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Dear RotoRob: Pursue Trades or Work the Wire?

July 21, 2010 | By Tim McLeod | comment on this post
Josh Willingham is having a fine season for the Washington Nationals.
Josh Willingham is having a nice season, but how much value is he going to provide in a ten-team mixed format?

Dear RotoRob,

Re: roster improvements

I’m in a ten-team, H2H league with a maximum roster of 25.

Two owners in my league are actually active again. I’m wondering what, if any, trade offers you would suggest for me, or if I would be better off working from the wire.

Here is my team’s current roster:

C – Brian McCann
1B – Prince Fielder
2B – Gordon Beckham
3B – Adrian Beltre
SS – Jimmy Rollins
OF – Matt Holliday/Andre Ethier/Shane Victorino
UTIL – Buster Posey/Michael Bourn
BN – Josh Willingham/Carlos Beltran/Gaby Sanchez
DL – Dustin Pedroia

SP – Gavin Floyd/Trevor Cahill/Jair Jurrjens
RP – Neftali Feliz/Matt Capps/Billy Wagner
P – John Axford/Adam Wainwright/Matt Cain
BN – Mat Latos/Felix Hernandez/Anibal Sanchez
DL – Yovani Gallarado

Team One (who has a roster spot open):

C – Russell Martin
1B – Matt LaPorta
2B – Rickie Weeks
3B – Scott Rolen
SS – Elvis Andrus
OF – Josh Hamilton/Jose Bautista/Brad Hawpe
UTIL – Ty Wigginton/Chone Figgins
BN – Mark Teixeira/John Buck/Chris Young

SP – Roy Halladay/C.C. Sabathia/John Lackey
RP – Jonathan Broxton/Ryan Franklin/Leo Nunez
P – Andrew Bailey/Brad Lidge/Hiroki Kuroda
BN – Jonathan Sanchez/Mike Leake
DL – Shaun Marcum

Team Two:

C – Miguel Olivo
1B – Kevin Youkilis
2B – Juan Uribe
3B – David Wright
SS – Erick Aybar
OF – Bobby Abreu/Torii Hunter/Ichiro Suzuki
UTIL – Mark Reynolds/Alex Rios
DL – Victor Martinez/Chase Utley

SP – Dan Haren/Ricky Romero/Johan Santana
RP – Joakim Soria/Carlos Marmol/Alfredo Simon
P – Octavio Dotel/Colby Lewis/Carl Pavano
BN – Chad Billingsley/Barry Zito/Carlos Silva/John Danks/Ubaldo Jimenez/Edinson Volquez

Wire options:

Hitters — Aramis Ramirez, Lee, Carlos Guillen, Escobar, Johnny Damon, Nyjer Morgan, Placido Polanco, Adam Laroche, Justin Smoak, Lastings Milledge, Jason Bartlett, Raul Ibanez, Andres Torres and Scott Podsednik.

Starting pitchers – Rick Porcello, Brandon Morrow, Madison Bumgarner, Bronson Arroyo, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Gio Gonzalez, Ted Lilly and Randy Wells.

Relievers – Chris Perez, Trevor Hoffman and Mike Gonzalez.


Hi Jay,

One of the biggest problems faced when looking at shallow leagues is trading. The strong starting rosters of all clubs makes trading a very difficult process and in your particular case the “inactive players” in your league further compounds the problem. I believe your best bet is to look to the waiver wire for your options. 

Are Willingham and Sanchez really going to provide value in your format down the stretch when there are players like A-Ram currently tearing the cover off the ball sitting on waivers? Do you need four closers when there are still options available for saves on your waiver wire?

Looking at your team, my suggestion would be to work the wire and move forward looking at rostering the current “hot hand.” You also have to consider that you have both Pedroia and Gallardo on your DL and will need roster slots available for when they return (in the case of Gallardo, he’s coming off the DL and moving back into the rotation Thursday).
For the short term, Ramirez is hotter then fire. Torres has been getting the job done very successfully for the Giants. From a pitching perspective, Dice-K has been pitching exceptionally well and in his last two starts has looked like his old self. Bumgarner has looked very much like the pitcher that has been touted by many since little league.
The problem is not the availability of talent, but the ability to get the right players active at the right time and racking up those statistics. Two weeks ago, people were writing off A-Ram as being done – this week he’s a Fantasy God. My suggestion is when a player looks to be trending in a positive light, go get him and ride the streak for all it’s worth and be prepared to rinse, wash, and repeat as the need arises.
The key is spotting those trends early enough to be able to add players that can provide help. It takes a lot of work and time and is also a roll of the dice, but in a format with as many options on the wire as your league offers, it is the best approach when attempting to move up the standings. I hope this helps and good luck playing the waiver wire game.

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