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Tuesday, June 15, 2010
I was talking to my friend (yes, my one friend) around a week ago about fantasy baseball. We were both giddy over Stephen Strasburg's recent dominant debut, but soon after we finished talking about "Strasmus," he switched to another pitcher's upcoming debut: Brad Lincoln.
While I was aware of Lincoln, a top draft pick with good control, I wasn't nearly as excited about him. He's playing his first season of fantasy baseball, so I understood why Lincoln's inaugural outing excited him so much. All he really knows is 2010,-and so far rookies have fared spectacularly well as a group.
Jason Heyward started things off on Opening Day, blasting a home run in his first at-bat and remaining a threat ever since. The Tigers gave Austin Jackson the chance to be an everyday player and he rose to the challenge, being the major league hits leader through most of April and the beginning of May. Gaby Sanchez got the chance to start every day for the Marlins and has been consistently solid, batting .280 with seven home runs. Tommy John surgery recoveree Jaime Garcia was given the fifth spot in the Cardinals rotation and has since performed like a No. 1, posting a 1.49 ERA in 72 innings. And there are even a few more examples of rookies not just surviving at the major league level, but surpassing expectations.
Since then we have seen the debuts of a large number of players—including Mike Leake, John Ely, Ike Davis, John Jaso, Jhoulys Chacin, Brennan Boesch, Buster Posey, Mike Stanton, Brian Matusz, Starlin Castro, and of course Strasburg—all of whom have been generally successful, save for the understandable recent struggles of the 20-year-old Castro. Justin Smoak and preseason "sleeper" Scott Sizemore are the two rookies who have disappointed so far (though there is a good chance I am forgetting someone).
Still, my message to you for the rest of the season is to not blindly believe that all the rookies who get the call to the majors will perform as well as their 2010 counterparts have. Even though the latest trio of callups—Jose Tabata, Carlos Santana, and Jake Arrieta—have also had a successful start to their major league careers, historically speaking, rookies will not succeed at the high rate they have thus far.
And of course there is no guarantee that some of the rookies off to hot starts won't cool off and find their way back in the minors by the season's end. The next wave of prospect call-ups, likely led by Blue Jays infielder Brett Wallace and Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez, will probably be fought over furiously by fantasy owners thinking only of this year, but people with the memory of "sure-things of 2009," David Price and Matt Wieters, will smartly watch the parade fromthe sidewalk and let it pass.
Posted by Paul Singman at 6:35am (5) Comments
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
British philosopher, Philippa Foot, originally posed what today is a somewhat famous morality puzzle. It’s referred to as the “Trolley Problem,” and basically goes like this:
A trolley is running out of control down a track. In its path are five innocent people who have been tied to the track by a mad philosopher. Fortunately, you can flip a switch, which will lead the trolley down a different track to safety. Unfortunately, there is a single person tied to that track. Is it morally permissible to flip the switch?
Most people answer that you should pull the lever. Oddly, enough I lean toward the minority side here, but I’m used to being an outlier, and unfortunately not in the Gladwellian sense. Yet, I digress.
This puzzle was subsequently modified by Judith Jarvis Thompson into what is referred to as the “footbridge problem,” or the “fat man problem,” which goes like this:
As before, a trolley is hurtling down a track toward five people. You are on a bridge under which it will pass, and you can stop it by dropping a heavy weight in front of it. As it happens, there is a very fat man next to you - your only way to stop the trolley is to push him over the bridge and onto the track, killing him to save five. Is it morally permissible to push the man to his death to save the lives of the five others?
Most people answer this question by saying that it is not morally permissible to kill the fat man.
In both instances, the subject is ostensibly killing one to save the lives of five, yet the consensus conclusions about the morality of each act is quite different. To reconcile these answers may be confounding, on the surface at least. (Those who study neuroethics have offered hypothesis reconciling the two. Quite an interesting tangent, but not one for a baseball site.)
That’s fascinating, Derek, but what does it have to do with fantasy baseball? Nothing, I’m trying to branch out here… Seriously, let me relay two anecdotes from this fantasy baseball season.
Rewind to draft day. I’m co-managing a team in a standard 12-team mixed draft league and my buddy and I are looking to our next pick with the idea that we need to draft the biggest source of power available, preferably from a 1B. Luckily, Carlos Pena is still on the board and our turn is up in fewer than a half-dozen picks. Pena is the second highest ranked 1B left on the board and adjacent to him in the available 1B tab is Derrek Lee. Two picks before our turn, a team chooses Lee. But, within the seconds of the pick the other owner types a message in the chat room along the lines of, “I meant to take Pena, consider Pena taken and whoever wants Lee should draft Pena and then trade him to me for Lee after the draft.” Two picks later, my buddy and I select Pena and simply announce to the room, thanks for the offer, but no thanks, we’ll be keeping Pena.
Anecdote two happened last week. I had been engaged in a little back and forth with my good friend in a different league negotiating a deal that basically consisted of me giving him Victor Martinez for Ben Zobrist. I had been trying to pry out a bit more from the deal, which he seemed willing to give, but I didn’t like any of the throw-ins discussed. My buddy is second in saves and still has Mike Gonzalez stashed on his DL, while I need saves desperately. So, I took a shot and asked for Zobrist and one of his mid-level closers, Leo Nunez. To my delight, when I checked my team the next evening before going to dinner, he had accepted the deal. But, then, about two minutes later my cell phone rang and is was my friend who apologetically said, “Dude, my bad, but I didn’t mean to accept that trade, I’m not comfortable giving up a closer and I had even written a note about it, but I just accidentally clicked the wrong box and accepted the trade. Can you call (the commish) or post on the message board that we want to void the deal and I’ll do the same?” I did so immediately.
So, here’s my trolley vs. fat man dilemma. In both cases, the other party made a simple mistake – basically the fantasy baseball equivalent of a typo (my readers know that, despite the best efforts of the editors here, I know those well – you there, Lloyd?). Yet, in one case I was forgiving and in the other I was not.
My first question is whether there is an essential difference in these two scenarios. Are the decisions to be made here morally equivalent?
To expound a bit, I’ll offer a bit more context that I think may help explain why I made the decisions I did, but does not necessarily speak to the essence of the situation from an ethical point of view. That is, I’ll offer some context that somewhat explains, but may or may not justify.
