Cutting your loses with injured players is a hard thing to do. You never want to sell low, especially when you invested a high pick into these guys. There are certain situations that come up that help you determine which guys to hold on to or buy low on, and which guys to cut your loses on and sell.
First round talents are almost impossible to sell low on. Unless a guy is out for multiple months and you feel you have no way of making the playoffs without him, you should keep him. Evan Longoria is this guy and needs to be kept. He is hopefully only a week or two away from returning.
When I look at Chase Utley and Josh Hamilton I see opposite trading situations. Chase Utley is a guy who can probably be acquired extremely cheap right now. If your able to give up a lower tier drafted guy such as Neil Walker for Chase Utley then do it. Its unknown how long Utley will be out, but the upside of him helping your team out in the second half is worth the risk. Utley will still put up 2nd round quality numbers for however long he plays for your team. If you have him do not sell him low. If you don’t have him and someone is looking to trade him for cheap then do it. The opposite goes for Hamilton. Don’t sell him cheap because he is the reigning AL MVP, but if someone offers you fair value for him, then sell. With him having a career season last year, an overachieving average, and being extremely injury prone, he wasn’t a smart pick anyways (which i said in my outfield ranking.) If you can get someone like Jason Heyward or Jay Bruce for him right now I would. But do not give him away. Yes he will put up good numbers once he returns, but the chance of him having another lost season due to multiple injuries, like he did in 2009, is realistic. Right now he is high risk high reward. And I wouldn’t want high risk from anyone in the top 3 rounds of my draft.
Both Zimmerman and Mauer are expected back soon, so I would not sell them. Guys like Kendrys Morales, Zack Greinke, Brian Matusz, and Johnny Cueto who haven’t even played a single game yet should not be sold. With the exception of Cueto I would explore a trade to acquire any of these guys. But only offer value under that of where they were drafted. If Morales was drafted in Round 6 do not offer Jay Bruce since he was as well. Only offer a guy who was drafted a few rounds behind him like Billy Butler. Buying low on a guy like Morales who can hit for power and average could really put your team over the top when they come back. I love drafting, targeting, and acquiring guys like this. People forget exactly how long the season is and if players aren’t performing for them right now there is a chance they would do away with them. So swoop in, take these players, have patience, wait for them to come back, and then reap the benefits. This is the cheapest and easiest way to stack you team full of major talent guys and be virtually unbeatable.
Other guys I would try to dump are Rafael Furcal, Jason Bay, Andres Torres, and Phil Hughes. Don’t cut Hughes. Trade him. Other guys I would hold on to are Ubaldo Jimenez, Rajai Davis, and Tsuyoshi Nishioka.
David Murphy- Filling in for Josh Hamilton perfectly fine. Hits for average, hit some homers, and can steal a good bit of bases.
Danny Espinosa- You still don’t have him??? I’ve told you a dozen times to get him. Now he’s hitting leadoff, he’s stealing, and he’s hitting HR’s. He had a HR a 3B and 6 RBI in the doubleheader yesterday. He is officially on fire.
Danny Valencia- He’s starting to heat up. Its always better to get guys before they start their hot steaks instead of afterwards when they are winding down. Valencia is capable of hitting over .300 with pretty good power.
Jair Jurrjens- He was drafted in round 6 last season and battled injuries. He just returned and looked great in his first start. If he’s available go grab yourself a 6th round caliber pitcher for free.
Brandon McCarthy- Anyone can pitch in Oakland. McCarthy is still young and disgruntled that he never got his shot in Texas. He has 3 quality starts already this year and has pitched deep into all 3 games. Thats a very good sign. He’s going deeper into games than Gio and Anderson.
Michael Pineda- If he’s available in your league this is the first time you’ve read my column. Because I told everyone to get him. And now you see why. And now you see why you should listen to me.
Other Notes: Justin Masterson, Kyle McClellan, and Matt Harrison appear to be real deals. Hold onto them while they are hot. It may also be a good idea to try to sell them high just in case they don’t continue to dominate. Masterson I believe will stay this good because he has more experience and pitched this way down the stretch last year. The other two worry me a little. McClellan has Dave Duncan so he may be fine. Sell Matt Harrison high. If you need saves watch the Nationals situation. Drew Storen got the save yesterday and could be the new (and rightful) closer for the Nats. He is a must add if the job is officially his. It could be a closer by committee situation though, so he may not perform for a few weeks, but sooner or later the job is his.
Speaking of getting guys BEFORE they are hot…..be weary of adding Lance Berkman and David Freese. The Cardinals just had an amazing week and so did both of these guys. Berkman just peaked for the season. He will not have another week that good all year. If Freese hits a bad slump ever he loses his starting job. That scares me. So if you pick these hot players up expect them to cool down by the middle of this week.