OpinionJuly 6, 2009

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Monday Mail Call: The Two-for-One Trade Angle

By David Allinger

After a nice long holiday weekend, we are here with another installment of the Monday Mail Call, where we take direct questions and answer them the best we know how! You can reach us at fbcmailbag@gmail.com. Enjoy!

I am new to fantasy baseball and I was hoping to get some advice on trying to trade two hitters for one. I am in a ten team league and I would love to have an extra roster slot to pick up starting pitchers throughout the week. I also feel like it is often a toss up when trying to decide which outfielders to start each day. Is this a good/practical idea at all? — Andy

This is one of the trade angles that I find the most rewarding to pursue, but very difficult to execute. Conventional wisdom dictates that when making a trade, it is usually advantageous to try and acquire the best player. Unfortunately, both sides are trying to achieve this, so it makes pulling off a two-for-one deal very difficult.

It is important to closely gauge the needs of your trading partner. If you see that they have a weakness in a certain area, you need to capitalize on this perceived hole and try to plug it for them. The key is to formulate a trade where your partner thinks that they are making their team better, even if it requires them to give up the best player in the deal. If you are successful, you will find that your team is improved and you now have the roster flexibility available to pick up starting pitching throughout your weekly match up.

In my league you are allowed two roster spots for the DL. Are there any players (batters or pitchers) worth picking up and holding onto until they come off the DL? My team is hurting in the outfield and DH spot. — Tony

While I don’t see too many viable options for adds in the OF, I do see several other players that could be worthwhile additions to your team and your UTIL spot. Former top prospect Alex Gordon (3B) is someone to target. He seems to be progressing nicely and is performing well in his rehab starts in the minors. He should be back in the next few weeks, and now could be your last chance to acquire him. Carlos Delgado (1B) would be another enticing add if you need help in the power department. Coming off of hip surgery, his time table for return is August, but in Head-to-Head leagues he could provide a nice surge down the stretch.

I am in a custom 12 team roto league and am struggling on the pitcher side of things right now. I am in the bottom 3 in the league in ERA, WHIP, k/9 and k/bb which are all stats in my league. I have a plethora of top-notch hitters. One in particular that I am looking to get good value for is Justin Morneau. Who should I be looking to get in return for a player of Morneau’s caliber if i need help in those stat categories? — Edward

Morneau is a great hitter, and one that should bring you considerable value. The first thing to do is scan your league and find out who needs the bat of Morneau the most. In a perfect world, this person will also be deep in pitching, and looking to trade. Even if the situation isn’t perfect, you should be able to find a few willing trading partners for a talent such as Morneau. I would look for pitchers such as Billingsley, Sabathia, or Beckett. The goal is the group of pitchers right behind the superstars of the pitching world (Lincecum, Halladay, Haren) – though there is no harm in trying for them first and lowering your sights if need be. But pitchers in the second tier would be fair value and a nice return.

Thanks for the questions, and continue to send them in to fbcmailbag@gmail.com.

David is an avid New York Mets fan and you can also find him around the boards as your resident poker nut, the one and only pokerplaya.
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