Week Eight Trade Possibilities

Here are seven players for your consideration to either acquire or send packing.

BUY

Jose Reyes – Those owners who gambled on Reyes might be ready to cut bait. In addition to his .232 AVG, Reyes’ walk rate is less than half of what it was a season ago, he has yet to hit a single HR after reaching double-digits in his last three healthy seasons and he ranks fifth in the majors with a 20.0 IFFB%. But since returning to the leadoff spot 10 games ago, Reyes is batting .283 with 8 R and 3 SB. It’s too late to get him for pennies on the dollar but RoS ZiPS shows him with 30 SB the rest of the way. And those will be worthy paying for if they come with above average R and AVG marks.

Wandy Rodriguez – His BB/9 is up, while his K/9 and HR/9 are down from a year ago. It adds up to an ERA 1.31 higher than it was in 2009 and an xFIP 76 points above last year’s mark. Rodriguez has struggled this year with his curveball. The pitch which had been such a strong offering for the previous three seasons now checks in with a wCB/C of -2.55, a change of 4.5 runs from 2009. It is hard to imagine his curve being so poor the rest of the season – the most likely scenarios are that he either improves with it from here on out or ends up on the DL. If his back can hold up, Rodriguez is a good buy-low candidate.

Ervin Santana – His numbers look solid overall but Santana has pitched very well after getting roughed up in his first two starts of the year. He allowed 9 ER in his first 11.2 IP but since then Santana has given up 19 ER in 57.1 IP for a 2.98 ERA. While his average FB velocity is still down from his big 2008 season, Santana is getting good mileage with his slider. On Tuesday’s start against the Blue Jays, Santana got 14 swinging strikes with his slider. His xFIP and RoS ZiPS both show Santana as a sell candidate but with each start he looks further removed from 2009’s 5.03 ERA and closer the 2008 version, even without the great fastball.

SELL

Adrian Beltre – Many people expected Beltre to bounce back in 2010 with his move to Fenway Park. Safeco Field suppressed power from RH hitters and many thought that Beltran would at least get back to his mid-20s HR power, if not more than that. But Beltre has a career-low 28.9 FB%, making a big HR season virtually impossible. Right now Beltre’s value is tied up in his .327 AVG, which is the result of his .381 BABIP. Beltre has topped .300 just once in his career. He has a .293 lifetime BABIP and his career-best is the .325 he posted in 2004.

Alex Rios – He has rebounded nicely from last year’s dismal performance and is on pace for 34 HR and 53 SB. But Rios has a career-high 14.3 HR/FB rate and a 45.7 FB%, also a personal-best. And not only is Rios hitting more fly balls, he has a 53.9 FB% in his home park, where he has hit six of his nine HR. Perhaps Rios has a completely different approach at the plate at home than he does on the road. But it is more likely to be a fluke. Odds are against Rios hitting 34 HR and even the 24 that Updated ZiPS projects might be optimistic. Clearly, at age 29, a career-high in HR would not be unexpected, but do not expect him to shatter his previous best of 24 HR. Also, Rios’ career-high in SB is 32 and in his other five full seasons in the majors, he has averaged 17 SB per year.

Alfonso Soriano – George Steinbrenner once dubbed Dave Winfield “Mr. May” and that moniker might work for Soriano, too. He is batting .347 with 6 HR and 16 RBIs this month with six games left to play. Lifetime, Soriano has 67 HR in May, the most of any month in his career. Soriano currently has a .363 BABIP and a .306 ISO, both of which would easily be career-bests. Fantasy owners likely got Soriano at a huge discount after his poor season in 2009. While they should not just give him away, neither should his owners look to get too greedy with a player who has missed 98 games the past two seasons.

HUNCH

Joe Saunders – I am a big Saunders fan because he consistently delivers Wins despite poor peripherals. Even with a 3-6 record this year, Saunders has a 51-28 lifetime record. After starting the season 1-5 with a 7.04 ERA, Saunders has seemingly gotten back on track in his last four games, going 2-1 with a 1.57 ERA. I like him to better his RoS ZiPS projection of a 9-8 record and 4.84 ERA.




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23 Responses to “Week Eight Trade Possibilities”

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  1. lester bangs says:

    Joe Saunders? Don’t make me sick Keith Law on you.

