This week’s batch of fantastic trading tips focuses on the hitters, specifically which ones should be traded. Many fantasy managers take the wrong approach to trade negotiations by centering their process on a certain player they want to acquire. This is a bad strategy, as many players can provide valuable stat levels in the months to come. Often the most important aspect of trading is figuring out which players you need to withdraw of your team.
Figuring out when to sell high on a player and when to stick with someone long term can mean the difference between having a good or a great season. And there are times when it makes sense to sell a player cheap, getting anything of value rather than watching the player drop even further in the weeks to come.
Players to Acquire
Kyle Schwarber (OF, Philadelphia Phillies)
Schwarber was ridiculously unlucky in May, enduring a .068 BABIP despite having reasonable contact quality. There’s nothing wrong with the slugger’s power shot, as he’s set to end the year with a homerun total in the mid-30s. It’s his .166 average that creates the opportunity low buy, but its xBA of 0.217 via Statcast is reason enough to believe better days are ahead.
Michael Harris II (OF, Atlanta Braves)
Harris was arguably the biggest bust among early-round picks, and in leagues where he hasn’t been dropped, he may be available for a very small return. The buy-low logic is easy to fit into a trade offer — the 22-year-old wasn’t ready for sustained major league success and has come down to earth now that opposing pitchers know more about him. But there’s been a luck component to his struggles, as he’s faced a .218 BABIP this year that includes a .207 mark in May.
Players to trade
Adolis Garcia (OF, Texas Rangers)
Garcia has been a top 5 fantasy asset this year and should generate a major trade return. After all, he leads the majors in RBIs and ranks fourth in runs scored. The 30-year-old has benefited greatly from being on baseball’s top-scoring roster, while Texas has enjoyed the second-highest team BABIP (.324). The Rangers have a solid roster, but they’re at least 50 points ahead of every team other than the Rays and Dodgers, and the club is unlikely to sustain that level of production. I expect Garcia to be a great asset going forward, but he shouldn’t be considered a first or second round player.
Marcus Semien (2B, Texas Rangers)
The rationale for swapping Semien is similar to that of Garcia – he has benefited greatly from being part of an overperforming Rangers lineup. The 32-year-old also enjoyed a .328 BABIP which is his highest rating since his rookie year in 2013. Statcast currently awards Semien a .259 xBA which is almost 40 points lower than his actual rating and a .406 xSLG which varies. of its actual SLG by 80 points. Those who can get a kind of first-round comeback based on Semien sitting fourth in the current Yahoo Player Rankings should take the deal.
Brandon Marsh (OF, Philadelphia Phillies)
I pitched Marsh as a sales candidate in April, citing his extreme good fortune as the reason for leaving him. A month later, not much has changed. Marsh continues to have one of the highest BABIP ratings in baseball (.396) and has massively exceeded his expected stats on Statcast. And even with all that good fortune, he was still a poor fantasy performer (1 HR, 2 SB, .191 BA) in May. This may be the last chance to get something of value for him.
James Outman (OF, Los Angeles Dodgers)
Apologies to those who don’t like a good pun, but Outman has lived up to his name lately. The rookie only hit .165 in May while posting minimal Power (0 HR) and Speed (2 SB). His strikeout rate has reached concerning levels, and major league pitchers may have figured Outman out to the point where he needs more time in the minors. Although I wouldn’t give the 26-year-old in 12 team leagues, I’d trade him for anyone I could imagine staying on my roster all summer.