A couple of years ago Bret Sayre invited me to participate in his dynasty league – The Dynasty Guru Expert League, or TDGX. At the time I was writing for him at his site, and while I don’t anymore, I’ve been allowed to remain in the league as a representative of Razzball. I’d like to say my team has been killing it, but that hasn’t been the case in the first two years. The league is a lot of fun, and there are representatives from sites like Baseball Prospectus, Fangraphs, Baseball HQ, and CBS. It’s deep and it’s challenging. Tim McLeod and Ian Khan took the championship in each of the first two years, so major kudos to them.

The format is a 20-team, 40-man roster, 5×5 roto league where we keep 35 of 40 players from year to year. There are no salaries and we keep players as long as we want. There are ten roster slots designated for prospects, but we’re allowed to carry prospects in any of our active roster slots if that’s the route a team chooses. I’m in this situation at the moment, and didn’t even hit the inning minimums which meant a last place finish in 2015. The consolation prize is a high draft pick, but as you’ll see with some of the pieces on my roster, I don’t want to wait around forever to compete. 2016 might be a stretch, but I do feel that this squad can gel into something substantial in the next two years.

C Jorge Alfaro C | PHI P Archie Bradley P | ARI
1B Christian Walker 1B | BAL P Alex Cobb P | TB
2B Anthony Rendon 2B,3B | WAS P Randall Delgado P | ARI X
3B Nolan Arenado 3B | COL P Brandon Finnegan P | CIN
SS Starlin Castro 2B,SS | CHC P Keone Kela P | TEX X
MI Nick Franklin 1B,2B,SS | TB P Jairo Labourt P | TOR X
CI Maikel Franco 3B | PHI P Eduardo Rodriguez P | BOS
OF Mike Trout OF | LAA P Braden Shipley P | ARI X
OF Jorge Soler OF | CHC P Touki Toussaint P | ATL X
OF Oswaldo Arcia OF | MIN
OF Danny Santana OF,SS | MIN MINORS (10)
OF Aaron Altherr OF | PHI Dylan Bundy P | BAL
U Adam Duvall 1B,OF | CIN Dominic Smith 1B | NYM
U Arismendy Alcantara 2B,OF | CHC Jomar Reyes 3B | BAL
RESERVES (7) Gilbert Lara SS | MIL
J.P. Crawford SS | PHI Derek Fisher OF | HOU
Ozhaino Albies SS | ATL Alex Jackson OF | SEA
Rafael Devers 3B | BOS Eloy Jimenez OF | CHC
David Dahl OF | COL Harold Ramirez OF | PIT X
Roman Quinn OF | PHI Magneuris Sierra OF | STL
Raimel Tapia OF | COL Adrian Rondon SS | TB
Alen Hanson SS | PIT Gleyber Torres SS | CHC

A few quick hits on this team, both positive and negative…

  • It helps having a core of Trout, Arenado, and Rendon. These are good players who are likely to stay good for a few years. They are easy to build around and their age keeps the window open longer. On the flip side, three position players – no matter how talented – aren’t going to win a league. That’s where I’ll need Soler, Franco, etc. to step up.
  • First base is a major weakness, and the pitching staff is going to need to be supplemented in the five-round redraft or through free agency once it is my year to go for it.
  • The prospects on this team are strong, and without going into every roster in the league, I think this is one of the better mixes of young MLB talent and higher end prospects.
  • A few of the mistakes I’ve made so far: valuing draft picks too highly, “settling” instead of “shopping” in trades of breakout players such as J.D. Martinez and Lorenzo Cain, and overvaluing volatile pitching prospects such as Dylan Bundy.
  • Free agency has been surprisingly fruitful for a league this size. It’s how I was able to get JDMart in the first place and more recently Jorge Alfaro, Keone Kela, and Aaron Altherr
  • Trading seemed to be slower in year two, but it’s still a very active league with just a few teams turning over. I think there are plenty of other managers to talk to both in this offseason as well as next summer. Even though not all of the trades have worked out, at least the other 19 teams know I’m active and willing to negotiate.
  • I have to shave six players to get to 35 this offseason. I’ve marked my gut picks with red x’s, but those won’t be due for a while. Feel free to suggest who you’d cut in the comments.
  • This year’s poor showing should lead to a top five draft pick, and that could be a talent that speeds up the competitive clock as well.