Unreads for 5/1
Hi Guys, love the show. I play in a 15-team 5×5, 25-active, 8-reserve roster league. Somebody queried if I ever thought about selling Andruw Jones at a discount, he might be interested. Well let me tell you that I thought about it – I thought about it A LOT! Do you think getting Shaun Marcum back for Jones would be just too much of a discount or should I take it and run? I’ve got adequate alternatives to Jones, not great but serviceable – Wily Mo Pena and Jason Werth for example. And I’m sitting on Chase Headley and hoping for a call-up. What do you think? Just how DONE is Andruw?
Stuart from Thousand Oaks, CA
It’s looking more and more like the move to Hollywood will do nothing to return Andruw Jones to his former star status. Jones has opened his Dodger career in the exact same fashion in which he ended his run with the Braves…posting a pathetic batting average and striking out a ton. Not only is he hitting .159 and slugging .250, Andruw ranks fifth in the majors in strikeouts with 29 whiffs in 88 AB’s. Now I’d still be shocked if Jones doesn’t reach at least the 25 HR mark by year’s end, but how much value do the homers have if the guy single-handedly ruins your team’s batting average? Normally I would say to wait until Jones’ stock rises a little before dealing him, but seven months is certainly enough of a sample size to convince me otherwise. Without knowing your other starting pitchers, it’s hard to determine whether Marcum would really help you. That said, the 26 year old is very underrated. He went 12-6 with a 4.13 ERA in 25 starts last season, and has kicked off his first full year in a starting role with a solid 3.24 ERA. It’s quite possible that Marcum will fade towards the end of the season, as he’s not used to throwing a lot of innings. But that’s no sure thing. If you truly can’t do better, make the trade. For the time being, start Werth, who showed some pop in April (5 HR 13 RBI). Should Werth struggle, try working another trade to upgrade your outfield. Come August, when Andruw’s average is still hovering around .200, you’ll be breathing a sigh of relief that he’s someone else’s problem!
Zach Steinhorn, MLB.com
Long time podcaster – first time emailer…12 Team-Mixed-Yahoo vanilla. I have been offered a trade where I give up Hanley Ramírez for Peavy and Jeter. Ramirez is my only sure thing in my infield – Jackson, K. Johnson/Theriot, Encarnacion, Posada/Napoli. My pitching is Hamels, Kazmir, Cueto, E. Santana, and Ol. Perez..
How big a drop is Jeter from Ramirez?
[if needed: OF/Bench - Holliday, CB Young, Dunn, Quentin, Swisher, Thome]
Your offensive roster is impressive. I wouldn’t discount Conor Jackson, though. I think you can count on him to produce – at least – 20 home runs and 90 RBIs. You can also move Swisher to first if Jackson goes into a prolonged slump. Encarnacion might be better than people think and your outfield has really great power and depth.
With that said, I still wouldn’t do the deal. Now that Alex Rodriguez is on the shelf with a quad injury, Hanley could end up being the most valuable fantasy player this season. He might have the best power/speed combination in baseball and he is only 24 years old. He hit 29 home runs and stole 51 bases last season and it’s very realistic that he can go 40/40 this season; he already has eight homers and nine steals.
Derek Jeter went 12/15 last season and I don’t get the feeling that he will exceed those numbers this year. It’s quite apparent that there is a precipitous drop in production from Hanley to Jeter.
Of course, Jake Peavy is a great coup and many fantasy folks would probably live with a drop in production at shortstop if they could get their hands on one of the best pitchers in the game. His 2006 struggles (11-14, 4.09 ERA) are hard to imagine when you observe his numbers this season (2.09 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, .196 BAA, 38 strikeouts in 43 innings).
I guess the way I would assess this is to think of one of the basic principles of fantasy baseball: hitters are more reliable than pitchers. Injury is less likely to negatively alter a hitter’s performance. I also adhere to the theory that the team getting the best player in a trade is typically the “winner.” That doesn’t mean that Hanley doesn’t have a price – every player does. If you were offered Peavy, Jeter and Brandon Phillips, I would probably make the trade. That’s hypothetically speaking, but in this case, Peavy/Jeter isn’t enough to convince me that you should part with Hanley.
Hanley is the anchor for your team and he is the type of player who can lead you to a championship. Stick with the guy who can become the most valuable fantasy player in 2008.
Kyle Stack, MLB.com