Villain-in-Training

Two years ago, I began playing fantasy baseball with some of the owners in my current league.  The fairness of my trades were in question from the beginning.  Arguments about vetoes occurred almost weekly and people claimed I was taking significant advantage of another player, known to you as Team Cy Young.

Apparently, Team Cy Young was taking notes as he made trades with me (I seem to remember one involving Billy Butler, before he was good, for Derrek Lee).  He made a trade today with Grundle Lice.  The trade was a 7 for 7.  One of my trademarks is throwing tons of players at leaguemates to confuse them (true or not, that’s my reputation).  Team Cy Young employed a similar tactic.  Here is the trade Team Cy Young made with Grundle Lice:

Grundle Lice      Team Cy Young

Victor Martinez Matt Wieters

Denard Span Adam Lind

Yunel Escobar Lance Berkman

Francisco Cordero Aramis Ramirez

Matt Lindstrom Brian Fuentes

Jon Lester Matt Cain

Tim Lincecum C.C. Sabathia

Tim Lincecum is a great pitcher, maybe even the best. He's just not worth this, Grundle Lice.

Alright, I’ll give you a second to process this.  I know you probably don’t get it yet, that’s what I bank on when I make trades, the numbers intimidating you too much to focus.  Think about it…

Hopefully you have now reached the conclusion Team Cy Young pulled the wool over Grundle Lice’s eyes.

First, I’ll give you the hero’s analysis of the trade:

“He [Grundle Lice] texted me, of course: ‘v-mart upgrades my catching,’ which is just so stupid.  ‘my pitching overall gets upgraded, im somewhat concerned about Fuentes.  i also really like escobar and span’s upside.’  I don’t know how much upside you can have when you don’t hit home runs and don’t steal many bases, but what do I know…If he wants two Freddy Sanchezes, be my guest.”

Now for my analysis:

His biggest improvement comes at catcher, but Wieters could put up V-Mart numbers.  Not likely, but plausible.  Team Cy Young needed power in this trade and the Lind, Berkman, Ramirez trio may not contain the biggest names, but if you look at the numbers, they substantially improve Team Cy Young’s power.  When Team Cy Young (one of my roommates) made this trade, I saw him looking at his computer with a stunned look on his face saying, “I think I just gained 50 home runs…and I can’t figure out what I lost,” (He lost saves, but this would only dawn on him later).  This is not a good sign for Grundle Lice.  Sure, Lincecum’s better than Sabathia and Grundle dramatically improves his closers, but saves are a single category out of 10.  And Lindstrom sucks.  Team Cy Young improves in 4 of the 5 hitting categories (losing steals).  Also, he might improve by moving from Lester to Cain.  So far this year, Cain has dominated while Lester has not (C’mon Sox, pull yourselves together).

In The Villain’s Playbook, this type of trade is the bread and butter, the run straight up the middle.  Throw a dominant player (Tim Lincecum) in to distract the opponent.  Then, throw in tons of other players, each time saying, “C’mon, I’m giving you Lincecum, I need something back.”  By the time you’re done, they don’t even realize that they’re giving up they’re whole team for a marginal upgrade at starting pitcher.

I was trying to work a trade with Team Cy Young last night with the intent of writing a blog post today about how villains can make fair trades.  We had trouble, and I couldn’t figure out why at the time.  I was making concessions and PrnceFldrUpLstNght agreed the trade was fair.  Team Cy Young would just not do it.  Now I know what he was looking for, and he has truly transitioned from victim to villain.

Team Cy Young just became a contender.

I am so proud.

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Omelette Du Fromage on April 23, 2010 at 6:30 pm

    you really think team cy young won this deal? thats cute.

    Reply

  2. Posted by Ben on April 23, 2010 at 8:14 pm

    Not sure it’s quite as bad as you think it is. Lester >>>> Cain, Lincecum > Sabathia, he loses saves (two crappy closers for one crappy closer), and then yeah, a dramatic power improvement. It’s a great trade for him, but not quite the fleecing you’re making it out to be.

    Reply

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