Fantasy Baseball: 6 Possible Trades Guaranteed to Turn Your Season Around
Before pressing the panic button and declaring your fantasy baseball season over, explore the trade market for some possible deals.
By now, you know your squad well enough to identify areas of improvement, and they will not all be solved with waiver-wire adds. Chances are that the other owners need to fill just as many holes, and desperation could start to kick in for some of them.
These specific trade scenarios will not work for everyone. You might own both players in the suggested trade, or the person rostering the player I suggest acquiring could adamantly oppose parting ways with that guy.
Even if that is the case, these possible deals can at least place you on the right path and help set a guideline for a similar offer.
And if you execute one of the exact proposals, you can thank me later.
Or you can yell at me if it backfires, but that won't happen. Well, probably not.
Trade Gio Gonzalez for Cliff Lee
Mitchell Layton/Getty Images
An experienced fantasy baseball player may not fall for this, but it could be worth a try in many leagues.
Cliff Lee, despite pitching well to the tune of a 3.48 ERA and 1.12 WHIP, is still winless this season. While his team failed to offer him run support on several occasions, some owners might have reached their boiling point after Lee surrendered early leads in his past two starts.
Gio Gonzalez has earned a well-deserved nine wins this year to go along with a 2.55 ERA, 1.05 WHIP and 10.74 K/9 ratio. His 2.06 FIP indicates that his torrid start is no fluke.
Although Gonzalez has lowered his walk rate to 3.61, he still allows too many free passes to trust him as a bona fide ace. Lee, who rarely walks hitters while striking out almost a batter per inning, should outperform Gonzalez from this point forward.
Trading Gonzalez for the sake of selling high could backfire, but parting ways with the young flamethrower for an ace like Lee makes sense.
Trade Edwin Encarnacion for Aramis Ramirez
Brad White/Getty Images
Perhaps the most pleasant surprise of the season, Edwin Encarnacion has already belted 20 home runs.
At the season’s conclusion, he will possess better numbers than Aramis Ramirez, but I would rather own Ramirez for the rest of the year.
Ramirez, who has hit .291 with a .523 slugging percentage after the All-Star break during his career, typically heats up as the season progresses. Currently hitting .263 with nine home runs, he will reward patient owners with a strong finish.
A .276 BABIP explains the lower average, which should increase closer to his mean. Given Ramirez’s proven track record to smash 25 homers a season, he can likely hit around 15 or more long balls in the final three months.
Not to take away from Encarnacion’s success, but he has traditionally succumbed to prolonged slumps during his career, so it’s reasonable to expect the slugger to hit a wall. Owners will love his final numbers if he hits 10 more homers, but now is a good time to cash out while you are ahead.
Considering the two third basemen’s wide discrepancy in all categories, you can receive another piece with Ramirez to sweeten the deal.
Trade Tim Lincecum for Ian Kennedy
Sarah Glenn/Getty Images
Everyone and their mother loves Tim Lincecum as a buy-low option. I stand in the minority as someone legitimately concerned that the Freak's best days are behind him.
The peripherals overwhelmingly shout that Lincecum’s horrid 6.19 ERA and 1.57 WHIP is the result of bad luck. With a 3.89 FIP, .330 BABIP and 60.5 percent strand rate, Lincecum seems due to return closer to his old dominance.
However, do not ignore his enormous 4.79 BB/9 ratio, which continues the trend of Lincecum increasing his walk rate annually. He also has yielded line drives in 26.3 percent of his batted balls, so the righty is getting hit harder than ever.
Will Lincecum continue to pitch this poorly? No, but you could deal him to an owner who incorrectly thinks he or she is buying low.
After a breakout season, many drafters predicted a down season from Ian Kennedy. While they appear to be correct, as Kennedy has a 4.13 ERA, he still looks like the same pitcher who won owners over last year.
Kennedy boasts an 8.16 K/9 ratio and 2.01 BB/9 rate, fine numbers that are on par with his 2011 campaign. Since he is pitching to a 3.68 FIP, his ERA in his final 15 starts should steer closer to that mark, if not lower.
Some people would enjoy watching Kennedy collapse as payback for winning 21 games last year, as countless other deserving pitchers failed to receive similar luck. He is not a Cy Young candidate, but Kennedy is still a great pitcher.
Trade Bryce Harper to the Highest Bidder
Winslow Townson/Getty Images
How much can we reasonably expect from a 19-year-old?
That's a clown question bro, but let's answer it anyway. Due to his grand debut, the hype surrounding phenom Bryce Harper is sky-high. Harper is earning Rookie of the Year consideration with a .287 average, .369 on-base percentage, seven home runs and 32 runs in 47 games
Put him on the trading block in re-draft leagues and see if any giddy owners bite on his limitless potential.
Considering Harper’s struggles in Triple-A, where he hit .250 with one homer in 20 games, his enormous success in the majors hardly seems sustainable. He currently possesses a .326 BABIP and strikes out in 18.2 percent of his at-bats, so his average should dip as the season progresses.
While Harper carries an alluring mix of power and speed, the teenager will probably max out at 10 more homers and steals each. That’s nothing to scoff at, but his name attracts much more perceived value.
CBS owners have recently swapped Harper in one-for-one deals for Justin Upton, Michael Bourn, Hunter Pence, Zach Greinke and Madison Bumgarner. Granted, some of those trades could have been executed in keeper leagues, but I would gladly part ways with Harper for any of those players in a re-draft league.
Trade Ryan Vogelsong for Matt Moore
J. Meric/Getty Images
Now that Hellickson landed on the disabled list, wait before shipping away the 25-year-old, who cannot possibly uphold his current numbers with a 5.97 K/9 ratio and 5.24 FIP.
Besides his age, Ryan Vogelsong shares plenty in common with Hellickson. He has maintained success extended from last season even though all the peripherals suggest an eventual letdown.
Vogelsong boasts an impressive 2.41 ERA, but his 3.71 FIP and 4.56 xFIP run much higher. His 1.81 K/BB ratio should not excite anyone either.
Moore entered the season with immense expectations that he has failed to reach. While he has underwhelmed with a 4.13 ERA and 1.38 WHIP, Moore looks better in recent outings. In his last seven starts, he holds a 3.02 ERA and 51 strikeouts in 41.2 innings pitched.
His 4.46 walk rate and the potential to wear down during his first season in the majors (he has no innings limit though) are causes for concern, but Moore’s powerful arm is worth gambling on if he can be obtained at a reasonable price.
Trade Your Worst Player for Ike Davis
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
In some leagues, you can still undergo this transaction through the waiver wire. If he is not available in free agency, try to trade for Ike Davis before his owner notices the first baseman’s hot streak.
Davis is slowly gaining momentum, hitting .364 over the last 11 games. After months of looking lost at the plate, Davis is beginning to work the count deeper and make contact on breaking balls.
The young left-handed hitter struggled to shake off the cobwebs resulting from missing most of last season with an injured ankle, but he finally looks poised to turn his year around.
Even during his putrid start, Davis still collected 33 RBI. Showing signs of life, Davis will hit in the heart of the New York Mets’ lineup, which quietly has scored the fourth most runs in the National League.
Davis could still come at a next-to-nothing cost while his average lurks under the Mendoza Line. Try shopping a non-essential bench piece from your squad (a Chris Johnson, Chase Headley type of player) to acquire the power bat capable of finishing the season on the right note.