Trade Targets and Dump Guys

The earlier a fantasy owner can pull off a good trade the better, as the longer he will have the undervalued players on his roster. It is not uncommon for leagues to have owners with itchy trigger fingers, so it is never too soon to examine players to acquire or deal. While some owners are more likely to hold on to underperforming veterans, there are just as many who are looking to acquire the next big rookie. So here are five guys to pick up and five players to move.


Jimmy Rollins – A notoriously streaky hitter, Rollins is hitting just .121 with no HR and no SB in seven games. He does not have to be 2007 MVP good to justify giving up something worthwhile to acquire him when his value may be down.

Chris Davis – Everyone’s favorite sleeper during mock draft season, Davis has a .154 average with one HR. He has hit in every stop along the way to the majors and is still the same guy who hit .285 in Texas last year. Davis will not have a 42 percent K rate all year.

Dustin Pedroia – He has just a .179 average thanks to a .160 BABIP. Three of his five hits have gone for extra bases and he has three walks compared to two strikeouts.

Gil Meche – An undervalued pitcher to begin with, Meche is winless in his first two starts. But 12 strikeouts in 14 IP with a 6:1 SO/BB ratio is indicative of how well he has pitched. And Meche’s two starts were in Chicago and versus the Yankees, so a 3.12 ERA is very good.

Dan Haren – After a 16-win season in 2008, Haren opened 2009 with an 0-2 mark. All of his other numbers are good so owners will likely be hesitant to give him up, but it may be possible to find someone who drafted him high based on other’s assessments of him who may be having doubts.


Emilio Bonifacio – Yeah, it is fun having him on your team only to say his name but his value will never be higher. And despite his current .714 SLG he is not going to hit for power and he will have to hit better than the .268 that his top pre-season projection had him going for to be a worthwhile fantasy player.

Kyle Lohse – A perfect 2-0 record with a 0.56 WHIP has been posted versus Houston and Pittsburgh, contenders for worst teams in baseball. Also, both of these games came at home, where Lohse was 8-2 with an ERA over a full run lower than it was on the road in 2008.

Adam Lind – The main problem with Lind is that he has no plate discipline. And even in this great hot streak to start the season, he has six strikeouts and one walk in 35 at-bats. Trade him while those 12 RBIs are among the league leaders.

Nyjer Morgan – No one doubts the SB potential but at the same time, no one doubts the complete lack of power, either. Morgan needs to get on base more and he still shows no propensity to take a walk. While he’s likely to post a high BABIP it simply will not be of the .444 variety where it currently stands.

Joe Saunders – Last year Saunders surprised everyone by posting 17 wins. But he had a FIP nearly a full run higher than his ERA, the fourth-worst mark in the majors. So far he has a win and a 2.63 ERA in two starts, but his FIP is more than two runs higher and his strikeout and walk numbers are still nothing to write home about.

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14 Responses to “Trade Targets and Dump Guys”

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  1. MFG says:

    It sure looks like Lind is swinging at fewer pitches outside the strike zone, swinging at far fewer first pitches, and making better contact on the pitches at which he does swing. Maybe we shouldn’t look solely at the counting stats over the first 35 AB of the season when making definitive, conclusory statements about player performance? Isn’t that kinda the point of this site?

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    • Brian Joura says:
      FanGraphs Supporting Member

      Hi MFG – thanks for reading and commenting.

      I do wonder why if it’s too soon to make judgments on “counting stats” after 35 AB why it’s okay to look at swinging at pitches outside the strike zone, first pitches and better contact when he does swing?

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      • MFG says:

        …because no conclusory statement was made after looking at the o-zone swing %, etc.? And those numbers might be better indicators of whether someone “has no plate disipline” than looking at 6K-1BB in 35AB?

        Anyway, not a huge deal. I’m rather defensive over Lind. And I do enjoy your writing. Keep up the great work.

