I’m making some cuts today in my 15-team dynasty. More than ‘some,’ I suppose. I currently have 50 claims in for Thursday morning’s free agent run, but that’s mostly because I use my pending transactions screen as a watch list. My style of dynasty play involves building lists of free agents I want and cutting all the guys I think are drop-able before faab runs. I arrange the list by talent/value over need and let the dominoes fall where they may. This presents some drawbacks in terms of balance between MiLB and MLB players at times and occasionally trips me up on the positional-depth front for a couple days, but it remains my preferred method in large part because it enforces a kind of thinking I find beneficial. 

Knowing where the cut line lands in any particular league is endlessly valuable. It prevents you from trading for replacement level talent and invites you to swap out some of those players when their value spikes. It’s a theoretical concept and a moving target, so the more frequently you’re checking in with it, the better grasp you’ll have of who to add, drop, trade and ignore. 

So who’s on the chopping block this week?

Giants OF Jaylin Davis found himself stuck at the training site after week one. To say I’m surprised he didn’t play more is an understatement. Manager Gabe Kepler seems to have pretty specific tastes in ballplayers and a good working relationship with Farhan Zaidi, and I’m worried he doesn’t think Davis will make enough contact against righties. I’ve been hovering over the “cut him” button much of the season and wish I’d ripped the band-aid long ago. Even so, he will likely be my last drop among this group, and I still might choose to hold him for warmth through the winter. 

I was psyched when the first-place team, Meckard, dropped Blue Jays RHP Julian Merryweather. As usual, Meckard was prescient, and Merryweather found himself on the IL shortly after I spent 22???? bucks to acquire his services. Anytime a guy who’s missed most of his career battling arm injuries turns up with a forearm strain, you’re probably better off moving along. I find Oakland RHP James Kapriellan as interesting as the next guy, but if you’ve been holding him in dynasty baseball for the last three years, he has almost zero chance to return profit on that investment.

Atlanta LHP Tucker Davidson never got an opportunity in 2020, which has me skeptical about how the organization sees him fitting into their plans. He’d be a perfectly reasonable off-season stash, but I think a low-minors shortstop with topside like Yeison Santana, Rafael Morel, Angel Martinez, or Pedro Miguel Martinez probably has a little more trade value in most formats.

Brewers OF Tyrone Taylor was more an in-season, playing-time flier than someone I’m betting on long-term, and I think he’d make it through a supplemental draft unclaimed and be there for me on the wire if I felt so inclined. Still might be a hold for me if he homers again Wednesday like he did Tuesday. I wish I weren’t so fickle, but every data point matters on this final faab run, and Taylor’s a second round pick who’s displayed the talent to provide above average defense and hit a little. Starting to sound like he won’t get dropped, huh? He’s also on a team without much organizational outfield depth. I mean they paid Avisail Garcia 30 million for three years, and he’s played way more center field than I would’ve guessed.

Rays RHP John Curtiss has been excellent for them, but he’s another guy I think would slide through a supp draft and be there when I needed him, so he gone, probably. 

Marlins LHP Trevor Rogers has been knocked around the neighborhood these past few outings. Perhaps I should have patience–wait for forthcoming beautiful days–but my MLB pitching is stacked. I don’t need his innings across an actual season, and I struggle to see him carrying much trade value with an ugly final line attached to his name. You never know when the echo chamber is going to crown a Pivetta for piling up some strikeouts, so maybe I’ll regret dropping him if the last start further pads his strikeout rate. He’d probably get plucked in a Supp draft if he looked like a rotation member entering 2021, so he’s among my tougher decisions. Gonna watch some of his tougher innings before making the final call. 

I added Phillies OF Adam Haseley on the last run but kind of wish I hadn’t. He’d just gotten dropped, so I’m afraid my interest was connected to that shiny new free agent feeling. It’s hard for me to imagine a team with so much invested in their roster would enter 2021 with an unproven, medium-tooled, sum-of-his-parts type locked into a starting gig, especially a centerfield gig. Crazier things have happened, but it’s not like he was a big trade piece this time around with plenty of playing time in front of him. He’s probably worth owning, but I’ve finished second for two straight years after tanking and building in year one, so I can’t just be handing out roster spots to every Tom, Brad and Adam that comes along. 

Brewers DH Dan Vogelbach came aboard in the same faab haul as Haseley, and I’m not sure I can quit him. He’s been sizzling since joining the beer makers, which is poetic in its way but predictable given that the ballpark plays as friendly as any for left handed hitters. I might be drunk on Miller Park, but this guy was an All Star in 2019. His 30 homers and .341 OBP don’t tell the full story of a guy who got exposed as his first full season wore on him, but it’s a little odd to me he’s been kicked around this year. I think he’d get more leash around the league if he looked a little different, if you know what I mean. 

Cardinals 3B Brad Miller’s spot might be in jeopardy heading into Thursday morning’s faab run. He might make it through onto the winter squad, but I think we just saw his career-best stretch, but I’d have said the same last winter, and he’s replicated his plate discipline and power-heavy approach from 2019, when he slashed .260/.329/.565 with 13 home runs in 170 plate appearances. In-season, his MLB-only eligibility might be a deciding factor, but that matters less over winter when there’s no real restriction on how many big leaguers you can roster.  

Who’s on the claim list?

Don’t worry, I won’t name all 50. I’ll be deleting some and adding others. Yankees RHP Miguel Yajure is sitting there after I cut him down the stretch. So are the shortstops I mentioned above. Diamondbacks RHP Luis Frias is giving me the eye. Had to cut him early this Spring. So is Cleveland LHP Joey Cantillo for the same reason. Cut him just before he got traded by the Padres. Pretty sure I had Pirates SS Ji Hwan Bae and Rangers 2B Keithron Moss on this roster back in March. RHP Emmanuel Clase might soon be mine as he was before. Same for Red Sox C Connor Wong and Cardinals LHP Genesis Cabrera. That’s eight players I’ve cut already this season, which is kind of why I operate the way I do. None was an easy cut. All were likely rostered longer than they should’ve been. This league is sharp. In a good league, if you decide a guy probably doesn’t make the cut for you compared to the free agents you might buy, there’s a good chance you’re not alone in that evaluation. In fact, you’re probably alone in your evaluation they’ve been worth rostering to this point. If I’d cut Jaylin Davis back when he first entered consideration for pre-faab cutdowns, he’d probably be out there today, and I could’ve used his roster spot to add, say, Brewers RHP Devin Williams or Seattle OF Dylan Moore, both of whom went to the league winner. Every spot matters, and every piece of this game is always in motion. The more decisions you make, the better you’ll get at making those close calls, and the better your roster will be in the aggregate. 

Best of luck with your final faab runs if you’ve got any left!

Thanks for reading!

I’m @theprospectitch on Twitter.