The first circumstance worthy of mentioning is that in the draft case, those who comprise the league are not my friends. They are mostly fraternity mates of my buddy. Coincidentally enough, the only other member of that league who is among my personal friends is the guy involved in anecdote two with me. This offers an interesting question, which is whether I would have behaved the same way if the offending party in scenario one was my friend from scenario two. However, I also believe that had the subject of anecdote two made the gaffe from anecdote one, he would have just ate it. And, this is important, because it explicitly suggests that I recognize some sort of fundamental difference between the gaffe in anecdote one and anecdote two. So, what might it be?
Some people argue that the extent to which an action should be regulated is what is proportionate to the potential harm of such action, and perhaps that is at play here, that the distinction here is a matter of degree. (Ever argued with a libertarian about Civil Rights legislation? Again, I digress.)
In anecdote one, the owner still has 20 or so rounds to draft a competitive team and his error resulted in him getting a similar asset to his preference and therefore there is not much harm. After all, it’s not like he accidentally selected Ryan Z. Braun accidentally in the first round, when had intended to select Ryan J. Braun. So, that might be part of my decision as well.
The co-manager scenario might have played a hand as well in the sense that there could have been some mini mob mentality at play. Had my co-manager – the guy who actually is friends with the other managers in this league – said, “Nah, that’s messed up; let’s respect his wishes,” I may have conceded. I don’t say this to pass the blame to my friend and imply that if he didn’t care about his friend why should I care about a stranger, just that there was an echo chamber that comforted each of us because neither saw drafting and keeping Pena as egregious.
Another situation impacting anecdote one was that the draft itself was already a cluster of fornication. The draft order was manually determined, but the commish had forgotten to program it, so when the draft launched, it mixed everybody up and all the owners were in the wrong order. We had to quickly call the person who was in our rightful spot and exchange log in info, so we’d be logged in as the false team in our spot and draft for that team, and vice versa, and the commish would then reset the rosters later. This was amateur hour at its finest – not the type of oversight you expect in a significantly high stakes league. So, by the time we’re in Round 6 or so, I had grown kind of frustrated and was perhaps not my otherwise understanding and empathetic self.
But, above it all, I think what it may have come down to was mostly an issue of communication, or tact, and maybe even metalinguistics. The presumptuousness of the other owner in anecdote one that everybody else was basically bound unquestionably to inconvenience himself to concede him a mulligan rubbed me the wrong way. There was no contrition or accountability in that message, no apology, and no request. In anecdote two, my friend called me up right away and his voice reflected that of somebody who felt guilty because he was about to flake on a commitment. His first words were, “Yo, my bad. I need to ask you a favor.”
Perhaps if the first owner would have phrased his request more along the lines of, “Whoops, I totally didn’t mean to do that. Would anybody mind treating Pena as Lee and swapping with me after the daft,” I would have conceded. I don’t know for sure, but I know I would have actually paused to think about it.
So, my second question is whether any of the last few paragraphs offer circumstances that legitimately alter the problem itself, or are just ex post facto rationalizations for an essentially unethical decision?
Posted by Derek Ambrosino at 5:12am (19) Comments
Welcome to THT Fantasy's Roster Doctor. If you'd like your team to be analyzed by one of our fantasy baseball experts, please send your full roster to this address. Also be sure to include your league's player pool (mixed, AL-only, NL-only), number of teams, scoring format (roto, head-to-head, points, etc.), categories, whether or not it's a keeper league, and any other pertinent information. If your roster is selected it will be analyzed in a future Roster Doctor column.
Player Pool: Mixed
No. of Teams: 14
Categories: R, RBI, SB, OBP, SLG; W, K, SV, ERA, WHIP
Other notes: A keeper auction league, team is in fourth
C- Miguel Montero
1B- Adrian Gonzalez
2B- Alberto Callaspo
3B- Michael Young
SS- Reid Brignac
MI- Gordon Beckham
CI- Joey Votto
OF- Alex Rios
OF- Corey Hart
OF- Carlos Quentin
OF- Carlos Lee
UT- Seth Smith
B- Jimmy Rollins
B- Chris Snyder
DL- Brian Roberts
P- Jonathan Broxton
P- Heath Bell
P- Carlos Villanueva
P- Evan Meek
P- Jose Contreras
P- Luke Gregerson
P- Jason Motte
P- Adam Wainwright
B- James Shields
B- Justin Verlander
B- Jaime Garcia
B- Brett Cecil
DL- Brandon Webb
DL- Chad Billingsley
With only looking at this team I would have guessed it was in a 12-team league, not a 14-team one, so the depth of your roster is what impressed me initially. Especially the pitching staff, which is virtually not improvable. Wainwright, Shields and Verlander are all near-ace types and I would not let Shields' recent struggles make you think otherwise. Though Garcia and Cecil likely won't maintain their performance levels thus far, at least you have owned them while they are playing well and I would consider them the perfect trade bait for hitting.
Your hitting lineup is composed of plenty of solid pieces but unfortunately they are being weighed down by the albatrosses of Lee and Quentin. You will probably have to stick it out with Quentin and Lee though I would see if any owner is interested in buying low on one of them. Yes, I do suggest making a push for the championship this season—enough of your players are performing that your holes are small enough to be plugged.
Acquiring stolen0base and run players is ideal for your team and cheap solutions could be Tyler Colvin, Jose Tabata or Coco Crisp when he returns from the DL in a little over a week. An example trade that would be beneficial to your team could look like Hart for Brett Gardner.
Although you stated that you "don't really believe in offensive benches" I urge you to reconsider that belief as someone who once also never kept bench hitters. Now, however in most of my leagues I frequently have bench hitters to platoon with each other so I only play my fringe starters in favorable match-ups. Your corral of relief pitchers is impressive but I feel you certainly can part with one of two of them to shore up your hitters and find someone to platoon with Seth Smith.
Despite all of the advanced metrics we have, it is nearly impossible to know how a hitter will perform over the next month so oftentimes I find it worth it to simply own both hitters you are deciding between. And then, if one of them plays significantly better over a stretch, you drop the under performer and go back to owning the Clay Hensleys and Andrew Cashners of the world. But while your lineup is in limbo, there is no shame is using some of your bench spots on hitters until you straighten things out.
Overall I like your team and think you are only a couple of hitting upgrades in your outfield away from making a strong bid for the championship. And one last thing, go pick Alcides Escobar back up immediately. He is certainly worth owning, especially in a keeper league.
Posted by Paul Singman at 4:31pm (0) Comments
Thursday, June 17, 2010
I'm traveling, so I'm going to be nasty, brutish and short. Players who gain multi-position eligibility during the season are like gifts. Some are expected and some are not. Either way, they fall into one of two categories—the new iPhone or the bulky sweater.
