Fantasy Baseball 2012: Ryan Braun, Adrian Gonzalez Headline 8-Man Trade Analysis

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Fantasy Baseball 2012: Ryan Braun, Adrian Gonzalez Headline 8-Man Trade Analysis
Christopher Pasatieri/Getty Images
Red Sox first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, a top-10 asset in fantasy circles, is a likely candidate for 30 homers, 110 RBI and 105 runs this season.

A blockbuster trade quietly passed through the ranks in one of the 16-team Philanthropist baseball leagues the other day: an eight-man swap with Ryan Braun and Adrian Gonzalez on the marquee.

As commissioner of that particular league, I am not permitted to express a public or private opinion supporting one side of the deal, or knocking the other. But I also see no harm in putting AccuScore's all-encompassing projections to work, as a means of establishing a cumulative framework for how things may shake out by season's end.

 

Owner A gets:

3B Aramis Ramirez, Brewers
2012 stats—0 HRs, 5 RBI, 5 runs, 2 steals, .114 batting
Projections from April 17-Sept. 30—24.3 HRs, 87.2 RBI, 76.3 runs, 2.2 steals, .293 batting

OF Ryan Braun, Brewers
2012 stats—1 HR, 4 RBI, 5 runs, 2 steals, .343 batting
Projections from April 17-Sept. 30—29.2 HRs, 101.6 RBI, 103.4 runs, 27.8 steals, .347 batting

2B Gordon Beckham, White Sox
2012 stats—0 HRs, 0 RBI, 1 run, .115 batting
Projections from April 17-Sept. 30—9.6 HRs, 46.7 RBI, 60.4 runs, 4.6 steals, .248 batting

SP Cory Luebke, Padres
2012 stats—1-1, 3.71 ERA, 1.47 WHIP, 15/6 K-BB
Projections from April 17-Sept. 30—14 wins, 3.33 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, 191.2 strikeouts

 

Owner B receives:

1B Adrian Gonzalez, Red Sox
2012 stats—1 HR, 7 RBI, 4 runs, .300 batting
Projections from April 17-Sept. 30—25.9 HRs, 98.5 RBI, 87 runs, 0.4 steals, .327 batting

OF Jordan Schafer, Astros
2012 stats—1 HR, 2 RBI, 9 runs, 5 steals, .237 batting
Projections from April 17-Sept. 30—4.3 HRs, 21.2 RBI, 80.8 runs, 39.7 steals, .248 batting

2B/OF Howard Kendrick, Angels
2012 stats—1 HR, 3 RBI, 5 runs, 2 steals, .316 batting
Projections from April 17-Sept. 30—15.2 HRs, 61.6 RBI, 79.2 runs, 14.4 steals, .282 batting

SP Zack Greinke, Brewers
2012 stats—1-1, 6.75 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 12/1 K-BB
Projections from April 17-Sept. 30—14 wins, 3.92 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 205.1 strikeouts

 

Breakdown

Using AccuScore's estimates, Team A is slated to win the season-long battle in homers, RBI and batting average, whereas Team B should be the victor in runs and steals.

Aside from homers, though, the other four categories are quite competitive.

On the pitching side, obviously Greinke is more coveted than Luebke at this point, but will he create enough separation by season's end to slant the blockbuster trade in Owner B's favor? Does Luebke have the tools and maturity to take a sizable leap forward this year as the Padres' purported ace?

Since fantasy baseball doesn't occur in a vacuum, it's fair to wonder the following: If Gordon Beckham maintains his wretched start for a few more weeks, would Owner A be getting a sizable upgrade over Beckham in free-agent waivers? (It's too bad Jose Altuve and his .351 batting average are no longer available in 16-teamers.)

All in all, it's a fascinating swap for mid-April.

Jay Clemons can be reached on Twitter, day or night, at @ATL_JayClemons.

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