Monday, April 7, 2008

Buy Low/Sell High


David Ortiz, Alfonso Soriano, Shane Victorino, the entire Detroit Tigers lineup, Jeremy Accardo, and Brian Wilson are all pretty good "buy low" candidates at the moment.

While David Ortiz has me worried, he is a friggin' DH. Whatever is wrong isn't going to be compounded by having to play a position (assuming the problem is physical). If you can package up Derrek Lee (off to a torrid start) and another lesser light and acquire Ortiz, do it.

Alfonso Soriano started the year something like 0-for-20. That's when you pounce. He also has one game at second base. Mark "heart palpatations are nothing to laugh at" De Rosa or another Cubs MI scrub gets hurt, he's going to be 2B eligible within a month. He's a guy you quietly target. Maybe you take Hunter Pence and Cueto and try to grab him.

Basically the entire Detroit Tigers lineup is ripe with "buy low" candidates. Curtis Granderson looks like he may be back in 10 days, Miguel Cabrera's been a bit dinged up and hasn't hit yet, etc. As always, go down your roster, find two guys who are outperforming your expectations and their draft positions, and see if an owner is getting frustrated only one week in.

Shane Victorino has done nothing yet. Nothing. But, he does bat second in the Phillies lineup, and he did have a great '07. I'm not that worried, but his owner in your league might be. In fact, he might be thinking he should have waited five rounds and drafted Michael Bourn instead. Well, now's the time to offer up a Bourn-type speedster for Victorino and see if his owner bites. It's impossible for him not to start putting up numbers in the near future.

In terms of closers, you have to be more careful. Why? Because (say it with me now) you never, ever, ever pay for saves. Unless they're buy-low candidates. For example, Jeremy Accardo. B.J. Ryan is supposedly coming back, he'll be supplanting Accardo, yada yada. Well, what are the chances that Ryan (a.) stays healthy all year and (b.) pitches back to back days anytime soon? Even if everything goes right for Ryan from May onwards, Accardo is still going to nickel and dime his way to 10 to 20 saves, and give you very good ratios. He might be available for a song. Go sing it.

Brian Wilson is the closer for the Giants. Parlay that into a real low price. Even closers on real, real bad teams get 25-35 saves. He's good, folks.

I almost included Joakim Soria on this list, but there's no way you're buying low on him. Particularly if his owner has watched any of his appearances this year. I don't know for how many years he's going to be able to throw that breaking stuff before his elbow falls apart, but for '08, you ain't buying low anytime soon.


Aaron Rowand. You shouldn't have drafted him in the first place, and the fact that he's managed to miss basically the entire first week with bruised ribs probably isn't making you feel any better. Now's the time to sell, for anything you can get. I'd target a promising middle reliever like Broxton. You're not going to get much more than that, if you can even get that. The next time you hear Aaron Rowand's name from me, it will be in a "Fodder/Flotsam" column (guess which one he'll be?) rather than a "Buy Low/Sell High" entry.

Manny Corpas. I should have listened to my own draft guide:

Basically everything I said about Soria goes for Manny Corpas, except that the lack of Ks (only 58 in 78 innings) does give me pause. Still, he's an entrenched, good reliever with an opportunity to close.

I'll admit it: I discounted the lack of Ks because everything else looked good. Well, I should have known better. Just as Brandon Lyon's '07 stats were a complete mirage, I'm thinking Corpas's may have been also. He hasn't struck anyone out and has looked terrible (five base runners, three earned runs, and a blown save over his last two outings). He was going ahead of Soria in most drafts. If you can trade straight up for Soria or another K-monger closer, do it. One more start like that and Brian Fuentes is going to start roaring rather than trickling onto rosters.

Ty Wigginton: broken hand, unknown future. Right now, Wigginton is a still sell-able middle infield eligible third baseman who moved to a promising lineup. But, he has a broken hand. As much as I hate to say it, his value right now is probably going to plummet very, very soon. As we start to see other players gain similar eligibility (Akinori Iwamura is now 2B/3B, for example) you need to try to move Wiggy and replace him.

Johnny Cueto: still think you should sell high.

Did you read our recent article on Roy Oswalt? If not, let me recap: declining strikeouts, getting lit up, disaster looming. Sell, sell, sell! Now there's rumors of bicep or shoulder problems. I'm not so sure anyone's buying, but if they are, make a move immediately.


Steve said...

Wiggy's multi-position eligibility is nice, but am thinking of offering him up for Billy Butler - a good deal for me, right?

Mike Bock said...

If someone will do that, you can't click on the "accept" button fast enough. Even if Wiggy's still-to-be-evaluated hand fracture hadn't happened, I'd still do the deal.