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May 9, 2014

TTO Scoresheet Podcast

Finding Trade Targets

by Ian Lefkowitz, Ben Murphy and Jared Weiss


Now that we’ve progressed past the point in the season where most owners’ initial reluctance to tinker with their teams has melted away, it is time to begin searching for value in the trade market. As we looked for specific players to target, we identified four general themes which may prove profitable, if properly exploited.

BABIP Regression
A first step in identifying players who are likely to increase in value could be to sort a list of players by BABIP. There’s no need to sell out for the metric, but hitters with an absurdly low BABIP have a good chance to positively regress, just like pitchers with a ridiculously high BABIP, and owners who only focus on traditional statistics may simply chalk these players up as being broken.

Struggling so far this year, Pablo Sandoval is in no real danger of losing his job and bears many of the typical hallmarks of potential improvement. His poor performance does not stem from setbacks in plate discipline, but he has hit a few more ground balls than in years prior and more than double the number of infield fly balls. As a result, he’s sporting a low batting average on balls in play, which should rebound as he reverts to his career norms. As a guy we were touting before the season, consider us optimistic that he’ll rebound and be able to right the ship.

Currently triple slashing a not completely terrible .210/.315/.419, Pedro Alvarez is near the bottom of the BABIP leaderboard, sporting a shiny .209 number that’s simply not in line with what he’s done in the past or how well he’s currently hitting the ball. A frustrated owner tired of Alvarez not quite living up to expectations might be willing to part with him for a lot less than he would a month from now.

Stars at a Discount
No one is suggesting you’ll be able to get these guys cheap, but if you are willing to part with some frontline talent, you might be able to win a blockbuster trade by going after stars whose stock has dipped in the early going.

Prince Fielder owners are likely right to be panicking right now, which makes him a relatively attractive trade target. Ordinarily, it’s difficult to get someone perceived at a star at a discount from any owner who understands the value of buy low-sell high. In Prince’s case, however, there’s a weight/early decline narrative that may be sending a lot of savvy owners towards the exits. This may be accurate, but it strikes us as an opportunity for a risk-loving trader to jump in, particularly with a lot of the team owners who believe themselves to be contenders.

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Related Content:  Scoresheet,  Fantasy,  Podcasts,  Trade Targets

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<< Previous Article
Fantasy Article Daily League Strategy:... (05/09)
<< Previous Column
Fantasy Article TTO Scoresheet Podcast... (05/02)
Next Column >>
Fantasy Article TTO Scoresheet Podcast... (05/15)
Next Article >>
Fantasy Article Fantasy Starting Pitch... (05/09)

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