Thursday, May 21, 2009

Fantasy Baseball Dispute No. 3183-T: Court Approves Trade of Reyes & Valverde for Vazquez, Peralta & N. Cruz



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Index No. 3183-T

Date: May 21, 2009

League Type: 11-Team MIXED 5x5 Roto

Dispute: Trade Review

Judge: Brett Smiley



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Petitioner, by and on behalf of the members of Balls and Strikes League seeks review of a trade that was executed between Respondents Duro Sin Vase in your grill!! and 2SWEET 4LIFE. The league should allow the trade of Jose Reyes (NYM, SS) and Jose Valverde (HOU, RP) for Javier Vazquez (ATL, SP), Jhonny Peralta (CLE, SS) and Nelson Cruz (TEX, OF) for the reasons set forth below.


In the absence of a league constitution stating a contrary rule, this Court applies a standard that asks whether a trade adequately benefits each of the teams (See Public Opinion No. 101, Big Red Rockers v. Big City Bombers). Where a trade could realistically enable both teams to move up in the standings, it is presumed that both teams adequately benefit (See Unpublished Opinion No. 468-T, Balls & Strikes League v. Ever-Lastings and 2 Legit 2 Quit). Indeed this league well knows this Court’s standard of review.

In examining whether a team derives some benefit from a trade, the standard requires the Court to consider not only the quality of the players, but also the context of the trade. In addition, one of the fundamental rules that this court honors is that each owner/manager in a league, by virtue of their participation in a league, has the discretion to manage their team as he sees fit. Trades between teams on opposite ends of standings are always highly scrutinized by league members—and rightfully so. And while struggling teams should actively seek to improve through trade, those teams are not excused to make objectionable trades.

Nonetheless, in this Court’s view, this particular trade is not unreasonable and satisfies the adequately beneficial standard. The trade must be upheld.


The proposed trade is a 3-for-2 swap, as follows:

Duro Sin Vase in your grill!! proposes to send to 2Sweet 4Life (current 2009 statistics in parentheses):

  • Javier Vazquez (ATL, SP) (4 wins, 73K, 3.39 ERA, 1.10 WHIP)
  • Jhonny Peralta (CLE, SS) (15 runs, 1 HR, 17 RBI, .264 Avg.)
  • Nelson Cruz (TEX, OF) (19 runs, 8 HR, 23 RBI, 4 SB, .271 Avg.)

2Sweet 4Life proposes to send to Duro Sin Vase in your grill!! (current 2009 statistics in parentheses):

  • Jose Reyes (NYM, SS) (18 runs, 2 HR, 15 RBI, 11 SB, .279 Avg.)
  • Jose Valverde (HOU, RP) (0 wins, 2 SV, 11K, 5.63 ERA, 1.25 WHIP)


Most would agree that the “best player in the trade” is Jose Reyes. Most people would be right. He remains a consensus first round draft pick. He has shown to be streaky at times, but in a rotisserie league such as this one, that matters little. Reyes’ stolen bases are there, but the rest of his numbers have not caught up yet this season. The Court takes judicial notice of the fact that the trade was executed prior to the news that Reyes re-aggravated a calf injury, and does not factor that into its decision.

Meanwhile, Javier Vazquez has been very successful so far in his first year with Atlanta. Maybe it’s the National League hitters, or maybe it’s just the raucous fans in Atlanta. In any event, his K/9 ratio is outstanding and the ratios are solid. Elsewhere, Peralta has been underachieving based on his numbers from last year where he hit 23 home runs and recorded 89 RBI to go along with a .276 batting average. Nelson Cruz was pegged by many to have a “breakout year” and after getting off to a torrid start he’s cooled off quite a bit. But the season is still young. As for Valverde, he should return to his closer role upon his return (although LaTroy Hawkins has been serviceable in his stead), although reports that “Valverde's ETA is still several weeks away. Don't expect to see him on the hill until mid-June at the earliest.”

Here, 2SWEET 4LIFE is ranked third to last K’s and WHIP; he’s sixth in wins and next to last in ERA. Based on that alone, and considering the league’s rules limiting a team’s starting pitcher starts to 180 (making quality count much more than quantity), and upon reviewing 2SWEET’s roster, it appears he needs a solid starting pitcher. Vazquez would help him out immensely and should boost his position in each of the aforementioned pitching categories. 2SWEET is already third-to-last in stolen bases, and so the loss of Reyes, whose greatest contribution is stolen bases, would have a marginal effect on 2SWEET’s position there. 2SWEET is clearly addressing his greatest need.

In addition, 2SWEET gets Peralta who will aid his power if the Indians slugging infielder, as expected, eventually manages to get himself going. Nelson Cruz should contribute at utility as well. When Manny returns from his estrogen-use hiatus it might put 2SWEET in a position to move an OF. And Valverde is no sure thing to get healthy and finish the year as closer, either. But the deal would leave 2SWEET with only one actual closer and two speculative, used-to-be closers. The loss of Valverde has questionable impact.

Some might argue that 2SWEET “could have gotten more” for Reyes. Maybe that’s true, but maybe it’s not. An owner can’t pull teeth and is entitled to make the moves he sees fit to alter his team into a more competitive squad. All in all, this Court feels that this trade is adequately beneficial to both teams.


For all of these reasons, the league should uphold the trade.

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