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Why hello there. It seems like only yesterday when we were drafting our fantasy baseball teams and were guaranteed to breeze to first place. But then baseball happened. An injury (or two or three…) here and an underperforming guy there can really dampen your early season enthusiasm. Fortunately, there are always opportunities to grab guys off waivers or to buy low. Enter Brian McCann. A few months ago, I said, “I strongly dislike recommending people draft an injured player, but I’m going to do it this time. The last I saw, he’s expected to miss the first couple weeks of the season. Even if the injury reduces his production, I could still see him producing a high .700s OPS, with solid counting stats. Considering that you would only have to use a late round pick, it may be worth the gamble.” Well, considering that he’s still largely available, I suggest you close your eyes and fall back into McCann’s arms (gently, of course). Like Scott Weiland, he’s half the man he used to be, but there’s no reason why he can’t be a top 10 catcher for the rest of 2013. Anyway, here are some other players that have me crossing my fingers in OPS leagues:

Paul Konerko – Do you have Konerko on your team? Cover your mouth. Now look at his numbers since last June. Yeah, I yelled too – that’s why I told you to cover your mouth. It’s beginning to look clearer than ever that the ageless wonder is struggling and that he won’t bounce back. His contact rate and walk rate are lower, strikeout rate is higher, and his slugging is treading around .400. I hate to bet against him since he has defied the odds over the past few seasons, but I would be willing to sell slightly low on him, pointing out his hot start last year to potential buyers to keep the price decent.

Chase Headley – Time for a happier note! At the beginning of the year, I was confident that Chase could maintain a .370 OBP, but didn’t expect him to maintain a near .500 slugging. It’s still early, but so far the underlying numbers provide reason for optimism about him producing at the same level as he did in 2012. If an owner thinks that they are selling high because he will regress, then I’d be buying. I expect him to approach his .286/.376/.498 line from last season going forward, which is elite for a third baseman.

Kelly Johnson – I’ll admit that I was skeptical of him this year. Like Dan Uggla, his strikeout and contact issues were causing him major problems the past couple seasons. In 2013, his contact rate has increased, while his strikeout rate has held steady, resulting in a decent .244/.330/.427 line. He’s worth trusting as a second baseman or middle infielder, but I’m still going to keep an eye on that strikeout rate to make sure he maintains his current production.

Jay Bruce – I want to use him to illustrate a point (sorry for using you, Jay!). I’m fine with buying low on Bruce, but just because he was expected to hit around 35 homers doesn’t mean that he has to hit 34 homers over the rest of the season (since he’s only hit one). I expect him to hit homers at that same rate, but don’t expect him to necessarily make up for that time with extra production.

Carlos Gomez – The same idea I mentioned for Bruce applies to Gomez: just because Gomez has been better than expected, doesn’t mean that he will be worse than he was expected to be to balance it out. His .368/.417/.642 line would be incredible for anybody. Still, I’m having a hard time believing that he’ll maintain anything near his current production, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t see him improving on last season. Carlos has continued to reduce his strikeouts and is hitting a career-high percentage of his hits for line drives, both encouraging signs. I see him as more of an .800 OPS player for the rest of 2013, but it will be fun to see if he can continue his hot start.

Tom Jacks likes it when you follow him on Twitter @votetomjacks (no, not in that way)

  1. El Guapo says:
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    Trade Utley for Headley? OBP league

    • Tom Jacks

      Tom Jacks says:
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      @El Guapo: Yes sir

  2. Bret Harper says:
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    Should i trade Harvey for Bruce? Standard league.

    • Scott says:
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      @Bret Harper: You seriously are asking this question?

      • Scott says:
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        @Scott: I hope you mean Steve Harvey

        • Tom Jacks

          Tom Jacks says:
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          @Scott: I wouldn’t be able to trade that stache.

  3. Gareth says:
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    Pick 2 – Rios, Reddick, Swisher.

    • Tom Jacks

      Tom Jacks says:
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      @Gareth: Rios and Swisher

  4. Snag says:
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    Completely off topic, is Napoli ever going to catch again?

