When I was a younger man, before kids and young enough to still fancy myself a good bit of cool, having swag as the kids say nowdays,  I was a bit of a music snob.  Well, that’s not true.  I thought I was a music snob.  I was truly the only person in the world with discerning taste.  Anyone who disagreed with me was obviously showing their lack of intelligence.

I was eager to flex my musical muscles, and literal muscles as well, as I began to woo my now wife.  I read on a super cool website, possibly Pitchfork, that to truly appreciate the art of a Radiohead album (and it had to be an album, that’s the only true form of music) you needed to listen to it with headphones four times.  I did this and loved the Hail to the Thief album.  To impress the girl, I passed this knowledge on and burned her a CD of it (hey, this was like 2003, okay?).

That didn’t last long.  The Radiohead phase, not the relationship.  That is still going since 2003!  I asked if she did it, and she was all like “No, I didn’t sit and listen to music I don’t like four times with headphones on.  Why would anyone do that?”  Made so much sense that I haven’t read Pitchfork since.

Radiohead was a very polarizing band, wasn’t it?  Nobody is “meh” about them.  A music fan either loves them, enjoys the genius randomness of their music, the deep insightful lyrics, and general vibe they put out as a group of musical savants.  Or, on the other hand, someone might just think they are weird.  Of course, they’ve been dormant since 2016 so maybe this is all pointless.

And you know what?  Both groups are equally right.  I gave them up years ago.  I am more into the dad rock phase of my life.  Guess what?  That’s okay too!

I’m learning that dynasty baseball leagues are like this too.  I can totally understand why someone would want to pack their virtual bags and go home in October to other sports and activities.  It’s a grind.  Others may think that this is the best thing since Eddie Vedder.  That’s cool too.

I’m really finding myself enjoying this league.  In fact, it’s affecting my NFL teams (lost first round of the playoffs) and NBA team (sitting fourth which is not ideal for a guy who writes for the basketball page).  I really enjoy the building of a team and the strategy of it.  This league continues to scratch my itch for baseball in the winter.  That and Strat-o-matic.  You should all be playing the best simulation out there!

International Invasion

I’m sure you have seen this during the Most Boring Offseason of All Time.  The biggest free agent acquisitions have all been from Asia at the point of this writing.  No, sorry Jack Flaherty, it’s not you.  I also know I’m taking a huge spelling risk including this section.  This insane league has a posting system!

When a guy officially signs, a 48 hour window automatically opens for bidding for the player.  This is not their salary;  this is just the money that goes on the books to add the player.  One is allowed to bid 40 million to then pay the guy a league rookie salary ($602,000) for this year, then it will escalate in a way I haven’t quite figured out yet (this may come to bite me in the keyster as you shall soon see.)  The bidding is blind, and then put in a randomizer for fairness sake.

These international men of mystery fetched a pretty penny:

Yoshinumbu Yamamoto, Jung Hoo Lee, Shota Imanaga all went for the full 40 million post.  I think this makes sense as this averages out to 8 million in salary per year, or the same as I’m paying Kyle Hendricks.  Good value for a full time player in this deep of a league.

Crack Alysis:  Yamamoto is gonna be nasty, Imananga a good starter, and I don’t think Lee will be worth his jeans this season.  If you watched the WBC, you saw these pitchers and they are filthy.

I happened to land Imananga.  There were seven people who bid the max on him.  I was one of them and was selected!  I pumped my fist with glee but then realized I am within a million of the cap.  It was one of my plans to target relievers in season.  Not having money would hamper that plan.  Of course, my plan is not really a plan as much as an always evolving thing based on my moods.  Probably need to come up with a plan and comprehensive strategy here.

My Big Realization

I had an epiphany the other day.  The epiphany probably happened while on the toilet getting some much needed me time.  Luis Robert was a guy that I wasn’t going to be able to keep after this season based on his escalating salary.

One really crazy thing on the Proboards site that we used is a re-sign calculator.  You can just plug in some information, and it will tell you how much their salary will cost.  The cost is based on their Fantrax player ranking.  I know, I tried to get them to use the Razzball one but they decided not to.  Players are separated into tiers, like the top 20 gets raised by a certain percentage, the next 20 is a slightly lower percentage, and so on and heretofore.

Let’s get back to Luis Robert and cap space.  He was a really good player last year.  He also has a lengthy injury history and is on a terrible team.  At around 10 million for this year, he’s a bargain.  However.  If he does this again, guess what?  His re-sign amount is somewhere around 24 million!  That’s a lot of money for a guy who may be top 20.  I would have to cut somehow 22 million from my team to resign the guy.  What that would do is pretty much gut my team except for my high priced guys.  If you follow real baseball, the stars and scrubs model doesn’t often work!

So I decided to deal Luis Robert.  (Pending the Trade Committee Review)  Yes, that puts me in a rebuild but I kinda wanted to do that anyway.

2B Triantos, James
OF Hassell, Robert
OF Peralta, David

2024 KCR AMAT 1.24  These are amateur draft picks, like guys from the first year player draft
2025 KCR AMAT 1.xx

to NYY for:

OF Robert, Luis

2024 Milb LAD #3
Getting two top 100 ranked prospects is a solid return, along with two draft picks.  It’s of course a gamble;  every trade kinda is.  But I had to move off Robert or lock in my roster around him for years.  Years I tell you!  That’s a long time and I might be dead at some point.  Who has time to waste on Luis Robert?  I only have a couple years left;  might as well spend it rebuilding.

The Teardown Commences:  Time to Make like Limp Bizkit and Give Me Something to Break

So then I dealt Kenta Maeda in a salary dump.  I did get a SS prospect from the Rays they just drafted named Adrian Santana who in his own words will be “a switch hitting Trea Turner.”  Good confidence buddy!
I’m not going to go full, like, everyone must go mode here.  I do want to keep some good players on reasonable contracts.
This is actually going to be interesting on a lot of levels.  I’ve already been lowballed on some guys, sometimes comically so.  That makes sense;  test the new guys’ mettle.  After they found out I had the expertise level to write for Razzball, though, that died down.  The plan is to just hold to my values now, and try to make trades that make sense for my team longer term.
Looking ahead, my best assets are
2b:  Edouard Julien
3B:  Bregman and Baty, Muncy will be trade bait
Marcell Ozuna great value but only one year left on the deal
There’s a rule that you can’t trade someone you re-signed until June 15, so Max Muncy, Pressley, and LeClerc will be ready to ship out by then.

Current Roster

C Tyler Soderstrom $590,000
C Nick Fortes $690,305
1B Darick Hall $590,000
1B Anthony Rizzo $15,000,000
2B Edouard Julien $708,000
3B Max Muncy $16,514,060
3B Alex Bregman $24,050,000
3B Brett Baty $649,000
MI Paul DeJong $2,000,000
UT Marcell Ozuna $6,150,000
OF Yonathan Daza $681,835
OF Mitch Haniger 11,000,000
SP MacKenzie Gore $826,000
SP Kyle Hendricks $8,000,000
SP Alex Wood $5,500,000
RP Ian Gibaut $826,000
RP Ryan Pressly $9,000,000
RP Jose Leclerc 3,774,400
RP Elvis Peguero $828,000
RP Daniel Palencia $590,000
SP Marcus Stroman $18,500,000
SP Ryan Rolison $100,000
SP Jose Suarez $1,420,020
RP Keegan Thompson $1,000,000
P Juan Then $100,000
RP Ron Marinaccio $590,000
SP Shane McClanahan $2,966,600
BN Jean Segura $11,700,000
RP Michel Baez $590,000
P Nick Nelson $590,000
RP Tyler Kinley $575,500