Going for Gold

In the Rotowire Staff League (baseball, keeper, 5x5, mixed) I'm as of right now sitting in sixth place, among a group of 11 teams (out of 18 in the league) that could reasonably be considered 'in the hunt'. Hoping to break free from the pack I completed a rather large trade Sunday:

I get Brian Roberts, Carlos Lee and Joe Blanton;
in exchange for Max Scherzer, Chris Tillman, Tony Gwynn, Brad Ziegler and a 3rd round pick next year

Yes, that's a lot of pitching future for a lot of present-day hitting.

In a quick 'n' dirty way of determining the impact the deal might have on my fortunes I plugged Roberts, Lee and Blanton into my lineup in place of Scherzer, Maicir Izturis (my nominal starting 2B) and Carlos Gomez (the OF Lee will eventually bump aside, although he's filling the hole left by Gwynn in the short term). Had those switches been made from Opening Day, I would have gained 23.5 standings points on offense while giving back just 5.0 in pitching categories.

That boost would have been enough to put me at 130.0 standings points... and in a three-way tie for first place. Even better, swapping Izturis back in for Travis Ishikawa, the guy currently cluttering up my Ut slot, would buy me half a point to break  the tie. Of course I'm not looking at who I'm passing, so it's likely I'd be in first anyway because I would have stolen a couple of points from the other teams, but whatever. This ain't intended to be rocket surgery.

That's the good news. Now the bad. The league instituted a salary cap this year, and I'm now hard against it ($5 worth of room to spare). This means it'll be that much harder to add any more new talent unless I cut or trade players with higher salaries. Also, I have little left with which to make any other trades, and the one player I have who could fetch a good return, Marlins minor league outfielder Mike Stanton, I'm reluctant to deal because I am convinced he's going to be huge. The kid just got promoted to Double-A as a 19-year-old after leading the Florida State League in home runs, for pity's sake. He's a future monster in teal. Man-crush does not begin to describe my unbridled joy at having him stashed away.

So, I've made a huge move, but I've also pretty much shot my load and there are 10 other clubs who could try and match it. However I may, with some luck and some heel-dragging from other owners unwilling to commit too early in the season to one course or another, be able to bank some offensive gains from my new stars before those responses come rolling in.

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