Week Nine Trade Possibilities

Hopefully you were able to pick up Jermaine Dye and trade Johnny Cueto 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.


John Maine – Current owners may look at his .252 BABIP and 4.41 FIP and see a sell candidate. But Maine was terrible the first three games of the season and has quietly been a very effective pitcher since then. In his last seven games, Maine is 5-1 with a 2.36 ERA. Linear Weights shows his fastball, which was such a good pitch in both 2006 and 2007, has rebounded into positive numbers despite a slight decrease in velocity.

Jorge Cantu – After a hot start to the season, Cantu really struggled in May and now his updated ZiPS shows him falling fall short of last year’s HR and R totals. A hand injury that he refused to come out of the lineup for hurt his numbers, especially early in the month. But Cantu has hit a solid .286 over his last 14 games and he could be a great pickup if his power numbers rebound as the hand improves.

Jhonny Peralta – Here is another player whose numbers have been dragged down due to injury. After a strong first two weeks of the season, Peralta injured his left elbow. The injury sapped his power and helped his average fall below .200 in early May. But in his last 21 games, Peralta is batting .347, albeit still with no power. The most attractive thing about Peralta as a fantasy player is his 20-HR power. RoS ZiPS sees Peralta hitting 11 HR the rest of the season.

Gavin Floyd – A 17-game winner a year ago, Floyd was overvalued by many coming into the season. But it seems that he has reached the point now where he is an undervalued commodity. Floyd’s strikeout rate is up over 1.5 per nine from a year ago and his FIP is actually lower now than it was in 2008 (4.14 opposed to 4.77). But he is being hurt by baserunners, as his BB rate is up and his BABIP sits at .335 compared to a .296 lifetime mark. But in his last three outings, Floyd has allowed just seven walks in 23 IP. Improved control along with a little better luck on balls in play could add up to a big improvement in Floyd’s numbers.

Nolan Reimold – The Baltimore rookie has provided some nice power, with five home runs in his first 17 games. While that pace may not be sustainable, the power is not a huge surprise, as Reimold hit 25 HR last year in Double-A. Reimold has made good contact since returning from a strained oblique in 2007. He will not hurt you in average and could be a cheap source of power as he is owned in only 5.1 percent of ESPN leagues.


Nate McLouth – An All-Star in 2008, McLouth came into the season with an ADP of 59 as owners anticipated another 25-25 season and hoped for 30-30. So far, McLouth has been hitting for power but he has been disappointing in the other categories. He looks like a nice acquisition target, as his BABIP is a dismal .254 so far. But his updated ZiPS shows him hitting just .256 with 22 HR and 20 SB. McLouth’s first half of 2008, when he had 19 HR and a .542 SLG, is looking like a career outlier. His SLG was .459 in 2007, .426 in the second half of 2008 and is .451 this season.

Kevin Millwood – He is in the top 10 in the American League with a 3.23 ERA but that comes along with a 5.05 FIP. His .256 BABIP is 50 points below his career average and his 83.9 percent strand rate is unlikely to last. Adding to the worries is his K/9, which sits at 4.96, down from 6.67 last year and his career average of 7.09.

Raul Ibanez – An extremely reliable fantasy performer the past seven seasons, Ibanez is off to a fantastic start. CBS Sports lists him as the fifth-best fantasy player so far while RotoTimes has him at number four. If you can sell high, now would be the time. Ibanez is just not this good and he has absolutely feasted on the pitching of the last-place Nationals. Due to a quirk of the schedule, Ibanez and the Phillies have played 12 games versus Washington and no more than six against anyone else. In those 12 games versus the Nationals and their MLB-worst 6.16 R/G staff, Ibanez is hitting .440 with 6 HR, 18 RBI and 15 R. His play against Washington has raised his AVG alone 23 points. Ibanez won’t see that pitching staff again until September 8th.

Doug Davis – He has only posted two wins but has been a strong contributor in the other three SP categories. But a 4.78 FIP suggests Davis has been more than a little lucky with his 3.65 ERA. After posting a 2.91 ERA and a 1.176 WHIP in April, Davis had a 4.37 ERA and a 1.371 WHIP in May.

Mark DeRosa – The Indians are allegedly shopping DeRosa and so should you. Since he qualifies at three positions, DeRosa can still be a useful fantasy player and should have trade value. The updated ZiPS shows him with numbers that come close to his 2008 ones, but that seems overly optimistic. DeRosa did so much of his damage during his career year last year at Wrigley Field, where he batted .316/.404/.514. His road numbers last year of .254/.347/.448 look remarkably like what he has posted so far in 2009.

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15 Responses to “Week Nine Trade Possibilities”

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  1. Joe says:

    In a 10 team mixed league, h2h points, would you drop any of Scherzer/Price/Porcello/Jimenez for Floyd?

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    • R M says:

      If it’s a keeper league, stay put. If it’s a one year league, I would drop Porcello. Definitely not the other 3 though.

