I participate in 2 NL-Only keeper auction leagues, and 1 AL-Only keeper auction league of the 4 fantasy baseball money leagues that I participate in. I also participate in the Fake Teams Dynasty League and the Fake Teams Head to Head Point League, both in their first year of existence.
In one of my NL-Only keeper leagues, the 4 x 4 UBA league which I write about here from time time, I received an offer from another owner this past week. He offered me Madison Bumgarner for Craig Kimbrel. On the surface, the trade appears to be an easy decision. Take MadBum. Both are priced at $10 and can be extended to $15 before the season, or kept at $10 and lose them after the 2012 season.
More on this trade offer after the jump:
I won this money league last season, and have the talent to place in the money this season as well, if all goes well. Earlier this offseason, I traded a $20 Andrew McCutchen for John Axford, the #3 pick in the minor league draft and Matt Garza. I then turned the #3 pick in the minor league draft into a $24 Cole Hamels. These trades have left me with the following roster:
C- Wilson Ramos - $7
C- Devin Mesoraco - $5
2B- Dan Uggla - $24
MI- Danny Espinosa - $10
OF- Giancarlo Stanton - $20
OF- Matt Kemp - $47
OF- Jose Tabata - $10
OF- Gerardo Parra - $3
CL- Craig Kimbrel -$10 (or $15 if I raise him)
CL- John Axford -$10 (or $15 if I raise him)
P- Cole Hamels - $24
P- Zack Greinke- $20
RP- Sergio Romo - $2
Having both Kimbrel and Axford, I am assured a top 3 finish in the saves category, worth at least 10 points in this 12 team league. I think, if they can stay healthy, they will win the saves category for me. Of course, we all know closers are very volatile, and Madison Bumgarner had a breakout season in 2011, and some think he can be a top 20 starter in all of baseball, and a top 7-8 starter in the NL, this season.
So, my dilemma is: should I give up about 5-6 points in the saves category, by dealing Kimbrel or just keep him. Bumgarner's wins and excellent ERA and WHIP totals should partially offset the point loss in the saves category, but their are few closers available in the 2012 auction draft, and I will have limited funds to invest on draft day due to the combined cost of my keepers above.
Here is the list of closers available on draft day:
Bell and Papelbon will both go for around $30 or more on draft day. Having two cheap closers are very valuable in keeper leagues, especially 4 x 4 leagues where starting pitchers are not as valuable due to no strikeout category, and the problem with projecting wins from year to year.
With all the facts laid out above, what would you do? Trade for Bumgarner and worry about trading for saves later in the season, or keep Kimbrel and hope to get lucky on draft day with a cheap, or relatively cheap, starting pitcher or two?