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I Traded Chris Davis

Anthony Calanni explains why he traded one of the league's most elite first-half performers.

Can Chris Davis really keep this up?
Can Chris Davis really keep this up?

I did it. I traded Chris Davis. That's right. I gave up a guy who has 32 home runs (most in MLB), 83 RBI (2nd most in MLB), 62 runs (4th most in MLB), a .326 batting average (4th in MLB), and a league-leading .719 slugging percentage. If it wasn't for Miguel Cabrera, Chris Davis would currently be the runaway number one fantasy baseball player. Sadly, I decided to part ways with Davis. He left my team in style by belting a farewell homer on Sunday Night Baseball. I nearly shed a tear.

So why did I trade Chris Davis? Trading a top-two fantasy bat sounds absurd, but I had several just reasons to do so.

Reason #1: My team could afford it.

I did not just blindly come to the conclusion that Davis was moveable. I first closely examined my team's strengths and weaknesses. In a 10 team 5x5 rotisserie league, I sat in 6th place with 53 points. Out of these 53 points, 36 came from batting and a lowly 17 came from pitching. Simply put, I was in desperate need of a pitching boost. Also, Matt Kemp and Josh Hamilton sit in my outfield. I figured that if they can turn it around and have respectable second halves, the impact of losing Davis would be softened.

Reason #2: How much better could it get?

There is no way to ignore Davis's monster first-half, but there are plenty of reasons to question how long it will last. The first major reason is his strikeout rate. Davis has K'd 95 times (in 310 at bats), the 10th highest total in the league. This is nothing new for Davis. In 2011 and 2012, his K% was 30%. Davis also has shaky plate discipline. Although his OBP sits at .402, he has only walked 36 times. Davis swings at 34.5% of pitches outside of the strikezone. His overall contact rate is 71.4%, which is good for 143rd in all of baseball. Davis is going to see a lesser amount of good pitches to hit in the second half. That's just the way baseball works. He is on pace for 60 bombs, but pitchers are already starting to make adjustments. Even though he went yard off of Hiroki Kuroda on Sunday, Davis struck out twice and looked foolish against the splitter. On July 4th, he struck out three times for the 8th time this season. His value has already hit its peak.

Reason #3: I made high demands and received an offer that I couldn't refuse.

When I was fully content with the idea of trading Davis, I let everyone in my league know what I would want in return. I made sure that my time wasn't wasted with silly offers. I greedily started the process off by asking for a package deal of two aces. I received offers from each of the 9 other teams in my league. After declining the insulting offers and sifting through the fairly even ones, only two deals remained on the table. One team offered me Cliff Lee and Matt Harvey, while the other offered Clayton Kershaw and Yu Darvish. I quietly mumbled "thank you for your services" to Chris Davis and come Monday morning, my pitching staff was bolstered by Kershaw and Darvish, two top-five starting pitchers.

Follow me on Twitter @anthjeet33