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Saturday 24th Feb 2018

Saturday, April 20 – 12:16 PM

Before seriously considering any trade, I like to get the opinion of a neutral third party, whether it be a fellow “expert” (I really do hate that term) or a knowledgeable friend who can tell me whether or not I’m crazy to even think about making that swap. But up until now, I’ve never enlisted the opinion of a computer. Well, there’s a first time for everything.

Fred Zinkie is always up for a trade. Every player on his roster is always available, for the right price of course. This past Sunday, Fred and Cory Schwartz agreed to the first trade of the 2013 Mixed Tout Wars season, as Fred dealt Buster Posey, Greg Holland and Lucas Duda to Cory for Matt Wieters and Jason Kipnis. Now with an excess of second basemen, Fred is looking to trade one of them for an outfielder or a first baseman. Jose Altuve is officially on the block.

Altuve is the one player who I wish I would’ve gone after more aggressively in our auction, especially since I wound up paying just one dollar less for the inconsistent Dan Uggla. I’m actually doing well in steals so far, as my 17 stolen bases are the fourth-highest in the league. But four of those swipes have come from waiver wire addition Rajai Davis, whom I’d rather not be forced to start every week as he won’t be getting everyday at-bats barring an injury to one of Toronto’s starting outfielders. Davis could very well finish the season with 35 steals, even as a part-timer, but he will hurt me in all the other categories. I’m not a fan of those one-trick pony types, so I need to put together an offer for Altuve in order to stay competitive in speed for the long term. Time to correct my draft day blunder!

Alright, I’ve come up with something, but does it make any sense for me? After all, I’m in 2nd place, so maybe it’s stupid to tinker with my roster. Maybe I’ll be doing more harm than good. OnRoto, the host of the Tout Wars leagues, has this neat little tool called the Trade Evaluator. Plug in the players and, using stat projections, it will tell you how the trade would affect the end of season standings. I bet at least half of the owners in this league don’t even know about the Trade Evaluator. This could be the key to everything. So after entering in my carefully crafted offer, what does this thing tell me? Without the trade, I’ll finish in 4th place. With the trade? 8th place. Are you kidding me? I guess I’ll stand pat then. Not listening to the Trade Evaluator would be a big mistake. Wait a minute. I’m letting a computer make decisions for me? Nah, I was always leaning towards standing pat. April trades are often panic trades, so all the computer has done is reinforce my longstanding rule against trading before May 1. Some rules aren’t meant to be broken.

Oh yeah, and with Aaron Hill, one of Fred’s other second basemen, now expected to be sidelined for 4-6 weeks, Altuve is probably off the table anyway.

You see, things have their way of working out.

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