Even more unreads

5×5 12 team vanilla non-keeper

I need a bat. I’m strong in pitching, I have Haren, Wang, Marcum, Guthrie, Greg Smith, Kershaw and Chris Young on the DL,

I have been offered Morneau and Ibanez for Haren and Damon.  Is this too much?

Thank you,

Thos in CA

Hey Thos,

No, I think this is a pretty fair trade.  If you need hitting, it’s definitely one worth doing.  Power-wise, Morneau’s been a little disappointing, and he had a terrible second half to last year (.243-7-37).  But he’s gone over the 30 HR mark in two straight seasons and should knock in his fair share, hitting in a lineup that surprisingly ranks 11th in the majors in runs scored.  As much as I like Haren as a low-end ace, he was taken a couple of rounds after Morneau in most drafts this spring, and I’ll always give the edge to the hitter when comparing players’ values.  Haren’s home ballpark along with his tendency to give up the long ball also worries me, and as the weather heats up in the desert, this combination will only become scarier.  He’ll go on to have a very good year, but let’s not forget the 4.15 ERA and 1.50 WHIP he posted after the All-Star break last season.  Looking at the outfielders, Ibanez and Damon are fairly comparable, with Raul giving you more HR and RBI production and Damon offering the runs and steals.  You might want to pick up a few more starting pitchers to fill out the back end of your rotation, as I’m not sold on Greg Smith just yet.  But in a standard 12 teamer, there should be plenty of decent waiver wire options.

Zach Steinhorn  

Hi guys, love the show.
I wanted your opinion on these two trades I pulled off in my 16 team standard 5×5 roto.
I gave BJ Upton, Pat Burrell, and Hey-Zeus Flores and got Russell Martin, Robinson Cano, Rick Ankiel, and Andre Ethier.
I then flipped Andre Ethier and Howie Kendrick for Vladdy Guerrero.
I won this league last year and this year I’m languishing in 9th due to Upton and Rios hitting like little girls, so I felt I needed to improve my offense overall (doing ok in steals, so Upton didn’t have a ton of value for me).
Do you think I helped my team with these trades?


Hey Nelson,

I always think of The Simpsons when I see that name. Anyway, let’s break down your trade position-by-position:


You don’t need me to tell you that Russell Martin (.307 AVG, .420 OBP, 28 runs, 23 RBIs, four SBs) is a better option than Hey-Zeus Flores a.k.a. Jesus Flores (.333 AVG, 16 RBIs but in just 75 at-bats). Sure, Flores has good-looking numbers, but the guy just doesn’t play very often. He hit .244 with 25 RBIs in 180 at-bats last season, so his reputation is nearly nonexistent. Martin is probably the best fantasy catcher in the game, now that Victor Martinez suddenly has found it difficult to hit even one long ball. Martin batted .293 with 19 homers, 87 RBIs and 21 steals last season. He may not be able to match the steals, but the other numbers are all attainable, along with about 12-15 steals. Good job there.

Second base

You gave up B.J. Upton and Howie Kendrick and got Robinson Cano. I’ll still include Upton here, since he is eligible for this year. Nelson, if this is a single year league, then I can see parting with Upton, but if it’s a keeper, you might regret this trade. You say Upton is hitting like “a little girl,” but he is sporting very manly numbers: .295 AVG, .399 OBP, a downright brawny – or as fellow MLB.com fantasy writer Dave Feldman would say, “Brauny” – .823 OPS, 34 RBIs and 18 steals. Yes, he has only three home runs, but the 16 doubles this season – and 24 home runs last season – show that the 23-year-old has power. I don’t mind you getting rid of Howie Kendrick since he seems to be one of those frustrating players whose injury-raddled body prevents him from tapping the bottomless well of potential that exists within it. He is batting .379 in 58 at-bats this year, with a ridiculous .534 slugging percentage, but a larger sample size would probably see those numbers much lower than they are now. I like the Cano addition. The guy just loves the summer. He has hit .334 for his career after the All-Star break vs. a .295 average before the mid-summer hiatus. I would rather have Cano, in that powerful Yankees lineup, than Kendrick. However, Upton is potentially the best player out of all the players in your two trades, so losing his statistical versatility could hurt.


I like the idea of buying low on Vlad. He is hitting just .249 with seven homers and 28 RBIs. Vlad has gone .300-30-100 eight times in the last 10 years. The exceptions were in 2003, when he was injured, missed 50 games and still hit .330 with 25 homers and then last season when he came three long balls shy of the vaunted .300-30-100 triumvirate. He has some knee problems right now, but that shouldn’t affect his hitting when he returns. He is a great value if you can snag him for Kendrick and Andre Ethier. That was a smart move, Nelson.

Ankiel is batting .261 with a .803 OPS, eight home runs and 25 RBIs. He showed some major power production last season (11 homers in 172 at-bats) and I don’t think that was a fluke. He has a great swing and at 29 years old, he still can produce at a high level for the next few years.
You gave up Pat Burrell, who is cruising this season to the tune of 14 home runs and 40 RBIs with a .277 AVG and .993 OPS. However, Vlad will be an upgrade if he can settle down and hit the way he has the past few seasons. Vlad hit just one more home run than Pat from 2005-07 (92 to 91) but he beat Burrell in RBIs (349 to 309), OPS (.947 to .895) and AVG (.324 to .266). If your league uses AVG instead of OPS, then Vlad instead of Pat is a great upgrade.

So, Nelson, you clearly upgraded at catcher, may have slipped at second base (if you were using Upton there), and upgraded in the outfield for this year, if you had planned on using Upton at second base the whole time. I’ll say that the first trade is fairly equal and the second trade should be in your favor.

Cano and Vlad are great buy-low options and the added consistent hitting you will receive from Martin could help propel you up the standings. Good deals!

Kyle Stack


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