Fantasy Baseball Tumbling Dice: Rebuilding Green

by Lawr Michaels, on April 23, 2013 @ 09:55:28 PDT


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As I have noted many times, I really enjoy the rebuilding process.

Sure, it takes patience and planning, but when done right in an ultra-league, just as in the majors, the investment of time and plotting generally can mean a competitive team for a few years once the job is done.

Philadelphia Phillies SP Roy Halladay
Lawr dealt Doc

Of course, that assumes rebuilding correctly, which is something that is a challenge, as well as something the Houston Astros and Miami Marlins will attest to. Furthermore, as I age, and bearing in mind sometimes my health betrays me, I am reminded of a maxim an elderly friend once noted about getting old: "I don't buy green bananas."

In the Xperts Fantasy League (XFL), I am seriously into my second year of a rebuilding plan that I assumed would take until 2014 to hit fruition. In fact, during our November draft, though I suspected I was still a year away from being competitive, I still drafted the best team I could, this time without the idea of dumping my more expensive players.

Just to remind you, during the November 2011 draft, I spent over $100 on Roy Halladay and Albert Pujols, and by May 2012 turned them into Yonder Alonso, Matt Moore and Yoenis Cespedes, each for $1 with perpetual contracts that would increase at $3 per year. Meaning in 2014, they will each cost me $7.

However, the best-laid plans, etc.: Cespedes landed on the DL, along with Matt Harrison, Zack Greinke, Erick Aybar, Ryan Zimmerman and Shaun Marcum, meaning no fewer than six of my Opening Day guys -- all major cogs -- were or are contributing as Bobby Bonilla is to the Mets. (Bonilla, thanks to a back-loaded contract, is one of the Mets' highest-paid outfielders this year, along with Jason Bay.)

Needless to say, due to my flailing squad, I have been approached about trading some of my injured commodities -- Greinke, Zimmerman, and Aybar -- along with Brandon Phillips and Matt Holliday.

My dilemma is what do I trade for?

Along with the guys I mentioned, I also have the disappointing Dustin Ackley, and the equally cheap Ben Revere and Leonys Martin. Then, within my minor leagues reside Miguel Sano, Nick Castellanos, Chris Heston, Yordano Ventura and Manny Banuelos.

So, the issue becomes just how many prospects do I load my team with? Surely, too many prospects place me in sort of a similar position to the Royals, when they swapped Wil Myers and retained the struggling Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas.

For though Kansas City is succeeding, they might be doing better were two of their showcase young stars contributing as anticipated. Or had they tried to swap Hosmer/Moustakas and retained Myers.

Which sort of brings us back to my dilemma: I know I cannot win with just top prospects, so where do I draw the line? How many is enough? (It is probably a reach to try and calculate which ones are the right ones, as guys like Ackley and Gordon Beckham remind us.)

Still, there could be more success in volume, but the other side is I don't want to be rebuilding for the next three years. I wanted to be -- or at least had planned to be -- seriously competitive next year, not in 2015 or 2016.

Were I willing to wait that long, I may as well have bought the green bananas.

You can get the Mastersball Top 250 Prospects as part of our Platinum package, with more information at 2013 Mastersball Platinum Package. Mastersball Platinum is the edge that supported four of the top five finishers in the NFBC in 2012. You can get the same insights and analysis that helped Dave Potts with the $100,000 grand prize last year by subscribing to Mastersball at 2013 Mastersball Platinum Package.

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About Lawr Michaels,

Lawr Michaels has been a player in the fantasy baseball industry since he began writing for John Benson in 1993. He has written for STATS, Inc, was the first fantasy columnist for CBS Sportsline, and has appeared in numerous journals and on websites. In 1996, he founded CREATiVESPORTS, a staple for serious fantasy players, which he merged into Mastersball in 2010.

Over the years, Lawr has participated in a wide variety of playing formats and won numerous titles, including AL Tout Wars crowns in 2001 and 2009. Along with his Mastersball duties, Lawr works for as a statistician. Fantasy Baseball

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