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Ah, May. The time when trees are in full bloom, birds return to sing a new spring song, and you look at your fantasy baseball team and think, Holy Crikey I’m stuck in eighth place and my top three picks all suck and my bullpen is a mess and boy oh boy do I need saves.

Well, guess what? Right now, there’s a creepy man outside your window, watching you weeping softly, and he’s thinking the very same thing. And you know what he’s about to do?

Offer you Torii Hunter and Chad Qualls for Grady Sizemore. And you know what’s worse?

You’re going to consider it.

I mean, what could be better? Hunter isn’t Sizemore, sure, but he’s still good — and you get the added bonus of a closer! It’s like getting a free player! It’s a two-for-one! And it makes perfect sense, right?

No. No, it does not make sense. Step away from the two-fer. Step away slowly.

Today we’re going to talk about something the Baron likes to call “talent dilution.” It goes like this. Let’s imagine every player on your team could be rated on a scale of 1 to 5. Superstars drafted in the first three rounds, like Sizemore, are 5s. Decent, mid-round players like Hunter are 3s. Midlevel closers (you know, the guys who went in rounds 12 through 15) are 2s. And all replacement level free-agent pick-ups are 1s.

Using this rough scale, you might say: Hunter + Qualls = Sizemore, because 3 + 2 = 5. Ergo, this trade is fair.

But think of this: The person getting Sizemore – i.e. the creepy guy outside your window RIGHT NOW – is going to upgrade from a 3 to a 5, then replace Qualls with, at worst, a replacement-level pitcher, e.g. a 1 (Arredondo in a non-holds league), or maybe even a 2 (say Tavarez is available, who might get saves). So while you wind up with five points worth of talent, he winds up with six or seven. In other words, he wins.

And that’s assuming you have a shallow FA pool with only shizztastic players available. Often, though, in a 12-team mixed league, there are perfectly good 2s and 3s – guys like Adam LaRoche and Travis Snider and Kaz Matsui and Hideki Matsui – just sitting there waiting to be plucked. Which makes the two-fer trade all the more attractive – to the guy getting one player and giving up two. Because you’re never just getting back one player – you’re getting one player plus a replacement to fill the subsequent hole.

Still, you might say: So what, Baron? What do I care if the other guy picks up a good FA? I’m busy identifying a weakness on my team and addressing it by trading a valuable chip! What’s wrong with that?

Well, as a result, you go from having one star player to two middling players. Then, later in the season, as other needs crop up, you look to make another trade – except now instead of Sizemore to offer, you have Hunter. If he’s a 3, what can he bring back? A 3, if you’re lucky. Or a 2 plus a 1. You know what he can’t bring back? A five. Like Sizemore.

And even if you don’t need to make another trade, you’re stuck with a team full of middling guys — it’s almost like you sat out the first five rounds of the draft so you could stockpile extra picks in rounds 7 through 20. Who are you, Bill Belichick?

For this reason, two-for-ones are almost always a bad idea to accept early in the season, and they ain’t great late in the season either. (Of course, you know your particular league better than I do. For example, in some leagues, the jostling for saves is so intense that you have to make two-fers to survive.)

For this same reason, though, two-fer-ones are great trades for you to make early in the season if you are giving up two to get one – even if you’re not sold on the replacement player you’ll be using. Because you are stockpiling value now, which will help you later, instead of divesting value now, which will hurt you later.

P.S. The other, much more efficient way to totally screw your team into the ground is by dropping slumping stars early so you can pick up hot FAs. Of course, no one thinks they are doing this at the time. But look back at how many questions like “I am so sick of Beckett killing me – should I drop him for Kyle Davies?” pop up in the messages.

It is natural to get frustrated when your stars – you wasted such high picks on them! You had such high hopes! – struggle while no-name guys shine. You want the shiny things! And who knows — maybe Kyle Davies is this year’s Cliff Lee!

But for every Quentin – who will blossom over the season into a valuable 5 – there will be ten Bonifacios, who burn brightly but flare out. Which is how you wake up in June with a team full of no-names like David (or Daniel) Murphy who had two good weeks back in April, while all the guys you dropped because they were slumping got snatched up by smarter owners than you.

Moral of the story: Don’t be that guy. Be the smarter one.

  1. whigs says:
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    good post, now i just hope no one in my league is reading this..I’m all about the two-fer.

  2. Falcon says:
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    Good lord, I love this concept. On the flip side though, I get so annoyed at those two-fer offerers.

