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Friday, April 13, 2007

Mailbag: Atkins/Hall/Jacobs for Thome/Wagner?

Here's another question from our Fantasy Baseball Mailbag from an anonymous reader.

Our reader writes:

"Hey Derek, great blog.

If you have a moment, I wanted to know what you thought about this trade.

12 team, 5x5 head to head league (default settings).

My team:

C: Lo Duca, Barrett
1B: A. Gonazalez, M. Jacobs
2B: I. Kinsler
3B: D. Wright, G. Atkins, B. Hall
SS: B. Hall
OF: C. Crawford, B. Abreu, R. Ibanez
SP: G. Maddux, J. Smoltz, C. Schilling, A. Wainright, D. Bush, K. Escobar, F. Garcia, C.C. Sabathia
RP: T. Saito, J. Soria

Here's the offer:

I give: B. Hall, G. Atkins and M. Jacobs

I Receive: J. Thome, B. Wagner

1) I need closer help desperately, and there is no one, aside from Julio available, and Wagner is among the best.
2) With D. Wright at 3B, G. Atkins is expendable.
3) I just picked up Jacobs, and who knows if he'll keep up his current pace.
4) If Thome remains healthy, he should be a nice HR / RBI boost from the Util. slot.

1) Thome is injury prone.
2) I'll be leaving my non-pitching roster a bit thin - picking up the likes of Khalil Greene (or R. Aurilia) at SS, and relying on A. Gonzalez at 1B.
3) I feel like this trade will force me into needing to trade away some pitching to balance out my roster.

What do you think?


I responded:

I would most likely not pursue this trade. I believe Garrett Atkins will be a first round pick next year and quite possibly the first third baseman taken. I actually believe he could be a better hitter than A-Rod. I like him much more than David Wright, despite being a Mets fan and a huge David Wright fan. If you are going to trade a third Baseman, I would trade Wright. I think he is the inferior player and has more value. Try trading Wright for a guy like David Ortiz or Lance Berkman if you don't trust your 1B, or a guy like Manny Ramirez if you need an OF (Ibanez is only so-so).

I like Mike Jacobs. He is a good bet to approach 30 HRs this year and is a pretty good contact hitter with pretty good discipline. You could do a lot worse than him.

I also would not suggest trading for a closer. I've written a lot about closers over the past month, and if you read this post about my strategy concerning closers, I think you'll see that they are highly overvalued. While Wagner is a better pitcher than Soria or Saito, how many more saves do you expect him to get you? The Dodgers created 61 save opportunites last year while the Mets created 61. Wagner will probably get a few more saves than Saito, but this is not worth the price he would cost you. Working the waiver wire for cheaps saves is a much better alternative. Henry Owens should pick up a few for the Marlins over the next few weeks. Try picking him up.

Last, if you're looking for a high HR/RBI utility man, Frank Thomas is your guy. I wrote about him a few weeks ago. He's a great player who is severely undervalued.

One last bit of advice: trade Freddy Garcia for a better pitcher. Check out my rankings for some good targets.

I hope this helps! Good luck this season!"

Let your thoughts on this trade be known!

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