Nearly anyone needs a new iPhone (don't be literal with me here). So this is like when a player that "plays" like a third baseman gets some kind of middle infielder eligibility—like when Troy Glaus almost got shortstop eligibility a few seasons ago. When a decent player (or better) at a "stacked" position gets eligibility at a more rarefied position—like Chone Figgins at second base—this is a great (and maybe expected) gift. Alternatively, when a player gets eligibility at a more stacked position—like Ty Wigginton or Martin Prado at first base, when they had eligibility at second base—this is like the bulky sweater, rarely used and mostly shoved into the back of the closet.
A lot is made of players with multi-position eligibility, and indeed it never hurts to be eligible at more positions. But it should be barely notable to be a bulky sweater. Sure, if you need a very temporary replacement for your regular first baseman who's out on bereavement leave for the week, it is helpful to have the extra position flexibility that the bulky sweater affords. But if you find yourself playing the bulky sweater regularly in his more stacked position (roughly in this order, from less to more: catcher, second base and shortstop, third base and outfield, and lastly first base), then you're missing out on an easy trade opportunity.
If you don't need to play the bulky sweater/iPhone at his more rarefied position—perhaps your second baseman, Robinson Cano, is better than your fourth outfielder, Chase Headley, and so you'd rather play Ben Zobrist in Headley's place instead of Cano's. Fine, but some other team doesn't have the likes of Cano at second and has Freddy Sanchez there instead. You should easily be able to get a better outfielder than Zobrist in exchange for him, since Zobrist's value as a second baseman is much larger to the new owner. This is a mutual gain for trade.
Mutual gains from trade is the easiest and best way to make great trades. These trades are not trades that rely on differences of opinion about players—there's no buying low or selling high here. You are simply trading a need for a need, so to speak. It is the easiest way to turn any gift into an iPhone. I regularly examine my opponents' rosters, looking for players who are being played at excessively stacked positions: Maybe one team's playing Martin Prado at third or Victor Martinez at first.
Two things are helpful for trying to pry away a Victor Martinez from an owner playing him at first or corner infield. One, a first baseman on my roster that's a bit better than Martinez there—say, Billy Butler. Two, a weak catcher on my roster that is I can cut after the trade or a decent catcher that I can trade on to another team that has a weak catcher. However, if I have Joe Mauer, the trade is still worth doing if I can quickly turn either Martinez or Mauer on to another team for a talent eligible somewhere else.
Now the brutish part: If you are the one regularly wearing tons of bulky sweaters, with Placido Polanco at third base, Michael Cuddyer at corner infield, Buster Posey at first base and Miguel Tejada in your utility spot, you should stop letting your mother lay out your clothes.
Posted by Jonathan Halket at 6:50am (3) Comments
Where will the best prospects from the 2010 draft class factor into my top-100 list? It's a fair question, but I won't be able to give a straight answer until each individual player signs his contract. Until then, it's fun to speculate. The following players are ordered as they were drafted.
What's interesting is the trio of players drafted Nos. 6-8, Barret Loux, Matt Harvey and Delino Deshields Jr., are overdrafts and will simply have to earn their way onto the list. But I've been wrong before. Last year's No. 7 and No. 8 picks, Mike Minor and Mike Leake, had no problem earning their place.
1. Bryce Harper. Harper is arguably the best high school position player draft prospect to come along since Alex Rodriguez. Or at least Justin Upton. Washington has let it be known that they are immediately converting him to the outfield. I'm not a fan of the position switch, but maybe it will allow his bat to reach its full potential at a faster rate. Expect Harper to fit firmly in my top-10 prospects, and at the very top of Washington's prospect heap, as soon as he signs.
2. Jameson Taillon. Dare I say that Taillon is the best high school pitching prospect in nearly two decades? Last year's batch of high schoolers was the best in recent memory, yet I would take Taillon over any one of them. You could make a case for Clayton Kershaw in 2006 or Homer Bailey in 2004, but, for me, we have to go all the way back to No. 1 overall pick Brien Taylor in 1991 or Todd Van Poppel in 1990 to draw a talent comparison. Odds are that Taillon signs, and he will immediately become a top-20 prospect when he does, and perhaps even Pittsburgh's top talent overall. Only two things give me pause and prevent a higher ranking. One, the general uncertainty of high school pitching. And two, the two guys that I'm comparing him to. For various reasons those guys didn't turn out. But if Taillon proves it on the pro level he will move up accordingly.
3. Manny Machado. Machado has a polished bat and is a relatively safe bet to have future success, despite being a high schooler. His ultimate upside is in question, however, due to a possible position switch and power in his bat that may or may not materialize. I've compared him to Mike Moustakas before, but I like Machado even more coming right of high school. Machado should be Baltimore's very best prospect at year's end and should fit in as a top-40 prospect overall from the get-go.
4. Christian Colon. Colon isn't a prospect who makes you stand up and say "wow," especially from a fantasy perspective. He isn't a toolsy player, but he is heady, hardworking and instinctive. Honestly, if he was drafted where I thought he deserved to go, in the 15-25 range, he wouldn't have much of a shot at cracking my top-100. Being drafted No. 4 overall enhances his stock for no other reason than he will always have the aura of a top-five pick around him, which people, like your competing keeper league owners, are suckers for. He may not deserve it in my mind, but he will fit somewhere in the 80-100 range of my top-100 list. But, just like last year's No. 4 pick, Tony Sanchez, he will have to earn his way into my upper echelon.
5. Drew Pomeranz. For a college pitcher who is a top-five selection, Pomeranz's lack of consistency and polish has to be a concern. To make a recent comparison, his faults give me an Aaron Crow vibe at this point. I envision him fitting in the 50-70 range when he signs, but I feel like I won't hesitate to move him down if he struggles, much like Crow.
9. Karsten Whitson. Whitson has that classic first-round high school pitcher feel about him. The low-90s fastball, feel for his secondary offerings, strong frame, work ethic, upside and proven success, albeit at the high school level, equal up to a firm top-10 pick. He should fit in among the top 50 prospects in baseball immediately.
10. Michael Choice. Choice represents a rare commodity in this year's draft. There is a lack of power hitters, and he is taking advantage. He was a great value at No. 10 overall, and with some work, being a brute-force slugger may not be the only thing he is known for. Choice could have a well-rounded game when all is said and done. He is a shoo-in for the top 50 and may even be Oakland's new No. 1.
