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Trade Targets: Myers, Kluber, Bailey, Bogaerts and Salazar

This week I will take a look at some players who you should try to target in trade negotiations.  The two best times to trade for a player are at the end of a slump when his price has bottomed out,  and just before he goes on a hot streak that shoots his trade value skyward. The players below can be expected to provide future production that exceeds their current trade value, so now is the time to get them while you can!

Wil Myers — 24 Runs, 4 Home Runs, 20 RBI, 1 Steal, .238 AVG (Rank among all hitters: Yahoo #130, CBS points #127, ESPN #140)

Going into last season Myers was a consensus top 5 prospect and he lived up to that billing by running away with the Rookie of the Year Award despite barely playing half a season in the major leagues. He put up an .831 OPS as a 22 year old in the AL East. Very impressive indeed. Coming into this season he was ranked on most lists as a top 40 hitter but he hasn’t lived up to that billing, putting up some pretty underwhelming stats so far this year. His stats are down across the board in all the fantasy categories. He is obviously suffering from the dreaded Sophomore Slump right? Not really, because most of his component stats and his batted ball profile look almost exactly the same as they did last year. His .362 BABIP from last year has predictably regressed to .305 and that does account for some of the drop off in production, but his strikeout, walk, ground ball and fly ball rates look exactly the same as last year. His line drive rate is down slightly and his infield fly ball rate is higher, but the biggest culprit is his HR/FB rate has fallen from 15.5% to only 8.7%. I expect that number to rise and those added home runs (and the Runs and RBI that go with them) will carry his fantasy numbers back up where they should be. Myers is still a very young player building up to his prime, and will be one of the best hitters in the league for several years. You won’t get a better opportunity to grab Myers. Go get him while his owner is worried about him.

Corey Kluber — 4-3 Record, 74 Ks, 3.43 ERA, 1.29 WHIP (Rank among Starting Pitchers: Yahoo #43, CBS points #20, ESPN #32)

Kluber’s fantasy stats look pretty good, but he is still ranked behind guys like Jason Hammel, Jonathon Niese, Aaron Harang, Phil Hughes, Wily Peralta, Tom Koehler, Alfredo Simon, Kyle Lohse and Mark Buehrle in most scoring systems on Yahoo, CBS and ESPN. Kluber is a far better pitcher than any of those hurlers and deserves to be ranked in the top 20 starting pitchers in baseball going forward. Many fantasy team owners put a good deal of stock in the ranking systems in their league. They shouldn’t do it, but we all know some people do it anyway. If you can snare Kluber by trading one (or two) of the pitchers listed above then do it! Kluber’s peripheral and component stats are off-the-charts good. Kluber’s 3.43 ERA is good enough to rank only 48th among qualified starters, but his 2.33 FIP is 3rd, his 2.72 xFIP is 7th and his 2.82 SIERA ranks 8th. And for my favorite pitching metric, K-BB%,  his 21.1%  ranks 8th. All of these stats combine to predict that his fantasy production is going to be stellar for the rest of the season and well into the future. Kluber remains an underappreciated fantasy ace but that is starting to change, so act quickly and do what it takes to get him on your team.

Homer Bailey — 3-3 Record, 46 Ks, 5.44 ERA, 1.58 WHIP (Rank among Starting Pitchers: Yahoo #317, CBS points #99, ESPN #150)

Bailey has been burned by the home run ball at almost twice his career rate even though he is allowing fewer fly balls than ever. He has improved his ground ball rate significantly this year. His velocity hasn’t dropped at all. His strikeout and walk rates are very close to his career averages. His xFIP and SIERA are nearly two full runs better than his ERA. His BABIP is .348 this season compared to .298 for his career prior to 2014. All of these are strong indications that Homer Bailey’s fortunes are about to turn for the better. Much better. Some people think Bailey’s huge new mega-contract has led to some complacency or lack of effort but I don’t think so. Looking at his pitch charts there is no degradation in terms of velocity, horizontal movement or vertical movement. There is no significant difference in his usage patterns either. Homer’s pitches are the same quality as in prior years. Moving forward, Bailey will be the same fantasy pitcher he has been throughout his career, which means he will not be anywhere near an ace pitcher but he will be a solid contributor to your team’s success. You should be able to get him for next to nothing right now. I say go for it.

