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The following article was written by’s team of expert analysts, in response to a question asked by one of our RotoBaller readers.  You can click here for more info if you’re interested in having RotoBaller’s experts answer a custom fantasy baseball question.

Question Submitted to RotoBaller

I was proposed the following deal: Freddie Freeman ($5M/4yrs), Dustin Pedroia ($13.5M/3yrs), Mike Trout ($5.25M/4yrs) and Edwin Jackson ($4M/1yr) for David Ortiz ($4M/1yr), Robinson Cano ($23.5M/3yrs), Max Scherzer ($5.5M/2yrs), Wei-Yin Chen ($3M/2yrs), Kyle Lohse ($8M/1yr), Nelson Cruz ($4.5M/2yrs) and first, second and third round minor league draft picks in 2014 (for the draft picks, assume the majority of the top 75 prospects are gone).

I finished first during the regular season and I like my team, but this trade is intriguing. I love adding a power ace in Scherzer for dirt cheap (other arms are in the $20M range: Kershaw-28, Wainwright-24,C.Lee-22,Verlander-27.5, Felix-20). Giving Trout is TOUGH, but I have quite a bit of youth in the OF (Castellanos and Taveras). I was afraid that lack of power would be my weakness this season. What do you think about the deal? The other manager and I have gone back and forth a few times on this deal.

  • ROSTER: C - Jason Castro 1B- Freddie Freeman - ATL/$5m - 4 years 2B- Dustin Pedroia - BOS/$13.5m - 3 years 3B- Matt Dominguez - HOU/$1m - 2 years SS- Brad Miller - SEA/$4.5m - 2 years LF- Alex Gordon - KC/$6.25m - 2 years CF- Mike Trout - LAA/$5.25m ($7m 2015-2017) - 4 years RF- Util- Kyle Seager - SEA/$4.5m - (CP) SP- Justin Verlander - DET/$27.5m - 4 years SP- Matt Harvey - NYM/$2.25m ($3m 2015-2017) - 4 years SP- Madison Bumgarner - SF/$11m - 5 years SP- Matt Moore - TB/$5m - 3 years SP- Shelby Miller - STL/$2.5m ($3.75m 2015 $5m 2016-2018) - 5 years RP- Koji Uehara - BOS/$6m - (CP) RP- Addison Reed - CWS/$6m - (CP) P- Alex Torres - TB/$1m - 1 year P- BN #1- Oscar Taveras - STL/$1.5m ($2.25m 2015 $3m 2016-2018) - 5 years BN #2- Nick Castellanos - DET/$1.5m ($2.25m 2015 $3m 2016-2018) - 5 years BN #3- Doug Fister - DET/$13.5m - (CP) BN #4- Edwin Jackson - CHC/$4m - (CP) BN #5- Tim Hudson - ATL/$2m - 1 year BN #6- Jason Vargas - LAA/$7m - 2 years BN #7- Wily Peralta - MIL/$2.25m ($3m 2015-2017) - 4 years BN #8- Brett Oberholtzer - HOU/$1m - 1 year Minor League Roster 1st round - Casey Kelly (SD), Aaron Sanchez (TOR) 2nd round - Gary Sanchez (NYY), Shelby Miller (STL), Alen Hanson (PIT) 3rd round - Jonathan Schoop (BAL) 4th round - Luis Heredia (PIT)
  • Player Pool: Mixed
  • League Info and Categories: 16-team dynasty league, head-to-head scoring, 26 players per team and the contracts are as follows: two five-years, three four-years, four three-years six two-years, and the remaining are one-year contracts. We also have $170M salary cap.
  • Roster Positions: Roster Positions C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, LF, CF, RF, UTIL SPx5, RPx2, Px2, BENCHx8, DLx4, MiLB Rosters
  • League Host: Yahoo!
  • Any Other League Details: SPs are king here as noted above.


RotoBaller Detailed Analysis

I've read through your question and considered the angles, and I would not do this deal if I were you.  For me, it's clear-cut.  The trade would gut your offense, and on top of that, you're trading the best player in the deal and losing net value.


Mike Trout on July 22, 2011Trout - Not much needs to be said. The contract you have on him makes him one of the most valuable players in your entire league. The top offensive player no doubt. And with his penchant for three-baggers, Trout gives you serious extra value in a H2H league where a single triple can win a week. On top of that, his BB rate is insane now. Can't stress enough how valuable he in in your league, more so than a 5x5 league even because he kills the additional three categories.


Pedroia - Nice value here, definitely better than Cano. If it's Pedroia at $13.5/3 or Cano at $23.5/3, the choice is obvious.
Freeman - Perhaps the best up-and-coming 1B in baseball behind Goldschmidt.  Freeman just turned 24-- he's not even in his prime yet.  Though he missed 15 games this year, he still put up an insane .319/.396/.501 triple-slash with 23 HR and 109 RBI. That's top-five 1B production, easily. You're talking about a potential top-three 1B for the next four years. At $5M, that's an astounding value, probably only second to Goldy at 1B for your league.  Ortiz for $4M/1 could come close to matching Freeman's 2014 value, but what about 2015-2017? Again, you're downgrading significantly here.


Jackson - Meh, not worth wasting words over. Expendable.
As far as the players you'd be getting whom I haven't mentioned, Chen and Lohse are solid pitchers, but it's within reason to expect a mediocre unlucky year from either of these guys.   Cruz is a very nice value at $4.5M/2, that's definitely a good asset.  And then you have Maxie Scherzer, who at $5.5M is probably the most valuable pitcher in your league now that Harvey is out for 2014.


What it comes down to for me though is that you're losing a total of 11 years service time on significantly favorable contracts in your top three offensive players, and you're only getting back eight years in the top four players being returned. On top of that three of those years, from Cano, are not incredible value at his price.  That's not a great swap from a value perspective.


Lastly, your pitching is nasty man.  With Verlander, Bumgarner, Moore, Miller and Harvey back in 2015, it's safe to say you have one of the best staffs in the league.  I wouldn't feel the urge to bolster your staff with the top pitcher in the game, and especially not at the cost you're proposing.


A final point to consider: you play in an 8x8 league, where each offensive category is worth just as much as a pitching category. It's not a points league where pitchers are actually contributing more points than batters, so I take big issue with your contention that SPs are king. They're not.  In fact it's just the opposite. Since your best hitter can get you stats in 8 categories (Trout) but your best pitcher (Verlander) can only get you stats in 6 categories (he doesn't get Saves or Holds), hitters, on average, are returning more value than starting pitchers.  A lot of leagues develop in such ways that the prevailing psychology amongst owners heavily favors pitchers or hitters. I've been in a lot of leagues like that, where people think pitchers are more valuable for some reason.  Well, I know the truth-- pitchers are a dime a dozen and more quality pitchers emerge each year than hitters.  And I clean up in those leagues, for the same reason you cleaned up and finished in first this year.  Hitters will help to fly your flag again in 2014 and beyond. That is, as long as you don't go trading your three best offensive players in one deal.  And whatever you do, don't trade Mike Trout, at all.  He's one of the best players to ever play the game, from a fantasy and real-life perspective.


Hope that helps buddy. Thanks for writing in with your question and please feel free to holler at any time.