Flags Fly Forever: What to do at the Trade Deadline

Flag Fly ForeverAt this point in the season dynasty owners need to do what major league teams are doing. It is time to figure out where your team stands and how you are setup for the future. I usually breakdown the teams into four categories and the category your team falls into dictates what you should do at the deadline.

“I have a great roster and I am one of the top teams in the league, but I need something to help separate myself from the pack.”
These are the guys who people are expecting to win it all or at least finish in the top three. If they can get a big enough upgrade to raise their chances of winning it all, it is time to mortgage the future.

“I am good, but am I good enough.”
These are the teams that are in the backend of head to head leagues or they have a shot at a roto title but need some help. For these guys this time of the year is more of a stand pat, rather than sell the future or deal a high level player.

“I have a good team, but it has been a bad year.”
Did you have Yu Darvish, Ian Desmond, Robinson Cano and Anthony Rendon and you thought you were going to be great? Like the last type of owner this is more of a stand pat type of owner. However with this type of owner, there is more incentive to deal for some future pieces if the opportunity comes because competing this year isn’t an option.

“I am at the bottom of the standings, and I probably will be for a few seasons.”
We never like to admit that a team is bad and it will be for the foreseeable future, but it does happen. If you find yourself in this position its time to sell off aging assets for prospects, draft picks, free agency money or any other aspect of your fantasy league that helps prepare for the future.

 

My opinion in a dynasty league is, don’t sell off your prospects unless you think the deal can win you a championship in the next 2-3 seasons. If the trade only gives a chance at the playoffs or a small chance at a title then it isn’t the trade to make.

If you are contending for this year I believe you want to be looking for a trade as soon as possible. You don’t want to be the only team at the top that wasn’t able to improve your roster because you waited until the deadline and now there is nothing left. Not only that, but the sooner you get a player on your roster the sooner he can start helping your team succeed; whether that means a few extra roto points or an extra win in a head to head league.

However if you’re building for the future, wait as long as you can to make a trade. I think you want to be one of the last ones to sell off your assets as it will create a bidding war that will bring you back to your supply and demand days in economics class.

 

 CONTENDERS

If you find yourself in the first group congratulations! You’re already having a good year and dealing for one of these players can help put you ahead of the other teams in the league.

 

CatcherCatcher is a tough position to find someone to buy. There are so few good options at the position to begin with. If you are in the need for a catcher there might only be one to target. You just have to cross your fingers that he is on a team that is looking to the future.

Evan Gattis
We all know Gattis isn’t a catcher anymore but he still counts that way for the remainder of the season. There are a handful of catchers that would be taken over him rest of season. His power helps set him apart from the rest of the competition and he shouldn’t experience a down second half because he isn’t taking a beating behind the plate.

Gattis should be losing his catcher eligibility for the 2016 season and severely limiting his fantasy value. A rebuilding team, or a team that isn’t contending this season, should be willing to deal Gattis on the cheap when they realize they can’t use him as a catcher in the future.

First BaseNot surprising, there are a bunch of options to target if you are a contending team. Older players who hit typically get moved to first to limit the daily wear and tear of playing the field.

Albert Pujols
His value might be too high after his crazy hot start to the season. He is the high-end of the first base targets for a team going for a title. Pujols is 35 and until this season, he had been on the decline since going to Los Angeles. He would need to be on a team in complete rebuild mode in order to get him without paying a ransom. A team that is just having an off-season would probably hold out hope that Pujols can help them in the next season or two.

Victor Martinez
Martinez should come at a much cheaper price than Pujols, but the gap is closing. Since returning from the DL, he is hitting .290 and slugging .485. His age is concerning for anything more than this season, but the Tigers have $54 million invested in him after this season. While his production might fall off, he will probably play out the remainder of the contract. Remember that, like Gattis, he will be losing his position eligibility next year. Martinez will probably only be eligible as a utility player in his remaining years after this season.

Mark Teixeira
Teixeira got off to a red-hot start, hitting 14 homers through the end of May. He is a cheap source of power that could be had with people still not buying into his resurgence.

Second BaseSecond base has had plenty of surprising players this season that make it less likely that the position is a need. These names are probably more deep league targets than for leagues with 12 teams and under.

Ian Kinsler
He has been a big disappointment this season. Kinsler has been hot lately, which unfortunately brings his value up. His value should still be low for a rebuilding team as his age and his overall season numbers are concerning.

Howie Kendrick
Kendrick does a little bit of every thing. His team and place in the lineup are going to keep his runs and RBIs up. He is on pace for about 80 runs and 80 RBI and should hit another 6-8 homers rest of season. He won’t win you a title but as a bench middle infielder he can come very cheap.

Third Base 

Adrian Beltre
Coming into this season, Beltre had been one of the most consistent players at the position until a thumb injury derailed his season early on. In the 30 games before suffering the injury, Beltre hit .293 with four homers. He returned earlier than expected and that could be part of the reason for his struggles in June and so far in July. The All-Star break could have given the thumb some of the rest it needs, and he has performed better lately since the return.

