Fred Zinkie

Trading Tips

print article archives RSS

Trading Tips: July 8

Sunday, July 8, 2018


This week’s 10-pack of trade options is a wide-ranging bunch. Owners will need to think outside the box in order to make a buy-low offer on injured closer Shane Greene or to sell high on phenom Juan Soto, but those who explore all the angles of the trade market are typically the ones who find the best deals. Owners who are willing to let go of their sky-high expectations for Daniel Murphy and Kris Bryant could still get big returns before it is too late.


Editor's Note: Be sure to checkout DRAFT's $1,000,000 Best Ball Championship. Best Ball is season long but with no management. Just set it and forget it! Once you're done drafting, that’s it – no or waivers– you don’t even have to set your lineup. Your best players get automatically selected and you'll get the best score, every week. For a limited time, DRAFT is giving Rotoworld readers a FREE entry into a real money best ball draft with your first deposit! Here's the link


Buy Low
 
Whit Merrifield, Second baseman (Royals): In the areas of batting average (.290) and steals (16), Merrifield has been everything fantasy owners expected this season. But the 29-year-old has been held back by two variables. First, his low homer total (five) has been caused by bad luck (5.0 percent HR/FB rate) despite having produced plenty of hard contact (39.8 percent) and fly balls (37.5 percent). Second, his mediocre counting-stat totals (28 RBIs, 34 runs scored) have been impacted from hitting in baseball’s lowest-scoring lineup. Merrifield’s fly-ball fortune will likely improve in the second half, and although the Royals are unlikely to turn into an offensive juggernaut soon, they are also unlikely to struggle to the degree they have recently (2.3 runs per game since June 1) during the second half.
 
Joey Gallo, Outfielder (Rangers): Owning Gallo is definitely a test of patience. The slugger is simultaneously one of the players to most likely enjoy a homer barrage and a good bet to post a lowly batting mark. However, Gallo has mostly trended in the wrong direction of late, hitting .145 with just six round-trippers since the outset of June. In many leagues, the Gallo owner is likely ready to sell him at a discounted cost, believing that addition through subtraction could help them to surge up the batting average standings. This is a great time for roto owners who have a little wiggle room with their batting average to pick up the slugger before he surges again.
 
Seranthony Dominguez, Reliever (Phillies): Dominguez has quickly arrived as a top-flight reliever, posting stellar ratios (1.88 ERA, 0.73 WHIP) and a dazzling 38:6 K:BB ratio across 28.2 innings. His stellar work has not gone unnoticed by rookie manager Gabe Kapler, who has started to cement bullpen roles by frequently using Dominguez in the ninth inning. In fact, all of the 23-year-old’s past six appearances have come in save situations. Dominguez has rapidly rising fantasy value, and he likely hasn’t peaked. Owners who want a top-flight closer without paying a premium price should target the right-hander before he collects a few more saves.
 
Ryan Zimmerman, First baseman (Nationals): On the disabled list after a slow start to the season (.689 OPS), Zimmerman is a forgotten man in shallow leagues. Even those who have him stashed on a DL slot in deep-mixed formats likely have modest expectations for his production the rest of the way. But owners who take a deeper look at the 33-year-old will notice that he has endured terrible batted-ball luck this year (.233 BABIP) despite logging high rates of hard contact (41.8 percent) and line drives (22.0 percent). In fact, according to Statcast, Zimmerman has an expected batting average of .289 and an expected slugging percentage of .554. Although a playing time battle with Matt Adams is in the offing, Zimmerman was a key part of the 2017 Nats and will likely get an opportunity to help them break out of their current slump.
 
Shane Greene, Reliever (Tigers): Greene presents the unusual case of a player who gets a boost in fantasy value by going on the disabled list. Before you dismiss me as off my rocker, hear me out on this one. The Tigers were likely angling towards trading their closer at the Trade Deadline, at which point he would have moved into a setup role on a contending team. After all, teams that are trying to win the World Series are not going to turn over their ninth-inning gig to someone with a 4.03 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP. But the Tigers are now likely to keep Greene until the offseason, meaning that he can continue to build fantasy value and real-life trade value by racking up saves once he returns to action. Tests on the closer’s shoulder revealed no structural damage, meaning that he could be back on the active roster by early August.
 


