Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Talkin' trades

I get asked what I think about fantasy trades all the time. I always have to start my answer with the same preface: "Well, without knowing your whole roster or your team needs, here's what I think ...."

That being said, my pal Sean asked me today what I thought of this deal: Ryan Braun and Troy Tulowitzki for Hanley Ramirez. My response was this: If you can spare the steals, do it in a heartbeat.

Turns out he'd be the guy giving up Braun and Tulo, so it was a no-go. But if I was the guy dealing Hanley, I'd be all over it. Sure, he's a beast at shortstop, and you'd be parting with a huge pile of stolen bases in the deal. But even if Ramirez hit 40 homers this year, you're looking at a minimum of 60 from the other two guys. Tulowitzki's probably a bit undervalued, but with him recovering nicely from last year's injury-plagued season, I can foresee him returning to his 2007 form - which would make him a top-5 fantasy shortstop, just a peg below the elite guys like Ramirez and Jose Reyes. Then add in the hefty average and minimum of 30 homers you're bound to get from Braun, and the deal's a winner.

Anyway, I pulled off a deal of my own the other day: I shipped Bobby Abreu for Scott Kazmir. I had a serious lack of pitching with Brandon Webb on the DL and Francisco Liriano and Max Scherzer not meeting my expectations. I was in a pretty good place with stolen bases and have a decent crop of outfielders (Alex Rios, Jason Bay, Jacoby Ellsbury and Mike Cameron), so I decided to part with Abreu. With eight steals already I figure he's probably already coming up on a third of his season total (30-25-22 the past three years); he's hitting .375 and hasn't topped .300 in a season since 2004; and he hasn't hit a homer yet, which is a little disconcerting. I belive Abreu will have a fine season, just not THAT fine a season at age 35.

I've always been a Kazmir fan, and while he does have his flaws (way too many pitches per start), he's another guy who's a bit undervalued because of some slight injury problems last year. If Kaz can stay healthy for 35 starts, the potential's there for a sub-4.00 ERA, 200 Ks and 15 W's. And that's exactly what my team could use.

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