of the season will be staying in third, addressing my future need of steals with prospects, and trying to get at least a few guys in the September call ups (the reason I saved my FAAB money).
While we cannot trade now, I am open to having talks with managers about the future.

Good luck to both the Blue Jays and The Tribe as they battle for first this year!

Red Sox 104.5 Waiver Adds and Prospect Callups Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $22 Dillon Gee KC – SP,RP $0
Tigers 98.5 Waiver Adds and Prospect Callups Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $13 Dixon Machado Det – SS $4, Tyler Austin NYY – OF $33
Astros 98 Waiver Adds and Prospect Callups Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $22 Teoscar Hernández Hou – OF $53, Ryan Rua Tex – 1B,OF $3
Apparently September came early this year, and if I was wrong about my original 10 minor league keepers I never would have been able to forgive myself. Did I overpay for Teoscar? Absolutely not, everyone else underpayed! If he played for another team then I wouldn’t have bid so high, however not having control over my own team had the potential to piss me off for years to come. Granted there aren’t any guarantees in this league when it comes to free agent pickups and Teoscar certainly fits the bill but with Gomez long gone, Rasmus unlikely to resign, Springer playing gold glove caliber RF, and Kemp relegated to LF only it appears Teoscar’s competition for playing time comes down to just Marisnick and eventually Derek Fisher. Fisher isn’t known for his defense and might turn out to be LF only. Marisnick is a legit CFer but once again is struggling to hit for average and refuses to take a walk. With that said why in the world did I not protect Teoscar as one of my 10 best Astros prospects? Let’s start with his 2014 line in high-A ball and AA, in 119 games….292/.362/.535 triple slash going 21/33 HR/SB and 84/85 runs/RBI but that also came with an astronomical 153 Ks to 51 BBs.

Very solid line, besides the Ks, and good enough to be called one of the milb.com Astros organizational all-stars, and while almost exclusively playing CF. But then came 2015 and in 121 AA games he managed a very meager…

.219/.275/.362 triple slash with a 17/33 HR/SB ratio and 92 runs to only 48 RBI. Also the BBs fell to 33 as did the Ks slightly at 126.

And with that Teoscar falls out of all the Stros preseason top 10 prospect rankings, and my good graces. As this year began I found myself watching quite a few Corpus Christi games and every game I watched Teoscar impressed. Sure so did Bregman and Musgrove but that was assumed. And when it was all said and done Teoscar got the callup to the bigs after 107 AA and AAA games while putting up a line of…

.307/.377/.459 with a 10/34 HR/SB ratio and 73 runs to 53 RBI while mostly hitting leadoff, but the real kicker was his BB:K ratio, an almost unbelievable 45:80.

The swing got shorter, the strike zone judgement improved by leaps and bounds and he’s still just 23 years old. The best part of all is that when he moved to AAA the bat never once cooled off. So did I overpay or did everyone else underpay? Obviously extremely subjective but if Teoscar’s minor league numbers from this year can carry over to the bigs then I’m looking at a guy with 15/40 upside, who can play all 3 OF spots at a high level, and most importantly a guy I won’t be watching every night doing that for someone else’s REL team. Oh and I traded for $30 FAAB at the deadline with the sole purpose of NOT missing on Teoscar. How upset will I be if Teoscar gets optioned back to the minors? Honestly not at all, I’m not playing for this year and another trip to AAA won’t effect his opportunity to compete for the starting CF job next year in spring, and if I were a betting man I’d bet he wins it.

Mariners 85.5 Waiver Adds and Prospect Callups Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $15 n/a
White Sox 78 Waiver Adds and Prospect Callups Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $63 n/a
Power Rangers 67 Waiver Adds and Prospect Callups Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $12 n/a
Tampa Bay Rays 66 Waiver Adds and Prospect Callups Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $1 n/a
Yankees 63.5 Waiver Adds and Prospect Callups Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $59 Luke Hochevar KC – RP $0
Halos 58 Waiver Adds and Prospect Callups Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $33 Ross Detwiler Oak – SP,RP $1
Royals 50.5 Waiver Adds and Prospect Callups Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $34 Cody Martin Sea – RP $1
Athletics 40 Waiver Adds and Prospect Callups Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $4 n/a
Minnesota Twins 21 Waiver Adds and Prospect Callups Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $70 n/a

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  1. A Hill O' Beans says:
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    Hey Slim,

    I don’t think you really over-payed by much on Teoscar. How can you not like a kid who’s had 21/33, 17/33 and 10/34 seasons already at the age of 23. Kid looks very good.

    I actually had a $25 bid on him that I lowered to $6 at the last minute Wednesday night. I’ve got some OF coming off the DL soon, and I might have ended up getting roster crunched into dropping him in a couple weeks so I had to rethink things. Since I have to play for this year (which goes completely against my prospect hoarding nature) he just didn’t fit as well for me. If I was out of it I’d have probably thrown around $40 down on him, which is why I was pretty shocked that other than your $53 bid the highest bid was $17. Even more shocking was that it was the only bid besides yours and mine that was over $1.

    • Slim

      Slim says:
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      @A Hill O’ Beans: A few things worried me. 1st I thought the Yanks might go full on $59 for Austin leaving only Teoscar left. So I saw your $79 and thought your top number possible would be $59 with $20 left and I was at $60 until last night. I also saw the Os $72 and thought he might see Teoscar as his answer to SBs. And of course Healy went for big money and quite a few people bid high on him. White Sox had money to burn, the Twins still have $70 and horded some prospects a while ago. I thought I would get 2 bids in the $40s.

      • IV says:
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        @Slim: I forgot to set my bid for him which is why I had him at 0. I thought he might be the answer to stolen bases, but I do not believe I was going to bid anywhere near $50 for him. Highest I might have gone would have been $30. Looking back, I probably should have gone all in as who knows what September will bring.

  2. brad says:
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    if you’re out of contention in a dynasty this year, who would you rather have going forward: jose berrios or joe ross?

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @brad: Even though I have been the high guy on Ross, I like Berrios more in a dyno sense

      • Eric says:
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        @JB Gilpin: thanks, if YOU are on the side of berrios, then this is an easy choice haha

        • JB Gilpin

          JB Gilpin says:
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          @Eric: Hahaha, good point

  3. MrT says:
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    I agree with Slim’s comments on Ralph post. The AL league has been really fun. Smart owners, active owners, a lot of strategy being played. I can’t wait to see how it unfolds this year and the next few years to come. Nice job JB and Slim. Great league.

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @MrT: Thanks man! Yeah I think the issue was really only the porting over to a site that functions so different. I’ve loved the league so far as I rebuild!

    • Slim

      Slim says:
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      @MrT: Yeah. A league isnt its rules. A league is its players. I think this league would be doing well whatever the rules were.

      • JB Gilpin

        JB Gilpin says:
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        @MrT: @Slim: Knew having some of the REL Hoops crowd in there would make it a success :)

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