    No, I do not want to trade Beltran for Kelly Johnson & Jonny Peralta.

    Sheesh.

  3. AL KOHOLIC says:
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    i like it already,,now ill read it,great headliner

  4. vinko says:
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    Great insight Baron. Wondering if your other job involves hostage negotiation? You seem to be a natural!

  5. AL KOHOLIC says:
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    im always trying the 2-fers,they have paid off in the past but not getting any bites yet this year,but my 2 arent helping matters,mo vaughn,i mean ortiz and cant get right bradley neither hitting thier weight,trying to package holland or hanson though might help

  6. Spaceman.Spiff says:
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    Love the two-fer, the three-fer, and even pulled off a five-fer the other day.

    General question: Who would you rather have for the rest of the year? Asdrubal Cabrera, Elvis Andrus, Adam LaRoche, Jim Thome, or Jeff Francouer in a 6×6 league (5×5 plus OPS and Losses).

  7. aconstipatedmonkey says:
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    The only time a 2-fer seems worth it is if one player fills a need and you take a chance on a high upside player who’s jumping to the next level. Like say Berkman for Votto and K-Rod. Or something like that.

  8. Thunder Dan says:
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    I got an offer the other day proposing that I give up Jimmy Rollins for DLee and Alexei Ramirez. This was before Lee went yard yesterday.

    Here’s what blew my mind about that offer: If I were the type of owner that would trade a guy drafted in the 1st or 2nd round for two guys who were drafted substantially later, I would be basing my player valuation strictly on current performance. If that is the case, why would I want other players who are currently sucking?

  9. Nick says:
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    Like the post Baron. I just moved Abreu for Danks…unfortunately his last 2 starts were terrible…but Abreu hasn’t looked any better with back issues sitting day to day…plus my OF is still stacked with Hunter, Upton, Ibanez & Pence (10 team league)

  10. mgeoffriau

    Mark says:
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    Sometimes you can disguise 2fers by including the worst guy on the other owner’s roster (ie, the guy you’d assume he would drop if he accepted a 2fer). I’ve done this, and then had the owner balk at the inclusion of that player, at which I responded with….”Well, I was hoping for him, who would you rather include?” More than once this has led to a better deal for me than I would have initially offered.

  11. AL KOHOLIC says:
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    @Mark: yeah me to,tell them to add schafer and they think they are winning big on one side of the trade

  12. Um, I drafted Daniel Murphy in quite a few leagues in the late rounds, and would like to, kindly, disagree that I’ll be looking back in remorse at having wasted a roster spot on him. I almost guarantee he’ll be as valuable as a LaPorta, Snider or Schafer this year.

    The only remorseful moves I’ve had so far were dropping Swisher after his hot streak ended (not thinking he’d have another one immediately) to hopefully gain a spot in the waiver priority, and Dexter Fowler… for whatever reason. I was flip-flopping outfielders trying to find a third one that could stick and the whole time I had Justin Upton rotting on the bench. As I watched Fowler exploit Chris Young like he was born for it, and Swisher continue to be the Yankees’ smartest addition, I played Upton out of necessity …as he put on the show we’ve all been hearing he’s capable of.

  13. anoraxx says:
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    Speaking of two-fer-ones I just traded Oswalt and Hoffman for Rollins and some shizzle. Am I the smarter guy or dumber? Ie. which side would you prefer?

    My bullpen consists of Jenks, Bell, Funtes, Valverde and Downs, who I believe will stay put when Ryan returns.
    And my other starters are Wandy, Cueto, Haren, Bedard, Danks, JayZ and Lackey

  14. AL KOHOLIC says:
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    @Dan Lowe: dropped swish when bradley came back,bam he hits 2 waiver hr`s as bradley continues to struggle and piss of the cub fans,if he doesnt start hitting real soon,they will boo him till he explodes and shows why no one else would give him a fat contract,As a card fan that would be sweet,as a bradley owner that sucks,oh well i knew the gamble i was taking in the 15th round

  15. Baron Von Vulturewins

    Baron Von Vulturewins says:
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    @Falcon: The best two-fers to offer — and, occasionally, accept — are the ones that are Good Player for Lesser Player Who Plays Same Position plus Need-Filler. The classic in this form is the [X for X-1 + Crappy Closer] formulation.

    But the two-fer that’s simply “Here’s two players who together are kind of as good as the player I’m asking for” is just lame bullshwizzle.

