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Fantasy Baseball: Would You Rather?

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A few days ago, a reader posted a comment on my story asking exactly how much did I like Cole Hamels.

Said person made a valid point. Sometimes we may say a player will improve, but that advice only goes so far without some context. Today, I'm going to give you some players to pick up (or trade for), and a more-owned player of the same position to drop. In all cases the player I would get rid of has a higher ESPN ownership percentage than the ones I would add.

Drop Juan Uribe for Jose Lopez (2B, 3B)

Lopez had a slow start last year too, and then he really started to hit. With his batting picking up recently with a couple of home runs, Lopez might finally be settling in. Uribe has had a pretty nice season so far but I like Lopez’s power potential and would rather bank on the Mariner to have better numbers from this point forward.

Drop John Lackey for Ervin Santana, Anibal Sanchez or Johnny Cueto (SP)

What is Lackey going to do for you? Right now he’s hurting in ERA and WHIP and is no great shakes in strikeouts. The only potential he has is in wins because he plays for the Red Sox, and that just doesn’t cut it. Lackey has a good track record, but he plays in a brutal division. Rather take these guys who either play in the NL or get to visit Seattle and Oakland. And they all bring home Ks.

Drop Russell Martin for Mike Napoli, Kurt Suzuki, or Miguel Olivo (C)

I really shouldn’t have to put this one on there, but Russell Martin is owned in 82.5% of leagues, more than any of the other catchers listed here. And I have no idea why. First choice of this group for me would be Napoli, who is going to play first base some now that Morales is down. The power has always been there for Napoli, he just had been dropped in leagues because he wasn’t getting playing time at the beginning of the year.

Drop Adam Jones for Jason Kubel (OF)

I was an Adam Jones believer too, but I think it’s time to let go. Jones is walking just 2.2% of the time. Even though Kubel is struggling as well, I’d rather go with the guy that’s shown steadier power the last two years and is on a better team.

Drop Brian Fuentes for Fernando Rodney* (RP)

This one comes with asterisk. Ultimately Rodney is going to end up as the Angels’ closer. The team even has a contract incentive to remove Fuentes from the job. And did I mention Fuentes’ ERA? 5.93. Unfortunately, if you need the saves right now you have to stick it out with Fuentes, but having both of them would be much better.