Fantasy Baseball Trade Chart (Week 16)
At this stage of the fantasy baseball season, more than ever, managers need to be actively exploring the trade market in an effort to improve their team. Throughout the season, many owners, myself included, are reluctant to plug a hole simply by creating another through a trade. Instead, most look to fill any perceived roster flaws through the waiver wire.
In one sense, that strategy becomes easier to employ late in the season because there are fewer teams in contention to bid against when looking for pickups. But this lack of involvement from other owners is a double-edged sword. The lack of turnover from rosters often creates fewer viable options on the waiver wire. Players like Mike Soroka and Jesse Winker, with whom owners may have become frustrated at the beginning of the season and dropped, will no longer be available.
At the same time, each week that passes, fewer and fewer fantasy owners remain in contention. The number of viable trade partners are dwindling.
In other words, your chances to find players who are going to improve your team are shrinking. If you are contemplating making a move, now is the time to do it.
As mentioned last week, changes in value based on performance should be few and far between at this stage. Nevertheless, there are still plenty of risers and fallers in the trade chart, be it from injury, performance, or both.
Xander Bogaerts is slashing .313/.399/.575 this season and is on pace for 125 runs scored and 125 RBI. His OPS by month is .825, .952, 1.024, 1.290. Even in the deepest of positions, Bogaerts has differentiated himself from the pack. And with his numbers getting better and better, there’s no reason to shy away from valuing him as a truly elite player.
Conversely, Manny Machado has come down from his massive hot streak in June and is back to putting up pedestrian numbers in July. Overall, Machado’s season-long numbers are extremely solid, and he retains an enormous amount of upside. But as Bogaerts rises, Machado falls behind him.
There’s still likely at least one massive hot streak lurking in Khris Davis‘s bat. But he has six home runs since April. Six! He’s battled various injuries, including one to his hand that may still be bothering him. His level of consistency over the last several seasons earns him plenty of leeway in trade value. But there’s a fair level of blind faith involved in deciding to deal for Davis this year.
A.J. Pollock has come out of the gates running at full speed since his return from injury, smashing three homers in his first four games back. The underlying statcast data isn’t overly kind to Pollock at the moment. But he talked openly about changing his swing this past season, and with the early power returns promising, there’s plenty of reason to buy in.