Saturday, January 8, 2011

Playing for Keeps: What Would You Do?

Earlier this week I received an email from a reader named Travis. He's looking for some advice on his fantasy baseball team for this upcoming season. Here's a shortened version of his question:

I am playing in a 10 team, 5x5, 6 player keeper league. I picked up a team half way through the season last year since my buddy is in the league and one of the players wasn't managing his [team]. I finished in second to last place, which was really a miracle considering how far back I was, and traded a number of hot players (Corey Hart, etc.) for draft picks this year. I currently have Miguel Cabrera, Tim Lincecum, Jayson Werth, Andre Ethier, Zobrist and Rickie Weeks as my keepers and have picked up an additional 7, 9, 10, 14, 15, 16, 16 draft picks. I traded away my 18-24 draft picks to pick up those as well as the type of players I just mentioned, 
Basically, I have two choices next year, I can keep the guys I have and go into the draft with a clear advantage over everyone else (most of the guys are still picking up the idea of trading picks and don't have many extra ones to use) and try to compete this year based on my draft and good waiver wire play. Or I could trade for some studs and give up many of my early round picks. 
Any thoughts on what I should do are appreciated. 

Thanks for your email, Travis. With Miguel Cabrera and Tim Lincecum, you have two top players that any manager would want. If I were you, I'd hang onto them.

As for how to handle your extra draft picks, in general, I would value proven major league talent over unproven prospects. That might seem obvious, but lots of managers constantly trade away proven major league talent for "top prospects." But oftentimes these top prospects, despite hopes of becoming All-Stars, never even become solid major leaguers.

In looking at your team, Rickie Weeks is coming off his best season and his value might never be higher. He's had a long history of injuries and honestly, I wouldn't view him as a building block for a championship team. However, since 2B is a relatively week position, someone in your league might really want Weeks. At the very least it couldn't hurt to ask around. Maybe you can package Weeks with a few draft picks and land an elite top 30 player in return. I'd also look into trading Werth and Zobrist, but I doubt you can get as much in return for them.

So to answer your question, I'd lean toward using some of those extra draft picks as trade throw-ins to try and land proven, elite players in return. It might be a long shot, but that should be Plan A.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting the question and providing your comments. I actually pulled the trigger on a trade last week and wanted to provide an update. I traded Werth for Lester and Kemp and my 1,2,3,9 and 10 picks for some throw away picks on his end. I finally decided that i can still field a decent team next year starting at pick 4 and aggressively watching the waiver wire. I know have a pretty solid keeper list of Miggy, Lincecum, Lester, Kemp, Ethier and Weeks/Zobrist. I will probably let Zobrist go back into the draft and keep weeks since he is rated higher for next season. I do think that Zobrist will have a turn around season with more HRs but I also think I could pick him up in the draft were Weeks will definitely go before I can pick.

I should have a really solid set of keepers for a couple of seasons and am looking forward to baseball season starting.


Greg McConnell said...

Hey Travis, since you're keeping 6 players, I'm assuming that 1st round pick would be more like a 7th round pick in a normal draft, right? If so, then it looks like you did well to get Lester and Kemp the way you did. I suppose it depends on what other draft picks you have left. Good luck.