A blockbuster trade quietly passed through the ranks in one of the 16-team Philanthropist baseball leagues the other day: an eight-man swap with Ryan Braun and Adrian Gonzalez on the marquee.
As commissioner of that particular league, I am not permitted to express a public or private opinion supporting one side of the deal, or knocking the other. But I also see no harm in putting AccuScore's all-encompassing projections to work, as a means of establishing a cumulative framework for how things may shake out by season's end.
Owner A gets:
3B Aramis Ramirez, Brewers
2012 stats—0 HRs, 5 RBI, 5 runs, 2 steals, .114 batting
Projections from April 17-Sept. 30—24.3 HRs, 87.2 RBI, 76.3 runs, 2.2 steals, .293 batting
OF Ryan Braun, Brewers
2012 stats—1 HR, 4 RBI, 5 runs, 2 steals, .343 batting
Projections from April 17-Sept. 30—29.2 HRs, 101.6 RBI, 103.4 runs, 27.8 steals, .347 batting
2B Gordon Beckham, White Sox
2012 stats—0 HRs, 0 RBI, 1 run, .115 batting
Projections from April 17-Sept. 30—9.6 HRs, 46.7 RBI, 60.4 runs, 4.6 steals, .248 batting
SP Cory Luebke, Padres
2012 stats—1-1, 3.71 ERA, 1.47 WHIP, 15/6 K-BB
Projections from April 17-Sept. 30—14 wins, 3.33 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, 191.2 strikeouts
Owner B receives:
1B Adrian Gonzalez, Red Sox
2012 stats—1 HR, 7 RBI, 4 runs, .300 batting
Projections from April 17-Sept. 30—25.9 HRs, 98.5 RBI, 87 runs, 0.4 steals, .327 batting
OF Jordan Schafer, Astros
2012 stats—1 HR, 2 RBI, 9 runs, 5 steals, .237 batting
Projections from April 17-Sept. 30—4.3 HRs, 21.2 RBI, 80.8 runs, 39.7 steals, .248 batting
2B/OF Howard Kendrick, Angels
2012 stats—1 HR, 3 RBI, 5 runs, 2 steals, .316 batting
Projections from April 17-Sept. 30—15.2 HRs, 61.6 RBI, 79.2 runs, 14.4 steals, .282 batting
SP Zack Greinke, Brewers
2012 stats—1-1, 6.75 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 12/1 K-BB
Projections from April 17-Sept. 30—14 wins, 3.92 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 205.1 strikeouts
Using AccuScore's estimates, Team A is slated to win the season-long battle in homers, RBI and batting average, whereas Team B should be the victor in runs and steals.
Aside from homers, though, the other four categories are quite competitive.
On the pitching side, obviously Greinke is more coveted than Luebke at this point, but will he create enough separation by season's end to slant the blockbuster trade in Owner B's favor? Does Luebke have the tools and maturity to take a sizable leap forward this year as the Padres' purported ace?
Since fantasy baseball doesn't occur in a vacuum, it's fair to wonder the following: If Gordon Beckham maintains his wretched start for a few more weeks, would Owner A be getting a sizable upgrade over Beckham in free-agent waivers? (It's too bad Jose Altuve and his .351 batting average are no longer available in 16-teamers.)
All in all, it's a fascinating swap for mid-April.
Jay Clemons can be reached on Twitter, day or night, at @ATL_JayClemons.