The Big Rotowski: Fantasy impact of possible trades

It was a dark and stormy night.

OK, actually, it was kind of a pleasant late June afternoon. I, a blissful Carlos Beltran owner in an AL-only league, was gazing gleefully at my prize center fielder's 15 homers, 51 RBIs, 51 runs scored and 14 steals through just 68 games. I tended to do this often. It was 2004.

Then came the news: The Royals had just traded the gem of their organization to Houston for Mark Teahen, John Buck and Mike Wood (Oakland was involved, too, and the A's got Octavio Dotel). Beltran, in the parlance of the particular fantasy league of which I speak, was "no longer worth poop-on-a-stick." In this league, you didn't accumulate the stats of a player traded to the NL and you didn't, in fact, get any compensation whatsoever; the possibility of a guy getting traded had to be accounted for when you drafted him. But, even if Beltran was traded, I had another month of stats, right? And there was still a decent chance he'd end up staying in the AL.