Potential trade targets among hitters 

June, 18, 2014
Jose AbreuAP Photo/Jeff HaynesJose Abreu could net you something very close to a superstar player in a trade.
With Eric Karabell on a well-deserved vacation this week, we've got a collection of guest bloggers filling in. Jim Bowden batted leadoff Monday, Keith Law had the honors on Tuesday and Wednesday we're joined by Tom "The Intern" Lasko, formerly of the Baseball Today podcast who blogs about baseball and can be found on Twitter @TomTheIntern.

For this post, Tom identifies trade targets among hitters by using a combination of the Player Rater to gauge current production, ZiPS projections to forecast future stats and perceived value on the fantasy trade market.

Every fantasy team owner is aware of the “buy low, sell high” strategy when executing trades. After all, fantasy baseball players are essentially commodities that can be traded like stocks. However, unlike stocks, a player’s value is not something that can be objectively measured. Each owner has a different opinion about a player’s value based on some evaluation of that player’s talent, performance or any number of factors.

What is the proper measure of a player’s value? Well, one measure of value is the ESPN Player Rater, which quantifies year-to-date performance. Another way to measure value is by using a projection system. Each year, ESPN’s Draft Kit contains stat projections for every player. Other projections systems such as ZiPS (developed by ESPN’s own Dan Szymborski) are available online through FanGraphs and are updated throughout the season. So what should we trust for predicting future value, the numbers we expect from a player (the projections) or the numbers he has actually produced so far (Player Rater value)?