In the previous installments of this series we’ve covered the basics of rebuilding a dynasty league team and some of the specific techniques that make for an efficient rebuild.
The Fantasy Baseball Dynasty Rebuild: Part 1 – Tips for commissioners and prerequisites for owners
The Fantasy Baseball Dynasty Rebuild: Part 2 – Techniques for rebuilding and how to know if it’s the right time
In this final installment let’s talk about how to effectively pivot from stockpiling future value to assembling the final roster and returning to a competitive strategy.
Tip #1: Let Your Core Determine When You Start Your Pivot
Every GM has a handful of players that make up the essence of their team. They’re the guys you just won’t trade unless someone drastically overpays. They’re the guys you tune in to watch on TV or travel to see in person. For a rebuilding owner these guys are the prospects they are most attached to and most believe in as big time fantasy stars of the future. When those players begin reaching the major leagues, it’s time to start the pivot from stockpiling talent to constructing your final roster.
Tip #2: Give Yourself a Full Year to Make Your Move
Start your pivot in the offseason before the season in which you want to be competitive. Think of this turn around as turning around a giant container ship, not a speed boat. At first you are still mostly looking for the best value in deals and in the free agent market, but you’re also looking for deals on veteran players that can help you next year. As Spring Training and the beginning of the regular season play out, you will see more of your prospects making debuts and some of your other young players begin to really produce. This will allow you to look at your roster and begin penciling names into your lineup and rotation spots and thereby identify your areas of need. As the season wears on look to snag players that fill needs so that you go into the final offseason of your rebuild with just a handful or holes to fill.
Tip #3: Consolidate Talent
Stop spreading out talent (star players for multiple prospects) and start consolidating talent. At this point if you’ve done your job you probably have 8-10 really decent middle infield prospects and your starters already identified. You don’t need that many for your final team. Don’t get attached to prospects that are not better than the players you’ve already identified as starters on your team. Look for opportunities to fill out spots on your starting lineup by trading several of your prospects that are farther out. You don’t want to fill your roster back up with short term assets, but if you can get an elite player with more than one year of control it can make sense. Your final team should be a blend of youngsters that make up your core and proven veterans that you can count on for consistent production.
TIP #4: Fill Your Team With Players You Like
Remember, the entire point of all of this is to enjoy baseball more. Don’t overthink it. If you like the player and think that he can help your team, do it. Make rebuilding fun by ending up with a team you really enjoy. Your rebuilt team should be an expression of who you are as a GM and a baseball fan.
I hope that this is helpful and that it will encourage more GMs to take on the challenge of rebuilding their teams. I love talking about this subject and would be glad to share my thoughts any time. You can follow me on Twitter at @ChappyIsClutch.
In case any of you readers are curious about the outcome of my rebuild, I’ll post what my team looks like right now. This is the first season that I’m out of rebuild mode a prepared to compete. This is in a 30 team dynasty where you start with real life rosters and contracts. The league started in 2016 and I started my rebuild during the middle of the 2017 season. During the 2018 season I had no major league players on my roster at all other than short pickups for buyout or flipping purposes.
