OpinionAugust 3, 2009


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Monday Mail Call: Tread in the Threads

By R.J. White

We didn’t get many questions in the mailbag this week, mainly due to the lack of a Mail Call article last week, so we’re going to trek through some Cafe threads and answer a few buzz-worthy topics. You can always e-mail us at fbcmailbag@gmail.com with your burning fantasy questions, and we’ll do our best to reply in a timely manner. Off to the questions!

Who does everyone think won/lost this year in trades? — buffalobillsrul2002

The Cardinals are the big winner — we’ve already seen how Matt Holliday, Mark DeRosa, and even Julio Lugo can affect the lineup. Oakland did a great job getting Brett Wallace for a player that would’ve walked at the end of the season. Winners on both sides of this deal!

I agree with Buff on most of his winners listed in the above thread. The Phillies did a great job of not buckling to the Jays’ demands, netting themselves a quality pitcher for their secondary prospects. While getting Halladay would have been huge for this year, you just can’t trade away too many future starters, as their cheap price tags are crucial to have on your club. When Michael Taylor, Dominic Brown, and Kyle Drabek are all in the majors and collecting low paychecks in their first few years, the Phils will reap the benefits of hanging on to their top prospects. Cliff Lee gets a bump in value pitching in the NL, even in a HR-heavy park.

The White Sox were clear winners as well, swooping in at the last second to land Jake Peavy. With Peavy under contract till 2012 or possibly 2013, Chicago has a bonafide ace in the rotation for the near future. Should Mark Buerhle decide not to retire after 2010, the White Sox have a fantastic top-four in Peavy, Buehrle, Gavin Floyd and John Danks. Aaron Poreda could be a stud in the Padre rotation in 2010, and I would suggest dynasty owners act now.

In many broadcasts I’ve watched over the past few days, broadcasters bemoan the Pirates for blowing up the team, stating they have only one starter left from Opening Day 2008. They think the fans will hate the club for dealing away all their talent. I don’t know who they thought played for the Pirates, but their futility over the last 15+ years has been well-documented. I applaud the organization for making several smart moves to set themselves up as a very good team by 2011. Tim Alderson in particular was a steal for Pittsburgh and is a lock to make their rotation in the near future.

Victor Martinez is a clear winner as well, as he’ll be hitting in a great ballpark amidst some great offensive talent. Ian Snell is a winner, as he wasn’t going to get another shot in Pittsburgh.

I don’t know why the Braves prefer Adam LaRoche’s bat to the cheaper (and better) Casey Kotchman. I have a feeling they made this trade to save money next year, but I didn’t like this trade for them. Kotchman is a big loser in the deal, as he won’t see much PT in Boston.

While Emilio Bonifacio didn’t get traded, the Marlins trade for Nick Johnson will limit Bonifacio’s playing time. This is a negative for anyone using Bonifacio for his SBs or in a negative-performance league like the one I’m defending the Cafe in at Razzball, which necessitates players staying on the field.

I can’t tell what the Reds were thinking — yeah, Scott Rolen brings a good bat to the team, but they weren’t one good bat away from being great.

My league’s trading deadline is approaching and I have a chance to acquire either Utley or Braun in exchange for pitching, which I have to deal. Position doesn’t matter because whichever one I get will go into the Utility position, and I need help in batting pretty much across the board. Which one should I choose? 5 x 5 Standard Roto. Non-keeper. — jweb2244

The consensus in this thread seems to be Utley, and I would have to agree. While you really can go wrong with either, Utley has managed a few more HRs and a few more SBs this season. Utley also hits in the middle of a better lineup, and if Jimmy Rollins can keep producing like he did in July (.313/.385/.539), that will make the Phillies offense that much better.

 
R.J. White is a fantasy blogger at the sports site FanHouse. Check out his work both here and there, and feel free to talk to him in the forums, where he posts under the name daullaz.
 
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