11. Deck McGuire. As far as safe-bet pitchers go, McGuire is as close as you can get this year. He doesn't blow hitters away, but he is a respected competitor and has great polish and mound presence, a true pitcher rather than a thrower. He's another probable top-50 player when he signs.
12. Yasmani Grandal. I'm not a big fan of Grandal's, but he lasted longer than I expected. His best tool is his plus power for a catcher, but he grades out unfavorably in many other categories. I feel like he may struggle out of the gate more so than a couple of recent first-round college catchers, Jason Castro and Tony Sanchez, due to a lack of comparable bat speed and plate discipline. Nevertheless, he should fit in the 70-90 range when he signs.
13. Chris Sale. Sale fell from a projected top-five pick all the way to No. 13, providing the White Sox farm system with a much-needed stud prospect. When you watch him pitch, it's like he knows what nearly every hitter is thinking, and he then uses any one of his three pitches to his advantage. It's an uncanny ability that could translate to the next level with the proper work. Sale is a top-40 prospect and possibly Chicago's new No. 1.
14. Dylan Covey. Covey has the best curveball in the 2010 draft, and Milwaukee's deprived pitching outlook needs the boost. Every other aspect of his game needs work, but he should immediately fit in near the bottom of the top-100 list, near Milwaukee's current top pitching prospect, Jacob Odorizzi, if Milwaukee can buy him away from his University of San Diego commitment.
20. Kolbrin Vitek. Vitek should make for an excellent professional hitter, as his bat speed, swing consistency and plate approach are major assets. His power and speed flash on occasion, but they are questionable aspects to his game at this point. Nevertheless, he is another immediate top-50 prospect from the 2010 draft class.
25. Zack Cox. Cox somehow managed to fall all the way to No. 25, where St. Louis was happy to scoop up another falling blue-chip prospect for the second year in a row. He was a strong college hitter whose bat speed and plate approach should translate with little issue to the professional ranks. Cox belongs in the outer regions of the top 50 prospects in baseball.
Posted by Matt Hagen at 6:40am (5) Comments
Friday, June 18, 2010
They say, "in the land of the blind, the man with one eye is king." I say, "in the land of fantasy baseball, the man with updated statistics is king." Season-long numbers are nice to project the future, but 30-day trends are more telling of who's already hot or likely to get hot in the future. Poor starts suppress present cumulative value, and it's today forward you are concerned with when you acquire a player. Try to catch other owners off guard and keep an eye on the trends, not the totals. That is my professional, non-legal (sorry, can't give that yet) advice for the week. Hopefully you were able to acquire Gavin Floyd (two great outings, including a one-hitter against the Cubs) and J.J. Putz (11 consecutive scoreless appearances). He's not an AL-only guy, but Chase Utley has struggled mightily the last 45 games. His BABIP (and batting average) are both floating around .260, and some owner may be willing to move him for the right price. Utley will be worth every penny. And now, let's look at this week's value docket . . .
All stats current through at least June 15, 2010.
Jose Bautista watch (6/8-6/14): .080 AVG, 0 HR, 1 R, 0 RBI, 0 SB. His ownership down to 98.2% in ESPN leagues. It's been a rough week and a half for Bautista owners.
Julio Borbon | Texas | OF, DH | 30.4% ESPN Ownership
True Talent: .290/.325/.360
Julio Borbon was one of the top reasons that I recommended you don't overpay for stolen bases this offseason. The logic was why pay the big bucks for Ellsbury's .290 AVG, 60 SB and 90 R when a comparable outfielder was available a full 100+ picks later. Of course, to date, Borbon has been nothing short of a disappointment for fantasy owners. He was projected for a .300 AVG and .360 OBP with 50-70 SB to boot from atop the Rangers' powerful lineup. Instead, he's been on base less than 30% of the time, slotted down to ninth in the order, and has stolen only eight bases in 192 PA after swiping 19 in 179 PA late last season. I took a look at Borbon three weeks ago (May 28) and concluded that he was a prime buy-low guy. "Borbon won't cost much and has too much upside to ignore. Bottom line: in a world where Juan Pierre is owned in 96.2% of leagues and Rajai Davis is owned in 80.4%, Borbon's 34.2% ownership rate is criminally ignorant."
Since June 1, Borbon has scorched out a .472/.487/.611 with a handful of R/RBIs and one SB. Borbon's hot streak raised his BA from .240 to .280 in less than 20 days, and since May 8, Borbon is hitting .370. Unfortunately, as Derek Carty pointed out via Twitter the other day, both Andrus and Borbon are getting the red light on the basepaths for now. Borbon may have some of the fastest wheels in baseball (in college, Borbon ran the 60-yard dash in 6.29 seconds), but he's currently only 8-for-14 (57 SB%) in stolen base attempts. As Baseball for Dummies notes, "a good base thief should be successful on at least 75 percent of his stolen base attempts. If your percentage is below that, your attempts are probably hurting your team." Baseball Prospectus' ESQBR (a stat that calculates the runs value a baseball player has added/subtracted from a team based on stolen bases) confirms this, as Julio Borbon has been the 15th-worst base-stealer in the game right now (Andrus is No. 16).
Borbon still packs a lot of stolen base potential, but if the Rangers won't let him run, his fantasy value becomes substantially impaired. Given Borbon's recent torrid streak, some other owner in your league (who does not follow us on Twitter) in need of speed might have taken notice and be willing to buy at 90% of his preseason value—especially now that his batting average is up to .280. If you have the opportunity to sell Borbon at a good price to fill a team need, I would highly recommend taking it. Borbon is not worth dropping—he still offers too much value and someone will likely pick him up—but he is far from the scrub anchor of a stars-and-scrubs team we all thought he was preseason. Now is the time to shop.