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    • Willis says:

      Forget what that other guy said; Porcello is the one you should not drop. Porcello has put up better numbers than all of them so far this season. Price is gonna be a stud too, so i wouldn’t let him go either. Scherzer has not been that good at all and I think he is extremely overrated; Floyd will likely outperform Scherzer for the rest of the season. Jimenez is a strong young talent but the fact that he pitches in Colorado always has to be a concern, although Floyd also pitches in a hitter friendly park. I would drop Scherzer; he won’t get many wins on such an offensively weak team andc doesn’t maintain a low enough ERA to be relevent. Price and Porcello are your definite keepers.

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      • R M says:

        dude what are you talking about….Scherzer has the better ERA, and a 3.69 FIP to back it up, as well as a 9.2 K/9. Porcello has a 4.82 FIP and a 5 K/9, suggesting he is pitching over his head, and even at this level, Scherzer is more valuable because of the massive difference in strikeout rate. Jiminez has a 3.31 FIP and 7.5 K/9. Price has a 5.42 FIP. If it is a one year league you just did a great job at picking the 2 pitchers who are likely to be worst this year.

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  2. miked says:

    how come you guys didnt metion matt cain again ??????

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    • Brian Joura says:

      Hi Mike – thanks for reading and commenting.

      With nine guys listed as RotoGraphs authors it is both hard to keep everyone straight and also not to have overlap among subjects.

      Having said both of those things, I have not written about Matt Cain since identifying his as a guy to trade back on 4/28, which I believe is the only time I’ve written about him.

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  3. R M says:

    I am a little confused as to what your reasoning is for telling people to deal Nate McClouth. His value is diminished from his low average, yet he is actually playing better this year than last year.

    Take away his average, and he is on pace for 32 homeruns, 120 RBI, and 25 stolen bases in the same number of at bats. Add in that he is walking more than ever and subject to the bad luck of a .254 BABIP, and you have a prime buy low candidate, not a prime sell low candidate.

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  4. Brian Joura says:

    Hi R M – thanks for reading and commenting.

    I don’t think McLouth is going to maintain his current HR output and neither does ZiPS.

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  5. Sean says:

    His HR/FB% is up, but not crazily so for a 28 year old, and warmer weather is ahead.

    ZIPS likes him finishing around 20-20, 80 R/RBI, and a .250 AVG. I’d take the over on all five of these. We’ll see who’s right.

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    • Brian Joura says:

      Hi Sean – thanks for reading and commenting.

      It’s easy to take the over on the counting categories as McLouth is likely to exceed the playing time that ZiPS forecasts.

      At the start of play on 6/3, RotoTimes had McLouth as the 68th-best fantasy hitter and 87th-best player overall.

      Let’s see how he finishes in their rankings – if he moves up closer to his ADP of 59.

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  6. BobbyRoberto says:

    I picked up Davis for his next two starts (@SD, then vs SF), then plan to give him the heave-ho. Well, now that I look at it, his starts after that are @KC and @SEA, so he could possibly be worth having for another 4 starts. I should note that this league uses Quality Starts instead of Wins, so his 2-6 record isn’t a factor. I’ll just cross my fingers every time he pitches and see how it all works out.

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  7. R M says:

    ZiPS also projects him to finish at 480 at bats, and doesn’t seem to take into account his BABIP thus far. Formulized projections have their limitations, and I don’t think players shouldn’t be written off or overvalued because of one. His HR/FB% is a little on the high side next to his career numbers, but he is on track for 32 homeruns. Even with regression in the HR/FB% dept, he can still easily reach last year’s total. Plus, he is right on pace with his stolen bases. I guess we can just sit back and see who is right….and I will definitely let you know if I am : )

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  8. Josh says:

    I disagree strongly with several of these.

    First off, John Maine has terrible K and BB rates, even if you cherry pick his “good” starts. The only reason his FIP is somewhat respectable is because his unsustainably low HR/9. His GB% is at a career low 35%, and his HR/FB is half his career level, at 5%. These are some atrocious peripherals.

    Next, your argument against McLouth is based on his SLG and his ZiPS projections. Well, of course his SLG will be down when his BA and BABIP are down. His ISO is in line with the past 2 years, down 10% from last year. And his ZiPS projection assume he only gets 3/4 PT, which is not true if he stays healthy. 22/20 is very good over 480 ABs.

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  9. Willis says:

    Now that McLouth is going to the Braves he will have a little more protection in the lineup and I foresee him having a really big second half in Hotlanta. I doubt Nate was expecting this trade and he is gonna have a chip on his shoulder and something to prove. I am gonna go with a final season total in the vicinity of 30 HR, 22 SB, and an average around .265. Book it.

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  10. Willis says:

    heck, i’m feeling bold. I’m uppin’ it and going with 32 HR, 28 SB, and .270.

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