Alright, so I added a part to that saying. The statement is still true, mostly. Well lets be honest, somehow none of them are true anymore. I am sure that there are many divorced people and other scorned lovers that have found that courts do not agree with this saying. The war part still gets me every time the media talks about the rules of war. The Geneva Convention was last updated in 1949 and set the guidelines for war. Finally, we have the veto rules for trades that hopefully keep teams from working together.
It sounds great to have the rules to keep people civilized. What we find is that people will do what they want when it comes to these areas. Love is such a strong feeling that you can not hardly stop yourself from doing foolish things. Most of us have been there and if you have not I hope you are someday. It is great to feel a love that makes you act in foolish ways, even if that love is lost at some point. War is a horrible thing that unfortunately we may never get rid of. The rules try to make it more civilized. The rules only work if both sides play by the same rules. Because, at some point people will get desperate to win and all the rules are forgotten by one of the sides. Same is true in fantasy baseball. We all want to win and sometimes people have been known to cross the line of fair play. Long standing leagues have fallen apart due to this need to win.
But who says what is fair?
In redraft leagues this is much easier to recognize. As everyone should be playing for this year. The real problem comes in those keeper and dynasty leagues. How do you tell what is a fair deal when it can affect teams for several years to come? This is why I believe that All is Fair in Keeper League Trades! Lets say a team is dumping salary and getting little in return, this does not make it unfair and can actually hurt the team taking on the better players in the long run. This is one team selling out to win this year while another packs it in to set themselves up for next year or years. It is what makes keeper leagues so interesting. Leagues that have salary, contracts, or rounds tied to players give fantasy baseball so much more depth in strategy.
It is always frustrating when you are in a dogfight for the championship only to see that your rival just loaded up on hitters from an also ran. This is just means you now need to either hope for the best and trust your team or up the ante. This can make for some wild trading after all star break. Whenever you can you should be trying to win now. Just know that if you are out of it in a keeper league there is so much to be gained. This is why I think that there should almost never be a vetoed trade in keeper leagues.
Now what I did not say is that you should drop your veto rules. Maybe adjust them or clarify what type of trades should be looked at as vetoable. You do not want to lose a long standing league over something that is clearly wrong. So don’t let your feelings get hurt when your fellow owners make a trade where one team is looking ahead while the other is playing for right now. Even if it really hurts your chances of winning that year, don’t organize a veto party. A veto can hurt this type of league as much as a bad trade. Realize that it was a missed opportunity for you to make a trade and then try to counter it if you feel your team needs it. This is what keeper leagues are all about.
What we find in the saying, all is fair in love and war, is that when people are passionate about something it can cause them to act in ways that are not appropriate. So, we find ourselves trying to regulate them. This may work to a point but it will never keep everyone in line. Lovers will still do things that no one understands. War still causes men to do unspeakable things to others. The fantasy team owner will still try to win at the cost of his league. Passion is what makes life great and dangerous. Try only to tame the passion when it truly hurts others(in keeper leagues anyway). Remember that they will need to live with those decisions and how it affects their teams in the years to come.
We all have the idea that we know when certain things are going to happen. I for instance knew Spring came on March 20th this year. That is what the calendar said anyway. I had my Scotts Turf Builder with Halts Crabgrass Preventer all ready to go. It turns out that in the northeast mother nature has delayed spring this year. Now, I am two weeks behind in my yard maintenance schedule. Let it to the Houston Astros to wreck another one of my scheduled event.
They, unlike mother nature, decided to have Springer come early this year. Every year I follow the top end prospects that due to labor agreements are held out until sometime in early June. The cause is the Super Two rule, which is a way for many teams to save a year of arbitration on their top prospects. In simple terms the top 22% of players with service time between 2 and 3 years are eligible for arbitration. It is hard to roster these prospects in leagues that have a small bench (0-4 players). Now in dynasty leagues and keeper leagues, where you have 28 plus man rosters, these players should already be owned. If they are not go directly to your team and find a way to add them. But, on those smaller rosters you just can not afford to zero production from these spots for two plus months. These prospects can be a difference maker for you when they get promoted. Timing and choosing the right prospects can make a difference in your title chances. Just like my lawn care I have a plan that is mapped out on the calendar. I want to add one or two of these guys to my teams with limited bench spots by the end of May. If, I can afford to lock up a roster spot at that time. I also planned on writing an article in mid May that covered prospects and why it was time to add them. With Houston messing that all up I guess I will get ahead of the game by putting out that article today.