Here’s the current roster:
C: Salvador Perez (KC) – 20: $13,000,000; 21: $13,000,000
CI: Matt Chapman (Oak) – 20: $583,500 (protected)
CI: Eugenio Suarez (Cin) – 20: $9,250,000; 21: $10,500,000; 22-24: $11M; 25: $15M CO
MI: Keston Hiura (Mil) – 20: $583,500 (protected)
MI: Ozzie Albies (Atl) – 20: $1,000,000; 21: $3,000,000; 22: $5m; 23-25: $7M; 26-27: $7M CO
OF: Austin Riley (Atl) – 20: $583,500 (protected)
OF: Victor Robles (Was) – 20: $583,500 (protected)
OF: David Dahl (Col) – 20: $2,475,000 (protected)
UT: Anthony Rizzo (ChC) – 20: $16,500,000; 21: $16,500,000 CO
C: Martin Maldonado (Hou) – 20: $750,000
MI: Willi Castro (Det) – 20: $500,000 (protected)
OF: Nick Senzel (Cin) – 20: $583,500 (protected)
SP: Gerrit Cole (NYY) – 20: $34,801,000; 21-23: $34,801,000
SP: Jose Berrios (Min) – 20: $4,025,000 (protected)
SP: Chris Paddack (SD) – 20: $583,500 (protected)
SP: Charlie Morton (TB) – 20: $19,700,000; 21: $19,700,000
SP: Carlos Carrasco (Cle) – 20: $10,250,000; 21-22: $12,000,000; 23: $14,000,000
SP: Griffin Canning (LAA) – 20: $583,500 (protected)
SP: Kyle Freeland (Col) – 20: $2,875,000 (protected)
SP: A.J. Puk (Oak) – 20: $583,500 (protected)
SP: Randy Dobnak (Min) – 20: $1,200,000 (protected)
SP: Logan Webb (SF) – 20: $805,000 (protected)
SP: Cal Quantrill (SD) – 20: $583,500 (protected)
RP: Ryan Pressly (Hou) – 20: $6,500,000
RP: Zach Britton (NYY) – 20: $6,300,000; 21: $6,300,000
RP: Chris Devenski (Hou) – 20: $2,000,000 (protected)
RP: Junior Fernandez (StL) – 20: $500,000 (protected)
RP: J.D. Hammer (Phi) – 20: $1,000,000 (protected)
RP: Bryan Abreu (Hou) – 20: $801,000 (protected)
RP: Adam Cimber (Cle) – 20: $583,500 (protected)
RP: Kyle Crick (Pit) – 20: $583,500 (protected)
RP: Drew Steckenrider (Mia) – 20: $583,500 (protected)
RP: Robert Gsellman (NYM) – 20: $700,000; 21: $700,000; 22: $700,000
RP: Adrian Morejon (SD) – 20: $583,500 (protected)
MiLB Players on 40 Man Roster:
MI: Nick Madrigal (CWS) – 20: $500,000 (minor)
OF: Griffin Conine (Tor) – 20: $500,000 (minor)
P: Travis Lakins (Bal) – 20: $805,000 (minor)
20 Man Minors:
C: Miguel Amaya (ChC) – $801k
C: M.J. Melendez (KC) – $801k
C: William Contreras (Atl)
CI: Dermis Garcia (NYY)
CI: Miguel Vargas (LAD) – $1m
CI: Nick Quintana (Det) – $801k
MI: Blaze Alexander (Ari)
MI: Will Wilson (SF)
MI: Jeremiah Jackson (LAA)
MI: Jahmai Jones (LAA)
MI: Geraldo Perdomo (Ari)
OF: Josh Stowers (NYY)
OF: Pedro Gonzalez (Tex) – $801k
OF: Jerar Encarnacion (Mia) – $1m
P: Cristian Javier (Hou) – $1m
P: McKenzie Mills (Mia) – $801k
P: Osiel Rodriguez (NYY)
P: Luis Oviedo (Cle) – $1m
P: Tobias Myers (TB) – $801k
P: Taj Bradley (TB)
*protected means the player is under my team control until they reach real life free agency.
Thank you for this series, Jared. My first rebuild began in August of 2019 when I took over a decent, but sagging franchise. While I sought no advisement at the time, your three-part series confirmed my instincts. You have thought out the processes very well and I appreciate the time you put into the project. I even passed the series on to my Commish so he would have mercy on the rebuilding teams and how we construct our rosters.
If you have a minute, take a look at this and tell me what you would do next.
The league is 18 teams, roto, forever 28-man keeper 6×6 (OPS/Holds). Because players can be owned forever w/out salary, and there are no playoffs, it is fairly difficult to turn it around and win. Most of the top 40 prospects were rostered, but many good ones were available. Few teams were stockpiling prospects. I wanted to clear out my old guys for what I could get and scoop up the free talent that was just sitting there on the wire.
