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Dear RotoRob: Breaking Down the Mega Deal

May 14, 2007 | By James Morris | comment on this post
Milwaukee Brewers first baseman Prince Fielder is enjoying a breakthrough year.
While Prince Fielder is off to a huge start, he’s not worth the equivalent of Big Papi and Lance Berkman.

Dear RotoRob.com,

I have been offered Aramis Ramirez, Brian McCann, Prince Fielder and one of the following: A.J. Burnett, Jhonny Peralta or Pat Burrell for Miguel Olivo, Big Papi, Lance Berkman and Garrett Atkins.

Here are my two questions: Which side of the deal would you rather take (all things equal) and what is your opinion of these ‘mega’ deals?’

Thanks for your help as always!

Eddie

Eddie,

The only time I do deals is when I feel that I am clearly winning the deal. You can call it what you want fellas, but I didn’t offer you a deal, you offered me one. So, I am going to see exactly what I can get from you! I mean if you are just swapping position for position, how did it help you? Are you building an online baseball card collection or playing fantasy GM?

That being said, there are exceptions to the rule (i.e., you have two starting SSs and no real C, so, you deal one for the other; I get that deal sometimes myself).

Now, let’s move on to the specifics of this deal. There are some factors to consider here. For starters, is this a keeper league or redraft? Why in the world would someone offer Burnett, who has a 5.09 ERA and 1.45 WHIP in 40 2/3 innings pitched? Why would you also offer Pat “The Bat” Burrell (ya, right!), who is hitting .237/.419/.330? That’s a nice OBP, but I hate Adam Dunn, and Burrell doesn’t even have his power.

Anyway, I digress. I would say no to this offer because you lose both Berkman and Ortiz and get back only Fielder really. Peralta is doing OK in OBP and SLG for a shortstop, but his BA leaves a lot to be desired. You do improve from Olivo to McCann, but you lose plenty if you combine Ortiz’s and Berkman’s stats.

Let’s just use 2006 as a gauge (these are combined stats for Ortiz and Berkman): A line of .602/.833/1.257, 99 HR, 273 RBI, 210 runs. Fielder is raking right now and I really do like him, but not for Berkman and Ortiz.

The other owner is trying to cash in on an early season hot start from Fielder.

Going from Atkins to Ramirez helps, but I still like Atkins. In his two full seasons he has a line of .308/.378/.491. He did better in season two than season one which tells me that he has the bat to do it again. Aramis has a nice bat, but if you look closer you’ll see that his stats have gone down each of the last three seasons. He is right at his career averages right now and I think this is about all you can expect from him (.279/.333/.494).

I am a huge McCann fan, and think Olivo is so overrated. But, I still don’t give up Ortiz and Berkman to make the move.

When the final ball drops, I think you give up too much and don’t get back enough. Fielder is a stud in the making, but let’s not forget he is only 23 and could easily slump around the All-Star break. Berkman and Ortiz have done it for years. I don’t see Prince going Ryan Howard and mashing the 48 taters he is on pace for. I’d say around 35 is more likely. He had my attention, but going for Ortiz and Berkman was a bit greedy. I’d counter with this statement:

“I’ll give you McCann and Fielder for Olivo and Berkman. Fielder is an unproven risk and Berkman is a seasoned and proven talent. If I am going to give you someone that will get you .300/.400/.500 pretty much guaranteed, I want the upgrade in McCann. The chances of Prince keeping this pace up is slim and none at 23 years old. But, I am willing to give up Berkman in order to upgrade at catcher.”

He will either balk at it or see it as give up one weak spot for another. If he balks at the deal, so what. I wouldn’t have taken his deal anyway. If he goes for it, I think you win since I have a lot of faith in Prince over the full season. He could do better than Berkman, but I know McCann will do better than Olivo.

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