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.
Adam Jones – As an Oriole fan, I’m really glad Adam Jones has picked it up lately. Over the last month, he is Yahoo!’s 26th ranked player, due to a 17/7/21 line with a .333 average. So, why am I telling you to trade him? Well, for one, he is still striking out a ton and not walking at all. And, for two, he has absolutely wilted in the second half (.050 less batting average, 16 less HRs, and .064 less SLG) throughout his career. I don’t see Jones having more value than he does right now, so I’d be moving him in redraft leagues.
Adrian Beltre – Beltre has a .344 average, only once in his career has he had an average at that level. I’ll let you guess the year. The rest of his numbers are in line with what you should expect – 80 or so runs, 20 – 25 HRs, 100 RBIs. However, he is getting a major push from, what I believe is, an inflated (by luck) average. Beltre has a .371 Babip this season. This comes mostly from a .803 Babip on line drives and better line drive percentage (37) than he typically posts. For his career, Beltre has a .294 Babip. Furthermore, he typically posts a .748 Babip on line drives. And, lastly, for his career, 27 percent of his balls in play are line drives. Sure, I think playing at Fenway with the Green Monster is helpful, but he can’t keep up this pace.
Rafael Furcal – As mentioned on Talking Baseball Live with Joel Henard, Furcal has been a freak this year (.330 average, 45 runs, 13 SBs in just 220 ABs). However, therein lies the problem with Furcal – getting ABs. Over the last four years, Furcal has averaged 94 games a season. He has already missed time this year. While he is healthy and producing at a prodigious clip, I’d trade him for someone more stable.
Mat Latos – Like Furcal, Latos was mentioned on the radio spot and lands in the sell now category because of something other than ability. According to Collin Hager at Bleacher Report, the Padres will move Latos back in the rotation “over the next several weeks.” That means he’ll get less starts, and potentially, far less when it matters most in h2h leagues. If you can get full value on him, I’d be dealing.
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.
Joel Pineiro – I’m a Joel Pineiro fan, backer, believer. It’s been fantastic to see what he’s done over the last month or so (24 Ks, 1.45 ERA and a 0.99 WHIP). However, he has not had a K-rate in the 6 per 9 range since he was 24 years old. Furthermore, over his last 28 days, he’s been a tad lucky, posting a .229 BAbip. I don’t think he’ll fall off a precipice, but I don’t think he’ll have another stretch like this. If someone else is buying the surge, I have no problem getting rid of Pineiro.
Adam Dunn – Much like Pineiro, Dunn has seen his fantasy star rise over the last few weeks. Currently, Dunn sports a .280 average and he hit .297 over the last month. That’s pretty impressive for a guy who hasn’t hit over .267 in any season in his career. For his career, Dunn has posted a .295 Babip, for 2010 that number is at .349. Clearly there will be some regression. I’d expect his final average to be much closer to .270 than to .290. I’m not saying get rid of Dunn, but if someone looks at him as similar to an Adrian Gonzalez (because of that average), you might as well get more than he is worth.
Martin Prado – I’ve talked about Prado a lot lately, and all of it was positive. I am not at all surprised by his average .336 or run pace (120). What is shocking me is his 10 HRs in just 360 ABs. Before this season, Prado hit 14 HRs in 779 ABs. He’s never flashed any sort of power in the minor leagues, topping out at five HRs in 2005. I just don’t see his HR binge continuing. He’s a great guy to have around, but don’t think the power will continue. I don’t see him hitting more than six the rest of the way.
Trevor Cahill – Similar to Prado, I’ve been aboard the Cahill bandwagon lately. Unfortunately, now is the time to offer some skepticism: he has a .224 Babip. Basically, his ratios are definitely going to rise. This will be offset by an improved K-rate (34 in his last 40 IPs), but not entirely. I still like Cahill as a back of the rotation option. However, he has the ratios that look better than that right now, so there is no shame in trading his services away.
Colby Lewis – I thought Colby Lewis was a sneaky sleeper heading into this year, and so far that’s been confirmed (8.5 K/9 rate!). However, I’m a little concerned what a guy with his history of HR balls (1.3 per 9) will do in that park this summer. Furthermore, he has benefited from a .254 Babip. Lastly, he hasn’t pitched more than 127 innings in the majors in any season. The only other time he eclipsed 100 IPs was 2003. There are too many warning signs for me to ignore completely. I think he’ll strike some guys out, but there should be some messy outings down the line.
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.
Mike Pelfrey – I’m going to do the opposite with Mike Pelfrey that I did for Prado and Cahill. I’ve been pretty down on Pelfrey lately, but I’m going to give you some reasons to keep the faith. He has clearly underperformed over the last month (5.30 ERA and 1.58 WHIP). But, a lot of that is the result of some horrendous luck (.368 BAbip over the last 28 days, and .424 over the last 14). I still believe he is not an ace (given his miniscule K-rate), but he isn’t bupkis either. I wouldn’t go dropping him or giving him away due to a poor month.
James Shields – After a torrid start, Shields keeps underperforming. Most recently, he has posted a 8.26 ERA and 1.55 WHIP over his last 28 IPs. You’d certainly expect him to be doing much better when he is posting a K-rate decently higher than his career average. Basically, he’s been an unlucky guy: .331 Babip on the season, and .378 over the last 14 days. I fully expect Shields to rebound and put on some good numbers in the second half.
Jimmy Rollins – Rollins has not been what people expected, mostly due to missing significant time with injuries (he has only played 27 games). However, he is someone you have to hold onto. He kills the ball in the second half: historically bats .020 higher, posts a .030 better OBP and .050 SLG. Not surprisingly he has stolen more bases in the second half than the first half. I think Rollins is an excellent buy low at the moment.
Marlon Byrd – Byrd has seen his ownership levels fall over the last month, due to a .276 AVG, just two HRs and only six RBIs. However, he has been a bit unlucky in terms of balls in play and should be hitting around .300 (at the minimum) for the rest of the season. Furthermore, as it heats up in Chicago , I bet his bat comes alive. Now is the time to acquire Byrd, not give up.
Stats as of 12:00 PM ET July 8.