OpinionJuly 20, 2009

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Monday Mail Call: The Art of Not Trading

By David Allinger

As the dog days of summer are upon us, the questions are still pouring in. Now is the time to make those trades for your team that will likely give you your last chance to win your league, or defend your title. Time for another Mail Call.

I am in a 5×5 with OPS league. I would trade Votto, Qualls, and Adam Jones for Wright and Heath Bell. I could replace Jones with either Willingham, Winn, Fowler, etc. I lead the league in HRs, RBIs, and runs and I am 23 points ahead of the second-place person. Stay pat or make the trade? — Steve

I do not make this trade. While Wright is arguably the best player in the deal, and I’m usually an advocate for acquiring the best player in any deal, the key is at the end of your question. You said that you’re twenty three points ahead of the second place person. In a case like this, I do not fix what is not broken. Votto and Jones are two talented bats, and I don’t see the need in trying to acquire Wright.

Even though we know that Haren is having one of the best seasons any pitcher can ask for, he is infamous for his second-half meltdown. I am weak at the 3B position and someone has offered me Miguel Cabrera for Haren and Chipper Jones. Consider that I have Lincecum, Hamels (will bounce back), Lackey, E. Jackson and Lilly, do you think it’s something I should consider or should I ask for more in return for Haren? — Ed

As you already touched upon, Haren is notorious for a second-half meltdown. However, in this case, I would stick with my ace. Having Lincecum and Haren is an absolutely devastating one-two punch. Chipper Jones is no slouch, and he will put up the numbers for you assuming he stays healthy. While your pitching would still be solid if you made the trade, you would lose that element of dominance that you enjoy currently.

As we’re entering the second half for fantasy baseball, I am now in third place in my 7-team rotisserie league. I’ve got some ground to make up in Rs, RBIs and HRs. My team consists of the following players:

B. McCann – C
J. Morneau – 1B
A. Gonzalez – 1B
R. Cano – 2B
E. Longoria – 3B
A. Ramirez – 3B
H. Ramirez – SS
J. Rollins – SS
A. Rios – OF
M. Ramirez – OF
S. Victorino – OF
C. Beltran – OF (DL)
J. Werth – OF
L. Scott – OF

J. Santana – SP
A. Wainwright – SP
E. Jackson – SP
R. Nolasco – SP
Mariano – RP
Valverde – RP
Soria – RP
R. Soriano – RP
A. Bailey – RP

Should I drop an outfielder for another SP? T. Hudson, R. Romero, J. Washburn, J. Pineiro and T. Hanson are all available. Should I drop A. Gonzalez? If so, is Ludwick worth picking up for the second half? Lastly, I’ve been offered the trade option of C. Figgins for B. McCann or A. Dunn and R. Martin for B. McCann. Is either option legit? If so, which one would you take? — Chelsea

Thank you for your question. I will try and take them one by one.

1. Yes, I think dropping Luke Scott for a SP would be a good idea. In a 7-team league, your lineup looks very strong, but your pitching is somewhat weak. Scott is definitely the odd man out. Out of that pitching group, I’d likely go with Romero or Washburn, but if Hanson continues to pitch well don’t be afraid to make a move for him as he has great stuff and will be a star at some point. The question that remains is when, but it is important to be pro-active here rather than reactive and run the risk of missing out.

2. Don’t drop A. Gonzalez. He is a very valuable player. Make sure to get him into your lineup even if that means at a UTIL spot or by trading Morneau.

3. I’d pass on both of those trades. Neither is really worth it considering your team.

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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