Grading Fantasy Baseball Trades: Noah Syndergaard, Jose Abreu, Dylan Bundy

Mar 20, 2017

Sonny Gray’s injury significantly dampens his fantasy value

As the fantasy baseball season swings into action, with fantasy baseball drafts taking place with increasing frequency leading up to Opening Day, team owners are starting to make trades. Making trades before the regular season begins brings about a certain degree of risk.

On the one hand, you may feel like you are getting great value in return for a player. On the other, you may wind up making an unnecessarily risky trade that blows up in your face mere days later.

We’re going to analyze two different trades that fit those descriptions as a way to kick off our brand spanking new “Grading Fantasy Baseball Trades” column. This is something we hope you participate in by submitting your very own trades to us for analysis and grading.

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These can be completed, offered, or even hypothetical trades. You tell us what you’d like reviewed in that regard, and we’ll hook you up. As such, here are two trades that I completed in my own fantasy baseball league recently.

League Setup:

14-Team Keeper Contract League
Offensive Scoring Categories: OBP, R, HR, RBI, SB
Pitching Scoring Categories: QS, K, SV, ERA, WHIP

Noah Syndergaard traded for Jose Abreu and Willson Contreras

I’ve long contended that I wouldn’t be trading Noah Syndergaard for anything less than a top 10 bat. Discussions got started, and over the course of two weeks, my trading partner and I came to an agreement on Jose Abreu and Willson Contreras for Syndergaard.

What led me to seek out trade offers for Syndergaard boiled down to two factors; he was in his extension year in this league, which meant I could extend him for two additional years and take his contract from $6 to $16. The extension cost itself wasn’t the issue as he’s easily a $25+ pitcher. The second factor boiled down to long-term risk for any pitcher, regardless of who it is, and the fact Syndergaard isn’t without risk.

Abreu is someone I consider to be near the bottom rung of Tier 1 first baseman and Contreras, assuming regular playing time, should be a top three fantasy catcher for years to come. Given the contract situations, Abreu locked up at $20 through 2018, and Contreras at just $1 – this became an obvious win for my team (especially considering far lesser first basemen cost other owners roughly the same because of the drop off in talent and production after Abreu). Even though I wasn’t able to get another pitcher in the deal to help offset the production lost in pitching categories, this is still a great deal for both teams involved.


Dylan Bundy and Brandon Moss for Sonny Gray

Let’s go ahead and get this out of the way now – Sonny Gray was revealed to be injured literally hours after the trade was accepted, which kind of makes it sting just a bit more. So there’s some logic behind this trade, but given the fact that Gray is on the shelf for at least a month to begin the season ain’t so pretty. Dylan Bundy is looking more and more like a very capable fantasy starting pitcher and Gray, well…Gray is looking like a guy that can’t stay healthy at this point and is becoming less and less fantasy relevant by the minute.

The big reason I traded Bundy, along with his three seasons of control, for Gray was the expected innings discrepancy between the two. Before his injury, Gray was projected to pitch at least a solid 40 or more innings than Bundy this season. Add in the fact that Gray has already established himself as a quality fantasy starting pitcher and this seemed like a pretty solid deal to me.

It was a gamble, but one I believed was worth taking in a win-now season for my team. Instead, I lose out on three seasons of control over Bundy and am probably looking at only about 24-27 starts from Gray.

The fact of the matter is this; I should have waited to make sure Gray would make it out of Spring Training before pulling the trigger on such a risky bet. Shame on me.


To satisfy that fantasy baseball itch that is making trades, we’re grading them as you submit them. Tweet us at @FantasyProsMLB with the trade details and use #FantasyBaseballTrades and we’ll let you know what we think about the deal.

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Lance Rinker is a correspondent at FantasyPros. For more from Lance, check out his archive or follow him @LanceMRinker.

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