Sunday, May 08, 2011

Trade Question: A.L.-Only

One of my Twitter followers asked:
want to know what you think of this trade in AL-only, 12 team. I was offered Max Scherzer and Eric Hosmer for Ben Zobrist and Alexi Ogando?
One of the great drawbacks of Twitter is that you're limited to 140 characters. I'm sure that the questioner would have included salaries, contracts, and any other pertinent information in a different medium.

Salaries and contracts play a significant role in determining whether or not you'd make a trade like this in most keeper leagues. Right now, in my home league, this is how the contracts play out:

Scherzer $17 S1 (short-term deal, last year before option year)
Eric Hosmer Farm
Ben Zobrist $6 L2 (long-term deal, free agent after 2012 season)
Alexi Ogando $6 S2

The combination of Scherzer/Hosmer has a higher ceiling than Ogando/Zobrist. However, I'd be reluctant to flip two potential dump trade chips for one. While Scherzer might eventually be a $25-30 starter, he hasn't been that this year, despite the gaudy ERA. And with the exception of someone phenomenal like a Roy Halladay, I don't want to pay big in a dump deal for a guy with a salary over $15. Scherzer as a $17 O centerpiece of a dump deal doesn't really cut it for me.

Putting contracts aside, I lean toward the Scherzer/Hosmer side of the deal. I think that Hosmer is going to stick with the Royals and probably earn somewhere in the ballpark of $10-15. While Ogando is off to a good start, his xFIP says that there is some significant regression due, and I'd also worry about how he's going to hold up in his first full year as a starter in the Majors. It's a close call, though, and it could also be argued that this is a fair trade as well, or one that favors the owner getting Ogando/Zobrist.

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