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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Cuddyer for Bumgarner. Seriously.

In my friends league (12 team, mixed, auction) I was offered Madison Bumgarner for Michael Cuddyer.  I jumped all over it, right?  Um, well... You see... Eventually, yes.

I initially declined.  And this is where you say, "What?!?"

The simple fact is that I needed HR's and RBI's in the worst way and if I traded Cuddyer I would only have Lucas Duda and Edwin Encarnacion (who might be playing over his head) qualifying at 1B.  That, and with guys like Ryan Vogelsong and Daniel Hudson on the waiver wire, who needs SP's?  Right?

Right?

Okay, so I looked a little deeper and realized that my IP were starting to lag behind the average, and even though most of my pitching stats looked good, I really could use some W's.  And, clearly... obviously... Bumgarner is a better baseball player than Cuddyer.  Even though I have Clayton Kershaw, Gio Gonzalez, and Dan Haren in that league a guy like Bumgarner is always welcome.  That, and Brandon McCarthy (who I also own) just went on the DL.

But, that can't be it.  When you are evaluating a 1-for-1 trade offer with players from different positions you have to look at a few things:
  • Am I improving my starters by using assets from my bench?
  • Is the future performance of this player going to be a net gain?
  • Who replaces the guy I'm giving up?
  • If it is a keeper league, what are the player values and keeper ramifications?
The fact is that I'm going to start Bumgarner every time out and Cuddyer was playing for me about 70% of the time.  With E5's emergence this year I was at least somewhat dealing from my bench for a starter.

The future performance of Bumgarner is more assured than Cuddyer.  Better "prime profile" as identified by age, track record, injury history, etc. (As discussed in this space previously.)

Now, the kicker...  Sure there are decent SP's available, but check out the 1B's that are also available: Mitch Moreland, Chris Davis, and Michael Morse (on the DL).  So, if I dropped Wei-Yin Chen for Moreland the total impact would look like: Cuddyer/Chen for Moreland/Bumgarner.

That, my friends is a big step forward.

Another thing about keeper value.  I famously paid $16 for Cuddyer.  Keeping him next year would cost $21, and that's just not happening.  Bumgarner was $14.  Am I going to keep him next year for $19?  Hmm, probably not... but there is a non-zero chance that his value will rise into the $20's and I'll get another year of value out of him.

So, I reached out to the other owner and asked if the deal was still on the table.  He was like, "Yeah.  I couldn't believe you turned it down.  I'm flush with SP's and really need a hitter."

So, the bottom line is that I really got lucky there.  I should have examined all of the angles before turning it down initially.  I guess I was busy that day and I just looked at the fact that my pitching stats were better than my hitting stats and turned it down.

Next time I get an offer that is even close I'll weigh all of the factors and look at all possible angles before making a decision.