June 28, 2012 @ 13:26:53 PDT
Often, making a fantasy baseball trade can extend your reach in the standings while your assets land on another team.
I was presented one such opportunity to reallocate my resources this past weekend. In the mixed League of Alternate Baseball Reality, Bloomberg Sports' Tom Trudeau threw Shin-Soo Choo onto the trade block. I responded with interest and inquired about whom he'd want. One of the options he tossed back was Joe Nathan.
Now, Nathan has been one of the best closers (stats-wise, if not saves-wise) in the league, and I hesitated. He has basically been a lock; he plays on a great team and, two years following Tommy John surgery, has rediscovered his fastball and feel for pitching.
This trade is not about the now, though. My offense has been pumped up by the fortunate output from the likes of Mark Trumbo, Daniel Nava, Mike Aviles, A.J. Pierzynski, and Jason Kipnis. Not to say they won't continue to be useful, especially in a 15-teamer, but the law of averages said that if I stand pat and rely strictly on these fellas, I could get a cold slap in the face in the BA column.
I then realized by taking a gander at the standings that I could have my Choo and eat it, too.
I rank second in saves, far behind the leader, Rotoworld's Drew Silva. Trudeau, meanwhile, was near the bottom of the column. Potentially transferring 20-plus closures to his squad could help limit the opportunities of KFFL's nearest competitors (Zinkie, Keri, HQ and Gardner) to earn more rotisserie points there. Plus, in my raw estimation, there's enough of a gap between us that he won't come close to passing me until late in the season, and who knows how things will look by then.
Also, I've saved myself from a possible regression in my vulnerable ERA and WHIP cats from the RP, part of a position known for wild statistical swings.
Though Mike Podhorzer stole my Brandon Lyon speculation a week early, I have a few tricks up my sleeve....
It's a bit risky since I have nowhere to go but down in the category and the stat is innately volatile. Still, it's a better idea to speculate on saves than count on an offense continuing what was a torrid pace. It's in fact cooling.
Choo gives me five-category help - even if it's at a fraction of what he used to offer - that sustains my offensive success. There's plenty of season left, but now you can start to judge where you can best position your team to make a run. Don't make your moves too late, or else you won't leave enough time for improvement.
As Red used to say, Get busy trading, or get busy dying.
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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