Fantasy Baseball Trade Analyzer: Why you should consider dealing away one of the best rookies in MLB
The big-picture tip for this week is for fantasy managers to find value in trades by helping their league mates fix holes in their rosters. May is the time of year when managers start to panic when falling behind in certain categories, and they will often give up overall value in a trade that addresses their needs.
This is the wrong approach to take, and wise managers will take advantage of that error in judgment. Although the players listed below are great options to include in trade talks, my best advice is to use your league standings to put together offers this week.
Players to acquire
Kyle Tucker (OF, Houston Astros)
Tucker has mostly held up as a first-round player, producing six homers and five steals. But his marks in runs (14) and batting average (.264) fall short of the expectations of his lofty draft standing. The Statcast data leads one to believe that the 26-year-old has deserved even better, as he has massive gaps from his actual stats to his .311 xBA and .418 xwOBA. In terms of lineup support, Tucker could eventually get much more help from a lineup that has played without sparkplug Jose Altuve and sits 27th in baseball in OPS. I can easily envision Tucker finishing the season as a top-five overall hitter.
George Springer (OF, Toronto Blue Jays)
Springer has salvaged some fantasy value by swiping five bases, but the rest of his statistical game has been very disappointing (4 HR, .209 BA). A .227 BABIP can take much of the blame for his low batting mark, while a 9.1% HR/FB rate is partly to blame for his lack of power production. In fact, Springer’s .429 xSLG is completely in line with his career marks. He has recently dealt with a lingering illness and should soon return to health — and his top hitting form.
Gunnar Henderson (3B/SS, Baltimore Orioles)
The buy-low offer for Henderson is an easy one: Opine to his manager that the youngster simply isn’t ready for sustainable Major League success. Truthfully, I expect the 21-year-old to soon make statistical improvements. His 18.6% walk rate is an excellent mark, and his 30.5% strikeout rate is similar to the one he posted during his 2022 debut. Henderson could be very valuable if he can soon combine his plentiful walks with a little bit of batted-ball luck.
Jean Segura (2B/3B, Miami Marlins)
Segura has been ineffective enough (0 HR, 3 RBI, 2 SB, .186 BA) to be dropped in some leagues, and he is available for a minimal trade return in many others. But when looking at the advanced stats, the 33-year-old scores similarly to the offensive player he has been in past seasons. A sneaky contributor who usually hits for solid average while reaching double digits in homers and steals, Segura will likely find his groove in the coming weeks.
Players to trade
James Outman (OF, Los Angeles Dodgers)
To be clear, I’m not saying “You have to trade James Outman at all costs!” The kid is good. You’ll be happy to have him all season. But his trade value might be at its peak right now. Fantasy managers love prospects who get off to great starts, which is certainly the case with Outman, who is hitting .274 with eight homers, 23 RBI and 25 runs scored. But he has benefited from a .377 BABIP while logging a concerning 32.9% strikeout rate. He doesn’t have any room for that whiff rate to grow as the league adjusts to him.
Marcus Stroman (SP, Chicago Cubs)
Stroman is having a career year thus far but is unlikely to sustain his current pace. The right-hander is largely unchanged in key areas, such as strikeout rate and walk rate, and his unusually low BABIP is not the result of inducing oodles of soft contact. His final ERA will likely be at least a full run higher than the 2.28 mark he has right now.
Clay Holmes (RP, New York Yankees)
Although buying low and selling high is often the basis of trade concepts, there are times when it makes sense to sell low on a player. In my opinion, such is the case with Holmes. The right-hander fared poorly in the second half of last season (4.84 ERA) and is off to a mediocre start this year (3.46 ERA, 1.38 WHIP), which puts him on thin ice as the closer on a postseason contender. With Michael King and his dazzling 24:4 K:BB ratio waiting in the wings for ninth-inning opportunities, Holmes has little remaining margin for error.
My advice for Holmes' managers is to trade him away for any player they can envision staying on their roster all season.