Alex Rodriguez
We all know about him; if you don’t you’ve been living under a rock. He isn’t getting any younger and could be had cheaper than his worth with the expectation that he only has a few years left.

ShortstopLike catcher, it is an ugly position.

Hanley Ramirez
Ramirez falls into the same category as Gattis when it comes to losing position eligibility. However, Ramirez will still be valuable as an outfielder in future seasons – although far less than he is at short. If you need a rental for the shortstop position, Hanley is a prime target, and possibly the top option at the position.

Ben Zobrist
Like for MLB teams, Zobrist’s versatility makes him a viable trade target in fantasy. Almost everyone will be using him at short but his second base and outfield eligibility adds a little to his value. As with a lot of other players on this list, his age plays into his reason for being here.

OutfieldA lot more players man the outfield so it is no surprise that there are a good amount of targets for contenders.

Jose Bautista
Bautista won’t come cheap. He is a top 20 player and power is hard to come by so his owner will probably have multiple suitors. If you are going for it he is the player that you unload your minor league system for. He is 34, but he should have another good two or three years left after this season.

Nelson Cruz
His numbers have tailed off since the early season where it seemed like no one could get him out. He is still mashing against lefties and should continue to provide solid power down the stretch.

Hunter Pence
Best time to trade for him might have been while he was still on the DL. He doesn’t do anything at an elite level but he does provide solid stats that will help a roto team down the stretch.

Matt Holliday
He is very similar to Pence. Newly off the DL and no longer elite in any category, but he can be a great help to a roto team in need of average or OBP.

Pitchers

Stephen Strasburg
Odds are his current owner has had him for years waiting for the big breakout and could be frustrated with his season so far. He won’t come cheap but when he returns from the DL he could be the player that wins a head to head league down the stretch. Strasburg is expected back soon as he is about to start a rehab assignment.

A.J. Burnett
He has said he is retiring after this season so anyone not contending for a title should be looking to move him by the deadline instead of getting nothing in return. His recent struggles are a concern but they are also just lowering his value for a potential buy.

 

REBUILDING

Now if you find yourself on the other end of the standings these are some major league caliber players to target. These players are either having a down or injury plagued season.

HITTERS

Devin Mesoraco
A hip injury derailed his season and he has no chance of helping his owner in 2015, but he can be a vital piece to someone looking for the future. There is worry with the surgery, but that also decreases his value even more in trade negotiations. When healthy last season he showed that he could be a big difference at a position where a good, or even average, hitter is hard to find.

Rusney Castillo
His first full season was expected to be great, but the rise of Mookie Betts this spring along with numerous injuries have kept him from a normal role with the big league club – his sub-par performance hasn’t helped his cause either. This is a lost season for Castillo, but he can still provide good numbers in future seasons.

Yasiel Puig
Puig has been bad this season, and the Dodgers might not be the only team fed up with him. Now could be the best time to buy him as his value is about as low as it could get.

Corey Dickerson
His plantar fasciitis has had him on and off the DL a few times this season. He has been good when healthy, although mostly only at Coors where his slash line is at least 100 points higher in each category. He is still worth perusing and his owner could be looking for a more reliable option down the stretch.

Javier Baez
He isn’t afraid to strikeout, as shown by his 41 percent strikeout rate in his MLB stint last season. He is now in the “post hype” phase of his prospect status. He has huge power potential at middle infield. The high strikeout high power guys usually don’t pop up in the middle infield. People point out his high strikeout rate, but don’t forget Joey Gallo is the same way. This isn’t saying Baez has the power upside of Gallo, but he isn’t far off and should be hitting 25 homers a season in the majors, playing middle infield, soon.

Others to consider: Jorge Soler, Yan Gomes, Matt Adams, Jonathan Lucroy.

 

PITCHERS

Yu Darvish and Adam Wainwright
These two fall into the same category. They are studs when they are healthy but they are both older than most of the guys on this list. They could be prime targets for teams who aren’t in contention this season, but expect to be over the next couple seasons.

Marcus Stroman
A fluke ACL tear ended his 2015 season before it started. He is a former top prospect who had a good rookie season and was primed to be one of the top arms in the Toronto pitching staff. Unlike guys who have an arm injury, Stroman should be able to bounce back next season without the fear of arm problems.

Drew Smyly
Smyly is close to returning this season after it was expected he would be out for the year. He was phenomenal after being traded last season.

Alex Cobb
On the mend after Tommy John Surgery, Cobb will be 28 entering next season and entering his prime years. Although Cobb won’t be available until at least mid-season next year, he was showing that he was ready to jump into the top of the starting pitcher ranks.

Others to consider: Julio Teheran, Homer Bailey, Hyun-jin Ryu, Zack Wheeler.

 

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Andy Germani
I am a lifelong Pittsburgh sports fan and a graduate from Penn State. Baseball was my first love and I still play to this day in an adult baseball league. I always love helping people with their questions on Twitter so feel free to follow me and ask questions.