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 determine which players you should be selling, which you should be 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.

Torii HunterMan do I love Torii Hunter. But you know what they say about too much love…yeah me neither. (Ir)Regardless, Hunter, currently ranked as the 6th best player by Yahoo!, is already slowing his HR pace. Hunter has 17 HRs on the year, yet has hit only nine since the end of April. From here on out you should count on four HRs a month or so. Anything more that that is not going to happen. Much like the power, Hunter’s stolen base numbers have dropped off precipitously as well. He stole nine bags in May, but hasn’t topped two in any other month. The RBIs will continue to be there, but he looks to be reverting to his normal 25-17 pace. If anyone thinks otherwise, go ahead a deal.

Alex Rodriguez – Here is the main problem with AROD’s stats: the number two, as in his total SB output. AROD has always been a special player because of one main fantasy number: 22, as in the number of SBs AROD has averaged each season over his career. So far this season, he has only attempted two steals. Right now he is an upper tier power option, but without the versatility that made him a first round commodity. If people think otherwise, you know what to do.

Derrek Lee – it seems every year Lee puts together an amazing stretch. (In 2008, Lee hit eight HRs in April, just 12 the rest of the season. In 2007, he hit .392 in March/April before ending at .317. In 2006, Lee hit four HRs in September/October and four during the rest of the year. This year is no exception: over his last 104 ABs, Lee has 18 runs, 10 HRs, and 30 RBIs. Wowsers! While Lee will likely eclipse last year’s HR total, now is the time to sell. He’ll hardly be more valuable later in the year.

Jonathan Broxton/Joe Nathan – Placing Nathan and Broxton, the top two relief pitchers in the fantasy game, here in no way belittles their ability. Still, you know how many pitchers have more saves then they do? Three (Fuentes, Bell and Rivera). This illustrates my point about closers: trade Nathan or Broxton or Rivera for Brian Fuentes and a hitter. You can really maximize your roster space by doing this.

Ricky Romero – Romero, the 157th ranked Yahoo! player, has had an up and down season. Since he was on the waiver wire en masse about 41.2 IPs ago, Romero has seen his ownership grow thanks to 40 Ks and a 1.94/1.13 ERA/WHIP over those innings. According to Baseball America (before the season), “Romero still needs to show more consistency to reach his ceiling as a No. 3 or 4 starter.” While he probably has raised his ceiling he won’t continue to be as good as those 41.2 IPs. There will be a September call-up or hot pitcher around the corner, so trade Romero for some hitting.

Ryan ZimmermanZimmerman, the 59th ranker player by Yahoo!, is on pace for over 100 runs and RBIs and near 30 HRs. Over his last 112 ABs, however, Zimmerman is batting .232 with a .283 OBP. He has added only 15 runs, three HRs and 12 RBIs. If you can trade him based on a combination of his impressive start and his downward trend, do so. I doubt Zimmerman will live up to those paces above.

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.

Brad Hawpe – Where did Hawpe come from? Ok, he was decent last year (.283/.381/.498), yet that is definitely a poor man’s version of his 2009 numbers (.327/.401/.584). Hawpe is on pace for a similar HR total – 25, but he should greatly eclipse his career average for runs and RBIs, right? Don’t be so fast, his 2009 BAbip is .375, and while hitters aren’t subject to the .300 rule like pitchers are, the best hitters in baseball, like Tony Gwynn (career BAbip: .341) and Wade Boggs (career BAbip: .344), never approached .375. Hawpe’s career BAbip is .342, so expect some regression in average and OBP, which could affect his run and RBI totals.

Juan Rivera – Rivera has quickly become the number 78 player in Yahoo!. Over the last month, he has amassed 19 runs, 10 HRs and 27 RBIs. Rivera has always had prodigious power potential, with a 162-game average of 23 HRs per season. However, he runs into problems – no, not with the law – staying healthy. He hasn’t played over 89 games since 2006. If he can stay healthy he could be a behemoth. However, that’s quite the risk. I wouldn’t want to be the guy holding onto the gamble; I’d quietly position him to trade for fair market value. Don’t go giving him away, but the health is scary.