    @vinko: Thanks! Now put down the gun slowly. It’s not worth it, man.

    @aconstipatedmonkey: Yes, this can work for you — especially if you think the actual value of the player you’re getting (e.g. Votto) will be equal to or even surpass that of the guy you’ve giving (e.g. Berkman).

    As Grey’s said here before, there’s a good chance Votto actually passes Berkman this year (up escalator, meet down escalator) so in this case you use the two-fer to your advantage, grabbing an extra player in what is essentially an equal one-for-one swap. That’s called jujitsu!

    @Nick: Danks should reward your faith.

    @Dan Lowe: If you’re in a league where LaPorta, Snider and Schafer are all starting for someone, then, yes, Daniel Murphy definitely will have value. As long as your league doesn’t count Fly Balls Misplayed as a category.

  16. Teef says:
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    Good post – I love doing the 2fers and I also hope no one else is reading this – Having that roster spot is so valuable

    I’ve already traded – 1. Aaron Hill and Adam Jones for Berkman 2.Corey Hart/Sandoval for Ludwick 3. Cantu and Ludwick for Josh Hamilton.

    the 2nd Trade allowed me to add Cantu from the waivers who I used to get Hamilton.

    I’m noticing in my 3rd year of fantasy that this is becoming a tactic of mine – I spend the first 2 months looking for every hot start on the waivers with some sort of reason i could pitch he could keep it up (i.e. aaron hill’s 2007 or adam jones prospect status) I’m not saying these guys are going to fizzle but I think they will come back down to earth, still put up solid numbers but if I can couple a white hot start with a guy like Corey Hart to eventually land me Josh Hamilton (praying he comes back to healthy) I’ll do it all day.

    I love looking up and down my offense and seeing 4 players chosen in the first 2 rounds without having to give up a single pitcher i drafted

  17. Tarasco'sSecretStash says:
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    @ Vulture: You forget about them four rings Grandmaster Hood can flash at you? That’s not really an insult to say someone’s trying to manage like BB…

    Actually, the Red Sox use the same strategy of building an expanded upper-middle class under Theo, too, and it didn’t hurt their ’07 title team. Thing is, if you can wrangle two middle class players that both upgrade weaknesses on your team, you can make that deal. This is a cool formula, and an interesting post. The one variable you’re ignoring is the collateral roster damage of a 2-fer on your end. This may turn out a wash most times, and if it does you’re right, it’s probably a bad trade.

    But assuming you’re accepting two players for one roster spot you’re also going to dump one of your players to make this deal. If you can gain at two roster spots by sacrificing at one, you can absolutely do it. This generally only works when you’re NOT trading position-for-position, and trading for positional value.

    So imagine a comparable scenario, say Grady Sizemore for Brian Roberts & Qualls (a fair comp, no? I’d estimate Hunter is to CF as Roberts is to 2B…). Say you had a Kaz Matsui/Kelly Johnson type at second and had no reliable save options.

    Now, you can always mix and match hot-hand dood OFers on the waiver wire that’ll get you 25 dingers, 85 runs & rbi, 10 bags, and a near-.300 clip over the course of a season.

    So if you’re going +2 at 2B and +2 at closer, and only going from 5 to (at worst) 2 in downgrading from Sizemore, you’re still +1 on that trade, +2 if you mix and match OF well.

    I hear you that you run out of + talent to flip like that, but if you place value on players and have a chance to acquire plus talent that will hold all year, it’s a good strategy every now and again.

  18. Eric says:
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    Which pitcher should I start this week?

    Kershaw vs. Washington (Cabrera)

    OR

    Shields at Boston (Penny)

    Shields is the better pitcher but Kershaw has the better matchup, so I’m torn on what to do.

  19. rhymenoceros says:
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    Great post, Baron. I’ve always been a fan of exploiting a frustrated owner with a “two-fer” trade. That being said, I’m the frustrated owner this season as my top two power picks (Texieria and Carlos Lee) are drowning my HR numbers. I find myself pondering questions that you posed in your article. Thanks for the reassurance that I am, in fact, a dumbass for asking the questions and that patience is a virtue.

  20. @Eric: Shields pitches well against Red Sox but Kershaw against Washington is a much better matchup. I’d go with Kershaw if i had to choose one.

  21. mgeoffriau

    Mark says:
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    @Eric: Kershaw…..better matchup and more K potential.

