Every now and then (read: every week) during the offseason I struggle to come up with a topic to write about. These last few weeks have been especially trying with little to no action going on during hot stove season. It’s been less than inspiring to say the least. Then the realization came that I shouldn’t look to the major league GMs for inspiration, but to my fellow fantasy GMs. There’s a trade that went down in my 20-team dynasty league (of which I’ve written about before) that was of interest to me, and I think it could be of interest to you as well. Here’s the skinny:
Team A sends Jhonny Peralta
Team B sends Jason Grilli
This is not a complicated trade by any means. One team lacked a shortstop (excepting Marcus Semien) and the other was in need of a closer. I personally think Peralta is quite the price to play for a 38 year old closer, given the fungibility of the position and the injury he suffered late last year, but that’s really neither here nor there.
What is here and there is that I was privy to at least part of the decision process on trading Peralta, because said owner also has JJ Hardy as a shortstop option. I advised him to trade Hardy in this situation, while he opted to go with Peralta. I thought it’d be worth doing a comparison between the two, despite my predisposition towards Peralta. Sometimes it’s worth seeing if our natural biases are correct or not.
Hardy: .263/.306/.433, 25 HR, 76 RBI, 66 R, 2 SB, BABIP: .263
Peralta: .303/.358/.457, 11 HR, 55 RBI, 50 R, 3 SB, BABIP: .374
This actually works out in Hardy’s favor, thanks to those counting stats (which in turn give away who is who thanks to a 50-game suspension). That said, I know coming into this that I didn’t realize Hardy hit .263 or that he had 25 home runs. In my head I was thinking he was more of a .240s, 20-22 HR type. He still might be those things, but combine his solid year with the insane BABIP difference between the two…and it’s starting to look a little saner to keep Hardy.
Hardy (career): .260/.312/.428, ~17 HR, BABIP: .273
Peralta (career): .268/.325/.425, ~14 HR, BABIP: .315
Aaaand pendulum swings back in Peralta’s direction, even with the 3 homer per year difference, the slight deficit in overall power doesn’t weigh down the major edge in OBP for me. Additionally, while Peralta was both way over his head in terms of BABIP and has seen that BABIP fluctuate wildly over these last four years, it’s not as though Hardy is all of a sudden going to rebound to the league average rate. He’s been a below average BABIP guy his whole career.
At their respective bests, I think Peralta is the better player. I also prefer his career line to Hardy’s, and while Hardy does boast more power (considerably more these past few years) I think an average year for Peralta goes a bit further than an average year for Hardy. That said, I thought it was a slam dunk for Peralta coming into this, and come out feeling a bit murkier on the matter. It doesn’t change my feeling on the trade though – which is that both these players are worth more than an aging closer.