Tag:Matt Holliday
Posted on: August 14, 2010 1:01 am

Triumphant Return

Wow! It's been damn near a year since the last time I updated this blog. I've been pretty busy with all the great things in life, hanging out with the lovely girlfriend, hitting the gym getting ripped, playing fantasy baseball etc, and the not so great things...work.

But enough about the back story, let's get to the blog.

With the end of season drawing near, and the vast majority of trade deadlines having past I'd like to concentrate this article on keeper leagues.

As you know the work in a keeper league is never ending. If your league trade deadline hasn't passed, now is the time make a move. You must decide whether your team is a contender or a seller. In doing so you must fully commit to that direction. There is nothing more frustrating then receiving that league wide email from the manager in 8th place. It usually goes something like,

"Well guys I pretty much have no chance at winning this league this year, and I"m looking to part ways with every on my roster, including the hot hitting- (insert name). Just looking for solid keepers to carry over for next season."

When I see this, I'm automatically looking to make a deal. I know that a keeper style player on my team is worth two players (or more) from his roster.

In my case this season, the aforementioned "seller" owned Jose Valverde. His only closer, with no chance to gain any points in saves, Valverde is merely a wasted roster spot. Knowing this, and knowing that adding Valverde to my lineup could potentially see me gain 2-3 points in the standings, I sent an offer.

Johnny Damon and Jose Valverde in exchange for Ian Kinsler. A player that would potentially be a keeper on my team, a player that by default would be a keeper for him. His response?

"I feel I could get more in return for a closer like Valverde." Really? I pointed out that Valverde had been struggling mightily. Which he is, and still the offer was poo-pooed.

The end result? The manager made no improvements to his team, and will begin the season with marginal keeper options, and will finish no higher then 13th . I on the other hand will finish no better then 4th, granted it is a 16 team league, and injuries and ineffectiveness have plagued my season (let's not get started on that).

That was a pretty round about way to get to my point. In a keeper league, one mustn't over value your players. When you're presented the option to improve your team, and you have no statistical chance of winning, set yourself up for future success.
There is no shame in rebuilding. Over time every team will have to rebuild, hell major league teams are constantly rebuilding. Right Kansas, Pittsburgh?

It's always a good idea to take on the highly touted prospect, and draft picks for good, not great players. Players like Raul Ibanez will always have value late in the season, maybe not on your roster, but someone else would be willing to trade for him, if he's going to make the difference between 1st and 3rd.


Of course there is always a the option to give up the superior keeper in order to address other team needs.

In my 14 team, 5 keeper league I parted ways with the fantastic Matt Holliday, Denard Span and Kelly Johnson. In return I received C.C. Sabathia, Matt Capps and Adrian Beltre.

The break down, I gave up the best player in the deal, but I addressed two major team needs. Starting pitching and saves. In the process I traded from my team's biggest strength, that being outfield depth.

Two days after the trade was completed, fellow outfielder, Nyger Morgan was placed on the DL. Cruel irony! In a knee jerk reaction, I traded Brett Anderson, and Brad Lidge to a team playing for next season, and in dire need of saves in exchange for the previously mentioned Raul Ibanez.

See I told you, managers would be willing to pay for guys like him.

But it gets better from there. With my team comfortably situationed in 6th in saves (9pts), I fielded offers for closers. With 7 (seven) of them on my roster I figured I could I part ways with 3-4 of them. In two seperate trades I dealt Carlos Marmol and Michael Wurtz for Phil Hughes and Matt Garza! Talk about a starting pitching upgrade. In the other deal, I sent Jose Valverde and Aaron Heilman packing in return for Paul Konerko.

That's right I turned two closers and two "interim" closers into two young #2 hurlers and a power hitting 1b. Now granted my RP is lacking major depth, with Matt Capps,  Drew Storen, and Joel Hanrahan as my shut down, I'm not too worried, after all my SP now features, Sabathia, David Price,  Shaun Marcum, Phil Hughes, Jonathan Sanchez, Javier Vazquez and Gio Gonzalez! That's pretty deep if you ask me.

The end result of those deal? I have more coming in then going out. I added some elite starting pitching, added one keeper, and only parted ways with one truly elite player.

In my next blog, believe I'll post another one soon, I'll highlight a few players I'm keeping an eye on down the stretch, with the intent of making them 2011 draft day targets.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com