Recommendation: Must be owned in all AL-only and all 12-plus-team or five-outfielder mixed leagues
Adrian Beltre (30 days) | Boston | 3B | 100% ESPN Ownership
True Talent: .280/.320/.470
I know what you're thinking. "Why is Beltre on this list?? He's owned in 100% of ESPN public leagues, hitting .333 and now has nine home runs on the season." The answer is simple. Beltre started the season with only two homers in 158 PA and gave owners quite a scare. Over is past 28 games, however, Beltre has smacked seven balls out of the park, propping up his total season numbers. Some owners may be panicked. In late May, Brian Joura of Fangraphs recommended owners actively shop Beltre, noting that "Beltre has a career-low 28.9 FB%, making a big HR season virtually impossible. Right now Beltre’s value is tied up in his .327 AVG, which is the result of his .381 BABIP. Beltre has topped .300 just once in his career. He has a .293 lifetime BABIP and his career-best is the .325 he posted in 2004." Beltre's FB% still sits at the lowest mark of his career in the modern Fangraphs data era (post-2002, 33.7%). Against what you might expect, the HR/OF_FB index ratio from Safeco (.952) to Fenway (.879) is less than 1 (0.928), so a turnaround in power to the 30 HR mark was probably unlikely. Thus, I must concur with Joura. Thanks to a recent torrid streak (.371 BA, 7 HR, 23 RBI, 104 PA), Beltre's high AVG is no longer "empty" and his value is likely at its apex. Beltre is very unlikely to top 25 HR this season, and its very possible he falls short of that mark. Owners scrambling for a quality 3B (i.e., Gordon Beckham/Alberto Callaspo) this deep into the season might be willing to pay a premium for Beltre service. Meanwhile, quietly comparable (or better) alternatives might be available on the waiver wire (Pedro Alvarez in mixed leagues, Kevin Kouzmanoff in AL-only). Beltre's worth owning, but he won't keep this pace up. Maybe you can convince someone otherwise using the "Fenway distorts offense" myth.
Recommendation: Must own in AL-only, should be owned in 12-plus-team or CI-position mixed leagues
Scott Baker | Minnesota | SP | 81.6% ESPN Ownership
YTD: 4.41 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 7.35 K/9, 3.68 K/BB
True Talent: 3.70 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 7.45 K/9, 3.60 K/BB
Minnesota has become famous over the last few years for
After getting rocked early in the season (5.72 ERA in April, 1.55 WHIP), Baker has recently righted the ship (last 28 days: 3.56 ERA, 1.22 WHIP). A quick look at the peripherals reveals many encouraging signs. As mentioned above, Baker's 2.00 BB/9 is incredibly low. His 38.3% GB% is at a career-high mark, and his current 7.35 K/9 essentially ties a career high set in 2008. The result is a career-best 3.88 xFIP (half a run better than his 4.41 ERA), and there are plenty of reasons to believe Baker's success is sustainable. Baker's swinging strike rate of 10.1% is right where's it been each of the past two seasons, his F-Strike% is at a career-high 66.2% mark, and Baker has induced more swings with more misses at pitches outside of the zone. Baker is using his fastball slightly more this year, but it is a two-seam fastball that has more gas on it now than 2008, so there are reasons to believe that the GB%, though still below average, might be realistically improved rather than the byproduct of random noise.
Wednesday night against Colorado, Baker threw a gem: 7 IP, 1 BB, 2 H, 12 K, 0 R. Thanks to a pair of poor outings prior, Baker's value has remained relatively suppressed this season. However, the buy-low window for Baker is closing, and some owner may try to use Baker's last start as a basis to sell him for value. If so, exploit said seller. Baker won't be the hero you need, but he'll help stabilize your team's overall numbers and provide you with plenty of value as you (and the Twinkies) make a playoff push in September. In fact, if you had a team of all Scott Bakers, you'd probably destroy everyone in every pitching category except saves and maybe K's. Go get him now, before it's too late.
Recommendation: Must own in every format. Top-40 SP.
Brett Cecil | Toronto | SP | 79.5% ESPN Ownership (+33.1% hot add this week)
YTD: 3.55 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 6.53 K/9, 2.83 K/BB
True Talent: 3.85 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 7.00 K/9, 2.50 K/BB
Brett Cecil has been quietly effective this year. He started the season strong (20.2 IP, 2 W, 6 R, 4 BB, 12 H, 21 K) and, his most recent start aside, has been pitching well ever since. Cecil's ERA by month is 3.55 (April), 3.89 (May) and 3.05 (June). Meanwhile, this season, Cecil has shaved 1.3 walks per nine from last year's rate and upped the groundball rate to 44.4%, perhaps thanks to less below-average fastball usage and better offspeed pitch mixing. Cecil's K/9 is down this season to a 6.53 mark from last year's 6.65 mark, but his swinging strike rate has jumped from 7.9% last year to 9.4% this year, which leaves me to believe that his K/9 will probably experience a rebound and increase as the season progresses (assuming all remains the same). Cecil's 3.58 ERA and 7 W are backed by a 3.55 FIP/4.05 xFIP, and the only MLB team with a .200+ ISO. In terms of No. 5 fantasy starters, Cecil is money.
Recommendation: Must own in AL-only, should be owned in 12-plus-team mixed leagues (especially those with innings limits of 1,400 or more)
Erick Aybar | Los Angeles (AL) | SS | 79.3% ESPN Ownership (+13.0% hot add this week)
True Talent: .288/.340/.385
Entering this season, many had lofty projections for Erick Aybar. Fangraphs' several listed projection systems (including Bill James') almost unanimously pegged Aybar for a .290+ AVG with 5-10 HR, 90+ Rs and 20-30 SB over the course of a 700 PA season. Through May 29, Aybar fell somewhat short of his expectations, especially on the AVG end: .231 AVG, 1 HR, 28 R, 7 RBI, 6 SB (5 CS). Since May 29, however, Aybar has been on fire: .400 AVG, 13 R, 5 RBI, 5 SB (0 CS) and, most important, only 7 strikeouts (10.3% K%). That streak has propped his full-season line up to (but still below par at) .272 AVG, 41 R, 13 RBI, 11 SB, 1 HR, putting him on pace to match or beat all of his preseason projections short of AVG and power (which was sub-marginal to begin with). In roto, it's not about when you get your numbers, just that you do, and Aybar owners who have been frustrated this season should keep hold for better times ahead. Those in AL-only and deeper mixed leagues with MI requirements with subpar shortstops should try making a play at Aybar. With Kendry Morales out, the Angels only have Mike Napoli providing big wood, so it's very likely that Mike Scioscia will
NOTE: AYBAR DECIDED TO GET INJURED, SO HE MOVES FROM "GO GET" TO "WAIT AND SEE" STATUS
Recommendation: Must own in AL-only and deeper (12-plus-team, MI requirement) mixed leagues.
Trevor Cahill | Oakland | SP | 18.9% ESPN Ownership
YTD: 3.23 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 5.14 K/9, 1.67 K/BB
True Talent: 4.00 ERA. 1.30 WHIP
Last year, Brett Anderson, Trevor Cahill and Dallas Braden anchored the rookie pitching staff of the Oakland A's. Both Cahill and Anderson were top-rated prospects entering the season, and while Anderson, sans injury, has been Roy Oswalt good and Braden has thrown a "#### you, A-rod" type of perfect game, Cahill has been holding his own quite well as well. Through 61.1 IP this season, Cahill has a solid 3.23 ERA and a surprising 6 W with a sub-1.20 WHIP. Anyone who had him has surely been more than pleased to date, but is he worth a roster space?
