Here's a fun one.
You're playing for this year. If you're an honest broker (like I try to be), you offer your best players up (in terms of next year value) in trade. If you're also like me and you compete nearly every year, you eventually run out of stuff to dump, though, and get to the point where your team is a little thin.
In other words, you don't have a cheap Grady Sizemore or B.J. Upton to dump. You're stuck with Jose Guillen at $9. So you're not going to get the cream of the crop from the early dumpers. You're going to have to wait until the next round of dumping.
But you should get something for Guillen. Right?
Probably. He's having a disappointing year, but is still on pace for a 22/100/3/.255 season (prior to today's game), which would have been worth $17 in last year's Patton formula. His Patton earnings since 2004: $25, $20, $3, $24. An injury in 2006 hurts the scan, and Guillen is a 32-year old player who doesn't seem like someone who is going to age gracefully.
One owner in my league didn't want him. His rationale wasn't because my offer was weak (which, in truth, it was) or that he wanted more. He told me that Guillen isn't a keep next year.
His rationale was tied back to his value versus a replacement level player and how Guillen was only X amount better than a replacement level OF. He had Guillen valued at $7.5 for next year.
Right now, if I had to stick a bid on Guillen, it would be $15. It could be a conservative bid based on his past performance. But Guillen will be 33 years old next year, which puts him on the wrong side of the age curve. I can't see him disappearing entirely in 2009, but I could see this year as the beginning of a slow, uncomfortable fade.
That being said, a $15 Guillen is a profit maker, and you need these kind of players to win. You can't give up too much for them, but you do need some of these guys to have a strong freeze list.
If you don't want someone like Guillen from me, I can understand that. If you tell me "I'd rather have Player A from another owner than Guillen, I get that too.
But telling me that Guillen isn't a keep next year drives me nuts.
Things like value below replacement level are worthwhile when analyzing real baseball and looking at how teams are or aren't maximizing their resources. You can argue that Jose Guillen was a poor use of resources for the Kansas City Royals, and I'd agree with that argument.
But Jose Guillen is a keep. You might think runs batted in is a useless and overrated stat in analyzing a baseball player. And you're probably correct. But you need those ribbies in Roto to win.