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Friday, March 8, 2013

Keeper League Trade

In my previous post I mentioned that I have Jason Kipnis in three leagues already this year.  Well, I just did it again with Jose Reyes.  I wanted to explain the parameters of the deal and my thought process for making the trade.

First of all, the league.  This is a 20-team mixed league with 10 keepers plus three minor leaguers.  The draft is an auction with just $200, minus the value of your keepers.  My keepers in this league were at $62 before the trade, so I was going to be working with $138 to fill 14 spots.  There is a fair amount of inflation with this league due to the number of keepers, but that is mitigated somewhat by the large number of teams and smaller auction budgets.  Resources are scarce in a 20-team league and my belief is that especially limited resources like catchers, shortstops, and closers are highly valuable.  This is why I'm keeping Brandon League.  The conventional wisdom is that Kenley Jansen takes that job from him, but until he does League is as good as gold.

We only have three outfielders (albeit position-specific - LF, CF, RF) and no MI's or CI's, so that reduces the crush on those components.  It's a Yahoo-style league with a few tweaks.  It's got a great commissioner and tremendous competition...  I really enjoy the league and heartily recommend something this deep for those of you who love fantasy.

So, a rundown of my keepers before the trade:
  • J. Montero - $5
  • Kipnis - $17
  • Kendrick - $7
  • C. Davis - $1
  • Headley - $1
  • Heyward - $24
  • C. Maybin - $1
  • Morrow - $2
  • League - $3
  • Perkins - $1
I've also got Miguel Montero for $11, but I think he misses the cut.  

Okay, so here are the players involved in the deal:
I'm trading away Kendrick ($7 for two years) and Heyward ($24 for three years) and in exchange I am receiving Jose Reyes ($25 for two years) and Ike Davis ($11 for three years).

If you look at my list of keepers I've got two options at 2B and no SS.  I've got two RF's, though one qualifies at 1B.  I've got a catcher and two closers.  I've got a top-flight 3B for $1 and a solid starter for $2.  It's a pretty solid list but the big weakness is SS.

So, let's talk about Jason Heyward.  It's tough to lose him for three years, but I think his stolen bases come down.  If they do, his production may not be all that different from Chris Davis who can take his spot in my lineup.  If I did that I would lose a little bit of effectiveness, but it opens a spot up for a 1B.  That spot can be filled capably by the other Davis - Ike.  And for only $11 for each of the next three years that is the capper for me for this deal.  If you look at his season last year he was still getting over the Yellow Valley Fever early in the year, but in the last half he absolutely raked.  He should be a huge get for me in this deal.

Now, Howie Kendrick.  He has undeniable upside if he can land in the two-hole in the Angels lineup.  That is true.  And, at just $7 for each of the next two years he should be a good value.  Also, he still qualifies at LF, which is where he would play for me with Kipnis at 2B.  The problem with Kendrick is that he has had several years to prove himself and what he has proven is that he is what he is.  Solid, but unspectacular.  He'll be pretty average across the board.

But, with Kipnis at 2B starting Kendrick at LF wasn't going to do it for me.  I'm better off trying to find a LF in the draft.  But, look at the other side of the middle infield.  Nothing at SS which is a problem.  All of the good ones tend to evaporate in a 20-team league with 10 keepers and 3 minor leaguers.  They just can't be found.  So, getting Jose Reyes for $25 for two years should be awesome.  I've detailed all of the reasons why I love Reyes here before, but if you just go off of conventional wisdom he's pretty clearly the #2 SS in the game wherever you look.

So, Heyward could explode and Kendrick could bat between Trout and Pujols... but you gotta give value to get value.  And, with Kipnis at 2B and C. Davis shifting to RF this deal made a ton of sense for me.  Ike Davis should be an $11 monster for me and Reyes could be worth $38 next year even without inflation.  

So, that is my rationale.  What do you think?  Would you have made the trade?  And, what do you think about keeping Maybin and League over Miguel Montero?