Compared with last year, when he posted a below-average 4.63 ERA/4.92 xFIP, Cahill has upped the ground balls (52.5%), has thrown more first-pitch strikes, has shaved the walks by half a walk per nine (down to 3.03), is getting more mustard on his hot dog (90.4 mph fastball), is mixing pitches more, and is striking out more batters. Unfortunately, Cahill is still inducing fewer swinging strikes than the MLB average (and thus producing a below-average strikeout rate despite high K totals in the minors), but his 4.35 xFIP is significantly improved over the previous season. Right now, the A's are only average in terms of run prevention, and over the past year and a half, the Coliseum has been playing like much less of a pitcher's park than normal. Thus, that full-run ERA-xFIP split is more likely to subside than subsist as the season progress.
If you see an owner in need of ERA/WHIP help, trying packaging Cahill as an add-on piece in a trade to get something pulled off to help your team. Cahill is significantly more replaceable than his numbers indicate. Heck, try Dallas Braden (4.03 xFIP, I'll likely take a look at him next week), who has inappropriately garnered the "overrated" label from many, instead.
For more on Cahill, consult this article by Joe Pawlikowski of Fangraphs or your local library.
Recommendation: Should be owned in AL-only formats. Cahill is a decent/fringe SP5 option in deeper (1,500-plus inning limits) mixed leagues.
Max Scherzer | Detroit | SP, RP | 48.8% ESPN Ownership
YTD: 6.14 ERA, 1.55 WHIP, 8.05 K/9, 2.36 K/BB
True Talent: 3.75 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 8.75 K/9, 2.60 K/BB
Since I recommended acquiring him a few weeks back, Max Scherzer has been pitching like his old self, short of the ERA. In 24 IP, Scherzer has 33 strikeouts (12.4 K/9) to only nine walks (league average 3.38 BB/9). Scherzer's ERA is a bit inflated (4.10) due to a poor turn in Kansas (5 ER in 5 IP), but he has been money otherwise. With the velocity and strikeouts back, Scherzer is likely primed for that breakout I predicted in the preseason. The window to buy (cheap) is likely closed, but some impatient owners worried about his outing against Kansas and his early-season struggles may be willing to sell at a slight discount. If you have the opportunity, take it. Otherwise, you should listen to me sooner.
Recommendation: Must own in all formats. Top-40 SP.
Unfortunately, that is all I got for you this week. Meanwhile, I leave you with a pair of quick AL fantasy notes:
David Ortiz (DH | 87.2% ESPN Ownership) has been classic Big Papi the last 28 days: .275 BA, 5 HR, 20 RBI, 19 R, 0 SB. He's certainly contracted Mark Teixeira disease (painfully slow starter) through mid-May of each of the past two seasons.
Matt Joyce (OF | 0% ESPN Ownership) has been destroying the minors this season for a combined High-A/Triple-A line of .354/.484/.583 (1.067 OPS). Per Minor League Splits, that is worth a major league triple slash line of .284/.393/.451 (.844 OPS). The Rays outfield is certainly crowded and there is no room for Joyce at the moment, but keep an eye on him and the health of current Rays outfielders. Maybe he's finally ready to live up to his potential.
I recently released my top 25 (but really top 40) starters for the rest of the season list. You can find it by clicking here.
Final note: Do you miss the days of FJM? With articles like this one trolling around the internet unlampooned, it makes you wish someone would smack the Diamondbacks organization upside the head. Alas, feel free to lament in the comments.
And, in case you haven't noticed, I have tried to honor the Ken Tremendous shrine weekly by working food metaphors into my AL Waiver Wire articles. If you have any food metaphors you would like to see in next week's column, please suggest them in the comments.
Posted by Jeffrey Gross at 6:40am (4) Comments
Aaron Heilman | Arizona | RP | 20 percent ownership in Yahoo! leagues
YTD: 2.83 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 7.22 K/9, 2.56 K/BB, 27.1 GB percent
True Talent: 4.56 ERA, 1.42 WHIP, 7.6 K/9, 1.89 K/BB
A repeat visitor to The Waiver Wire, Aaron Heilman is officially in line to pick up some save opportunities for the Diamondbacks according to manager A.J. Hinch. At the same time, he's not the designated closer, Hinch stated Heilman may be used in high leverage situations in the seventh and eighth inning as well. The reason for owning Heilman is simple, saves, and saves only. For the season, he's posting an xFIP of 4.52, his K/9 is only 7.22 and he gives up a ton of flyballs in a ballpark that punishes pitchers for doing so.
Recommendation: Should be owned by owners in need of saves in leagues of all sizes.
J.A. Happ | Philadelphia | SP | 50 percent ownership in Yahoo! leagues
YTD: 0.00 ERA, 1.65 WHIP, 4.35 K/9, 0.63 K/BB, 36.4 GB percent
True Talent: 4.43 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, 7.3 K/9, 1.95 K/BB
Don't confuse me for a huge fan of Happ, who thus far in his career has been quite lucky as the gap in his xFIP and ERA would indicate, but at the same time, his ownership seems rather low. Happ's true talent, in my opinion, is that of a low four ERA pitcher, with a mediocre K/9 in the 6.5-7.2 range, who is helped by his ability to limit his walks (3.04 BB/9 in 2009). Working against Happ is that the Philadelphia lineup has been a shell of what it was in 2009, and he allows flyballs at a fairly high clip, which will hurt him eventually at home.
At this point Happ is still rehabbing and on the DL for the Phillies. Happ threw a messy 2.1 innings on June 13 but his velocity was reported to only be a few ticks below what it has been while healthy. The time table is a bit murky for when Happ will return, but I'd venture to guess that once he builds his arm strength up and is consitantly throwing in the upper 80's to low 90's that he'll be recalled and re-inserted into the Phillies starting rotation.
Recommendation: Should be owned in most 14-team or larger mixed leagues, should be owned in all NL-only leagues.
