Week 13 Trade Possibilities

Hopefully you were able to pick up Lance Berkman and trade Adrian Gonzalez 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.


Adam LaRoche – In 2008 he had a .764 OPS in the first half of the year and a .975 OPS after the break. In 2007 the numbers were .763 and .854. In his MLB career, LaRoche has a .787 OPS pre-AS break and a .907 OPS after the break. He has had a very solid first half of the season and if he maintains his career averages after the break, LaRoche could challenge for his best season yet, when he batted .285-32-90.

Luke Hochevar – His strikeout rate is poor (3.57) and his BABIP sits at .231 for the season. But Hochevar has hurled a Quality Start in four of his last five outings, pitching into the seventh inning in all four of those games, including one route-going performance. Hochevar has decent control and does not allow many fly balls. And he should improve upon his 60 percent strand rate going forward.

Willie Harris – Since taking over the CF job 10 days ago, Harris has 3 HR and 3 SB to go along with a .308 AVG. Harris has never been a star, but he did hit 13 HR a season ago. If you need a stopgap option in the OF, he is a waiver wire pickup to consider, with the ability to help in multiple categories. Also, he has played 10 games this year at 2B, which may make him eligible there in some formats.

Chad Gaudin – Back as a SP after spending most of last season in relief, Gaudin is piling up the strikeouts and maintaining a serviceable WHIP (1.39) despite a dismal 4.58 BB/9 mark. His FIP is over a full run beneath his ERA while his strand rate has room for improvement from its current 65.2 percent mark. Early in the month, Gaudin was forced into bullpen duty in an 18-inning game. He got rocked in his next start but has followed up with three Quality Starts. In that span, Gaudin has a 28/5 SO/BB ratio in 21 innings.

Garrett Atkins – Through his first 53 games, Atkins had a .189 AVG and was in the discussion for the worst player in fantasy baseball. Since then, he’s hit .519 in his last 10 games, although none of his other fantasy numbers have been noteworthy. But one category production is better than none and Atkins has a .240 BABIP despite a career .314 mark in the category. RoS ZiPS shows him with a .288-12-52-44-1 line the remainder of the season.


Ichiro Suzuki – There may be no more polarizing figure in fantasy baseball than Ichiro. Proponents point to his ultra-high AVG and SB and strong R numbers. So far, the proponents have been right. Ichiro’s .372 AVG has him as the 14th-best fantasy player, according to CBS Sports. He has a .391 BABIP. Ichiro had a .390 mark in 2007 and hit .401 in the category in 2004. Still, his career mark is .358 so some regression should not be a surprise. Also, Ichiro already has as many HR as he hit in the past two seasons and his HR/FB rate is double what it was a season ago.

Derek Lowe – His last three outings have really dragged down his overall numbers. Some may consider Lowe a buy-low option as a solid #2/3 fantasy pitcher simply going through a rough patch. But he is also a 36-year old with declining K/9 and BB/9 numbers. Lowe is getting fewer swings outside the zone and the famed sinkerballer has a career-worst GB%. The numbers could be even worse if Lowe did not have a career-best 4.4 percent HR/FB rate, roughly one-third of his career mark in the category. His velocity is down and Pitch Type Values shows his slider, which was such an effective pitch for Lowe last year, has been a below-average pitch this season.

Mark Reynolds – Fantasy players mostly avoided Reynolds on Draft Day this season, making him a late-round pick or waiver-wire fare. The conventional wisdom was that his power was not worth the low average. Whoops. Reynolds has raised his AVG 29 points, shown even more power than a season ago and added SB to his game. But it is time to sell high. Reynolds is unlikely to maintain his 28-SB or 45-HR pace. He has already surpassed his professional career high in steals and the 28 percent HR/FB rate is 10 points above last year’s mark.

Joel Pineiro – He has gained a lot of publicity lately for being the latest Tony LaRussa/Dave Duncan reclamation project. But Pineiro features a career-low 3.81 K/9 ratio and he is unlikely to maintain a 0.27 HR/9 rate.

Scott Rolen – His .332 AVG has been almost as big of a surprise as Rolen playing in 66 games so far, even with his bad back. He has a 17-game hitting streak with 10 multi-hit games. But he is a one-category performer, with just 5 HR and 29 RBI to go along with his gaudy AVG. And not surprisingly, Rolen has a .360 BABIP, which would be his personal best and is 46 points above his career mark.

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19 Responses to “Week 13 Trade Possibilities”

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  1. R M says:

    Not that I like Piniero, but could his lower K rate and homeruns allowed be because he has revamped his fastball to pitch to contact and generate tons of groundballs? He currently leads the league in GB%.

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  2. mike says:

    I always get a kick out of this post every week. Who in there right mind would trade a guy like Ichiro, or for that matter, most players put up here weekly? Serious Rotisserie Leaguers, those principally in keeper leagues, would never move guys like Ichiro, Dan Haren Adrian Gonzalez (both last week). It is, however, a great read and I highly enjoy it. Keep up the great work.

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    • Brian Joura says:
      FanGraphs Supporting Member

      Hi Mike – thanks for reading each week.

      I prefer dynasty leagues but the vast majority of fantasy players participate in re-draft leagues. Not every suggestion here is going to fit every format. I could make one suggestion each week for each format but I’ve decided to write about 10 players and hope that a few can apply to the league that you play in.

