Thursday, May 29, 2008

Ask the Hurler: "Accept this offer immediately" edition

Mike writes:

Hey folks, great blog you have going. Anyway, I've been going out of my mind over a trade offer. I'm playing in an 18 team keeper league, where you essentially sacrifice draft picks to keep players. Head to head, weekly roster changes. Scoring is more or less standard, with Holds and OBP. I'm currently in 6th place. My team:

C - Chris Snyder
1B - James Loney

2B - Brian Roberts
3B - Adrian Beltre
SS - JJ Hardy
OF - Manny Ramirez
OF - Carlos Quentin
OF - Jacoby Ellsbury
Util - Matt Kemp

SP - Rich Harden
SP - Hiroki Kuroda
SP - Jonathan Sanchez
RP - Brian Fuentes
RP-Dan Wheeler
RP - Chris Perez
P - Greg Smith
P - Clayton Kershaw

BN -Matt Kemp
BN - Todd Helton
BN - Edwin Encarnacion
BN - Colby Rasmus
BN - JoJo Reyes
BN - David Price
DL - Jake Peavy

I give Matt Kemp, James Loney, and Edwin Encarnacion; I get Brandon Webb, Adam LaRoche, and Brian Giles. Giles I'll probably just drop.

Mike Bock responds:

Let's analyze this calmly, rationally, and OH, MY GOD, YOU NEED TO GO ACCEPT THIS OFFER RIGHT NOW BEFORE THE OTHER OWNER RECOVERS FROM THE PARIETAL LOBE INJURY HE MUST HAVE SUSTAINED.

I agree that Giles is worthless, so let's look at the other players.

LaRoche is, IMHO, better than Loney by a wide margin (and LaRoche is only 28ish, though it seems like he's been around forever). Adam was a serious draft-day bargain coming into this season. He has brutal Aprils, but a good manager knows to stash him early in the year then enjoy a .290+ average and 25 homers the rest of the way. This year, LaRoche is batting .300 for the month of May after having his customary fecal smeared spring, and he still has more homers than Loney. How many high average, non-power 1Bers does your team need? You already have Helton and Loney, all you need to do is acquire Sean Casey to complete the set.

Encarnacion is good, but he's not even starting for your team. Beltre's better now, and probably will be for a few more years.

Kemp's easily the the best non-Webb player: but, he's not starting for you in the OF! Do not underestimate that crucial distinction. Having Kemp as your UTIL player is not efficient team management. He's your fourth best OF, and can be replaced by any offensive player. Losing him means you can cherry pick from across your bench and all of baseball to replace him. If you're concerned about his keeper status, be prepared for him to be mired in the annoying Dodger roster problems for the next two seasons, at least. And that's assuming Colletti doesn't do any more damage.

Webb is the most valuable pitcher in baseball right now, and the only pitcher to break into the upper echelon of the Yahoo/ESPN player rankings. He has no injury history, he's young, and you're getting him for two bench players. He's a stud, and I wish I'd drafted him instead of a host of players. He's widened his pitching repertoire, which is truly frightening, and he plays for a young, dominating team that spends a lot of time in great pitcher's parks ... and he gets to face pitchers three or four times a game.

Webb may be as valuable as all the other players involved in this deal, combined. Webb straight up for Kemp, Encarnacion, and Loney would still favor you. And the other owner is throwing in LaRoche? Wow. To be brutally honest, this trade is borderline vetoable in non-keeper leagues. In keeper leagues, when young players like Kemp, Encarnacion, or Loney are involved, anything goes.

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