Fantasy Baseball: Finding nine trades for Nomar Mazara, Patrick Corbin and more
Getting an informed second opinion on a trade? Priceless. Chris Towers shares his takes on readers' trade ideas for Nomar Mazara, Patrick Corbin, Yu Darvish and more.
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Looking to make a trade? What are the trade values for the top 200 players in standard leagues, and which star hitter is now a top-two value? Visit SportsLine now to get Scott White's full head-to-head Fantasy Baseball trade chart, all from an award-winning expert who has been all over James Paxton's recent breakthrough.
When making a trade, you need to answer two questions:
- How should I value this player?
- How will other people value him?
It's pretty straightforward in theory, but in practice, it's a lot more complicated than that. Everyone values players differently, and team need plays a role too. While you might think a player is playing over his head and should be traded before the bottom falls out, you're not going to find an obvious trade if everyone else thinks the same. Similarly, if you think a player is about to pull out of a slump, you won't be able to buy low if whoever owns him believes as well.
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Everyone wants to win a trade, and nobody wants to lose one, which is why it's so hard to actually pull one off. I'm here to help you find the right moves to make, with suggestions for how to value players, and who you might be able to target for them:
When I talk about Nomar Mazara, I try to take great pains to point out that I don't doubt his talent, which is immense. When he connects with the ball in just the right way, good things tend to happen. He tends to hit the ball hard and far, the result of natural hitting ability that compares with nearly anyone in the game.
The problem isn't the talent, it's the approach. Mazara is hitting .286/.343/.522 with nearly a 40-homer pace, which is exactly what we hoped to see from the former top prospect in a breakout season. However, he's still hitting 53.3 percent of his batted balls on the ground, the highest rate of his career and the 11th-highest in baseball. That doesn't mean Mazara can't be good, but it does mean he probably can't continue to be this good — he's probably more like an Eric Hosmer type hitter, with less contact.
It's always going to be hard to find a trade for someone on the DL, because you're moving them at the nadir of their value. Even someone like Ray, who I'm somewhat skeptical can find the level he pitched at last season, is going to have more value when he comes back from the DL. If I could swap him for someone like teammate Zack Godley, that's a move I would make for Ray. Otherwise, I would just hold tight, let him get healthy, and try to move him after a good start or two.
"What should I do with Patrick Corbin" is a question I , and the answer is: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
His velocity is down in a big way over his past three starts, which is a concern. Except, he's continuing to be effective, so it's hard to be too concerned. I think Corbin can continue to pitch effectively with diminished velocity, but I'm worried the dip in velocity could be a harbinger of impending injury issues, so I would be looking to move him.
Of course, my colleague Scott isn't concerned at all, ranking Corbin as a top-40 overall player in his H2H trade chart. If I could get Charlie Morton or James Paxton for him — or Rhys Hoskins or Tommy Pham on the hitting side — I would do that immediately. Let someone else invest in Corbin's limited track record and red flags.
This seems like exactly the wrong time to trade Yu Darvish, who seems to be having all kinds of problems. He looked better Tuesday and could have been on his way to re-establishing some of his value, but a leg cramp forced him from the game after just four innings. I would still value Darvish as a top-50 player, and wouldn't move him for much less than that. Good luck finding a taker.
The good thing here is, you've got all the leverage. You don't need Chapman, but someone in your league certainly does. On the starting pitching side, I think you could aim as high as the Carlos Martinez/Carlos Carrasco tier, but I'd be perfectly happy to settle for a Morton or Paxton in return. Target Dee Gordon or Starling Marte if you need steals at outfield, and Justin Upton or Khris Davis if not.
You know what would be an interesting offer to put out there? Cody Bellinger for Clayton Kershaw. You'll have to live with a few weeks of missing Kershaw, but it's the kind of return you might be able to get from a frustrated Kershaw owner.
Aaron Judge is once again defying the BABIP gods, sporting a .417 mark he obviously can't sustain. Of course, I also thought he couldn't sustain last season's .357 mark, so you may be asking the wrong person. I don't think you can move Judge for anything less than a top-10 player, but I bet you could find someone in your league willing to value him like a top-five player. See if you could get Altuve for him. If not, buying low on Joey Votto in a package that also includes a borderline top-100 guy with upside like Luis Castillo or Rafael Devers makes sense.
You just explained why you shouldn't be looking to trade Altuve! Over the past three seasons, he has been the No. 2 player in Fantasy, and there's no reason to think he's just lost it after turning 28 just 10 days ago. He's still making contact and spraying line drives all over the field, so there's no reason to think he's suddenly lost it. It is concerning that he has just two stolen bases, but that's just about the only red flag here. Trading an elite player with a proven track record just because you're frustrated is an easy way to lose in Fantasy.
The issue with Ohtani is that we know there's a pretty hard ceiling on how valuable he can be this season thanks to innings concerns. That puts him squarely in the middle of the Aaron Nola-Lance McCullers-James Paxton-Charlie Morton discussion for me. You probably aren't getting anyone significantly better than that group, and swapping Ohtani for any of them feels like a waste of time.
Maybe you could get Kershaw or deGrom from a scared owner, but that feels like a long shot, too. It's hard to trade Ohtani. I'm not sure I can realistically come up with an option both sides will say yes to unless someone is getting ripped off.
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