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A brief Ronald Acuña trading guide

The most anticipated prospect in years has arrived in the big leagues. If you want to trade him, here’s whom you should target.

MLB: Spring Training-Detroit Tigers at Atlanta Braves Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

This post is not going to be relevant after the conclusion of the April 25 game between the Braves and the Reds. It only exists now, in the supernova hype ether that is created when a prospect is called up but hasn’t yet played.

If Ronald Acuna doesn’t play well today, we are no longer in that ether. No, it doesn’t make sense, but we’re fickle, needy creatures who need immediate satisfaction. If he hits a home run today, or gets three hits with a steal, then we’re engaging into hyperdrive. But his trade value before the game is unique because he hasn’t failed.

Thousands of owners have had him stashed since their drafts, so forget about rushing to your wire for the pickup. If you’re in some weird league where the rules don’t allow him to be owned until he hits the majors, do everything you can to own him like dropping 90 percent of your FAAB.

But in more traditional leagues, you don’t decide if you can trade for Acuna. His owner does. I’m now speaking to him. Hello, benevolent Acuna owner. Today you woke up on a throne high in the sky, looking at your league mates doing their best Oliver Twist impression down below. Should you trade the player who’s been hyped up as a generational prospect? It’s an interesting, almost taboo thought that gets you secretly excited at the thought of the return. How do you weigh lofty expectations against the real possibility of him struggling? Will he conquer baseball like Cody Bellinger did in his first season? Or will he spend most of the season finding his footing like Byron Buxton has all these years?

Trading Acuna is a possibility you should be open to and at this very moment, before his game begins, is the perfect time. Here are the players I would trade him for one-for-one in a standard mixed redraft.


  • Clayton Kershaw
  • Max Scherzer
  • Chris Sale
  • Corey Kluber
  • Noah Syndergaard
  • Stephen Strasburg
  • Gerrit Cole
  • Luis Severino
  • Justin Verlander

That’s it, just nine pitchers. A manager offering you anyone else has to add more.

Instead of listing all batters, I’ll break it down by needs. If you’re trading Acuna for a bat, it’s to presumably fill some sort of deficiency in your roster that you’ve noticed forming in the first few weeks. A lot of these are extremely obvious, but I want to list everyone that would warrant a pull of the trigger.


  • Trea Turner
  • Dee Gordon

Remember that Acuna possesses at minimum 20 SB speed. While it seems a little counterintuitive to trade him for pure speed, Gordon and Turner are the only ones worth it.


  • Mike Trout
  • Bryce Harper
  • Charlie Blackmon
  • Manny Machado
  • Aaron Judge
  • Didi Gregorius
  • Carlos Correa
  • Rhys Hoskins
  • Nolan Arenado
  • Paul Goldschmidt
  • Kris Bryant
  • Freddie Freeman
  • Giancarlo Stanton
  • JD Martinez

No surprises here. Outside of Gregorius and Hoskins, everyone was typically drafted in the first two rounds.

Runs (or generally great players all around)

  • Francisco Lindor
  • Jose Altuve
  • Mookie Betts
  • Jose Ramirez

That’s it, folks. There are only 29 players right now that I’d want instead of Acuna. Everyone else is in the grey area that makes me want the upside. Players like George Springer, Joey Votto, Matt Chapman, Javier Baez, Starling Marte and more make for intriguing options, but I’d want something tacked onto them. And of course no closers and catchers because those are found in the pool pretty easily.

Hopefully this eases some of your consternation if your leaguemates are trying to pry him away from you. Remember that this is for a standard league set up. If you’re in a keeper league or a dynasty league, things get more complicated. If you have any trade offers you’re unsure of, find me on Twitter @EddyAlmaguer and I’ll help you out.