  22. jsp2014 says:
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    Shields historically does worse on the road too. And Daniel Cabrera might be the worst SP in the majors right now.

  23. Eric says:
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    Thanks, I’ll start Kershaw.

  24. Two-fers are easy to spot. It’s the disguised two-fers with a player marginally beating out VORP that’s the problem.

    Grady Sizmore for Qualls and Hunter? Forget it. Wait, now you’re throwing in [INSERT POTENTIAL CLOSER/DIME-A-DOZEN MIDDLE RELIEVER HERE]? Oh shit, now it’s fair!

  25. jsp2014 says:
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    Baron, you alluded to this with your replacement level argument, but the deeper the league, the (significantly) better the 2-fers become for the team getting the 2. I do an AL-only league with CI/MI/5 OF, and just about anytime you can get 2 regular players for 1, it’s worth at least considering.

    On a slightly related note, I think people need to complain to their respective commishes next year about getting some deeper rosters. The more talent in the WW pool, typically the less skill and more luck is involved. If your 1b gets hurt, it’s a lot more challenging having to decide between Chad Tracy and Ryan Garko than Adam LaRoche and Jorge Cantu.

  26. Dingo says:
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    @Tarasco’sSecretStash: Good points, but there’s one big difference between the real world of Belichick and Epstein and the world of fantasy baseball — they have to pay their star players big bucks. In fantasy (at least in non-auction formats), you don’t have to worry about salary caps or payroll limitations, so there’s absolutely no downside in collecting top-tier talent. The best players are often the ones with the least risk involved, so you’re generally better off with one sure-thing 5-value player and one waiver-wire 1-value player with upside than you are with two risky 3s.

  27. mgeoffriau

    Mark says:
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    Not to mention that Belichick believes he can take 5th rounders and with the right training and role, turn them into 1st round type producers. Unfortunately, we can’t encourage our late round draft picks into working any harder.

  28. Anthony G says:
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    I kind of disagree with the article. I am offering up Rollins or Philips with Atkins to get Arod. All top otions and would plug some holes in the guys squad. Its not like a two for one has to be 2 horrible players. If it invloves top options that are slumping its not a bad situation necessarily. Definitley dont trade your best players to get closers.

  29. Infamous says:
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    Votto and HEath Bell for Tex??? What side wins

  30. James says:
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    Anthony G – I completely agree, and suggest that the eagerness associated with owners attempting to score the “prize” or “stud” will have them give up more than they should. If you can fill a need and get two quality players for one, you are making the right move.

    The example above is misleading, but what if you can get Tulowitski and Victorino for Sizemore?

  31. Cheeeeeeeeeeeze says:
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    Good point, luckily the 2-fer problems aren’t known by many players in my leagues.

    I just wanted to add one thing as why 2-fer’s suck, in a two-fer you also lose a point by having to drop a player in order to take in that second guy. So you lose say sizemore at 5 points and a scrub at 2 which puts you at -7. While your opponent gives you the plus 5. At this point you’re down 2 points in the transaction. Then your opponent picks up the scrub and gets 2 more, giving you a -4 point differential in the trade (or a mid-high round draft pick). NEVER TAKE 2-Fer’s!

  32. Boudy64 says:
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    Just did a two for one today- I gave up Inge and Franklin for Jenks and picked up K Suzuki. Did I win?

  33. I agree with the premise of the article, but, I think a lot of people in the leagues I play with kind of run with that line of thinking as well. Because of that, I often try to send out two-fers where I’m giving up the best player, Grady Sizemore in this example. I rarely accept them from people sending them to me, but, if I send them to someone else, I feel like I can control where the trade discussions goes because I’d be giving up the best player in the deal. Usually if I send out a two-fer and wind up getting a deal I like, I can play the, “shit, still not sure I want to deal Grady Sizemore” card and maybe get another part tossed in.

    The other thing I like doing is, if I had Grady Sizemore, I’d look to put him in a lot of two-fers where I was getting Granderson back. Granderson is a guy who I felt could be close to Granderson talent, but obviously less likely to do it. Now that Granderson is off to a good start, there is less risk there.

  34. ep says:
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    Attempted a couple 2-fers a couple weeks ago. No bites, but I will try again. Like the way @Teef put it: I love looking up and down my offense and seeing 4 players chosen in the first 2 rounds without having to give up a single pitcher i drafted.

    Great topic Baron

  35. I'm Keith Hernandez says:
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    @Boudy64: Nope, I think Franklin holds onto that job and Inge puts up good power numbers at the end of the year, prob with a low avg.

