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Monday, March 19, 2007

Mailbag: Felix for Aramis?

A reader who asked to be left anonymous wrote:

"Hi Derek,

I love your blog. I've been a huge fantasy baseball fan for about 10 years now, but ever since my first year I haven't been able to do better than 4th place. I wonder if you might give me some advice on a possible trade.

I'm in an 8-team league. I think my team is pretty strong except that I'm weak at 3rd base. Right now my I have Freddy Sanchez at that position. Ideally, I'd like to use him as a rover between 2B, SS, and 3B. I'm wondering if I should make a trade to get a better 3B. One of the other teams in my league offered me Aramis Ramirez for Felix Hernandez. I like Felix but his numbers weren't great last year. My other SP are Smoltz, Harden, Myers, Cain, and Jered Weaver. We only have 4 SP positions and so now I have two on the bench. Would you make the trade?"

I responded:
"Happy to hear you like my blog. First, you should know that my hitter rankings aren't completed yet as my RBI and Run formulas are still being created/finished. That being said, Aramis Ramirez is a very good 3B. Great Contact and Line Drive Rates with lots of power. He is also fairly good at drawing a walk.

He has good hitters ahead of him in Soriano and Lee, and Murton could be pretty decent as well. Over 100 RBIs should be expected, but I don't have an exact figure yet. His Runs should be decent. Jones has some power and Barrett is one of the most underrated catchers in baseball. DeRosa is a decent hitter but doesn't have a ton of power (Barrett doesn't really either). His Runs should be pretty good because he gets on base and has decent players behind him, but again I don't have an exact figure.

I love Felix Hernandez. I have him ranked as my #4 SP, and I think trading him for Ramirez would be a mistake. While his surface numbers last year weren't great, his peripherals were and I expect him to contend with Johan Santana for the Cy Young this year.
Smoltz and Myers are also great pitchers. Harden is very good as well (Top 15). Let's just hope he can stay healthy. I'm not super big on Cain or Weaver. I would probably counteroffer with both of those two for Ramirez (and someone else if you can swing it).

Another option would be to seek another 3B. My favorite choice this year is Garrett Atkins. I'd offer those two for Atkins first, and if it is denied try for Ramirez. If you can't find a deal that works for either of those two, my next target would be Chipper Jones. He would be much cheaper than Atkins or Aramis. You might be able to get him for just one of Cain or Weaver. Aramis and Chipper might be a little injury prone, but you have Sanchez who could step in if they get hurt. Edwin Encarnacion would also be a great backup for either of those two if he is on your waiver wire.

That would still leave you with:
Felix
Smoltz
Myers
Harden
with possibly Cain/Weaver on the Bench.

I don't know what your maximum total innings limit is, but if it is low you could afford to lose both Cain and Weaver with this rotation. Just make sure to pick up Philip Hughes in June and Roger Clemens in April or June if he is available. Pedro Martinez the last couple weeks of the year could also help out. Check my site throughout the season for my top Waiver Wire Pickups.
If you are able to keep one of Cain or Weaver I would recommend trading him for Schilling, Mussina, Burnett, Vazquez, or Kelvim Escobar, in that order. Oh, and if Dave Bush is on your waiver wire (he might be in an 8 team league) pick him up.

One last option:
If you could turn Cain or Weaver into Curt Schilling you could probably afford to trade Smoltz and the other one (Cain/Weaver) for Atkins or possibly Aramis."

I wrote more about Felix Hernandez here, which may have gotten overlooked by many of you as it was my first post about a player.

If you have a agree or have a different opinion than me please feel free to post away!

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

you could always wait for Aramis's yearly bad April and May, which will make his owner impatient. when (not if) that happens, get him on the cheap.

Anonymous said...

I would make the trade. On average, Aramis is drafted 50 picks above Felix. Why? Because Ramirez has probably a 80% chance of hitting near .300, hitting 35-40 hr's, and driving in 100-110 rbi's. I had Felix on my fantasy team last year and while I agree with Derek that he could be a top 5 starter, I'm just not sure that it will be this year. At times, it was downright frustrating to watch Felix pitch. I would make the trade if I were you.

Derek Carty said...

It seems like some people disagree with me, which is perfectly fine. Differing opinions are always welcome.

I would like to point out though that while Felix's surface numbers weren't great last year, his peripheral numbers were amazing. This leads me to believe he simply got unlucky (he had a .313 Batting Average on Balls In Play and allowed 5 more HRs than he should have) and that he is due for a fantastic 2007, even if he doesn't improve his peripherals, which we certainly good given his age and talent level.

I wrote more about Felix Hernandez here. It was my first post so many of you may not have seen it. I'll put this link in the main post as well.

Keith said...

I think you can clearly make an argument for both sides. I agree with Derek that Felix has the potential to be truly special this year, but at the same time, there is little doubt that the upgrade from Sanchez (very, very weak for an 8 team league) to Aramis would be greater than the dropoff from Felix to your other pitchers (and likely what's on the waiver wire as well). Since 3B is so deep, and your pitching staff is pretty deep as well, I would also pursue non-Felix trade possibilities in the hope of landing a Ramirez/Atkins type. Heck, I'd rather have Teahen or Ensberg than Sanchez.