For the most part, the trade rumor news that has everyone waiting on baited breath has been the same old, same old.
How many teams are we up to in the Carlos Beltran saga, 10?
But a recent rift was created by the Cincinnati Reds with news that the club is interested in adding a high-end pitcher and a new lead-off hitter; news that could either really help fantasy owners, or cause them to scoff in disapproval.
In a report by CBSSports.com’s Dan Knobler the Reds have thrown their hat into the mix for Rockies’ pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez, and Houston ace Wandy Rodriguez.
But they have also begun looking into fixing their lead-off issues with the consideration of Seattle Mariner third baseman Chone Figgins, and Athletics outfielder Coco Crisp.
Here’s the real issue.
The Rockies, Astros and Reds are all within striking distance of each other in regard to team batting average, and Colorado and Cincinnati are neck and neck in regard to team ERA with Houston miles behind.
But unless the Reds get a much better lead-off hitter than Drew Stubbs or Chris Heisley, I don’t see much increase in Jimenez or Rodriguez’s overall fantasy value should they in fact be traded to Cincinnati.
Which brings me back to Crisp and Figgins.
Neither Stubbs of Heisley has been able to eclipse the .350 mark in OBP, and that’s an issue for lead-off hitters and fantasy owners who own them.
But who the Reds actually go after will either fix the problem, or exacerbate it.
Chone Figgins is batting .184 with an OBP of just .234—well below the water mark of what fantasy owners were hoping for this season.
Coco Crisp is hitting .265 with a .313 OBP, right around where most fantasy owners thought he would be which is right around where a leadoff hitter should be.
Comparably, the choice should be easy when you expand the analysis:
At this point, fantasy owners shouldn’t consider any move with Figgins a reason for him to improve upon an otherwise dismal 2011 season.
But the rumors surrounding Crisp going to hitter friendly Cincinnati could be an intriguing consideration for a player who has an average 55% ownership.
And if they add another solid arm to the rotation, the fantasy effect could be pretty significant if Crisp does get dealt.