Two new moves were announced today with one trade (Maggie Remynse for Michelle Esquivel) and one drop (Eden Lica from the Bus). The trade deadline is not until July 14th but the deadline to waive players has now come and passed with the Shuffle Draft happening tomorrow, July 6th. The Lions were the only team to drop a female and will get their top choice of replacements for Bobbi Oshiro. For the teams waiving men, the Ranchers, ATX Pickleballers and the Bus will participate in the lottery to determine the draft order for the Shuffle Draft. Taking into account trades, that means only 4 teams have made no changes to their teams so far – the 5s, BLQK, Chimeras and Hard Eights. As much as teams appear to be prioritizing winning, we definitely question the assessments that teams are making to further their winning prospects.
Here’s a quick breakdown of the moves announced today.
TRADE: Florida Smash send Maggie Remynse to Team Clean for Michelle Esquivel
Another day, another MLP trade. This time it is the Florida Smash sending Maggie Remynse to Team Clean for Michelle Esquivel. Although we speculated on this trade as a possible scenario in our Shuffle Draft preview column, we both agreed it didn’t provide enough upside to the Florida Smash for it to come to fruition. Much like the Carr for McMillan trade, the benefit may be in the eye of the beholder for this deal. We see this one as an upgrade for Team Clean and a downgrade for the Florida Smash, but there are arguments on all sides of the coin here.
The big thing that we’re seeing with all these transactions is that teams are valuing chemistry. The Brascia sisters were on the Picklepod prior to the Maggie Brascia trade announcement and Mary talked about how important chemistry was for the teams doing well. Reading between the lines, Mary felt the Jackrabbits team chemistry was lacking. Also, did Mary push hard for a trade of Maggie because she was worried the Ranchers would drop her sister? While chemistry is undoubtedly important in the MLP format, it’s worth asking if chemistry is being overvalued by the players right now. Players are emotional creatures. It’s partly why LeBron the player is far better than LeBron than the GM. After one short, small sample size event, are teams attributing too much success or failure to the elusive chemistry intangible?
Following a 2nd place finish, you have to think the motivation behind the swap for the Florida Smash wasn’t simply a pure player evaluation. Lee Whitwell is closer with Michelle Esquivel than Maggie Remynse and it’s quite possible Rettenmaier wanted someone with more energy to pair with in mixed. The concern with Esquivel is that she runs so hot and cold. If things are going well, she’s a fantastic teammate to have. If things aren’t going great, well, that can be a very different story. The two MLP events haven’t been overly kind to Esquivel so far, but she hasn’t been in ideal situations for herself either.
It’s unclear whether bringing in Remynse moves the needle at all for Team Clean but they needed to shake things up one way or another.
WAIVER: The Bus waive Eden Lica
We speculated on the Bus as a potential team to make a move for their men, but we weren’t necessarily anticipating Lica to be dropped. The Lica-Yates pairing was somewhat doomed to fail from the beginning. We expect they tried to explore their trade options but didn’t get any bites. There are players out there that may be a better fit next to Kyle Yates. A person who was not in the original player pool, Wes Burrows, is a high-risk option for the Bus to find a left-sided player to pair with Yates and bring some power to the mixed game. Although the Gridley/Yates partnership didn’t go smoothly the first go around in 2022, Gridley is out there as a legitimate option. A number of other names we see as possibilities include Hayden Patriquin, Stefan Auvergne, Ben Newell, Pablo Tellez, Altaf Merchant and Gabriel Tardio.
Eden Lica should have a very good chance to be picked up. He would be a great fit for the ATX Pickleballers next to Dylan Frazier. It’s just so hard to find someone in the replacement pool that can be a force in mixed doubles. Lica would be a definite upgrade on Merchant from a pure player standpoint so that is something to watch for.
A couple of the teams really missed the boat not dropping their men. Team Clean could have dropped Joey Farias with Lica as a far better fit next to Dekel Bar. Lica has to be right around whatever Farias gives you in the mixed game too. We also have talked a lot about Cincola being a possible drop option and the Hard Eights could have paired Daescu/Lica together. Again, the mixed fit is questionable wherever Lica goes but his ability to complement a strong left-sided player is unmatched by the rest of the player pool.
We also feel like the Bus missed an opportunity in the waiver game. Milan Rane was fine at the first event of the year but the upgrade to Oshiro was sitting there on a platter for them. Oshiro would probably have fit seamlessly next to Stratman and is far better suited to be a #2 mixed option. It’s clear that teams didn’t think strongly of the female replacement player pool, but once Oshiro was out there it is a bit of a wonder why no one decided to make a move. There aren’t many teams out there besides the Bus that were obvious teams to drop a female but the fact that Oshiro is not going to be included in the top 24 females is criminal.
We still have no clue what the Lions are doing. They’re the only team out there to drop a female and they somehow chose to drop their #1 female. Etta Wright with her Utah connection to Chuck Taylor is the most obvious choice to fill the Lions’ empty slot. If you’re going that route though, why not drop Corrine Carr and keep Oshiro as your #2 player? They must feel that McMillan and whoever they pick up are both better options than Oshiro. We’ll see how that works out for the Lions…
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