Matt Cain – Everyone is talking about how much more improved Matt Cain is this year. Outside of his win-loss record, I’m not sure people are correct. His K:Walk ratio and HR allowed are almost dead on with his career average. So, why is his ERA almost one point lower than normal? Well, his BAbip is .269 which is a little lower than average. I’m not hating on Matt Cain by any stretch (I did rank him as the 10th best pitcher going into this year), I’m just saying that his value is a bit inflated. If you can capitalize on this, sell high.

Jered Weaver – Weaver, the 12th best ranked Yahoo! starting pitcher, has struck out 95 batters in 114.1 IPs, while posting a 3.15/1.13 ERA/WHIP. While that is impressive, his last 38 IPs are more in line with his career norms (4.89 ERA, 1.37 WHIP). The strikeouts will be there, but his ratios aren’t likely to continue to be so good. That equals a quiet sale to me.

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.

Andre Ethier – Ethier, the 106th ranked player in the Yahoo! game, hasn’t been great over his last 97 ABs. During those at bats (the most of which were without Manny in the lineup), Ethier posted a .196/.275 AVE/OBP. In March/April, with Manny in the lineup, Ethier hit .311 with 18 runs, five HRs, and 22 RBIs. If you’ve held onto Ethier this long, it would be a shame to part with him now.

Rafael Furcal – Furcal, who has seen his ownership plummet to 75% in Yahoo! leagues, is the 565th ranked player. Furcal just hasn’t been that good this year and was moved down in the lineup. However, since Manny’s return and Pierre’s return the bench, Furcal has ascended to the top of a newly potent lineup. Over his last 93 ABs, Furcal has posted a .280 AVE and .374 OBP. He is heating up and could provide a lot of runs down the stretch.

Jimmy Rollins – Speaking of erstwhile shortstops, Rollins, the 222nd ranked player in Yahoo!, has posted a miserable .286 OBP. Even with that abysmal performance, Rollins has scored 48 runs and knocked in 33. On the bright side, he has been better over the last month with a .312 OBP. On the even brighter side, Rollins is a far better second half player than first half player. He has hit .287 with a .347 OBP and a .464 SLG throughout his career after the All-star break. If you’ve stuck with him this long, you’re best hoping his second half trend of producing continues. He will have a huge second half.

Johan Santana – What is wrong with this line: 109.1 IPs, 107 Ks, a 3.29 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP? Ok, over his last 37.1 IPs, Santana has only struck out 18 batters, while posting a 5.79 ERA and 1.45 WHIP. Santana’s strike-out to walk ratio is down to 1.14 over his last 28 days, which is nowhere near his career norms. Unless he is hurt, that number should correct itself and he should bring his ratios back in order.

Stats as of July 9.

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2 responses to this post.

  1. To me Juan Rivera has just as much injury risk as anyone else at this point. His broken leg kept him out almost all of 2007 has had no ill effects on him over the last 162 games. At this point he’s basically Carlos Lee sans the 5-10 SB’s.

    Totally agree with you on Hunter and J-Roll

    Reply

  2. Posted by Albert Lang on July 10, 2009 at 4:33 pm

    Thanks for the comment, Charlie. I agree with you to a certain extent about Rivera. I love him and have him on a few teams. However, if i can get a top 100 hitter with little injury risk for him, i’d probably do it.

    It’s hard to look past the fact that, when he was deemed a major league regular, he played 134, 106, 124, 14 and 89 games. I’ll be happily proved wrong. But i’m a careful fantasy player and love to pass on risk. I’ll lose out occasionally, but that is far less than hanging onto guys that are injry concerns. I hope he proves me wrong as i have hunter on most teams and he just hit the DL.

    Reply

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