Springer’s was owned in just 2.1% of ESPN leagues and jumped to 77.1 in a day. This shows that people see the importance of owning prospects like Springer. The real question is, what are the other 22.9% of leagues waiting for? If you missed out on Springer, which most of you did, you should start thinking about what other prospects could make a difference this year and beyond. I am watching closely and may need to change my strategy. It seems that the atmosphere on holding back prospects until the Super Two date may be changing. I have seen several comments from player agents regarding the perception that prospects are held back only for their teams financial gain. In addition, teams are signing their young players to deals that buy out those arbitration years. This means that you may need to act sooner than later on prospects that may help you this year.
Here is my list of prospects I expect to have a fantasy impact this year and beyond.
Byron Buxton, OF: Consider the top prospect in baseball by many, it would seem only a matter of time before he is in the Show. I would say that I am a little hesitant of this due to a sprained wrist that has held him out so far this year. With the late start and type of injury, I feel it may be August or later in the season until he gets a chance. I will be watching closely when he returns to action to see if he shows any signs of lingering effects of the wrist injury. If he looks healthy, he is a must own in keeper leagues.
Oscar Taveras, OF: He has been the prize prospect in an organization that turns out prospects more often than most. I do not believe Bourjos or Jay will keep him out of the lineup if he stays healthy and performs as many believe he can. At some point in his career he should hit 30 Hr with a .300 average. He may even steal 15 bags someday. This year though think 18Hr .280 average from June on, which would help most of your teams.
Gregory Polanco, OF: If you have a need for speed get him on your roster. He has 40 SB potential. 20 HRs are possible if the power continues to develop. The Pirates have no one that should keep him out of the lineup. I think he is a lock to be promoted in that early to mid June time frame. Watch for the projected Super Two day and strike before that.
Trevor Bauer, SP: Once bitten twice shy.(great song) I am sure some of you have been bitten by him in the past. I have been a victim of his, too. Just remember that he has great stuff and sometimes that takes time to harness. He has looked great so far this year in the minors and had an excellent spot start for the Indians. If you see that the indians need a starter, he will be called on. You will want to add him then because, this may be the time he puts it all together and is up for good.
Archie Bradley, SP: He is one of the players whose agent has expressed that his player is not in the show only due to Super Two rule. Bradley had an ERA below 2.oo between High A and AA last year. He may be the top pitching prospect in baseball. I for some reason feel that he will show just enough to earn a promotion on or around the projected Super Two day. Not that the Diamondbacks are waiting for that day. I just feel he needs just that much work at AAA. The Diamondbacks also have some ocean front property they are selling near their stadium.
Javier Baez, SS: This guy has real power and speed hitting. He hit 38 HR and while stealing 20 bases between two levels last year. He followed that up with a great spring where he clubbed 5 HRs before being demoted. His biggest problem may be Starlin Castro is blocking him. If Castro hits as he did last year, that may not be a problem. However, if he find his groove again, Baez may need to find another position. They will find a way to get Baez in the lineup by the All Star Break if he continues to hit.
Hunter Morris, 1B: He is not near the top of the prospects out there, however opportunity is everything. The only players blocking him are Mark Reynolds and Lyle Overbay. I think we can all agree that there is a good chance both of them could play themselves out of the lineup. They have each done it before. Morris has power and if he can repeat his 2012 numbers he could find his way into the Brewers lineup.
These Pictures all have a chance to be promoted, as always with young pitchers be aware of innings limits and Tommy John. (The surgery, not the man)
Keep an eye on Addison Russell, SS. I think he is a year away, but some think he could be called to the show this year. If he is you want to own him.
As always these are fluid situations for all prospects. Keeping a watchful eye on them is important. Injuries, production, and finances all affect their timetables.