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Chat: Mike Gianella

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Wednesday May 29, 2013 6:30 PM ET chat session with Mike Gianella.


Mike takes your fantasy questions.

Mike Gianella: Good evening my fellow East Coasters. Good afternoon everyone else. I've already got a few questions in the queue, so let's get right to it.

coach53 (CT): What's going on? In a yahoo league rotisserie standard 8 team league. Standard starters with a utility player. We use 2 SP,2RP 3P in general. I really need to make a couple of adjustments. Need to add another pitcher and solid bar to this line up. This league is tough with trades! so would need to rely on the waivers Who should we ditch and is there anyone we should be tracking or picking up? Here is the squad...Here is the squad... Albert Pujols 1B Joe Mauer C,1B Jacoby Ellsbury OF Evan Longoria 3B Matt Holliday OF Shin-Soo Choo OF Jose Altuve 2B Jimmy Rollins SS Anthony Rizzo 1B Alex Gordon OF Rickie Weeks 2B Rickie Weeks 2B Cliff Lee SP Hiroki Kuroda Heath Bell Huston Street RP Addison Reed RP Jason Grilli RP Tim Lincecum SP Brett Anderson DL Dan Haren SP Kenley Jansen RP Lance Lynn FA available. Prado Matt Carpenter Daniel Nava Coco crisp Todd Frasier Norichika Aoki Michael Morse Kelly Johnson Josh Donaldson Justin Morneau John Buck Evan Gattis Adam Dunn pitching Doug Fister Derek Holland Hyun-Jin Ryu Brandon Morrow Paul Maholm Trevor Cahill Jason Hammel Wandy Rodriguez Jose Veras J.J. Hoover J.J. Putz DL

Mike Gianella: Hey coach.

It's always difficult to answer a full blown roster question without having access to everyone else's roster and teams. Generally speaking, your offense looks strong, although in a shallow league under performing players like Weeks should probably be shown the door. On the pitching side, I think that Lincecum is a weak play for an eight-team mixed format. None of the free agents stand out, but Aoki could arguably be added to your squad.

Chris (California): What are your thoughts on Braun for McCutchen in a R/HR/RBI/AVG/OPS/SB keeper league? Which would you rather have for the next 3-4 years?

Mike Gianella: Hi Chris:

It's a nice problem to have. I think I'd rather have Braun. He's the better player now and isn't at an age where I envision a significant decline. McCutchen is excellent too but I think Braun is a little better and shouldn't start slipping until after that 3-4 year window.

Alex (Anaheim): Do I cut Morrow? He was my 10th round pick, but there seems little to salvage.

Mike Gianella: Hi Alex.

At lot depends on how deep your league is, although at this point unless you're in a very deep mixed or an AL-only that it is OK to do. Brandon Morrow's FB velocity was down in the low 90s or high 80s depending on which reports who believe and he left early with yet another injury. If we were talking about a pitcher without Morrow's checkered health record I'd say sit tight, but my hunch is that Morrow isn't going to get it done this year. In standard 12-team mixed, feel free to drop.

temple (madison): Rubby de la Rosa had 20+ innings before giving up a run recently. Does he get to the majors soon and would he be a high priority draft pick for a dynasty points league team.

Mike Gianella: Hey temple.

de la Rosa is still building up pitch counts as a starting pitcher. He is now up to four innings per start, so if the Red Sox were going to call him up in the near future it would likely be as a bullpen arm and not as a starting pitcher. de la Rosa is definitely rosterable in dynasty formats, but I wouldn't categorize him as a high priority pick up in that format just yet.

Joe (Seattle): Hey Mike, The basics: keeper league, keep 8 players forever. I tanked last year for picks and now have a great team. Got a trade offer: my Prince Fielder for his Adrian Gonzalez and David Wright. I would be replacing Nick Markakis in my utility slot. Additionally, I could ship off David Wright because I have Adrian Beltre currently at 3rd to get another player. Should I take the deal or keep Prince knowing that I have the best keeper there and will probably be fine without the other two? Thanks!

Mike Gianella: Hey Joe.

I like Prince a lot but think that this is a terrific trade for you. You didn't mention what format you play, but Wright isn't that much worse than Fielder and you're getting Gonzalez instead of Markakis which I view as an upgrade. Make the deal.

Steve. (Denver, Colorado): Who would you rather have the rest of the year? Liriano or Miley?

Mike Gianella: Hi Steve.

At the moment, I'd rather have Francisco Liriano. Wade Miley has struggled with his control of late and is the kind of pitcher who doesn't have a lot of margin for error with the walks in order to be a productive arm. The deeper the format, the tougher this decision is. In a mixed league, I think Liriano is a no-brainer. He has been pitching great and the worst case scenario is an injury. If that happens, you pick someone else up. In NL-only where getting 170+ innings from your starting pitchers is a priority because of the paucity of SP replacements in the free agent pool, it's more of a toss up due to the risk that Liriano won't get there. Assuming a standard mixed format, though, give me Liriano.

