FanPost

2014 Deep League Trade Targets

John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

Most fantasy baseball articles have nothing for my league. We are 20 teams, we have 25-man rosters and 15-man farms. For the most part our managers are knowledgeable; some are even contributors for the sites that we monitor daily. We have read all the sleeper lists, are regulars on MLB Trade Rumors, and have pondered many a prospect and MLB rankings lists as they are published. So, what's left? We have to dig deep to find value because no one is selling Fielder for pennies on the dollar since his numbers were down last year. Conversely, no one is buying Torii Hunter at top dollar--he's 143 years old, and despite the numbers he's not top trade bait in my dynasty format.

No, what we need are those guys who people have soured on--perhaps due to injury, or due to a lack of playing time, or maybe just because the numbers weren't there last year...or were they (more on that below)? These are guys who won't show up in top 10 lists, probably won't grace many sleeper lists, but they provide value as UTIL players, injury fill-ins, and bench guys. These are the guys you target in your FA drafts, the guys you scour the wire for, and guys (in deep leagues like mine) that you target in trades as throw-ins or secondary pieces.

For the next couple of minutes let's throw out traditional 5x5 cats. I took the MLB hitter universe from 2010-2013 and sorted by wOBA and wRC+ and then by games played. The first two categories will basically give me an idea about the offensive value a player has and then games played will tell me how much the player has actually been on the field (no one gives you value while they are on the bench, demoted to the minors, or plugging up DL spots).

First I targeted guys who had between .335-.345 wOBA (.314 wOBA was the league average last year). This gave me a list of guys who basically had above average offensive performance in relation to the rest of the league, then I sorted by wRC+ (which helps give me park and league adjustments) of guys that were above average (>100). Games played was something I looked at when breaking ties between two similarly-rated players.

This gave me a list of 36 players. I took out the "big name" guys that most people aren't going to be interested in trading in a dynasty format. Remember, we're looking for value here, not for guys whose value (or name recognition is already widely known and will require top dollar to nab). Finally, I'm skewed towards dynasty format, so when in doubt I took the younger guy (e.g., Headley over Freese at 3B).

The results are the deep league, roster-filler all stars you see below (with wOBA, wRC+, and Games Played averages):

Pos.

Name

wOBA

wRC+

GP

Comments

C

John Jaso

0.340

118

376

Better numbers than McCann

1B

Kendrys Morales

0.343

119

341

I think he can be had cheaply

2B

Rickie Weeks

0.340

111

539

Pennies on the $ this year

3B

Chris Johnson

0.335

110

479

cheaper than Freese or Headley, I think

MI

Jed Lowrie

0.339

112

394

Just stay healthy

LF

Lucas Duda

0.336

115

350

Still qualifies here; full time Abs coming in 2014

CF

Alejandro De Aza

0.335

107

357

Still atop a potent lineup; still at the Cell

RF

Matt Joyce

0.343

120

482

Yes please; productive when playing

Look, you don't want this to be your starting lineup, but any of these guys could be great trade targets as they will most likely be relatively inexpensive, and their track record suggests that they could at least put up above average offensive performance. Really, that's all you are looking for in this case, ways to maximize value.

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