Hopefully you were able to pick up Scott Baker and trade Josh Outman last week. But even if you stood pat there are still plenty of acquisition targets and trade bait guys out there for you. So, here are five guys to pick up and five guys to move.
Juan Rivera – Playing time has been an issue throughout Rivera’s career, but he seemingly has nailed down the starting job in left field this year. His ISO is nearly identical to last season; the big thing for Rivera this year is a more normal BABIP. After suffering through a .242 mark last year, he has a .313 one this season. Updated ZiPS shows him finishing the year with a .297 AVG and 18 HR and that may be selling him short in homers. Owned in less than 11 percent of ESPN leagues, Rivera is a nice cheap option for AVG and HR.
John Danks – Owners were expecting more than a 4-5 record with a 4.81 ERA in the middle of June. In his last three outings, he is 0-2 with a 5.40 ERA. But Danks is on a career-best strikeout pace, with an 8.15 K/9. Also, he has been a little unlucky with a 14.1 percent HR/FB rate. Danks’ ERA is already 0.36 runs above his FIP and with a little better HR rate going forward, he could turn in an ERA under four for the remainder of the year.
Stephen Drew – It has been a bad start of the year for most of the top shortstops and it seems there is a different SS on the “acquire” part of this list each week. A hot streak the last two weeks has gotten Drew’s overall numbers near respectability. His overall peripherals look okay. However, the one area where he has room for improvement is his numbers in Chase Field, which for most other hitters is a great hitting park. Drew has a home BABIP of .269, which has led to a .247/.318/.433 slash line. In 2008, Drew had a .321/.361/.559 slash line in his home park.
John Smoltz – After five rehab starts in the minors, Smoltz is on the verge of being called up to the Red Sox. He has gone six innings in each of his last two outings, although he was roughed up in his last start, when he allowed four runs. Overall, the minor league numbers look good, not great. But Smoltz is a nice lottery ticket if he is a free agent in your league. He has a history of being very good when healthy and there is really no reason not to add him to your bench if he is out there on the waiver wire and see if he can hold up for the remainder of the season.
Alberto Callaspo – If you need a middle infielder, you could do far worse than picking up Callaspo from the waiver wire. He probably is not going to give much in power, but the .300 AVG looks legitimate. His .330 BABIP looks high, but it matches the .327 he put up last year. In his last two full seasons in the minors he posted marks of .346 and .353 in the category.
Jason Kubel – At age 27, it should not be surprising that he is on target for a career year. But he is unlikely to maintain his current pace. The 17.5 percent HR/FB rate has led to a career-high .238 ISO, while he has never topped .200 previously. Kubel’s .349 BABIP is easily a career high, topping even his minor league numbers in the category. His SO/BB numbers and batted ball profile are similar to last season, indicating that perhaps some regression is right around the corner.
Max Scherzer – In his last two outings, Scherzer has gone 12.2 innings without allowing a run. He also got to pitch in Petco and against the Giants in those two games. His strikeout potential will always make him attractive to other owners, but it is hard to get excited about a guy who has a 5.73 ERA in his home park. Scherzer’s FIP is slightly higher than his ERA and his strand rate checks in at 79.2 percent. Rest of Season ZiPS sees a couple of more wins, but basically the same pitcher he has been the first part of 2009. If you can find an owner eager due to his strikeouts and recent performances, look to make a deal.
Bobby Abreu – It may be a little late to maximize his value, but Abreu is still on pace for 88 RBIs and 41 SB. But at this point he will be lucky to crack double digits in HR. The AVG is good but not great and he will need to maintain both that and the SB pace to make up for the lack of power. Abreu’s combination of skills will work for some teams but that power from an outfielder will be an albatross for many owners, especially since he was counted on for 15-20 HR at the beginning of the year.
Trevor Hoffman – One of the great stories so far this year has been the performance of Hoffman. But he has yet to give up a HR, has a 92.3 percent strand rate and a .218 BABIP. He has an outstanding 16 saves in 20 games. Shop him hard to teams looking for saves before the bottom falls out.
Adam Jones – There is a lot to like with Jones and hopefully if you deal him now you will get a nice return. But he also has a .372 BABIP and a 21.8 percent HR/FB rate, neither of which are likely to last. One of the hidden keys to Jones’ success this year has been the elimination of infield popups. Last year he had an IFFB% of 14.5 and in two previous partial seasons it was 17.6 and 13.3 percent. This year his mark checks in at 1.8 percent. Since infield flies result in an out nearly 100 percent of the time, this is a significant improvement for Jones. But it is another mark likely to regress going forward.
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