May 2006

Cole Hamels and unread for 5-15-06

Sean in Boston writes:

A guy in my league just picked up Hamels and said he would deal him. I have Granderson and Huff to deal and he said he wants Huff? Should I do this deal straight up? Thanks


If you have offense to spare and need pitching, I’d go for it. Huff will heat up as the season progresses — he’s always been a slow starter — but he can’t be viewed as an elite or irreplaceable offensive player. And while Hamels is very risky in some respects — he’s young, inexperienced, has a long history of injuries, etc. — his upside is enormous. This is a classic deal of risk vs. reward, and I think the reward outweighs the risk. I’d do it.


I’d do it too. Two of Cole’s injuries resulted because he was immature (broke hand playing football and again sticking up for a buddy in a fight) so I think he’ll stay out of trouble. The big question is what is Hamels worth period? This is extremely similar to King Felix, Rich Harden and Scott Kazmir’s ascensions to the bigs and how clamored people were for them. Since it is “only” Huff and not say Carlos Lee then go for it.

For more fantasy insight catch us weekdays at 11 a.m. ET on the Fantasy 411. For more info go to

Unread e-mail for May 12th 2006.


How about some points league Love??
10 Team league standard Counting Categories. Starting 3 OF
My Pitching is killing me and my OF is DEEP (Vlad, Beltran, Sizemore, C.Tracy, and Willingham)
Been offered J.Beckett for C. Beltran – Do I pull the trigger?
My Rotation is: C.Shambrano, Burhele, Bonderman, D.Davis
Closers: Lidge, Izzy, Fuentes
1450 Inning limit.


I would not do that deal. First, Zambrano and Isringhausen in particular will both pitcher better as the season progresses, so your pitching will get better in time on its own. And while Davis is a useful pitcher, he’s not someone you should hang onto all season in a 10-team league if he’s struggling. First, Willingham belongs in your lineup at catcher, and if you already have a good catcher you’d play ahead of him — and there aren’t that many — then you are losing value by not trading him and capitalizing on his catcher eligibility. He is one of the top 10 offensive catchers in the game so some team in your league should want him if you can’t play him. Shop him (or your other catcher), not Beltran.

For more fantasy insight catch us weekdays at 11 a.m. ET on the Fantasy 411. For more info go to

2nd Base is featured on two unreads for May 11th 2006.

Andrew in VA asks:

I’ve been listening to your pod cast for a while and have been hearing patience being preached with Marcus Giles– the guy is killing me now. I was thinking of grabbing Lowell or Uggla off waivers – any suggestions?

When interrogated by Jack Bauer, the fifth dentist cracked and admitted he recommends Colgate.


I don’t mind picking up Lowell or Uggla since they are both swinging the bats well right now, but I wouldn’t give up on Giles. He’s historically a slow starter but picks it up over the summer months and should still be a good bet to hit around .300 with 15 or more homers and steals. Once he gets hot, he’ll start scoring more runs and should end up at or over 100, since the top half of the Braves lineup is very productive, although his RBI totals will be weaker this year than in past seasons.


I would pick up Lowell and stash Giles. I think if you cut Giles someone else will pick him up immediately which means he has value.


brad writes:

hey guyz

show is nuts.

had a question about my second basemen.  i drafted

cantu but hes hurt.  when is he coming back?  and also

who should i play at second while hes hurt?  i have

Brandon Philips there now.  some guyz on the waiver

wire are: Loretta, cano, Jose Lopez, vidro, biggio,

barfield, todd walker, belliard, and Craig counsel. *

i could use some steals.


Cantu will be out at least through the end of the month and possibly longer. If you need speed, go for Barfield, since he has seven and chips in with a little power, too. Those are all solid options, though, so don’t be afraid to play the hot hand.


I stick with Phillips but keep a close eye on the situation because Griffey Jr was just activated and is back in the lineup tonight. If Phillips gets benched twice in the next few days you have to go out and get someone who plays everyday like Barfield so you keep the speed quota going.

For more fantasy insight catch us weekdays at 11 a.m. ET on the Fantasy 411. For more info go to

Unread e-mail for May 10th 2006.

OK so the Yankees got their *** kicked by Beckett and the Sox, but my fantasy teams are doing OK.

Here is the unread e-mail of the day and a recurring theme for the show.


