Last Minute Third Base Trade Targets

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.

Hanley Ramirez

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.

Kevin Youkilis

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.

Brett Lawrie

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.

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Michael was born in Massachusetts and grew up in the Seattle area but had nothing to do with the Heathcliff Slocumb trade although Boston fans are welcome to thank him. You can find him on twitter at @michaelcbarr.

8 Responses to “Last Minute Third Base Trade Targets”

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  1. ecp says:

    Re Lawrie, it’s worthwhile to note that, of all the players DL’d for obliques this year, exactly ZERO of them returned in 15 days. And plenty of those strains didn’t sound terribly serious either. Even a mild oblique strain takes a good bit of time.

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  2. IndyBravos says:

    I gave up Peavy and Nova for Hanley in a keeper league. Opinions anyone?

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  3. El Guapo says:

    An owner would have to be pretty frickin optimistic to take on Youkilis. In obvious and dramatic decline, despite hitting a coupla dingers when he first landed in Chitown. Hanley has been in similar decline for a while now. His numbers are down across the board for two years, not just since he landed at LAX. Of the three you mention, the only one that even remotely looks like a good trade possibility is Lawrie, but even here obliques can be very lingering — plus he is young and with long-term upside.

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  4. kevin says:

    Just had Lawrie go on the DL, picked up Middlebrooks (about the only decent option available) to replace him, of course he brakes his wrist one day later.

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  5. Frank says:

    How do you pick up Middlebrooks this late in the year? Must be nice to be in a mickey mouse league like that… I picked him up as soon as Longoria went on the DL. I guess you have to spring for a Moustakas or Johnson if either are available…

    If you hurry up, I’m sure you can add Marte and Rutledge in your league while your at it…

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    • kevin says:

      It’s a 12 team keeper with a very shallow bench, and penalties for dropping non-injured players plus one team seems to have quit. Oddly enough both Moustakas and Johnson are owned. I went the trade rout to get chipper jones for an injured Carlos Ruiz, tough to give him up but I’m in win now mode.

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  6. Frank says:

    My 3B core was Miggy (which I traded Felix/Joyce 5/7/12 for), Lawrie (6th round pick), Middlebrooks (FA on 5/1/12)… in a 10 man league…

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