Unreads for 8/19
In the last week or so I’ve lost both Carlos Lee and Ian Kinsler. I am in first place in a vanilla H2H league and I will probably limp into the playoffs, but I will need serious help replacing Kinsler. I’ve held on to Furcal ever since he also got hurt. Any chance he returns for any of the last month? Also, any waiver wire guys or Sept. callups you think could be a band-aid at middle infield? If possible, I’d like to especially replace the steals I would’ve gotten from Kinsler.
Steve in Madison
Tell me about it! I own Kinsler in all four of my leagues and am currently scrambling to find decent alternatives. The bottom line is that no one on the waiver wire will even come close to matching Kinsler’s across the board production. But there are some who can at least address certain areas. If, for some reason, Ty Wigginton is available, grab him. He can equal if not exceed Kinsler’s power production and is hitting over .300. Unfortunately, speed is not part of Wigginton’s package, and if stolen bases are your biggest need, the options are less than appealing. The two fastest guys available in any of my leagues (two 12 team and two 13 team) are Jason Bartlett and Jerry Hairston Jr. Both have their faults, however. Hairston isn’t even an everyday player while Bartlett hasn’t stolen a single base since returning from a two week absence due to a knee injury. Other less category specific possibilities, all of whom are regulars, include Jed Lowrie, Erick Aybar, and the hot hitting Asdrubal Cabrera. Also keep an eye on Alexi Casilla, who’s expected to come off the DL and return to the Twins’ lineup on Thursday. As for Furcal, he has resumed baseball activities and eyes a September 1st return. Although this date might be a bit ambitious, stay patient. It looks like you’ll get at least a couple of weeks out of him down the stretch.
I’m in a 10 team head to head league with 14 categories (R, HR, RBI, TB, SB, AVG, OBP, SV, Ks, Holds, ERA, WHIP & K/9) The trade deadline is this week and I’ve got some great keepers to trade for some big guns to bolster my team for the playoffs. I’m wondering who I should be offering and who I should be planning on keeping. We get to keep three players. Undrafted players are keepable in the last round of the draft.
Lance Berkman – 4th round
Carlos Quentin – undrafted
Alexei Ramirez – undrafted
Evan Longoria – 16th round
Tim Lincecum – 9th round
Francisco Liriano – 17th round
I’m leaning towards keeping Quentin, Longoria & Lincecum but Alexei Ramirez & Berkman are hard to imagine trading or letting go of for next season’s draft.
I’d love to trade Liriano and Guillen (my SS) for Reyes or Hanley who are both on teams who are out of contention but I’m not sure this will get it done.
I advise keeping Quentin, Longoria and Berkman, not Lincecum. I’m as big a fan as any of the ferocious right hander, but you have to go with all hitters since you are entitled to so few keepers. Berkman might be on the wrong side of 30, but I think he’s one of the ten most reliable hitters in the game. He’s averaged 36 doubles, 32 homers and 108 RBIs every season in which he’s received more than 400 at-bats and he could realistically maintain that streak for at least a couple more seasons. I just can’t advise giving up that sort of offensive production for a pitcher, even if it’s a flamethrower like Lincecum.
As for the Liriano/Guillen package, Reyes could arguably be dealt for that duo considering his stolen bases have declined this season. He’s at 40, but it’s hard to imagine he can even reach his 64-steal total from 2006, much less the 78 base swipes he accumulated last season. Liriano/Guillen is not enough to get Hanley, but perhaps a Lincecum/Alexei Ramirez trade could entice Hanley’s owner. Remember, there’s been talk that Alexei could move to shortstop next season.