Trading deadlines loom across most of fantasy baseball, and let’s just assume your squad is still sniffing contention — or better yet, looking to pull away from the pack. Should third base be one of your glaring problems over these last seven weeks of baseball, I’ve got a few ideas for you. These are almost exclusively ideas for standard 5×5 leagues that are non-keepers.
This is simply trying to play off of a frustrated owner (and probably a frustrated Ramirez). If you thought he was having a down year to begin with, his time in Los Angeles has been, well, downier. He’s hitting just .226/.328/.358 as a Dodger with a single home run and a pair of steals over 61 plate appearances.
He’s currently driving everything into the turf with a ground ball rate of 63.6% since the trade, and with an expected BABIP of .300 versus his current BABIP of .256, he’s presumably driving them right at people. I’d expect his hit trajectory to start resembling something a little more like his career average, which should mean more line drives and more fly balls – and with a little better luck, more home runs.
While it’s likely someone is using him primarily as a shortstop, it’s possible that an owner with good depth has just had it with his shenanigans. I’d see Ramriez as a good play if you’re still in the fighting for the top prize and you’re looking for lightning in a bottle.
Youkilis has been a lot more like his old self since the trade, hitting .252/.373/.496 as a member of the White Sox. He’s hitting for much better power, driving in runs, and walking at a rate that earned him his goofy nickname.
But over the last 30 days, Youkilis hasn’t been getting the same hops he did in his first week on Chicago’s south side. In his last 103 plate appearances, he’s getting on base and hitting with plenty of pop — but two things might make his owner a little itchy. Over that same stretch, he’s just hitting .195 with a miserable .172 BABIP and he’s also spent some time on the trainers table (as per usual).
He’s playing well enough that it would probably take what would amount to an overpay to get him — but there’s also the possibility that his present owner might feel like they are selling high on him right now. He comes with the standard health warning, but I could see him providing very helpful counting stats over the remainder of the season.
Yes, Brett Lawrie, who just got placed on the 15-day DL. It’s a risk/reward play here, but there couldn’t be a better time in the season to try and grab Lawrie for the stretch run. His injury is an oblique/rip cage-like thing and it honestly doesn’t sound terribly serious. Added bonus is it’s retroactive to August 5th, so he could conceivably return August 20th. Given that he’s had a bit of a disappointing year relative to expectations (unrealistic as they may have been), plus this latest trip to the DL, perhaps this is the time to strike.
The injury was likely affecting his performance too, which could only help your case to acquire him. Over his last 19 games, he was hitting just .243/.289/.371 with a home run and a pair of stolen bases. But in the 25 games prior to that, he was looking a lot more like the guy most of us thought he’d be, hitting .318/.364/.527 with nine doubles, four home runs, and 12 RBI. Try to emphasize the slide and the injury and see if you can find a willing trade partner.