Trust the Process: The Offseason

Written by: Andrew Lowe (@ALowe710)

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Hello again, TTP’ers. I know it seems like it has been forever since you last heard from me. Life and work get in the way. I’m sure you were too busy to notice. Congrats to you if you had a successful season. You put in the work and you trusted it. But in dynasty leagues, things never stop. You are here to get better, no matter how you finished. Let me first catch you up on The Process of my rebuild since July and what lessons can be learned.

My team started tanking hard. I ended up with the third worst record and third overall pick in the draft. Even though I took my team out of playoff contention, it does not mean I stopped paying attention.

I successfully executed some salary dumps, traded away assets that had little future value to me, and got some interesting pieces back. One return was Lourdes Gurriel Jr. who is an interesting case because, in our league, he cannot be sent to the minors, a big negative since he has yet to debut in the Majors. But he is just 24 years old and it was his first year in the states. While he may not be the superstar that many had hoped for, he helped me accomplish two things: 1) he made my current roster worse to facilitate continue tanking and 2) he provides some hope of being a future core piece, although he’s likely only a utility player. Not every player will be a part of your future, but you should take as many shots as you can at adding to your core.

On that note, a few weeks ago, I traded Gurriel for Justus Sheffield and a late draft pick. As I said before, Gurriel projects as a utility player. While that has value in a deep league like mine, one opposing owner said I “stole Sheffield for a utility player.” Am I buying too much into Yankee prospect hype? Perhaps. But Gurriel was not a likely part of my future. More importantly, he helped me in obtaining pieces that could be. Trusting The Process provides the opportunity to gain value with constant asset turnover and seeing who in your league might value something more than you. It is the classic “trading a paperclip for a house” scenario.

I also picked up Luiz Gohara and Marlins 3B Brian Anderson. While I could only keep one of Gohara, Anderson, and Dustin Fowler, it is important that I had the choice. As I said in my article on value, simply controlling assets is important. Perhaps one draws interest in a trade or drains another team’s FAAB (Fowler went for over $30 FAAB in free agency). There is always value to be gained. This is why you do not stop paying attention in dynasty leagues.

There are always blue-chip players called up in September who are overlooked by teams in the playoff hunt because of their inconsistency and risk. And many bottom dweller teams miss out because they have already moved on to Fantasy Football. That is your chance. I think back to Max Kepler, when he debuted for Minnesota in the last week of 2015. Many missed out on Kepler because they were not paying attention (including myself who was in the middle of a long playoff run). While Kepler has perhaps not lived up to his full potential yet, he undoubtedly improved his stock as a prospect and is the type of player any dynasty owner – tanking or not – should be looking to add. The same could be said with Gohara, now one of the young pitchers gaining helium as we get deeper into Mock Draft season, and he’s drawn a lot of interest from owners who are just catching on.

The biggest news for my team was a blockbuster deal between two of the worst teams in the league. I essentially traded away Estevan Florial, Derek Fisher, Willie Calhoun, two first round picks (9th and 16th), and a third round pick for one draft pick this year. That draft pick at the time of the trade was around fifth or sixth overall. But by the end of the season that pick became the top overall pick! And in a draft where I felt there was a clear Top 4 (Fernando Tatis Jr., Luis Robert, Hunter Greene, and Mackenzie Gore), it was a huge luxury to have two picks in the top three. I ended up taking Tatis and Gore (Greene went #2).

What lessons do I hope you have learned? Do your own research and take notes. I lurk in nearly all of the prospect chats, peruse any and all Top 100+ lists, and read prospect articles (all for free, sorry Mr. Law). I have a running list with short scouting reports on over 100 draft-eligible prospects. Apparently, my trade partner does not as he did not know Tatis was available. I knew who was available and sensed an opportunity to pounce on a trade for a high pick. I certainly got lucky with how things turned out, but that is how The Process works – work hard to take advantage of luck. I also paid attention all year, even in the doldrums of a losing season, to find value where I could. Most importantly, I let the freedom that The Process allows guide me. I was active in making changes to my team and selling off pieces that had little value to my future core to acquire pieces that could gain value. Now, thanks to how things have turned out, I see my team in a better position than I could have imagined.

This will be the first offseason of my fantasy baseball life that I will be rebuilding. It honestly is a bit scary. I do not know if I am going to be successful. But I Trust The Process. As the offseason continues, I hope to do more real analysis with actual data to backup all of these ideas. As always, thanks for reading!

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Featured image courtesy of East Village Times

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