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Fantasy Baseball: Buy And Sell 

With the trade deadline approaching, a shrewd move can help both real and fantasy baseball teams get and/or stay in contention right now.  If you can’t convince your fellow fantasy owners to make a deal with you, you may need to add a player. 

It’s time for this week’s edition of buy….and sell.

Buy

Gordon Beckham, 2B, Chicago White Sox- Beckham got off to a slow start in his second major league season, but he is 13-for-26 (.500) with one home runs and six RBI since the All-Star break.  If you need middle infield help, he is certainly worth considering.

Aramis Ramirez, 3B, Chicago Cubs- Ramirez had a three-home run game on Tuesday against Houston, and he is hitting .369 with nine home runs and 24 RBI in July.  At this point he may not be available in your league, but if he is and you need a third baseman go get him now.  If he can stay healthy, Ramirez could continue to be very productive.

J.A. Happ, SP, Philadelphia Phillies- Happ has not pitched for the Phillies since April due to a forearm strain, but is now on track to make a start on Sunday against Colorado.  He was 10-4 with a 2.88 ERA in 23 starts as a rookie last season, and was 12-4 with a 2.93 ERA in 35 appearances (166 innings) overall in 2009.  Pitching for a contending Phillies team, even though they are struggling to score runs right now, will be to Happ’s advantage.  If your pitching staff needs a shot in the arm, he is worth adding immediately.

Chris Perez, RP, Cleveland Indians- With Kerry Wood (blister) going back on the disabled list again recently, Perez has stepped back in as the Indians’ closer.  Perez has nine saves in 12 opportunities this season, along with a 2.41 ERA and 32 strikeouts in 37.1 innings.  He may not relinquish the closer’s role when Wood is ready to return, as long as he can pitch effectively.   

Sell

Scott Rolen, 3B, Cincinnati Reds- Rolen has had a very good 2010 (.287, 17 HR, 57 RBI), but now the inevitable injuries seem to be cropping up.  He has not played since last Friday due to an illness and then a hamstring issue, and his significant injury history isn’t likely to reverse itself at age 35. Rolen’s fantasy value may never be higher than it is right now, but perhaps it’s already too late to try and trade him. 

Bobby Jenks, RP, Chicago White Sox- Jenks has had a couple rough outings recently, leading White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen to declare the team’s closing job “open”.  Jenks has only blown two saves this season, but he seems likely to lose some save opportunities going forward.  He at least deserves a spot on your bench right now if you own him, since we may be looking at a closer-by-committee situation on the South side of Chicago.

Andy Pettitte, SP, New York Yankees- The Yankees expect Pettitte to miss 4-5 weeks with a left groin strain, though Pettitte himself has said he thinks he may only have to miss three weeks.  He is having an excellent season, with an 11-2 record and a 2.88 ERA over 18 starts (115.2 innings), but a 4-5 week absence means he would not return until late-August.   The Yankees are almost certain to exercise caution with the 38-year old, as they definitely want to have him 100% for the stretch drive and the playoffs.  It would not be surprising to see the team limit his workload some to make sure he’s ready to go for potential (likely?) postseason play, which would not be good for his fantasy owners. 

Ryan Doumit, C, Pittsburgh Pirates- Doumit had a rough week this week, first taking a foul ball of his mask on Monday night, which caused him to miss Tuesday night’s game due to feeling woozy.  Then he had a collision at home plate with Milwaukee 2B Rickie Weeks on Wednesday night, and was placed on the 15-day DL on Thursday due to a concussion.   He may be able to return right when he’s eligible in early August, but given the touchy nature of head injuries it may be wise to just drop him at this point.

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