    I’m not close to contending in a 16 team keeper league, and while he’s a top performing catcher, his value as a 1B/DH is significantly reduced. Should I be looking to cash in on him before the trade deadline?

    • Tom Jacks

      Tom Jacks says:
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      @Snag: I doubt he’ll catch much. I’d look to cash in since you’re not contending.

      • Snag says:
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        @Tom Jacks: Esp as I just stashed Grandal.

        Shame though, Napoli’s been good to me for 4 years.

        • Tom Jacks

          Tom Jacks says:
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          @Snag: Agreed on Napoli, but nice that you have Grandal too.

  5. David says:
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    Bruce for Derek Holland and Jim Johnson?

    Could use another closer and SP help

    • Tom Jacks

      Tom Jacks says:
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      @David: No, that’s selling too low on Bruce. He’s worth a much better SP.

  6. Ryan says:
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    thoughts on josh beckett for the rest of this season? how about will middlebrooks? his yearly BA minors/majors has always been around .280, what gives?

    • Tom Jacks

      Tom Jacks says:
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      @Ryan: Beckett is giving up way too many homers right now. I expect that will decrease a bit and him to have an era a little over 4 for the rest of the season. I’d rather start him at home or against easier teams if I could.

  7. MB says:
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    I am sending Alex Gordon

    Who should I get along with Lance Lynn?

    Frazier, Arenado or Trumbo?

    • Tom Jacks

      Tom Jacks says:
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      @MB: I’d want Trumbo.

  8. Shibboleth says:
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    Nice to see some KJ love cuz he’s available and my OF is… Sparse. Would you want him as a 5th of/backup 2b for this team? Anyone you’d drop for him? 12 tm OPS league!

    C: wieters, Ruiz
    1b/CI: votto/morales, belt
    2b: Rutledge
    3b: longoria, Alvarez
    Ss/mi: andrus/segura, Cozart
    Of: BJ, Markakis, Gardner, Frazier, duda, remold

    • Tom Jacks

      Tom Jacks says:
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      @Shibboleth: Yeah, I’d drop Reimold for him.

  9. Allan says:
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    Cashner was pretty decent last night but still worries me. Any thoughts on his TB start? In a points league and would suck if he wiped out the points he already got me this week.

    • Tom Jacks

      Tom Jacks says:
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      @Allan: I don’t think it will be as good as his last start, but still decent. Completely speculating, but I could see something like 6 innings with 3 runs and a handful of strikeouts.

      • Allan says:
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        @Tom Jacks: thats about what i thought. Thanks. Might hang with him but he baffles me. Whole reason to pick him up was supposed to be this huge strikeout potential but i’ve never seen a guy throw that hard and strikeout so few.

        • Tom Jacks

          Tom Jacks says:
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          @Allan: It’s still early, so the strikeouts could rise. Although it’s possible that he’s trying to pitch to contact instead of blowing it past everybody.

  10. Metzkabob says:
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    10 team H2H 6×6 keeper league.

    Trade Desmond Jennings and Matt Harvey for Cliff Lee and Josh Hamilton?

    Thoughts?

    • Tom Jacks

      Tom Jacks says:
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      @Metzkabob: How many keepers do you get and for how long? Is there a price attached to them?

      Not knowing the answers to those questions, I would absolutely do it if it’s not a dynasty league and if you’re trying to compete this year.

      • Metzkabob says:
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        @Tom Jacks:

        We issue 10 years of contracts with no more than 2 of the same and $260 budget.

        problem is jennings and harvey are both a dollar and hamilton is 27 and Lee is 23.

        The offer as it stands now is this:

        I get lee $23 Hamilton $24 Jaime Garcia $1

        He gets Harvey $1 Jennings $1 Anibel Sanchez $13

        • Tom Jacks

          Tom Jacks says:
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          @Metzkabob: Then I would have a hard time accepting because you have so much value tied up in those cheap contracts.

  11. Swat290 says:
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    Tough year to be a Sox fan. It’s not fun watching Paulie get old…

    • Tom Jacks

      Tom Jacks says:
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      @Swat290: Yeah, I’m a Cubs fan and I feel bad for him. It’s impossible not to like him.

