OpinionJune 22, 2009


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Monday Mail Call: Ibanez, A.Gonzalez, Votto

By R.J. White

Welcome back to the Monday Mail Call. We can be reached throughout the week at fbcmailbag@gmail.com, and every Monday we’ll feature a few of your e-mails right here in this space. Today, we’ll talk about recently-injured Phillies’ slugger Raul Ibanez and San Diego’s big basher Adrian Gonzalez. We’d love to hear your comments in the Article Discussion thread or in the Mail Call thread in the Leftovers section of the forums. Let’s get to it!

I’m looking to deal Ibanez while he has maximum value… I think he could very well finish the top 5 on the player “rater” but I believe I could still get an upgrade for him as his value couldn’t be any higher at the moment. I could definitely use an upgrade at SP or another premium closer but it’d have to be a Lincecum or better for me to give up all the homers and RBIs. — Robert

This e-mail was received and responded to last Monday, before Ibanez was DLed, but I want to run a response for those owners that still want to deal him when he returns. After seeing Robert’s roster, I wrote “Trading Ibanez now would be a great move. His value can’t possibly get any higher. I don’t know that I would hold out for Lincecum at pitcher, as there are a number of SPs that would help out. You could also go after a catcher upgrade (V-Mart or Mauer) or a better CI.”

The important thing to take away is that while you can shoot for the moon in your initial trade offer, it’s important not to hold out for too much. While Ibanez has led many teams to a first-place ranking early in the season, you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone that thought he would finish the season as a top-five player. 99 out of 100 owners would take Lincecum for the rest of the season over Ibanez. If you truly want to sell high on a guy on a tear like this, you have to find a player whose future production will fall comfortably in between what your “sell high” has produced and what he’ll produce from this point on.

When Ibanez comes back and you’re looking to deal, take a look at the teams leading the league in pitching categories that are rich in pitching depth. These teams likely struck gold with players like Zach Grienke and Edwin Jackson. Find their second best pitcher based on your future rankings (or you can check out the Cafe Rankings for our future valuations). See if you can get him for Ibanez. Ideally, you’re looking for a Felix Hernandez, Yovani Gallardo, Javier Vazquez or maybe even Josh Beckett.

What do you do with Gonzalez? With SD having such a bad team, teams will start to pitch around him more and more. Do you trade him while he is at his peak, and if so, who do you target? Someone like Huff and another player that is playing below his potential? Any chance he gets traded to a contender? — Dave

Well, he’s getting pitched around all the time right now. Ideally, Scott Hairston will be back sooner rather than later and will continue mashing, preventing teams from giving Adrian Gonzalez the easy route to first. While Gonzo doesn’t rack up RBIs or runs due to his supporting cast, it’ll be tough to replace his combination of power and average. You should definitely shop him around, but use that power/average combo as a selling point as Huff makes for a poor replacement.

I’d look to get Joey Votto from his owner. His disappearing act was made all the more strange in that he was absolutely dominating pitchers this year. As a Votto owner myself, I can attest to him frustrating me on a daily basis while he dealt with his all-more-important real-life issues. If the Votto owner in your league suffered the same frustration, you should definitely angle for a Gonzo-for-Votto-plus deal, where the plus should land you one more high-quality name.

And no, there’s likely no chance the Padres trade Gonzalez to a contender. Never say never in this business, but San Diego hasn’t given any indication that they’d part with the slugger.

Thanks for all the wonderful questions each week, everybody! Keep ‘em coming, and we’ll do our best to answer 100% of your questions as always. You can reach us at fbcmailbag@gmail.com. Good luck in Week 12!

 
R.J. White (or daullaz) has been actively involved in fantasy sports for over 14 years, making him an addict at this point. He loves writing, the Atlanta Braves, music, the Buffalo Bills, theatre, the Philadelphia Eagles, his family, and the number 42, though not in that order.
 
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