- Checking in on the fantasy baseball trade market.
SI.com’s fantasy baseball Trade Winds will help you decide the direction in which you should be going with your fantasy team. Each week, we’ll look at the trade market, giving you buys, sells and holds across the fantasy baseball landscape.
Yasiel Puig, OF, Reds
Last week, I included Puig among the players to pursue in trades because of his impressive numbers since the end of May. His torrid stretch in his six games since last week’s column make him an even more compelling trade target. Since June 18, Puig is slashing .364/.417/.955 with three homers, five runs, seven RBI and two stolen bases.
Eloy Jimenez, OF, White Sox
Jimenez has been on fire this month, slashing .313/.382/.642 with six home runs, 16 runs and 16 RBI. Jimenez may have had some unfair expectations, but this was always the player we expected to see since day one. It appears he has arrived. Plus, the White Sox’ young offense is seemingly getting better as the season wears on, giving Jimenez more guys on base to drive in and more lineup protection.
Lance Lynn, SP, Rangers
Don’t let Lynn’s cosmetic stats fool you. Sure, the 4.32 ERA and 1.27 WHIP don’t look great, but he ranks second in the majors in fWAR, and owns a 3.06 FIP and 25.7% strikeout rate. Lynn has by far the greatest positive difference between his ERA and FIP in MLB this season, which suggests a rapid correction of his 4.32 ERA should be on the way very soon. With it will come an increase in fantasy value. This is a great buy-low opportunity.
Marcus Stroman, SP, Blue Jays
As will be the case for most contending MLB teams, all fantasy owners should be in on Stroman. After a disappointing campaign last season, Stroman has returned to form, and should only get better if he leaves Toronto for a better team. His win upside would improve, and his elite ground-ball rate should help keep his ERA low, especially if he goes to a team with a good defensive infield. His strikeout upside will never be massive, but, all things considered, Stroman should be a trade target in all fantasy leagues.
Daniel Murphy, 1B/2B, Rockies
Murphy looks like the ideal sell-high candidate. He’s had a great June, slashing .333/.338/.513 with three homers, 10 runs and 15 RBI, but a closer look at his peripherals suggests regression is on the way. His strikeout percentage is higher this month (18.5%) than it is this season overall (15.8%). Both of those marks are much higher than his career rate of 12.1%. An increased strikeout rate isn’t a deal-breaker in today’s offensive environment, but there’s reason to believe Murphy has been fortunate when he does make contact. His 26.8% hard-hit rate is much lower than his overall 37.4% rate he posted between 2015, his breakout campaign, and 2018. Murphy is overperforming right now, and while some of that could be due to him playing home games at Coors Field, there are enough warning signs to trade him for what could be a significant return.
Fernando Tatís Jr., SS, Padres
Disclaimer: This applies to redraft leagues only. Keeper and dynasty leaguers should not be trading Tatís.
OK, now that we’ve got that clarified, the ultimate sell-high candidate this week is Tatís. The Padres’ shortstop is slashing .323/.387/.571 with eight homers, 32 runs, 23 RBI and nine stolen bases despite missing more than a month due to injury. However, per Statcast, Tatís’ expected batting average is .230, giving him the greatest difference between his actual average and his expected mark. His .427 BABIP is not sustainable, no matter how good a player he is already and will be in the future. This isn’t to say Tatís won’t give you value if you keep him on your roster, but his gaudy numbers and name brand should bring back a hefty package on the trade market.
Yu Darvish, SP, Cubs
If you’ve stuck with Darvish this long, you might as well hold onto him a little longer. After a raft of injuries derailed his 2018 season, it looks like Darvish is finally returning to form. Over his last five starts, the 32-year-old has posted a 3.56 ERA with 30 strikeouts across 30 1/3 innings. In that span, opponents are hitting just .170 against him, and the walk rate, which was a huge problem for him earlier in the season, is down to a manageable 7.6%. Somehow, Darvish has not had a decision in any of his starts since he beat the Diamondbacks on April 27.
Jose Ramirez, 2B/3B, Indians
Another one of those guys who you should keep if you’ve stuck with him this long, Ramirez has finally started to recover from his surprisingly dreadful start to the season. In 11 games beginning with a 2-for-5 effort against the Tigers on June 14, Ramirez is slashing .326/.388/.558 with a homer, nine runs, nine RBI and two stolen bases. Maybe this will just be a small uptick in an otherwise unremarkable year, but I’m willing to bet on the guy who finished third in the AL MVP race in back-to-back seasons.