Let's say a co-worker brings in two-dozen doughnuts. In your heart, you know you want two to start and two to pocket for later, but you can't do that unless you're comfortable with your co-workers making oinking sounds and dubbing you "Snacks." So I -- er, you -- have to be smart about it. Eat one, offer to split another with somebody and then walk away. An hour later, swing by the boxes to check if that chocolate glazed looks a little lonely. No one will mind if it disappears after everyone has gotten a shot. You might not end up with the four doughnuts you originally desired, but two-and-a-half is a lot better than the zero you had when the day began.
We'll try to provide similar value each week by breaking down the best and worst trade targets in fantasy baseball.
This is Week 1, when the savvy owner patiently assess his or her team. It's a little early to jettison someone you drafted, but, c'mon, you didn't come here for a "time will tell" lecture. Let's take a look at a few names who could be moved if the price is right. If you want advice on a specific player or trade scenario, ask me a question on Twitter and you could be featured in next week's Trade Tips column.
Chris Heisey, Cincinnati Reds. Ryan Ludwick's dislocated shoulder opens a spot in the Reds' outfield for the near future; though manager Dusty Baker has been reluctant to give Hesiey a regular gig, Baker is even less likely to open a starting spot for speedy prospect Billy Hamilton at this time. Heisey's numbers fell off last season after an 18-homer performance in 2011, and the advanced stats don't scream that a superstar is lurking, but he's done enough in partial duty over the past two years to warrant a look now. Don't offer the farm, but it might be worth parting with a good plow horse for someone who will play in a good offense and could post a sneaky 20-homer season.
Carlos Marmol, Chicago Cubs. The Cubs have all but stitched a 'For Sale' sign into Marmol's jersey for the past year. A deal that would have sent him to the Angels for Dan Haren was scotched when the Cubs grew worried about Haren's health. That's proof that Marmol's days as a closer are numbered, because that isn't the way a team treats someone it values. Maybe that's why Chicago inked Japanese import Kyuji Fujikawa to a two-year, $9.5 million deal, with vesting options dependent on how many games he closes. But as long as Marmol's days are still counting down, there's the opportunity to deal a current closer. Do it. Do it now. The few saves you give up this month will be worth the Kenley Jansen or closer-in-waiting you can easily get in return.
CC Sabathia, New York Yankees. Many expected the Yankees to start slowly with about half the roster on the DL, and Sabathia did just that in an Opening Day loss to the Red Sox. Coming off a winter of rehab after surgery to remove a bone spur in his left elbow and a spring of worries about his ability to pitch an entire season, Sabathia's five-inning, four-earned-run, four-walk performance was a billboard asking nervous owners to trade him.
Over the course of his career, Sabathia has posted a career-worst 4.18 ERA in April. Further, his 2.24 strikeout-to-walk ratio is also lowest in the opening month. Like anything that big, Sabathia takes time to get rolling, and this year will be no different. The Yankees' offense will start to get healthier and find a rhythm; the weather will warm up; the opponents will get weaker. Sabathia isn't Cy Young material, but he remains dependable workhorse material. Keep him.