Each week, I list two groups of players — one group to trade away and one group to acquire. But not all players fit neatly into one of those two buckets, and that’s what makes the Yahoo! Trade Market so exciting.
The stats produced by specific players mean different things to different teams. To provide an example, I was recently talking trades on the Rotowire podcast with Jeff Erickson. We discussed a swap of Teoscar Hernandez for Emmanuel Clase, which feels like a balanced deal on the basis of where each player was drafted and how they have fared thus far. And with just one closer on my roster, acquiring Clase made sense for me — until I looked at my league standings.
I have little ability to move up in the saves category. Clase would need to be in my active lineup for a couple of months before I reached the next cluster of teams in saves, and many things will change over that time. And although Hernandez has been a dud for me so far, he has high-end potential, and my team is in tight races in several hitting categories.
The players listed below are those who could make a specific impact on fantasy teams this summer. Your task is to read the rest of this article and then find the player who fits your specific situation. Happy Trading!
Luis Arraez (1B/2B/3B/OF, Minnesota Twins)
Arraez is arguably the best contact hitter in baseball, ranking among the league leaders in strikeout rate and contact rate. Since Arraez debuted in the 2019 season, only one player (Tim Anderson) has produced a better batting average over at least 1000 plate appearances. But fantasy managers aren’t getting much more than a terrific batting mark (.358) from the multi-position asset, who has tallied just one homer, two steals and 13 RBIs. Arraez is the perfect fit for teams that are in tight batting average races, but he has little value for every other squad.
Cedric Mullins (OF, Baltimore Orioles)
Managers who need to throw a Hail Mary to save their season should consider a buy-low offer on Mullins. And conversely, those who have been winning despite getting marginal contributions from Mullins can look into trading him for a player who is having a better campaign. After producing a 30-30 season in 2021, the speedster clearly has a power-speed combo that few players can match. He also hit .291 last season after batting .271 the previous year. But Mullins has been mostly a one-category asset this year, with 11 steals but just five homers and a .237 average.
Robbie Ray (SP, Seattle Mariners)
Sitting with a 4.97 ERA and a 1.32 WHIP, Ray looks more like the unremarkable starter we saw for several years in Arizona than the 2021 Cy Young winner from Toronto. But the strikeouts are still there, as the left-hander ranks seventh in the Majors with 77 whiffs. Managers who need to move up in strikeouts can acquire Ray and hope that his ratios improve this summer. Meanwhile, those who endured Ray’s unremarkable start may be ahead in whiffs but in need of someone with better ratios.
Raisel Iglesias (RP, Los Angeles Angels)
A top-three closer in many 2022 drafts, Iglesias has been underwhelming so far. His 4.91 ERA is the second-worst mark of any pitcher who has collected at least five saves, and he has given up more homers (four) than any hurler with at least eight saves. But on a more positive note, his 25:4 K:BB ratio looks like that of an elite stopper. Adding or trading away Iglesias at a discount right now could be a season-altering decision for many teams.
Taylor Rogers (RP, San Diego Padres)
Trades are sometimes all about timing. Such is the case with Rogers, who was one of the best closers in baseball from the start of the season until May 27. The left-hander woke up on May 28 with a 0.44 ERA but has allowed nine runs (seven earned) across 3.2 innings since that date, collecting three losses and two blown saves along the way. He also hasn’t recorded a strikeout in any of his past four outings. Managers with Rogers have already collected his 18 saves and are likely sitting pretty in that category. They may be willing to trade him for a healthy return right now, rather than risking further struggles and being saddled with a worthless reliever.
Justin Verlander (SP, Houston Astros)
Every week, I look at Verlander’s 2022 stats and wonder how he is doing this.
After all, the right-hander ranks among the league leaders in virtually every pitching category despite being 39 years old and returning from Tommy John surgery. From a skill’s perspective, there is no reason to believe that Verlander is going to soon decline, as his 2022 performance is similar to the levels he has displayed across his entire time in the Astros organization. But on the other hand, if Verlander ranks among the innings leaders at his age and coming off TJ, he will have done something that no one has done before. Some managers may decide that they have already received his best work and that this is time to sell high.