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Late Season Strategy

With 35 games or so remaining in the regular and fantasy baseball season, I wanted to bring to your attention the results of a trade I made about 35 games ago.

At the time, I had a 21 SB lead and 11 points in the category with Raphael Furcal and Juan Pierre leading the way.  With two top SB threats, I decided to deal one to bolster HR & RBIs.

Given Pierre doesn't get either and Furcal does, I wanted to move Pierre to try to control the categories to the extent I net the full amount of HR & RBI in the trade.  If I had dealt Furcal and he hit 5 HRs over the remainder of the season and stole 20 bases, I would need to get those at least 5 HRs to break even and more to net a gain.  Meanwhile, the team that landed Furcal would net the 20 SBs.  I try to avoid that type of scenario whenever I trade.

With Pierre on the market, I went looking for a 25/90 type of player given the value of a mega-SB player like Pierre.  I settled on Austin Kearns who had just recently been dealt to Washington and thus had the persistent cloud of trade rumors removed.

The deal was struck very easily.  I felt confident Kearns would easily surpass Pierre's HR/RBI production while the other team knew for sure he would get a net of 20+ SB.

As of yesterday's games, that has held, but not to the degree I would have anticipated so far.  Kearns has out-HR and RBIed Pierre but only slightly, 3/15 to 0/12, while Pierre has out-AVG and SB Kearns, .303/12 to .241/0.

With another 35 games to go, these numbers will move further and further towards the projected goals.

Why 300 words to state the obvious?  Because with only 35 games to go, trades made now to add to categories must be more carefully designed to achieve their purpose.

This means no middle reliever for OK starting pitching if you're more than a three-toed sloth's handful of wins behind because that middle reliever may pick-up two wins while your starter gets only three.  Or less.

If you need HRs, do not deal Jorge Posada for Coco Crisp.

If you need SB or Saves, then make sure you are acquiring the elite stolen bases guys or dealing the Posada's of the world for them.

Saves are easier as there are only 30 players who get them at any one time.  A non-closer for a closer will always net more saves.

The key strategic point to remember is there is not enough time for the trade to work out as intended.  

The Kearns/Pierre deal will because there are another 35 games to go in which Kearns will accumulate more HR/RBI and Pierre will widen the insurmountable 12 SB by even more.  

But Scott Proctor for Dan Haren may not.