Tim Tebow (Canada): Who are the top 5 Shortstops for future fantasy value?

Mike Gianella: Hi Tim. I hope you land on your feet.

This is a pretty broad question. I'm not sure if you're talking future value among all shortstops or value among shortstops that haven't reached the Majors yet. As far as prospects go, I would go with Xander Bogaerts, Jurickson Profar, Javier Baez, Addison Russell, and Trevor Story. Keep in mind that this isn't rating best prospects but best fantasy value. Story gets a bump for potentially playing half of his games in Colorado, for example; he's not a Top 5 SS prospect based on real life value.

ironcityguys (Pittsburgh): When does Jeff Locke turn into a pumpkin?

Mike Gianella: I don't know when it will happen, but I agree with your sentiment that it will eventually happen. There's nothing in the numbers to indicate that this level of performance will continue. PNC is murder on righties, so Locke will continue to benefit on the days he pitches there, but a 4.00 ERA seems like a far more likely outcome than the sub-3 he's posting now.

Eric Hosmer (KC): Not a premium subscriber so I couldn't read the end of Sam's article on me today. So what's the upshot? Am I worth owning anymore in a 12 team league this year? What's your prediction on my ROS? Thanks

Mike Gianella: Hi Eric.

The Royals are paying you enough money that you should go premium.

I'm actually glad you pointed me to Sam's article; I went back and read it and it is definitely worth your time. From a fantasy perspective, the crib notes are that Hosmer's power might not be emerging anytime soon based on his approach as well as some flaws in his mechanics. I have been telling people to hold on in mixed formats, but now I'm not as confident. If you have a better option - either on your bench or the waiver wire - I think it's OK to drop Hosmer in non-keeper formats.

hotstatrat (Scoresheet Fantasyland): How much longer should I wait out the slumps of Victor Martinez, Chris Carter, and Craig Gentry?

Mike Gianella: Hey hotstatrat. Scoresheet Fantasyland sounds like a place I'd like to live for a while.

A lot of this answer depends more on the players we're talking about than whether or not these guys are going to snap out of their slumps. You probably drafted V-Mart as a first catcher and even in one catcher leagues quality options don't grow on trees. A one catcher league is probably the only place that you can drop V-Mart and find a better option. I think you have to wait, though history isn't on V-Mart's side. Age 32 players who missed an entire season have not historically come back and done well in their Age 33 seasons and later. Danny Tartabull is the only player in recent memory who has come back at Age 33 and earned $10+ after missing a full campaign. Carter is probably a matter of level setting your expectations. In BA mixed leagues he's not an option at this point but I could see how in OBP leagues you might be losing patience as well. Feel free in mixed formats to find someone better; Carter isn't worth waiting out in non-keeper. Gentry is an AL-only play for stolen bases. If he's not hitting he's not even going to force his way into a platoon. In any other format - even deeper mixed - he was barely worthy to begin with.

Rick J (Boston): In a FAAB league, how aggressive should I be for Wacha? Ceiling higher or lower than Gausman?

Mike Gianella: Hey Rick:

In a mixed league, you probably don't want to be too aggressive with Michael Wacha. Pitchers pop up on the wire quite a bit as teams lose patience and give up on guys off to slow starts. If you're talking a $100 budget, I'd say $15-20, max. Kevin Gausman has a higher ceiling than Wacha. Wacha seems more like a potential #2-3 to me while Gausman is a potential ace.

Something else I'd point out about Wacha is that his K rate at AAA is below six per nine innings. This won't have an impact on his future performance but for me is a red flag in terms of his odds for short-term success.

Ernie (Boston): Do you prefer Jose Rafael De Paula (NYY) or Miguel Almonte (KC) and why ?

Mike Gianella: Hi Ernie:

This is really a question for Jason Parks and his crack team of minor league mavens. I had to look both of these guys up. In a fantasy league, I'd take De Paula just because he's a little older and in fantasy teenage pitchers are a complete crapshoot.

millerarm (nashville): when will c.yelich be called up?

Mike Gianella: Hi millerarm

I don't know. We do know that the Marlins aren't afraid to promote their best players regardless of Super 2 status/monetary concerns so if Christian Yelich continues to perform we could see him this summer. My educated guess is August but if Yelich gets hot that could escalate quickly.

DSparks003 (Scranton): First year keeper league. Wondering about your feelings on "dump trades". What's the line for you on what should be vetoed?

Mike Gianella: Hey Mr. Sparks.

My feelings on dump trades are complicated. I don't like them, but I do like playing in keeper formats and it's next to impossible to prohibit them entirely in keeper leagues. So I've learned to live with them. In my leagues, we use a salary cap to limit the damage dump trades can do. It doesn't stop dump trades, but prevents the egregious deals that we used to see where one team sent its five best players to one team.

