Week Six Trade Possibilities

Hopefully sometime last week you were able to pull off a James Shields for Cliff Lee trade. But even if you stood pat there are still plenty of trade targets and trade bait guys out there for you. So, here are five guys to pick up and five guys to move.


J.J. Hardy – After back-to-back strong fantasy seasons, Hardy was atrocious in the month of April. He is hitting well in May but not to the point yet where his overall stats look good. Hardy may have dug too deep a hole to finish with an average close to what we expected at the beginning of the year, but he still should be right there in HR and RBIs.

Brett Cecil – He is only owned in 2.8 percent of ESPN leagues, which is great news because anyone who owns him is unlikely to trade him. The lefty throws four pitches, gets tons of ground balls (52.6%) and has 12 strikeouts in 14 innings. Cecil’s command may not be this good going forward, but throughout his minor league career he piled up the strikeouts and kept the ball in the park.

Adrian Beltre – The past three seasons Beltre has hit 25, 26 and 25 HR. Right now he has only one. Beltre is swinging at too many pitches and his 3.8 percent walk rate would easily be a career worst. Fantasy players usually undervalue Beltre and his slow start may frustrate his current owners. I still like his power potential for your corner infield slot.

Rick Porcello – After being smacked around pretty good in three of his first four starts, Porcello has had back-to-back strong outings. He may not be ready to dominate major league hitters, but Porcello has shown the ability to get ground balls (54.1%) and get hitters out. There is a minor worry about Porcello becoming the odd man out if/when Jeremy Bonderman and Dontrelle Willis return, but he is still a nice option for the back of your rotation.

Emmanuel Burriss – The Giants want Burriss to succeed and they recently installed him as the team’s leadoff hitter. He is likely just a one-category performer but the updated ZiPS projection shows him with 41 SB. Burriss also comes with 2B and SS eligibility.


Felipe Lopez – In 2005 F-Lop had his best year in the majors, with a .291-23-85 line. He has not matched any of those numbers in the ensuing three years. Right now he sports a .323 AVG thanks to a .374 BABIP. Also, after three straight years of HR/FB rates in single digits, Lopez has a 13.3 percent mark. He undoubtedly will get a boost from Chase Field, but Lopez is unlikely to maintain his .954 home OPS. His road OPS sits at .710 and that’s with a .385 BABIP.

Corey Hart – It is going to take a strong finish for Hart to match the 20-20 expectations that most everyone had for him coming into the season. And with a .345 BABIP already, it is hard to predict much growth unless he gets his strikeouts under control. After back-to-back years of declining strikeout rates, Hart has a 28.7 K% in 2009. Furthermore, even when he does hit the ball, he is not hitting for much power. Hart’s .164 ISO would be a career low.

Randy Johnson – Everyone is pulling for Johnson to reach 300 career wins and he picked up his 298th Monday night. But Johnson hardly pitched well, as he allowed four ER in five IP. Johnson has had seven starts this season and has a Quality Start in just two of them. The strikeout numbers are still there (except for his 5/6 outing) which might make him attractive to other teams. But Johnson’s ERA and WHIP numbers are detrimental to your staff’s health.

Marco Scutaro – He has been the third most valuable fantasy shortstop up until this point, thanks to his having as many runs scored (32) as Albert Pujols. It is almost a guarantee that Scutaro will have a career year this season, mostly because the bar has been set so low. Scutaro is having a strong May in AVG and R but his power has disappeared and the RBIs have fallen off, too.

Scott Richmond – So far in 2009, Richmond has been a contributor in four categories. He throws four pitches and ranks tied for ninth among major league starters with a 30.8 percent O-Swing%. But Richmond has a 25.9 percent LD% and a .254 BABIP. His ZiPS projection for the rest of the season calls for a 6.21 ERA.

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Last year Randy Johnson had an ERA of 5.46 after a disaterous July 1 start against Milwaukee where he gave up 7 ER in 3.2 IP. He was basically an ace over the remaining 3 months. Like this year, his K/9 was fairly strong despite his elevated ERA.

Given the similarity to his start last year, I really expect RJ to figure it out and be very good over the course of the season. I don’t think it makes any sense to sell low at this point.

Or if you feel like using stats, there is no way in the world his HR/FB stays at 27.0%. He has literally given up more than twice as many home runs as his career average or league average would dictate! This despite slightly improving his GB/FB ratio over last year and despite a very good 16.2% IFFB. Cut 5 HR off his total (maybe 8 ER to account for a few baserunners), and his numbers are vastly improved.

RJ’s xFIP over at hardballtimes (basically FIP with a normalized HR/FB) is 3.77 (last year it was 3.88. He has definitely walked a few more guys this year, but that is mostly due to one bad start against Arizona. Other than that and the fluky HR, he looks the same as last year.

So trade him if you want, but please trade him to me so I can reap the rewards!


the FIP at hardball times show up at 5.74 for me