Cutting Bait: Nothing Beats a Good Dump

As we’ve discussed a few times already this year, knowing when to officially cut bait seems to be a lost art form in the fantasy world. All too often, owners hold onto a sell-high candidate for too long and by the time they get around to shopping him, he’s in the midst of an expected slump and every owner declines to deal because they know you’re going to drop the guy soon enough anyway. Either that or you’ve senselessly fallen in love with the hot start and your false hope causes you to endure weeks of 0-for’s, foolishly thinking he’s going to get back to that early-season dreamland where you first met. Whatever the case may be, it’s important for you to recognize when it’s time to say goodbye to a player as your team will only suffer each and every year until you do. So to help with your fantasy regularity, here’s a few players you should consider dumping to lighten your load.

Daniel Nava, OF BOS — It’s hard not to love what a waiver acquisition like Nava has done for you thus far. His .296 average with five home runs, 21 RBI, and a .905 OPS have been awesome for those who needed someone to fill in for either a slumping or hurt outfielder. But if history has anything to say about it, the time to dump Nava is now. Last season, through his first 38 games, Nava was batting .339 with a .969 OPS only to finish with a .243 average and .742 OPS just 50 games later. His play at Triple-A the year before that didn’t even warrant a call-up and in 2010, his debut season, he was batting .312 with a .890 OPS through his first 23 games and finished with a .242 average and a .711 OPS. He’s 30-years old, so it’s not like we’re talking about some youngster just learning the ropes. His contact and swing rates all jibe with what he’s done in previous years, so it might be safe to assume that his line drive rate will eventually head south and start to kill his productivity. The time to trade him is now.

John Buck, C NYM — Well, well well. Look who’s anticipated decline is right on schedule. His second-inning single Thursday snapped an 0-for-14 streak at the plate and by the end of the game he was a whopping 1-for his last 17 at-bats. You can appreciate that nine home run, 25 RBI performance in April, but since it’s highly unlikely that you get anything of value for him in a trade, you should be scouring the waiver wire for some immediate help. There are probably a few decent backstops sitting out there who will give you more moving forward than Buck will, so don’t sit there and let him drag your average down any further than his current .214 May performance already has. Both his strikeout rate and GB/FB have taken significant increases over the last half-dozen games and while his fluffers will shout “small sample size,” you know the truth. And that truth is that he’s done like dinner.

Melky Cabrera, OF TOR — This could be the most satisfying dump for you all season long. Those who are married and have kids can tell you that kicking Melky to the curb right now would be the fantasy equivalent of having the house all to yourself, giving you the opportunity to sit peacefully with your favorite magazine until your legs start to go numb. His move to hitter-friendly Toronto has done nothing for his offensive totals and he is right back to where he was before his “career year” in Kansas City. Are we still going to turn a blind eye and say that there is no clear evidence that PEDs boost a player’s performance on the field? There is nothing in his batted ball data that says this is just a temporary slump, so if he’s sitting on your roster right now, you’re in serious need of a fantasy bowel movement.




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Howard Bender has been covering fantasy sports for over 10 years on a variety of websites. In addition to his work here, you can also find him at his site, RotobuzzGuy.com, Fantasy Alarm, RotoWire and Mock Draft Central. Follow him on Twitter at @rotobuzzguy or for more direct questions or comments, email him at rotobuzzguy@gmail.com


53 Responses to “Cutting Bait: Nothing Beats a Good Dump”

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  1. Pops says:

    How about Kendrys Morales or Evan Gattis?

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    • Ken Drees more rallys says:

      Drop Kendrys….I will pick him up.the man can hit for power and avg from both sides of the plate and once he starts being too fine with pitch selection and starts feeling it look out.

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    • KB says:

      I feel like Gattis is the poster boy for this article. On one hand, his production has slipped a bit and the ABs could soon be extremely sparse w/ McCann back and Heyward back soon. On the other hand, there aren’t many catchers able to hit 25+ HR w/ regular ABs which Gattis could likely get again w/ another injury to Freeman, Heyward or McCann (not unreasonable considering those players injury histories). Just hard to drop anyone w/ his HR potential in a 16 team league where waiver wire is ugly … especially a catcher.