  36. IowaCubs

    IowaCubs says:
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    I used this concept yesterday to make an offer of Carlos Lee and John Danks for Mark Teixeira. You might look at that as a fair offer that could potentially go either way, but this is a very smart league with savvy players and I already made the Abreu/Danks for Teix offer, and was denied. I made the offer to a guy in last place, so really, there’s nowhere to go but up for either of us for an offer like this.

    Anyway, well said, Mr. Von Vulturewins, and Godspeed on that whole Hapsburg thing.

  37. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Infamous: I want the Votto/Bell side, believe it or not.

    @Boudy64: Sadly no. Jenks is not head and shoulers above Frankiln (Tony said this weekend that Franklin IS the closer). Inge has the potential to be light years ahead of Suzuki (Suzuki is not even a proper motorcycle.)

    You should have rode the Inge train till it started to derail, the average slips to 280, 270 but the power’s still there then flipped him. The advantage to having a guy like that on your roster is you are paying attention to the trends but your opponents aren’t.

    @Baron

    Great article as usual man, two hooves up………..

  38. Falcon says:
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    FYI – MRI on Braun’s back this morning showed no damage.

    And now the nail biting.

  39. Paulie Allnuts

    Paulie Allnuts says:
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    @Baron Von Vulturewins: Someone in my league, who will remain anonymous, just tried the two-fer on me. But he must know that I am a faithful reader of Razzball. I guess he was hoping that I would jump at the trade before reading. And I thought he was a mensch, but he took me for putz (Not the J.J. variety, either)

    Very interesting column. Your atavar has a Freudian. Which would be apt, as much of fantasy trades involve analyzing your potential trading partner.

    I would think that any two-fer in which the equivelant of the second piece could be found on the waiver wire, would fit your description. Like Milton Bradley = Snider (wink, wink!)

  40. Alex Rios vs. Fausto or Nate Mclouth vs. Yovani Gallarado Tonight? thanks.

  41. Doc says:
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    Team soxxos would receive the following players:
    Bell, Heath (P, SD)
    Markakis, Nick (OF, BAL)
    Votto, Joey (1B, CIN)

    Team Milton’s Staplers would receive the following players:
    Morneau, Justin (1B, MIN)
    Quentin, Carlos (OF, CHA)
    Garza, Matt (P, TB)

    Who wins this trade?

  42. Steve says:
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    @Grey: Start Harang @ Fish?

  43. Steve says:
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    @Steve: Doh. Harang’s at home.

  44. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Doc: Milton’s Staplers, Ha!

  45. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Grey: Start Liriano vs Detroit?

  46. Doc says:
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    @Grey: Thanks. This guy and I have been going back and forth since the beginning of the season. We just can’t get anything done. I need a SP, but he wants Markakis and Votto like crazy (plus a closer). Should I take Votto off the table? Who would you rather have, Quentin or Morneau? I have 2 UTIL spots so just about anybody will fit. He is weak at pitching so Lester and Garza are the 2 SP I wouldn’t mind having. I guess I should just give up here, but I like trading even though I suck at it.

  47. @jsp2014: Yes, the deeper the league, the more likely you have to plug holes through trades. That said, why not offer something back that fills the other guy’s needs, rather than giving him an upgrade?

    The most rational kind of trade is one where you trade from excess (a useful MI on your bench) to address a need (a reliever) with someone who has the opposite area of excess and of need.

    @Mark: Yes, I’ve been riding Maybin to play better all season, but it’s falling on deaf ears. Maybe I need a different speech.

    @IowaCubs: Lee and Teix are close enough in value that this is a fair trade — in fact, in my humble opinion you’re giving up too much. Danks could be a top 20 pitcher by season’s end, which is a big hit to take to get — what? — 7 extra donks and 20 more RBIs?

    @Anthony G: If someone gives you A-Rod for Rollins/Atkins, that’s a great deal for you and a bad deal for him.

    As I said, two-fers are great if you’re the person getting the best player, not so much if you aren’t.

    @James: I would not trade Sizemore for Victorino/Tulo. Unless the league is Jules Verne-deep, I’ve probably got someone decent (Peralta; Theriot) at short and the difference between him and Tulo doesn’t close the gap between Victorino and Sizemore.

