Who isn’t versed in financial lingo nowadays? In these tough economic times, it has become clear that everyone needs to know how to manage their finances. You certainly can’t leave it up to the experts. So in light of that, I (not an expert) am going to help you with players you should be selling, moderately positioning to sell, and those you should be keeping the faith on
When it is Buddy Garrity sales time, you should be moving players immediately. These are players that I think will regress to means or not perform as well as they have been (i.e., sell high candidates). In addition, they include guys I don’t think will perform well at all during the rest of the season. These are players you are best cutting your losses with.
Meanwhile the Don Draper sales time requires that you be a less obvious a trade partner. I advocate proposing a range of players that are available. Make sure to include those players who you think your trade partner might slightly overvalue. If he is interested, emphasize the positive stats of your Don Draper candidate. However, don’t seem eager. The best reaction to a trade proposal is a slow one. Take your time, be fair and vague, like how Don Draper picks up women.
I don’t love Edward Norton because he’s an Orioles fan (although that doesn’t hurt). I love him because he is an awesome actor. The players in his group can’t be moved for fair market value and shouldn’t be dropped in any competitive league. They’ll likely rebound to near draft value so don’t sell low. Instead, if you see any of these guys available, you should be buying.
David Ortiz – In fairness, I included Ortiz on this list on May 18, 2009. You should have sold then. I’d get rid of him right now for some nachos, but I’m also kind of partial to nachos. There could be a decent hot streak in him (read: swan song), but I wouldn’t wait for it.
Mark Reynolds – Mark Reynolds has 13 HRs and 11 SBs – I don’t think anyone expected a 25-25 season from him. He also has a .259 AVE, which is serviceable. In four minor league seasons, Reynolds accumulated just 12 SBs, and his high in an MLB season is 11 (last year and so far this year). The likelihood of him continuing to steal bases at this rate is not high. Reynolds (as his owners are aware) is also a streaky player. If someone thinks Reynolds is a top-8 first basemen or top-5 third basemen jump on the sale. I’d be surprised if he finishes in the top 10 at either position.
Edwin Jackson – Edwin Jackson is the 33rd ranked pitcher in the Yahoo! game, owing to 5 wins, 57 Ks, a 2.30 ERA, and 1.04 WHIP. Jackson, a 6th round draft pick at age 18, has drawn comparisons to Bob Gibson. However, his career ERA and WHIP in 530 big league innings indicates otherwise (4.75 and 1.55 respectively). Furthermore, he only has 368 Ks. If you find someone who thinks he is a top 20 or better pitcher, don’t think twice.
Rick Porcello – Speaking of Tigers’ pitchers coming out of nowhere, Rick Porcello is having a great year. Ok, he didn’t come out of nowhere, he was the 27th player selected in the 2007 draft. Still, I don’t think anyone expected him to post a 3.70 ERA and 1.27 WHIP, while striking out only 34 batters in 56 IPs. Expect that ERA and WHIP to grow as batters get accustomed to him and the weather heats up. He won’t have better value than he does right now.
Trevor Hoffman – Hoffman has 14 saves and 15 Ks in 16 innings this year. Meanwhile he hasn’t allowed an earned run and has posted a 0.44 WHIP. If you think those low ratios can last, there’s a bridge that I think you might be interested in. I’m not saying he won’t continue to accumulate saves, but if a leaguemate thinks he will keep up this pace, deal him for a “lesser” closer and an upgrade elsewhere. Believe me, at the end of the year, all closers will be equal.
Joe Mauer – Mauer has always had a power hitter’s frame: 6’5”, 220lbs. However, he hasn’t hit more than 13 HRs in a season, and didn’t touch double figures in 2007 and 2008. Even crazier than his 12 HRs this season is his .849 SLG percentage which is almost double what it was last year. You should never promise crazy a baby, and I wouldn’t trust a streaky power surge.
Matt Cain – I liked Cain a lot before the season, and he has been impressive so far in posting a 2.31 ERA and a 1.31 WHIP. However, he only has 46 Ks in 66 IPs. In addition, his BABIP is a little lower than his career norms. If you can sell based on his low ratios, go ahead. There will be a minor regression so he has more value now than he will later in the year.
Francisco Rodriguez – Saves are saves. Rodriguez has 14 of them and an impressive 27 Ks in 24.2 IPs. Putz is no longer a threat to steal any of his saves either. Still, he remains a slight injury risk. If people have forgotten why they were down on him at draft time, it can’t hurt to subtly offer up his services.
Raul Ibanez – I love Ibanez – he is anchoring my HR team (along with Mark Teixeira and Adrian Gonzalez). Still, he won’t be the second ranked player by the end of the year. Even after his great start, I still can’t endorse Ibanez as a 40+ HR hitter for the season. Still, it will be hard to get fair value for him as most people probably don’t believe he is this good. If you can’t get someone to give you top 10 OF talent for him, enjoy the returns for the rest of the season.
Zack Greinke – Greinke, the number one player in the game so far, has been insane: eight wins, 88 Ks, 1.10 ERA, and 0.90 WHIP. He has the pedigree of an ace and sure looks like this year’s Cliff Lee. Still, there is no way that he can keep up this pace. I’d be happy taking $0.75 on the dollar at this point. Even if he continues to be superhuman, you’ll get nice value and you won’t have to bank on a relatively unknown commodity.
Russell Martin – Russell Martin has yet to hit a round tripper. However, he does have seven SBs, which is pretty nice. I don’t think you can get fair market value for him at the moment, so you have to stand with him. Keep on enjoying the SBs from an unusual source and wait for the HRs to start.
Dan Uggla – I’ve loved Uggla for a long time. His highs are oh so good, his lows, well you just have to deal with them. Though he started slow, he has still managed 11 HRs. Over the last month, Uggla has posted a .351 OBP with seven HRs and 21 RBIs. He is near a peak performance. Those of you that held onto him, don’t think of trading now.
Cole Hamels – Hamels has posted an unimpressive 5.21 ERA and 1.41 WHIP. Still his K-rate is good (50 Ks in 48.1 IPs). Throughout his career, Hamels has posted his highest ERAs in May and June. He finishes strong however, so selling now would be a mistake.
A.J. Burnett – Aside from a misplaced purpose pitch, there is nothing wrong with Burnett. Sure his 4.69 ERA is a little high, but his 1.39 WHIP isn’t all that bad. Furthermore, he has added 65 Ks in 71 IPs. New Yankee Stadium probably isn’t doing him any favors, but you should expect many more good outings than bad when he comes back from his hand slap suspension.
Stats as of June 4.