Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Why Is He Available?

Anonymous wants to know why Mark Kotsay would have been available in the N.L.-only league I profile for my FAAB bids.
Any league that has Kotsay available in the free agent pool has very *unhealthy* dumping rules and/or is very heavy in available talent.
Brett, who is in that league, responds:
Why? The team that dropped Kotsay had an OF of Lewis, Rowand, Cody Ross, McLouth, and Kotsay (with Glaus at UT). The trading deadline had passed, and he dropped Kotsay for Dickerson because he needed speed more than average.

The only dump trades he made were a minor one where he got a FAABed Casey Blake, and one where he got pitching.

Agreed that during the first 2/3 of the season, Kotsay should never be a free agent. But after the trading deadline passes, your options are more limited, and your adds/drops have to be much more strategic and play to the categories that you need.

If you're way ahead of the pack in HR and RBI but are trying to squeeze out a point or 2 in SB, dropping Ryan Howard for Nyjer Morgan would be a wise move.
Who is right?

My answer, as it almost always diplomatically is, is that it depends on your league.

In a deep league at the beginning of the year, Mark Kotsay most definitely was an N.L. only outfielder. Despite his disappointing 2007 campaign, it was anticipated he'd be playing regularly for the Braves. Even if Kotsay only bounced back to a 750 OPS, with his speed a $15 season wouldn't have been out of the question.

That being said, there are sometimes players who get caught in the Twilight Zone of dumping. Typically, these players fall into one of two categories:

1) Players who are good enough to be on a one-league only roster but are hurt and may or may not come back later in the season. Players like this are hard to trade at value due to their injuries, but often do come back and are then better than the alternatives on a contender's active roster.

2) Players who are probably good enough to be kept on a one-league only roster but are not as good as the 14 hitters who are currently on the contender's active roster. A trade would be ideal, but you don't want to do a solid for your fellow contenders and the non-contenders have no interest in your $35 non-freeze, since they won't be able to move him after the in-season trade deadline or in the winter prior to the next freeze date.

Like Brett, I think these are both valid reasons for a player of Kotsay's middling status to be available in an N.L.-only league.

I do also think it depends on how you feel about dumping. I can tell Anonymous that the N.L. league I profile for FAAB is deep, with 12 teams and 23 man rosters per team. So that leaves the argument that the dumping rules in this league are unhealthy.

They could be. I would posit that how restrictive or open trading is when it comes to dumping is entirely up to your league. I've played in leagues with no salary caps and an "anything goes" mentality when it comes to dumping. I've also played in very restrictive leagues where trades were frequently overturned unless it was clear they weren't dump trades (unless, of course, these trades fit the league's narrow guidelines on the subject).

I still like the idea that teams can sometimes play for this year and wind up with overflow at one or more positions.

In my A.L., I grabbed Paul Konerko on waivers. His salary for next year is $30. The non-contenders wouldn't want to deal with that price, and the non-contender who waived him couldn't find a trading partner and thought Konerko at $30 was expendable.

To me, such a move is completely acceptable. If you're playing for next year, and no one wants Konerko, move him.

However, if you think allowing teams to waive guys like Konerko without getting something back in trade is too liberal, then by all means you should change your league's rules.

It's up to you how you want your league to run. Whatever you do, make sure you're happy with it, though.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the responses. I certainly commented in the context of my own league. We've eliminated dumping by not allowing traded players to be kept. Keeper salary inflates 5 each year kept. Dumping is gone, but so is almost all trading.

We also have a 5-man reserve roster and rules that allow for a demote-promote-waive-FAAB to occur as a single transaction. Thus, a Kotsay would most likely be demoted, and what should be a lesser reserve player promoted, waive the promoted player and FAAB Dickerson. Still have Kotsay to fill a hole later if needed.

The Konerko example illustrates another problem with liberal dumping. With total focus on next year, who cares if $30 Konerko gets waived -- well, the guys still competing for this year care.

I've often wondered what it would be like to participate in leagues with very different rules. Could be great fun, or down right scary!