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Buy Low Sell High: Week15

The standard trade deadline for Yahoo leagues is August 13. It is right around the same time on other sites as well, give or take a week. That gives owners approximately one month to make a move.

Some owners like to wait until the last-minute figuring the desperation among contenders will drive up prices. Others like to act early, targeting those bottom teams with little chance in hopes of pulling off a quantity for quality type deal.

Whichever of these methods you prefer, you need to assess your team and figure out what you need and what pieces you are willing and can afford to part with. Winter is coming…..

Buy Low

Mark Trumbo – Orioles

A lot of people are not happy with what Mark Trumbo has done this year.  That sort of makes sense since he was the home run king last year, and many hoped he would repeat that.  Historically I have not been a big Trumbo guy, but given the current feelings I seem to be running into regarding the slugger, I think even I would buy.

Many people feel like he has been bad, so bad that he has even been dropped in some of my more shallow leagues, though certainly not on a mass level.  He has 15 bombs, decent counting stats, and is keeping his average above .250.  As a Trumbo detractor, I’m pretty impressed by those numbers.  That projects out to just shy of 30 homers and around 150 combined runs and RBIs without murdering your average.

If we take a look at his batted ball profile, we will see some pretty similar numbers as well.  He is still hitting the ball hard, if not as hard as last year.  He’s still putting the ball in the air about 40 percent of the time.  His strikeout percentage is also down a few points from last year.  Put all of this together with a potent lineup surrounding him and the band box we all know and love as Camden Yards, and I am definitely interested in buying Trumbo shares.  

It’s also worth noting that the balls start to fly out of Camden with even more frequency once it really heats up.  We are in mid-July with August looming.  Trumbo is currently on pace for 27 homers, I would confidently take the over on that number barring injury.

Consider offering an outfielder that is hotter right now, or one with a sexier name.  I would not be shocked to see Trumbo dealt for the likes of Yasiel Puig or Steven Souza.  I might even pay a bit more than that, but you really might not have to.  People who bought into last year’s outlier season are mightily disappointed with the big slugger. Right now owners will probably consider any player with similar counting stats with a higher average.

Johnny Cueto – Giants

This one is hard for me to write.  I made a couple of trades early in the season for Cueto, and they’ve mostly scorched me to this point.  Still, I’m willing to trust the process and take a shot on the struggling ace.

My feelings on Cueto have more to do with track record and the fact that he has been pitching with multiple blisters on his pitching hand for several months now.  Nothing is in his peripherals really suggest he has been unlucky.  His FIP, xFIP, batted ball profile, and horoscope all suggest that he deserves the lousy results that he has been getting.  

The one thing that I do like is his velocity hasn’t tanked.  It is down, but it’s down a very manageable half a tick (MPH).  His strikeouts are around the same as well.  The main things that are different about Cueto are his skyrocketing walk and home run rates.  That sounds like a case of control and/or command issues.  That’s definitely something that can be caused by a plethora of blisters on your pitching hand.  I can tell you as a former college pitcher that blisters on your pitching hand hurt like a mother you know what.  It’s not surprising to see this mess with the perennial ace’s control.

The good news is he went on the DL finally so it should get better.  Let’s just hope he doesn’t have much Rich Hill DNA in that pitching hand.  I would expect Cueto to go back to old Cueto when he returns.  He still plays in a great park and the National League.  His name will still make you have to pay some amount for him, but I can tell you as an owner – it has been hard convincing myself to stay rational with him.

I would try to trade someone decent, but not great for him.  Something in the neighborhood of Lance Lynn feels right to me (although it will probably cost more than that), or maybe even a second half regression candidate like Gio Gonzalez.



Sell High

Cody Bellinger – Dodgers

Let’s start out by my saying that I love Bellinger.  He has one of my favorite swings in the game.  I’ve enjoyed how much he has helped the Dodgers and how he’s helped several of my teams run away from the pack in the power category.  That said, there are a few minor reasons for concern.

A cursory look at his peripherals and batted ball numbers might make you think I’m being a hater, but I promise you I’m a fan.  Bellinger is hitting the ball HARD.  His rate for hard contact is an absurd 46.2%.  That’s awesome.  His BABIP also sits at a very reasonable .295.  Here is where I start to have a little bit of pause. 

Bellinger has an almost 30% K rate, 28.6% to be specific.  That’s on the high side for sure and can lead to some variance in results.  He is also currently sporting a ridiculous 30.2% HR/FB rate on an even more prolific 48.3% fly balls.  I don’t think any of that is sustainable.  Hitting every other ball in the air is a really high number.  And from there, having basically one out of every three head out of the park… it just doesn’t seem realistic.