    By all means, if someone offers you Carlos Lee and Jake Peavy for Josh Hamilton, jump on that. Two-fers aren’t intrinsically bad — it depends on the talent involved. But I guarantee that at the end of the season, you’ll look at your league’s champ, and his team will seem unnaturally stocked with top talent, not middle-draft guys.

    This is also known as the The Magical Tale of How I Turned Carlos Guillen and Bob Wickman Into Grady Sizemore.

    @BigFatHippo: Thanks! Please don’t give me hippo flu.

  48. G says:
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    Im targeting Sizemore. What should I use for a two-fer to acquire him. Would Ibanez and B.J. Ryan be enough or Lee and BJ Upton. Are any of these even close to fair?

  49. G says:
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    ^
    ^
    ^
    meant Justin upton

  50. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @G: Carlos? Cliff? Carlos Lee and Justin is fair. Cliff Lee and Justin Upton and Ibanez and BJ Ryan aren’t really fair.

  51. AL KOHOLIC says:
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    hey look at it this way,milton has got to hit better,as i sais in earlier blog,i have two guys not hitting thier weight,bradley and vaughn,i mean ortiz

  52. Doc says:
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    K. Gregg for Garza or Lester?

  53. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @AL KOHOLIC: Hehe

    @Doc: Not a huge fan of Garza, but I’d take him there.

  54. AL KOHOLIC says:
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    matsui bunt single,box score says caught stealing,then he scored??

  55. johnson21 says:
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    Juan pierre…. is he rosterable in 12 team mixed leagues? who would you prefer between him and chris b young and byrnes? im curious to see if zona is gonna run wild against chris r young this week.

  56. youngid says:
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    I’ve been offered:
    David Wright
    Miguel Olivo
    Dan Wheeler

    for
    Chris Davis
    Russell Martin
    Scott Downs

    This is essentially a 3 for 1, since Olivo and Wheeler are only slightly above replacement level in this league. I’m concerned that I might be giving up too much, even though it’s a 3fer. Thoughts?

    Also, I’m an avid Jays fan, and I’m almost certain Downs keeps the job for the rest of the year, regardless of BJ Ryan’s “injury” status.

  57. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @youngid: It’s a good trade for you.

  58. Drev says:
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    I need depth at SP in my H2H points league…is my Billingsley for Beckett and Cueto a good idea?

  59. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Drev: Sure, that’s fine.

  60. mgeoffriau

    Mark says:
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    Vazquez is KILLING ME. Outstanding through 5 innings, then single -> 2 run HR -> single -> 2 run HR. Lead gone.

  61. ron mexico's papi says:
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    @Grey: E Jax or J. Zimmerman?

  62. nick m. says:
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    derosa just went to the waiver wire – drop ian stewart for derosa?

    by the by, laporta just got his first ml hit, a 2 run homer.

  63. mgeoffriau

    Mark says:
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    I swear, I’m going to send the Braves a copy of Major League II and suggest that Vazquez recite Playboy articles to himself while he pitches.

  64. Martin says:
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    i cant stand shoppach getting no playing time should i drop him for baker, barajas, suzuki, buck?

  65. G says:
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    What about Abreu and Loney for Sizemore..would that be fair?

  66. Slappy McSlap says:
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    Who would you rather have, Wandy or Cueto?

  67. Doc says:
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    Team Seemingly Chipper would receive the following players:
    Hudson, Orlando (2B, LAD)
    Matsuzaka, Daisuke (P, BOS)

    Team Maniacal Adam’s Apples would receive the following players:
    Bourn, Michael (OF, HOU)
    Tulowitzki, Troy (SS, COL)

    Who be the winner here?

  68. mgeoffriau

    Mark says:
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    Offering Javier Vazquez + Garrett Atkins for Adrian Gonzalez + Johnny Cueto.

    Insulting? Enough? Too much?

  69. Martin says:
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    also fontenot or kelly johnson. I’m stuck between the two

  70. Doc says:
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    LaPorta with a 2 run Donk. Try to sell on potential or keep to see if he can Bruce Almighty it for a month?

  71. BSA says:
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    WOW – Lester strikes out the side on my bench – Guess the wind tunnel is working in reverse tonight – Sonuvabench!!!!!

  72. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @nick m.: Sure

    @Mark: That’s hilarious.

    @Martin: Baker

    @G: I’d want Sizemore and it’s not really fair.

    @Slappy McSlap: Ooh… Tough one. I’d go Cueto.

    @Doc: Adam’s

    @Mark: Might fly, never know, but I want A-Gonz side by a lot.

