Unreads for 4/24/08

Hi guys,
16 team 5×5.  My outfielders are Upton, Rios, Markakis, Burrell, and the fifth spot I just rotate in whoever is hot.  My only closer is Gagne (but I do have Broxton).  I’ve been offered K-Rod for Markakis.  Would you guys do that deal?
Here’s my team if you need to know more:

SP:  Hamels, Dice-K, Gallardo, Myers
RP:  Gagne, Broxton
C:  Kendall, Torrealba
1B:  Pujols
2B:  Kendrick
SS:  Furcal
3B:  Glaus
CI:  Butler
MI:  Felipe Lopez
OF:  Upton, Rios, Markakis, Burrell, Catalanotto
DH:  Overbay
Bench:  Bailey, Lind, other guys I pick up and drop
Thanks for the help,
Nelson in Vancouver

Hey Nelson,

Although this trade is far from a no-brainer, I’d still do it.  Considering the size of the league, this outfield is stacked.  I’m a big fan of Markakis, and losing him probably reduces your outfield from dominant to above average.  But in a 16 teamer, there’s a huge difference between having one so-so closer and having two closers with one being dominant.  Sure, solid closers can be had off the waiver wire over the course of a season, but there’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to get them, especially in a large and competitive league.  And you’ll need at least one more!  Gagne has been extremely shaky of late, and I’d be really be hesitant to rely on him as my only stopper.  Burrell appears headed towards a monster season in his contract year, and as long as Upton doesn’t completely collapse (and he won’t), he’ll be a more than suitable third outfielder.  I still like this group a lot, even without Markakis.  I’m a little concerned about your power, as Glaus could never be relied upon to play a full season.  I’d try to couple this deal with one that offers a slight upgrade at either 3B, CI, or DH.  Either way, feel comfortable making the trade.

Zach Steinhorn, MLB.com

Hi guys,

An interesting trade has been proposed to me, and I can’t seem to make up my mind about it. I was wondering if you could share some of your sage-like advice. The league: 12 team mixed keeper, vanilla scoring, NFBC style roster.

The trade: I get Ryan Howard and Johnny Cueto for
Markakis and Harangotang. I need home runs, so getting Howard is huge. However, I’m not sure what to expect from Cueto and was wondering your opinion.

Thanks for your help!

Bryce in Minneapolis (the great state of)

Hey Bryce,

Not sure how “sage-like” I am, but I do know that rookie pitchers struggle. We’re already seeing this with Cueto, who today gave up five earned runs for the second time in his last three starts. His K/BB ratio was 24/1 in 19 1/3 innings in his first three starts, but is just 7/4 in 14 innings in his two starts since then. You get the point. I would rather have Harang’s consistently solid production (2.86 ERA and 17/2 K/BB ratio in 22 innings in his last three starts). Harang is a proven workhorse as well, docking 200-plus innings the last three seasons. Who knows what you will get from Cueto as the season drags on? Young pitchers who start in the Majors in April typically wear down toward late-summer, as the innings catch up with their tired arms.

I can understand your desire to get Howard, but why not package a couple of position players for Howard or Prince Fielder? Markakis is a great option for your outfield, but if you’re hell-bent on acquiring a major home run hitter, you can combine Markakis with a second- or third-tier first baseman.

Kyle Stack, MLB.com



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