h2h Corner ~ The Buddy Garrity, Don Draper, Ed Norton Sales Convention

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.

Stephen Strasburg – I have detailed by belief that you should trade Strasburg a couple of times (here and here). This is no knock on his talent, but rather his ability to actually impact your team. He doesn’t have a whole bunch (if any) innings left this year. I’d see what I could get after his next awesome start (if he has it). But if I could grab a top 75 player, I’d go for it.

Raul Ibanez – Do what the Phillies cannot – trade Raul Ibanez. Ibanez has brought his 2010 numbers up to respectability (.275 AVG, 10 HRs, 54 RBIs), mostly due to a great performance over the last month (.373 AVG and 15 RBIs). Over his last 28 days, Ibanez is hitting .444 on balls in play, an absolutely ridiculous percentage (especially compared to his career line of .306). He has set you up perfectly to deal him, don’t miss your window of opportunity.

Starlin Castro – You can’t fault what the rookie has done this year with a .318 AVG. However he only has five stolen bases, so he is providing a bit of an empty average (no power stats to speak of). While he has hit over .400 for the last month, a lot of that can be tied to a .457 BAbip over the last 28 days. I’d be moving him and his inflated AVG right now.

Scott Podsednik – ScottyPodds is killing it for me in my hot stove fantasy league (.301 AVG, 48 runs, 33 SBs), so this isn’t about performance necessarily. As you know, Manny Ramirez will eventually reclaim his starting role, which should push Pods to the bench. If people are unaware of this, it’s a perfect time to move him. I wouldn’t rule out Joe Torre resting Matt Kemp or Andre Ethier occasionally for Podsednik, which gives him more value in daily leagues. Still, he’ll be frustrating to own.

Travis Wood – I am a happy Travis Wood owner in every league that matters to me. I love Wood, but his .219 BAbip is a huge stroke of luck. In addition, he plays in the wrong park to have a 47.5 fly ball percentage. Furthermore, Wood has allowed HRs on only 5.2% of his fly balls – a pretty low rate. At some point, some guys will get on base and some big homers will be had. I’d be moving him pretty quickly, even in keeper leagues.

Trevor Cahill – Cahill is a bit scary as he doesn’t help a ton in the K category (just 5.23 per nine IPs). What’s more, he has a .206 BAbip and 75.7% strand rate (the norm is around 72%). Both are signs of tremendous luck. He has a decent ground ball rate (56.7%), but that will not overcome the corrections to his luck. I’d be pricing him to move.

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.

Brett Myers – Myers is about to sneak into the top 100 players for the year (117 Ks, 3.10 ERA and 1.22 WHIP), which is kind of absurd. He’s been good, no doubt, but I think he is due to come back to his normal uninspiring (yet somewhat useful) self. Somehow, this year he is allowing .5 HRs per nine less than usual (and 1.5 less than last season). In addition, he is benefiting from a slightly lucky BAbip (.282) and strand rate (74.3%). He will not fall off a cliff, but he will likely not perform as well as he has been. If you can get current value for him, I‘d be fine selling.

Adam Dunn – Adam Dunn is a fun home run hitting machine. He has never hit for a high average (his best was .267), yet he is hitting .277 this year and .289 over the last month. He has a career .296 BAbip, yet it is .343 this year, so that average will come down. Like Myers, he isn’t due for a major correction, but he likely will not be as valuable at the end of the season as he is now. So if you can find a buyer who thinks he will retain his value, it’s time to ship Dunn out.

Adrian Beltre – I’ve been a pretty stubborn disbeliever of Beltre so far. However at a certain point, you have to just suck it up and admit you were wrong. I was somewhat wrong on Beltre this year. That said, I do think he is prime for a bit of a slump. He has a .356 BAbip this season, completely out of the norm with his .294 BAbip. I’ll admit that Fenway probably helps a player’s BAbip. However, over the last 28 days, Beltre’s BAbip is .301 (much closer to his career norm). Over that time, he is hitting a much more reasonable .321. Like I said, I’m not discounting his entire work to date, but I think we’ll see a lot more averages in the .300-.320 range than .335+.

Nick Swisher – I really liked Swisher’s fantasy potential going into 2009. He sure looked good then and is looking even better now (.296 AVG, 22 HRs, 66 RBIs). However, that average gives me a major pause, as Swish has never hit over .262 in a season. He has a BAbip this season about .050 points higher than what he normally does. Over the last 28 days, his BAbip has been .246 (lower than his career mark of .282); however it is closer to his career mark than his 2010-to-date total. I am just not a believer that Swisher can keep up his batting average pace. All the other numbers, sure, but not the average.

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.

Jorge de la Rosa – I love strike-outs and K-potential. Even in a horrible start, a guy like de la Rosa can get you some useable Ks. That said, he hasn’t been great this year (5.01 ERA, 1.45 WHIP) or over his last 27 IPs (5.93 ERA and 1.46). However, he does strike-out 9.48 batters per nine innings, has a slightly unlucky BAbip (3.16) and a criminal strand rate (63.6%). He also has a pretty ridiculous HR/Fly Ball percentage (17.6% compared to 11.4% for his career). If his bullpen helps him out and those numbers correct themselves back to what de la Rosa has historically done, then he could be a nice cheap source of Ks down the stretch.

Scott Baker – I’ve talked incessantly about trusting Scott Baker and ignoring his season to date (4.70 ERA). I’m not going to stop now. Baker has a .329 BAbip. Sure his BB:K ratio isn’t as good as it was last year (1.88 compared to 2.16), yet I see his ERA being closer to 4.00 than 5.00 at the end of the year. He is someone who will help you out over the balance of the year.

Ryan Dempster – At one point, I called Dempster the most underappreciated fantasy pitcher. While his season numbers are fantastic, I’ve seen some people complaining about his recent outings (last 33 IPs, 4.54 ERA and 1.81 WHP). He has been victimized with a bit of bad luck (.333 BAbip over the last 28 days) and has been walking a bit more batters than normal (22 in July). I expect him to continue to be a useful starting pitcher with good Ks.

Matt Wieters – At some point, Wieters needs to learn that the season starts in April. Wieters clearly hasn’t lived up to expectations this season (.251 AVG and just eight HRs). However he has been heating up of late (11/35 with two HRs in the last month). In his 1+ seasons, he has hit .249 before the break and .301 after. He has hit only one less HR in 110 less plate appearances in the second half. I think Wieters could be a low cost option at catcher for the rest of the season. I am a Baltimore homer and desperate for him to succeed, so take this advice with that in mind.

Stats as of 12:00 PM ET August 6.

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