Fantasy baseball Trade Tips: Buy Heath Bell, sell Rickie Weeks
A little advice for owners proposing a trade: float an actual trade, not a fishing line. It's fine to ask about the availability of a player, but those kinds of talks rarely develop into an actual trade. Owners need to propose a framework of value and kick in a few names to get talks moving. Sure, Mike Trout is available, but for the right price.
Also, keep in mind that the owner proposing the trade should bring a little more to the table. It's like when you ask someone out on a date. If you look like a zoo animal, much like "this guy I know," you can't just ask if another human would like to go to dinner with you. You have to don the tuxedo T-shirt, clean the mud off your shoes and offer to take your date to some place that doesn't have "Buffet" in the name. (You can always go back to the grazing table after you drop off the date.) In other words, you have to grab someone's attention.
Now that I've hopefully grabbed your attention, on to this week's trade tips:
• RP Kenley Jansen, Los Angeles Dodgers -- Manager (for now) Don Mattingly can play "guess the closer" all he wants; Jansen is a better talent than Brandon League and has seen most of the high-leverage situations as of late. If League didn't get a hefty contract in the offseason, and if Mattingly wasn't as good a baseball lifer (i.e. loyal) as he is, Jansen would already be named the official closer. Even if it takes a while for him to secure the role, an owner could do worse than acquiring a pitcher who has struck out 31 in his first 22.1 innings.
• RP Heath Bell, Arizona Diamondbacks -- Confession time: last year I tabbed Bell as my closer in two separate leagues, which means he destroyed two of my pitching staffs. So, I am left with mixed feelings upon watching seeing him close games again after last year's debacle (which ended in him getting shipped out of Miami). He clearly is going to get plenty of save opportunities, but it's going to cost fantasy owners in ERA and WHIP. Add him, but don't overpay unless your staff can absorb the hit to the peripherals.
• 2B Rickie Weeks, Milwaukee Brewers -- He had a terrible start to last season but bounced back to finish with a .230 batting average, 21 homers, 63 RBI and 16 steals. Are those numbers worth waiting on for a player who has started this year hitting .168 with three homers and four steals? Not for a career .248 hitter, in our opinion. Play up the second half potential and speed potential, even though his steals have been declining for more than a few seasons.
• OF Nate McLouth, Baltimore Orioles -- This isn't to disparage McLouth's value to the Orioles, but he's a little too feast or famine for our taste. Take April, when McLouth hit .346 with eight RBI and eight steals. Then take May, when McLouth is hitting the .206 with three RBI that was all-too-common before he joined the Orioles. Sorry, but that's a little too much uncertainty to plug him into an everyday lineup. But with 14 steals, McLouth is the kind of asset a speed-hungry opponent might covet.
• OF Yoenis Cespedes, Oakland A's -- About the only thing Cespedes has offered this season is power. Still, 20-year olds who hit .292 as rookies don't usually fall off a cliff. We're willing to chalk this up to some acute sophomore blues as he adjusts to the book pitchers have on him now. With hits in eight of his last 10 games, Cespedes may be coming around. Be patient and make sure he comes around for your team.
• OF Todd Frazier, Cincinnati Reds -- After a solid April, Frazier has been, well, bad in May, hitting .230 with 0 homers. Lucky for Frazier, the Reds lineup is good enough to cover for him; it's also good enough to give him the opportunities to correct his slide. With the likes of Joey Votto, Brandon Phillips and Jay Bruce, Frazier should see plenty of hittable pitches and get plenty of chances to drive in runs. This isn't to say Frazier is an All-Star in the making, but a reliable third-tier third baseman or a top line corner option.