  12. Ryan says:
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    Would you trade Bumgardner and Either for Marte and Mcann. ( I have Bum and Either). I also have Bucholtz, Shields, Burnett, Dempster Masterson and Ryu.

    • Tom Jacks

      Tom Jacks says:
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      @Ryan: No, I think you’re giving up a bit too much. Bum is far better than any of the guys you’d be receiving.

  13. mcBlunty says:
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    looking to upgrade my 2 utility spots, curretly being occupied by Haffner and Berkman, who would you drop (if not both), and who would you replace with out of these options

    Domonic Brown
    A.J. Pollock
    Matt Joyce
    Evan Gattis
    Juan Pierre
    Ichiro Suzuki

    Its a deep league so the options are not great

    • Tom Jacks

      Tom Jacks says:
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      @mcBlunty: I’d drop Hafner for Joyce.

  14. DanDan says:
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    Trade Konerko/Lester for Krispie Davis/Ryu?

    My pitching is pretty deep and I’m hurting from drafting BJ Upton and Brett Lawrie.

    • Tom Jacks

      Tom Jacks says:
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      @DanDan: No, I wouldn’t. I don’t see Davis as much of an upgrade over Konerko.

  15. dards21 says:
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    Should I trade Justin Upton and Fowler for Zimmerman and Bruce?

    • Tom Jacks

      Tom Jacks says:
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      @dards21: It’s close. Yes, if you need a third baseman, but otherwise I’d hold. I’m not a big fan of Zimmerman.

  16. Glendalien says:
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    Bj Upton or Bourn ROS? H2h kpr. Thanks!

    • Tom Jacks

      Tom Jacks says:
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      @Glendalien: Upton, still.

  17. Buzz says:
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    I’m in a ridiculously deep (20 teams, 29-man rosters) keeper league. I’ve been offered Nick Castellanos and Delmon Young for Paco Rodriguez and George Springer. I’m inclined to accept, since it’s basically Springer for Castellanos–the other two are throw-ins. Do you like Castellanos better than Springer long-term? Would you accept?

    • Tom Jacks

      Tom Jacks says:
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      @Buzz: I like Castellanos slightly more than Springer, so I wouldn’t accept. It’s not a bad offer though.

      • Buzz says:
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        @Tom Jacks: Thanks! I’m keeping Springer for now. Love the numbers he’s putting up in AA. Plus, I own him in both my leagues right now, and I like rooting for him with double the enthusiasm. Especially since the other managers raised a collective eyebrow when I drafted him. I think most of them had never heard of him.

        • Tom Jacks

          Tom Jacks says:
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          @Buzz: Nice. That’s always fun. Good luck!

  18. Ron says:
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    Would you trade R.Zimmerman and L. Cain for Cliff Lee if you already have Longoria?

    • Tom Jacks

      Tom Jacks says:
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      @Ron: Yeah, that’s fair

  19. KCC26 says:
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    Would you trade kemp for Bruce? Any other outfielders that would make a good target if you were trying to offload kemps shoulder?

    • Tom Jacks

      Tom Jacks says:
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      @KCC26: I think Bruce is too low. I think Kemp could turn it around in the next month or so, but it’s hard to tell. Maybe you could get Bautista?

      • KCC26 says:
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        @Tom Jacks: actually just offered that like an hour ago. I’m thinking kemp ROS is looking more like a .280 20/20 guy with maybe a lower floor than that. Am I wrong? What do you see?

        • Tom Jacks

          Tom Jacks says:
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          @KCC26: I think a .280 20/20 guy is a reasonable expectation at this point.

  20. Yanks27 says:
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    Someone offered me BJ Upton for Starling Marte straight up. Do I pull the trigger?

    • Tom Jacks

      Tom Jacks says:
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      @Yanks27: You’re getting Upton? I’d do that.

      • Reverse Cowgill says:
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        @Tom Jacks: no dont trade Marte for BJ. Mini cutch is a stud hold onto him.

