Archive for February 5, 2022

I haven’t written much about the various online baseball leagues I’m in lately but there has been a twist that I thought was interesting enough to put on the blog.

I had not made a single trade this season and held all my draft picks for next year. I also had one roster spot open in case there was a key injury that required me to make a claim off of waivers.

Yesterday the Cincinnati Reds in our league announced they will looking to trade first baseman Dick Allen. HIs current stat line was as follows:

in 86 games with the @Reds Allen batted .251 with 24 HR & 60 RBI with an OBP of .326 & slugging at .846 He was fielding at .987 with 11 Errors in 879 chances.

PlayerGABRH2B3BHRRBIBBKSBCSAvgOBPSLGOPS
Dick Allen86335488418024603811910.251.326.519.846

Allen was 3rd in the NL in homers (7th in the majors) 7th in RBI’s in the NL and 5th in slugging more importantly he was hitting .310 with runners in scoring position and two outs.

Cincinnati was asking for a 1st & 2nd round draft pick for Allen but claimed a willingness to entertain offers.

To clarify what that means at the end of the season each team is able to retain the rights to 4-12 players from their current roster plus any new rookies debuting in the next season (1970). The rest are re-drafted. So the world series winner keeps 4 players, the runner up 5 and the two worst teams in the majors 12. So in addition to rookies who are just coming up.

In other words the first 134 players in the majors are accounted for and you have to build your team on the rest

So this would mean if I paid cincy’s price and won the world series. I would retain four players (presumably Allen among them) and my first pick for next year would be the 48th overall. So the questions were:

  1. Is Dick Allen be a big enough upgrade to warrant a deal
  2. Could the price be made more manageable?

Now my current first baseman Mike Fiore is currently 6th in the AL in batting .297, 2nd in OBP .441 9th in OBP+ Slugging (.892) 4th in Runs (69), 4th in hits (102) and leads the league in walks with 88, and has incredible range (A) vs Allen (C+). This would suggest that Allen would not be a sufficent upgrade but it turns out Fiore also played the outfield in 1969 albeit at a below avg level. To get him into left I would have to move Pete Rose to 2B permanently so the person to compare Allen to wasn’t Fiore but Dick McAuliffe who would be benched in his favor. here is how their current stats compare:

PlayerGABRH2B3BHRRBIBBKSBCSAvgOBPSLGOPS
Dick Allen86335488418024603811910.251.326.519.846
Dick McAuliffe77215325693838343400.260.356.442.798

As you can see a marginal drop in avg and OBP is offset by a huge increase in slugging. Allen’s addition to the lineup in the cleanup stop also means that Pete Rose would be less likely to be given an intentional walk as the next batter would be Allen rather than Ed Kirkpatrick who while having virtually the same OBP as Allen (.325) has much less pop (.238 6 HR 41 RBI).

Additionally Allen continued to have great years through 1975 while Fiore was a one year wonder who would fade after this season

In short Allen would be a big offensive upgrade and worth getting. Bill James rated him as the 15th best first baseman of all time in his 2001 Baseball Abstract but noting one big downside describing Allen as:

The second most controversial player in baseball history, behind Rogers Hornsby. Allen had baseball talent equal to that of Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, or Joe DiMaggio, and did have three or four seasons when he was as good a player as anyone in baseball, but lost half of his career or more to immaturity and emotional instability.

In short Allen has a bad effect in the clubhouse (An F rating-30 pts teams with a 45 or above have a positive clubhouse below 0 negative 0-30 avg ) Allen would reduce my clubhouse to avgerage from positive so to counter this effect I would need to bring up veteran Dick Tracewski (.214 0 HR 0 RBI) and sending down switch hitting backup Dick Schofield (.227 0 HR 4 RBI) but that was a small price to pay.

The 2nd question was could I pay the price of not picking till #48?

That took some negotiation and in the end the deal was as follows:

I gave up my 1st, 3rd and 5th round picks (if I won the series picks 16, 48 & 70 presuming no expansion)

Cincy threw in their 4th round pick (currently pick 57)

So while I would lose pick 16 & 48 if I won it all I would be moving up 13 spots on trading pick 70 for 57.

So the deal was made. In four games here is Allen’s line so far

PlayerGABRH2B3BHRRBIBBKSBCSAvgOBPSLGOPS
Dick Allen4171501022400.294.368.412.780

Both of those walks were intentional while his power numbers are down his OB is up and I’m sure once he gets a few games in the HR friendly Sick Stadium his slugging will go through the roof.

More importantly Pete Rose batted in two spots where he would normally have been walked and drove in runs both times.

It remains to be seen if this will put me over the top but if nothing else it means that my next Opponent the Washington Senators will not issue Pete Rose seven intentional walks as he did before.

Wish me luck