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May 3, 2013

Fantasy Mailbag

Playing the Waiting Game

by BP Fantasy Staff

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Question: How long do I wait for Alejandro De Aza? I don’t see anything that will improve (BABIP, K%). Okay to drop him for Matt Joyce? Love Coors and the matchup coming up. 

Answer: What round did you draft him in? Subtract that from 23 and that's how long you have to keep him. That is also known as the Cory Schwartz rule.

Question: Was offered Josh Hamilton and Alexei Ramirez for my Josh Rutledge and Josh Willingham. This seems like a deal to make, but how concerned are we about Hamilton?

Answer: Two Joshes are not always better than one. You are taking on more risk in this deal but you are also potentially gaining more reward. Make the trade.

Question: I'm in a 14-team, 5x5, non-keeper league. I need to clear a roster spot for Hanley Ramirez but don't want to drop anyone yet. I also would like a spot to stream starters, so I'm looking to do a three-for-one trade. I have a team interested but I wanted some input before officially offering. I'd be giving up Kyle Kendrick, Tommy Hanson, and Jurickson Profar.  I'd be getting either A.J. Burnett or Paul Maholm back. So first, who would you want for the rest of the year, Burnett or Maholm? Second, would you give up Profar right now?  I've held onto him for a month already so I hate selling him away for peanuts. But I need to clear up space on my roster.

Answer: Burnett is the way to go here. He is pitching well and getting the strikeouts again. Profar has nowhere to play, so in a non-keeper, he has even less value and should not hold up this deal.

Question: Paul, I know Edwin Jackson is a guy you talked up in the preseason pitching podcast and in your guide. I also know you have to be patient and not kill your team with dumb, reactionary early-season drops.  That said, this guy has been abysmal!  I'm just wondering if you guys are seeing any signs of hope with this guy. I know the home starts have been much worse than the road starts, but if Travis Wood can keep the ball in the yard at Wrigley...

I don't really have a specific add/drop scenario to ask about with Jackson.  I own him in two mixed leagues (both go semi-deep on SP) and he will certainly see the bench for his next start against the Reds.  At this point I'm just wondering what the peripheral stats and your eyes are telling you about this (so far) ratio-killing [mess].

Answer: It's been hit and miss. He's been good for two, bad for two, and okay for two. Still missing bats. He's not allowing homers (usually an issue), but his walks have crept back up. Annoying for sure. If there are better options, you can move on, but I think he'll improve.

Question: Bret, I really love the Stash List, as our league allows us to keep free-agent pickups for two years. Very interested in Kevin Gausman. How do you think they will handle him this year? 

Answer: First of all, thanks! Secondly, I think his chances of a call up in the near future keep going up based on the combination of Dylan Bundy's injury, Gausman's continued solid performance, and Zach Britton's struggle against Seattle last night. The O's absolutely love him, and frankly, I would not be surprised to see him in the majors within the next few weeks. But I think they would like to get to a point that once he's up, he's up to stay. He'll have a tough assignment in the AL East (it's down a little, but still harsh on pitchers), but he could be a pretty special arm long term.

Question: What do you guys think I should do with Ryan Madson?  When do you think he will be back and what do you think his role will be?  It seems every time he gets close he has another setback and it isn't clear when he will be back.  I have Ernesto Frieri, so I would love to have both guys.  But I also have Brandon Beachy (for $2) and Zack Greinke on my bench, and now have put Jarrod Parker there as well until he gets straightened out.  So, this week I actually had to start Greinke to have nine pitchers.  We have an innings limit, so I can catch up later in the year when Greinke and Beachy come back, but there are some great middle relievers on the waiver wire. Should I just hang on to Madson for now?

Answer: Find a way to sit tight on Madson right now, because they paid him, and he may get a shot to close.

Question: I have Hanley Ramirez coming off my DL pretty soon in my 12-team mixed head-to-head league, and I'm not sure what to do with Alcides EscobarI got offered Ian Kennedy for Alcides straight up. I need starting pitching and want to do this trade, but I don't know what to expect from Kennedy in terms of ERA after he jumped from under 3.00 in 2011 to over 4.00 last year. What do you guys think of Kennedy going forward? Should I be expecting more in return for Alcides given his hot start and scarce position?

Answer: That's a pretty fair offer. Kennedy isn't the 2011 guy on the whole; few pitchers are. He's more of a mid-to-high-3.00s ERA workhorse.

Question: I play in a 10-team mixed keeper, standard 5x5 head to head. I'm pretty light on the pitching side: King Felix and Jordan Zimmermann are great, and I have Greinke on the DL, but then I have Homer Bailey, Doug Fister, Derek Holland, Wood, Jose Fernandez, Trevor Rosenthal, Casey Janssen, and Grant Balfour (with Madson on the DL).

I am absolutely loaded in the OF, especially in the keeper sense: Bryce Harper, Mike Trout, Giancarlo Stanton, Carlos Gonzalez, and even Jacoby Ellsbury. At other offensive positions, I'm pretty solid also, with Evan Longoria and Nolan Arenado at third, David Ortiz, Freddie Freeman, and Brandon Belt at first, and then Jose Altuve and Jimmy Rollins up the middle. (Just for completion’s sake, I have Miguel Montero and Evan Gattis at C, with Gattis probably being dropped soon).

I can only keep five guys, and I don't see really how I'd keep anybody outside of the six of Harper, Trout, Stanton, CarGo, Longoria, and King Felix. Who should I be willing to trade to get some pitching, though? I made a push for Yu Darvish and Matt Moore (two different owners), and this obviously isn't the best time with them both shoving it, but the owner with Darvish would only talk for Harper or Trout, and I just think that's nuts. Should I try to go stud for stud or maybe try to package a 1B and OF (like Ellsbury) for a second-tier guy?

Answer: The worst time to trade for pitching is when they’re shoving it as Darvish and Moore are now. I would target someone like Matt Cain, who is struggling through some gopheritis right now but will have better days ahead. That won’t cost you Harper or Trout, and remember the golden rule: When in doubt, lean to the hitter. We love Moore and Darvish, but not enough to deal Trout or Harper.

BP Fantasy Staff is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
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Fantasy Mailbag: Buy L... (04/26)
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