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RotoGraphs Mailbag – 5/14/09

Here is the second edition of our mailbag. Our email address for this feature is rotographs+mailbag@fangraphs.com, so send in your questions! Remember to try to give us all relevant information in the fewest words possible, and you’ll be all set.

Just wanted to get your thoughts on this trade:

ESPN keeper league, 12 team, 5 x 5, head to head, only 3 OF spots and 1 UTIL spot

Sizemore and Bay holding 2 of those OF spots

I have Dye, N. Cruz, and J. Upton fighting for the last OF spot and the UTIL spot (I also have O. Hudson on the bench, but I don’t think he’ll see much playing time over the others in that UTIL spot, and I’ve got Kinsler @ 2nd)

I offered Dye for Nolasco. I’ve got a decent rotation – Gallardo, Lester, W. Rodriguez, Baker, Slowey, Sherzer, Kuroda (DL), but I thought that if Nolasco turned it around and pitched like he did last year, it would put me over the top.

I also thought that the upside for Cruz and Upton was greater than Dye…mostly because of the stolen base potential of the first two. Dye may compile a better average, but I’m already last in the league in average (thank you Soto, Berkman, and Rollins), so what does it matter?

Do you think Dye was the right choice to trade? Did I get enough for him?
Thanks! B.M.

Yes, Dye was the right one to trade. I like Upton the best and I believe that Cruz will steal enough bases to more than make up for whatever (if any) advantages Dye has in the other categories.

But he may have been too much to give up for Nolasco. Sure, Nolasco is unlikely to maintain a .387 BABIP or a 52.7 percent strand rate. But even if he flips the switch and pitches like he did in the second half of last year, you still have the injury threat from last year’s innings total hanging over his head.

Yet, I would not worry too much about the deal. Dye was unlikely to fetch much better, his loss does not hurt your offense and there’s a good chance that Nolasco will offer stretches of good pitching for your team.

In a 10-team, 23 player, mixed head to head 5×5 keeper league. I was offered Matt Capps and Hunter Pence for Broxton OR Javier Vazquez for Broxton. Here is my team:

C: Victor Martinez
1B: Mark Texeira
2B: Howie Kendrick
SS: Jose Reyes
3B: Ryan Zimmerman
OF: Carl Crawford
OF: Carlos Lee
OF: Raul Ibanez
UTIL: Bobby Abreu
UTIL: Paul Konerko
BN: Jim Thome

SP: Roy Halladay
SP: Edinson Volquez
SP: Joba Chamberlain
SP: Johnny Cueto
SP: Jered Weaver
SP: Chris Young
SP: Phil Hughes
SP: Luke Hochevar

RP: Johnny Broxton
RP: Mariano Rivera
RP: LaTroy Hawkins
RP: Ryan Madson

DL: Jason Duchsherer
DL: Chien Ming Wang

Thanks, S.H.

Your OF is pretty strong so I would concentrate on the Vazquez-Broxton swap. Broxton has been overpowering this year. His average fastball velocity of 97.6 is a career high, as is his 15.19 K/9. He is going to challenge for a 40-save season. Vazquez also has a career-high 11.07 K/9, although his fastball velocity is the lowest its been since 2004. The updated ZiPS forecasts Vazquez with 15 wins for the season, which seems a tad high to me.

Vazquez is a solid pitcher. I think you could use a SP upgrade and this would not be the worst deal in the world. But I would shop around and see if you could do better elsewhere.

11 team, 5×5 deep mixed keeper league. Received Josh Hamilton, Sherrill and Uehara for Gallardo and Broxton. I desperately needed J-Ham as I am dead last in HR and RBI. I think there’s some upside to Uehara. I also think Sherrill will get his job back. My rotation took a hit (Lowe is now my ace, Baker, Pettitte, Webb on DL). My other closers are Wilson and (eventually, I hope) Marmol and Zumaya. Did I give up too much?
Thanks, E.A.