Clayton Richard | San Diego | SP | 49 percent ownership in Yahoo! leagues
YTD: 2.71 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 6.61 K/9, 1.91 K/BB, 53.1 GB percent
True Talent: 3.69 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, 6.0 K/9, 1.81 K/BB
Clayton Richard's 2.71 ERA is simply unsustainable given his peripherals, however, even if he posts an ERA that matches his 4.04 xFIP he'd be of use in a large number of leagues. Richard has been able to induce more swings on pitches outside the strike zone this year (28.8 percent in 2010, 22.3 percent in 2009). Unfortunately for Richard hittes are also making more contact on pitches outside the strike zone and his swinging strike percentage is down a bit. Working in his favor this season is a reduction in free passes, and of course pitching half his games in PETCO is helpful as well.
Recommendation: Should be owned in some 12-team mixed leagues and all larger mixed leagues, should be owned in all NL-only leagues.
Brett Myers | Houston | SP | 20 percent ownership in Yahoo! leagues
YTD: 3.18 ERA, 1.37 WHIP, 7.19 K/9, 2.33 K/BB, 48.7 GB
True Talent: 4.45 ERA, 1.37 WHIP, 7.7 K/9, 2.5 K/BB
Pitching on the putrid Houston Astros makes it quite easy to overlook players such as Brett Myers, but fantasy gamers shouldn't. Myers has posted useful numbers thus far this season thanks to a slider which he's using at a much greater frequency this year than any previous season. As well as throwing his slider more often, the pitch has been much more useful than in years past.
Myers continues to induce groundballs at a top notch rate (48.7 GB percent) and limit his walks (3.08 BB/9). His 1.37 WHIP can be largely tied to bad luck on balls in play as his BABIP against is .322. While Myers has been unlucky on balls in play, he's been lucky on fly balls as his HR/FB is 7.2 percent, lower than league average.
Recommendation: Should be owned in some 12-team mixed leagues and most larger mixed leagues, should be owned in all NL-only leagues.
Aramis Ramirez | Chicago (NL) | 3B | 66 percent ownership in Yahoo! leagues
True Talent: .273/.348/.468
Coming into the season Aramis Ramirez was largely viewed as one of the better options to man 3B for fantasy teams. Now that we're in the middle of June many owners have cast Ramirez to the curb due to his early season struggles. While it's not easy to deal with a struggling player, and at somepoint owners have to cut bait, Ramirez thumb injury and DL trip point to a reason for his early season struggles. If Ramirez returns from the DL in good health, and has success with his new bat grip, it is easy to see a scenario where he pays big dividends for those who hold tight, and those who scoop him up off the waiver wire.
It is currently a buyer's market for Aramis, and the time to buy is now. Those in need of help at 3B should either scoop him up off the wire in the 34 percent of leagues he's unowned in, and attempt to trade for him at ten cents on the dollar in the leagues he's owned in. Oliver still likes Aramis, and a triple slash of .273/.348/.468 would look good manning the hot corner for many fantasy teams.
Recommendation: Should be owned in all leagues.
Jay Bruce | Cincinnati | OF | 66 percent ownership in Yahoo! leagues
True Talent: .264/.329/.500
Glancing through player ownership this week I was absolutely stunned to see Jay Bruce owned in less than 80% of fantasy leagues. A blue chip prospect of Bruce's stature, age, and upside who's making talent strides needs to be owned in all leagues. Bruce's batted ball percentages are just about ideal, in my opinion, 21.1 LD percent, 39.4 FB percent and 39.4 GB percent. With an improved contact rate this season, though only slightly, and a LD rate over 20 percent it is a bit surprising to see Bruce's batting average below .275. The likely reason for Bruce posting a less than ideal batting average is a HR/FB rate of 13.0 percent, which is significantly lower than his HR/FB rate in 2009, and lower than I'd expect from a hitter with his raw power playing his home games in a HR friendly ballpark.
Also promising for Bruce is an improved walk rate, 11.2 percent, that comes with a reasonable strikeout rate, 24.7 percent. Even further adding to Bruce's appeal and value is his somewhat surprising five stolen bases on the year. Bruce is a good athlete, and hitting below the Reds other top batters should allow Bruce to continue to get base stealing opportunities as the cost of getting caught stealing should be significantly lesser than getting caught stealing higher in the order.
Recommendation: Should be owned in all leagues.
Miguel Montero | Arizona | C | 48 percent owned in Yahoo! leagues
True Talent: .271/.336/.448
Miguel Montero was a popular pick to finish in the top 5-8 catchers in the fantasy game coming into the season, unfortunately for Montero he suffered a torn meniscus and has missed most of the season. While Montero is highly unlikely to finish amongst the top eight catchers, he is now healthy and has a chance to post numbers that if accumulated over a full slate of games would have landed him there.
While it is safe to assume that the Diamondbacks will be cautious with Montero, they have already played him in back to back games since returning from the DL, and as long as he's healthy and doesn't complain of knee pain should see steady playing time going forward. None of the things that made Montero an appealing option coming into the season have changed, and it's time for owners in need of catching help to plug him into their lineups.
Recommendation: Should be owned in most 10-team one catcher mixed leagues and all deeper leagues.
Drew Stubbs | Cincinnati | OF |25 percent ownership in Yahoo! leagues
True Talent: .224/.299/.348
Oliver's true talent projection appears to have concerns about Stubbs maintaining a batting average north of .240, I do not harbour those same concerns. My reasoning for faith in Stubbs maintaining a batting average north of .240 is rather simple, he's fast and has a reasonable spread of balls in play, making his .317 BABIP sustainable. Stubbs strikeout rate of 31.7 percent is a bit bothersome, but in my opinion, is more likely to improve than regress as he makes further adjustments to the majors.
At this point in the year it is abunduntly clear that Stubbs is a strong play in the HR and SB department as he already has 7 HR's and 13 SB's on the season, which should come as no surprise given strong tools that scouts love. Because Stubbs is able to induce walks at a useful rate, 9.3 BB percent, and he has been successful swiping bags (13 SB's versus three caught stealing), I'd expect Stubbs to surpass 30 stolen bases by season's end. As I mentioned previously, Stubbs also should be useful in the homerun department, and has a shot to pop 15-20 HR's by season's end as well.
Recommendation: Should be owned in all 12-team or larger mixed leagues using five OF's, should be owned in all NL-only leagues.
Posted by Josh Shepardson at 11:20am (24) Comments
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
People hate wasting time, and most people hate reading articles because often times reading articles means wasting your ever-valuable time. In fact, you might feel that I am doing that exact thing at this very moment. If that is true, I apologize.
Alright, now that we have lost 50 percent of the people who initially began to read this article, let me share with you a possibly more efficient way of finding out who to add or drop than reading boring articles.