Hey guys,

I gotta request this again.  Can you broadcast pitch and ditch for the current day as well as a couple of the best ones for the next day?  I am in a yahoo league which has transactions for the next day, plus I am an podcast listener.  So I cant check the broadcast until that evening, after your recs already started.  Otherwise you guys are awesome…def hooked to the podcast.

Siano with the blessing of Schwartz:

Kunal and the many others who have requested this here is my reasoning for not doing this. It simply takes up too much time. With incredible response you the listeners have provided to us knuckleheads I still leave each show with remorse because it is now literally impossible to get every e-mail or IM in much less the daily pitch or ditch sequence and the phone calls. I will admit something. I love taking the calls. I am from the old school sports radio world and as a fan loves the caller segments. I feel for the people who can’t call in because they are working, in class etc….

We have also been nudged to make the show 2 hours a day. Trust us we would love to! Unfortunately Cory and I have desks begging us to come back to them at noon each day and I swear to you even with two hours a day we would not be able to read every e-mails and IM’s.

Back to Kunal. Here is my meet everyone mid way solution for you Yahooers and shame on you! Just Kidding. When you send your e-mails to put in the subject line yahoo. I will sort by subject each show and hit those e-mails as quickly as we can to try and ease the yahoo pain a little.

Enjoy the podcast and hope this helps some. 

For more fantasy insight catch me and Cory weekdays at 11 a.m. ET on the Fantasy 411. For more info go to

Yanks vs Sox and Unread E-mail of the day for May 9th 2006.

Getting this done now because I will be distracted by the anticipation of tonights Unit vs Beckett game in the boogie down that I will be attending. I know alot of people not in the Northeast roll their eyes at the whole Yankee vs Red Sox hype, so I will just say this, as far as I’m concerned this rivalry lives up to the hype ten fold. I have alot of respect for Giants/Dodgers, Cards/Cubs and some of the ones brewing in the AL Central, but you look at how this rivalry has escalated in the past three plus seasons with the amount of times they have played (52 in a two year span including the ALCS) and it really turn these two cities on their heads. If it’s not your cup of tea no sweat, there are plenty of great games the next few days.

on to the unread of the day

Tom in Boston:

10 team 5×5 23 man rosters.  We have a 1500 innings cap, but Pitch or Ditch is not an option (twice weekly transactions with FAAB).  I am going to pick up somebody on the wire, which of these guys do you like most?

Tom Glavine
El Duque
Chris Young
Aaron Harang
Brad Radke
King Bannister

Here is my staff right now
Freddy Garcia


Stash Harden on the DL and pick up Harang; even though he pitches in a tough home park he’s a List of 12 favorite for this year and has so far backed that up with an excellent K/BB ratio. I also like Chris Young, since his youth and very favorable home park give him plenty of upside. Garcia is the first guy I’d cut, followed by Maddux; his hot start may or may not continue but wins will be scarce without Derrek Lee around to drive the Cubs "offense".


Harang is the guy Tom, even though Glavine is tempting I can’t see him keeping it up with the strikeouts. I have a glimmer of hope that Gracia can turn it around. But in a ten team league I’ll take Harang and cut Garcia.

For more fantasy insight catch me and Cory weekdays at 11 a.m. ET on the Fantasy 411. for more info go to

Oh the Royals and unread e-mail for the 8th of May.

"We’re all trying to get on the same page … Well, I guess we’ve been on the same page. We’ve all been *******. We want to get on a different page."
–Royals outfielder Emil Brown, on the team’s struggles (Kansas City Star)

Ryan in Minneapolis writes:

I just wanted to make a case for early-season trading. In one league 
(12 team mixed, 25 man rosters) i traded up from Michael young, 
griffey, and Delgado, and after a few trades with a few different 
people (which involved obtaining guys like gomes and lackey and 
flipping them after hot early starts) during the first week of the 
season, i ended up with Vlad, teixera, and peavy. you won’t find a 
league where you can draft Vlad, teixera, David wright, Dunn, victor 
Martinez, and peavy with your first 6 picks.

(in case you’re wondering, the rest of the offense hasn’t been hurt 
with the trading; I’ve got weeks, hardy, edmonds, and Edwin 
encarnacion set as my other starters)


Ryan, I’m all in favor. It’s never too early to identify the strengths and weaknesses of your team and the rest in your league, or to take advantage of buying opportunities when other owners panic. One of the mantras of the 411 is that hitters hit, so within reason, I’m all in favor of making early deals to pick up undervalued bats that should improve as the season progresses.


