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Fantasy Fix: Cubs For Sale

The trade deadline is more than a month-and-a-half away, but as the Cubs lurch inexorably toward a 100-loss season, there is plenty of buzz about who will be moved and when.

Beyond Starlin Castro, the Cubs really don't have any players you would consider every day starters on fantasy rosters - and it's highly unlike Castro will be moved. Other Cubs do see fantasy ownership, but they are more like bench filler for lineups and pitching staffs

Having said that, the fantasy fortunes of some Cubs could change if they do get traded sometime between now and July 31:

Ryan Dempster: The most likely to be traded, and there has already been a lot of chatter about him ending in Boston or in New York with the Yankees.

He has been so good this year that if the Cubs hadn't blown several of his great starts, we might be talking about him as a Cy Young candidate.

Still, Yankee Stadium is as much a launching pad for left-handed hitters as Fenway Park is for right-handers. Plus, I think a National League pitcher with no American League experience could get hit a little harder. He'll still be worth owning, but his ERA may start ticking upward.

Matt Garza: On the other hand, a pitcher with experience mowing down American League lineups could do well if he gets shipped to some place like Detroit, Baltimore or Cleveland. He could also do well for the Dodgers. It's not really clear who is vying for his services, though I think he has more fantasy value if he returns to the AL.

Alfonso Soriano: Since going on his home-run binge, Soriano has been a hot fantasy pick-up. He's another player you could easily imagine in an American League uniform, though as a DH, not necessarily a left fielder. His power resurgence would play well in NY, Boston or Baltimore, to name a few potential landing spots. He might see fewer at-bats if he stays in the National League, but it is clear he has found his power stroke.

Carlos Marmol: Could actually have an outside chance of winning a shot at a closer job somewhere, depending on how desperate a team is. He has no fantasy value now, but that could change with a change of scenery - even if it's just a set-up job with frequent appearances.

Bryan LaHair: It isn't really clear if a Soriano trade coupled with an Anthony Rizzo call-up would result in a move to the outfield or a move to another team. After a bit of a slump, he's hitting well again and is capable of being a nice contributor of OPS, HRs and doubles. If he is traded into a better lineup, he could see a jump in RBIs and runs scored, too.

Expert Wire
* Yahoo! Opening Time talks up Minnesota starter Scott Diamond and one or two other Twins worth owning, despite being a last-place team.

* CBS Sports says Heath Bell is bouncing back as Marlins closer. Aren't you glad you only benched him instead of dumping him?

* notes the struggles of Justin Upton, who's looking like the latest victim of the Upton family curse.

* Bleacher Report has 10 trading tips for fantasy owners. Most of them are common sense, though "acquire proven players off to poor starts" is definitely one of my mantras.


Dan O'Shea is our man in fantasyland. He welcomes your comments.

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