As we near Major League Baseball’s trading deadline, teams are forced to determine if they should be buyers or sellers. Many teams maintain false hopes for a long shot playoff berth. But baseball can be highly unpredictable, as the Houston Astros proved last year by nearly making the World Series.
In fantasy baseball, the lines are drawn a little more clearly between the haves and the have-nots. The typical 12-team league pays out to the top three spots, and playing for third isn’t too thrilling anyway. Fantasy baseball leagues often don’t have trading deadlines, but now is still a good time for some introspection.
If you’re in the bottom four teams in a 12-team league and you can’t conceivably catch up, it’s time for some major dump trades. Of course, this is the practice of shipping off high-priced veterans with an eye toward 2006. So who should you be willing to part with?
Deciding who to dump is easily decided. Simply make a list of every player you have absolutely no intention to keep for 2006, and a few that are borderline. The highest-priced players are the first to let go. You won’t be retaining them at a high salary, and you can probably just acquire them in the auction again if you want to next year.
Take a look at the top three teams and address their needs. Is second place close in the RBI race? Does third place just need some saves? Closers are particularly expendable. You can even consider making some offers to the first place team, but often that player will be unwilling to tinker with the best squad.
Here is a list of players you should attempt to acquire with an eye towards taking the gold in 2006.
Chone Figgins – likely underpriced in your auction this year, Figgins has excellent position eligibility and steals tons of bases. If a leader has steals locked up, try to pry him away.
Brett Myers – Myers is having a breakout year, and can be dominant in 2006. Don’t be afraid to send off an ace like Roger Clemens to get him.
Scott Kazmir – He keeps getting better and better this year, so swipe him before it’s too obvious. He’s still mired in Tampa Bay, but has #1 starter potential regardless.
Adam Eaton – Eaton was in the midst of a big year, but was sidelined by an injury. He looks like a great addition to next year’s rotation.
David Wright – Superstar in the making. If you can deal Manny Ramirez for him, do it.
Daniel Cabrera – The price may still be low for the budding ace. Cabrera strikes tons of hitters out, and only needs to harness his control to dominate.
Rickie Weeks – Weeks will be a hot commodity after he’s talked up all winter, so nab the top 2B prospect now if you can.
Justin Morneau – Makes a great trade target this time of year. He’s struggling quite a bit lately, but can be a top 5 first baseman in 2006.
Tim Dierkes posts daily updates to his fantasy baseball blog as The Roto Authority. Check out the site at:
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