Thursday, August 28, 2008

Revisiting Contenders in Dump Leagues

Yesterday, I addressed the concept of having too much talent in dump leagues and getting stuck waiving a player who might be an everyday player but not as good as the 14 hitters you've currently got on your active squad.

For owners in non-keeper leagues or leagues that don't have much dumping, this is a baffling idea. One of my readers lambasted the idea that Mark Kotsay could be waived in a league like this.

However, these sorts of things happen all the time in dump leagues. Even when a player isn't waived there is sometimes a ripple effect when a player is acquired and then an owner has to scramble to fit that player on to his roster.

On June 30, one owner in my A.L. acquired an injured David Ortiz ($38) and Jeff Mathis ($2) for Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Kelvin Escobar and a minor league pick. Despite the fact that the deal was made a full month before my league's trade deadline, many of us wondered how he was going to eventually make room for everyone on his roster, given our league's hard $375 active roster salary cap.

Two weeks later (July 14), he seemed to compound the problem when he got Paul Konerko ($30), Ramon Vazquez ($3), and Matt Joyce ($6) for Alex Gordon ($10) and Willie Bloomquist ($1).

His first move was simple. He gave away Paul Konerko to a non-contender so he could activate Magglio Ordonez ($33) and Jason Bartlett ($10) off of his reserve list, while also waiving Vazquez.

His biggest problem, though, was that the trade still left him in the position of either having to waive Ortiz or get rid of someone else. That other shoe dropped when he flipped Jermaine Dye ($25), Justin Verlander ($17) and Joyce for Coco Crisp ($11) and Andy Sonnanstine ($3). That allowed him to fill in for Dye with Ortiz.

Some owners never would have made that trade. They would have simply waived Ortiz and simply hoped that a non-contender grabbed him.

However, by flipping Dye to a middle-of-the-pack team, this owner assured himself that Dye's new owner wouldn't flip Dye to me or the league's other top contender. He also pushed Verlander onto a squad that could take two points away from me in ERA/WHIP.

Still, he did have to give up more than he would have liked. And that something was a productive Jermaine Dye.

You can argue that guys like Dye or Ortiz shouldn't be waived or be at risk of being waived. However, that's the other side of the dumping coin. Maximizing your roster's slots and salary is part of dumping. You might lose a Mark Kotsay or a David Ortiz if you don't manage your roster carefully and have to look for a best case scenario.

No comments: