Fantasy Baseball: Trade Chipper? Fantasy Buy or Sell

Evan KulhawikContributor IJune 9, 2008

Note: When I say buy, I mean that the player's value is at its lowest point and it is a good time to try and get them for little value.

Some players may be obvious names that people want on their team, but the point is to maximize trade value. A few buy/sells for fantasy baseball (I'll give you a batter, starter, and reliever for each)

Buy: Vladimir Guerrero (LAA, OF)

Vlad is not having a good year thus far. He homered Sunday, but came into the day batting just .251 with a mere 30 RBI. Vlad, a perennial source of Hulk-sized power numbers, has been a huge let down. He just came back after a few days off with an injury. Yet, now is the time to buy on the man with no conscience at the plate.

First of all, Vlad is Vlad. The past two years he has knocked in 116 runs (2006) and 125 runs (2007), and his average was at least .324 in both seasons. There are really no indicators for Vlad to fall off so fast. Even though he probably won't end up with his usual gaudy numbers, he is a good bet to catch fire soon. Vlad is far too good to bat .250 this year.

Buy: Erik Bedard (SEA, SP)

Yes, Bedard is highly renowned, just like Vlad, but he has had his struggles this year as well. Bedard's road ERA was 8.84 coming into his solid start at Fenway Sunday (5 innings, 1 ER).

Bedard's strikeout numbers are still solid (7.83 K/ 9 inn.), but he has walked 26 batters in just over 56 innings. This has inflated his WHIP a little bit, even though he has given up less than a hit per inning.

Bedard was supposed to be the ace for the M's this year, but he has not lived up to expectations.

Now may be a good time to swap for the Canadian.

His control has been solid the past few years, so a decrease in walks can be expected. When his walks subside, his WHIP will fall along with his ERA. He will not be a great source for wins because of the team he plays for, but he should improve the rest of this season.

Buy: Alex Hinshaw (SFG, RP)

Hinshaw has emerged into the Major Leagues relatively unknown. He has not carried a lot of hype like fellow youngsters Jay Bruce and Clayton Kershaw; however, Hinshaw has been exceptional.

Coming into Sunday, Hinshaw had gone 7.1 innings with a 2.45 ERA, 13 K's and just two BB's. Right now Brian Wilson is the clear closer in San Fran, but things can change quickly. The Giants are fading quickly in the NL and may end up moving Wilson.

Hinshaw is a good player to stash on the bench in deeper leagues and can rack up some nice numbers even if he's not closing.

Sell: Chipper Jones (ATL, 3B)

Chipper Jones is scorching hot. At around the 1/3 mark of this season, it is not out of the question that we see the first .400 season since Ted Williams batted .406.

So far this season, Chipper is at a robust .420. He is red hot from both sides of the plate and looks as good as he has ever looked in his career. Yet, if you have him on your fantasy team, you should trade him.

He has a small injury right now so it is probably best to wait until he comes back to try and shop him. But he has never batted above .337 in a full year (last year), and only broke .330 one other year.

It is not inconceivable that he crushes those numbers this year, but still, to ask anyone to bat .400 is extremely tough. If Chipper batted .380 for the year, which would be remarkable, he would bat .356 over the rest of the year (based on 600 AB).

.356 is still insane, but chances are he will cool off and go through a rough patch at some point. His value is as high as it has ever been in his career, maybe, so now is the best time to try and get what you can for Larry.

Sell: Todd Wellemeyer

This is another case where I would like to have him on my team, but his value has never been higher.

Wellemeyer has posted a 2.93 ERA to this point, with 62 K's and 25 BB's in 80 innings. I do not think Wellemeyer will be bad going forth, but he will definitely come back to Earth a little bit.

Last year he did post a 3.11 ERA in 63.2 innings, but that was only the second year he posted an ERA under five. Even if he has another year like last year where he does better than his career norms, he is still bound to cool off a bit.

Look for Wellemeyer to finish with an ERA around 3.30 with a WHIP around 1.25-1.30. If you would like to keep Wellemeyer, then that is fine and it looks like he will continue to do well, but to keep up this pace will be tough. Move him for a proven player or two if you can.

Sell: Brian Fuentes

Fuentes is doing nothing wrong, as he has posted a 2.45 ERA and 1.13 WHIP with nine SV in 25.2 innings. He has also struck out 23 and walked only eight, so the numbers are there.

The reason to sell is based solely on what the Rockies may do with the former All-Star. It looks like if the Rockies continue to falter, then the Rox will try and move Fuentes to a team like the Yankees.

The Rockies have Taylor Buchholz ready to move into the closer role of the future if Colorado gets rid of Fuentes. So, although Fuentes has done a very nice job, and will probably continue to pitch well the rest of the year, he may be moved into a setup role, yielding him rather useless unless you are in a league with holds.