Wednesday, June 22, 2011

To Trade or Not to Trade: Pitchers Edition

Previously I previewed the hitters trade market. Now, it's the pitchers turn.

  1. Zack Greinke, SP MIL: I'm sure that 4.77 ERA has you questioning his injury and his ability to maintain his Cy Young success of 2009, but almost every other statistic is on pace for him to have a career year. His nearly 12k/9 inning is unheard of for him and his walks are significantly down, which has lowered is season WHIP to 1.16. He has the chance to be scary good down the stretch for a team that will contend for the NL central championship.
  2. Chris Carpenter, SP STL: Yes, I am telling you to go out and get a starting pitcher that has only one more win than you or me. Yes, I am telling you to take a guy who has a 4.47 ERA and 1.39 WHIP. Why? Because in the last month, Chris Carpenter has been pitching closer to his career standards of a 3.75 ERA and 1.22 WHIP, and even though he has not recorded a win, he will record many with those numbers. Buy while he is still low.
  3. Roy Oswalt, SP PHI: Oswalt has been a second half pitcher for most of his career, and I am willing to bet that this year will be no different. Philadelphia is way too good for him to not get at least 8 more wins this season, possibly 10. Considering that he only has 4 now, this would be the time to grab him. Don't expect huge strikeout numbers anymore, though.
  4. Joakim Soria, RP KC: If you need saves, Soria has regained his closer role in Kansas City, and should keep it the rest of the year. He struggled early this season, but has appeared to have turned his season around. Another manager may view him as risky, so take a stab at getting him now.
  5. Madison Bumgarner, SP SF: If you are in a league that counts losses, this one might backfire, but Bumgarner is too good and in too good of a ballpark to only have three wins. He won't take too much to get and you can count on him to perform well in AT&T Park in San Francisco. He could be one hell of a "throw in" if you're trying to snag someone else too.
  6. Ricky Nolasco, SP FLA: Sabermetrically speaking, Nolasco has been extremely unlucky with a BABIP hovering around .387 all year. That is just hard to maintain through an entire season. He's struggling right now, but should bounce back like the rest of the Marlins under new coach Jack McKeon.
  7. John Danks, SP CHW: Danks had a miserable start this year, but has pitched well of late, going at least 7 innings and earning the victory in all three decisions. He will never be a high strikeout guy, but could be a solid pitcher in the other four standard fantasy baseball categories. Once again, a guy you can definitely buy low on or possibly pick up off the waiver wire.
  8. Matt Latos, SP SD: Like Bumgarner, the ballpark Latos plays in is too kind to pitchers to allow Latos to be this bad for much longer. His strikeout rate is still good and he will make the necessary adjustments to lower that ERA. He may not get a ton of wins, but he should be solid in the other categories, and wins are impossible to predict anyway.
  9. Brandon Morrow, SP TOR: Morrow has been quite the conundrum ever since his days in Seattle. One thing that remains constant is that he strikes guys out. Another example of a guy that you may not have to give a lot of for, but may get a whole lot in return. If he harnesses 75% of his talent, he will be an effective pitcher in this game.
  10. Max Scherzer, SP DET: His wins and strikeouts are elite so far, but his ERA and WHIP are woeful. I bet that he stops walking everyone soon and lowers the latter two numbers, along with losing a few strikeouts to groundouts, but overall he could end up as a top 20 pitcher at the end of the year.


  1. Anibal Sanchez, SP FLA: He has been unbelievable this year. He's actually living up to his "cannibal" nickname this year by eating up almost every batter he faces. However, he traditionally has cooled off in the second halves of seasons, and this year appears to be no different. Plus, you could probably get a more reliable starter who may be struggling right now, but will end up giving you the numbers that Sanchez has gotten you so far, but will not continue to get.
  2. Michael Pineida, SP SEA: The ONLY reason why he is on this list is because Seattle has hinted that Pineida will be on a 160 innings pitched limit. Make no mistake about it, Pineida is the real deal, but not for all of this year. See if another owner does not know about this innings cap.
  3. Josh Tomlin, SP CLE: I tried to warn everyone about this in an earlier article, but Tomlin has already started to bite the dust, and the time to get any value out of Tomlin may have past, but try to get whatever you can now for him.
  4. Justin Masterson, SP CLE: Although he has not dropped off as drastically as his teammate Josh Tomlin, Masterson will eventually tail off. He has never pitched as many innings as he is going to pitch this season and he will tire. Get as much as you can for him now before you can't get anything.
  5. Jordan Zimmerman, SP WAS: See #2.
  6. Josh Collmenter, SP/RP, ARZ: Collmenter has been a great story this year, but it will not last. I own him in every league I'm in and am, subsequently, trying to trade him in every league I am in. I'll let you know what I got for him, if anything at all. Arizona's ballpark is not kind to pitchers so unload Collmenter if you can.
  7. James Shields, SP TB: Remember when Shields led the American League in losses? I do, it was last year. He may have learned something from last year, but not as much as his 2.5 ERA decrease from last year. Expect a regression after the all-star break, but get the most you can from him now. It may look bad now, but it will pay off when you win the league and win the cash!
  8. Francisco Liriano, SP MIN: He is a player that I file under the "someone else's problem" department. The only consistent aspect of Liriano's game is his inconsistency. Trade him to someone else and let them deal with the headache of whether or not to start him.
  9. Erik Bedard, SP SEA: A great comeback story, but he is too injury prone and he will not keep up his current strikeout rate. Also, unless he gets traded near the deadline, he will likely miss out on his maximum win potential playing for a Seattle team that was only able to support last year's Cy Young award winner to 12 wins.
  10. Ryan Vogelsong, SP SF: Unfortunately, Vogelsong will wake up and realize that he is still Ryan Vogelsong and come back to earth. Some people think that he is this year's Colby Lewis, but Vogelsong is not striking out nearly as many guys as Lewis did last year. The pixie dust will soon ware off, so try to get some value out of him now in the trade market.
One final disclaimer: pay attention to who is rumored to be traded near the deadline. If someone, lets say Joakim Soria, is rumored to be traded to, lets say, the Yankees, then you need to bail on him as soon as you can because Soria will not close in New York as long as Mariano Rivera is still there. Additionally, see who is next in line to get saves just in case the #1 closer gets traded. For example, if Craig Kimbrel in Atlanta is traded (he won't be), then Johnny Venters will close and you MUST be active on the waiver wire. If you're in an auction league, that would be the time to use that money you saved up. HAPPY HUNTING!!

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