Buddy Garrity sales time (sell now)
When it is Buddy Garrity sales time, you should be moving players immediately. These are players that will likely 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.
Alfonso Soriano – After a slow start, Soriano has hit one of those sweet streaks we know he is capable of, ultimately raising his average to .340. Unfortunately, there has to be a rub, i.e. a reason Buddy Garrity wants to move him. For one, he has a career BAbip of .307; in 2010, it is .378, over the last 28 days it is .421. Clearly he has been hotter than hot. In addition, Soriano has hit .300 just once in his career and carries a .279 lifetime AVG. So, it’s likely his batting average will dip considerably. One last thought, while his power has been there and he is a legit 30-HR hitter, the steals have not been. He only stole nine in 2009, and, to date, has only one attempt on the season. Don’t expect double digit steals. If you can sell Soriano as a top outfield option, by all means do so before his BAbip normalizes and the inevitable cold front comes along.
Austin Jackson – This cant be a shock to anyone in the fantasy community. I’m really only putting him here to avoid the questions of why I didn’t label him as sell now candidate. As noted previously, Jackson is in for a pretty big luck correction. I’d rather have Brett Gardner, Nyjer Morgan, Michael Bourn and others. So if you can get one of those in a deal that includes Jackson, go ahead.
Livan Hernandez – Not that you can get anything for Livan, but you might as well try. A middle reliever with decent Ks will end up worth more than Livan, who has only registered 14 Ks in 43.1. This guy is death to innings capped leagues if you want to compete in Ks.
Barry Zito – Take out his ridiculous 10 K performance against the Cardinals, and Zito has registered 18 Ks in 34.1 IPs. He is also riding a .225 BAbip this season, compared to .269 for his career. So there will be some correction there. What has also been extremely helpful? The fact that he hasn’t allowed an HR all season. That will certainly change. Add it all up, and while he’s in line for a better season than he has recently, he won’t continue to perform at these levels. If you can sell someone on a Zito revival, go right ahead.
Jhoulys Chacin – Don’t get me wrong, I love Chacin’s talent, but there are some red flags. For one, Chacin is only in the majors because Jason Hamel hit the DL. With Jorge de la Rosa, Hammel and Jeff Francis coming off the DL at some point, Chacin might not be long for the majors. In addition, while I love his 16 Ks in 15.1 IPs, I don’t think he has suddenly morphed into a pitcher who has a 3.20 K/BB rate. He is talented and could continue this level of excellence, but there are a lot of roadblocks, which is why I’d try to move him. If you can get a more established pitcher, like Brad Penny, that could be a nice deal. Don’t give him away, but see what’s out there – a lot of people like prospects.
Wade LeBlanc – In 91 IPs at the Major League level, LeBlanc has a 4.05 ERA and 1.42 WHIP. Sure, a lot of that is due to a horrid 21.1 IPs in 2008, but you can’t just believe in his good performances. In 2010, LeBlanc has upped his K rate by nearly two strike-outs per nine innings en route to sporting a nifty 3.33 K/BB ratio. I don’t think those levels are sustainable. He might not bring much back in a trade, but I can’t imagine him being worth much more than he is right now. For you deep leaguers, turning him into a good bench hitter or high-K reliever with closing potential would be a coup.
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.
Andrew McCutchen – It hurts to put my best keeper, McCutchen, on this list. But in redraft leagues, I don’t think his value will be any higher than it is right now. At this moment, he is hitting .375 on balls in play, which has helped inflate his OBP to .381. Unfortunately, McCutchen has walked only 10 times and stuck out 23 times. Meaning, when his BAbip corrects itself, McCutchen will be getting on base less and therefore, likely, stealing less. He isn’t as big a risk as someone like Austin Jackson, but I don’t see him maintaining his current AVG, OBP or SB rate.
Josh Hamilton – No crazy numbers about walk rates, k-rates or BAbip with Hamilton. Just one number: 112, as in the number of games played per season by Hamilton from 2007 – 2009. He simply doesn’t typically stay healthy. Sure he is on pace for a near 30-20 season, which is fantastic. I just don’t want to put my trust in a guy who has failed to stay healthy throughout two of his three major league seasons. I’m not advocating giving him away, but you should get nice value for him based on how much he went for at auction or where he went in your draft.
Carlos Gonzalez – Since April 30 (when I last talked about CarGo), his average has dropped from .355 to .318. Over the last two weeks, his BAbip has been .300, much more in line with his career number (.333) than his 2010 number (.372).I see his final average resting somewhere in the .290 – .300 range. Some people questioned this pick last time around, but, so far, he was at his peak, in terms of value, at the end of April.
