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Fantasy411 Podcast: Exploring Trout market

MLB.com

The following is a transcript of a segment from this week's Fantasy411 podcast, hosted by MLB.com lead fantasy writer Fred Zinkie and national editor Matthew Leach. To hear the rest of their discussion, subscribe to the Fantasy411 podcast by clicking here.

Leach: Mike Trout is down for several weeks with a significant ligament injury in his thumb, and it's a big issue. There are at least two questions here, and I think the first one is: If you have Trout, what are you doing? Are you just figuring, just hoping that it's eight weeks and you can save that and you kind of continue managing your team like you had been? Do you make some kind of aggressive move? Just philosophically, Fred, if you've got Trout and you are not either running away in first or getting lapped in last, what's the sort of philosophical approach for a fantasy owner who has Trout right now?

The following is a transcript of a segment from this week's Fantasy411 podcast, hosted by MLB.com lead fantasy writer Fred Zinkie and national editor Matthew Leach. To hear the rest of their discussion, subscribe to the Fantasy411 podcast by clicking here.

Leach: Mike Trout is down for several weeks with a significant ligament injury in his thumb, and it's a big issue. There are at least two questions here, and I think the first one is: If you have Trout, what are you doing? Are you just figuring, just hoping that it's eight weeks and you can save that and you kind of continue managing your team like you had been? Do you make some kind of aggressive move? Just philosophically, Fred, if you've got Trout and you are not either running away in first or getting lapped in last, what's the sort of philosophical approach for a fantasy owner who has Trout right now?

Zinkie: Yeah, I mean, this is such a unique situation where, almost without a doubt, the top fantasy player is out for probably a couple months. If I owned Trout, for me, it wouldn't really matter where I was in the standings, I would for sure float his name out for trade offers. I mean, to me, that's sensible. You at least make the rounds in your league and put it out there. I think you have to put it out there, because there may be an optimistic owner in your league who's willing to overpay for him because they believe so much that they can withstand the time he's injured or because maybe they're just a little too optimistic on the situation overall. Do we expect him to be 100 percent Mike Trout when he returns?

Leach: You've got a couple things. No. 1 is, like you said, because of what you're dealing with, because of the nature of the injury, it's going to be tricky. Even for guys who heal well, I'm skeptical of how quick it comes back, and you know what the two things it's going to affect are? One, if he shows effects when he comes back, one way is going to be power. And the other way is I wonder if he's going to be hesitant to run quite as much. But I think the other part of this is the Angels aren't very good. The Angels' lineup, and we'll talk about this in another context in a little bit, but the Angels' lineup without Mike Trout is just bad. And their pitching staff is not great. If you're the Angels, what's the rush? If you're the Angels and he is right on the cusp and maybe you'd be pushing it, what's the rush? I would think if they're smart, they're going to wait until he's 100 percent. The other part of this is I'm going to be pretty conservative in how I look at these timetables, because I imagine the Angels are going to be pretty conservative.

Zinkie: I agree with that. I do think that Trout himself will probably drive maybe his return date a little more than the average player would just because he's such a franchise player. I think your stolen-bases point is a good one because Trout is a great hitter, but we don't expect him to lead the Majors in batting average and we don't expect him to lead the Majors in home runs. So if he's not stealing bases, he's a very, very, very good fantasy player, but he may not be the top one if he's not stealing bases. So maybe someone will trade with you hoping that if you're a Trout owner expecting that they are going to get 100 percent Mike Trout from late July to the end of the season, and we have already mentioned several reasons why that's a risky proposition. So if I could trade him for a good outfielder, I'm quite willing to make that move.