Hopefully you were able to pick up Matt Holliday and trade Russell Branyan 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.
Jermaine Dye – He is striking out more than he ever has and his AVG is a disappointing .270 so far. His fantasy value is being propped up by HR but he has a 25 percent HR/FB rate. These are reasons why his current owner might trade him. But Dye has just a .243 AVG at home, thanks to a .234 BABIP at U.S. Cellular. He’s batted over .300 at home two of the last three seasons and has never had an AVG that low in his previous four years in Chicago. Dye is also uncharacteristically struggling versus LHP, against whom he has just a .152 AVG. Lifetime he is a .284 hitter versus southpaws. Even with a regression in HR, the updated ZiPS projects him to hit 24 the rest of the season and finish with 36 HR, which exceeds all of the pre-season projections.
David Aardsma – Since Brandon Morrow blew back-to-back saves on May 13-14, Aardsma has three saves and Morrow has none. Additionally, Morrow has pitched multiple innings in the sixth and seventh in his last three outings. Walks have always been a major issue for Aardsma and this year is no different. But this is a guy who is at the very least in the running for saves and is available on the waiver wire in over half of ESPN leagues.
Aubrey Huff – The updated ZiPS forecast shows Huff finishing below last year’s output in every fantasy category. But Huff is also a notoriously slow starter. At this point last year, Huff was batting .240-6-24 and he finished .304-32-108. It’s almost impossible to predict the finish that Huff enjoyed last season, but since he’s starting from a higher baseline, he doesn’t have quite so far to go. Huff already has a nice .209 ISO and his BB/K numbers are better than a year ago. He currently has a .277 BABIP, 20 points below his lifetime mark and 42 points below what he hit last year.
Joe Saunders – There is not one advanced metric that suggests you should pick him up. But at some point we have to stop looking at what we think he should do and instead look at what he has done. Saunders has a lifetime .691 winning percentage with a sub-four ERA in 73 games. The updated ZiPS forecast is not pretty; it shows him going 9-9 with a 4.40 ERA from here on out. That’s slightly more pessimistic than the pre-season projections forecasted for him. If you can acquire him for the price of his expected ZiPS for the remainder of 2009, I like Saunders’ chances of beating that projection.
Coco Crisp – His .751 OPS is identical to what it was a year ago. But in 2009, Crisp is achieving that with a .250 BABIP compared to a .322 mark last season. He may not crack double-digits in HR this season, but it would not be a surprise to see him bat .300 with 20 SB the rest of the way.
Jason Bartlett – At some point fantasy owners will start to take Bartlett seriously. Currently, his .373-7-30-32-14 line makes him the third-best fantasy player overall according to CBS Sports. The key for Bartlett owners is to find the moment when other owners feel enough time has elapsed to make him a serious acquisition target. Some owners may never consider Bartlett a trade target. That’s okay. The updated ZiPS shows him compiling a .293-5-36-52-15 line from here on out. Yes, a huge decline from where he is now, but still a valuable fantasy SS that could help most clubs. Bartlett owners have already “won” with his production until now. If they can get equivalent value for Bartlett’s RoS ZiPS at a position of need, that should be a win-win deal for both sides.
Zach Duke – He should be an attractive target for clubs that need pitching with his 2.60 K/BB ratio and 3.56 FIP. But Duke has a .261 BABIP and a 5.9 percent HR/FB ratio. Linear Weights shows his fastball turning from an awful pitch the last three seasons to one that is neutral despite having no increase in velocity. His RoS ZiPS shows him with an ERA of 5.24 and a 5-10 record.
B.J. Upton – The time to get a good return on Upton has come and gone. Now we are left with trying to salvage something for the rest of the year. He is striking out at an alarming rate (31.5%) and hitting for no power (.097 ISO). RoS ZiPS sees him hitting .257 with 11 HR. It is possible his trade value still exceeds that meager production.
Johnny Cueto – Everyone expected Cueto to improve upon last year’s numbers, although not many predicted what he’s produced so far in 2009. But Cueto’s lofty numbers carry several warning signs. His 3.64 FIP is well above his 2.37 ERA. Cueto has benefited from an 83.1 percent strand rate and a .253 BABIP. His K/9 is down 1.2 from a season ago and his HR/9 is less than half of what it was in 2008.
Michael Bourn – A one-category performer (SB), Bourn has actually been a plus in three categories so far, adding runs and AVG to his ledger. But the .366 BABIP won’t last and you should actively shop him to someone looking to make up ground in SB.
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