Banking on Oliver
Trade question for you, 12 team 5 X 5:
I give up Javy Vazquez and get back Oliver Perez and Manny Corpas.
My other pitchers are Haren, Kazmir, Cain, Hughes, Soria, Gregg, Accardo, Al Reyes and Heath Bell
Tom in Chicago
Go for it! While Javy was underrated heading into last year, I think he’s a bit overrated as we enter 2008. Don’t get me wrong, Vazquez will always be a valuable fantasy option due to his consistently high strikeout rate. But last season was the first since 2003 in which he posted an ERA below 4.40. And the home runs have always been an issue, resulting in a fluctuating ERA that’s largely based on how many runners are on when he serves them up. Now Oliver Perez is far from a sure thing. In fact, he’s probably the single most frustrating pitcher to own. That being said, I’ve got two words for you…contract year. Coming off his best season since the magical 2004 campaign with the Pirates, Perez has all the incentive in the world to perform at a high level. The main criticism of Oliver throughout his career has been his lack of focus. I just have a feeling that won’t be a problem this time around! Perez will match if not exceed Vazquez’s strikeout total, and pitches in a much more favorable home ballpark. Though it’s quite possible that Perez can have a better year than Vazquez, I’m not even counting on that. But factoring in the addition of Corpas to what looks like a shaky closer situation (Gregg’s on a short leash and Accardo’s the setup man as long as Ryan is healthy), the swap is well worth the risk.
Zach Steinhorn, MLB.com