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July 12, 2013

Fantasy Mailbag

Getting the Best Deal

by BP Fantasy Staff

Question: I inherited a terrible, last-place team in a 20-team dynasty 5x5 roto. I've made a few smaller trades, but the best trade chip I inherited is Clayton Kershaw. I'm sort of new to fantasy baseball, definitely to a dynasty league. I'm having trouble gauging player values now and going forward. What sort of player(s) is Kershaw worth? I know a lot of people prefer hitters over pitchers, even one of the best. Should I try to trade him in the offseason, or now? I tried to get Manny Machado and Carlos Gonzalez in separate trades and was denied both times. I've been offered a trade for Jason Heyward and Mike Moustakas. Both suck this year, but both are young and have been good. As you can see below I really need offense and to get younger. I really like Heyward, but I'm also a biased Braves fan. This same team also has Oscar Taveras (but won't trade), Jonathan Singleton, Gary Brown, Taijuan Walker, and Jameson Taillon as other potential interests. How should I be gauging unproven prospects with a player like Kershaw?

Answer: Maybe Heyward and Walker or Taillon. I definitely like the idea of getting an offensive centerpiece for Kershaw.

Question: For some unknown reason, some dude dropped Zack Wheeler for Brett

Cecil in my 16-team dynasty league. Stupid, I know. But, I'm wondering how much of my remaining $42 FAAB I should bid for Wheeler. (We start with $100.)

Some context: I'm currently out of playoff contention and am building for next year and beyond, obviously. My pitching staff is average and missing anyone with huge potential (unless you count Trevor Bauer), so this would be a nice addition to my team.

I'm thinking $20-$21 on my bid, since I'd like to keep some FAAB the rest of the way in case more value appears on the wire. Do you think that's too high? Too low? About right?

Answer: You might have to go higher after he finally had a good outing. Maybe $28-31.

Question: 14-team, four-keeper head-to-head league. I've been offered Evan Longoria and Cliff Lee for King Felix and Hyun-Jin Ryu. Longoria could plug the hole that I've got in my 3B spot. What do you think?

Answer: I say yes. Love cashing in on Ryu's initial success, as there's a pretty good chance this is as good as it gets for him.

Question: I'm trying hard to finally unload Pujols and his bad, $48 contract in my 14-team 5x5 h2h mixed keeper league. I need to replace his production but not his position (A-Gon is my other 1B) and hoping to get $0.75 to the $1 for this auction mistake. I'm still in playoff contention and trying to make a run, not that anyone would offer me any half-decent prospects. Offers are weak so far, but a competitor has offered me the underachieving Billy Butler in return at $13. I love a country breakfast as much as the next guy, but should I pull the trigger?

Answer: I think we forget how low three-quarters of a guy is, even someone like Pujols (who, remember, isn't old school Pujols anymore) so maybe the other offers were solid. At any rate, Butler is a winner. Plus I don't think he's much of a disappointment. The power has regressed more than I thought, but I certainly didn't think he established a new level last year and he's still on pace for 90 RBI. The runs are down, but that's not his fault, as his OBP is the second-best of his career.

Question: Due to a strange league design in my head-to-head points league, the pitching waiver wire selection is extraordinarily deep. Currently, CC Sabathia and R.A. Dickey are available. I would like to snag them because, even if they aren't pitching consistently well now, they could make the difference come playoffs (greatest upside), and if they fail to ever get it going again, the alternatives are plentiful. But if I were to do that, I'd have to drop two of the following: Jeff Samardzija, Matt Moore, Bartolo Colon, Zack Greinke, Cole Hamels, Yu Darvish.

Would you make the moves, and if so, whom would you drop?

Answer: It's hard to get my head around this, but I don't think you really have guys worth cutting even to get those potential studs. Maybe Moore, Greinke, and Hamels are right in that CC/RA range, but then you're hoping to get the hotter hand when you cut your guys and it just seems like a mess.

Question: I was hoping to run a trade by you guys to see your thoughts. I'm in a mixed 12-team league, 6x6 (OBP/SLG and K/9). My hitting has been decent though I lack power, but pitching has fallen off due to injuries, ineffectiveness, and somehow not drafting any closers (apparently my haughtiness at all of my league-mates over drafting them came back to bite me in the ass).

Anyway, I'm looking for pitching help, and I have MI, OF, and C gluts to trade from. My MI guys are Robinson Cano, Kyle Seager, Hanley Ramirez, Jhonny Peralta, and Jose Reyes. OFs are Matt Joyce, Jacoby Ellsbury, Desmond Jennings, Nick Markakis, Brett Gardner, Coco Crisp, and Lorenzo Cain. Cs are Salvador Perez and Victor Martinez.

Now, with all of that intro out of the way, I currently have this offer on the table: Cano and V-Mart for Hunter Pence and David Price. Pence would be second on my team in HR and Price would give me an ace to pair with Hamels if he ever turns around. Am I giving up too much? What are your thoughts on Price ROS? (Note, my original offer of Jennings and V-Mart for Price was turned down, though he did have a willingness to pick that back up if I don't like this offer.)

Answer: This isn't too bad, but since your big issue is the pitching, I'd prefer a more stable arm than Price and/or a more power-oriented bat than Pence. Pence has been an excellent all-around player this year (not too far off of Carlos Gomez, who has been downright Troutian), but I'd prefer a Domonic Brown or Nelson Cruz type. Or if you went down to a Mark Trumbo, that might afford you to get someone with Price's ceiling who is also not injured and thus less risky

Question: I'm in a points league, in which everyone keeps eight guys in a dynasty format. It's a draft, but the keepers don't align to any draft position, so each year the draft essentially starts in round nine.

It would take too long to explain the entire points system, but a few data points to show how the system skews a little toward pitching:

I'm basically out of the running this year, so I'm looking toward the future. I was just offered Jurickson Profar and Eric Hosmer, and the other guy's No. 1 and No. 3 picks for Edwin Encarnacion and Jered Weaver. I have Jean Segura, Starlin Castro, and Ian Kinsler, so I'm not sure I have much use for Profar (and I'm not sure how good he'll actually be from a fantasy perspective). But I could always turn around and try to flip Kinsler or both Kinsler and Castro for a higher -ier keeper. And the picks are helpful because there will inevitably be some decent talent out there in the first couple rounds of the draft.

Thoughts about getting Profar and Hosmer in a dynasty keeper league? Am I getting enough for a stud like E5?

Answer: While I really like Profar, I'm not sure that he's a surefire top-eight-round guy. Same with Hosmer. Meanwhile, EE is top-three-round guy, so it really depends on how valuable those picks are for you. I'm torn; it seems fair to me, but make sure you're getting the best deal that's out there for you.

BP Fantasy Staff is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
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Fantasy Mailbag: Strat... (06/28)
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