Fantasy Baseball Tumbling Dice: A Good Trade

by Lawr Michaels, on May 22, 2012 @ 10:15:00 PDT


Whenever I consummate a swap that I consider fair I always think of a scene in the movie "Dances with Wolves."

During the scene, right after the terrific buffalo hunt sequence, Wind In His Hair (Rodney A. Grant) gives John Dunbar (Kevin Costner) his chest decoration in exchange for Dunbar's military jacket.

Having already witnessed a mediated exchange of items, Grant mimics Costner's approval, noting to his friend "a good trade."

Miami Marlins SP Mark Buehrle
Buehrle fills a huge need

Well, a couple of columns ago I noted I was trying to work a swap for some arms in my Scoresheet League where my team was struggling like no time before, especially with my No. 4 and No. 5 starters being Luke Hochevar and Francisco Liriano, respectively.

So, while my team broke out of the blocks of the head-to-head league 4-2 Week 1, over the next four weeks my tumbling squad, ubiquitously named "Sluts and Prostitutes," went a pathetic 7-18, pushing us to the bottom of the standings.

Now I must confess that Liriano and Hochevar were not solely responsible for this debacle. Albert Pujols', Erick Aybar's, and Alex Gordon's help - or lack thereof - all contributed mightily to my poor showing.

Since we were just a month into the season, I decided I needed to look for some help on the mound, and unfortunately the best chip I could dangle was Royals third sacker Mike Moustakas. Since I did have Kyle Seager also on my team, hitting well, and playing third, as luscious a future keeper as Moose was, he was expendable, as they say.

What I was able to do was package Moose and Henry Rodriguez (with both Fernando Rodney and Jordan Walden in my pen, letting go of some of those riches was an easy decision).

In exchange league-mates Tim and Jess Polko swapped both Barry Zito and Mark Buehrle from their Sad Pandas team to me, filling my four and five slots out in the rotation, giving me some long arms with Hochevar and Liriano - not to mention both could become effective starters again - and as a result some nice depth to my pitching staff.

And, though I got only one start from my new guys over the next cycle, we did rebound with a 5-1 week, something that surely slowed the freefall of my team.

So, with the rotation set, and the chance that Alexi Ogando also moves into the rotation, ideally my pitching is stable, and with Matt Adams similarly being promoted, a little of the sting of losing Moose is offset.

I do keep wondering if Moustakas does become the next Evan Longoria at third, if I will regret this move down the road, and I might.

But, for now, I did what I had to do.

More important, as my mate Todd Zola noted, one of the beauties of Scoresheet and its head-to-head format is the WHIP and counting stats fall more by the wayside in deference to what the team has, needs, or can do.

In this case I needed arms, and Jess and Tim had what I needed and offered a fair price.

But, again, as Todd noted, this is the kind of trade that helps both teams, "just like real baseball."

And, in that sense, he is more than right.

As for the trade, yes, it was tough to trade away such a good looking up-and-comer, and I have to think the Polkos are similarly hoping their presently very good starting pitching does not self-destruct as pitchers can.

Because the truth is, an even trade should cause as much pain in the giving as it does promise in the getting.

At least that is what Wind In His Hair would likely say.

Hey, now you can get me on Twitter @lawrmichaels!

You can also subscribe now to the Mastersball Platinum Package, and get the edge that has led to three Tout Wars titles, eight NFBC crowns, two Scoresheet Championship teams, a KFFL title, and a Fantasy Pro 911 title over the last three years.

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About Lawr Michaels,

Lawr Michaels has been a player in the fantasy baseball industry since he began writing for John Benson in 1993. He has written for STATS, Inc, was the first fantasy columnist for CBS Sportsline, and has appeared in numerous journals and on websites. In 1996, he founded CREATiVESPORTS, a staple for serious fantasy players, which he merged into Mastersball in 2010.

Over the years, Lawr has participated in a wide variety of playing formats and won numerous titles, including AL Tout Wars crowns in 2001 and 2009. Along with his Mastersball duties, Lawr works for as a statistician. Fantasy Baseball

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