You see, certain people in this world decide to write articles trying to help other people do better in fantasy baseball. Some are more qualified to do so and others are better at it, but I won't get into that at the moment. These same people also tend to compete in fantasy leagues themselves, some public and some private.
Wouldn't it be of value then, to check who these experts are adding and dropping in their own leagues instead of reading articles written by them about who you should be adding and dropping? If you find an experts league similar to your own, I feel the answer is yes. And even if you do have the time to read fantasy baseball articles, checking the recent moves in an expert's league—or even any other league you are in—can provide a straightforward answer of who are good candidates to add.
Below I've compiled a small list of leagues that anyone can view for your convenience.
Yahoo F&F League —This is a 14-team mixed league that has active owners. Daily add/drops makes it ideal for snooping and, most importantly, I'm in it.
Card Runners League—This is a 10 team AL-only league from which the Quants vs. Quaints debate began that I know everyone wants to hear more about. It doesn't post specific FAAB adds (Derek posts his own, though) but the rosters by period are listed on the site.
THT Fantasy Twitter feed—Speaking of how Derek posts his specific player claims in the CR League, he also posts that information for two other leagues he is in: Tout Wars mixed league and LABR NL. Make sure to thank him for that.
The Tout Wars website is incredibly detailed and has information about every transaction in the 15-team mixed, 12-team AL, and 13-team NL leagues. The transaction log page is honestly incredible but is only updated weekly.
Finally there are the LABR NL (13 team) an AL (12 team) pages that give you everyone's rosters but do not tell you who was recently added or dropped by certain teams.
If there are any leagues that are public that I have missed, feel free to share them in the comments. Also as a final yet important note, I don't think Waiver Wire-type articles are useless, especially the weekly ones published by Josh and Jeffrey every Friday right here. Staying on top of many players' situations by reading those articles is definitely of value. My purpose was simply to highlight a potentially overlooked way of accomplishing the same task of finding players.
Posted by Paul Singman at 6:09am (6) Comments
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
John writes in: "Non-keeper, 14-team, 6x6, R, HR, RBI, SB, AVG, OBP, QS, W, SV, ERA, WHIP, K. One DL slot. I've got to get my ERA and WHIP down. So do I dump one of my guys and reclaim Jair Jurrjens (he's available as a FA) or maybe pick up a couple K -heavy relievers for purely K, ERA and WHIP purposes?
C Ryan Doumit
1B Victor Martinez
2B Chase Utley
3B Chone Figgins
SS Hanley Ramirez
OF Andre Ethier
OF Josh Hamilton
OF Brett Gardner
UTIL Adam Jones
Bench Denard Span
Bench Jorge Cantu
Bench Alberto Callaspo
P Jered Weaver
P Trevor Cahill
P Kris Medlen
SP James Shields
SP Jonathan Sanchez
RP Jeremy Bonderman
RP Evan Meek
Bench Jason Vargas
Bench Gio Gonzalez
DL Josh Beckett
John - I think you should pick up Jurrjens and drop Cahill. Cahill's walk-to-strikeout ratio is better than Jurrjens', but whereas Jurrjens' ratio may improve Cahill's will likely regress, based on passed form. You can afford to wait and find out too since you have Vargas and Gonzalez, both of whom are probably better for spot starting than Cahill.
I wouldn't shoot for middle relievers. You'd be losing ground on both quality starts and wins and, with their low innings pitched, they won't help you in your ratio stats all that much. Hopefully, when Beckett returns, this will become moot.
Meanwhile, you should start Span over Jones. Jones hurts you in OBP and isn't all that helpful in the power categories.
But most importantly, you should start Martinez at catcher, inserting Cantu in favor of Doumit. You have some wiggle room since you have Martinez, Figgins and even Callaspo, who all have multi-position eligibility. You should see if you can exploit that eligibility to either better your pitching or upgrade at third base. This is something I wrote about last week. Figgins is worth more as a second baseman, but you don't need him there. If you need the speed help, you can keep him but it might be worth it to try and find some other owner who's playing a better third baseman (or first baseman since Cantu is eligible at third) in his utility spot and needs an upgrade at second. Maybe you can even mix in Callaspo in a trade too.
Posted by Jonathan Halket at 4:51am (4) Comments
I am not attempting to appropriate Randy Cohen’s job, I swear. But it just so happens I ran up against another ethically questionable move in one of my leagues this week. Since last week’s column got a pretty good response, I’d like to get the readership’s feelings regarding a maneuver many of you have probably encountered or even attempted.
Friday afternoon, I got a call from my co-manager who saw a trade proposal come through his iPhone. He was cautiously giddy when he told me that another owner had offered us Troy Tulowitzki for Joakim Soria. I was actually off from the day job that day and had seen the announcement that Tulo was going to miss six to eight weeks after breaking his wrist the night before. A few hours later, Tulo’s owner posted on the messageboard that he was taking offers in an attempt to move the injured star for a discount.
How do you guys feel about owners trying to pull a fast one and dump guys right after they get hurt and when the ink announcing their imminent DL stint is still wet?
Personally, I can’t say that this practice is actually unethical because it is incumbent upon any actor in a trade to do his/her homework on all the players involved. The tried and true mantra of “buyer beware” is in full effect here and I respect the idea that all is fair in love and war. That said, I do think it’s kind of dirty, or classless, especially in a league of friends.
There are two slight variations of this situation though, one of which I think is fully above board and one I feel to be ethically unacceptable. So, I might as well discuss them as well.
Sometimes you have a player on your team who you know is dealing with lingering injuries and it’s basically just a matter of time before he goes on the DL. I have no problem with any owner shopping this player disclaimer free. A player is not considered broken until he’s broken. I don’t consider this even remotely unethical. Like the original scenario, you are attempting to capitalize a knowledge gap regarding a player’s health, but at this point it is entirely speculative.
There is a variation of this situation that I have seen happen that is unacceptable, though. If you have a live trade offer on your table and the player you are going to give up suffers a serious injury, you can’t pull the trigger on that trade within even 24 hours of the news of the injury becoming public. It is unfair to obligate an owner to have to cancel that trade within minutes of an injury occurring because this is not always possible. Surely, there does reach a point at which an owner must be accountable for his/her own negligence, but courtesy and fairness dictate to me that such a period mustn’t be any shorter than a full day at the absolute minimum.
Have any of you ever been burnt by another owner accepting a trade off minutes after an injury to ship you broken goods?