Fantasy Baseball: Answering your trade questions, analyzing your trades

We did a segment on Wednesday's Fantasy Baseball Today podcast grading trades, and I decided to extend that out here with some of my Twitter followers offering their recent moves up for judgment. If you're looking to make a trade, see who is mentioned here for an idea of what you might want to offer – and where other people may have made mistakes. 

Here's the grading scale:

A - "You committed highway robbery"
B - "You won the trade"
C - "A perfectly reasonable move on all sides"
D - "You lost the trade"
F - "I don't want to be rude, but..."

See what Scott White thinks of your trade with his top-200 H2H Trade Values column.

Well, you know we had to start with the most interesting man in baseball, Ozzie Albies. Before the season, one of our podcast listeners came up with the idea to call the big drop off between the reliable early-round hitters and those you wouldn't feel quite as good about the "Meh-Dozier Line", so there are two questions here:

  1. Has Albies joined that borderline-elite class of hitters?
  2. Has Brian Dozier fallen out of that class?

As I wrote Monday, I'm not quite sure Albies is in that class — I view him more as a fourth-to-fifth-round caliber hitter these days. And Dozier was a solid third-rounder who is still hitting for power and running, so I'm not ready to be worried about a slow start for him yet; he hit just .242/.317/.363 in April last season. This is a B, and a solid sell-high on Albies. 

The problem with trading for Mike Trout is, you're going to have to give up an awful lot to get him. There are interesting elements involved in this trade — "Sell-high on Ronald Acuna and Javier Baez!"; "Buy low on Jose Quintana!" -- but it's fairly straightforward, overall: You're giving up a top-25 outfielder, a top-10 starting pitcher and two starting-caliber hitters, for the best player in baseball and a top-25 starter. Your team context could make this a win, if you've got more starting-caliber hitters than spots with which to play them, but this generally seems like a fair side. It's a C, and the kind of price you'll have to pay to acquire Trout. 

As with Albies, Didi Gregorius has done a lot in the early going to improve his value. Like Albies, he's not likely to continue this level of production -- sorry, Yankees' fans, you'll just have to live with only having two of the favorites to lead the majors in homers -- but there are reasons to think he has made improvements to his game as well. Enough improvements to surpass Lindor, who was a second-round pick coming into the season? Not yet. If you're the one acquiring Lindor, this is a B. 

Both Lindor and Alex Bregman are off to disappointing starts, but there's no reason to think Bregman has bridged the gap between them that existed before the season. Lindor is the better player, so the question is whether the gap between them is as big as the one between Garrett Richards and Nick Pivetta? I'm not convinced. Pivetta is showing a renewed confidence in his breaking balls, and it has helped him take a big step forward. He's even working a changeup in, which only makes him more dangerous if it becomes a weapon. I'm not even sure Richards is better than Pivetta, but he's definitely not good enough to make up this gap. This is an A. Well done.

Both Marcus Stroman and Luke Weaver have gotten off to disappointing starts, but there are pretty clear differences between them. For one thing, Weaver didn't have a shoulder injury in spring training, a major red flag given his struggles. Additionally, Weaver sports a 3.52 FIP that suggests better days ahead, even if his control struggles are a real concern. Stroman's 4.51 FIP is a lot better than his 8.88 ERA, sure, but there are still clear signs that Weaver is pitching better right now. This is a solid B+.

I'm not sure if Yoan Moncada can be classified as a "sell-high" candidate, but his .273 batting average on a .421 BABIP scream regression. Moncada hits the ball incredibly hard — he ranks seventh in the majors in average exit velocity, including 13th on line drives and fly balls, a good sign that the power is real — but it's still an open question whether he will really be a stolen base threat. Add in his major contact issues, and Moncada remains more of a flawed, low-end starting Fantasy option. Donaldson is a risk in his own right because of his shoulder injury, but he was hitting the ball better than his .239/.352/.457 line pre-injury suggested, and he should be back soon. This is a B+. And, I love you too. 

I like McCullers a lot. Just a few days ago I called him a top-20 pitcher:

But, I have to be clear: H2H points isn't his best format. Whether due to injury concerns, or just the Astros being careful with his workload, he's never been a big innings guy, and he may never be. McCullers has averaged under six innings per start in every season of his career, including the first six starts of 2016. He'll win enough games and get enough strikeouts to counteract that to some degree, but there's a limit on how valuable he can be. The 2017 Robbie Ray was probably his realistic ceiling, and Ray was the No. 13 SP last season. All of that is to say this is an A. Rizzo's a stud. 

This is an interesting one, because it might depend on how your team is built. Brad Boxberger and (especially) Starling Marte are valuable players, but much of their value comes from their ability to help in saves and steals. If you have enough of those two skills to spare on your roster, they are probably less valuable than they would be on a team that desperately needs them. In a vacuum, it seems like a fair trade, so I'll give it a C, but your team context could bump it a spot either way. 

Fantasy Writer

Though he can be found covering three different sports depending on the time of year, there is one unifying theme in how Chris Towers approaches sports; "Where's the evidence?" It doesn't matter how outlandish... Full Bio

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