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Keeper league trades: The rebuild continues

Ray gives an update on his NL only keeper league rebuild with details of four more trades he has made.

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Back on November 1st,I wrote about my decision to rebuild in one of my NL only keeper leagues, as I has finished the 2015 season in the money, but in third place. Not enough. So, with my roster dominated with cheap starting pitchers and closers, and not hitting, I felt it was necessary to rebuild rather than play for 2016 and finish in third again.

The linked article above details three trades I had made to that point, trading Carlos Martinez, Ken Giles and Kenley Jansen, and getting back the following:

David Dahl, Rockies

Dilson Herrera, Mets

Lucas Giolito, Nationals

Raimel Tapia, Rockies

J.P. Crawford, Phillies

Joe Ross, Nationals

Andrew Susac, Giants

2 2nd round draft picks

Since then, I have continued to clear house, dealing National League Cy Young award winner Jake Arrieta, Padres starter Tyson Ross, Braves closer Arodys Vizcaino, and Joe Ross. I will detail each trade below.

Trade #4: Trade Jake Arrieta

TRIP gets: Jake Arrieta ChC from Rays
Jung-ho Kang Pit from Rays
Rays gets: Alex Verdugo LAD from TRIP
TRIP round 1 draft pick from TRIP

It wasn't easy dealing a $15 Arrieta for some reason, as it seemed many of the owners in my league either don't think he can come close to the season he put up in 2015, or they didn't want to give up an early first round pick in the farm draft. In this deal, I give up the Cy Young award winner and Kang, who I would not have kept at $19, and in return I get the #3 overall pick in our farm draft and Dodgers outfield prospect Alex Verdugo who put up a good, but not great, first full season in the minors. He tore up High A ball at the end of the season which is mighty impressive considering he is only 19 years old. He will probably start the 2016 season in High A and could earn an early promotion to Double A should he continue to rake in the friendly hitters environment in the California League.

Trade # 5: Trade Tyson Ross

Rays gets: Buster Brauns round 2 draft pick from Scorpions
Scorpions gets: Tyson Ross SD from Rays

In this deal, I traded a $7 Ross for the 20th pick in the farm draft. Maybe I could have received a higher pick elsewhere, but Ross could be traded this offseason, so I get a late round pick that where I will probably target a pitcher that falls in the draft. Hitters usually dominate the farm draft, so a decent starter could fall to me at #20.

Trade #6: Trade Joe Ross

Rays gets: Robber Barons round 2 draft pick from Robber Barons
Robber Barons gets: Joe Ross Was from Rays

Here I traded an $8 Joe Ross, who I had received in a previous trade, for the 14th pick in the farm draft. Here I hope to pick up a young Low A ball hitter.

Trade #7: Trade Arodys Vizcaino

Rays gets: Pelicans round 1 draft pick from Wooden Badgers
Wooden Badgers gets: Arodys Vizcaino Atl from Rays

Trading a $6 Vizcaino proved to be harder than I imagined, and I thought about just keeping him. I made offers to just about everyone with a first round pick, even offering my $5 Dilson Herrera and a second round pick for the first overall pick in the farm draft, but that didn't pan out.

Here I get the 6th pick in the farm draft for Vizcaino. The return might seem light for a cheap closer, but I am fine with that. After all of these trades, I now own the following top 100 prospects:

J.P Crawford

Lucas Giolito

David Dahl

Raimel Tapia

Alex Verdugo (not a top 100 prospect)

In addition, I now own three first round pick (3, 6 and 10) and four second round picks (14, 19, 20, 22). The Craig Kimbrel trade to the Red Sox has enhanced the pool of prospects we can draft from, and here is a look at some players that are available in our farm draft:

Brandon Rodgers, Rockies

Dansby Swanson, Diamondbacks

Brett Phillips, Brewers

Manual Margot, Padres

Javier Guerra, Padres

Gleyber Torres, Cubs

Willson Cabrera, Cubs

Nick Williams, Phillies

Jorge Alfaro, Phillies

This is just a short list of prospects that I am contemplating taking with my seven picks in the minor league draft, with the hope of building a contender in 2017. This list will expand if there are more inter league trades like the Red Sox - Padres trade last week which brought over two top 50 prospects and two more prospects who could be drafted in deeper NL only leagues.

My minor league draft strategy, as well as my auction draft strategy, will be very important to my rebuild, as the rebuild doesn't stop after the minor league draft. There will be plenty more trades made during the regular season, with the hope of balancing cheap, young talent, with some experienced talent as well.

These trades leave me with only five keepers, assuming John Lackey signs with an NL team, and should leave me with about $230 to spend on draft day, so I will have try to balance my targets with players that I know I can trade during the season with some players that I actually want to keep for 2017 and beyond.

I will detail that strategy later in the offseason after I take a first stab at which players will be available in the draft.