Every situation creates an opportunity. Whether that is someone going down with an early season injury or an expected contender off to a really rough start. Buying opportunities are always there in fantasy. Even the best owners can panic early on if things aren’t working out. Below are some players who have had significant value changes since the beginning of 2016.
Kyle Schwarber – Cubs
If you read my preseason sells you might be surprised to see him here. My main reason to sell was the hype train was getting out of control. With his injury and future loss of catcher eligibility his allure has taken a big hit. I can’t guarantee he ever regains catcher eligibility, but his bat can still play in the outfield at a lesser value.
Prorating (and accounting for a little regression) I have Schwarber pegged for about 80 runs, 27 home run, 85 RBIs per season. That will come with a lowly .240 average, but tell me that doesn’t play in the outfield or utility spots and I’ll think you’re crazy.
The guy can hit. There is no way around that. The Cubs were so willing to sacrifice the defense by putting him in the outfield because of his bat. He probably would be best fit for a spot as a DH, and maybe that comes to the NL in the future, although I am anti-DH.
Maybe you wait a few more weeks while the Schwarber owner panics a little bit more. The biggest aspect to hit on in trade talks will be the loss of his catcher eligibility.
A.J. Pollock – Diamondbacks
I wasn’t really high on Pollock coming into this season. First of all I am not a big batting average guy in general. After that I see so much of his skill set that I can draft later minus a little beat. You could call it the bargain shopping version.
Unlike Schwarber I don’t view this as the time to buy Pollock. He has had more serious injuries to his elbow than good fantasy seasons. And don’t look now, but he will enter next season at age 29 with only one good – full – season under his belt.
If you have Pollock and someone playing for 2017 comes along with a decent offer I would move him for help this season.
Greg Bird – Yankees
The Yankees were looking to get some nice contributions out of him with most of the roster on the back-end of their career. Bird put up some decent numbers at the end of the 2015 season when first baseman Mark Teixeira went down with an injury.
He profiles as a low 20’s home run hitter with a pretty nice average. It doesn’t hurt that Teixeira’s contract expires after the 2016 season potentially leaving Bird with a big opportunity to produce as a lefty in Yankee Stadium. The injury might hurt his chances to get a full-time role; the Yankees could look to sign someone as a short-term option that would limit his playing time. Even still, Bird has the ability to be a solid producer at the first base position who could come really cheap.
Lance Lynn – Cardinals
Lynn was coming off back-to-back seasons that were really helpful for ERA, a 2.74 in 2014 and 3.03 in 2015.
Unlike other Tommy John Surgeries Lynn underwent his in November so he should be available pretty early in the 2017 season – whether that is with the Cardinals or somewhere else.
Soon enough a lot of fantasy owners will be looking to drop Lynn as the DL spots on the roster get taken up.
Tommy John injuries are scary to invest in, but he is another guy that is worth the risk for how much you probably have to pay to acquire him.
Michael Kopech – Red Sox
I am over Kopech already. There is talent there, but the head isn’t. A 50 game suspension last season and a fight with a teammate that led to a fractured hand this season – I don’t want to have to deal with the off the field issues with a prospect that probably still has some decent trade value left.
While only 19 (20 later this month), I don’t want to deal with the headache. If that means I trade him for $.50 on the dollar and in five years he is an all-star… oh well, I missed out.
There are enough players in the major leagues that struggle with off the field issues that turn into on field issues. Kopech is still in the minors and has a long way to go before he can even have that problem. Sell if you can.
- Tyler Kolek underwent Tommy John Surgery earlier this month. He was already pretty far away, but this will set him back another two seasons. He should come really cheap at this point. If you find an owner who has Kolek, try to get him as a throw in for a trade. You could do worse than getting in a former first overall pick.
- Lance Lynn’s teammate Marco Gonzales could be worth a look in deeper leagues. The upside isn’t huge, but longtime owners could be looking to jump ship after the Tommy John Surgery.
- He won’t be putting up stats for a while because he has trouble playing catch, but Austin Meadows is going to be a star in a few years.
- Former closers Greg Holland and Adam Ottavino could serve as nice grabs for those speculating on them returning to a ninth inning role in future seasons. Even after his surgery Ottavino was given a new contract. One would have to think that means the Rockies plan to use him in high leverage situations.
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