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May 31, 2013

Fantasy Mailbag

Pulling the Trigger

by BP Fantasy Staff

Question: Just got an offer from the first-place team owner, who always seems to get the better end of trades, and I just don't understand why I should pass this up. It seems to me to be highly in my favor. I give up Berkman and A-Rod for Pujols. He will also throw in Overbay and Flowers, both of whom will be bench guys for the time being for me. It is 6x6 (OPS is the extra category) AL-only dynasty and I only have Callaspo, Matt Dominguez, or Mike Aviles to play third. One more thing: I would not be able to drop Pujols (if an injury happens) until after next year's auction, but right now, I can drop either of my current guys at any time. If the trade goes through, he will not be able to drop Berkman but can drop A-Rod.

There is one dominant team and one terrible team. The rest of us can go from second to seventh in days. My hitting is better than my pitching, with my hitting average and OPS terrible, but in all of the counting stats, my team is at or near the top. I should do this, right?

Answer: In an AL-only, I think this is a pretty good deal for you. The risk is Pujols going on the disabled list for his plantar fasciitis. This injury doesn't just go away; the best course of action is rest. It's obvious that Pujols is going to try to play through this, but it's hard to gauge what impact this will have on his performance.

That being said, Berkman has had a long history of injury concerns and isn't the best candidate to play 150 games, either. You're still getting the better player, and you're getting a pretty good lottery ticket in Alex Rodriguez. Even without Overbay and Flowers, this sounds like a win to me. I'd make the trade.

Question: Super deep 16-team mixed league, with five OF slots, but split as such: LF, CF, RF, OF, OF. I am really hurting in CF, with Eric Young Jr. and Emilio Bonifacio rotating there. I've been offered Carlos Gomez for Carlos Santana, and I have Gattis, who I could slot as C to replace him. I really don't love giving up Santana, but might the awfulness of my CF make it worth it?

Answer: That's a very fair deal. Both are due for some regression, but you have a big need to fill, as your two current players are not helping you much.

Question: 10-team mixed keeper league. I am in first place overall on the strength of being in first in four out of five categories on the offensive side (in fourth place in SBs). Hurting in wins, WHIP and ERA. So, to shore up the pitching side, I recently traded Grilli (I am in first in saves with Kimbrel, Papelbon, Romo, and Gregg) for Derek Holland. About two weeks ago, I traded Cespedes for Harvey (believe it or not), figured I would not miss the bat because I had Granderson about to come off the DL.

Then Grandy got hurt. To bridge the gap until Grandy comes back, I traded Ervin Magic Santana for Mike Morse, who just got hurt. Looking to make another trade now. Tentative offer is my pitcher, Jerome Williams, for either Torii Hunter or Alejandro de Aza. I am a bit hesitant, due to Hunter's age, de Aza's BA, and this might be a breakout year for Williams. What do you think?

Answer: Jerome Williams shouldn't hold up a trade. He's simply not that good. I'd rather get de Aza, as Hunter is due for some regression while de Aza offers HRs and SB, eventually.

Question: I have Victor Martinez in an 11-team 6x6 roto (OPS and Holds). Should I go for Yasmani Grandal to replace V-Mart or wait for the average to heat up and runs to come with it? It’s a keeper league, and both would keep at a great price, but V-Mart is going to lose catcher eligibility after this year anyway. Are Grandal's small sample size numbers from last year real?

Answer: You have to sit tight here with Martinez. The track record wins out.

Question: It's no secret that George Springer is tearing it up in the minors. Obviously there is no one in the majors preventing him from being called up, so what is the plan with this guy? June? September? Or not at all this year?

Answer: He may well force his way, because I doubt they opened 2013 with plans of seeing him. But I also doubt they want to start his clock right now, so I'd bet on September at best.

Question: Time to drop B.J. for Revere? No keepers affected.

Answer: Yes. Upton is so far lost, his hitting coach is apparently Apple maps.

Question: I am in a 10-team mixed roto league. I am crushing my pitching with Felix, Yu, Scherzer, Samardzjia, and Harvey. I also traded Medlen and Jed Lowrie for David Price on the day Price got hurt.

My question: I have a friend who offered Tulo for Felix straight up. I could use some power, but with guys like Wrench on my team, I am thinking of just waiting it out. Also Tulo scares me to death with his injury history. Would love to hear your thoughts on whether I should take the deal or stand pat.

Answer: That's a totally legit deal. It's really up to you whether you can stomach the risk, but that is the star-for-star deal you should look for to improve your hitting.

Question: Do you have confidence in David Price performing even close to his old self the rest of the season? Should I trade Jordan Zimmerman straight up for Price in a daily points league? Currently in third; I sorta need strikeouts.

Answer: There is no problem in having confidence in Price once he returns, but there is no reason to pay full price for him at this time. Stick with Zimmermann.

Question: I'm in a 10-team roto 5x5 keeper league with OBP and QS. Rosters are standard ESPN with two DL slots. The keeper implications aren't really that great, so I won't include that info.

I traded Ortiz, Wieters, and Moreland. I received Kipnis, C. Santana, and Freeman.

Prior to the trade, my only C was Wieters; my 2Bs were Kinsler, Weeks, and the recently demoted Rutledge (who I played at SS); and my 1Bs were Moreland, Hosmer, and Reynolds.

Answer: I think it's a solid deal. You got rid of some risk with Ortiz's health and Moreland's continued success/playing time (though the PT is guaranteed if he keeps raking). I'm a huge Santana fan, so I love the idea of getting him.

Question: I am in an NL-only, 12-team, six-keeper league (no keeper restrictions other than you lose them when they go to the AL), but I am terrible with trade offers. Always have been. An owner sent a group e-mail saying he was looking for steals, willing to give up pitching. To get the ball rolling, I offered Valdespin for Brandon McCarthy. He replied no thanks.

And that's the problem, I don't make good initial offers, ever. I'm scared of giving up too much, so I just throw something out to get the ball rolling, but 80 percent of the time, I don't get counters. What am I doing wrong?

Answer: Either option is always perfectly fine. Trading is something that you'll get better doing with practice. Mike Gianella tackled trading almost a month ago, and I'd suggest reading his article. I've found one thing that helps me greatly is communicating with owners prior to making an offer. E-mail, text, or call the owner that's looking to trade a pitcher for steals. Ask what players on your roster they are interested in. Sometimes the other owner will be candid and inform you they do and don't like certain players. Knowing that the other owner doesn't like Valdespin, no matter what the asking price you have for him is, helps. Conversely, maybe they'll tell you that they are interested in a player that you were hoping to deal anyway.

The more information you have before making the offer, the better. If communication is tough, put yourself in that owner’s position. What would you want? The idea behind trading isn't to rip your opponent off, it is to make a deal that benefits both parties. If you get the reputation of being the owner always looking to swindle someone else, you'll have trouble making deals, even fair ones. I hope that helps.

Question: I’ve been offered Machado for Gattis in a 12-team head-to-head league. I guess the main reason I'm having trouble with pulling the trigger and making this deal is Gattis' PT going forward, as I think he'll steal some starts from Heyward/Freeman/McCann on a weekly basis to keep them fresh provided he can stay hot and keep his power stroke (which I don't think is sustainable, but he obviously has above-average power). FWIW, my OFs are Holliday/Choo/Duda, with Corey Hart coming off the DL in a few weeks (Gattis is OF eligible in ESPN).

Answer: While Gattis has been great, Machado has been better across the board and has the potential to put up top-five numbers at his position. I would look past all of your positional and roster issues and grab Machado if you still have the chance.

BP Fantasy Staff is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
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