Late last night, my co-owner Tom Trudeau and I pulled off a doozy of a blockbuster in Dynasty To Be Named Later (DTBNL), a semi-experimental 25-team league for my patrons. We roster 45 players and can keep 30 at no cost. The resulting chaos is promising to put a strain on some of the non-traditional features of this league. This post is, at its heart, a story. So let’s tell it chronologically.
Earlier in the offseason, we had three owners ghost on us. They indicated their desire to return in early October but later missed the payment deadline by over a month. They also did not participate in a Rule 5-like draft in December. I conscripted one of my patrons to make their Rule 5 picks for them. A week ago, when I determined the teams were well and truly abandoned, he got first pick of the scraps (all three clubs were pretty solid). A new patron and an existing co-manager nabbed the other two clubs.
One of those teams featured an an interesting combination of star power mixed with some solid veterans. The depth, in my opinion, wasn’t quite sufficient to seriously contend right now. It would have required heroic efforts to discover enough talent with the resources on hand.
Part of the problem was with his prospects. They’re of the Justin Williams/Jameson Hannah ilk. They’re not un-interesting in a 25-team, roster 45 league. Nor are they the sorts of talents rebuilding owners crave. It’s fair to wonder if there is anywhere close to 30 should-be-kept players on this roster. This is a classic opportunity to trade quality for quantity.
Having ostensibly diagnosed this, our new owner posted the availability of Christian Yelich in our dedicated Discord channel. To wit:
Hi guys. Let’s talk yelich. Top 5 asset. I will entertain offers. Let me be clear though – looking for volume and value. Not looking to punt, but will take future value type guys in a package. Come strong or don’t come.
This request is tailor made for my roster of young hitting prospects. We have a surplus of volume and value stockpiled specifically for these opportunities. Most other teams either lack prospect firepower or are unwilling to include four or more touted names in a deal. Even for a player of Yelich’s ilk.
I fired off a list of 11 players aged 24 and under for this owner to choose from. He arrived at Luis Urias, Ke’Bryan Hayes, Cristian Pache, and Taylor Trammell. We found the juice to be worth the squeeze and accepted. We also received Mike Siani and Beau Burrows in the deal.
Before we touch on the next chapter of the epic, I’d like to quickly address how league depth affects prospect value. Typically, the deeper the league, the more valuable the prospects. If your experience is tied to shallower formats, this deal will look lopsided.
In this particular format, it’s challenging to add young players of this ilk. Doubly so for those near their MLB debut. Urias is an apparent starter while Hayes, Pache, and Trammell must be placed on the 40-man roster after this season. We’ll probably see at least two of them for a healthy chunk of 2020. All four are aged 22 or younger.
This package not only addresses a specific weakness of this owner (their lack of impact/proximate prospects), it also supplies immediate depth to a roster that still includes Marcus Semien, Rafael Devers, David Dahl, Jose Abreu, Luis Severino, and Carlos Carrasco.
From my perspective, it’s a classic win-win.
Unsurprisingly, the reaction to the trade on Discord was full of sour grapes. One person even claimed it was one of the worst dynasty trades they’ve ever seen. This is when one of the unusual features of the league came into play.
Our league does not include a veto feature. Instead, the owners involved in a trade have a 24-hour period to revoke a trade. Doing so comes at a small penalty of rendering those players untradeable for a period of 14 days. This is standard boilerplate for leagues I run – I despise vetoes, but there is merit to having a process in place to address terrible trades. Here’s the full rule.
“24 Hour Revocability” any party to a trade may back out for any reason within 24 hours. This is done by contacting the commissioner. The owner(s) who back out may not trade the players involved for a period of 14 days from the original trade. For example, if I trade Max Muncy for Kevin Kiermaier and change my mind, I cannot trade Max Muncy for two weeks. This penalty is waived in the event of major injury during the 24-hour period. “Major injury” to be defined on a case-by-case basis at the commissioner’s discretion. These shall be listed in this document to ensure consistency. Note: It is poor form to back out of a trade. To clarify, this does not apply to verbal or written agreements – only those accepted through the FanTrax trade tool.
Managers who aren’t involved in a trade are allowed to lobby by submitting non-binding counter-proposals to indicate what they believe the player in question is actually worth. In this case, my trade partner is feeling pressure to use the rule (but has not yet done so) because of the overwhelming consensus that he made a bad trade.
I’m unaware of anybody making an attempt to match my offer let alone top it. And to be fair to everyone involved, nobody openly suggested he revoke the trade. That was his idea in response to the vitriol of other owners. A couple participants played devil’s advocate in the ensuing discussions while one especially active manager mostly posted pictures of gophers.
The drama is ongoing. The ending is unknown. Tune in next week for the thrilling conclusion.
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