Time for the latest edition of the game show that is sweeping America like Who Wants to be a Millionaire did back in 1999, which was the year of Ivan Rodriguez, the New York Yankees and Livin’ La Vida Loca. You guessed it, Keep Trade or Drop (KTD).
KTDs so far:
KTD.1 (Kelly Johnson, Alexei Ramirez, or Robinson Cano & Matt Kemp, Alex Rios or Jason Bay & Gil Meche, Derek Lowe or Justin Verlander).
KTD.II (Jay Bruce, Andre Ethier, or Hunter Pence & Jonathan Paplebon, Francisco Rodriguez, or Mariano Rivera & Ryan Howard, Mark Teixeira or Lance Berkman).
KTD.III (Bobby Abreu, Raul Ibanez or Pat Burrell).
KTD.IV (Shane Victorino, Jacoby Ellsbury, Carl Crawford)
We are welcoming two new guys to the game, Alex Zelvin, Nate Grimes, and Kevin Morris. Feel free to pick their ideas apart as well as mine!
Emilio Bonifacio, Aaron Hill, or Orlando Hudson?
Me (a national businessman):
I’m keeping Aaron Hill. I paid $1 for him in my 20-team ROTO league and he has almost made up for the fact that J.J. Hardy and Mike Aviles suck. I don’t think the power numbers are an aberration. At age 25, in 2007, Hill hit 17 HRs. His 162-game average, which is buoyed by his hot start this year, is 32 HRs. He certainly wont hit that many, but somewhere between 17 and 32 seems right. That’s not bad. I’m trading a player who also got his start in Toronto, Orlando Hudson. He just isn’t all that exceptional offensively. He averages 13 HRs per 162 games, with just eight SBs. Still, he could score 80-100 runs in the Dodgers lineup and knock in 60-80 with a .300 batting average, so he has some value. That is decent but if we’re at the bottom of the barrel, I’d prefer someone who excels in a category. Plus O-Dog will get you the most in a trade, try to sell his SBs if you can. I’ve no love for Emilio Bonifacio. He is a one-trick pony. You can get cheap steals in a lot of places, so I’m dropping him.
Alex Zelvin (follow his updates on Draftbug, Draftbug Millionaire and Twitter):
Aaron Hill – Drop. He was terrific in 2007, but it was so far out of line with anything he had done before, or anything he did in 2008 that it has to be viewed as a fluke until he can approach it again. Except in deep leagues he has very little value, so drop him unless you’re weak at second base.
Emilio Bonifacio – Trade. If you fail to trade him within a few days, drop him. He’s your typical cheap speed. Except he’s got 30 SB speed, not 50+ SB speed. Offensively he plays like a shortstop from the 70s, but he’s now playing third base. It would be a surprise if he can hold a starting job in the majors for any substantial amount of time.
Orlando Hudson – Keep. He’s probably a little past his prime, but he’s still pretty solid in all categories.
Kevin Morris (attorney):
Keep: Aaron Hill. While I’m not confident that the Jays offense will keep up the pace it set at the opening of this season, Hill had a good year in 2007 and comes with the promise that accompanies a former 1st round pick. Yet, I’m not sure, even with his hot start that people are really too in tune with what goes on up there in Toronto and he suffers from the anonymity that comes with missing the majority of last season. Thus, I think his trade value is weaker than the better known Hudson even though I think Hill projects to have the better season as discussed below. Then again, Hill could be a hard slide into second away from missing the year with his post concussion syndrome so I wouldn’t blame you if you stuck with the O-Dog.
Trade: Orlando Hudson. You gotta love the O-Dog or anyone with a nickname really. However, the O-Dog has built his notoriety in large part on his defense which doesn’t count for squat in fantasy. Does make him fun to watch though. I’d try to bank on someone being excited by the name and his hot start and giving up a little more than his offensive numbers warrant. In my mind, Hill projects to exceed Hudson’s totals in HR, RBI and R’s while lagging behind in OBP and slightly in steals. Hudson has proven to be fairly durable over the years and Hill’s post concussion syndrome is worrisome but I’d take my chances and see what I can get for Hudson’s cache.
