Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Anatomy of a roster disaster

I have seen so many bad fantasy trades/roster decisions, it's hard to keep track of them all. Some were obviously bad at the time they were made, others revealed their horrific-ocity at a later date.

Here's the worst series of roster moves I can recall that weren't obviously godawful at the time. Three teams were involved. I am owner "Charlie." (Names have been changed to protect the innocent). Keep in mind this all happened before the season began.

The Draft

Owner Alpha drafts Barry Zito with his first pick in an Al-only league with ten teams in 2002. Barry Zito wins remarkable 23 games, strikes out 182 batters with a 2.75 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP in 229.1 innings, and receives the Cy Young. Sounds good for Owner Alpha, but unfortunately he traded Barry Zito to Owner Bravo.

Trade One

Owner Bravo forked over Freddy Garcia in the deal. Garcia had been taken a few picks later than Zito, but in a classic case of second guessing, Owner Alpha looked at Garcia's far superior 2001 numbers (league leading 3.05 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP, versus Zito's more pedestrian 3.49 and 1.23 ratios) and decides to accept the offer.

Garcia's a big disappointment in 2002. My personal thinking is he was allowed to throw way too many pitches at a young age -- just like Zito -- but regardless, he posts a 4.39 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP. Salvaging a bit of value, he does have 16 wins and strike out 182 batters.

If Owner Alpha had called it a day right then and there, it still would have been a remarkably bad move for him to make. But, he wasn't done.

Trade Two

Owner Charlie trades to owner Bravo Joe Mays and Chan Ho Park for Freddy Garcia and Jorge Julio. It's obvious what the thinking was here for Alpha: Jorge Julio wasn't projected to close and didn't have a particularly good first year in the league. Joe Mays had 17 wins, a 3.16 ERA, and a 1.15 WHIP (only 123 Ks in 233.2 innings, though) in 2001. Chan Ho Park was coming off a career year as well, winning 15 games, striking out 218 in 234 innings, and his ratios were 3.50/1.17.

How'd it turn out? Well, Freddy Garcia in an AL-only league was an acceptably mediocre third or fourth starter, given the Ks and Wins. Jorge Julio manages to get his ERA below 3.80 and his WHIP below 1.25 for the first and only time in his career. His ERA and WHIP ratios are 1.99/1.21, he saves 25 games, and he strikes out 55 in 68 innings.

What happens with Joe Mays and Chan Ho Park? Joe Mays pitched seventeen games before his career went permanently off the track. He posted a 5.38/1.45 ratio split, struck out 38 in 98.1 innings, and won 4 games. The move from Dodger stadium to Arlington didn't go so well for Park, who won eight games in 25 starts (145.2 innings), struck out 121, and was hammered to the tune of a 5.75 ERA and a 1.59 WHIP.

Basically, this was the worst possible outcome for Owner Alpha (that could be considered unexpected).

Final Analysis

Unmitigated disaster that would haunt someone forever. I've had my own, no doubt about that. Last year I traded Curtis Granderson and Manny Corpas for Travis Hafner right before interleague play started. *vomit*


Anonymous said...

lets not forget that this un-named owner "Alpha," that got so screwed in these trades, still finished ahead of author "Charlie"

And yes, I do still have nightmares of Chan Ho Park and Joe Mays.

Mike Bock said...

I autodrafted eight straight pitchers (ordered my players for convenience by position), then couldn't make the draft.

But yes, you did beat me out.