For the defense: Suspects’ owner Justin Kreis

The first trade of the season brought several thoughts from around the league. Here for the defense, Justin Kreis:

Judging by the quotes from other owners in the article about the trade between Kerry and myself, I sense that the general feeling is that I got taken to the woodshed by Kerry. I thought that I would take this opportunity to try and explain my thinking that led up to the deal.

As I think I made it abundantly clear by my posting on the trade block, I was looking for a closer. But with my own self-evaluated chances of competing for a title this year rated as “not your year, kid” I was looking for someone who could also help me next year. That means I wanted a closer coming back to me that I feel is guaranteed a job next year and signed to a reasonable contract (less than $25 ideally). So I took a look around our league and divided the closers into different groups:

Not a Trade Target
Javy Guerra (owned by JRock, can’t be traded)
Jason Motte (great contract but a FA to be in our league)
Brett Myers (moving to AL next year, even if he stays a closer)
Heath Bell, Jonathan Papelbon, Brian Wilson, Carlos Marmol (good pitchers, expensive contracts)

Viable, but with Questions
Huston Street, JJ Putz (both FAs to be in real life, worried they could end up in AL)
Frank Francisco, Joel Hanrahan (both play for non-contenders and could be traded and potentially lose their job)
Sean Marshall, Rafael Betancourt (great contracts, but unproven as closers; are they closers next year?)

Ideal Targets
Drew Storen ($20, Kings, out until July but seems like a sure bet for saves next year)
Craig Kimbrel ($20, Knights)
John Axford ($10, Crusoes)

So I had my top 3 targets. Not surprisingly, King’s owner Kerry Sewell was the first to contact me, suggesting a deal for Heath Bell. While I didn’t have interest in Bell, the Kings were in possession of one of my top 3 targets, Drew Storen.

In the meantime, I contacted Crusoes owner Gary Robinson to check and see if Axford might be available. He seemed willing to talk but when Billy Hamilton’s name came up, I knew I wasn’t going to get a deal done with Gary.

I never contacted Midtown Knights owner Craig Patterson about the availability of Craig Kimbrel. Kimbrel is the only closer on his roster and I don’t see him giving up on this year by punting saves.

So Storen was left as the only realistic choice for my ideal targets. Once I identified that, the transaction came together pretty quickly. I will readily admit that Kerry “wins the trade” this year. But both Holliday and Venters are FA after this year, so they have no value after this year. On the other hand, both Storen and Barmes have deals that are good through at least next year. Barmes may not be great, but a $2 every day SS has value.

If I have any regret about the deal, it would be that there was seemingly no rush to get it done. After all, Storen is out until July. My concern was that if I waited too long someone may decide to give up on this year and get Storen before I did (Kerry is known to make a deal or two).

That being said, I don’t look at the trade as giving up completely on this year. Yes, I am not going to win the title but even half of a year of Storen has good value for me this year. I am currently in dead last with 0 saves on the year, but Mojo and the Deadbirds both have 1 apiece and no regular closers on their rosters. I should pass them and with a little luck and/or some other teams making trades I could pass a few others. But at the worst, I feel like I gained 2 points in the standings in the Saves category. Hopefully that will mostly offset the points that I will lose out on by subbing Clint Barmes for Matt Holliday.

In closing, maybe you still feel that Kerry “won the trade” but I hope that I have explained my thinking well enough that it no longer seems to anyone that I was the victim of a crime.

Gary Robinson posted at 2012-4-26 Category: Baseball

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