My big issue with Cory was having a problem with people who don’t want to trade early not necessarily the theory of trading early. Granted I’m more patient in a 12 team mixed to try and not shoot myself in the foot by overpaying for a player when I had a good one to begin with. In a deep non-mixed I am the opposite. I jump on people right away because teams will clam up the further you get along whether it’s because they don’t want to make changes or are so bad they have lost interest altogether. You obviously did a great job, but I think you’re an exception because if you think about it how many owners in your league could have pulled this off since you can only make so many moves if everyone is doing it.

For more fantasy insight catch me and Cory weekdays at 11 a.m. ET on the Fantasy 411. for more info go to

Unread email for May 3rd 2006 and playing with your friends.

You will see in Brad’s e-mail below how he mentions he is in a league with his friends but it is very competitive. To me there is nothing better. To be able to talk trash, have bragging rights but at the same time really enjoy the season and intensity makes fantasy sports what it is. For fantasy football I play in two leagues with all friends with one of the leagues being guys from my hometown. In the 411 Listener league I don’t even know what some of these guys look like but I consider them friends and look forward to competing with them each year. A true gift to yourself if you haven’t been able to is to get in a league with your buddies because it can be a blast.

Brad in Chi-city:

Hey guys,
Devoted podcast listener, love the show, quick question on a trade:
Mixed, 5×5, yahoo league
All friends but very competitive, I’ve got what I think is the best team I’ve had since the league started, should I trade:

Berkman, Furcal, Freel for,

Vic Martinez, Chone "to the bone" Figgins?

Am I killing my team?  I need the steals, and figure I get the same production out of Figgins as Freel and Furcal combined.  I waited to draft a Catcher way too long, so I’ve got Olivo slotted in there for now.

Thanks for any help.


Brad, I think you are getting plenty of value in return but perhaps overpaying a bit due to Furcal’s slow start. Despite Martinez’s position scarcity, Berkman is at worst a comparable offensive player and likely more valuable strictly on production. Furcal — when he’s producing — is only a notch or two below Figgins, and you’re throwing in a guy in Freel who is eligible all over the field and also adds the steals. See if you can get a third player of some value thrown in there — a setup reliever who might help you or a fifth outfielder you can use on Mondays and Thursdays. This is a pretty good deal now but I think you can push for a little more.


Brad one mistake we as fantasy players need to avoid is overpaying for our sins from draft day. Luckily for you you seem to have a shot at getting a premier guy in Victor  at a horrible fantasy position. In an AL only league I moved my boy Dan Haren and Greg Zaun for Jorge Posada and Rodrigo Lopez. If I didn’t get the arm back even though it was a lesser arm then Haren’s I wouldn’t have done the deal. My point being don’t like you say “kill” yourself just because you hate having Olivo. If you have the depth in the OF I would much rather you traded Berkman for Victor and say a 5th OF. Leave Furcal and Freel out of this if you can.

Happy Hony Tonk Koronka Donk Day

For more fantasy insight catch me and Cory weekdays at 11 a.m. ET on the Fantasy 411. for more info go to

Unread E-mail of the day for May 2nd 2006.

Paul in Marion, Iowa writes:

I am in a 10 NL only.  26 man roster, 16 hitters & 10 pitchers.
I am in 2nd place, but I got off to a slow start with saves.  I have Armando Benitez.
Most guys have 2 closers or 1 and a half  closers.  I just don’t see Benitez having
alot of value in my league.  I am thinking of blowing off saves.  I could use a good starter
and a 2nd catcher.  I need whip and era. 
I thinking about trading Benitez for like Mulder or a lesser starter and a catcher.
What do you think?


I don’t believe in punting a category if you can at least remain competitive, and although Benitez is in the lower tier right now, he can give you enough to be worth at least a few points. Since you need WHIP and ERA, work the market for decent middle relievers who can give you a little help there — Matt Capps got a mention on today’s show and has strong numbers so far — and wait for the next closer turnover to occur. Don’t rule out some change in Atlanta (Reitsma isn’t that good), Cincinnati (if Weathers slumps), Florida (it’s wide-open), Pittsburgh (if Gonzalez can’t get the job done) or St. Louis (if Isringhausen continues to walk the park), never mind the ever-present risk of injury. It’s a long season, be patient.


Ive never been a fan of punting either. I understand why some people decide to do it and I know leagues have been won while punting, but it is way too risky. If I had Mulder I may not give him to you straight up for Benitez much less include a catcher. In the 411 league I am currently in 3rd while being dead last in saves. Granted I have Hoffman and Cordero so I’m in better shape then you but if you were to acquire one more closer or hang in there you would see the points to be had.