Francisco Liriano – Liriano was another hot-start player I advocated exploring the trade market for. Since April 30, he has given up eight runs in 13 IPs. He has seen his ERA rise from 0.93 to 2.36. Sure, 2.36 is nothing to sneeze at, but a pitcher with a 0.93 ERA will bring more than one with a 2.36 ERA. You add his increasing ERA with a real injury risk and I still think you should be trying to sell him.
Andy Pettitte – I’m not sure how Andy missed being part of the first trade convention. He has the best ERA of his career and was on pace to replicate similar numbers to his 2005 season when he pitched for Huston. Alas, since then he has suffered a bit of an injury (getting a start pushed back), but claims he is fine. Pettitte was a 22nd round draft pick 30 years ago, that’s crazy. The odds of him getting through an entire season are slim. I’d be pricing him to move if he pitches well in his next outing.
Mike Leake – Leake certainly has the pedigree to be a viable fantasy pitcher. However, he is just 22 and pitching in a difficult ballpark, for a difficult manager. He also has a .257 BAbip. I’m basically suggesting that his final line includes an ERA over 4.00 (currently it is 3.10) and WHIP over 1.35 (currently it is 1.21). I don’t trust a guy without a track record and would see what kind of value Leake brings me in a redraft league.
The 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.
Hideki Matsui – Man Matsui cant get a hit to fall (.261 BAbip, .172 over the last 14 days). He has a career .302 AVG on balls in play, so that should correct itself right up. When it does, the RBIs should come. I’d be adding Matsui at the moment, not dropping him like so many are doing (only 52 percent owned in Yahoo!).
Lance Berkman – Speaking of someone who has seen his ownership levels drop, hello Lance Berkman (only 80 percent owned in Yahoo!). Since coming off the DL, Berkman hasn’t exactly torched the ball (.194 AVG, two HRs and seven RBIs). But, come on, honestly, it’s only been 62 ABs. In that small sample, unsurprisingly, his BAbip is funky in a bad way (.233). At some point, the Astros will get hot and Berkman will be in the middle of it (if, ya know, he isn’t traded).
Carlos Lee – Even though he has been healthy, Lee is off to a worse start than fellow-teammate Berkman. Lee, a lot like the player to follow, is a horrible starter of seasons. What’s more, he hasn’t gotten any soft liners/bloops to fall (.232 BAbip). He finally knocked his first dinger on May 5 with his second just four days later. I believe he is starting to heat up.
Aramis Ramirez – Aramis is a notorious slow starter, but 2010 has seen this trend sink to new depths with a .163 AVG and just three HRs. A career .289 hitter on balls in play, Aramis is hitting just .183 on that measure in 2010. He is walking a little less this season and striking out a little more, but he’ll bring it around. You can’t really get anything of value for him anyway right? For those buy-low vultures, Aramis makes a good pluck.
Rick Porcello – Never in my wildest imagination did I think I’d be advocating for Porcello in 2010. Color me impressed that he raised his K-rate from 4.7 to 5.7. Also, color me immensely impressed at his horrible luck (.398 BAbip). Now, he might have some horrible defense behind him, but it can’t be that bad. With his improved K-rate and absurdly bad luck, now is the time to grab Porcello, not give up on him.
Gavin Floyd – From 2008-2009, Gavin Floyd was pretty rock solid (3.95 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 6.9 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9). So what happened in 2010? Well his walks are up a tad (3.7/9), yet his K-rate is better as well (7.4). What really happened is he is combating a .365 BAbip and is horrible in the early months of the season (6.30 ERA in April, 5.72 and ERA in May). He’ll suck for a little while still, but come June, he’ll be throwing darts just like he does every June.
Aaron Harang – I’ve long documented my love for the furry beast known as Harang. You might think 2010 is the year it finally stops (Harang has a 6.02 ERA and 1.46 WHIP). Well, you’d be wrong. Harang has a worse BAbip (3.67) than Floyd. Furthermore, he has an improved walk rate (1.8 compared to 2.4 in both 2008 and 2009), normal K-rate (8.0) and thus the best SO/BB rate (4.50) of his career. Really, just give him a few more games and he’ll be a useful starter. In fact, he has already shown improvement. In his last turn, he went 6.2 IPs, gave up two runs on seven hits and a walk and stuck out nine.
Stats as of 6:00 PM ET May 11.