Unreads for 4/17

I have too many closers in one league.  I have Putz on the DL and Soria, Gagne, C.J. Wilson, and Betancourt.  
The league plays 8 positions plus util, 7 pitchers, 4 bench, and 2 DL.  The league has standard 5 x 5 scoring, but quality starts instead of wins. 
I am trying to upgrade my third outfielder (Hermida) or DH (Thome).  The rest of my offense is stacked, in part from past keepers: C: R. Martin; 1B D. Lee; 2B R. Weeks; 3B A-Rod; SS: Han-Ram; OF x 3: M. Holliday, J. Franceour, and J. Hermida; UTIL: J. Thome.  My SP is also solid: Sabbathia, Harang, McGowan, Grienke, Perez, and pitch-or-ditch.  I also have Harden on the DL and an injured Victorino on the bench. 
I received the following offer: I give Hermida and CJ Wilson and get T. Hunter.  I think I should hold out for more.  Am I too high on Hermida?  Thoughts?


Hey Lucas,

Although this is certainly a fair deal, I’d sit tight.  As of now, Hunter’s undoubtedly an upgrade over Hermida, as Torii’s hit at least 23 homers in six of the last seven seasons.  But his days of stealing 20+ bases are likely over.  A .275-25-85-15 campaign is just about what you’re going to get from Hunter, no more and possibly a bit less.  Looking at your offense, there’s very little room for improvement.  Adding 10 homers, the likely difference between Hunter’s and Hermida’s final total, won’t make much of a difference  Hermida has yet to live up to the hype that came along with his “star prospect” tag, but much of that was due to injuries.  If he can just stay on the field for a full season, I think he’ll come close to matching Hunter in value by year’s end, not hitting as many homers but having more upside in the batting average department.  If Putz comes back healthy and pitches anything like he did last year, your closer situation is fine.  But it’s always a good idea to assume the worst when filling a certain need.  I like how you’ve compensated for the lack of certainty surrounding Putz by giving yourself many options.  And that’s why I’d be hesitant to deal Wilson, whose job appears safe.  Wilson’s opened the season by throwing seven scoreless innings.  Combine that with a 3.03 ERA in 2007, and C.J. looks to be a more than adequate second or third closer.  Hold onto as many potential saves as you can.  With this offense, an improvement at the third outfield spot shouldn’t be considered a priority.  And don’t forget you already have Victorino.  There’s plenty of outfield depth here without Hunter.

Zach Steinhorn, MLB.com

I am in a 12 team league and I have Sizemore, Ellsbury, Willingham, and Ethier as my current Outfielders. Johnny Damon is currently sitting on waivers as he has been slumping this season. I have always felt Damon was a little overrated, but he is looking very tempting. Would it be wise for me to pick him up for one of my current outfielders? I am also thinking about trading Ellsbury and a weaker RP to get a decent closer and a mediocre OF who will likely sit on my bench or get dropped for a better OF… possibly Damon if this plays into your suggestion. Please give a suggestion even if I do not make the proposed trade, but if you have additional suggestions, I would appreciate that too.


Damon will be more productive right now than Ellsbury or Ethier because his playing time is more predictable. Ellsbury has some serious batting average and steals potential, but, at age 24, he might not start to realize that potential until late this season or next season. He is hitting just .233 and is batting at the bottom of Boston’s order. He could be holding center field warm for Coco Crisp before the veteran returns from leg soreness.

Ethier’s past production shows that he should be playing left field every day, but Dodgers manager Joe Torre seems determined to give Juan Pierre playing time. I think Ethier (.308, 11 RBIs) still has better value this season than Ellsbury. You have to figure that Torre will come to his senses at some point and just let the 26-year-old lefty play every day. He’s too good of a hitter to keep on the bench.

With that said, Damon gives you the best chance to help you win right now. He has averaged 104 runs, 26 steals and a .355 on-base percentage in his first two seasons with the Yankees and he can come very close to matching those numbers this season – as long as he stays healthy.

Hold off on the trades until you get a clearer idea of the playing time for Ellbury and Ethier.

Kyle Stack, MLB.com



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