I asked the Psychic last week if I should offer another manager Chase Utley and Troy Tulowitzki for Hanley Ramirez and Zack Greinke.
Her response: "Not if you want to win."
While Hanley is clearly an upgrade over ANYBODY, even the #2 shortstop in the game, she didn't feel Utley for Greinke made up for the difference between Tulo and Hanley, even though my SP is hurting so far, with my high-risk guys like Peavy and Webb doing little or nothing for me, and perennial late starter Jon Lester not turning in anything useful until tonight.
As we drove into town last night, I grilled her on another potential scenario: I give up Utley and Justin Upton, and get Pujols and someone else -- maybe Ben Zobrist.
My wife LOVES Albert Pujols, and of course, most fantasy players drink his bathwater. But she also worries about him getting hurt, and look -- the best player in baseball did have offseason surgery, and his back was bothering him during Spring Training.
Plus, Zobrist, whom she correctly identified as wearing a white uniform and having dark hair, is not due for a repeat of 2009. "He'll be good this year," she said, "But not great."
So there you have it. Two trades that will not take place, cause the Psychic doesn't like what she sees in her crystal ball.
One trade I DID make today, however: Jose Valverde and Ryan Ludwick for Jacoby Ellsbury. Admittedly, I didn't consult the Psychic, as the trade came together very quickly and unexpectedly at a coffee shop when she was not in consulting range. And no, she's not psychic enough to hear me thinking about trades if we're not in the same room!
I like this trade because I can probably trade or scrounge for another closer at some point, and while I believe Ludwick will have a big year hitting in front of the best player in the game (the aforementioned Pujols), I did pick him up off the waiver wire last week, so he's kind of gravy.
Trading for injured players is always risky. But since my league uses playoffs, I'm thinking about September, not May. Even if Jacoby is out all month, I'll still be glad I have him when the playoffs come around.
Don't get me wrong; the deal is fair, and I might even have taken it if I were on the other end. My friend Jeff, the other manager, also has Rajai Davis, and he needed power more than the Punch-and-Judy that Jacoby was providing. Plus, a good closer IS hard to find, and I'm taking a gamble I'll be able to grab another one down the line. A lot of managers like the peace of mind of getting rid of injured players and sparing themselves the headache.
But I like to play all-out, and while it often doesn't work (I traded for Reyes last year and he didn't do anything for me; I ended up dropping him), acquiring injured or recently injured players can pay off big (as anyone who owned Chris Carpenter last year, myself included, can tell you).
It's fun to go all-out, and while the Psychic sometimes stops me from doing trades that hurt me in the long run, I'm hopeful I got away with one today that will help both parties. As always, time will tell.