Where on earth do you begin? I have often wondered when spectating tradesman applying their trade- ‘what is the first thing they do on a job?’. Where and how does a construction worker begin building a skyscraper from a flat piece of land. Where and how does a road worker go about laying the first piece of a new 100 mile highway. Where and how does a rail worker lay the first piece of track knowing there is 500 miles of track still to be laid.
Well now I know. This is how they feel. Trying to win a fantasy championship with a roster inclusive of these scrubs.
Right - coffee break. This is a bigger challenge than I anticipated.
*Boils kettle, sips coffee and thinks*
My coffee brings a decision. Waivers. Free Agents. That is surely a good place to start. Let’s see who the other teams deem not good enough to make their team and I deem good enough to improve my garbage heap.
*Opens up free agency*
No. Surely not. I cant believe it. Yusei Kikuchi, the latest Japanese wonder export is available on waivers. This is a guy who went 14-4 with a 3.08 ERA in 23 starts with the Saitama Seibu Lions of Nippon Professional Baseball, Japan’s top league. That’ll do nicely. Consider yourself a Cardinal Mr Kikuchi.
Fast forward 4 hours to a firm message from Chris, the league owner and carnage in the group chat. Joel the new guy has picked up Yusei Kikuchi. Is this allowed? Asks one member.
Chris messages me privately asking me to drop Mr Kikuchi because he is one of the top prospects in this months draft. I had unknowingly signed one of the leagues hottest commodities via free agency. Just call me Del Boy.
Good bye Mr. Kikuchi. Back to the drawing board.
In the coming days after unwisely stating that I was in full blown rebuild mode in the group chat, the vultures come pecking. What do you want for Trea Turner? What do you want for Buster Posey? What do you want for Nick Castellanos?
Well firstly I’d like you to realise that I live in the UK and don’t welcome 3am trade proposals. Secondly I’m going to need slightly more than you’re offering.
How do I rebuild?
To me, there are two ways I can approach this. I can go young or I can go old, and by that I mean I can write off 2019 and look to build a young core that can compete in 2020 and beyond. Or I can look to make a series of punchy moves which’ll no doubt require significant draft pick and/or prospect investment and try to build a winning team out of veterans and proven major league ball players.
Given my trade chips are Nelson Cruz, Nick Castellanos and Dallas Keuchel- it looks like my decision is made for me. Young it is.
After thinking about my roster over a few days and spitballing some trades with the guys in the league, Ive come to the conclusion that the success of the rebuild is dependant on a set number of pieces within my roster. These pieces are:
And if there was an offer that I couldn’t refuse, then the centre piece of my roster:
Trea Turner: a 5 tool fantasy stud.
Together what these 6, potentially 7 pieces command on the trade market will very much determine the future of this team. Given I have absolutely no hope or expectation for 2019, I am in the very fortunate position of being able to deal them when I want for the right offer, not the first offer.
I hope to use this in my favour, certainly in the cases of Castellanos (Power) and Frazier (Versaility) down the stretch, when touch wood, I will be in a position where I can demand a steeper price than I can currently out of season as other teams go in search of a championship.
Additions to the Roster
Matt Duffy (3B) via Free Agency
Subtractions to the Roster
Hunter Pence - Dropped to free agency
Doug Fister - Dropped to free agency