Timing is everything. What better time is there to sell high on players in Dynasty leagues? We just dealt with a 60-game season where some Fantasy managers might be looking at 2020 production with finality. The truth remains that what we witnessed this season was just 37% of our usual 162 games. We would actually just be entering June around the 60-game mark. That's also around the time where we have enough data to realize what might be sustainable for the long haul and what might not.
It's right around that Memorial Day mark every baseball season where we have a good sense of players to buy low or sell high. This brings me back to my original point. There is no better time than now to sell high in Dynasty or keeper leagues if you're looking to rebuild or retool your team.
And let me remind everybody, just because a player is a sell high does not mean you need to just sell that player in general. If the others in your league aren't buying what Trevor Bauer did in 2020 and don't want to offer you fair value, just keep him. And – as usual – if you're in a position to compete in 2021, you probably want to hold onto all the names below.
Nonetheless, here are six players who are either coming off career (shortened) seasons or are getting up there in age. Now might be the best time to maximize their value.
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Trevor Bauer SP
LAD L.A. Dodgers • #27 • Age: 30
If you listen to Fantasy Baseball Today, you probably think I'm just hating on Bauer as I've done all year long. I'll give credit where it's due. Bauer was his best version in 2020, posting a 1.79 ERA with a 0.79 WHIP while striking out 100 in just 73 innings. He deserves to win the National League Cy Young. With all that being said, I have a hard time figuring out how Bauer got here. His 12.8% swinging strike rate is basically where it has been each of the past two seasons. He used his fastball more than ever before despite its velocity being down a tick. There were no real changes to his pitch mix. The only thing I can point to is that he has worked extensively with Driveline Baseball the past few years and that he had the best spin rate in all of baseball. Is that sustainable? I honestly don't know. What I do know is that Bauer is extremely volatile year over year. His past four seasons' ERAs are 1.73, 4.48, 2.21, 4.19. I'll go out on a limb and predict this shortened 2020 will be his best. Now is the time to cash in while his value is at its absolute highest.
KC Kansas City • #15 • Age: 32
Whit Merrifield is another one I got wrong in 2020 but he was still very valuable, especially in Roto leagues. This is a little different case. While Merrifield will be 32 years old by the time the 2021 season starts, I still think he has maybe one or two productive seasons left. He'll be a younger 32 because he really didn't get his shot as a full-time player in the majors until 2017 when he was 29. He doesn't have that normal wear and tear. However, the reason I think now is the time to strike is because you want to sell-high at a player's peak. While I think he will still be productive in 2021, there is a chance we start to see signs of decline. As soon as Fantasy managers have any doubt on Merrifield, he becomes a depreciating asset. Find the team in your league that is desperate for steals or is a second baseman away from competing, and take advantage.
Luke Voit 1B
NYY N.Y. Yankees • #59 • Age: 30
This one's easy, right? I view Luke Voit in a similar light as Merrifield, except Voit is a few years younger. I still think Voit will have productive seasons, but I'm looking at 2020 when he led baseball with 22 home runs, and I'm thinking this is the peak. Voit made strides in 2020, pulling the ball and hitting more fly balls than ever before. Obviously, both of those things were conducive to a career-season. There are also just these little things that are lingering in the back of my mind. Voit battled plantar fasciitis towards the end of the season, which could be a nagging injury. I vividly remember him bending down to hold his foot after legging out a double in the postseason. That's one warning sign. The other is that there have been whispers of the Yankees shopping Voit this offseason. It may be nothing, but maybe they're looking to cash in as well. It's hard to imagine Voit leaving New York and winding up in a better situation. If you can get fair value for him, I would do it.
Kenta Maeda SP
MIN Minnesota • #18 • Age: 33
Kenta Maeda, unleashed! Let that be a lesson to you, Dodgers. Maeda was ridiculous in his debut with the Twins, pitching to a 2.70 ERA and an otherworldly 0.75 WHIP. He finds himself as a deserving AL Cy Young finalist. Unlike Bauer, there are tangible changes we can point to for Maeda's breakout. He decreased his fastball usage about 12% in 2020, while using his slider and changeup more. Addition by subtraction. That doesn't change the fact that he will turn 33 early in the 2021 season and he just faced a cakewalk schedule for 11 starts. There's a lot to like with Maeda but these 11 starts were close to his best possible outcome. If you struck gold in the shortened season with Maeda on your team and aren't close to competing in your Dynasty league, look to flip him for some younger assets.
NYM N.Y. Mets • #59 • Age: 34
Man, how could you not be rooting for Carlos Carrasco? He was diagnosed with leukemia in May of 2019. He returned in a relief role later that season, but we didn't really know what to expect in 2020. Carrasco blew away expectations. It didn't start off well, either. In Carrasco's first six starts this past season, he held a 4.50 ERA with a 1.43 WHIP. He corrected the command, however, and over his final six starts he pitched to a 1.66 ERA with a 1.03 WHIP. It's a fantastic story and I hope Carrasco continues to thrive. The fact of the matter is he'll turn 34 years old just before the season starts and – like Voit – there are whispers the Indians could look to move Carrasco this offseason. Maybe he'll be fine somewhere else, but he's only ever pitched for the Indians. As much as I love the guy, I think Carrasco's better days are behind him.
Wil Myers RF
SD San Diego • #5 • Age: 30
Like most Padres hitters, Wil Myers had one of his best possible outcomes in the 2020 season. He was actually the best version of himself, which isn't crazy for his age-29 season. He wound up batting a career-high .288 with 15 home runs, 40 RBI and a .959 OPS. Entering 2020, Myers was a .251-career hitter with a .763 OPS. This just a classic sell-high situation. There is a chance that Myers is just a stud now but I'm willing to bet against it. He also has an extensive injury history as well. Shopping Myers might be a little tough because I assume most Fantasy managers realize he's a sell-high, but hey, maybe you find a bandwagon Padres fan out there.