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  2. steveshane67 says:

    i say dump K, i mean chris, davis.

    sure he wont have a 42% K rate but hes going to avg >= 1K/game. my preseason prediction for him was 200Ks if he played 160 games.

    granted ive never seen him play but just looking at his high K totals, low BB, very high O swing % dont seem to add up to a productive player. if you omit the latin players like vlad and alexei ramirez, davis’ o swing % “tier mates” are a whos who undisciplined bad batters.

    to me the numbers suggest that he cant lay off the offspeed stuff out of the strike zone which isnt something thats fixed overnight, see wladimir balentien as a recent example.

    hopefully for davis’ sake he proves me wrong.

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  3. Big Oil says:


    Do you find any reason to believe Lind’s success this year to be like that of Ludwick’s last year? Ostensibly, even though Lind is younger by a few years, it seems both sort of emerge from previous average levels of success into (and herein lies the small sample size elephant) early season success. Perhaps a comparison of Ludwick’s periphals through the first two weeks of last year with Lind? I’m not sure I know where to find such stuff, but throughout the first week I found myself thinking this could be a similar situation.

    Enjoying reading all of the articles. Keep up the good work.

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    • Brian Joura says:
      FanGraphs Supporting Member

      Hi Big Oil – thanks for reading and commenting.

      Personally, no, I don’t think that Lind’s success to be like that of Ludwick. In our short sample size, Lind is hitting 100 points higher than last year’s already high BABIP. Ludwick’s 2007 baseline was lower and his 2008 breakout was not nearly as high.

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  4. Ian says:

    steveshane67, are you omitting players based on race? That type of thing usually works out well, but maybe not so much this time. Have a look at the top 10 guys in O-swing %, and I really don’t think you can draw any racial conclusions. There was an article on THT a couple of years ago that showed that Latin American players draw fewer walks but that’s not quite what you’re talking about.

    You’ve got a bit of a point about Chris Davis, though, the only way he’s a successful big leaguer is if he keeps his average up at .280+, since he doesn’t walk a ton. Otherwise, he becomes Mark Reynolds.

    Also, I’ve watched every big league game Lind has played, and I think he’s the real deal. I’d bet on him having a career .300 average; he’s so good at taking what the pitcher gives him and going with it. Opposite way if the ball’s outside, but he can still get around on inside heat.

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    • CH says:

      In his defense, I don’t think he meant for that to be a racist comment in any way, I think he’s referring to the expression “you don’t walk off the island.” These guys are taught very early in their careers that a “good pitch” is defined as “anything you can hit.” Whether the O-swing numbers prove that or not is something to examine more closely, but I think he was actually defending guys like Alexei Ramirez and Vlad Guerrero for swinging at so many “bad” pitches. That’s just their style, and they (especailly Vlad) have been effective with it, mostly because they’re MUCH more athletic than guys like Chris Davis.

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      • steveshane67 says:

        first off ian, why dont you back off the racism train….

        as CH said, i was referring to the you dont walk off the island mentality, meaning latin players are a lot more free swingers than american players, and many off them are good bad ball hitters, ie vlad, alexei, thus to me they are outliers in the sense of they are rare hitters who are successful while swinging at bad pitches. you remove those outliers (who happen to be hispanic), then chris davis’ company becomes a lot less spectatular.

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  5. Jim says:

    Unfortunately, none of the guys in my league are idiots. And they would have to be to sell off Dan Haren, Jimmie Rollins, Chris Davis, or Dustin Pedroia because of bad first weeks. They would have to be even more extremely idiotic to want to deal Gil Meche because he doesn’t have a win yet. Couldn’t you have chosen a couple less obvious candidates?

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  6. Ian says:

    I know you were referring to the “you don’t walk off the island” expression, that’s why I referenced the THT article. I don’t think you were being racist, I just don’t think you had a good reason to exclude those guys.

    So what disqualifies those two guys as comparisons for Chris Davis? If it’s athleticism, then you have to get rid of Delmon Young, Carlos Gomez, Alfonso Soriano and Jeff Francoeur, too.

    If we’re going to compare guys based on OSwing% and K/BB rates, then let’s leave other unrelated factors out of it.

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  7. Kevin says:

    As as of now (including today’s game), Lind has 52 ABs and 7 BBs. Project that to 520 ABs, he would have 70 BBs, which is actually quite good and shows significant improvement in his plate discipline.

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  8. Jesus says:

    Guess that Adam Lind guy was pretty good after all the back and forth. You lose Joura.

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