5 clear winners from the 2022 UFLB Trade Deadline
The first-ever Trade Deadline has now come and gone - which means, in addition to reviewing the 15+ deals done on Deadline Day itself, we can revisit some of the clearest winners around the UFLB. We won't see the true value for some deals until way down the line, when prospects begin to develop further in a year or two (or three, in some cases), but with Deadline Day now in the rearview, let's take a look at five teams that benefitted from their shiny new toys and draft picks, teams that are looking forward to the playoffs, and teams that loaded up for the future.
The Roy Halladay Division has two of the top teams in all of UFLB, and they are both of the bearish variety. The Black Bears had been trailing their division rivals, the Devil Bears, for most of the past two weeks leading into the Deadline, but a late surge this week pushed them into the top spot. With injuries to OF Mike Trout and OF Max Kepler, the Black Bears were hurting for outfield depth big time, and acquired OF Randal Grichuk from the Central Caiman.
Grichuk may strikeout (a lot), but he also drives in a lot of runs, and hits a lot of dingers. Isn't that what baseball is all about?
Not content with the one trade, the Black Bears also went out and acquired 2B/SS Gleyber Torres from MTB Orbit to shore up the infield (and on a playoff-bound MLB team, to boot) - 1B/2B Jonathan Schoop, a trio of prospects, and 29.5k SCO went back the other way. Is the cost somewhat high for one player? Sure, maybe. But when you're sitting at the top of not only the division, but near the top of the league, sometimes you have no choice but to make some bold moves.
The White Walkers, under the stewardship of their GM Dennis, have (like their namesakes) steadily climbed towards the top of the UFLB standings - as of Trade Deadline Day, they sat atop the mountain, fending off any would-be challengers almost every day.
One big piece that will help is OF Byron Buxton, acquired from the MTB Orbit for fiery SP Chris Sale, a bevy of prospects, and their own second round pick in 2023. While Buxton cooled off (somewhat) in the past few months, he racks up the stats by the boatload, accumulating 26 HRs and 46 RBI this season to-date.
To put it in perspective, despite their season so far, the White Walkers didn't have a single player who had hit 20 or more home runs in the 2022 season - add in his MLB team likely being playoff-bound, and the trade can be considered a real...well, you get the idea.
It's always impressive when a team manages to not only contend, but to do so while maintaining an eye for the future, something the Northern Fury have emphasized so far in 2022.
Owners of a now-whopping 15 draft picks in the upcoming 2022 UFLB Entry Auction, the Fury capped their deadline deals with the acquisition of the MTB Orbit's 2022 first round pick, which is a top two pick and will bid in the initial group of five to open the Entry Auction later this year.
Put it another way: a team that currently occupies a top-six spot in the Vin Scully Conference also owns three of the top five picks in the 2022 UFLB Entry Auction, and seven picks overall in the first round. 'Cornering the market', indeed.
Look, we all know at this point the reputation of our friends at Circa Sports - they might often be content to sit back and wait, but if there's a target they want, there are not many things that can stand in their way.
SP Walker Buehler is one of them - despite being out since early June with a forearm strain, and adding arthroscopic surgery to remove a bone spur from his elbow as well, he has been slowly working his way back to the Dodgers' rotation, having begun a throwing program at the end of July.
Not one to let chances pass them by, Circa Sports offered MTB Orbit an eye-popping sum (more on that below) to acquire the Dodgers ace. While it's likely too late for them to contend in 2022, any time you can grab one of the best pitchers in baseball at the relatively young age of 28, it's hard to pass up the opportunity.
Any time you can go from fielding the bare minimum of roster players to completely filling the 40-man with a wealth of prospects, I'd say it's a good thing, but when you can essentially get back the entire value of your franchise sale in one trade, it's hard not to view that as a win.
For the services of SP Walker Buehler, Circa Sports offered MTB Orbit three top prospects and the whopping amount of 300k SCO. For comparison's sake, the UFHL (Ultimate Fantasy Hockey League) recently had their entire 'Battlehawks' franchise sell for 416.7k SCO - Buehler by himself fetched just over 70% of an entire UFF Sports franchise!
If we wanted to just tie things to baseball, however, feast your eyes on this: MTB Orbit themselves were purchased by a four-person ownership group for $3,900 USD back in November 2021. Today alone, with the sale of Buehler - alongside divesting themselves of Buxton, Torres, Willi Castro, and first round picks in 2022 and 2023 - they made back over $4,500 USD (approx. 392k SCO), while filling the 40-man from top to bottom with prospects and major league players from several different teams. Not bad for a day's work.