Drop: Emilio Bonifacio. Hanley Ramirez says he’s the fastest player he’s ever seen. That’s nice. While I may not be running from Emilio at quite the pace he sets from the batter’s box to first, I don’t like the numbers that have been declining precipitously ever since his Opening Day explosion. He also hasn’t used that speed to swipe a bag in his last ten games either. We don’t have a lot of history to use with Mr. Bonifacio so I’m going to say Opening Day was an anomaly and challenge him to make this decision catch up with me. (You notice all those speed references? Awesome, right? Thank you, Thank you very much.)
Chris Olson (an international businessman):
Keep – Orlando Hudson – O-Dog can still play. I feel he’s hungry given that he stuck around so long on the market – he wants to prove himself. Plus he’s in the best lineup in the NL. Torre trusts vets and adding him to the core of Manny, Kemp, Loney and Martin will pay dividends. As the oldest of these guys though injury could be a concern. Trade – Bonifacio – I’m sure he’ll get the most “Drop” votes b/c he’s an unproven commodity, but trade the guy soon. Each year there’s the ONE guy with a blistering start that nobody really drafted. Combine this with the fact that there’s always ONE guy in your league who has to have the “it” player (usually me) or the ONE guy in your league who is a total moron (also usually me) and you can turn him into something crazy, sexy, cool. Drop – Aaron Hill – You MIGHT say I’m doing this because, as an Orioles fan, I hate all other AL East teams. You MIGHT say I’m doing this because, as a Tulane graduate, I hate all things LSU. You MIGHT say that I’m doing this because, as an internet reader, I hate all of the Roberto Alomar comparisons. You MIGHT even say that, as an American, I hate all things Canadian. While all of those things are true, the reason I’d drop Hill is because I don’t like his injury risk. Messing around with concussions is no laughing matter. Add that to the knee issue and you’ve got yourself a stew…a stew of trouble.
Andrew Bloom (a national businessman):
Keep- Hill– hitting 2nd in an underrated TOR lineup, Hill has always shown some pop, is a former first round pick, and his numbers have improved every year since his first, sans his injury plagued 2008.
Trade- Hudson– a solid player but slightly less consistent than Hill. Had some nice years in ARZ but isn’t coming off a great season. His value could not be any higher right now so a great time to trade him. I keep Hill over Hudson mostly based on the age/upside difference.
Drop-Bonifacio– great first week of the season but has hit a serious wall since then. Should still be productive on top of a good FLA lineup but needs to be more consistent to merit keeping and has no track record to prove he is capable of doing so.
Dan Harrow (studying to be an attorney):
I’m going to keep Hill, trade Bonifacio, and drop Hudson. Honestly I could picture trading any of these guys. I think at this early going, they are all performing above their heads. However, Bonifacio has the most buzz and scores the SBs that people covet from their middle infielders, so he may have the best trade value. Better trade him quick; however, as his value is dropping as we speak. I think Aaron Hill is the most talented hitter of the group. He is younger than Hudson, and has a higher ceiling. Neither Hill nor Hudson will steal many bases, but they both should give you a solid average with Hill contributing more power. Hill is just entering his prime while Hudson is just leaving it, so I’ll take his power and potential over Hudson.
Emilio Bonifacio– Trade if you can. Send owners wacky clips of his first week, and keep sending till they wear down and accept. Really though, drop him. HE IS WHO WE THOUGHT HE WAS or something like that. If you want to feel better about leaving him behind, think about the fact that he has never hit one out of the park in the majors. For a guy who strikes out more than twice as much as he walks, I am looking for something more.
– Keep. Maybe it is time I have spent with my Fisher Cats Eastern League Championship card set, and maybe it is the fact that he has a solid spot at #2 in that uninspiring lineup. Doesn’t hurt that he can hit inside-the-parkers too.
– Trade. Does name recognition count in your league? Name recognition in the most generous sense. Like, “I think I once met someone named Orlando” type. No? Maybe your league mates saw his cycle on SportsCenter? Come on, he is not all that bad. He gets on base (sort of), and hitting in front of Manny, Ethier, and Kemp has to be worth something in trade? No again? Well, you tried.