Studs for (Duds)?

Posted: August 5, 2011 in Articles

By David Kerr

Studs For (Duds)?

I was asked a question today about trading a stud pitcher for three “pieces” in a keeper league. It peaked my interest, so I wanted to share it with you.

At this point in the season, you know whether you have a chance to win or whether you’re playing for next year and into the future. If you’ve had a bad year there is a good chance another owner is calling trying to pry away a missing piece or two to put him over the top. Now, every league has the prototypical “low-ballers”. They offer you their bench players in exchange for Joey Votto and when you call them on it they respond by saying, “Well, if you look at it from this angle, I was giving you a lot of depth.” Right. It’s easy to spot a low-baller and once you call them out on it, they probably won’t do it again. With that being said, you can still make a deal with someone who tried to cut your legs out from under you. Remember, HE is the one who NEEDS a player RIGHT NOW! The ball is in your court.

The question I received was, “Should I trade Justin Verlander for Ichiro, Shaun Marcum, and Eduardo Nunez.” The answer is absolutely not. If I were offered this, I wouldn’t take it as an insult, but I would feel as if this were a low-ball offer. Justin Verlander is a top three pitcher this year and is only 28 years old! He should be pitching strong for at least seven, possibly ten more years. He is a guy I want to anchor my rotation for years to come. The other side of that trade has three players whom all serve a purpose, but not one of them comes close to the word, “stud”. Ichiro Suzuki’s age has finally caught up to him. He’s only hitting .269 and I don’t really see any signs that he’s going to rebound this year or in the future. Shaun Marcum is a solid pitcher. I like him a lot. What he isn’t though is a staff ace. He’s a good number three, but there is no comparison to someone like Verlander. Eduardo Nunez is a decent fill in guy. But, the only reason he is starting is because Alex Rodriguez is injured. In a few weeks he will go back to the bench and continue in the utility role that he served in for the first half of the season. At this point in time he is a deep mixed league play. When A-Rod comes back, he will be a deep AL-only play. He has very little value.

So to wrap things up, on paper it would be Verlander for Ichiro and Marcum. For a keeper league, that would be highway robbery for the owner getting Verlander. Hypothetically, for me to do a deal like this, I would want someone like Jay Bruce and Madison Bumgarner or Michael Pineda in return. Remember, the owner NEEDS the piece that YOU have. Don’t ever sell yourself short. Make the owner overpay or at the very least make the deal even, right down the middle. Dealing a stud can pay dividends in the future, but you have to be sure your return is correct. If you don’t get enough back, you can put yourself in an even deeper hole for the future.

Have a great weekend!

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