The Greatest Fantasy Baseball GM of All Time

Not to brag, but my fantasy baseball team currently sits in 1st place. I’m an impressive 12.5 games up. Even better, the past two weeks have seen my “Fightin’ Moses” go all Ivan Drago on the league’s second-place teams, winning 8-4 each week.

I’m kind of a big deal.

This is all to say if Cleveland Baseball GM Mike Chernoff wanted, he could hand me the keys to the team come trade deadline. Bullpen troubles, Mike? A soft spot or two in your outfield? It’s okay. Mr. Fightin’ Moses himself will make everything okay.

If Cleveland Baseball was my fantasy team, my first trade would address outfield depth. Tyler Naquin and Rajai Davis have been pleasant surprises, but the final corner is a rotating door of bodies. It feels like the bottom could fall out at any time. Michael Brantley could provide a boost should he rehab his injured shoulder, but at this point, he’s a question mark for a team that desperately needs to win now.

So I’d package Michael Brantley with Cleveland’s #2 Outfield Prospect, Clint Frazier and reel in Ryan Braun. Before the season, the Brewers were pegged as definite sellers. Sure they’ve gotten warm and won some games, but the math remains: they don’t have the pitching nor the hitting on their roster to make a sustained run. In Brantley and Frazier, Milwaukee would have the double threat of good players and team control. The Brew Crew isn’t winning anything this year anyway; they can wait while Brantley’s shoulder mends and Clint earns his keep.

And while we’re at it, Milwaukee, we’ll have one Jonathan Lucroy as well. Cleveland’s starting catcher, Yan Gomes, recently hit the disabled list with a separated AC joint in his shoulder. Since Gomes hit the DL, the whispers of Lucroy to Cleveland have only intensified. Mike Clevenger is an MLB-seasoned pitching prospect. Milwaukee can also take their choice of Cleveland’s three rostered big-league catchers while they’re at it. I suspect they’d take the player with the highest ceiling in Gomes. Add Bradley Aiken, a starting pitcher and former #1 overall draft pick whose overcome elbow issues, and I’d call that fair. If you want to send a ball of bags or something back with Lucroy, I’d be cool with that, Milwaukee.

So… Catcher? Check. Outfield? Check. The only remaining hurdle to my being the greatest GM in the history of baseball is Cleveland’s Jekyll and Hyde bullpen. Closer Cody Allen is solid, but getting to him has been problematic. Bryan Shaw either strikes everyone out or craps the bed. Jeff Manship is passable. Joba Chamberlain was supposed to provide depth, but was put out to waivers weeks ago. Damn midges.

Because I’ve reeled in the Ryan “the Hebrew Hammer” Braun, I’m given a little more wiggle room with Outfield depth. Bradley Zimmer is Cleveland’s #1 overall prospect, an outfielder with power and average. He’s the #4 outfield prospect in all of baseball, and would be a tantalizing, mouth-watering bit of bait to any team with bullpen depth. And who has more depth than the Yankees? Aroldis Chapman’s checkered past wouldn’t play well in Cleveland. And as much as I’d like an Andrew Miller, the price would simply be too high. So instead, I say, “Hey, Yankee GM Brian Cashman, I’ll take one Dellin Betances, please.” In addition to Zimmer, I’ll fork over Cleveland’s top 3B and SS prospects, Yandy Diaz and Erik Gonzales, respectively.

You know what? Check that, Cashman. If I’m forking over your future infield along with an All-Star outfielder, we’ll have to upgrade that order from Betances to Miller. Fair is fair.

And that, my friends, is that. Holes filled. Outfield fixed. Catcher set. Bullpen loaded. You can send unmarked tens and twenties my way when Cleveland sweeps the World Series (sorry Cubs). I am the greatest General Manager baseball has ever seen.

Would any of this actually happen? No. Hell no. Just… No.  As much as armchair GMs would like to think, Fantasy Baseball ≠ Major League Baseball. Would any GM in their right mind pull off a fantasy trade in real life? Michael Brantley and Chris Davis for Paul Goldschmidt? Dumb. But, as evidenced by the amount of wannabe GMs populating Yahoo and ESPN fantasy leagues, it’s fun to playact, isn’t it?

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