June 27, 2014
Veterans With Value
It’s only natural to have a bias toward younger players and prospects in dynasty formats. After all, they are the gift that keeps on giving, especially in leagues that don’t have limits on how long one can be kept. We know going into the season that older players are undervalued, and yet we still can’t help ourselves from reaching when it comes to the promising young ones.
So, we know there’s value to be had all over the place in the over-30 range, as guys are still exiting their primes, but what about the 35-plus crowd. The names below won’t surprise you, as you have to be pretty good to hold value into your mid-30s, but they are a subset of players that I think can hold their value for the next 2-3 seasons, which is reason enough to hold onto/target them in dynasty leagues.
Jayson Werth – OF – Washington Nationals
Moreover, even when unhealthy, he’s productive. Since his first season mediocrity in DC, Werth has posted OPS’ of 827 (81 games) and 931 (129 games). In a 20-team dynasty league of mine, Werth was recently traded straight up for Jimmy Nelson. I’m well aware that one trade is the ultimate small sample size, but that even one person would consider this deal makes me comfortable with the idea that Werth is not being valued correctly in dynasty leagues. He’s still productive enough to be a OF2 when he’s right, and he’ll even contribute on the basepaths here and there.
Aramis Ramirez – 3B – Milwaukee Brewers
He’s not a complete player, as his defense is an issue and his struggle to stay on the field is quite real. Still, with the lackluster production from the position in general (.253/.317/.394 league average slash line), Ramirez is something of an elite option there. Knocking him down a few pegs for age-related reasons is more than fair, but drop him too far and you’ll only be hurting yourself.
David Ortiz – DH – Boston Red Sox
Ever since then it appears that people seem to think his value will just expire at any given moment. With this year’s .253/.354/.480 slash line representing his worst since 2009, there might be a bit of a buy-low window here. He’s still connected for 18 home runs on the year and is suffering from a .250 BABIP, which you might think isn’t that bad since he doesn’t move so fast, but he has a career BABIP of .303. He’s striking out a bit more than normal, but his walk rates are holding steady. There’s not much to worry about with Ortiz, as long as he wants to play, so if someone is panicking about the batting average, step in and steal him.
Marlon Byrd – OF – Philadelphia Phillies
The honest answer is that he’s neither as bad as he was in 2012 nor as good as he was last year, as variance was likely rearing its ugly head. Instead, he’s likely the player his is this year (or a similar permutation): .266/.316/.478, good for a .267 TAv. Nothing special there, but certainly usable in deep dynasty leagues, even considering his lack of speed. As part of an increasingly decrepit Phillies lineup, many owners discount Byrd’s ability not only due to his own age, but due to the age and ineffectiveness of those around him. That leaves opportunity for the enterprising owner to step in, give up a C-grade prospect and augment his title run.