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    • Big Knockers says:

      If I may chime in here, I would not cut Evan Gattis. The Braves seem intent on getting him playing time. In another month he could have eligibility at 1B and OF in addition to C. That could make up for streaky play.

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  2. STEALTH says:

    Someone dumped Melky in my league, and I’ve been watching his performance, periodically thinking he might make a nice addition.

    Nah…

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  3. Kip says:

    Middlebrooks or Youk RoS? Is it too crazy of a question?

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    • Preston says:

      You probably would need both. Middlebrooks for everyday and Youk when he’s healthy.

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      • Kip says:

        Thanks for reply. I have Carpenter in there right now as every day and while not ideal, doing a fine job as a makeshift No. 1 3B (I am OF-heavy). I also have Youk on my bench…chance to pick Middlebrooks up…in this scenario, thoughts?

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    • ODawg says:

      I don’t know who else is out there but I wouldn’t touch Middlebrooks right now. This coming from a Red Sox fan. He’s downgraded from “real upside” to “highly speculative upside.” For this season, anyway.

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      • CJ says:

        Odawg is dead on. Middlebrooks is a mess right now. He was 3-0 the other night and was given a green light in the hopes of a BP fastball. He swung through three of them

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      • Jay Stevens says:

        This morning’s report from WEEI says Middlebrooks is playing with separated ribs.

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  4. Sgt Hulka says:

    What about cutting bait on Konerko? Do you think you could sell him as a veteran bounce back candidate for something? And should you try?

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  5. nouseforaname says:

    Paul Konerko in a 12-teamer? I had better options in my 10-team so cut already cut bait with him once, but no FAs in my 12-teamer really jump out at me.

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    • Sgt Hulka says:

      Yeah, I’m thinking of selling low in a 15-teamer.

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      • Stefan says:

        Also considering straight up dropping Paulie in my 10 team league. Got him cheap, $6 ($300 budget), but if I had read his comments about this likely being his last season I would have saved myself the trouble. He’s playing like he doesn’t believe he has much left in the tank. And that White Sox team beyond Rios … not fun to watch at the plate.

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      • Nick says:

        I don’t know if anyone else remembers what he said about his 2012 season, but it was in effect what you said Stefan, he was saying the production was kind of a fluke and dead-cat bounce all in one and that he never felt very healthy or productive the entire season

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    • Ruki Motomiya says:

      Konerko is still on pace for decent (22-26) HR power and once his BABIP goes up from .247 towards his career .288 norm the average will creep up some. He’s still valuable enough that I would keep him just in case he regresses back to 2012.

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  6. Shooter McGavin says:

    is burch smith someone that will stick in the padres rotation for the year moving forward or will he be shipped back down to the minors? and would you recommend picking him up? i’m in a 12 team league on ESPN.. my pitching right now is: David Price, Matt Moore, Matt Harvey, Shelby Miller, Clay Buckholz, Madison Bumgarner, Jon Lester, Wade Miley, Josh Beckett, Jason Grilli, and Jim Henderson. I also have Brandon Beachy and Colby Lewis on the DL.
    Also, I have a really good team and am in first in points in my league so i could probably afford to stash some minor league talent if there’s some that are worth stashing. Is there anyone in your mind worth stashing that could make an impact soon? I’ve been keeping my eyes on Christian Yelich and Jimmy Paredes so would either of them be good in your opinion? I also really like Drew Smyly’s potential.. do you think porcello will have a job much longer or do you think smyly will take it soon? thanks for the help i love reading all your stuff

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  7. Benzedrine says:

    Getting frustrated with Erick Aybar. Is he worthy in a 14-team with SS and MI?

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    • FeslenR says:

      I had him in a 12-team league too, I am pretty sure you can find someone off waivers. I’d drop him if you have decent waiver fillers? Or try and pull off a trade for a better shorstop, like I did.

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  8. Kevin says:

    melky hitting .342/.359/.500 in may so far. i might hold off on dumping him for the time being, especially since he’s been moved back to the 2 hole in front of bautista and EE. should score plenty of runs, even if his legs are messed up.