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    • Brett says:

      Did I really just read this on Fangraphs?

      “I am a big Saunders fan because he consistently delivers Wins despite poor peripherals.”

      Chasing wins is a poor strategy to begin with, Saunders sucks, and the Angels’ offense is middle of the pack so far this year.

      I just lot a lot of respect for you Mr. Joura.

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      • Brett says:

        should have read:

        *lost a lot of respect (obviously)

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      • BlahBlah says:

        Check your URL, it’s fangraphs.com/FANTASY. And when it comes to fantasy, those W are very valuable.

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      • claykenny says:

        BlahBlah,

        I don’t understand your point. Yeah, wins are valuable. Yeah, this is a fantasy website. Did you also know that strikeouts are valuable, as well as home runs and stolen bases? Thanks for stating the obvious. Are you somehow trying to suggest that chasing wins is a good thing? Get a brain, moran. You must be a USA-lovin’ Cardinals fan.

        No fancy stats to back this up, but I kind of assume at a rudimentary level that wins are a combined product of these concrete parameters:

        1. Preventing runners from reaching base, best acheived by striking hitters out and limiting free passes.
        2. Limiting home runs/extra base hits, best acheived by striking hitters out and/or keeping batted balls on the ground.
        3. Pitching deep into games (unless you have a bullpen that is more effective than you… then go five and call it a day)
        4. Run support

        Pitchers who meet all of the above criteria almost always win a lot of games (e.g. Halladay). Guys who meet all but one or two may (Beckett) or may not (Greinke of 2010, Cain of eternity), depending on their luck. Guys who only qualify in one or two may luck their way into a winning season, but generally won’t be a good souce of wins.

        Feldman won 17 games last year with a 4.08 ERA, 5.36 K/9, and average GB% combined with a good walk rate and awesome offense. Compare his peripherals to Ross Ohlendorf, who won 11 games. Did you run out and draft Feldman this year expecting 17 wins while completely ignoring Ohlendorf? They were essentially the same pitcher.

        Roy Halladay won 17 games last year, too. Heading into 2010, would you expect Halladay or Feldman to win more games? That’s a tough one. Even if Feldman won more games than Halladay this season, which guy would you rather have?

        In addition, is betting Feldman or Saunders will repeat their win total worth the damage you’ll sustain in three other categories? I knew heading into 2010 that Jonathan Sanchez would hurt my ERA and WHIP while providing elite strikeouts and an outside chance at additional positive development. I knew without a doubt that Joe Saunders would kill me in all three categories, with no chance of improvement. Can you assure me that Saunders will win 15 while Sanchez wins 9? Good luck.

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  2. Chris says:

    WayRod, cmon. That was not a very good sales pitch, seriously. He is pitching bad enough to think that his bad back is, in fact, bad but you should still trade for him.

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  3. Pat says:

    I’ve never really understood the concept of trading for struggling players and getting rid of good ones. The leagues I’m in there usually aren’t a lot of trades though. I always felt like the best thing to do was (gasp) hold onto a player if he’s doing well and ride his success for as long as you can. Someone would be crazy to trade Rios right now.

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    • Chad says:

      They didn’t say you should trade someone that is raking for someone that is struggling. If someone like Rios is really raking you should be able to get someone for him that is playing well but that you see being able to sustain their level of play. Maybe you try to swap him for an injured Andre Ethier before any buzz about him coming back occurs or you trade him for a solid player at another position of need. Likewise for someone that is struggling you might be able to get them for a lot less player than you could previously. I managed to get Tulowitzki a week ago and have been able to enjoy his recent power surge.

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    • Brian Joura says:

      As an example of what Chad said, let’s say you had Jermaine Dye last year. At the AS Break, he had a .302-20-55-55-0 fantasy line. If you traded him right then for Matt Holliday (.276-8-43-42-10) you would have ended the season with a .329-36-121-107-4 line of production.

      Dye finished the year at .250-27-81-78-0

      Obviously that’s an extreme example but it illustrates the example of selling high or buying low.

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      • Pat says:

        Good point there, I guess it’s always a gamble, but if I was first place in my league, I wouldn’t feel very comfortable taking a risk and trading away a player that is a huge reason for my success.

        I’d love to find someone that would take a deal like you proposed, but I feel like most people would see through the player and not fall for it.