Danny Salazar– 1-4 Record, 47 Ks, 5.53 ERA, 1.62 WHIP (Rank among Starting Pitchers: Yahoo #308, CBS points #141, ESPN #182)

Salazar’s surface stats were terrible and got his butt sent down to the minors last week. Salazar’s .369 BABIP shows he has been somewhat unlucky, but that only accounts for a small piece of his implosion this year. He has lost about 2 mph off each of his pitches compared to last year, and that is a worrisome issue, However there does not seem to be any injury concern coming from the Indians. Salazar’s K% although down from last year’s 30.8% is still a stellar 25.5%. His 10.4 K/9 is great. His walk rate has risen from 2.6 BB/9 to 3.76 and his HR/9 has risen from a sketchy 1.21 to a nasty 1.77. It seems his mechanics have lost their groove, with detrimental effects on his velocity, command and control. That is a bad combination that results in increased walks and home runs. The good news is that Salazar still misses a ton of bats and by all rights is healthy. He is only owned in 42% of Yahoo leagues and 49% of CBS leagues. Many of his owners have cut bait on him already, and those who haven’t would probably be happy to trade him off if they could get something decent in return. If you have the patience to give him some time to fix those mechanical issues in the minors you can expect Salazar to come back some day soon and become a very valuable fantasy asset once again. See if you can pry him away from his owner at a bargain basement cut-rate price.

Xander Bogaerts — 19 Runs, 3 Home Runs, 9 RBI, 1 Steal, .275 AVG (Rank among all hitters: Yahoo #161, CBS points #144, ESPN #162)

Bogaerts was ranked as the 2nd best prospect in baseball on pretty much every preseason list in the universe this Spring. The only guy ahead of him was Byron Buxton, who isn’t expected to reach the majors until next year at the earliest. So Xander was the ultimate fantasy prospect to own. But we are two months into the season now and Bogaerts hasn’t been the savior of anybody’s fantasy team so far. He is not this year’s Mike Trout or Yasiel Puig. He is not putting up MVP stats or even ROY stats as a 21 year old. The Red Sox have already signed Stephen Drew to take over at shortstop and move Bogaerts over to third base. That can’t be good, right? Most of us didn’t expect he would be an immediate superstar but a lot of his owners were secretly hoping he would play a lot better than he has so far. I think there are quite a few Bogaerts owners out there who are disappointed in their prized uber-elite future star right now, and many more of his owners are starting to worry just a bit. They are thinking, “Is this guy for real? Is he going to be a let down like former uber-elite prospects Desmond Jennings, Matt Wieters, Jurickson Profar and Colby Rasmus? Will he be a bust like Jesus Montero or Delmon Young? Maybe I should unload him while I can still get a good price?” I still have complete confidence that Bogaerts is going to be a star player for a long time, so I will be talking to his owners in my leagues to see if they might consider letting go of him for a lower price than they would have two months ago.

I have said many times that a prospect’s value is almost always highest right before he gets promoted to the big leagues, then it drops as he fails to immediately fulfill the lofty expectations his owners dreamed of. That is the trading sweet spot for savvy owners to swoop in and pick him up at a discount. Right now we are in the Xander Bogaerts trading sweet spot. The excitement level for Bogaerts built up for months and years as he sat on his owner’s bench teasing with stellar production versus minor league pitching. His owner waited a long time for his mancrush to arrive in Boston and dominate, thrusting his team to a fantasy championship. That moment finally arrived and….. nothing happened. His owners aren’t so excited anymore. Bogaerts hasn’t played any better than their old shortstop. Time to pounce!

You can see this same thing happening with Gregory Polanco as we speak. He has played so well this season that there is no way in Hell his owner is going to trade him right now. His trade cost is through the roof if there even is a price at all. The excitement is building to a crescendo as his impending promotion looms. He will get the call in a week or two, then he will most likely play like a rookie and his bubble will burst. Just like George Springer’s bubble swelled and then popped. Mookie Betts’ and Oscar Taveras’ bubbles will do the same. If you want them just wait for that sweet spot. If you already have them on your team, trade them when their trade value peaks just before their promotion. You can often get a proven star in exchange for your might-be-a-star prospect if you time it right.

Feel free to ask any questions in the comments below. We will be happy to help you decide which players to add, drop or trade!