    @Martin: Fontenot

  73. Doc says:
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    Capps just gave me the craps!

  74. Drev says:
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    @Doc: I have Capps and Wood in tonight…

  75. I'm Keith Hernandez says:
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    I just got BJ Upton for Victorino!

  76. AL KOHOLIC says:
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    did anyone see ankiel get hurt?did they call it an out?he had control of it took 2 steps went head 1st into wall then dropped the ball,carted off but was raising a arm to the crowd

  77. BSA says:
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    @AL KOHOLIC: and the hits just keep on comin’……

    I did just see Blake hit into a triple play. No it wasn’t the scratch off kind!

  78. AL KOHOLIC says:
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    hughes looks mortal but lester is smokin,and my man papi hitting

  79. BSA says:
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    @AL KOHOLIC: Yeah Lester is doing nicely on the bench tonight. At least Millwood and Saunders are in and doing well.

  80. AL KOHOLIC says:
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    millwood just gave 1 to branyon

  81. BSA says:
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    @AL KOHOLIC: Then a bunch of dink and dunk. Shhhh! I spoke too soon – lets go a K and a ground out.

  82. BSA says:
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    Damn – or maybe another homerun! Ah well that’ll teach me.

  83. AL KOHOLIC says:
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    @BSA: i just traded lowell(on my bench)for kerry woods,yeah he hit wood tonight,the ex-cub factor

  84. BSA says:
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    Hippo and I traded Lowell for Young (I got Young – a wash tonight)

  85. SRM says:
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    I just traded Torii and Reynolds for Berkman. 2-1 on the right side, right? (I have A-Rod coming back)

  86. I'm Keith Hernandez says:
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    @SRM: That’s a perfect two for one and a good sell high on Tori Hunter, buy-low on Berkman.

  87. Steve says:
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    Reports of Tex’s demise appear to have been somewhat premature.

  88. Bailey says:
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    This how I make my living offering more than I want back, but expanding the 2 for 1 to 3 for 2 or 4 for 3 spreading that closer over 2 to 3 guys – there’s always someone out there that will accept or is desperate for saves. Most recent example: I gave up Maholm, Nelson Cruz, and George Sherrill for Carl Crawford and Ted Lilly. The day the trade goes through, Crawford swipes 6 while Sherrill loses sole possession of his closer role.

  89. ScoutAbout says:
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    @ Baron Von Vulturewins: Thanks for the excellent post! And as someone who is new to fantasy baseball, I appreciate the discussion of strategy in addition to the player analysis. You should call your formula Fantasy Baseball Trading for Dummies. How about [X for X-1 + Crappy Closer] where X = either Peavy, Shields, or Gallardo (these owners are really hurting for Saves) and X-1 = either Wandy, Jurrjens, Weaver and Crappy Closer = Franklin or Rodney? Thoughts? I also have Haren, Wainwright and Hughes (prob not much value there right now) as my SPs, with Lackey on the DL.

  90. RT says:
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    @Steve:
    Good thing he was on my bench… Left for the night and last report I heard was that the game wasn’t happening due to rain.

    I hate nights like this.

  91. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @SRM: That’s solid for you.

  92. Steve says:
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    @Steve: You can add Iannetta to that list.

  93. Zebo says:
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    Salty, Shoppach, Barajas, Suzuki, or Ramon Hernandez? Salty has some eye problem.

  94. Steve says:
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    @Grey: I got burned by Anderson today in my H2H league. Should I thus stay away from Cecil tomorrow?

    I have Wainwright, Haren, Bills, Wandy, Lowe to come later in the week…

  95. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Zebo: Ramon

    @Steve: Bench Cecil tomorrow.

  96. Steve says:
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    @Grey: Thanks.

    Haven’t actually picked him up yet. I have Hanson stashed already – probably don’t need Cecil, do I?

    I’m trying to think of a Beany and Cecil pun. Nothing yet.

  97. Zebo says:
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    @Grey: I am curious as to why you chose Ramon, because his #s are very bad right now.

  98. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: Nah

    @Zebo: Cause Salty’s hurt, Shoppach’s PT is all over the place the other two guys are dreadful and Ramon’s hitting well in the last 7 games (.360).

    EDIT: Word.

  99. Bailey says:
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    Grey, would you take Hernandez over Baker?

  100. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Bailey: Sure, if it’s power you desire. (<– that sounds weird)

  101. Steve says:
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    Who’d you rather have in a non-Holds league – Cory Wade or Andrew Bailey?

