Unreads for 6/23

Hi Guys!

Love the show (as always).  I wanted to get your opinion on a trade that I have pending.  I’m in first place by a margin of 21 points in a 12 team 5 X 5 mixed league.  Here’s the trade:  I trade away Jason Giambi and Brian Fuentes, and I get back David Ortiz.   I have 5 closers including Capps, Soria, Percival, Mike Gonzalez, and Fuentes, and I am looking for a second half hedge against Derrek Lee at 1B.  I should also mention I got Giambi and Fuentes both from the waiver wire.  Does this seem like a fair trade to you?  Am I taking too much of a risk on Papi?  I’m in Boston, so I’ve been hearing a lot of positive stuff about the wrist, but I don’t know if it’s just positive spin.

Ben in Boston

Hey Ben,

If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it!  This situation, however, may be an exception to the rule.  Although I can’t quite understand why you’re looking to make a trade while leading the league by 21 points, this deal is too good to pass up, giving you plenty of upside with relatively little risk.  Now I’m assuming this league either uses a CI spot or there’s an open utility slot, allowing you to play both Ortiz and Lee, who’s quietly having a very solid year (.294-15-48).  Under no circumstances do you want to lose Lee’s production!

Ortiz is said to be making progress in his recovery, but he’s still a week away from even picking up a bat, so let’s figure it’ll take three weeks or so for Papi to return to action.  Right now, three weeks seems like an awfully long time to wait, but if Ortiz comes back fully healthy, the wait will be worth it.  Few players can carry fantasy teams the way Ortiz can when he’s in the midst of one of those hot streaks.  And it’s not like he has an extensive injury history, having played in at least 149 games in each season from 2004 through 2007.  Giambi, on the other hand, is coming off a bust of a season in which he played only 83 games and batted a laughable .236.  While Jason’s gotten off to a great start (.271-17-42), I’m not convinced that he’ll put it all together from start to finish.  Even with the health concerns surrounding Big Papi, the upgrade from Giambi to Ortiz is a significant one.

What are you giving up in exchange for this upgrade?  Not much.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of Brian Fuentes, but there’s a strong possibility he’ll be dealt to a contender before the July 31st deadline.  In that case, Fuentes would likely be relegated to setup duties, thereby eliminating almost all of his fantasy value.  Combine this with the fact that you already have 5 closers, go ahead and do the deal.

Zach Steinhorn

Hey guys,

I was wondering what you thought of this trade offer I received. I would get Mike Jacobs and Mike Bourne for CJ Wilson. I’m in an 11 team mixed 6 x 6 league (R, HR, RBI, SB, OBP SLG% X W, SV, K, ERA, WHIP, K/9). I have Soria, Mike Gonzalez, Brian Fuentes, Masa Kobayashi, and Hong-Chih Kuo as my other relievers (and Rafael Soriano on the DL). My other outfielders are Vlad, Pence, Swisher, Votto, Francoeur, and Milton Bradley (I also usually rotate one of these guys through my Util spot as well). My starting first baseman is Prince Fielder. So, do you guys like this trade for me? Wilson has been pitching poorly lately and I do need stolen bases and power, which Bourne and Jacobs could provide. Thanks guys, I love listening to you guys.

Jake Stern


Hey Jake,

I like this move for you. You’re right about Wilson’s recent struggles, as he has been touched up for one or two earned runs in three of his past five appearances. In fact, he’s been a risk for most of the season as he has given up one earned run in two other appearances and two or more earned runs in four other outings. He has a 4.88 ERA, 1.44 WHIP and just a 24/16 K/BB rate in 31 2/3 innings, so the talk that “Everyday” Eddie Guardado (184 career saves) could take over Wilson’s closer role has to be taken seriously.

Frankly, we typically see many relievers take over closer roles every year as the season gets closer and closer to the “dog days” of summer. Some closers succumb to injury while others lose their jobs to poor performance. There are only a handful of closers in the bigs with a high amount of job security, so in a shallower league such as yours, you  should be able to find potential saves on the waiver wire. You have a good candidate on your roster in Kobayashi, if incumbent closer Joe Borowski continues to get shelled in his relief appearances (he has given up two earned runs in two of his last four outings). If you stay apprised to closer situations around the league, Jake, you should be able to pick up a reliever here or there who can make up whatever saves you might lose with trading away Wilson. I recommend perusing the official team pages on MLB.com as a fantastic way to keep up with team news, including the states of teams’ bullpens.
Swisher and Votto have gone through pronounced slumps recently, so I could see the value in having Jacobs (17 HRs, .529 SLG%) or Bourn (28 steals in 34 chances) at your utility spot, depending on whether you need power or speed. I wouldn’t get too rotation-happy, though, as your better players will tend to level out their stats if you let them play enough. But there is no doubt that the power/speed combo Jacobs and Bourn provide is more than valuable enough to part with Wilson, who is walking the plank in his closer role with the Rangers.

Kyle Stack



1 Comment

It amazes me how many people subscribe to this theory of when you are in first place you should not make any big moves, especially trades.
Unless you are playing in a league where you win your league on July 1st, you should always be looking to improve your team. Now, is it usually more difficult to make moves in 1st place, yes it can be because everyone’s gunning for you, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try.

Teams that are 2nd-7th are probably working the waiver wire and the trade offers, so if the 1st place team is sitting back doing nothing then he/she is asking for trouble, imo.

The other thing is if you are in 1st place that probably means you have some valuable players. But you probably have some players (C.Lee, Volquez, Ludwick, McLouth, Nady, Bradley, Soto etc…) that are poised to cool off in the 2nd half. Why sit on them and take the probable down turn that’s coming?

Try and move them, along with even more proven guys like Utley, Hamilton, Berkman can surely bring other studs like A-Rod, J-Rol and Holliday who’s best numbers are yet to come.

Sure, it might involve some risk, but so is sitting back doing nothing and hoping you hold on, plus it’s more fun!
— Johnny Archive

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