Timing and trading have more in common than a first letter.
In previous editions of my buy low, sell high posts, I’ve been touting Mark Teixeira as a definite sell low if you can find a willing partner. In fact, as I was sitting down to write this post Saturday, I was planning on making another pitch for Teixeira as a top buy low candidate. His .204 average and miniscule two homers over the past month were not close to what people drafted him for, and in the right situations on teams that were struggling to get out of their respective cellars, you may have been able to pry Teixeira away.
Not anymore. A three-homer game Satuday against the vaunted Red Sox was the alarm clock ringing on Teixeira’s value. Don’t wait too long on these other options:
Ian Kinsler. Owners had to endure an early-season DL stint for Kinsler, who was rehabbing a high ankle sprain. Hoping for an immediate return from Kinsler when he was back at the plate, owners’ collective patience has been tested with just one stolen base, four runs scored, one RBI and no homers since he suited up for the Rangers on May 1. Sure it is really early for anyone to panic, but I’ve heard of several owners dealing Kinsler for Kelly Johnson (and other small pieces). He’ll bounce back, and you’d be wise to feel out how owners in your leagues feel about him at the moment.
Brian McCann. Supposed to be a solid catcher in a weak field, McCann has been mediocre at best. A .232 average and one homer in the past month isn’t covering his fairly high draft pick in most leagues. However, he has just as much of a chance to turn it around than any other catcher. Rumor has it that he is going back to wearing glasses … that Lasik in the offseason may not have helped like it should have.
Javier Vazquez. Has any other pitcher dropped so much in perceived value in the past month as Javier Vazquez? His ERA ballooned to nearly 10.00 and he is not striking out batters like he should. He struggled in his previous stint with the Yankees and many felt he’d have trouble with the change to the AL. However, a pitcher with his abilities on a roster that provides that much run support will turn it around at some point. The Yanks will do what they need to in order to get maximum value for him.
Josh Beckett. Not a huge fan of Beckett, but considering the value you may be able to land him with after getting shelled for nine runs recently and having one of the worse pitching lines the past month among major pitching talents, I’d have to take a long look at him as a buy low candidate … just don’t expect elite numbers from him later. He’ll bounce back, just not to his former ceiling.
Jonathan Broxton: One of the top closers heading into the season from a fantasy standpoint, Broxton has not had the opportunities to accumulate the saves we’re all accustomed to. He did blow a save, but bounced back to earn one the next game. Broxton has a 1.69 ERA and an 18:1 K:BB in 10.2 innings and should be churning out a string of saves really soon. See if you can wrestle him away from his owner before he goes saves bananas.
Matt Capps: Leads the league in saves with 11, and that is on the Nationals. A little nervous about his WHIP, definitely nervous that the Nationals continue giving him opportunies for saves and super-nervous that rookie closer-superclone Drew Storen gets a shot at some point this season. In some formats, you could probably swing Capps to the Broxton owner in your league and possibly make a deal happen with the right complement pieces.
Livan Hernandez: In the past month, Livan has an amazing 0.99 ERA and four wins in five starts. Especially amazing since he only fanned 11 in 36.1 innings during that stretch. Livan always has good games scattered around some horrific ones and some injury issues. Start shopping him and take the best offer.
Brad Penny: He’s always had talent and the potential to be a solid fantasy option, but he’s also proven to be unreliable during his career. A solid start to the season is encouraging, but I’m betting he reverts to being an inconsistent option over the long haul. See what pieces you can conjure up in a trade.
Andre Ethier: Over the past month, Ethier has been the best fantasy batter in baseball. A .387 average with 10 homers, 19 runs and 31 RBI are wicked tantalizing. However, he can not keep up this pace. Matt Kemp will retake his Dodgers uberstud crown soon. Ethier stands to have a good season, but expect some backslide along the way.
Kelly Johnson: A fantasy darling the past month, the Braves second baseman has homered eight times with a .290 average. Anyone who thinks he’ll keep it up is both insane and a good trade partner. Find him in your league and start to work a deal. You may be able to get an Ian Kinsler if you throw out the right bait.
Who are your sell highs and buy lows at this point in the 2010 season? We’d love to hear in the comments below.