For more fantasy insight catch me and Cory weekdays at 11 a.m. ET on the Fantasy 411. For more info go to

Catching up on the unread e-mails..

Unread e-mail of the day for Thursday April 27Th.

Pete from Jordan:
guys. 5×5 mixed yahoo keeper league. won it last year, now everyone is gunning for me. my team is solid again in every category but saves. I’m in dead last with valverde, burgos, foulke, and putz. i want to replace the last three with legit closers, but nobody will trade their bonafide closers to me. otsukah, baez, and papelbon were snatched seconds before i could get to them. 2 questions: 1: how would you rank foulke, putz and burgos if you were dropping 2 of them for bench spots or "pitch-or-ditch?"  2:would you hold tight with these guys and try to snag the next papelbon, or overpay for closers? p.s. I’ve staked my ENTIRE reputation on Foulke coming back to close in Boston.   –

Well, as Jeff Weaver will tell you, it’s a bad idea to stake your entire reputation on one guy unless it’s Albert Pujols! Foulke has been pitching well this year but with Papelbon perfect in 10 save chances, it’s unlikely the Sox will make a change any time soon. Putz is also pitching well but Guardado nailed his last save chance so his job should be safe for a little longer, too. And while Burgos is the Royals closer, what’s that worth on a team that only has five wins? I’d never recommend overpaying for a closer, but you are going to have to make a trade to get back into the race in that category.

Pete it looks like that no matter how well Foulke looks Terry Francona will have a very hard time taking Papelbon out of the job since he now had folk hero status in Boston and tag on the fact he made the Yanks look silly Monday night. I would rank it Burgos, Putz and then Foulke, but only because Burgos “is” the closer. I still believe much like I did in 2005 that Guardado will be traded and Putz will take over. Bottom line this is a bad situation for you and you have to make a significant trade while trying to avoid overpaying. Good luck.

Unread e-mail of the day for May 1st.

from –Chris, PA

Cory and Mike,

  I am a new listener and need some team advise:

6×6 roto, 10 Team Yahoo, 5 BN, 1 DL

Here is my current roster:

C    K. Johjima
1B   N. Johnson
2B   C. Biggio
3B   M. Ensberg
SS   J. Reyes
OF   C. Tracy
OF   M. Alou
OF   J. Damon
Util   T. Hafner
BN   E. Chavez
BN   M. Lorretta
DL    D. Lee

K. Rogers
D. Lowe
J. Bonderman
B. Penny
S. Kasmir
J. Schmidt
J. Patterson
D. Turnbow
A. Benitez
S. Shields

I just acquired Ensberg for Crawford & Bedard then got S. Kasmir as a FA.  I already had Eric Chavez at 3rd and have Hafner stuck at Util.  I now think I want to keep both 3B for depth and shop Hafner to open up my positions.  I already have an offer out, Hafner for Abreu but have no response yet.  If this goes through it is perfect as I gain speed while retaining most other stats and can now bench Tracy and activate Chavez.  If this falls through I was looking at Gomes or Wells as replacements for Hafner.  I think OF is best for me now to open things up since Tracy is my only multiple position eligible player (1B, 3B, OF).  Any suggestions on OF I can get in return for Hafner that are comparable or another approach here?

Also the guy I gave Crawford & Bedard to dropped Isringhausen to make room.  Should I make a waver claim for him since he is pitching so poor and could lose the Closer spot?  If so, who do I drop for him?


Chris, I would claim Isringhausen and drop one of your starters — probably Derek Lowe — since you don’t need to carry that many in a 10-team league. There are probably plenty of good starters available on the waiver wire so a closer, even a struggling one like Isringhausen is worth more.

Also, I’d prefer Wells over Gomes if you were going to deal Hafner; in any case, Tracy is not a good enough player to warrant an everyday spot in a 10-team league like this. Your goal should be to replace him and make a spot in your lineup for Chavez. If necessary, you can cut Loretta right now, since he’s scuffling badly and Biggio is good enough to hold down that spot for the immediate future.

I agree with Cory. The point here is that you are in a ten team league so you have way more wiggle room to cut bait with struggling players like Loretta and pick up what could turn out to be a gift in Izzy. I prefer Wells over Gomes as well even though Gomes isn’t a far second.