We have our first trade of the 2022 MLP season. The Jackrabbits have traded Jackie Kawamoto to the Ranchers for Maggie Brascia. This means that Mary Brascia will be paired up with her sister Maggie on the Jackrabbits while Jackie Kawamoto will join Anna Bright, DJ Young and Austin Gridley.
Where do we start with this one?
Jackie Kawamoto was drafted as the 10th female and she probably went too low at number 10. Maggie, on the other hand, was drafted as the 20th female and arguably should not have been drafted at all. It doesn’t feel great to continue to dwell on Maggie but what are we supposed to do when something like this happens? It’s quite likely that Mary pushed to get Maggie onto the Jackrabbits so she could play with her sister. If you want the answer to what is more important, winning or blood, it appears that answer is blood. There’s no other logical explanation for the trade.
For anyone that plays fantasy football, vetoing trades might be the most annoying thing that happens so long as players aren’t colluding with one another. This Brascia-Kawamoto trade is one that we have to think MLP was not thrilled to hear about, although the Brascia silver in Newport has to have helped with the timing of this trade that was announced shortly after they beat Stratman/Johnson. Now, if the Jackrabbits, don’t think they are getting fleeced, they are entitled to make the trade. However, this is exactly the reason why professional sports teams have front offices that make personnel decisions. The trade highlights that the lack of any real decision-making hierarchy within teams when we have Jackrabbits out here acting like they’re the Sacramento Kings. If you want to go with the DUPR’s, going into the weekend, Kawamoto’s DUPR was about .45 points ahead of Maggie Brascia’s.
We discussed in our Shuffle Draft column that Maggie was a candidate to be dropped by her team. Not only did the Ranchers avoid dropping Maggie, they somehow replaced her with a borderline #1 female. It immediately vaults the Ranchers into serious contender status. They have arguably two #1 females, a guy in DJ Young who can be as good as anyone in a given match and Austin Gridley is fully capable of hanging in there. We’ll have to see how things shake out but it’s difficult to imagine a situation where the Ranchers are not favorites going into Newport. Sure, Austin Gridley didn’t have a great time in singles, but teams shouldn’t let small sample sizes get in the way of big picture things. There’s not a major upgrade on Gridley out there, particularly as a men’s doubles player.
For the Jackrabbits, they could very well be the odds-on favorites to be the weakest team at Newport. As we mentioned above, it is notable that the Brascia’s took down Jorja Johnson and Lauren Stratman on Saturday in 3 games, and Maggie held up really well in that match. Maggie looks to be improving. That other aspect of things is that the MLP format can still give heavy underdog teams somewhat of a chance to come up with wins. You have to think the other players on the Jackrabbits okayed this trade, but it’s difficult to see how.
Nevertheless, It’s hard to make much sense of this deal from a pure player standpoint for the Jackrabbits. The Ranchers have suddenly vaulted their team from a low floor-high ceiling who knows what they will be to it would be majorly disappointing if they don’t get into the top 4. Unless something magical is in the works for the Jackrabbits, this should be a rough ride for the group in Newport and beyond.
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