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Paine Approach Shouldn't Hurt
May 23, 2007

Over 230 years ago, Thomas Paine preached common sense in his similarly titled essay to Americans about their desire for independence.  Now, in 2007 and no longer part of the royal monarchy, we can focus our attention on our fantasy baseball teams.  That doesn't mean we should brush off Paine's words, however.

In late May, common sense is a necessity when deciding to make or pass on a deal.  Steer clear of all the hype and think logically.  Barry Zito is not going to finish with an ERA of 5.135, Andruw Jones will greatly improve on his .220 average, and Richie Sexson will not stay 25 points below the Mendoza line, so don't give up on those players yet.  Again, common sense tells you that Jones is unlikely to reach a .300+ number for the year since it's already late May, but a .260 - .270 finish is more likely.  Trading these players now means you'll be missing out on their positive returns and the value you'd receive in a trade right now is probably at an all-time low.

Conversely, Dan Haren simply won't finish with anywhere near the sub-2.00 ERA he currently sports, and Jhonny Peralta is unlikely to continue his 40 HR pace all year regardless of how he spells his first name.  Don't get anxious for acquiring these types of players simply because of their successful small samples in April and May.  In fact, if you hold these overachievers (yes, I'm talking to you, owners of Geoff Jenkins, Tom Glavine, and Chipper Jones), put them on the trading block ASAP; their current market value has reached a ceiling, and you should net a decent player in return while reaping the benefits of the fast start.

In other words, Chipper Jones for Andruw Jones looks silly on paper, but the reality is that Andruw is likely to outperform Chipper the next four months.  Take it from Thomas Paine, use some common sense, and thank me when you are hoisting your embarrassingly small fantasy trophy in October.