I will say that even the most inexperience owners understand what you’re trying to do if you start making bogus trade offers, but now is the time when owners start to get frustrated with their players and/or their spot in the standings and you may be able to pick up somebody for a discount (or on the flip side turn a late draft pick or waiver add into someone who can help you all year).
Below I identify 10 players to ‘Buy Low’, 10 players to ‘Sell High’ and a couple guys who you may think fall into these categories but don’t.
Albert Pujols – 65 at bats, 6 R, 0 HR, 4 RBI, 0 SB, .246 AVG
You’re obviously not going to get Pujols for pennies on the dollar, but he is a 1st round talent you may be able to offer a 2nd rounder (think Hanley, Longoria, etc.) for straight up.
Justin Upton – 39 at bats, 8 R, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 1 SB, .205 AVG
He has been hurt, but even when healthy he hasn’t done much of anything. The guy who used a top 10 pick on him could be at the bottom of the standings and getting restless.
Giancarlo Stanton – 51 at bats, 4 R, 0 HR, 5 RBI, 0 SB, .255 AVG
Picked by many to lead the league in HRs in 2012 he still has a goose egg in that department. He’s battled injuries and may struggle some more because of that, but if you’re looking to add him on the cheap there is no better time.
Brandon Phillips – 38 at bats, 3 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 0 SB, .237
That is the problem with the ... KEEP READING! :) ...
guys that go 15-15 in the HR-SB categories; you get stretches where they don’t do anything for you. I’m not a huge Phillips fan, but history shows he’ll finish with 15-20 HR and SB and if you add him now, most of those still go to you.
Mark Reynolds – 48 at bats, 4 R, 0 HR, 3 RBI, 0 SB, .125 AVG
If you took away his average he could be a top 20 player so the .125 isn’t much of a surprise. However the lack of HR is. If you need power and have some good AVG guys to hold him up he could be a good trade candidate.
Tim Lincecum – 13.2 IP, 0 W, 16 K, 10.54 ERA, 1.90 WHIP
First, because season long injuries typically are more prevalent in pitchers, I would use a little more caution in going after buy low pitchers. Lincecum has a solid track record and his K’s are there, but WAY too many walks and the fastball velocity drop is something to watch.
Dan Haren – 24.1 IP, 0 W, 23 K, 4.07 ERA, 1.40 WHIP
Haren typically starts off the season strong and although he hasn’t been lights out he has still been serviceable. An owner lacking in offense may let Haren go and he’s bound to finish the year as a top 10-15 pitcher as he always does.
Jon Lester – 17 IP, 0 W, 12 K, 5.82 ERA, 1.53 WHIP
I think with this stat line, Lester still qualifies as the ace of the Boston staff, but that’s not saying much. He somebody I’d deal for if the price is right, but I’m more concerned with him than some of the others on this list.
Looks like a Buy Low, but I’m not buying;
Jose Reyes – 61 at bats, 6 R, 0 HR, 2 RBI, 4 SB, .230 AVG
The average will surely come up, but otherwise this is basically what Reyes brings to the table; good stolen base numbers, solid run totals and very little power. He’s still a good fantasy player because of his position, but I thought he was being drafted too high to begin with.
Yu Darvish – 17.2 IP, 2 W, 14 K, 3.57 ERA, 1.81 WHIP
I was high on Darvish coming into the year and own him on a number of teams. 2 wins is great so far and the Ks are not too far off, but he’s walking a TON of batters early on. A 1.81 WHIP (or anywhere close to that) is a category killer. I thought he’d be lights out and struggle bit once hitters got used to his stuff, so far he’s been far from lights out.
Derek Jeter – 68 at bats, 12 R, 4 HR, 12 RBI, 0 SB, .382 AVG
Jeter tends to have his best seasons when everyone is writing him off. With this start he’s obviously a good starting SS in any league, but he’s not going to be one of the top 10 players in baseball at seasons end. Find a Yankee fan or someone that buys into his resurgence.
Chase Headley – 58 at bats, 14 R, 4 HR, 13 RBI, 2 SB, .293 AVG
Each year there are some waiver picks who end up having career years and helping you win a title and then there are guys who get hot for a couple weeks/months and fizzle out. I think Headley is in the latter group and if you can get something for him do it.
Edwin Encarnacion – 62 at bats, 9 R, 4 HR, 13 RBI, 3 SB, .323 AVG
People have been waiting for him to breakout for years now so I do think he’s capable of surpassing his career highs, but do you think he’s going to finish with this line 85 R, 40 HR, 100 RBI, 20 SB? Me either but that’s what he’s on pace for. Don’t sell him too cheaply but you might be able to get a good piece in return.
Nolan Riemold – 46 at bats, 9 R, 5 HR, 10 RBI, 1 SB, .370 AVG
Another guy who looks like he’ll give you a career year, but that still doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to sell him while he’s at the peak. If he simply plays every day he’ll be serviceable, but serviceable doesn’t win championships.
Jordan Schafer – 57 at bats, 12 R, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 6 SB, .263
He is a good source of steals, but he’s not a 5 category stud, think M Bourn type without the track record. Bourn is the ceiling, scrap heap is the floor.
Adam Jones – 66 at bats, 12 R, 5 HR, 8 RBI, 4 SB, .303 AVG
I tried to draft him on a lot of my teams, so I do think he is a very talented player. But you may be able to find somebody who thinks he will the next Justin Upton or Andrew McCutchen. I’ll shop him, but wouldn’t be too disappointed to not find a trading partner.
Kyle Lohse – 27.1 IP, 3 W, 16 K, 0.99 ERA, 0.66 WHIP
I think he’s ranked in the top 5 OVERALL right now. Any St. Louis pitcher is nice to have, but Kyle Lohse is no Cy Young, in fact he may not even be rosterable in some leagues at some point this year. The Wins and ERA are responsible for his current ranking, he won’t be top 5 there all season.
Jake Peavy – 19.2 IP, 2 W, 21 K, 2.75 ERA, 0.81 WHIP
Another guy who I targeted in the last round or two of some drafts. His question is not if he’ll get injured but when. Don’t pat yourself on the back for making a good draft pick, turn it into something better.
Jhonny Cueto – 25.1 IP, 2 W, 19 K, 1.78 ERA, 1.11 WHIP
Another pitcher who has the stuff to be successful all year, but history suggests he’ll miss some time with injury. He’s the type of pitcher you package with another mid-tier guy to go after a struggling ace (Lincecum, Haren, etc. if you forgot already).
Any temporary closer or rookie pitcher
Guys go crazy for anyone who gets a save or the big time prospect pitchers early in the season. By the end of the year most of these guys won’t be raking up the saves or dominating once the big league players adjust.
Looks like a Sell High, but I’m not selling;
Alejandro De Aza – 56 at bats, 14 R, 3 HR, 7 RBI, 2 SB, .268 AVG
The White Sox are clearly in rebuilding mode and that means De Aza should stay near the top of the order for the entire season. His power and speed is legit as he showed at time last year and with a full season I think he’ll be solid.
Bartolo Colon – 27.1 IP, 3 W, 19 K, 2.63 ERA, 0.80 WHIP
I don’t think you could get much on the trading block right now for Colon and I think he can be a pretty good pitcher at the spacious Coliseum. He can get some K’s and the home park should help keep his ratios down.