Five Moves that Should Be Made: The Art of In Season Management
While this title might be a little misleading because it’s not really any kind of art more than it is just setting yourself in a routine to be diligent about searching for options. Scouring the waiver wire for upgrades to your team is important in any kind of league that you play in but as your league gets deeper, especially in dynasty formats, it becomes the most important way to improve your club. It is important to remember that your work does not end with your draft and if you are serious about winning your league resting on a job well done during draft day is not going to cut it.
I have been playing in a 16 team mixed dynasty league for the last five or so years with a pretty small amount of bench spots—just ten. These ten bench spots have to be used judiciously to either stash prospects, keep reserves, or platoon players. Yesterday, as I went through all of the rosters in our league and kept a lookout for players that were owned that shouldn’t be and players that were un-owned that would represent upgrades. Below are the moves that I think each team should make using real players available on our waiver wire.
Drop 2B Alex Guerrero, Add 2B Devon Travis
Bottom line with this move is that the 28-year-old Guerrero, despite his success in the minors, is currently stuck playing for an organization that clearly doesn’t believe in his ability to help the team. The Dodgers didn’t like the lack of plate discipline and the high swing percentage approach they saw from him last year and do not look anxious to install him, at this point his best chance is a trade.
Travis on the other hand was handed the job as the starting second baseman for a very potent Toronto Blue Jays offense. He has shown a strong ability to contribute at an average to above average rate in all five categories offensively and still has room to grow. This add losses you a slight amount of ceiling but gives you an immediate contributor who should hold the job for years to come.
Drop OF Jake Smolinski, Add OF Torii Hunter
Perhaps this is just a negligent owner here and maybe they are not aware that Smolinski has lost the competition for the left field job to Ryan Rua. Meanwhile while this non-prospect, bench warmer Smolinski takes up valuable real estate on his team Hunter sits unowned on the waiver wire. Listen I don’t care that Hunter is 39-years-old because the man has hit over 15 home runs in 13 of his past 14 major league seasons all while never batting lower than .250. He can help you this season and with Smolinski having little to no future value this move should give this owner no hesitation.
Drop SS Jose Iglesias, Add SS Jed Lowrie
Yes Iglesias was a highly touted prospect when he was coming up but it wasn’t because of his bat it was all due to his glove. Outside of Andrelton Simmons there may not be a better defensive player in the majors but the man is useless at the plate. We play FANTASY baseball not real baseball and Jed Lowrie is a serviceable hitter despite being an absolute butcher at shortstop. Lowrie owns a career .261 batting average and has hit 15 or more home runs in two out of his last three seasons. This would be an immediate upgrade offensively over Iglesias who figures to give you no positive offensive gains.
Drop OF Drew Stubbs, Add OF Travis Snider
Stubbs has never been that great to begin with but right now he doesn’t have a clear path to playing time. The Colorado outfield is crowded with talent and meanwhile Travis Snider has everyday right field duties in the hitter’s haven that is Camden Yards. Snider has just turned 27-years-old and is coming off an impressive second half of last year where he batted .288 with 9 home runs. He moves from the home run suppressing PNC Park to a place where he could legitimately challenge for 20 plus home runs and a solid batting average. He should be owned in all leagues.
Drop SP Jeremy Hellickson, Add SP Nick Martinez
You may not know this but the 28-year-old Hellickson has not had an ERA under 4.50 since 2012 when he was with the Rays organization. The once promising pitcher has never eclipsed the 200 IP mark and has not seen his opponent batting average fall under .271 in three years. Hellickson is not long for his rotation spot and certainly will not be helped by his home park or the Diamondbacks terrible defense. Martinez meanwhile has a rotation spot in Texas and at 24-years-old is entering his prime and learning the nuances of pitching. He was able to go seven strong inning striking out five batters yesterday and has always shown a great ability to suppress home runs which will be important in Arlington. Starting pitching depth is very hard to come by in deep leagues and this is a player that should be owned.