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July 10, 2000

Fantasy Mailbag

Your fantasy questions answered

by Keith Law

I currently have three catchers on my team and need to drop one. They are Javy Lopez, Ben Molina and Darrin Fletcher. Who do you recommend dropping?


Always drop the guy with no hitting talent--in this case, Molina.

--Keith Law

What are your thoughts on Julio Lugo, the Astros' new shortstop? Does his potential to steal a reasonable number of bases make him worth hanging on to as opposed to acquiring Mike Bordick?


I'd take Lugo at this point if you can deal with the fact that he won't play every day (and thus won't get many RBIs). But he stole his eighth base today, and I'd expect at least another 10 in the second half. Meanwhile, do you really see Bordick hitting another 13 HR? I sure don't.

--Keith Law

I am always looking to improve and have been presented with a somewhat intriguing trade opportunity... I give Tim Hudson, Jason Isringhausen and Randy Wolf and get Mike Mussina, Billy Koch and Jose Lima. I can then drop Lima and activate Roger Clemens. If I don't pull a deal like this I will have to drop Wolf and re-activate Clemens anyway, so in reality, the deal is Hudson, Izzy and Wolf for Mussina, Koch and Clemens. Your thoughts?

Also, any thoughts on Lima from here on out? Better than Gil Heredia?


You're looking at it the wrong way. If you're just going to drop Lima, then the deal is Hudson, Izzy, and Wolf for Mussina and Koch. And that's a bad deal, because you're giving up two pretty good starters for one almost-great one, and the closers are about a wash right now. I don't really see how this helps you other than clearing up a roster spot, and you should be able to accomplish that without giving up so much extra value.

As far as your Lima/Heredia question goes, I'd rather have Heredia from here on out; I think he'll put this all back together in July. The A's had better hope so.

--Keith Law

My pitching is killing me. I have:

  • Kevin Millwood (sucking doesn't seem to bother him)
  • Roger Clemens (old)
  • Jamie Moyer (been hurt)
  • Gil Meche (young)
  • Adam Eaton (no run support)
  • Ryan Dempster (nice suprise)
  • Darren Dreifort (maybe next year... again...)
  • Dustin Hermanson (???)

Would I be better off in the second half with some new blood? Perhaps Jon Garland, Brian Tollberg, Jose Silva, or Tomokazu Ohka?

Which of these underachieving pitchers would you dump first? I'm in a 5x5 league including IP, Ks, ERA, Wins.


I think you're really overreacting. Millwood hit a rough patch, but he's almost back to form now and pitching well. Clemens isn't the Cy Young candidate we saw two years ago, but he's doing better and has been hot since his return from the DL. Moyer's a good pitcher who's getting back to health and should be fine in the second half.

The only guy I would definitely dump is Hermanson, who doesn't even get you Ks to balance out the pain he inflicts via his ERA. Silva would be my choice, since he has enough big-league experience to reduce the risk of a total blowup.

--Keith Law

What do you think about Mike Fetters as a closer in LA? He obviously has good numbers this year as a setup man, but do you think he'll get a legitimate chance at closing games if they don't trade for someone?


Yeah, I think he will get a shot, simply because he's a Former Closer (US patent pending). Terry Adams is probably the better choice for LA, both because he's the better pitcher and because he's a part of their future, but Fetters has done the job in the past and that weighs heavily in the minds of most managers.

--Keith Law

I have a shot at trading for Pedro Martinez. He is asking for power in return, and is also willing to give up some speed (either Eric Owens or Tom Goodwin). I have as OFs Barry Bonds, Vlad Guererro, Ken Griffey Jr., Andruw Jones, Manny Ramirez, and Rondell White. I also have Frank Thomas for power. His latest offer was Martinez and Owens for Guerrero and Jones. Who should I trade, and who should have a better second half?


I can't see that deal being a good bet--Owens has been nicked up and isn't much of a hitter to begin with. If he was offering Goodwin in return, it would be a more even deal, although I'd still be against it.

Vlad and Andruw are really money in the bank at this point: barring a freak injury, they're going to produce big numbers, and Andruw will throw in a bunch of steals. Pedro has shown himself to be slightly injury-prone, and any pitcher can blow out at any time. So you're trading certain production for uncertain production, and that's not a great deal unless the uncertain production has a much higher upside. When you're trading two superstars, it's tough to get a higher upside in return.

--Keith Law

What is the word on Matt Williams' return? I hear he will be ready after the All-Star break. Do you think he will be effective after the injury? Is he worth picking up for my fantasy team? And who do you like better Ben Grieve or Jeffrey Hammonds for a fantasy team?


Hammonds, easily, just on the basis of the ballpark. Williams had a similar injury in '95 and did not fare well after his return, so I wouldn't bank on much from him this year.

--Keith Law

Keith Law can be reached at roto@baseballprospectus.com.

Related Content:  Jose Lima

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