Keeper League Trade: Oscar Taveras for Giancarlo Stanton

Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

I made a big trade in one of my NL-only keeper leagues last week, landing Cardinals outfielder Oscar Taveras for a package that included Giancarlo Stanton.

I am in the middle of another rebuld in the UBA 12 team, $260 budget, NL-only keeper league, having traded for several cheap keepers during the 2013 season, including a $5 Nolan Arenado, $5 Anthony Rendon, $5 Christian Yelich, $5 Kolten Wong, $2 Jeff Samardzija, $5 Corey Seager and $2 Sergio Romo. I flipped Romo and a late MiLB draft pick for a $5 Javier Baez earlier this offseason, and last week, I made the following deal:

I trade:

$20 L0 Giancarlo Stanton (in last year of his contract)

$5 Devin Mesoraco

I get:

$5 Oscar Taveras

I failed in my attempt to trade for him during the season, but was finally able to trade for him this offseason. Did I give up a lot? For 2014, I did. For 2014 and beyond, I think I made out. And then some.

Stanton is the biggest name in this deal, but I was determined to deal him this offseason for the best offer available. I let the league know he was available back in November, I believe. I received some offers, but nothing that really compelled me to deal him. As I was talking about an offer with one owner, I made an offer to the owner who owned Taveras. I offered Stanton and Samardzija for Taveras. He responded asking for Mesoraco instead of the Shark. It didn't take me long to accept the offer, and for me, that is UNUSUAL.

Could this deal come back to bite me? Sure. If Mesoraco turns into the stud hitter he was in the minors, but he hasn't shown anything close to that in the big leagues. Yet. Trading Stanton in the last year of his contract was a goal of mine this offseason, and I am quite happy with the return.

I don't need to tell you that Taveras was the #1 prospect in the game before the 2013 season, and still in the top 2-3 conversation behind only Byron Buxton right now. Once Taveras shows he is 100% healthy after ankle surgery in 2013, he will be playing every day in St. Louis. The Csrdinals traded for center fielder Peter Bourjos this offseason, but he will be relegated to a fourth outfielder/late inning replacement once Taveras shows he is ready.

When will he be ready? It could be out of spring training, but realistically, I see him getting the call up around the May-June timeframe. The Cardinals will not call him up to start a few times per week. He will be their starting center fielder, or right fielder, depending on injuries and the performance of Matt Adams in his first full season in the big leagues.

I will own Taveras at $5 for 2014 (assuming he gets called up this season) and 2015, then have to decide to give him a raise or keep him at $10 for 2016. If he reaches his potential sooner rather than later, he will be a very profitable player for me for at least the next 3 seasons.

I now have the following keeper list as a result of this deal:

$5 Kolten Wong

$5 Anthony Rendon

$5 Nolan Arenado

$5 Christian Yelich

$10 Chris Owings

$2 A.J. Burnett

$1 Nathan Eovaldi

$2 Jeff Samardzija

$4 Tyler Clippard

$5 Drew Storen

$1 Jordan Walden

I also own a $10 Charlie Blackmon, who I will consider keeping if he wins a starting job in the Rockies outfield out of spring training. Owings will be kept only if he is named the Diamondbacks starter at shortstop. There is talk that Burnett may retire or sign with an AL team. Personally, I think he either signs with the Buccos or retires. So, a few of my possible keepers have questions marks, but they will be resolved by draft day. I don't have to submit my keeper list till a few days before the auction draft.

In addition, I own the following prospects:

$5 Oscar Taveras

$5 Javier Baez

$5 Corey Seager

$5 Trevor Story

I see both Taveras and Baez getting a call up this season, possibly by June for both. There is talk that Baez could move to second base in spring training, which would be huge for his fantasy value. Seager is more than a year away, while Story has work to do to regain his prospect status.

With a $260 budget for 23 players rostered, I will have about $215 to spend on 12 players, and the player pool in the draft is loaded with guys like Ryan Braun, Andrew McCutchen, Joey Votto, Stephen Strasburg, Cliff Lee and many others.

So, how did I do in this keeper league trade? Let me know in the comments section and in the poll below.

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