Monday, August 2, 2010

Fantasy Baseball Dispute No. 8170-T: SportsJudge Court Approves NL-Only Trade of Bay for Capps & J. Hairston (Time Stamped July 27th)



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Index No. 8170-T

Trade Date: July 27, 2010

Date Posted: August 2, 2010

League Type: NL-ONLY ROTO







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Commissioner of the Campions Cup League brings this claim in the Court of Fantasy Baseball Disputes to resolve a fantasy baseball dispute involving the status of a proposed trade of Phire players Jason Bay (OF, New York Mets) and Chris C. Carter (LF, New York Mets) to Kenny Powers for Matt Capps (P, Washington Nationals) and Jerry Hairston Jr. (IF/OF San Diego Padres).

This trade was time stamped on 7/27 at 2:47 P.M. – before Jason Bay was placed on the disabled list and before Matt Capps was traded to the Minnesota Twins. The trade was viewed with these concepts in mind.

The Law on Upholding a Trade

In this court, it is the general rule that any fantasy baseball trade shall be upheld as long as the trade adequately benefits both teams. (See Public Opinion No. 101, Big Red Rockers v. Big City Bombers). Where a league constitution provides alternative criteria for reviewing a trade, the alternative criteria may supersede the general rule. (See Public Opinion No. 409-T, Commissioner of Campions Cup League v. Cartman).

The Campion Cup League Constitution, at issue in this case, has perhaps the strictest trade restrictions that this Court has ever seen. According to the Constitution, “Only the current season’s value (and past season values) of the players may be considered in the equality of any trade. The future freeze value or contract value cannot be considered as an element in the fairness of a trade.”

The Constitution also has the following restriction, “Only trades that are clearly equitable will be permitted. Trades that leave an impression of even marginally pushing the envelope shall be rejected.” As such, the ruling of Big Red Rockers v. Big City Bombers will not be used to decide this trade, and instead the trade will only be accepted if both sides of the trade are equal in value without taking into account future projections. (See Blog Opinion No. 8160-T, Commissioner of Campions Cup League v. Phire & Shazam).

The Proposed Trade

The proposed trade is a 2-for-2 trade:

PHIRE proposes to send to Kenny Powers (2010 statistics in parentheses):

· Jason Bay (.259 Avg., 48 Runs, 6 Home Runs, 47 RBI, 10 SB)

· Chris C. Carter (.244 Avg., 7 Runs, 2 Home Runs, 12 RBI, 0 SB)

Kenny Powers proposes to send PHIRE:

· Matt Capps (3 wins, 27 saves, 39 K, 2.68 ERA, 1.30 WHIP)

· Jerry Hairston Jr. (.251 Avg., 41 Runs, 7 Home Runs, 42 RBI, 8 SB)

The Analysis

As previously stated, pursuant to the Campions Cup League Constitution, this trade will only be accepted if both sides of the trade are equal in value without taking into account future projections as per the league constitution. (See Blog Opinion No. 8160-T, Commissioner of Campions Cup League v. Phire & Shazam). Under this strict standard, this court has not upheld a single trade in the Campions Cup since June 2007, when the Court of Fantasy Baseball upheld the blockbuster trade of Carlos Beltran for John Smoltz.

This trade nevertheless meets this high threshold for approval. According to most forms of statistical analysis, the main players in the trade (Jason Bay and Matt Capps) provide nearly identical value, albeit at different positions and with Jason Bay having a greater upside.

Yahoo 2010 Rank


Yahoo 2009 Rank (Actual)

Jason Bay



Matt Capps



In addition, despite the strong 2010 statistical results of Jerry Hairston Jr. (statistics that thus far almost match Bay’s abysmal performance), these numbers seem to be somewhat of a positive aberration in light of Hairston’s overall career numbers. While this court thinks that Hairston is a clear upgrade for Phire over Chris Carter (especially given Hairston’s speed and positional flexibility) we do not believe the upgrade is enough to make the trade inequitable, especially given that the Padres, at the time, were widely rumored to be close to trading for numerous offensive players that would relegate Hairston Jr. back to the lesser reserve role that he was originally signed to play (court’s note: The Padres have since traded for SS/3B Miguel Tejada and OF Ryan Ludwick), and the primary Campions Cup objectors to this trade had actually been contending that Kenny Powers was getting the better end of the trade by acquiring Bay and Carter (court’s note: Even with the Capps trade risks, we were quite surprised by this argument).

Further, beyond the equitable nature of the actual players traded, there is also great reasonableness in the fantasy trading partners. Kenny Powers and Phire have very little incentive to conspire against the league in making this deal. Kenny Powers and Phire are in second and fourth place respectively – 1.5 points apart from each other in the standings. Phire is in a dead heat with the current third-place team, Highlanders, for saves. The addition of Capps could provide a critical two-point swing in the standings. Meanwhile, Kenny Power is currently tied with the first-place team in runs and is only five RBI ahead of the third-place team (Highlanders). While trading Capps may cost Kenny Powers one point in saves, gaining Bay will likely help Kenny Powers to gain/protect points in these two important offensive categories.

Indeed, this court notes that there is some substantial risk with both players given Bay’s recent head injury and the likeliness, at the time, that Capps would be traded to a team where he would no longer be a closer.

However, even despite all the uncertainty, the court still finds this trade equitable in light of the players traded and the parties involved.


Based on the foregoing, the Court of Fantasy Baseball upholds the trade of Phire players Jason Bay (OF, New York Mets) and Chris C. Carter (LF, New York Mets) to Kenny Powers for Matt Capps (P, Washington Nationals) and Jerry Hairston Jr. (IF/OF San Diego Padres).

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Bobby Yost said...

The guy getting Capps in this one is kicking himself now. Bad foresight imo. But agree on the approval at the time given Bay's season. He's been a bit unlucky with homers and I'd expect a bit of regression to the mean but not anything close to last year.

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