        My fantasy teams always underperform anyways so my opinion is pretty much worthless I guess.

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  4. Reuben says:

    I’d be happy to sell on Beltre if I could get any profit out of it. No one wants him, so I’ll just ride the luck until it ends then drop him I guess.

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  5. JayCee says:

    At fair, market prices, you say Buy Saunders and Sell Rios?

    Cool, because I will take the other side of each of those trades.

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    • Gina says:

      I don’t think he’s saying sell rios for saunders. And he didn’t even say buy saunders he’s under hunch. I’m pretty certain this isn’t meant to be read as sell these players for these players.

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      • Brett says:

        I think you’ve misinterpreted JayCee’s interpretation. He wasn’t saying that he understood the article to say Saunders for Rios. This is indicated by his 2nd sentence which states “each of those trades”.

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  6. JackS says:

    How do you think Beltre’s %’s to left field are affecting his power production?

    This season to left he’s hit 70.2% GB, 12.8% FB, 33.3% IFFB and has a 16.7 % HR/FB
    In his career to left hes hit 57.2% GB, 23.6% FB, 10.1% IFFB, and has a 29.6% HR/FB

    You think those numbers will “normalize”? If so, more power production?

    I’m a Red Sox fan, a Beltre fan and a Beltre fantasy owner so I’ve given this some thought, but I’m not good at math so I could be way off base interpreting these numbers….

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  7. Bernie Brewer says:

    Fangraphs needs to cut back on quantity and upgrade the quality it used to feature. Too many weak thoughts being shared here. Too many cooks in the kitchen.

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    • swyck says:

      Agreed. With all those bad numbers, why exactly is Wandy a good buy low candidate? Didn’t get that from this post.

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  8. Brian Joura says:

    All baseball criticisms are welcome. Any comment with personal references will be deleted

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  9. james says:

    As some have mentioned, how exactly do you expect one to sell high on Beltre? In any type of comptetive league no one will be buying him for any real value. If Wandy is hurt, why should we be acquiring him? And if he isn’t hurt, what would leave you to believe he will get better, that his curve ball will miraculously return to form? Sell Rios at your own risk, you better be getting a very good player for him. Not that keeping him is necessarily the right play but only sell for the right deal.

    What league are you in where you can trade Dye for Holliday?

    I keep hearing that fangraphs provides great analysis, but so far I would rank it right up there with CBS as some of the worst around.

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    • Brian says:

      Think last year at the all-star break…if it wasn’t a keeper league that seems very reasonable (see 1st half splits above)…Holliday was horrible.

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  10. Brian says:

    Is Wandy really throwing different pitches than in 2009? His PitchFX is showing a lower % of fastballs, adding a 2-seamer, and eliminating a slider. Is this accurate or are they mis-categorizing his “slider” as a “2-seamer”?

    If he changed his repertoire perhaps that is leading to his drop off vs. this “injury” i keep reading about.

    I’d be more interested in buy low on a guy who changed his stuff (think opposite of Mike Pelfrey adding the splitter) than if he has a back problem which could linger all season.

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  11. NBH says:

    I understand the concept of buy low/sell high, but just because a player is on pace to beat their career highs does not mean that they are a “sell high” candidate. By definition, every major league ballplayer who plays two or more seasons is going to have a career year, where they set a high in one or more categories. If a guy is 35+ and on pace to shatter their career best marks, then yes, sell high. But Alex Rios has always been considered a guy whose talent has not transformed into elite stats and he is only 29. Plus, he moved into a nice hitters park. To think that he is a sell high because he is on pace to shatter his previous career highs doesn’t sit right with me. Maybe this is his career year and he goes 25-35-.295 or dare I say it: 30-45-.295.

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  12. AngMohClay says:

    I like the Santana suggestion.

    One thing dramatically different in the 2010 version (vs. the 2009 version) is he is going much deeper into games. With 76.0 through 11 GS he is getting through almost 7 IP per time out there, and in keeping with claykenny’s comment above this is resulting in more Ws. It also means he’s going to produce a ton of Ks, because that 8 k/9 clip is clearly sustainable. As a FB pitcher, the WHIP should be ok too, and he’s putting up good numbers right now despite a relatively high HR/FB.

    In summary, he seems a very safe bet for good K’s, along with above average ratios and Ws.

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