  102. Scott Williams says:
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    Ok, Am I being an ass for thinking these trades shouldn’t be allowed? The league is a 12 team, mixed, head to head, points league, and no votes on trades, only League Manager can veto.

    First trade: Ichiro Suzuki for Joel Hanrahan (done 2 days before Hanrahan lost his job)

    Second trade (just done today) Brandon Phillips for Andrew bailey P OAK and Hiroki Kuroda P LAD

    Neither of these trades seem reasonable to me. I questioned the Ichiro one and others didn’t like it either but felt like if both owners agreed on it they’d let it go since they don’t think that anyone is trying to be unfair…but I think there are times some trades just shouldn’t be allowed – am I wrong here?

  103. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Scott Williams: First trade — Should be vetoed.

    2nd trade — Should be vetoed.

    And I’m very opposed to vetoes.

  104. Scott Williams says:
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    Thanks Grey…I normally am too, but just wanted a 2nd opinion and it doesn’t get any better than yours. Thanks for your time.

  105. Griff says:
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    Anyone have a scouting report on Kerry Wood? He’s been awful so far. I’m thinking it’s time for a flier on one of his setup guys.

  106. Eli says:
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    Grey and Scott,

    Hi, I have never been to this site and it seems like there is some good opinionated stuff on here. I will explore some more.

    My comments are related to Scott’s from above. First, I’m that guy that got the better deal in the 2nd trade (Phillips for Bailey and Kurdoa). Listen, I found a pot of gold…actually it was given to me. Should I give it back or keep it?

    I feel terribly guilty for taking Philips but you know I also would have felt like a total schmuck if I didn’t take Phillips. You have to assume the owners are competent and diligent in their work. So he made the offer and I said yes. Scott you would have too.

    Scott, I actually voted to have a veto in the league last week when it came up. You and I are totally on the same page. I actually need you to come back to the league. You make it challenging and insightful. So please come back.

  107. Simply Fred

    Simply Fred says:
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    Thanks, Baron. This lesson every bit as important as Rudy’s Risky Pitchers in getting to the top.

  108. @ScoutAbout: This is a pretty good application of the famed Crappy Closers Theorem — though I find that trying to pry loose a top starter for a lesser starter is often tough.

    People can easily look at Peavy (great starter) and Jar-Jar or Wandy (goodish starters) and see that the difference is very obvious — it’s a clear downgrade. It’s like asking someone for a shiny apple by offering them a crappy shriveled apple. But if you offer them an orange instead…

    For example, a few years back I had an extra SS (Carlos Guillen, before he sucked) and an extra closer (Bob Wickman, before he sucked/retired). So I looked for the team with the worst SS and targeted a player I liked (Peavy), then offered Guillen/Wickman for Peavy.

    The guy accepted, mostly because a) he had Santana too, so figured he had “extra” pitching and b) needed an SS AND a closer, so it filled two needs for him, not just one. Nevermind that he was giving up by far the best player in the deal.

    P.S. I then flipped Peavy to a guy needing Ks who had a slumping Sizemore. So I got Sizemore — a 2nd round pick — essentially for Guillen and Wickman, 7th and 12th rounders respectively. This was a perfect example of climbing the ladder — trading up by swapping two-for-one.

    P.P.S. Peavy went on to win the Cy Young, so my Sizemore trade wasn’t exactly a home run. I, however, went on to win the league so it all worked out in the end. For me.

    @Scott Williams: These trades are both wrong and should be vetoed. They suggest either a) collusion or b) massive incompetence that threatens the integrity of the league.

    I also don’t believe in vetoes, but if I was in a league where these went down I’d find a new league.

    @Eli: You weren’t wrong to take the trade. You can’t not take a trade because the other guy is dumb. But if people make moves this dumb, it’s a very weak league, and I think both of you will enjoy playing in a stronger one.

  109. bsentinel says:
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    Another 2-fer-1 question for you all

    Looking to cash in on Hunter, Jones, and Cruz’s good starts. We start 3 OF positions and a Util, so I can start 4 of Soriano, Hunter, Rios, Adam Jones, Nelson Cruz, Fowler. My targets are Markakis or Beltran because those are teams with little OF depth. I’m looking to spin 2 of mine for either of those guys.

    Is it too much to give up 2 out of Hunter, Jones and Cruz? Should I just hold? Find another target?

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