Fantasy

Fantasy Baseball 2012: Projections-Based Analysis of 4-Player Blockbuster Trade

Rays pitcher David Price (4-1, 2.67 ERA, 1.29 WHIP) is a reasonable candidate for 16 victories and 185 strikeouts this season.
Rays pitcher David Price (4-1, 2.67 ERA, 1.29 WHIP) is a reasonable candidate for 16 victories and 185 strikeouts this season.Elsa/Getty Images
Jay ClemonsFantasy Sports Lead WriterMay 4, 2012

For the last few weeks, I've been monitoring AccuScore's projections for category leaders. But today, we'll use it to gauge the following the blockbuster trade—involving fellow Big Ten alum Matt Dollinger's club from the Sports Illustrated & Friends league:

 

Trade: Starlin Castro/Drew Smyly in exchange for David Price/Jed Lowrie.

(NOTE: The actual trade was Castro/Smyly for Price/Alexei Ramirez...but Dollinger immediately swapped A-Ram for Lowrie, via waivers.)

 

Projections From May 4-Sept. 30

Team A

Castro: 7 HRs, 51 RBI, 71.4 runs, 20.9 steals, .323 batting
Smyly: 12.3 wins, 3.66 ERA, 1.45 WHIP, 103 strikeouts

Team B (Dollinger)

Lowrie: 11.7 HRs, 51.1 RBI, 61.2 runs, 2.3 steals, .281 batting
Price: 15.3 wins, 3.25 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 169 strikeouts

 

Breakdown

1. During spring training, the Price-Lowrie end of the deal might have been a no-brainer. But Castro (one HR, 15 RBI, 12 runs, 10 steals, .333 batting) and Smyly (1-0, 1.23 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 22 strikeouts) have expertly adapted to their respective roles with the Cubs and Tigers.

Castro may have already leapfrogged Jose Reyes and Elvis Andrus on the pecking order of elite fantasy shortstops (behind Troy Tulowitzki/Hanley Ramirez). Smyly has outperformed Max Scherzer and Rick Porcello in the Tigers rotation, to date.

2. On a per-player basis, Team A wins the hitting projections (3-2), with a decisive edge in runs, steals and batting. On the pitching side, Team B projects to earn a redoubtable sweep in all four categories.

3. Just for fun, AccuScore.com projects the deposed Alexei Ramirez for 12.8 homers, 57.1 RBI, 66 runs, 8.1 steals and .280 batting from this point forward. Ramirez holds the edge over Lowrie in four of the five categories—with a one-point differential in batting average.

Hmmm, perhaps Dollinger erred in giving Ramirez the quick boot.
 

 

Verdict

I'm a big fan of the 1/4 vs. 2/3 system of trades, where Team A gets the best and worst players of a deal and Team B receives the second- and third-best assets. But in this case, I'm not sure if Price trumps Castro or Smyly tops Lowrie.

And when you need more than five minutes to assess the winners and losers of a well-crafted deal, it usually means that both parties stand to benefit in the end.

For now, though, I'll side with AccuScore's projections...giving Team B the narrow victory.

 

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

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