Follow The Fantasy, Trade Updates: Part 2
Welcome back! Let us dive right back into the trade frenzy.
Greg Vitucci’s Stop! Hamels Time(46-22-2; 2nd place) sends Adrian Beltre and Ryan Doumit to #42Forever (25-43-2; 9th place) for Yadier Molina.
There are few elite catchers in fantasy baseball. Yadier Molina is the most elite catcher for someone who isn’t also eligible to play first base. Molina has been essentially a .300 plus hitter for the last four seasons. He’s had a career year each of the last two seasons in terms of home runs and runs batted in. He’s only 30 years old though he’s been in the big leagues for what feels like forever. He truly is a model of consistency and reliability for fantasy catchers.
I hadn’t drafted toward catcher being a strength, but it was quickly becoming a weakness. With A.J. Pierzynski injured and nobody of real impact on the waiver wire I began to think about making a move. I’m also pretty sure someone picked up J.P. Arencibia (who has since cooled off anyway) just so I couldn’t.
If you, “Follow the Fantasy” and keep up with the articles you know that I had both Adrian Beltre and Chase Headley, two amazing third baseman. I also have Albert Pujols and David Ortiz two fantastic First baseman. (EDITORS NOTE: And this is why Fantasy Baseball is insane, you can consider David Ortiz a First Baseman) While I was flourishing playing the matchups and rotating the 4 men, between three slots I knew one of them could serve as great trade bait. If I was to move Headley or Beltre I had to have confidence that I could insert the slow starting Albert Pujols at utility with David Ortiz at 1B. Albert has been hot the last two week so thus far I haven’t seemed to skip a beat. Needless to say I had a surplus of offense at the corners, but not behind the plate.
So I contacted Jackie who was in last place and told him I wanted Molina. He didn’t want Pujols because the Angels and Pujols haven’t hit. Pujols also has been hampered by injuries slightly so far this season. Jackie didn’t want Ortiz, because he wasn’t buying into Papi’s amazing start long term.
That left Headley or Beltre. Beltre has been on fire lately raising his average 48 points to .291 in the last 9 days. He’s on pace to have another fantastic season. Headley was the National League leaders in runs batted in last season. Since coming back from a spring training hand injury he’s play fantastic hitting steadily around the .290’s. Something that could easily be overlooked is Headley’s 17 stolen bases last year compared to Beltre’s one. I need all the swiped bags I can get. Lastly Headley just turned down a mid-season contract extension which means he’s playing to get PAID.
On paper with Beltre’s stats it is easy to say I overpaid for Molina who is only a catcher. Maybe I did but in my opinion it was worth securing up the catchers slot. I had the offensive depth to deal a MVP candidate and replace him with another. Headley is a top tier 3B and provides a category Beltre didn’t while providing excellent (maybe not as good) numbers in the other categories.
Short Term Winner:
Probably Jackie he got back a monster in Beltre. I got back an exceptional, perennial All- Star and probable Hall of Fame catcher in Molina. Oh yeah and he got Ryan Doumit, like that really mattered.
Gee’s BeastModeBar10der (44-20- 6; 1st place) sends Ernesto Frieri, Jon Lester and Manny Machado to Travis’s I’mBack! YouKnowIt! (21-47-2; 10th place) for Jered Weaver (DL) and Michael Young.
Manny Machado is basically a rookie, who came up late last season to help the Orioles down the stretch. He moved to third base, with his natural position being shortstop, occupied by J.J. Hardy. Appropriate because A-rod is his idol and stands where Cal Ripken Jr. stood after making the same switch. His numbers were strong but not ungodly in his 50 games last season. So when he wasn’t drafted and two weeks into the season he was struggling he was still a blip on the fantasy radar, and a deep third base. Well since about April 11h he has been absolutely amazing. On April 18th Gee picked him up off the waiver wire, and never looked back. With Mark Trumbo as his regular third baseman Gee seized the opportunity to move one of them for a pitching upgrade. Obviously Machado is an upgrade for Travis than starting Michael Young.
Ernesto Frieri is the strikeout throwing closer for the Angels. This year he has amounted 9 saves already with 28 K’s in only 20 innings. Though he’s only blown one save this season he has yielded 5 earned runs. That’s not a great ratio for only 20 innings of work. His value going forward in the season greatly depends on if the Angels (WHO SHOULD BE A FUCKING OFFENSIVE JUGGERNAUT) can pull their heads out of their asses. Don’t be confused Frieri has plently of value, but it could be way more. Travis badly needed a closer, only having Aroldis Chapman previously. These two closers aren’t going to win Travis the saves category weekly but maybe now he has a chance.
Jon Lester stunk last season. His start this season is a microcosm of the Red Sox flying out of the gate this season. He is now 6-1 with his only loss coming from the White Sox, who always smack around Lester. His 3.15 ERA is 60 points lower than his career numbers. I don’t see him staying this hot all year, much like I don’t see Boston staying super competitive all season.
Jered Weaver while currently on the disabled list is a top 5 fantasy pitcher regardless. Whether or not he rebounds strongly is yet to be seen, but I think Weaver will come back fine. His elbow injury was after all to his non throwing arm. He will again be a sub 3.00 ERA pitcher.
Short Term Winner:
Travis. Even though he gave up a fantastic pitcher in Weaver he got in return a star third baseman a quality starter and a top 15 closer. Weaver isn’t going to be ready for another month plus. So in the short term Travis was definitely the winner.
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Greg Vitucci is a Brooklyn raised author, who still has love for the streets.