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Fantasy Baseball Advice & Expert Analysis

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Hey Daniel,

Love your salary cap league questions, buddy. This one doesn’t involve Trout, so it will be a little bit more difficult, but let’s get into it and see what we have here.

The Two Big Boys: Not Votto, although he’s the best player in the deal…but we’re talking value on contracts here, as we always do in salary cap leagues. Machado and Harvey are the two most valuable pieces in this trade.   Because Harvey’s out for 2014, and may not get back to form until mid-2015, what you really have is an empty roster spot in 2014 and a $3M player over three years. That’s still great for Harvey, but Machado gives you more upside and more value.  With your league format the way it is (counting holds and saves), a potential eight-category hitter like Manny is nailz.

Freeman, Moore vs. Votto, Beachy: As far as value goes, I think you’re losing a lot by giving up a combined seven years of Freeman / Moore and getting back just four years of Votto / Beachy.   Personally, I think Freddie Freeman is a top-4 1B in keeper leagues next year, behind only Miggy, Crush Davis and Goldy.  I could see people putting Votto ahead of Freeman.  BUT, when you factor in these contracts, the fact that you have Freeman dirt-cheap for four years skyrockets his value way past Votto’s.  Votto’s option is nice, but it’s for nearly five times the price of Freddie. Moore and Beachy are basically a wash as far as value and contract goes, but Moore probably has a slightly higher ceiling and also a slightly higher injury risk.

So with these big pieces in the trade, you have one win, one loss, and one tie.  That said, I think the difference in value between Freeman and Votto is easily bigger than the difference between Harvey and Machado.

Seager, Gordon, Peralta vs. ????:  In my mind, this is where the deal starts to weigh heavily in your trade partner’s favor.  Kyle Seagar is easily a top-10 2B, which is pretty valuable in a 16-team league.  I like his upside in the improving SEA lineup.  Gordon was the 24th-ranked OF in 2013 and can easily finish in the top 20, which is in the top half of a league that employs 48 starting OF.  Peralta had a very rough rookie season, but the Brewers believe in him and kept him in the rotation all year, and he rewarded them with a much improved 3.42 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, and 59 K in 70 second-half innings pitched. Peralta has some nice #4 fantasy SP upside in 2014 and semi-reliable pitching depth is hard to come by in a 16­-team league with eight bench spots.  None of these guys is amazing, but the greater point is that you’re not getting players back to replace them. Even if Estrada is better than Peralta, you only have him for one year. Davis can’t be counted on the way you can count on Gordon. And Almora and Bradley are both at least a couple of years away from contributing anything substantial.   And since you’re a big fan of Bradley, I would just caution you that projecting young pitchers is a very very tough game.  For every Kershaw, there are five (or more) Trevor Bauers.


Net Net

While I like this trade much better than your previous Trout deal, I still don’t like it enough to pull the trigger.  I think you’re undervaluing Freeman who is on his way to being a yearly stud. You’re not getting enough in top-end value, and you’re definitely not getting enough in solid mid-value players.   I think your team as it stands is good enough to win it again in a 16­team league, so unless a trade comes your way that blows your socks off, sit tight.