When you get good performances from later round draft picks or waiver wire free agents, the temptation to sell and acquire something of value in return is common. Maximizing value is extremely important over the course of a season, and making a trade too early or too late can affect the final outcome of a roto season. There are players to sell high on and players to buy low on, but there are also players to hold onto after solid starts. Here are three I would keep, at least for now, as their value continues to rise.
Cuddyer is a solid offensive contributor, and his 2B eligibility is certainly an added bonus. Looking at peripheral numbers and expecting regressions is too obvious at this point, so simply stating that his average isn’t sustainable is not very useful. Instead, focusing on his past in combination with his new home ballpark in negotiations would be wise. He is hitting better than expected to start the year, and his low walk rate is something to monitor, but now would not be the time to sell on Cuddyer. His new ballpark has already helped his power numbers, though he has just two home runs. He already has 11 extra base hits in 15 games and two stolen bases, and I would rather hold onto his production and potentially sell later once his performance stabilizes and his value is increased.
Five home runs and a .328 average has Willingham performing higher than expectations, but his past injury history will likely limit his value in a trade. He has not played in more than 136 games since 2008, so an acquiring owner may not value him properly. The hammer hit 29 home runs while playing in a notorious pitcher friendly park last year, so there is little reason to doubt the home run power in Minnesota will remain stellar. If he has 15 or so home runs by mid-June, that may be a better time to sell high on him to a team looking for power. For now, ride out the late-round draft choice as he builds his value.
I wrote on Peavy a few weeks ago, stating that he was a solid bounce back candidate. Injuries are always a worry with Peavy, so though his production has been better than expected, his history of injuries will concern an owner looking to acquire pitching. His value to your team is likely higher than the value he would receive in a trade, but selling him now after a few good starts could net you a return for what was likely a very small late-round draft pick or waiver investment. Even so, holding onto him and watching him build his value over the next few weeks or months is recommended. The White Sox have played stellar defense this year, allowing the second least amount of balls in play to land for hits, so his low FIP from last season may lead to a low ERA this year.
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