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  3. I would agree with R M. Pineiro won’t be much help to your team with such a poor K/9, but the HR/9 will stay low as his GB% is over 60. Sure the 4% HR/FB is low, but since he is only giving up a total of 5 fly balls a game there isn’t a lot of chances to put the ball out.

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  4. mike says:

    Brian you do a great job. I was serious. It wasn’t a knock at all.

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  5. Big Oil says:

    Some of the things we discussed with De La Rosa a month or so ago — the high K’s, susceptability for BBs, ERA/FIP relationship — remind me of Gaudin. So tantilizing, and then a string of poor performances. I agree he is worth a pickup, but I’ve learned my lesson with these guys.

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  6. mymrbig says:

    Ran-dy John-son, clap, clap, clap-clap-clap!

    Adam LaRoche is a great suggestion. I’ve been picking him up in a few leagues over the past few weeks. It is pretty amazing that he never figured out how to correct his early-season woes but that things tend to click a little before the all-star break.

    Other guys that have pretty consistent splits that might be worthy of future columns include Dan Haren (consistently better in the 1st half), Roy Oswalt (consistenly better in the 2nd half) and Randy Winn (consistenly better in the 2nd half).

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    • Brian Joura says:
      FanGraphs Supporting Member

      Hi mymrbig

      Thanks for the suggestions. I was unaware that Winn was consistently better in the 2nd half. And as noted earlier, Haren was featured last week as a trade guy.

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      • mymrbig says:

        Randy Winn’s pre- and post-break stats the last 4.5 years. Don’t know what happened in 2006 after the break, but his pre-break numbers for 2005-2008 are pretty consistent and his post-break number for 2005, 2006, and 2008 are all pretty consistent. Won’t cost too much to acquire, but could be a great acquisition in NL-only or deeper mixed leagues. Not as big of a factor for shallower mixed leagues though, even if he has another hot 2nd half.

        2005 – .265/.334/.373
        2006 – .270/.343/.427
        2007 – .280/.332/.402
        2008 – .285/.355/.406
        2009 – .265/.315/.378 (so far)

        2005 – .354/.391/.646
        2006 – .249/.296/.349
        2007 – .324/.377/.496
        2008 – .332/.375/.451

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  7. Eric/OR says:

    Suggestion – if the terms “trade” and “acquire” seem to rub people the wrong way (they feel like instructions), a better pair of titles for framing these articles might be “sell-high candidates” and “buy-low candidates”.


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    • Brian Joura says:
      FanGraphs Supporting Member

      Thanks Eric.

      I don’t really like the headings I have currently, either, but can’t say that I like any others better. But I think you are right that they have the possibility to rub people the wrong way.

      Maybe “obtain” and “exchange” – what do you think?

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      • mymrbig says:

        I like obtain & exchange better that trade/acquire or sell-high/buy-low.

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      • Eric/OR says:

        “Bullish” & “Bearish”? Though maybe stock market references aren’t apropos these days, either!

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  8. Garison says:

    “Buy low” and “sell high” may be the best terms because they are recommendations with conditions. The conditions being that you don’t just look to grab or dump given players at any price. At a player’s low point (often a player who was expected to perform at a high level), the idea is to get a discount, not pay full or near-full price. At a player’s peak (often a player who was not expected to perform so well) some people may be willing to overpay, offering someone with better long term hope.

    And most people have at least a loose understanding of this concept, though it’s impossible to perfect because almost nothing is certain, and mistakes will happen. Value and profit are just as important as getting the guys on the rise and dealing the guys who will decline. Don’t just try to improve; try to improve by the greatest amount if you can.

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  9. dbuff says:

    Then there’s Aubrey Huff’s career numbers: Pre All Star break .273 BA/.448 SLG. Post All Star break .302BA/ .519 SLG. Huff’s numbers this year so far .275 BA/ .450 SLG.

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  10. mike D says:

    lol whats worng with aquire and trade. stupid, stupid, stupid !!! people on this site (i would like to think) are a little more advance than other sites. you guys know what the article is intended for, plus i think aquire and trade are the right words anyway. dont disrespect the writer..

    But brian unless u get a good offer for reynolds it might be worth it. reynolds is a pure power hitter starting to come into his own, his avg might dip but the power is for real.

    BTW. have u ever watched a ARI telecast or more than a couple of reynolds abs?? think u have to respect the sheriff !!

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  11. mike D says:

    Reynolds has 40+ hommer power and hes only 25 years old i see potential there

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  12. Josh, NY says:

    I love the article, read it weekly, so keep that in mind… but I don’t see how Hochevar is an acquire and Piniero is a trade. They are essentially the same player, and in leagues that are deep enough for these players to be owned, I would imagine that the owners in those leagues can see that they are both GB pitchers with low k-rates that are almost entirely dependent on their defenses. However, having said all that, I do think Hochevar has a tad bit more upside as he’s younger, and I do think could begin to figure things out a bit and generate some more strikeouts, as he does have a greater variety of pitches at his disposal then Piniero.

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  13. D-Rock says:

    I’d like to echo the sentiments from Josh, except regarding Lowe. Who on earth would give you anything for Derek Lowe? You just can’t trade a 37 year-old pitcher who doesn’t strike anyone out and who is currently getting knocked around and doesn’t strike anyone out. If I could find a sucker to take him in the one league I own him in, I’d do it in a heartbeat.

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