Screw NBA free agency. This is the real off-season as a flurry of moves were announced this morning for MLP. We had the first that happened a couple of days ago with Maggie Brascia being exchanged for Jackie Kawamoto, but clearly a lot of teams are unafraid to make some moves. Let’s give some quick hit thoughts on the transactions announced on the MLP site this morning. For clarity, MLP is using the term “waived” instead of “dropped” for players who are dropped.
Lions trade Corrine Carr to Mad Drops for Oliva McMillan. Lions waive Bobbi Oshiro.
On the one hand, it was not surprising to see something happen to Corrine Carr. On the other hand, the trade makes no sense combined with the second move to waive Oshiro. The early takeaway for MLP is that personal relationships are playing far too big a part in personnel moves as they did to a degree in the first iteration of MLP. First the Brascia’s, and now Carr is traded to Mad Drops where she will be teamed up with Adam Stone yet again. Carr and McMillan could be seen as either a slight upgrade, downgrade or neutral move for either team depending on your perspective. We see it as a slight downgrade given how McMIllan has played over the past month or so.
The Oshiro move is completely baffling though. Sure, Oshiro was drafted a little too high but what is your replacement? Is there another move coming here? What does this accomplish for your team? Oshiro is better than any of the women in the replacement pool by a wide margin. We thought it was hard to make sense of the Maggie Brascia move for the Jackrabbits but this is much more difficult to understand.
Teams still have the end of the day (July 4rd) to waive players and there have to be teams now considering whether to drop their 2nd women to take Oshiro on – the Bus are the first team that come to mind as Oshiro would pair very well with Stratman’s power. Team Clean would be an option to drop Regina Franco too, but that fit is not as strong with Michelle Esquivel. Dropping Oshiro opens the door for a number of teams who may have felt like they were stuck.
Tough luck for Olivia McMillan too. The Lions are not in a good spot and it will be fascinating to see what they think an upgrade on Oshiro is from that replacement pool.
Ranchers drop Austin Gridley and ATX Pickleballers drop Altaf Merchant
After trading for Jackie Kawamoto, the Ranchers made the move to drop Austin Gridley as well, which is a pretty big shakeup for their team overall. The Gridley move is a bit of a surprise. He’s a great men’s doubles fit next to DJ Young and is a solid mixed player. It’s unclear what the clear upgrade for them is. Although, it is something to consider whether overall team chemistry has played a part in this equation. From a pure replacement perspective, the men’s player pool is a lot deeper but getting an actual upgrade on Gridley is tough to see. Options we see out there for replacements are Stefan Auvergne and Hayden Patriquin. We wouldn’t be shocked to see Mario Barrientos be a replacement seeing as he is good buddies with DJ Young for the time being – Barrientos would be an odd choice from a player standpoint as he is essentially a poor man’s Austin Gridley at this point.
Despite their strong showing in season 1, ATX drops Altaf Merchant. This one makes the most sense of today’s 3 transaction announcements. The reason why we grouped the Ranchers and ATX moves together in one heading is that Austin Gridley seems like he would be a very good fit on ATX. His men’s doubles game pairs nicely next to Frazier and he would form a better mixed team with Sarah Ansboury. There is some concern from a chemistry standpoint taking away Merchant as suddenly you have a generally low energy team with Frazier, Jade Kawamoto and Sarah Ansboury. Adding Gridley to the mix doesn’t add to what may be needed from a chemistry standpoint but it’s also quite difficult to find a true, high energy guy in that replacement pool. You have to take the opportunities when they come from a talent perspective in this case though.
There are almost certainly going to be more moves to come down, including from teams who didn’t expect certain players to be waived and suddenly become available.
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