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    • Zach says:

      I think using the phrase “2 hole” in a comment to a post about “dumping” is maybe the best use of internet commenting this month.

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  9. LeBusch says:

    I’m surprised to not see my trio of underwhelmers, all of whom I traded for, Konerko, Freese and Morse. I’ve routinely benched them all, basically wasting 3 roster spots. But the waiver options don’t seem at all viable.

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    • Kip says:

      Konerko is killing me. Don’t think I could trade him for a bag of balls at the moment though.

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      • nouseforaname says:

        Agreed. You’d have to be a damn good salesman to get anything back for him, especially in deep leagues.

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    • DJG says:

      Morse has a very low BABIP (.236) over 100-points lower than his career mark (.338). If you need power I’d hang onto him… As long as your league doesn’t penalize for poor defense or looking like a sleazeball.

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  10. Rob says:

    You’re right, nothing beats a good dump.

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  11. Jacob says:

    Took a good dump on Rickie Weeks this week. Felt fantastic.

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  12. Atreyu Jones says:

    It’s really hard to ‘sell high’ with these types of players in a sophisticated league.

    Maybe in a deep NL-only league would John Buck have any trade value, but not in most leagues.

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  13. Cybo says:

    Is it time to start shopping Chris Davis or does he still hit 35+ dingers?

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  14. ndbrian says:

    Thoughts on Russell Martin? I know..I know..but his batted ball data says this may be a real improvement. Plus he may get 3b eligibilty and right now I have Mouse and Lawrie…both of which may come around.

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  15. ndbrian says:

    Thoughts on Russell Martin? I know..I know..but his batted ball data says this may be a real improvement. Plus he may get 3b eligibilty and right now I have Moose and Lawrie…both of which may come around.

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  16. pudieron89 says:

    Howard, with regards to the Buck paragraph, I’m not sure you know what a “fluffer” is or you may not have used that word choice…

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    • Howard Bender says:

      You mean the guys who get John Buck all nice and ready before a trade to my team…showing me how he’s swinging such a big bat? Yeah, I know who they are…

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    • Lawrence Corvette says:

      A fluffer is a talented artist. It takes one with real talent to keep the movie going in the right direction.

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  17. gareth says:

    Drop Buck for McCann in head to head? The only thing stopping me pulling the Triggers is Bucks power and the fact that McCann doesn’t play every day.

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  18. Ruki Motomiya says:

    Buck does have some value in daily leagues though, I think: He doesn’t exactly crush lefties, but for a catcher he puts up good numbers against lefties, so he can be a cheap option to throw out there for some decent offense against them and pair with another cheap catcher.

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  19. Big Knockers says:

    In my 16 man league I have a feeling Josh Rutledge is the type of player that should be on this list. However, with the waiver wire being so thin he just sits on my bench.

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  20. gnomez says:

    Drafted Daniel Nava. Self-five!

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  21. Max says:

    The most recent rankings you guys released had Melky as the 11th-best AL outfielder, just behind Hamilton and ahead of Bourn, Cruz, and Swisher.

    What am I supposed to believe? His position on that list doesn’t make me feel like he is droppable. Going with the theme of this comment section, I would probably add Gattis for him.

    What do you guys think?

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  22. RC says:

    “Last season, through his first 38 games, Nava was batting .339 with a .969 OPS only to finish with a .243 average and .742 OPS just 50 games later. ”

    Some more research would tell you that Nava hurt his wrist, and thats precisely when his numbers started dropping.

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  23. Owen says:

    I’m preparing to offer up Carlos Gomez. How high do you people think I should aim? He’s been awesome, but that BABIP ain’t gonna last.

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    • Tanner Bell says:

      Depending on your team needs, I’d hang onto Gomez. Even if his BABIP drops dramatically (.431 as I write this), he’s still a great bet to end up 25HR and 30SB. I think that would put him at a top-20, top-25 hitter. So depending on your position of need, I’d be asking for someone like Pedroia, Beltre, or Anthony Rizzo.

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