Nick Doran writes all kinds of cool stuff about the game’s ultimate flamethrowers at Blazing Fastball and will answer your baseball questions on Twitter @BlazingFastba11.

The Author

Nick Doran

Nick Doran


  1. […] believes now is the right time to trade for Wil Myers, Corey Kluber, Xander Bogaerts, Homer Bailey, and Danny […]

  2. Keeper guy
    May 24, 2014 at 2:59 pm

    Wasn’t Salazar optioned to the minor leagues over a week ago?

    • May 24, 2014 at 3:08 pm

      Correct, he was sent to the minors on May 16th of last week, 8 days ago. He bombed in his first AAA start too. It will take him some time to sort out his mechanics and get back in a groove, then he will return to the majors and be a good fantasy pitcher. At least I think he will. I am buying him while his price is very low.

  3. Spud Wevos
    May 26, 2014 at 1:12 pm

    We have an owner willing to part with OFs. He has untouchable rooks, Polanco and Springer joining B Hamilton, W Meyers, S Marte and M Joyce. I have Trout and Puig, would B Hamilton’s speed better compliment my OF, than W Meyers’s multi-juice? Not much speed in keepers Hosmer, Pedroia and Machado. Thinking of offering D Price. Am I giving too much for either of them? Thanks

    • May 27, 2014 at 2:27 am

      I think Wil Myers is the better long term outfielder over Billy Hamilton. Hamilton is a one-trick pony whereas Myers is an all-around excellent hitter. I would not trade David Price for either Meyers or Hamilton. You should be able to get a better return for Price, or you should be able to get Myers or Hamilton without giving up the likes of David Price.

  4. Noob to Keeper
    May 26, 2014 at 9:28 pm

    5×5 Roto 12 team 6 Keeper (price = pick)

    They are looking to shop Reed, and i could use another closer. Stat wise they could use another quality SP (ratios and W) or another speed guy.

    What kind of deal makes sense? Don’t have as much speed to give up myself. They could use a quality C, but the WW is barren for replenishing myself there.

    Have sent an email, asking about thoughts on an offer. However, i’m getting ready to head out of town for a week.So my window here may be small.

    Any thoughts on an offer? For them, position need doesn’t meet stat need offensively. So a bit puzzled as to what sort of offer to send.


    C – Lucroy/Rosario
    1B – C.Davis
    2B – Gyorko
    3B – Encarnacion
    SS – Andrus
    CI – Freeman
    MI – Rendon
    OF – Kemp/Rios/Pence/Martin/Aoki
    UTIL – Seager
    BN – Prado

    P – Hamels/Felix/C.Wilson
    P – Allen/Melancon/Qualls
    P – McGee/Samardzija/Kennedy
    BN – Hudson/Dickey/Kluber
    DL – Cashner


    C – Navarro/Martin
    1B – Pujols
    2B – Utley
    3B – Donaldson
    SS – Aybar
    CI – Longoria
    MI – Kendrick
    OF – Trout/Parra/Fowler/Markakis/Cuddyer
    UTIL – Howard
    BN -J.Hamilton/Ruiz/A.Cabrera
    DL – E.Young

    P – Price/Burnett/Reed
    P – Hammel/Cueto/J.Smith
    P – Porcello/Ryu/H.Bailey

    • May 27, 2014 at 2:33 am

      I am not a big believer in Addison Reed’s long term future at closer. If you want to trade for him maybe you could offer Melancon for him, since he is likely going to lose the closer role to Grilli again. One other thing, I think you are much better off using Prado as your starter at 2B instead of Gyorko.

  5. MB
    May 26, 2014 at 10:50 pm

    I have a team that is 1-3 years away from completing for a championship, was offered jose fernandez for springer and kluber. thoughts?

    • May 27, 2014 at 2:23 am

      I would not give up Springer and Kluber for Jose Fernandez. In fact I wouldn’t give up either one of them individually for Fernandez. He is going to be out of action until at least the All Star break of next year, probably longer than that. And who knows how good he will be when he does come back? A complete recovery from Tommy John surgery is not a 100% certainty. If you want to trade for Fernandez I think you can get him for a cheaper price than the trade you asked about. Send him a counter-offer!

