Thursday, April 24, 2008

Mailbag: Sell high on D-Lee?

Fantasy Mailbag:

I am trying to decided whether to cash in on Derrick Lee's success, or ride him to hopefully a great season. I want to upgrade at SS. I have Edger Renteria right now, but i would like to try to upgrade to either Rollins or Reyes.

I was just rejected for a straight up trade of Lee for Reyes. Do I give up more than this, or just be content with Renteria and enjoy Lee?

Adam R., Albania

Thanks for the overseas question, Adam.

I knew fantasy baseball was a growing sport, but didn't realize it had reached Albania.

As for your question, the short answer is don't trade Derek Lee.

The long answer is only trade him for first or second round value. I'm not saying we're seeing the 2005 version of Lee, but the way he's starting this season (7 HR, 18 RBI, .378 in 21 games) makes you think that he could come close to the near-triple crown stats.

A lot depends on your team's needs. If you're short in steals, then you might want to make another push for Reyes. But those 78 steals and all those head-first dives into second and third last year may have taken a toll on Reyes' body and he's been banged up early.

Rollins is still nursing the sprained ankle and has been limited to pinch-hitting duties, and with speed such an integral part of his game, an injury like that could suck his value to fourth or fifth round stuff.

Renteria wasn't projected to be a top-5 SS, but the way he's swinging the bat, in such a packed lineup, there's an outside chance he could end up there at year's end, so don't give him away.

The thing with Lee is that he had such an awful first half last year, power-wise (only 6 HR before the All-Star break), but he was coming off wrist surgery in 2006. Once the wrist started healing, Lee hit 16 HR in the final 68 games, possibly sparked by this altercation with Padres SP Chris Young. Or not. But it's fun to watch again.

Lee looks to be on pace for a 35-40 HR season. And while his running days are all but over (you may get a half dozen swipes), his average and RBI totals in one of the best Cubs lineups this side of the goat can't be discounted. He's almost a lock to get 100 knocks and hit over .315.

I say keep Lee and Renteria and ride their great lineups to the Albania Fantasy Championship. If there is such a thing.


Adam R. said...

The Albanian Championship may be the only thing I win this year, seeing that I am stuck in 11th place right now in my head-to-head league!!! Thanks for the advice.