This week's mailbag includes a question about trading for Stephen Strasburg, among many other topics.
Writing to you all the way from Ghana, and although I have to watch games on tape delay and have ABSOLUTELY no one to talk ball, with there are some perks. For instance, I just picked up Jose Valverde on waivers right after Leyland said that he would be the closer as the rest of my fantasy league mates drifted of to a West Coast sleep. Always give me half a day where I know the rest of my league will be sound asleep, and I can pick apart the waiver wire in peace.
Making trades at this stage might be necessary to make up ground in the second half, but mean lots of moving pieces.
On Thursday, I talked about the way I approach making trades at this point in the season. Today, I thought I’d walk you through a real-life example of how I think about trades from one of my own leagues: Tout Wars NL. Below, you’ll find the standings by category and my roster. Before you read about how I’ve been approaching trades, try to figure out what you would do in my situation.
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Depth has value, but you'll never realize that value if it's sitting on your bench.
Consider this situation: you’re in a 12-team AL-only league, and your roster boasts Jason Kipnis at second base, Derek Jeter at short, Trevor Plouffe at middle infield, and Brian Dozier on the bench. While Dozier is not exactly a superstar, he is still a full-time player with non-negligible value in a league of this depth. In fact, according to our PFM, Dozier is actually worth $9 in such a league. My question is this: does it make sense to keep a player like this on your bench as depth/insurance/in case of injury, or are you wasting him in such a role?
It’s my contention that, in general, it’s a waste. At the auction back in March, each player is given $260 to accrue as much value as possible. While “value” in this abstract sense doesn’t correlate perfectly with points in the standings, it does serve as a pretty good proxy and continues to do so throughout the year. You’d have a hard time losing your league with a roster full of $30-plus players, no matter how the categories fall. And on the flip side, you’re not going to win your league if you have a roster full of $5 players, even if they’re all highly specialized. Accruing value is one of the most important things a fantasy player can do, and to take that a step further, one must make sure to actually make use of the value accrued.
How many of the last millenium's burning baseball questions remain unanswered over a decade down the road?
While looking toward the future with our comprehensive slate of current content, we'd also like to recognize our rich past by drawing upon our extensive online archive of work dating back to 1997. In an effort to highlight the best of what's gone before, we'll be bringing you a weekly blast from BP's past, introducing or re-introducing you to some of the most informative and entertaining authors who have passed through our virtual halls. If you have fond recollections of a BP piece that you'd like to nominate for re-exposure to a wider audience, send us your suggestion.
Over 11 years after their publication in Baseball Prospectus 2000, how many of Keith's questions for a new millenium have we already set to rest?
With the CBA due to run out after the 2011 season, the industry is considering reforms of the ways amateur talent gets brought into the game.
When looking back at the economics of signing July 2nd talent, the amateur draft kept coming up. The draft indirectly ties to the Latin American market in a number of ways, and this relationship could be changing due to the other topic that kept coming up: the Collective Bargaining Agreement, which expires in December of 2011. The most talked-about reforms-mandated slots in the draft and a worldwide draft-have been kicked around in the past, but have gained more support in recent years. Covering amateur baseball is about looking forward, so I'll spend the next few articles breaking down the issues that both sides will be considering when they come to the table.
The trade winds aren't blowing, but here's a focus on some of the most frequently-named names on the market.
We've launched the summer version of "The Mill," which will take us up through the trade deadline. In addition to Will Carroll's regular reports from the front, we'll have even more inside information from the equally well-connected John Perrotto and Kevin Goldstein. Even though we all know that most rumored deals don't come to fruition, reading about them, talking about them, and picking them apart are guilty pleasures that I think all fans share.
"Who of us would not be glad to lift the veil behind which the future lies hidden, to cast a glance at the next advances of our science and at the secrets of its development during future years? What particular goals will there be toward which the leading sabermetric spirits of coming generations will strive? What new methods and new facts in the wide and rich field of sabermetric thought will the new years disclose?" Here at Baseball Prospectus, we're not completely immune to the general fascination with the recent turn of the world's odometer. So, with this edition marking the final year of the second millennium, let's take a look forward at what the third holds for us seamheads. Our inspiration comes from a similar effort nearly 100 years ago. In 1900, a mathematician named David Hilbert addressed the International Congress of Mathematicians in Paris and delivered what was to become history's most influential speech about mathematics. Hilbert outlined 23 major problems to be studied in the coming century. In doing so he expressed optimism about the field, sharing his feeling that unsolved problems were a sign of vitality, encouraging more people to do more research. The above quote is, in fact, a bastardization of the opening statements of Hilbert's speech. Hilbert referred to mathematics instead of sabermetrics and spoke in terms of "centuries" instead of "years." Given the relative youth of sabermetrics and baseball analysis compared to math, it's appropriate to use a period of smaller scope than Hilbert. The quotes that appear periodically throughout this essay are similarly taken from Hilbert's speech and altered to refer to baseball analysis.