Time to sell Clayton Kershaw in fantasy baseball leagues?


Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw has been one of the best pitchers in baseball in recent years. When he returned from the DL recently, his fantasy owners rejoiced. But then he went right back on it leaving his fantasy owners wondering what they should do with the best pitcher in baseball.

Should they hold onto him? After all, if he isn’t the best he is certainly in the conversation. But what does it matter if he isn’t playing? He can’t earn your team points on the bench. You are not going to drop him (because that would be foolish) which makes trading him or keeping him your only options.

The Case for Keeping Him

When healthy, he is one of the best pitchers in baseball. Last season, even though he only pitched in 27 games he still finished in the top among starting pitchers. The year before, he finished just outside of the top 15. But he only pitched in 21 games that season.

Despite missing time due to injury in each of the last couple seasons, he was still ranked as one of the better fantasy pitchers in baseball. Is that the kind of guy you really want to give up?

Yes, his availability can be frustrating. But it isn’t like he’s listed as ‘questionable’ every week like some NFL players are. With the exception of when a flare-up occurs during a game, you know when he’s going to be out and can plan accordingly. When he’s not hurt, he is a must-start player.

The Case for Trading Him

The logic behind keeping him is exactly why you should go ahead and trade him. Yes, when he plays he is one of the best in the business. But he has missed time due to injury in each of the last three years. After his latest stint, he went right back on and is expected to be there for a month.

Injured players don’t win fantasy baseball championships no matter how great they are.

If you were to try and trade him, his value is still pretty high. He hasn’t won as many games as owners would like (1-4; eight starts) but he isn’t giving up many runs (he has an ERA of 2.76). He has only given up seven home runs and is good for at least six strikeouts (on average).

With the Dodgers struggling early this season, he may not get the run support he needs to win games when he is finally healthy.

What Should You Do?

If you are losing every week, absolutely trade him. Get whatever you can, shake up your roster, and at least become competitive. But if you already are competitive, the decision gets a little tougher.

Should someone make you an offer that will help you shore up whatever weak points you have, seriously consider taking it. But only if they allow you to shore up multiple weak points. No one would be foolish enough to make a one-for-one trade that is worth considering.

But if you don’t have too many weak points, hold onto him. No sense in creating competition by giving him to someone else. Who knows—maybe you’ll get lucky and he’ll be healthy for a nice, deep playoff run.