        • Tom Jacks

          Tom Jacks says:
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          @Reverse Cowgill: Wasn’t BJ considered a stud before this season?

  21. Parker says:
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    pick 2:

    Starling Marte, James Loney, Nate McClouth, Nolan Arenado

    • Tom Jacks

      Tom Jacks says:
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      @Parker: Marte and Arenado

  22. Fister Furbush says:
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    Thoughts on Dan Harens resurgence?

    Worth hanging onto in shallower leagues?

    • Tom Jacks

      Tom Jacks says:
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      @Fister Furbush: I don’t fully trust him. I wouldn’t mind dropping him if there’s a good option on waivers.

  23. Beastman says:
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    Thanks for the OPS love Tom.

    Since espinosa is awful this year, I’m considering offering seager for prado, who is 2b eligible. That’d leave machado as my 3b.

    Thoughts?

    • Tom Jacks

      Tom Jacks says:
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      @Beastman: No problem! I like that deal for you. Machado should be comparable to Seager and Prado is nice at 2B.

  24. barker says:
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    would u start milone @ cle and / or santana @ bal

    • Tom Jacks

      Tom Jacks says:
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      @barker: Santana makes me nervous. I’d go with Milone.

  25. Mookie Wilson #1 says:
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    Loriano or Lilly?

  26. madden_curser says:
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    Being a Tiger’s fan, I am nervous about starting Zimmermann vs Fister tomorrow, or against the Tigers in general. Should I roll with Zimm Wednesday, or go with Plan B; Minor (@ CIN – Leake), Samardzija (@ WSH – Detwiler), or Hellickson (vs SD – Cashner)? Thanks!

    • Tom Jacks

      Tom Jacks says:
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      @madden_curser: I’d be nervous too. Samardzija is my favorite choice there.

    • tim says:
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      @madden_curser: zimmerman vs sanchez and it’s still a no

  27. Zoltan says:
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    Just got Tulo for Kemp, what do you think? Also, how do you think Zach wheeler will do when he’s brought up compared to cingrani, J-Fer, ryu etc….

    • Tom Jacks

      Tom Jacks says:
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      @Zoltan: That’s a fair deal, but will completely depend on how much Tulo stays on the field.

      I think Wheeler will be comparable to Cingrani’s performance.

  28. Ron says:
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    BJ Upton or Lorenzo Cain ROS?

    • Tom Jacks

      Tom Jacks says:
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      @Ron: I still believe in Upton.

  29. abe says:
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    i have too many starters and not enough saves. would you deal jordan zimmermann and tony cingrani for aroldis chapman. the league has k/bb and is a keeper league. aroldis is a $3 keeper for next year ($260 budget). the league also has an innings cap so k/9 is important.
    my staff is
    zimmermann
    scherzer
    matt moore
    mike minor
    doug fister
    marco estrada
    joe nathan
    jim henderson
    kenley jansen
    fujikawa

    thanks

    • Tom Jacks

      Tom Jacks says:
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      @abe: I don’t love it, but I’d do it considering the format and that you need saves.

  30. dawnofthedread says:
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    J. Zim and Bumgarner for Beltre and Corbin. I need R HR RBI BA help for my 5×5 roto league. What do you think?

  31. Jiggles says:
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    Jay Bruce for Madison Bumgarner….which side do you want?

    • Tom Jacks

      Tom Jacks says:
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      @Jiggles: Bruce, but it’s really close

  32. Ron says:
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    Please rank these pitchers ROS:

    Cashner, H. Santiago, Feldman, Villanueva

    Thanks!!!

    • Tom Jacks

      Tom Jacks says:
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      @Ron: I’ll say Villanueva, Cashner, Santiago, Feldman

  33. LT says:
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    So unsure who to drop. I have T. Rosenthal and C. Martinez from STL in a 12 team 7×7 roto keeper. Both will be a late 20s rd pick but must be rostered all year. Who has a best chance to close this year and who will be the better player next year? Is either a starter next season?