Sell High
 
Patrick Corbin, Starter (Diamondbacks): Corbin has played with fire while mostly not getting burned in recent weeks. Since the beginning of June, the southpaw has surrendered dangerous rates of hard contact (50.0 percent) and line drives (27.1 percent) while giving up just 32 base knocks across 36.2 innings. He has also enjoyed a favorable 4.5 percent HR/FB rate despite surrendering so much hard contact. Owners who look at Corbin’s season-long surface stats (3.05 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, 11.3 K/9 rate) will see a potential rotation savior, while those who dig a little deeper will be licking their chops at a potentially sizable return package.
 
Daniel Murphy, Second baseman (Nationals): To be clear, Murphy has done nothing since returning from a season-opening DL stint to warrant the moniker of a sell-high candidate. But the 32-year-old still carries plenty of clout in fantasy circles, by virtue of hitting .334 with 48 homers and 197 RBIs across 2016-17. In short, I’m not buying into the possibility of a second-half surge from the skilled veteran. Murphy’s knee still isn’t quite right, as is evidenced by him making most of his starts at first base since returning to the lineup. He has never been a game-changing power threat, and his speed contributions are nonexistent. Murphy owners may be wise to trade him away now and let someone else hope that he returns to his high-average ways.
 
Juan Soto, Outfielder (Nationals): Soto is one of the best stories in baseball this season, and his long-term future is incredibly bright. But newfound studs are generally some of the best sell-high candidates, and Soto definitely fits that description after batting .305 with eight homers across his initial 141 at-bats. His batted-ball luck thus far has been somewhat favorable (.343 BABIP, 22.9 HR/FB rate), and he is also undoubtedly drawing more attention from opposing hurlers by virtue of his immediate success. Soto is supremely talented, but we have seen many other superstars have bumps in the road on their path to stardom. Trading the teenager for a substantial haul is a plan that needs to be explored.
 
Kris Bryant, Third baseman (Cubs): Like Murphy, Bryant is not a sell-high candidate on the strength of his 2018 success. After all, the 26-year-old has logged a diminished .864 OPS while tallying just nine homers and 36 RBIs across 264 at-bats. But Bryant is still regarded as a stud in fantasy circles, mostly on the strength of his 39-homer, 121-run scored season in 2016. Shrewd owners will notice that since the outset of last season, Bryant ranks 53rd in the Majors in homers (38) and 79th in RBIs (109). He is also on course to have his steals total drop for a third straight year since swiping 13 bags as a rookie in ’15. With Bryant set to return from the disabled list soon, his owners should look to sell him for roughly 80 cents on the dollar and get a potentially premium player with less name value in return.
 
Ben Gamel, Outfielder (Mariners): Deep-league owners who need a batting average boost may make the mistake of seeing Gamel as a low-priced answer to their problems. The 26-year-old may have produced a helpful .284 batting mark, but he has done so despite many flaws in his batting profile. Gamel has logged one of the lowest hard-contact rates (24.8 percent) of any qualified hitter, which puts his ability to hit for average in doubt. An infrequent contributor in the home run and stolen base categories, the native Floridian could soon fall to waivers in the deepest of leagues.



Fred Zinkie is a baseball writer for Rotoworld and BaseballHQ. You can find him on Twitter @FredZinkieMLB.
Email :Fred Zinkie



Highest Searched Players over the last 7 days



Video Center

  •  
    Player News: Week 3

    Player News: Week 3
  •  
    Top DFS Values

    Top DFS Values
  •  
    Dose: Browns Win

    Dose: Browns Win
  •  
    Dose: Limited Landry

    Dose: Limited Landry
  •  
    Dose: Wentz returns for PHI

    Dose: Wentz returns for PHI
  •  
    Dose: Mahomes dazzles

    Dose: Mahomes dazzles
  •  
    SNF Success for Engram?

    SNF Success for Engram?
  •  
    Dose: Green Dominates

    Dose: Green Dominates