My name is Tom Jacks and I’m here to admit that I have a fantasy baseball trade addiction. While I’ve been trying to do my best to keep it from getting out of hand, I’m pretty sure I’ve either made the most or am tied for making the most trades in every single league I’m in this year. So it should come as no surprise that one of my favorite times of the year is approaching in real baseball: trade season. With that in mind, I figured it would be worth taking a look at some of the players who could be traded and how it would affect their value in OBP leagues:
Seth Smith has continued looking like a better player than we’re used to, with an improved approach (more walks, fewer strikeouts) and increased selectivity (swinging less, higher contact). A few weeks ago, I said that, “I’d be shocked if he didn’t top an .830 OPS going forward, which is something he hasn’t done since he called Coors Field his home.” He’s managed to keep up his great performance and I can’t imagine that a move away from Petco would hurt his numbers, though I wouldn’t count on him necessarily hitting any better than he has this year.
Nate Schierholtz and Matt Joyce are both guys who I would have compared to Smith before this season in OPS leagues, but only Joyce is worth owning in OBP leagues at this point. The usual caveat of benching him against lefties still applies.
Ben Zobrist could be a nice buy-low guy because his .332 OBP should improve somewhat going forward and could get an additional boost if he moves to a more hitter-friendly park.
Jimmy Rollins, Alexei Ramirez, and Elvis Andrus are other shortstops who could change teams, but they would all likely be traded to worse ballparks. Of the three, Rollins would be my choice in an OBP league, but I wouldn’t expect anything more than his current .337 OBP and there’s the potential for some downside there.
Adam Dunn had a .388 OBP as of last month and has posted an OBP below .300 the past couple weeks to bring it down to .359. I could see him hovering around that mark regardless of where he ends up after the trade deadline.
Luis Valbuena has reached base closer to league average lately, but still has an impressive .357 OBP on the year. It certainly wouldn’t hurt to have him traded to a team with a better lineup, though the ballpark effect would likely be marginal.
Alex Rios always confuses me. It would be easy to conclude that a move away from his current home park would hurt his numbers, but he’s actually been slightly more productive on the road this year. I wouldn’t expect much of a change in his value.
Who else gets traded this year and to where?
You can find Tom Jacks on Twitter @votetomjacks. He spends far too much time praying for the Cubs, planning his next concert, and wondering if there’s an instrument that could ever rival the theremin (there isn’t).