Fantasy Studs on Clearance: Grady Sizemore, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Adrian Gonzalez

Matt TraynorContributor IDecember 16, 2009

BOSTON - OCTOBER 11:  Jacoby Ellsbury #46 of the Boston Red Sox slides safely into home past catcher Mike Napoli #46 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim to score on a Dustin Pedroia #15 double in the third inning of Game Three of the ALDS during the 2009 MLB Playoffs at Fenway Park on October 11, 2009 in Boston,  Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

If you're not in a Dynasty League, you should stop reading.  If you are in a dynasty league, this article will give you a headstart on your Preemptive Smack Talking for next season.

Now that we have all the "lukewarm" fantasy athletes out of the equation we can continue.  The offseason is the perfect time to drag your team from the depths of Fantasy Hell or catapult your team from being good to great...and inevitably a dynasty in itself.

We all know the classic Buy Low/Sell High Theory in finding which players to target.  But figuring out the time to offer one of these trades is a skill few people possess.  Offering it during a time where the player is in an obvious Buy Low period is NOT the time to offer.  The time to offer is when they're in Fantasy Purgatory and the verdict is not out on their forecast for the following season...i.e. "the offseason."

I'll go over three hitters in this article to target and three pitchers to target in a future article.

1. Grady Sizemore of the Cleveland Indians.  His potential is that of a top-five drafted player in Redraft leagues.  But in Redrafts this year you'll be hard-pressed to find someone willing to take that chance.  You carry that thought into your Dynasty League and you've got a great bargaining chip.

Trade Example 

Player 1:  Gives Grady Sizemore

Player 2:  Gives Josh Becket & Vlad

You may think giving up Josh Becket is to much but ask yourself if you would have done it @ the beginning of last year if you were the Sizemore owner...probably not.  Becket has only had one season w/an ERA below 3.8 in the last three years and Vlad is going to be 35 soon.

In Dynasty it's all about acquiring Top Tier Studs and filling out your roster w/prospects that hit it big...this trade is just one example.


2. Jacoby Ellsbury I know, I know...He's not exactly a "Buy Low" Guy.  But this is going to be the last year you can get him at an affordable rate.  No matter who is hitting behind him he is going to steal bases, score runs, hit for average, and do it consistently.  However; this year will be the start of those numbers entering stardom.

Expect his OBP to go up resulting in steals and runs increasing.  When he already stole 70 bases and scored 90 runs last year that's going well ahead of superstars such as Carl Crawford who is considered amongst many to be a top five OF.  I also project for 15-20 HR's and between 30-40 doubles (He will be 27 this year).  That means more RBI's and a higher slugging percentage.

Trade Example

Player 1:  Gives Carl Crawford

Player 2:  Gives Jacoby Ellsbury and Roy Oswalt or Clay Buchholz (whether you want the Veteran or the upside youngster)

In my view Ellsbury will outperform Crawford next year so a straight up trade would be worth it.  But we can use Crawford's status as a stud and acquire a strong veteran pitcher or a promising young pitcher.  It's perfect timing...before Ellsbury elevates in status and before Crawford decreases in status. 


3. Adrian Gonzalez ...another surprise in the "Buy Low" category.  This is where timing is VITAL!!!  You need to rush out and tell the AGonz owner in your league that there's a chance the Padres keep him.  

Or better yet, hope the owner is oblivous to the trade rumors that is sending him to Boston.  Because IF AGonz goes to Fenway...his numbers are going to be ridiculous.  In fact, wherever he goes his numbers will be ridiculous.

This isn't a guy you'll be able to get "cheap" but you will get a good deal if you time it right.

Trade Example

Player 1:  Gives AGonz

Player 2:  Gives Morneau and a closer such as Fuentes or Huston Street.  I would even do K-Rod to push the owner over the edge because I feel closers are a dime a dozen (especially in Dynasty Leagues where there is a consistent wave of new ones on a yearly basis)

Again, you aren't getting him "cheap" but the improvement from Morneau to AGonz (in a new ballpark) will be worth the work of finding a closer off the waver wire or a minor trade.

Tune in shortly for three pitchers to create a dominant rotation in your Dynasty Leagues (closers are NOT included in the article).