Inherited Roster: C- Ramos; 1- Freeman; 2- Cano; SS- Adames; 3- Bryant; INF- Turner; O- Kiermaier, Brantley, Pederson, Dahl; UTL- N. Cruz; Bench- McMahon, Trammell, Urias, Pache; SP- Flaherty, Woodruff, Lucchesi, Hill, Hendrick, Honeywell; RP- Treinan, W. Smith, Strop. There were a few other unnoteworthy players.
I dumped the weakest of the players first, adding: L. Gilbert, G. Rodriguez, K. Ginkle, D. Varsho, O. Cruz, D. Carlson (!!), K. Robinson (!!), J. Chisholm.
I then made the following trades:
Kris Bryant (28), Michael Brantley (32) for Victor Robles, Vidal Brujan.
W. Smith (30) for B. Lowe.
Justin Turner (35), Joey Lucchesi (26) for Andres Munoz (ouch), and #14 draft pick.
Nelson Cruz (old) for #6 pick.
Hendricks (30), Pederson (28), Pache (20) for Sano.
Freeman (30), Trammell (22), Burns (25) for C. Seager, J. Rodriguez, and Josh James.
Someone dropped Alex Verdugo (!!) and I snagged him with the #1 waiver.
Then I straight dumped Ramos and Adames, whom no one wanted, to draft extra players.
In the draft I scored: Vaughn (#6), Skubal (#9), Groshons (#14), Karinchak (#27).
After the draft I ponied up big FAAB bucks for: E. Pena, B. Graterol, B. Marsh, and Simeon Woods-Richardson.
I just grabbed Jose Garcia when Munoz went down w/ TJ Surgery.
I’m not convinced I got enough value for Freeman and Bryant, but I did the best I could selling depreciating assets in a fickle league.
Now my team looks like: C- Varsho; 1- Sano; 2- Lowe; S- Seager; 3- McMahon; INF- Urias; O- Verdugo, Robles, Dahl, Carlson; U- Chisholm,; B- Vaughn, J-Rod, Cruz, Brujan, Marsh, Groshons, Robinson, Pena, Garcia; SP- Flaherty, Woodruff, Skubal, Gilbert, Honeywell, G.Rodriguez, Woods-Richardson; RP- Karinchak, Ginkle, Graterol, James.
I’m giving the team around three years to congeal. By the end of 2021 most of my players should be at the MLB level, or very close to it. In the meantime I’m going to try to consolidate prospects into young ML future stars or better prospects.
What would you do with my current team (if you have time, of course)?
Solid in a league that size, I’m 20 team, better than half in my league with the rotation alone
For these, it all depends on the league and how large your rosters are.
The thing i tell people all the time- if you are not a playoff team- you should be building to be one. If it is a 12 team league with 6 playoff spots- if you think you are the #7-8 team you should be thinking rebuild. A team rebuilding with assets will come out much faster than a team rebuilding from 0. I took over a team with 30 man rosters, 12 teams- and the team literally had 1 top 100 player on the whole roster. I immediately traded him for a few prospects- I then tried to trade everything not nailed down for prospects. I basically had a roster where there were 10 fixture prospects (the core you were talking about), 10 post hype guys at least playing in MLB in hopes they break out, and 10 spots that either filled out my roster to be legal- but were dropped every time a top 200 prospect at that position got a call up- just to see if they make the step.
Took 2 years of being terrible- but the team then won 3 titles in the following 5 years, and is still a playoff team.
Know your window- and it should be 1-3 years to compete. 3 only if the team really is that terrible.
Sorry for taking so long to respond, guys. I wasn’t getting my notifications on this for some reason. In any case, it is a little difficult to give specific advise on next steps without knowing what the other teams and all the specifics of your league look like. Generally speaking though, if you have your core in place you are looking for value at the spots where you are weakest. I love hearing your rebuild stories and thanks for reading!