If you've listened to Jason Collette and Paul Sporer on the fantasy podcast, you know that they take a very hard stance against vetoes. I'm almost entirely in agreement. Unless a deal is obviously collusion, I don't like the concept of blocking trades in a keeper league. Future value is often entirely in the eye of the beholder. Not only that, but I've seen "great" future trades not work out and "bad" future trades work out fairly well for teams playing for next year. An example of something I'd veto is a deal where a player who is obviously overvalued for next year gets traded in a dump deal to a non-contender.

I'm more likely to consider a veto for offseason trades where either a) a player is getting dealt back to the team he originally was traded from the previous seasons or b) a player who is clearly overpriced is dealt. I was in a league once where a past-his-prime Shawn Green was overpriced and dealt for two keepers. Green was then tossed back by the owner who dealt for him. I might have voted to veto that, but a better solution is forcing the owner who dealt for Green to keep him. In the vast majority of cases, though, I agree with Paul and Jason. Vetoes are generally very bad for leagues.

gerrybraun (san diego): In an NL-only deep Ultra dynasty league, I was recently offered Cliff Lee for Michael Wacha, Luis Valbuena, Daniel Hudson, Jameson Taillon and Chris Heisey. I thought I was being asked tp give up too much, and asked for more in return. Lee's owner then turned around and traded Lee for Randall Delgado, Dave Sappelt, Tyler Cloyd, Francisco Peguero and Khris Davis. This deal struck me as either ludicrous or retaliatory: He gave up up top starter (Lee has had four excellent starts since then) for three fifth outfielders and two fifth starters. Am I wrong to think these two offers are not on the same planet?

Mike Gianella: Hi Gerry.

Without knowing the salaries/contracts of the players involved, I'd agree that the two offers don't compare. Taillon and Wacha are both potentially #2 starters for your future team and Hudson is a good bounce back candidate assuming health. Even if I'm being generous, I don't see how Delgado and Cloyd are going to be better than Taillon and Wacha, and the hitters really seem like bench guys who maybe start at some point if they get really, really lucky. My guess is that the deal was ludicrous rather than retaliatory, but you have every right to be annoyed at your league mate.

jacks (socal): Trust Michael Saunders to produce at least what he did last year? Has had some good weeks, but dreadful for the past 2-3. He was looking like the ideal 5th OF, now looking around for a replacement. Also, what do you think Dom Brown's final line is?

Mike Gianella: Hey jacks.

Trust isn't a word I'd use to describe what Michael Saunders might or might not do. His contact skills make it a fine line for him in terms of providing the batting average he'll need to duplicate 2012. He is a little BABIP unlucky this year, but on the other hand the difference between .220 and .240 isn't significant. You're dead on about what to expect from Saunders: some good weeks followed by some dreadful ones. Whether he makes it or not depends a lot on luck as much as anything else.

My pure guess is that Brown is going to finish with 23 HR, 79 RBI, 52 runs, 4 steals and a .250 batting average.

Chesty (New Bern, NC): Mike this site has been a great source for us novices.Every time a trade offer comes You have been terrific.I am starting to get some DL guys back.My problem is who to cut ,no trade takers.12 team with r,ave,hr,RBI xbh,sb.I must move 2 from Hunter, Gardner,(SP) Kennedy, Leake or Parker.The other 5 starters are solid.Thanks for answering.

Mike Gianella: Hey Chesty

Thanks for the kind words.

If you can cut two pitchers with no impact on your team I'd prefer to cut pitchers instead of hitters. I would probably cut Kennedy and Parker. Kennedy has struggled and I'm not sold on him bouncing back. Parker has shown signs of life in his last few outings but Leake has been terrific all season long.

dandaman (Sea Cliff): What are your thoughts on Aybar? I picked up Peralta as a replacement when he went down and he's been sooo much better.

Mike Gianella: Hi dandaman.

Erick Aybar is a solid fantasy player because of the steals but he suffered a hamstring injury earlier this year and hasn't been running since he returned. He is doing absolutely nothing else, so while a bounce back is likely you can feel free to keep Jhonny Peralta and dump Aybar in a mixed format.

BobcatBaseball (Athens, OH): What do I do with Yunel Escobar? Just hope and pray he gets better or move on?

Mike Gianella: Hi Bob.

What was your expectation entering 2013? His TAv is better than it was in 2012, and pretty consistent with everything he has done since 2009. 2011 looks like the outlier, not a level of performance that should be expected going forward. If there's something better on the wire, grab it, but Yuni was a deep mixed/AL-only guy to begin with.

jeremydneezy (Brooklyn, NY): Pure talent wise, is Alex Gordon for Clay Buchholz a fair deal? He wants a bat, I need a SP.

Mike Gianella: Hi Jeremy:

I'd take Buchholz before the other owner blinks. Buchholz is putting up a Cy Young-caliber season and there's nothing in his numbers to indicate that he's going to slow down. Gordon is very good but from a fantasy perspective doesn't do any one thing spectacularly and is a solid player but not a star. Take the ace and run with it.

Mike Gianella: Thanks for joining everyone. See you next time.

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