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Each Wednesday I'll answer your questions which you can send to me at @BaseballGuys on Twitter.

B.J. Upton or Curtis Granderson?

As of this writing B.J. Upton has 12 strikeouts in eight at-bats. Well something like that. I'm on record, and a couple of games aren't going to change that opinion, that I want Upton on my team this season. Bench him? Fine with me. Drop/give up on him? Not behind that call. However, as I've also said all offseason I'd rather have Granderson on my team. Playing on the Mets isn't exciting, and his home park doesn't figure to do him any favors, but keep these facts in mind. (1) Granderson is 33 years old so he should still have the power stroke. (2) His last two healthy seasons he went deep 40 times with 100 RBIs and 100 runs. He was the only man in baseball to reach all three marks in 2011-12. Won't happen this year, but should still be a solid power hitter and run producer.

– Points keeper league – Justin Smoak or Ryan Howard?

Go with Ryan Howard. I know that Smoak has 32 RBIs in two games, but look at his track record. It's awful. In four years he's never hit .240. He's only had one season with a .325 OBP. He's only had one season with a .400 SLG. Smoak looks good now, but don't forget he also has to deal with Corey Hart and Logan Morrison would could take away at-bats if he struggles. Best case scenario for Smoak is likely the worst case scenario for Howard – as long as the big fella stays healthy. Even the last two seasons when Howard was beat up he still had 25 homers and 99 RBIs in 151 games. No chance Smoak reaches all three of those three numbers.

– I know it's only two games in but for rest of year who will have a better season, Justin Smoak or Chris Carter?

I really to be flippant here, snarky perhaps, but I'll be an adult (for once). Yes it's only two games. Yes, it's early. Yes, you don't want to change your opinion on any player this quickly. I gave my thoughts on Smoak above, so here are my thoughts on Carter. (1) He has 30 homer power. (2) He should be a good bet for 80+ RBIs. (3) He might strike out 200 times. (4) His batting average will be terrible. He's still the correct hold over Smoak. Smoak is a .228 career hitter, that sucks ass by the way, and he's never hit more than 20 homers or driven in even 60 runs. Carter should play pretty much every day, match the career average of Smoak, and blow past the other two numbers.

– Trade offer of Anthony Rizzo and Andrelton Simmons for Prince Fielder. Which side?

Fielder is the best player in the deal. Period. Rizzo has the talent to go 30-100, numbers that should be right on the numbers of Fielder. I would still expect Fielder to produce the better average, and my confidence factor in Prince is an A+. For Rizzo? C+. I'm not talking talent, I'm just talking comfort with what the expectations should be this year and the chance that the player will reach those expectations. Simmons likely won't improve on the 17 homers he hit last year but the average should improve (see his Player Profile). The answer comes down to need. If I own Fielder and need SS help, I could do this. If I owned the duo and would have to turn to Zack Cozart at shortstop I wouldn't do it. End of the day, I want the Fielder side.

– Is Erasmo Ramirez the real deal or that was only a good day?

I've been pushing Erasmo since January of 2013. Ask around. People will let you know. I'm a fan. Is he elite? No? Is he a difference maker? Don't think so. Is he someone who could help a fantasy squad? You bet your rear-end he can do that. I had him listed at 74 at the starting pitcher position in my final 2014 Draft Guide Rankings. That means in a 12 team league I'm looking at him to be my 6/7 starter. If you value him there than he could return a decent profit.

– They are offering Omar Infante, Yordano Ventura, & Ryan Ludwick for Jed Lowrie. Go for it?

Here's the problem with any lopsided deal in general. What has to be done to equalize the rosters?

The team giving up the three players here to get Lowrie ends up with two open roster spots to fill. Who do you add with those spots? Is it Evan Gattis cause you're in a 10 team league? Is it Alex Presley cause you're in a deep league? Can you get quality from the two open roster spots? If you can add two quality players that you could very easily win this deal when the rosters are balanced and the trade, in essence, becomes a 3-for-3 deal.

If you are the team giving up Lowrie who do you have to drop in order to balance your roster? Remember, if you're only giving up one player but getting three back that means you will have to drop two players. How does your roster look after doing that?

The deal here certainly looks like a win for the three person side. However, the true answer cannot be rendered without a better understanding of the other moves that need to be completed to win the deal.  


You can follow Ray Flowers and send him your thoughts on Twitter @BaseballGuys. For up to the minute baseball reports on trades, injuries, lineups etc. see @FantasyAlarm.

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