h2h ~ The Buddy Garrity/Don Draper/Ed Norton Sales Convention

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.

Buddy Garrity sales time (sell now)

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.

Joe Mauer – Mauer is the 18th ranked player in the Yahoo! game, yet he missed a significant portion of the season. It is astounding what he has accomplished in so few at bats, especially because he hasn’t hit more than 13 HRs in a season, and didn’t touch double figures in 2007 and 2008. Even crazier is that he never hit more than five HRs in any minor league season. You should never promise crazy a baby, and I wouldn’t trust a streaky power surge. If you can find someone who believes in Mauer’s power, sell.

Orlando HudsonHudson has five stolen bases on the year, yet only one in the last month – and, during that time, has only hit .265 with just two HRs. If you can sell based on his hot start go ahead. Hudson has never had more than 15 HRs in a season and hasn’t touched double digits since 2007. He’ll post a decent batting average, but it’ll likely be hollow. He could very well be the National League’s version of Placido Polanco. So if anyone thinks he could be more than a 12-7 player, then deal him now.

Mark Reynolds – Reynolds has been awesome this year, belting 18 HRs and stealing 13 bases, while hitting .267 with a .354 OBP. Still, I don’t think the speed will last. In four minor league seasons, Reynolds accumulated just 12 SBs, and his high in an MLB season, before this year, was 11. 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.

Chris Carpenter – Carpenter is great when healthy – no one can debate this. If anyone believes Carpenter can stay healthy, well, then I’d be cozying up to them right now. You’ll kick yourself when Carpenter gets injured. If you can get $0.80 on the dollar (a top 50 player or so), I’d be trading Carpenter right now.

Edwin Jackson – Edwin Jackson is the 37th ranked pitcher in the Yahoo! game, owing to 6 wins, 72 Ks and a 2.39/1.06 ERA/WHIP. Jackson, a 6th round draft pick at age 18, has drawn comparisons to Bob Gibson. However, his career ERA and WHIP in 550 big league innings indicates otherwise (4.68 and 1.53 respectively). Furthermore, he only has 383 Ks in his career. If you find someone who thinks he is a top 20 or better pitcher, don’t think twice.

Kevin Millwood – Notice a theme at this convention? It looks like Buddy is trying to move starting pitching. Pitchers will emerge throughout the year, while the good ones will falter or hit the DL. You need to be selling high on them now. Millwood could be the poster child for this group. His first half has seen a 2.62 ERA, 1.19 WHIP and 55 Ks in 99.2 IPs. He could continue to produce like this (although he has only had an ERA under 4.01 once since 2003). However, why take the risk? I say trade him for what you can get and pick up someone like Trevor Cahill.

Roy Oswalt – Oswalt is the 993rd player in the Yahoo! game – yikes. His WHIP (1.37) isn’t horrible, however his 4.48 ERA isn’t doing anyone any favors. He’s also won just three games, but that can change quickly. To quote Jordan Wigdor from May 18:

“Not sure about you, but Mr. Oswalt is not the type of guy I want on my team. Unlike Doc Halladay, the wear and tear of pitching a ton of innings over the years has caught up to him. He is clearly on the downside of his career and has been very mediocre in 2009.”

I’ve never owned Oswalt and never will – he doesn’t have much value over waiver wire fill-ins. If you can get anything for him, do it.

Don Draper sales time (moderately/slyly begin to move)

The Don Draper sales time requires that you be a less obvious 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.

Torii Hunter – I love Hunter as much as anyone (he’s on every one of my teams) and I ranked him as the 49th best hitter coming into the year. Still, even I didn’t believe he’d hit 16 HRs in the first half with 12 SBs. If you can slyly move Hunter for appropriate value (say a top 50 – 70 player), I’d strongly consider it. I doubt his second half with mirror the first – there are also considerable injury concerns (he has only played 160 games once since 2004).

Alex Rodriguez – 2009 will be a year to forget for Alex Rodriguez. So far he has managed just nine HRs and just two SBs. He was also recently benched for two games after a 0-16 skid. It looks like he’ll be a 30+ HR hitter with little speed. There are plenty of those guys out there. So if someone believes he will be the A-Rod of old, I’d be slyly offering him about.

Zack Greinke – Greinke, the number three player in the game so far, has been insane: eight wins, 106 Ks, 1.96 ERA, and 1.02 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. In fact, his ERA has jumped nearly one point in the last three weeks. 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.

Justin Verlander – See: Greinke, Zack. Verlander has been impressive this year, striking out 110 batters in 90.1 IPs, while also posting a 3.39 ERA and 1.16 WHIP. He did post a 1.23 WHIP in 2007, so this type of ratio is not out of nowhere. Still, his true ability is probably somewhere between 2007 and 2008 when he posted a 4.84 ERA and 1.40 WHIP. This means his current season is a little out of whack with what you can expect. If others think he can continue, go ahead a move him.

Non-American History X/Rounders Ed Norton hold pat time (Keeping the Faith)

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 at a discount.

Stephen Drew – Drew has been bad and injured this year. Still, he has been heating up over the last month: .277 AVE, 17 runs, two HRs, 18 RBIs and a .331 OBP. Throughout his career, Drew has been a much better player in July, August and September/October, hitting .282, .291 and .304 respectively while slugging .460, .449 and .541. If you’ve held on this long, don’t think about dealing.

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 13 HRs. Over the last month, Uggla has posted a .330 OBP with six HRs. He might have a tough July (he is just a .236 career hitter in the month), but is dangerous in August. Be prepared to ride out a cool streak in preparation for a strong finish.

Jimmy Rollins – People have been hating on Rollins lately. His .265 OBP is horrible, but he has scored 40 runs. He isn’t the guy you drafted in the first/second round, but he is a very good second half player. He has hit .287 with a .347 OBP and .464 SLG percentage throughout his career after the All-star break. If you want to grab a Clint Barmes or someone like that to ride it out, go ahead, but don’t drop or trade Rollins now. He will have a huge second half.

Francisco Liriano – Liriano is the 1,273rd ranked player in the Yahoo! game. He has managed 68 Ks in 77.2 IPs, yet his 5.91 ERA and 1.52 WHIP leave a lot to be desired. In addition, he has averaged a K an inning over the last month, yet his ratios have been roughly worse. In his career, Liriano has posted a 3.39 ERA and 1.14 WHIP in the second half. If he is available, stash him away. If someone is dangling him, see if you can get him for $0.25 on the dollar.

Stats as of June 21.

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One response to this post.

  1. […] Greinke – Remember when two starts from Greinke was manna from heaven? Remember when I told you to trade him after that? Well, his most recent two-start week yielded a 6.55 ERA and 1.73. Still, he did provide 16 nice Ks […]


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