ASK ROTOMAN: Altuve v. Heyward


I’m in a 14 team .. 5×5 rotissire league that can keep players for $5 more then they were purchased the year before..

I have Jose Altuve at $1 (can be kept for $6) but I can trade him for Jason Heyward at $16 (Can be kept for $21)..

I’ve always loved Altuve but im not buying his magazine listed price as an over $20 player.. what are your thoughts on that deal???

“Head Over Heart”

Dear HoH:

If you really love Altuve you’ll keep him for $6. He earned $25 last year. Heyward earned $26, not that much more. So the question here is why would you distrust the $22 price in the Guide, and why would you distrust it so much that Heyward would look like a better keeper.

Remember: Who you keep is a function of who would save you the most money above their keeper price on draft day, assuming you want them on your team.

If you don’t want Altuve on your team, that’s fine, but here are some facts:

Last year Altuve earned $25 in 5×5, according to me. According to Alex Patton he earned $24 in 4×4. I think it’s safe to say in an AL only league he earned in the low to mid 20s.

This year, the CBS Sports experts league paid $24 for Altuve (that’s 5×5), while in LABR he went for $19. I think Altuve is worth $22 this year (a 23 year old coming off a $25 season can only be discounted so much), but even if you buy the LABR valuation, you’re saving $13 keeping him at $6.

Jason Heyward earned $28 in 5×5 last year, I say. Alex Patton says he earned $30 in 4×4.

This year, the CBS Sports expert league paid $28 for him, while in LABR he went for $30. I think he’s worth $28 this year, but even if you buy LABR’s price (and I’m not saying that’s wrong), you’re saving $9, which is less than you’re saving with Altuve.

Plus, of course, you’re spending more than three times as much to get the savings. We just gave every rounding edge to Heyward and the numbers still point to Altuve. I think you have to keep the smaller man.

Here’s another way to look at it, assuming 10 percent inflation in your league:

If you throw back Altuve, it’s going to cost you $22 to replace him, based on LABR’s low price. That’s $16 over his freeze price.

If you throw back Heyward, it’s going to cost you $33 to replace him, based on LABR’s high price. That’s $12 over his freeze price.

The bottom line is that you’ll do better freezing Altuve and buying Heyward on draft day than vice versa, even though Heyward is the better and more attractive player overall.