If you love your players, let them go

Maybe some owners out there pride themselves on running their teams with ruthless discipline, trading away players who have helped them to early victories, and tossing loyalty aside for the greater cause of finding value.

I'm generally not one of those owners.

Every season, I find myself getting attached to players who I picked up as late-round fliers and endgame afterthoughts, particularly when they get off to good starts. This season, I'm finding it hard to think of parting with a couple of Mariners: James Paxton and Abraham Almonte. I didn't have to invest much to get either of them, and both have exceeded my expectations so far.

I have a tendency to overvalue players I drafted or won in an auction when comparing them to similar players on other owners' teams. I discussed this in the Emails/Tweets segment of today's FBT (starting at the 1:12 mark), when I recommended keeping Erasmo Ramirez instead of trading him for Jake Odorizzi, who I actually value a little more in keeper formats when comparing them in the proverbial vacuum. The rationale of sticking with my homegrown talent is based in the fear that a breakout candidate just might do his breaking out for another team.

Yet when I've put those worries aside, I've made some of my best trades. For example, last season I dealt Jean Segura at peak value for an underproducing Matt Holliday. It wasn't an obvious sell-high or buy-low at the time, but I trusted my offseason assessments of the players when making that deal, even though their in-season performances didn't seem to justify it. And it wasn't easy to do, since I felt like I got Segura at a bargain price.

As the season progresses, circumstances can change that impact a player's long-term value, such as notable changes in health status and skill level. But in the absence of such changes, it makes sense to remind yourself why you ranked your new favorite player lower back in March and consider putting that player on the trade market to see if you can secure some proven talent.

So, any takers for Paxton and Almonte?

Data Analyst

Al Melchior has been playing Fantasy Baseball since 1994, getting his start in the Southern Maryland Anthropomorphic Baseball League (SMABL). He has been writing about Fantasy Baseball since 2000, getting... Full Bio

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