    • Tom Jacks

      Tom Jacks says:
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      @LT: Yeah, it’s confusing. I don’t think either will end up closing this year, but believe Martinez would be first since Rosenthal blew saves earlier this season. Both should be starters long-term, but I think Martinez has a slightly better chance to have a spot next season.

      • LT says:
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        @Tom Jacks: Thanks man, I have been dying to drop Rosenthal since the draft really. This helps a ton.

        • Tom Jacks

          Tom Jacks says:
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          @LT: No problem!

  34. Ooooooooortiz!

    • Tom Jacks

      Tom Jacks says:
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      @Elijah: My OPS king has reclaimed his crown! What a beast.

  35. Finally decided to punt on Espinoza and try Kelly Johnson, we’ll see how that turns out.

    • Tom Jacks

      Tom Jacks says:
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      @Elijah: That makes sense. Good luck!

  36. BrewerFan says:
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    Is it a good deal for me to trade away Matt Harvey & Frazier for Jose Reyes & Medlen?

    • Tom Jacks

      Tom Jacks says:
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      @BrewerFan: It’s not a bad offer, but I wouldn’t do it. Their GM said Reyes wouldn’t likely be back until July and I think there’s always the potential for a setback with him.

  37. gareth says:
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    You like homer bailey @mia and @phi for next week? He was dropped in my weekly cbs roto league. Worth picking up?

    Who would you drop out of these guys if I do add him;

    Felix, gio, gallardo, morrow, burnett, lynn, cobb, j. Garcia, betancourt, street, g. Holland, frieri.

    • Tom Jacks

      Tom Jacks says:
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      @gareth: It’s a 10 team league, right? I’d drop Morrow for Bailey.

  38. Sick McNasty says:
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    I was recently offered David Price & Matt Carpenter for Cingrani in 10 team SUPER competitive keeper league (keep 8). Will Price out pitch Cingrani this yr?

    • Tom Jacks

      Tom Jacks says:
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      @Sick McNasty: You’d be giving up Cingrani? I’d do that in a heart beat. I expect Price to out pitch Cingrani for the rest of the season.

      • jason batteiger says:
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        @Tom Jacks: i don’t know how hyper comptetive it should be, with people trying to give cy young winner away.

        • Tom Jacks

          Tom Jacks says:
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          @jason batteiger: Maybe they are so good that they do that out of sympathy!

  39. Sean says:
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    Great post. Thanks for all the responses. Ops league offered to me – Longoria for Hanley and Headley. I have Rollins at ss but Hanley seems stronger once hea back. Also I’m really liking Headley so far. Straight Two keeper league 12 teams. Othe trade Harvey/Moore/Heyward for Strasburg/Anibal Sanchez/Granderson which side? Thanks.

    • Tom Jacks

      Tom Jacks says:
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      @Sean: Thanks! Yes, I’d trade Longoria for Hanley/Headley. I’d also take the Heyward side.

  40. Wade says:
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    Hey, have a question I really really need help with! I was offered Encarnacion for Stanton. It’s a keeper league where we keep 4. I was high on Stanton at the beginning of the year to deliver hr and with the hopes he gets traded. Would love to hear you opinion! Take the trade?? Will Stanton be out 6 weeks?

    • Tom Jacks

      Tom Jacks says:
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      @Wade: No, I wouldn’t take that trade in a keeper league. He’ll probably miss another month, but he’s got the potential to improve (and get traded), while Encarnacion could get worse, given his age.

  41. James says:
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    I was wondering is it time to drop either:

    Josh Donaldson, Brandon moss, Werth, or Ike Davis

    For moustakas?

    My second question is what should us Ike Davis owners do at this point? He’s becoming a waste of roster space.. I’m in a ten team H2H league

    Thanks for your advice!

    • Tom Jacks

      Tom Jacks says:
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      @James: I wouldn’t mind dropping Werth for Moustakas.

      I still think Davis will turn it around at some point, but I wouldn’t be opposed to dropping him for the right player in a ten team league. However, I don’t see Moustakas as having any more upside than Davis, so I wouldn’t drop Davis for him.

  42. James says:
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    Your input is much appreciated! Thanks

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