April and May are the best months to make trades in redraft leagues due to the overreaction of early-season numbers. There is a real edge if you are able to sift through the surface stats and try to concentrate on what really matters.
Every Tuesday we are going to discuss players you should buy and sell in redraft leagues. Because we are only eight to nine games into the season, there aren’t too many players you can sell based on a week and a half, so we will do three players to buy and one to sell.
Fantasy Baseball Buy & Sell
Jorge Mateo, Baltimore Orioles
Mateo has been the everyday shortstop for the Baltimore Orioles through the first week and a half of the season. While he doesn’t exactly jump off the page as a great bat, not to mention hitting eighth for the Orioles, he makes up for it with his elite speed.
During his short stint in the Major Leagues, Mateo has stolen 12 bases in only 249 plate appearances- almost all of them as a part-time player. Now that it appears he is playing every day for the Orioles, he has the potential to provide 30 plus steals while being multi-positional eligible at shortstop and outfield. As long as he keeps playing stellar defense at shortstop, Mateo should have a steady role all season long.
Sure, he may not hit many home runs and the counting stats could be light. But, there is a real chance he hits 15 home runs with 30 stolen bases and a .240-.250 average. Of course, he could also be droppable in a couple of weeks. For now, we have to try and acquire him now while he is playing.
Andrew McCutchen, Milwaukee Brewers
If you were to look at McCutchen’s numbers on the surface, you would think he is just another washed-up veteran. Going under the hood, you can see there is still a lot to like with his profile. McCutchen barreled the ball up better than average while walking 14-percent of the time last season.
With the designated hitter now in the National League, he is going to play every day for the Milwaukee Brewers. If he is able to carry those skills over from last year, he is going to be a really solid third or fourth outfielder on your team. If he is to stick batting fourth every day. McCutchen could drive in over 100 runs while hitting 25 home runs and some chip-in steals.
Even though he is more viable in a 15-team league because of the secure lineup spot. You could still make a move for him in a 12-teamer, even though the replacement level is a lot higher. There is also a chance he isn’t even owned in your league, so definitely add him from the waiver wire if that is a possibility.
Daulton Varsho, Arizona Diamondbacks
Through the Diamondback’s first nine games, Varsho has played center field in eight of them and then found himself behind the dish, catching on Sunday. Despite getting off to a “slow start”, in just nine games, Varsho has already barreled up two balls, stolen a base, and walked seven times.
The fact is that Varsho is playing every single day, with no reason for it not to continue. As your starting catcher, that is extremely valuable. Now add in the fact that he steals bases and has both an above-average walk rate and barrel rate. Varsho should be a commodity that you should be trading for before the batting average comes up and the buy window is sealed shut.
If you are able to trade any catcher not named J.T Realmuto, Will Smith, or Salvador Perez and maybe another piece in order to acquire Varsho, it will end up being worth it. If this type of playing time keeps up, he should be a top-five catcher with the potential to put up a 20-plus home run and 20-plus stolen base season.
Adalberto Mondesi, Kansas City Royals
Now that Adalberto Mondesi is on the field and healthy, for the time being. Now is the perfect time to trade him. As long as your team isn’t reliant on him to get stolen bases, this is when you need to cash in and move on.
Even though you drafted Mondesi in a decently high round, that doesn’t mean you can’t trade him. If you have any glaring needs on your team, it would make total sense to fill them by giving up Mondesi for a decent haul. Preferably someone who is desperate for steals and sees the three that he already has through the first eight games of the season as an opportunity to fix that category for themselves.
In the first four years of his big league career, he has played a combined 271 games out of a possible 546. That is almost exactly 50-percent of the possible games missed. And, it’s not just one injury, he has injured multiple parts of the body. Mondesi doesn’t even have a reckless playstyle, like Buxton. He just happens to get injured often, for whatever reason.
Regardless of the reason why now is the perfect time to move on Mondesi. Maybe even waiting another week or so to see if he gets hot with the bat. Then you can really get a good haul for him. Again, whatever your team needs, you can fill it by moving on from the oft-injured one-dimensional fantasy asset.