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Wednesday 22nd Nov 2017

I have been having a pretty good Tout Wars year.

My team has been among the top four all season, with us resting mostly in third, spending a blink or two in second or fourth.

The reality is had Rick Wolf and Glenn Colton not just made about every possible right move, things would really be jammed tight, but they have rested at around 100 points for most of the year while my Mastersball mate Rob Leibowitz and I have hung behind at around 80 points with Jeff Erickson having moved up into the fray over the past month.

Though I have a pretty good roster of mostly everyday players, I do lack a bit of power--something that always seems to elude my teams--although I have great pitching and even pretty good speed.

However, it has been clear to me for over a month that I could use an extra big bat.

Not a huge one, like Mike Trout, or even Josh Donaldson, but just a regularly playing guy who could hit 10-15 homers and knock in 40 runs over the course of the season.

Since I drafted so well at closer--with Fernando Rodney and Glen Perkins--with a 15 save lead in the category to start July, I reasoned now was the time to trade one, so I offered away.

I got some nibbles, for sure, but two of them were from Rob, and then Rick and Glenn, and for the most part the last thing I want to do is swap with a team that will subsequently bury me by virtue of the deal.

I had a couple of other things out there. In particular, I tried to pry Kole Calhoun away from Mike Podhorzer, but over a few weeks we could not seem to sort things out.

So, I decided to relax, and not panic, and see what would come.

The trouble is it was nearly August, and in the past when I have won Tout, it was because I made some kind of pivotal and risky swap right around this time of year, and for the life of me, I could not see how to do that.

I kept looking at the standings, noting that I really did not need either Perkins or Rodney that much any longer, and as such I could trade both of them, but the mood of the league did not seem so conducive to getting that much for either.

And, then it hit me: Why not package both closers together to a team that could easily pick up a half-dozen points in exchange for the best bat I could get.

I looked at the teams and tried to figure the two who had some hitting to spare, but who would similarly benefit with the adddition of two stoppers. So, I sent feelers out to Ron Shandler and the same Jeff Erickson (with whom I suggested Carlos Santana as an object of my desire) who was now battling me for third.

Ron, with Edwin Encarnacion and George Springer hurt, just couldn't afford to let a stick go, but Jeff sent me a great e-mail back, suggesting he had begun to look at the numbers.

In fact, this is what he sent:

"I did some back-of-the-envelope calculations, and something like this might work.

But I'm more inclined to do it if the "and something" is netting me a little more.

I looked at it three ways:

a) Potential points gained & potential points lost:

Jeff-pitching: Saves (5 - including over the top three remaining teams) + ERA (2) + WHIP (2) = 9 Less Wins (2-3, to you, Rob & G/R no less) & K's (1 to you) = + 5-6

Lawr-pitching (assuming you add at least one starter to replace your closers): Wins (1-2) + K's (1-2) = 3-4, less Saves (1), maybe one ERA or WHIP point = +2

Jeff-hitting: Less one RBI or R (we'll call it one or the other to split the difference), less 1-2 OBP points. No change in HR or SB = Less 2-3 points

Lawr-hitting: Plus 2 R, plus 1-2 HR, plus 1-2 RBI, plus 1-2 OBP points = Plus 5-8 points.

Net gains: Jeff 3-5 points; Lawr 5-10 points.

I think you might be getting a bit of a windfall according to the categories.

There's just no downside to you on the hitting equation, and I think you'll end up neutral in pitching because you have such a big lead in saves.

b) Value earned so far: According to our in-season $ value calculator, Santana has earned 28 using TW's scoring system, Perkins & Rodney 13 apiece. Pretty even - our value calculator does not assume a 50-50 split, but rather tries to assume the auction's split.

c) Draft values: Acknowledging the auction is an imperfect reflection of value (blah, blah, blah) - it's still a reflection of how our league values these players.

Santana = $28

Rodney = $12

Perkins = $18

Again, pretty even, a couple of dollars in your direction this time."

So, he proposed my sending Perkins, Rodney, Robinson Chirinos and $10 of FAAB to him in exchange for Jason Grilli, Jeremy Guthrie and Santana.

So, as the Major League trade deadline ticked away, I accepted and that was that.

Will this do it for me? Maybe, just like it might do it for Jeff (my secret karmic hope is that this ignites both of our teams and pushes us both past Teams Leibowitz and Colton/Wolf and we duke it out for the last month of the season: Yeah, I want to win, but a pennant race is great fun, if not stressful).

The bottom line is I had to do something, and ideally I hit the right equation.

The antithesis is had I just stood pat, I never would know. Neither would Jeff. Or the rest of the world, for that matter.

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