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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