In the world of fantasy baseball, sometimes the devil is in the details. Managers who find an overall trade idea that makes sense can often extract a little extra value by adding little bits and pieces that another manager is willing to overlook.
Before we dive into individual players this week, here are a few ways to gain an edge in trade negotiations.
1. Add injured player
Managers are often reluctant to part with players who can help them right now, but are more willing to include those with a dim future. This is especially true for players who are useful but not up to the level of true stars. For example, Red Sox hurlers. Nathan Eovaldi as well as Garret Whitlock both are on Il and may return in the coming weeks. They are useful assets in the mixed league, but they are not at the level of players that managers build their rotations around.
A wise manager might offer a reasonable 1 for 1 trade that fits the other manager’s needs and is of equal value, and then push the boundaries a bit by asking their colleague to include someone like Eovaldi or Whitlock. Another manager may be so excited about the completion of the deal that he is tempted to trade the injured player.
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Currently, there are many hitters that fit this profile, for example, Brandon Lowe, Seiya Suzuki as well as Mitch Haniger. All of these players are in the midst of a long absence and weren’t significant in 2022 prior to landing at IL. In order to get a big deal that suits their needs, some managers may want to add one of these players at the last minute.
And they all have high potential if they find their best form after recovering from injury. Lowe and Haniger went deep 39 times each last year, and Suzuki showed impressive potential at times in his rookie season.
2. Add an average pitcher
People with better attitudes are more valuable than most fantasy managers realize.
Even in their current roles, they have the potential to pick up a lot of whiffs by posting elite odds and earning multiple wins and saves. And because they do their jobs so well, elite installers are often the next person if a closer member of their team loses their role due to injury or inefficiency. But despite their value, managers often don’t give a second thought to these hurlers, who think they’re easy to replace on a reject wire. Here are some examples:
Giovanni Gallegos as well as Ryan Helsley shared the role of the cardinals closer, which limited the value of the fantasy for both players. But they are both great pitchers who will end the season with more wins and more saves.
John Duran is the top pitcher in the Minnesota bullpen and would have easily handled the ninth inning if Emily Pagan should have hesitated. Pagan is far from the highest close of a trade, which means that adding Duran to the trade right now could end up with a major trade win.
diego castle as well as Paul Sewald share the chances to save the Mariners, which makes them both marginal options in mixed leagues. One of these men could end up as a full-time closer and could easily be added to the deal right now.
Daniel Hudson obviously the next person if Craig Kimbrel needs a long break, which almost happened a few weeks ago. In the meantime, Hudson should be a great odds source who also has a few wins and occasional saves. Very few managers will turn down a deal they like because of the addition of Hudson.
Serantoni Dominguez is the best pitcher in the Phillies’ unsettled bullpen. He could run away from their closer role if given the opportunity.
Tanner Hawk was someone who would fit into that mold a couple of weeks ago. One of the best pitchers in Boston, he had a lot of value in a wide variety of roles. He’s been collecting saves lately and would have been a great toss in a trade earlier this month.
Let’s end this week’s article with a couple of players that should be involved in many of the upcoming deals.
Player to trade
Xander Bogarts (SS, Boston Red Sox)
Hitting .337, the Bogarts are among the Major League leaders in batting average and have likely added trading value in many leagues. The shortstop is at .276 xBA, which is in line with his career norms as there is nothing in his strikeout frequency or batting data to indicate he should be performing better than usual this year. And with six homers and three steals, Bogaerts showed little skill in terms of strength or speed. The 29-year-old is still making a valuable contribution, but his performance will drop once his 411 BABIP returns to normal.
Juan Soto (FW, Washington Nationals)
Someone recently asked me on Twitter if it’s time to cut Soto in the very minor leagues.
Are you kidding me?!
The Nuts outfielder is one of baseball’s best players, and he’s sure to bounce back this summer. Looking at his Sportzshala! On the Trade Market page, you’ll see that Soto has recently engaged in trades that would have seemed laughable on opening day. As long as his batting average is close to .218, Soto will be undervalued in some leagues.