After ten or so years, Rudy and I managed to agree on a trade. Melky Cabrera for Zach Greinke in a ten team mixed league. A fair enough trade in my estimation, but I still waited a day before pulling the trigger. Why? First some backstory (in case you weren’t sufficiently bored at work reading about a trade of Melky and Greinke), Rudy and I are best of friends, and, as any good friends should be, we’re hated fantasy baseball rivals. I’d rather lose a girlfriend to Tom Arnold than lose a league to Rudy. Once we step inside the imaginary world of fantasy baseball, I like him about as much as The Iron Sheik likes B. Brian Blair. (As with all Iron Sheik links, that is NSFW.)
Are all my leaguemates hated rivals? Nah, some are innocuous. The guy in last place who is starting Howie Kendrick for two weeks while he’s on the DL is no competition — innocuous. Some are annoying. The guy in first who streams starts and keeps coming up aces — annoying. Some are harmful. The guy in first that trades Kotchman for Prince Fielder — harmful. But to be a hated rival, you have to be a worthy competitor who is close enough to you that you can hear about how you screwed up a trade for the rest of your life. So I abstained from trades with Rudy for… well, ever.
So why trade now? Needs and it’s a trade that I don’t think could conceivably bite me in the ass too bad. I mean, I’m only giving up Melky. I like him this year, but I don’t see him suddenly becoming a top twenty offensive force. I think he could be a cheap 15/15/.285 player. On my team, Bill Hall will fill in for Melky, so it’s a downgrade, but not terrible. Most importantly, I needed starters. Right now I’m starting Jair Jurrjens with my last pitching spot. Now before Jair’s minions come out of the webwork, I obviously like Jurrjens, as well. But he’s risky moving forward in a ten team league. With the addition of Greinke, I’m not going to drop Jair, but I think I might have to at some point because he’s unproven at this level. Do I think Zach Grienke is headed for 20 wins and a nothing ERA? Nah, probably not. I’m just hoping he doesn’t take the mound in his next start wearing a rainbow wig, holding a sandwich board that has a psalm written on it in silver highlighter. If he does, I’m sure I’ll hear about it for the rest of my life.
This was the equivalent of the Yankees trading with the Sawx. I don’t even like the thought of us trading – it’s like the episodes of Tom & Jerry when they were friends. But when I got offered M. Cabrera for a Royals pitcher, how could I say no? Oh, it’s Melky not Miguel….goddamnit. Larry King is right on about Cabreras…
Even with Melky, this trade works. My pitching staff in this league is STACKED. I had 12 undroppable pitchers – Peavy, Harang, Vazquez, Wainwright, Cueto, Greinke, Rivera, F-Cordero, Capps, Street, B-Wilson, Betancourt – meaning I had no bench slots for hitters. I lucked out over the first couple weeks as Kelly Johnson and Matt Kemp both had great days at times I may have benched them.
I figured Greinke and Cueto are lowest men on the totem pole and that the Zach Attack had more trade value. A swap for Johnny Damon with another leaguemate was declined. I figured Melky was better than nothing – I already got him on two expert league teams anyway. He can start for me until Bourn gets back on track and then I’ll probably rotate him in and out. My pitching staff doesn’t need Greinke – the only category I don’t have a 10 in is Wins which is his worst category anyway (after Saves of course).
Despite the unclean feeling that comes with trading w/ my bitter rival Grey, I think this is a win-win trade even if Greinke goes bat shit again….