Proposers will try to grab Braun at a discount. Doing a similar deal for Melky Cabrera and other names identified isn't as consequential and could be a justified move to sustain your depth. But Braun is a core member of your team, and unless you're getting an established, risk-free talent, you're probably better off relying on hold-ups in the legal process allowing you to extract more production from your players.
Sour Melky again
MLB simply won't be able to breeze through a judgment reflecting a second-offense punishment for a player who has shaky proof for one infraction, so even with a guilty judgment, the resulting absence might be shorter. The appeal for a beaning or similar conduct violation can last at least a week. Imagine how long such an exercise would last coming from the strongest players' union in sports for something as potentially slanderous and libelous as this.
All in all, for 2013, it's unlikely that anything will be decided before you know your fantasy destiny anyway. Most teams are approaching a solidified viewpoint of whether they're competing this year. Squads in the bottom region of the league are just hoping for a spark, and any of them that own Braun are probably just hoping he can beat the rap at least long enough to extend their club's chance at finishing in the money.
If a single-year team is in contention, it's probably because its roster is deep, so that owner will have at least some existing insurance should Braun or anyone else have to miss any form of games. His performance, barring aggravation of a thumb injury, would help pad stats in the interim.
In keeper leagues, you have more to consider. Potentially being without Braun for part of 2013 and 2014 may prompt some pause, and it leaves more room for you getting rid of the players if you're looking to compete in the coming seasons. If any dynasty-league manager falls flat, selling Braun for future considerations (rebuilding, whatever) would be a normal approach regardless of his league status.
Still, blindly fearing undefined doom often leads to rash decisions. Cover your keister by working around your supposed PED user to prepare for any absence. Don't sell the cursed commodity short.
UPDATE (6/5 8:10 p.m. ET): For more on why this process will stagger, click here.
About Tim Heaney
Tim's work has been featured by USA Today/Sports Weekly, among numerous outlets, and recognized as a finalist in the Fantasy Sports Writers Association awards. The Boston University alum, who competes in the prestigious LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.
He appears frequently, including every Sunday, on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio, as well as every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.
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