The RotoWire Blog has been retired.

These archives exist as a way for people to continue to view the content that had been posted on the blog over the years.

Articles will no longer be posted here, but you can view new fantasy articles from our writers on the main site.

Selling Chris Shelton High

In the Yahoo Friends and Family League I had Shelton, and after his great start, I wanted to move him for a closer. I offered him for Mariano Rivera, Billy Wagner, Francisco Rodriguez and a couple others, but no one bit. Finally, someone countered with Francisco Cordero, and I took it.

It goes to show that a hot starter is often not enough to get a good player. You need to pick a good player who's off to a bad start. To cash in a guy who is playing well above his established level, you often need to target a good player playing well below his established level. The reasoning is that your player might or might not keep it up. Why should someone move a player who's almost certain to keep it up, e.g., an established star playing well? But a player playing below his level is also a question mark. The question is which player is the bigger question mark - the one playing above his head, or the one in a slump?

It depends on the situation, of course. In this case, I'd say the deal was pretty fair. Shelton's track record is good enough to think that he'll hit 30 home runs and not hurt your batting average. He had very good plate discipline in the minors, but not last season in the majors. And he's 26 years old - just entering his prime years.

Cordero has been shaky, but he's not reporting arm problems, and he's established enough that it would take a lot for him to lose his job. He should turn it around.

In general, I'd rather take the good player off to a bad start than the up and comer playing over his head. The sample size is bigger for the former, and the up and comer could struggle when teams make adjustments. So when I have a Chris Shelton earn half of what I paid for him in the first two weeks, I almost always try to cash him in. Of course, I did that with Derrek Lee last year, and he just kept hitting.