Each season I always manage to make at least one deal where I move a large amount of players, vastly altering the look of my team. As I have mentioned before, trading players, and acting like a GM, is one of my favorite parts of fantasy baseball. Thus, it is logical to see that I derive immense amounts of pleasure from trading big name stars. To get a deal of this magnitude done, it requires extensive negotiations, a willing partner, and usually some adult suds to push the deal through. (Sounds vaguely familiar to late-night exploits during my freshman year at U of A.) Fellow writer and Denslow Cup league member, Dee, and I finally swung a deal through last night and if weight is the term I am using to describe it, this deal is heavy. Let’s take a look and break down the trade.
The Vinegar Strokes receive: Joey Votto, Alexei Ramirez, and Jason Heyward
So Fresh and So Sheen Sheen receives: Jose Reyes, David Price, John Axford, and Justin Smoak
Overall, I feel this trade is pretty even, especially when you look at what each team needed. Vinegar Strokes had enough speed and saves that they were willing to sacrifice both of those categories in return for some average and OBP. The exact opposite is true of Sheen Sheen. I needed saves and steals bad. I did not feel that I was sacrificing that much SLG because of Reyes ability to turn singles into doubles, and doubles into triples. Plus, have you seen Justin Smoak this season? Dude is crushing. I am willing to sacrifice the average of Votto because I still have Lance Berkman that I can employ at 1B. Votto was my first round pick, and Jose is obviously putting up (and will continue to put up) first round production. Alexei should continue to see his stock rise (as I mentioned in and earlier Trade Bait), so I do not think that Dee is down-grading too much there. Yes, Jason Heyward was announced as going on the DL, but it is being diagnosed as merely inflammation in his shoulder. When this deal was made Sheen Sheen could not really afford to wait on his return, where as Vinegar Strokes could. Turning him into Axford and Smoak is fine by me.
David Price is what really pushed this deal through for me, though. I have a hard time turning my 1st round pick into anyone other than a first round pick in a 12-team league. No matter the production of said players in return, unless it is the end of the year and I am trading for very specific categories, this is just how I feel. Overall, my initial reaction to this trade is that it helps out both teams and is fair. That said, I do feel that So Fresh and So Sheen Sheen won this trade by a hair. I think David Price finishes the year as a top 10 SP and Reyes will finish the year as the best SS. Votto will more than likely finish the year as the number one first baseman in our league because we include OBP. In the comments section I would be very interested to read your thoughts on this trade, or any trades you may have made in your leagues. Also, if you have questions about trades, I encourage you to post them and I will respond with my thoughts. Thanks for reading, and on to this week’s “Guys I’m Getting” and “Diamonds in the Rough” sections.
Guys I’m Getting
1. Carl Crawford:
Last night I was watching the Red Sox play and made a comment about how I would refuse to try and trade for Crawford based on watching his pitiful at-bat. After thinking about it more, and taking a look and some stats, I had to change my mind. What we have here is a case of a guy who is pressing. He is pressing so hard that he probably has blisters on his thumbs. He is swinging at plenty of bad pitches, and has decided not to be the pull hitter that he has been in the past. These are telltale signs of someone trying to impress his new team. His skill set is ridiculous. He is currently reaching base on only 25% of balls in play. His career mark is 33%. With his speed and the potential for him to have a monster second half, you gotta try and make a play at this guy.
2. Josh Beckett:
People often talk about Beckett as if he is overrated. And after is dismal 2010 campaign I can say that some of it was sounding true. But look at these numbers for 2011: 8 strikeouts per 9 innings pitched; only 2 and a half walks over that same 9 innings; a fielding independent ERA of 2.7; a homerun/fly ball rate of 5%; and to top it off he is getting batters to swing and miss at 9% of all strikes thrown. If you are in need of help on the bump, look no further.
3. Zack Greinke
He is not exactly a buy-low opportunity, but you might be able to grab him at a somewhat discounted price. Either way, he is a guy I want on my staff. His velo is down approximately 1-2 mph on all his pitches, but that is to be expected right now. His initial start on the DL prevented him from being in the shape he would normally be in. Make the owner very aware of the four home runs he has given up in four starts. Also remind his owners that he sported a swing and miss rate of a mere 7.5% last year. Make the deal quick though because this year he is missing bats at a rate of 11.5%.
Diamonds In The Rough
1. Brett Wallace:
He is currently walking in 10% of his at-bats, which tells me that his OBP of .391 is definitely sustainable. His plate discipline has remarkably improved and he is now swinging at fewer pitches out of the zone and making contact at a higher rate on pitches inside the zone. He has always hit for average in his minor league career, and is currently sporting an OPS of .850. You can certainly do much worse at 1B right now.
2. Bud Norris:
He may not have a ton of wins thanks to his being on the Astros, but c’mon, this guy should be owned in 100% of leagues. 10.5 strikeouts per 9 innings matched with only 3 walks over the same time. Also, check out his xFIP (which is especially important for Norris, as the Astros currently rank last of all MLB teams in defensive efficiency); it sits at a very tidy 2.84. His stuff is legit and wins are so unpredictable anyway, so you should not let that scare you away from owning Bud.