  6. May 27, 2014 at 3:00 pm

    Two of my favorite buy lows in one article.. I already bought low on Bailey.. phew…

    I just traded away my only 3B in a deal for Justin Upton – I couldn’t pass it up..
    Now I’m looking to buy in on Bogaerts.. What are your thoughts on:

    $300 cap… OBP league

    Bautista (18), Cecchini (minor), Zobrist (28)
    Bogaerts (6), Carpenter (7), Victor Martinez (7)

    I already have a ton of OF (Trout, Bautista, Upton, Heyward, Ellsbury, Gardner, Cain)

    I’m looking to improve my team for this season (obviously future value counts, but it’s secondary)

    Much thanks for taking the time to read (and maybe respond)

    • May 27, 2014 at 3:39 pm

      I think that is a good trade Robert. The salaries make it a clear win for you. Would it be possible to substitute Upton for Bautista? Upton’s K% is scary high and portends a steep dropoff in performance.

      • May 27, 2014 at 3:42 pm

        hmmm… The other owner really wants Bautista, but the switch is something I can explore… thanks for the adivce 🙂

  7. Newb to keeper
    May 27, 2014 at 4:06 pm

    5×5 Roto 12 team 6 keeper. Price = draft pick.

    R – 10
    HR – 5.5
    RBI – 10
    SB – 11
    AVG – 12
    W – 10.5
    SV – 2.5
    K – 10
    ERA – 11
    WHIP – 12

    C – Lucroy/Rosario
    1B – C.Davis
    2B – Gyorko
    3B – Encarnacion
    SS – Andrus
    CI – Freeman
    MI – Rendon
    OF – Kemp/Rios/Pence/Martin/Aoki
    UTIL – Seager
    BN – Prado

    P – Hamels/Felix/C.Wilson
    P – Allen/Melancon/Qualls
    P – McGee/Samardzija/Kennedy
    BN – Hudson/Dickey/Kluber
    DL – Cashner

    I am in a weird situation Where I am at 94.5 points. 3 owners 84.5-85.5, and 5th is at 70.5 and no one else above 61. This is even with Saves at 2.5.

    If you are me. What are you shopping in trades, putting on trade block etc? and what are you looking for?

    My major trades are

    4/25: Get Encarnacion for Alexi/Paxton
    4/30: Get Felix for Ellsbury
    5/23: Get Rendon for Ventura

    • May 27, 2014 at 4:18 pm

      Your team is good. Looks like you unloaded Ventura at exactly the right time. You need an outfielder or second baseman who hits homers and steals bases, someone like Shane Victorino. He should be fairly cheap since he hasn’t played much this season yet. Try to get him for someone like Melancon. Get rid of Gyorko. Other than that I would just ride the good team you have and wait for a good opportunity to present itself.

      • MB
        May 27, 2014 at 4:42 pm

        Hey thanks for the reply!

      • Newb to keeper
        May 27, 2014 at 5:02 pm

        Victorino was dropped, and I have a low Priority.Who would you drop for him if i can get?
        What can I get for Gyorko? as obviously he has little trade value right now.

        • May 27, 2014 at 5:09 pm

          I would drop either Gyorko or McGee to pick up Victorino. He is on the DL so he might not cost you a roster slot, depending on the size of the DL in your league.

  8. Spencer
    May 27, 2014 at 11:42 pm

    Took your advice and traded for a couple of these guys…Got Kluber for Dickey and Piscotty; Bailey for Casey Janssen; and as a side eval I got Cashner and Piscotty (before flipping him) and moved up in the MILB draft for Eovaldi and Almora. League is pure dynasty h2h points 20 teams 25 man roster and 15 minor spots. thoughts?

    • May 28, 2014 at 1:47 am

      I love the Kluber trade. Very well done. Bailey for Janssen is good too, especially for the long term. Looks like you are an active trader who steadily works to improve his team, and that is a sign of a winner.

  9. John
    May 31, 2014 at 6:47 am

    I am flush with pitching but i’m playing for next year at this point. I have been offered javier baez for alex cobb. the other owner has Xander, I think i can counter with xander and he would accept. are either of these trades worth it?gryt

    • May 31, 2014 at 4:40 pm

      Hi John, Yes if you can get Xander Bogaerts in exchange for Alex Cobb I would definitely do it, especially since you already have a lot of pitching. Bogaerts is the better long term bet and should be a top 5 shortstop for several years at least.

  10. […] you missed Time to Worry About These Struggling Aces? or Unexpected Aces or Trade Targets be sure to read those columns […]

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