Putting the MAJOR in major deal

Did you see that? In a deal that was sent for commissioner review/approval at 5:12 a.m. — 5:12 a.m.!! — Thursday morning, the Kings and the Suspects lit up the transaction board with a 12-player deal that is the highlight of the early 2015 trading season.

This blockbuster tops a 5-for-5 deal the Suspects engineered with the Flash earlier this month.

“Knowing that Justin had made a few moves to better his chances for this year, it didn’t occur to me that he would be looking for something big,” Kings’ owner Kerry Sewell said.

Historically, a 12-player deal is big, but not the biggest, even in recent CDRL history. Fifty-one weeks ago, the Crusoes and the Midtown Knights put together a 15-player extravaganza that included Aroldis Chapman and Steven Strasburg going from the contending Knights to the rebuilding Crusoes. The Knights got back Cliff Lee, Aramis Ramirez, then-Rockies closer Rafael Betancourt, Kyle Lohse and Alfonso Soriano.

If you want to include future considerations, that deal was overshadowed just two weeks later by a Kings-Hamm’s Bears deal in which nine active players and 10 2014 reserve picks were exchanged. Key players in the deal were Ryan Braun, Bryce Harper, Gio Gonzalez, Starlin Castro, Gerrit Cole and Oscar “The Grouch” Tavares.

How does a deal get that big? Do owners start with the idea of trading a bunch of players somewhere all at once?

Not so fast, says head Suspect, Justin Kreis.

“In my experience a deal usually doesn’t start out as a blockbuster, but it is very easy for a 6-player deal to grow in a hurry,” Kreis, who has helped construct several major deals. “Usually there are maybe 2-3 guys that I am really targeting and then the rest of the guys involved are there to keep rosters balanced and legal.

“For example, in my 12-man mega-trade with Kerry, Kyle Blanks wasn’t a guy I was targeting; I just needed an active hitter that I could slide into a corner spot. I also like to keep trades even. If I am getting 4 guys back in a trade, I don’t see the point in trading just 2 guys to get them. Then I would just have to drop 2 guys anyway to get my roster back to 40. I prefer to go ahead and send the guys that I would drop to the other team.”

While owners like Kreis and the Crusoes’ Gary Robinson always try to trade the same number of players as they receive, that isn’t shared by everyone. For instance, the biggest deal of 2012 was between the Kings and McBrides when nine players changed locker rooms. Jayson Werth, Madison Bumgarner and Andrelton Simmons were big names in that one.

In previous years, there were plenty of deals involving eight, nine and even 10 players, but nothing like we’ve seen recently.

Thursday’s Kings-Suspects deal shows off another reason trades get bigger. It’s the difference in the philosophy between a contender and a rebuilder.

“I also think that ‘win now vs. building for the future’ trades just tend to be bigger,” Kreis said. “When you are trading for prospects, some of them aren’t going to work out. Getting several back in a deal helps mitigate the risk involved with trading for guys with no track record.”

Sewell was surprised that the Suspects were moving in another direction. But once the seed was planted, it sprouted quickly.

“I sent him an email about swapping a pitcher or two for a bat,” Sewell said. “His response was that he was coming to the realization that he could not compete and was willing to blow things up for Bryce Harper. The Kings have a reputation to protect as one who makes big deals so I shot him a list of guys I was interested in with a package built around Harper. I asked if it was too big and he laughed me off (Justin likes to deal as much as I do). He sent back an offer with some prospects switched around.”

Big trades usually mean having to give up something you don’t want to lose. In the aforementioned Crusoes-Knights deal, the contending Knights gave away a great starter (Strasburg) and a great reliever (Chapman) but got plenty of talent in return.

“For me, I hated losing Cashner at a buck, but felt I could get similar performance from Strasburg,” Sewell said. “The addition of Jansen was another big deal for me as I have a ton of Saves to make up. Acquiring Jansen and Street(from Crusoes) should make some of that up quickly. In my rebuilding year last year, I targeted Bryce Harper as the guy I wanted to build around. You can see how the talent and picks that Hamm’s picked up last year in the Harper trade have solidified him for the future. Hopefully Justin will have the same success that I had in building a contender for this year.”

Gary Robinson posted at 2014-5-9 Category: Uncategorized

3 Responses Leave a comment

  1. #1Kerry @ 2014-5-9 15:09 Reply

    Moral of the story: it pays to check the site at all hours of the day/night!

  2. #2Dave F. @ 2014-5-9 15:17 Reply

    I’m still looking to improve my team. In addition to players, willing to part with a Big Bad Voodoo Daddy CD, autographed Bellevue Bobcats baseball cap, large bag of Kirkland bean coffee or various lightly used garden tools.

  3. #3Gary Robinson @ 2014-5-9 15:46 Reply

    I don’t care who you are, Mr. Flaum, that’s funny.

Leave a Reply

(Ctrl + Enter)