Then there are some more abstract concerns.  Every young player has to deal with the league starting to adjust to him.  They need to adjust back.  I don’t feel like we’ve seen this with Bellinger yet.  And while I may believe Bellinger has a better shot at continuing to be a star, it is worth mentioning his teammate Joc Pederson.  He had a mercurial rise to stardom in his first half or so of his first major league season, and now he is now barely fantasy relevant.  It’s just something to keep in mind as you hit reject on the many trade offers that you are probably receiving for Bellinger.  

I definitely would not just give Bellinger away.  I think he will continue to be very good.  I’ve also dealt him in 2 leagues for deals with what I consider top 10 players.  I was able to trade him straight up for Rizzo a few weeks back before Rizzo woke up.  I was also able to package him with Jay Bruce for Jose Altuve in a deep dynasty roto league.  I think that is the kind of trade you should be after.  

People love prospects.  They especially love prospects that haven’t been bad yet.  I almost always try to trade these guys for money in the bank type stars.  Once in a while it blows up in your face.  But in general, I believe it is one of the smartest things you can do to win at Fantasy.

Logan Morrison – Rays

I’ve always rooted for “Lo-Mo.”  It makes me happy to see him having a great season after years of injury disappointment.  For a lot of the same reasons as Cody Bellinger, though, I see Morrison as a candidate to sell.

Morrison has already eclipsed his previous career best home run season in a mere 299 at bats.  If you’ve had him, I hope you were able to enjoy most of that production.  There are a few reasons why I don’t expect this to continue.  

First of all, he has a really long track record of being a solid player.  He definitely had moments where he was fantasy relevant, but never anything like this.  Like Bellinger, he also has some issues with the batted ball profile.  Morrison is also scorching the ball with a robust 42.5% hard hit rate.  And again like Bellinger, he has elevated fly ball and HR/FB rates that I do not believe to be sustainable.  

He is hitting 46.6% of his balls in the air and 24.3% of these are leaving the ballpark.  While 24% seems closer to realistic than Bellinger’s 30%, it is worth noting that this is about 11 points above his career high.  Tampa Bay also tends to play as more of a pitcher’s park so it would be a bit weird to see a positive bump from the park.

Trading Logan Morrison might be pretty difficult as he does have quite an extensive track record.  He is not a shiny, sexy prospect like Bellinger.  However, I have seen some wonders worked in my leagues.  I saw him packaged with a minor player for Edwin Encarnacion in one league.  If you can pull off something like that I believe it is definitely worth doing.  

I imagine his value is going to vary wildly from league to league so you’ll simply have to test the market.  I do believe he has value so don’t trade him simply to trade him.  Just see if you can deal him, or maybe him and another piece to upgrade a position.

Best of luck wheeling and dealing!

 

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Mike Sheehan
Comedian, Powerlifter, and most importantly a Cum Laude graduate of the fantasy baseball school of hard knocks. Double major in points and categories with a minor in roto. Happy to be doing my Postgraduate work here at the Fantasy Assembly.
Mike Sheehan

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2 comments on “Buy Low Sell High: Week15

  1. Appreciate the suggestions as to who you would trade for the Buy & Sells. Sometimes I’ll see a list of Buy Low or Sell High, but no idea of what they really mean by “high” or “low”. Good stuff! I’m in a Roto league where I’m leading in HRs but my worst category is AVG. Any idea who I should target in a trade by offering Thames and/or Bautista?

    • Hi Mark,

      Thanks for reading. Also thanks for kicking my butt in the reader league!

      You have some really nice pieces to deal that should be able to net you some nice pieces back. I actually saw a trade in one of my deep leagues that I really liked with Joey Bats where one owner needed power and the other needed average. He got Michael Brantley. I love the deal for the Brantley side as I feel like he’s looking mighty vintage.

      It’s going to be hard to get one for one deals with those guys. Hosmer and Yelich are pretty hot right now from a BA standpoint but I don’t love either of those guys. You could also make offers on Jose Abreu and Josh Bell given the saturation of the 1b market.

      Two other guys I would target would be Yuli Gurriel and Whit Merrifield. Shouldn’t need to give up Thames or Bats for them.

      Finally, if you can’t get a deal done right away… it might be worth picking up someone that’s hot right now. Jose Iglesias, Chase Headley, and Paul Dejong are all pretty hot right now and my be a boon to your BA.

      Best of luck!

      Mike

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