Just as determining the trade value of JJ Hardy is difficult to do, assessing the trade value of Felix Hernandez is equally troublesome. Since returning from an elbow injury, he has not been good - 20IP, 14ER, 31H, 9BB and 24 Ks. But he is making his starts without reports of elbow soreness. (ed: How about that sore back? Could that be a result of some sort of compensation for a tender elbow?) However, there is no fantasy advice that says his owners can get equal value for him. The advice is to either hold him and hope for the best or deal him at the first sign of an $0.80 on the $1 offer.
Fortunately, my AAOK 124.15 is one in which no player can have too many red flags to prevent him from being dealt. Recently, a $10 Felix Hernandez (long-term contract that expires after the 2008 season) was dealt for a $27 Daisuke Matsuzaka (2009). Accompanying Dice-K was Texas starting pitcher Vincente Padilla ($2, 2008) and Cleveland reliever Fernando Cabrera ($1, 2009). King Felix's travelling companions were Oakland pitcher Lenny DiNardo ($10, 2009) and Rangers' reliever Joaquin Benoit ($10, 2009).
One league rule that needs to be kept in mind in determining what Hernandez's value is the limit on waiving one active player per week. If you wanted to be rid of both Padilla and Cabrera, you would have to use you waiver move for two consecutive weeks. No big deal until you remember that there is an opportunity cost the team must pay. Does a top prospect get called-up and you don't get him? A change in closers?
Was Dice-K too much even with the shedding of one very bad starter and a very disappointing reliever?