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Fantasy Fix: Movers And Shakers

The MLB trade deadline is a little over a month away, so it's time to start thinking about whether some of your fantasy players will find new homes in the real world, and how that will affect their value.

Here are a few names generating trade buzz, and what could change if the deals get done:

Matt Garza: Garza has been pretty good since returning from the disabled list, which on the Cubs makes him a marked man. His ERA is 4.35, but his WHIP is a much more respectable 1.13, which could take him far in Los Angeles, San Diego or San Francisco, teams reportedly looking for pitching. His fantasy stock may rise accordingly.

Alex Rios: Rios is quietly having another strong season and continues to be a multi-category fantasy contributor. He has been mentioned as potentially headed for Cincinnati, which would be great for his fantasy value, in particular his HRs and OPS, or San Francisco, which might put a slight damper on his HR numbers, though he could continue to rack up doubles.

Ricky Nolasco: The NL West in general is a likely destination for traded pitchers this season. Every park except Colorado's is a pitcher's delight, but Nolasco, a ground-ball specialist, might succeed even there. Nolasco is still available is more than 75% of Yahoo! leagues, and as he's a virtual lock to be traded, would make a great second-half waiver wire bet.

Giancarlo Stanton: If you're leaving Miami, your lot can only improve. Stanton figures to pick up a lot of RBI wherever he lands. The worst thing for him and his fantasy owners would be for Miami to commit to building around him for the future.

Jonathan Papelbon: He was having a great season until about a week ago, having blown three saves on a row. He may still be on the move to a much better team, meaning more save chances, but you have to wonder if there is reason to be concerned overall about his fantasy numbers if the poor outings continue.

Yovani Gallardo: Gallardo has been mentioned as a trade possibility for weeks, though Garza and Nolasco are generating much more buzz. Gallardo has six wins, but a 4.09 ERA, and he is a little off his usual strikeout pace. If he stays in Milwaukee, you might consider dropping him unless his ERA and strikeouts improve.

Expert Wire
* speculates on the potential for Yu Darvish to rack up 300 strikeouts, which might make him the No. 1 fantasy pitcher this season regardless of his other numbers.

* Bleacher Report eyes players set for second-half breakouts.

* Crave Online says just-called-up Twins prospect Kyle Gibson could be the next rookie to make an impression.


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

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