Mailbag: Help With Holds

carlos marmol.jpg

I missed the trade
article
, but you’re right on the money with the insulting initial offer. I’ve
now been offered multiple poopoo platters: JJ Putz for VMart (holds is a need
of mine) and Juan Cruz+Rickie Weeks for Pedroia. I’ve countered the second guy with
what I think is a pretty reasonable offer: Pedroia+Wandy Rodriquez for
Santana+Marmol. Think it has a chance? He also has Ted Lilly, so if he counters
with Lilly instead of Santana do I take it?

 

It would probably
help to note that I have Alexei Ramirez ready to fill in at 2B, and it’s a 6×6
league that counts Holds. I’m extremely deficient in Holds thus far (5, count
em), and Marmol is obvi a stud in that category + will sneak in some Saves along
the way.

 

All right, I’m already halfway to my word count!  Thanks guy. 
I’m just kidding, this is actually the level of detail needed for an “expert”
such as myself to have any chance of accuracy when answering a question (and
even then, I’m throwing proverbial darts at a proverbial board that has a
proverbial picture of Julian Tavarez as its proverbial bullseye).  Context is king when evaluating trades and
quirks in league rules can make deals that seem even on their face lopsided in
their results.

 

Speaking of quirks, holds is a ridiculous category.  In most leagues you are given a hold as long
as the lead still remains when you exit the game.  So you can enter a game with a one run lead,
walk the bases full, get booed lustily by a home crowd and still pick up a
hold.  This is like the guy who orders
the first round of drinks, thus earning him “great guy” status among the group
but then proceeds to order two lobsters and a condor egg omelet for dinner
because he knows someone else is picking up the bill.  Still a great guy?  No sir.

 

I understand the argument to make middle relievers a factor
in fantasy baseball since they are so important to real-life teams (if you have
any doubt, please look at this list of ERA’s for the Nats bullpen and then look
at their record), but counting holds is fitting a round peg in a triangular
hole and it can make a left-handed relief specialist more valuable than guys
who hit .300 or 30 bombs.  It’s as if “pancake
blocks” became a category in fantasy football and linemen became more
important than wide receivers.  Sure, it
may be a more accurate reflection of their relative value in real football, but
doesn’t it take a lot of the fun out of fantasy?

 

contra spread.jpg

Anyways, sorry for the tangent, but to be fair, it’s what I
do.  My writing is not very focused.  If it was a weapon in “Contra” it would be
the Spread, not the Laser.

 

Let’s finally get to your question.  In my experience, guys who make insulting
first offers don’t ever accept your counter-proposal no matter how reasonable
it is.  They typically only want to make
a deal if it’s completely one-sided.  If
he doesn’t back off entirely, he’s likely going to give you a new offer that is
only slightly less insulting (instead of flipping you the bird, this time he’ll
just grab his crotch).  So based on that,
I don’t think he’ll accept your offer.

 

As for the offer itself, I think it’s very fair and I would
do it if I had your specific need at holds. 
Both Pedroia for Santana and Wandy for Marmol offer roughly
equivalent value and seemingly would fill needs for both teams.  If he switches to Lilly, I probably would pass.  Then you are talking about it being Pedroia
for Lilly and I’ve got to think you could do better than that if you are
shopping the reigning AL MVP.  Also, I
think Wandy and Lilly end up with similar value at the end of the year, in
which case, you’d be trading Pedroia for Marmol.  Yikes.

 

Another course of action might be to just shop Wandy for a
guy who gets holds in a straight-up trade. 
You should send feelers to the owners of guys like Okajima, Wheeler,
Putz (see if he’ll be more reasonable than VMart), McClellan, and Madson to see
what it would take to get them before you accept anything resembling a desperation
trade.  Or try to buy-low on Scot
Shields, who has started slow after leading the league in holds last year.  After Holiday went yard on him last night,
you might find a fed up owner who is willing to deal.

 

Hope this helps.  If
you have any follow-up questions or want more advice as your negotiations carry
on, let me know and I’ll be happy to help.

2 Comments

I would argue that the crotch grab is more insulting than flipping the bird. It’s much less common and takes more effort, not to mention the risk of injury if performed incorrectly.

Oh, man — the reference to the Spread just made my week. It could be said, though, that referring to yourself as the Spread borders on arrogance. That was far and away the best weapon in that game. But well-played, sir.

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