Fantasy Baseball Articles of Configuration: Going Heavy on Hitting Would Have Been a Good Idea

by on August 26, 2013 @ 13:51:50 PDT


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By Brian Walton

Remember way back in March?

Before the auction draft in your single league format, you may have been wondering whether to spend a bit more on hitting, with the idea of acquiring pitching later if needed.

In a non-auction format, you may have been considering the ramifications of going heavy on hitting early and making pitching a lower priority in the early rounds.

Washington Nationals SP Gio Gonzalez
Gonzalez couldn't buy a bat

If the 2013 National League Tout Wars is typical, you were clearly on the right track if you were more focused on hitting.

In a recent article, I shared my in-season strategy of picking up distressed assets at discount prices, hoping to cash in later. Specifically, I purchased injured players who had been cashed out by their original owners in return for a FAAB rebate.

In most cases, the players who fit this profile were pitchers, with Philadelphia's Ben Revere being the exception. With a number of hurlers currently on my disabled list nearing return, I am facing a potential roster jam.

Trevor Cahill was first to return, with Ross Detwiler, Wandy Rodriguez, Roy Halladay, Jason Grilli and James McDonald among others who are potentially in line to contribute in the final month to six weeks, if healthy.

With six starters already active, including NL wins leader Francisco Liriano and no-hit master Homer Bailey, I needed to create roster room. Others on my roster are Marco Estrada, Jorge De La Rosa, Jacob Turner and Kyle Lohse.

Though sending out mass trade e-mails is rarely the best way to go, with eight starters I could trade -- six actives plus Cahill and Jake Arrieta, who two-hit the Cardinals for seven innings Aug. 16 -- I had no idea which pitchers might interest which owners.

So, I named all my available starters and asked for offense -- any offense -- in return. I even offered to provide hitting backfill if that would help ease a deal.

Surely there had to be something for everyone -- right?

Not exactly. In fact, almost nothing.

From the 11 other Tout owners, I received exactly one reply. It was an offer for a .230-hitting catcher.

Now, I did not take the lack of response personally, nor did I believe my pitching was worthless.

I decided to try to make lemonade from lemons by making this the subject of my column. To make the exercise more meaningful for you, the reader, I polled my peers for their reasons to reject my overture.

To be entirely honest, in addition to getting column fodder, I held a low-odds hope that my second e-mail might generate some actual trade dialogue.

The specifics from many of the NL Tout warriors follow, but the overriding theme is that no one can spare hitting at this point of the season. Many feel they have more leverage in the offensive categories.

For this to be the case universally across the league despite the wide differences between where these owners sit in the category standings signals a clear gulf in perceived player value in favor of hitters.

Keep this in mind for your leagues, even if the lesson cannot be applied until 2014. I know I will.

Todd Zola summarizes the situation well:

"I've got no hitting to spare - in fact need hitting myself. I lead the league in wins and just got McCarthy and now Gallardo back and was hoping to move pitching but it is not a seller's market. Everyone is looking to move pitching."

Lenny Melnick believes I waited too long.

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