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It's not easy to trade your players while they're on the disabled list, and considering trading for injured players certainly can be risky. However, it can be a good tactic for middle-of-the-pack fantasy teams either looking for an edge or admitting they don't have one and need to stock up with keepers for next year.
As a seller, if you trade someone who currently isn't supplying stats, your fantasy fortunes could take an immediate upswing, and if you're a buyer, you're banking value you hope can pay off during a late-season run to the playoffs, or possibly next season if you're in a keeper league.
Taking a look at the list of top 100 fantasy players currently on the DL, there are several who could be worth trading/trading for:
Dexter Fowler, OF, CUBS: 15-day DL, return unclear, but recovery not likely to be prolonged.
Trade him because: He's cooled down after a very hot start, but still has good fantasy numbers and multi-stat value: seven HRs, 28 RBI, six SBs, 41 runs scored, .881 OPS. If you're looking to acquire an OF who can just contribute HRs if nothing else, then Fowler is perfect bait, as buyers will see him as a sneaky multi-stat maven. Plus, trade him if you're a little worried he could become Wally Pipp if Albert Almora turns out to be Lou Gehrig, or at least Ken Griffey, Sr.
Trade for him because: Fowler is having a great year. He's cooled of late, but throughout his career August has been his best month for BA and OPS, and this season he's more often than not leading off for a team that scores a ton of runs. He could be headed for career highs in several categories and fits the bill for your primary need - a third OF who can contribute a little something in one category or another almost every day. You're willing to trade a one-dimensional HR hitter for that variety.
Felix Hernandez, SP, SEA: 15-day DL, but likely not due back until All-Star break.
Trade him because: King Felix isn't having his best year, with his strikeout rate down to a career-low 7.6/9 IP from 8.5 in 2015, a figure which itself was down from 9.5 in 2014. Yet, his calf strain was a minor, freak injury suffered celebrating a teammate's HR, and as stupid as that sounds, it's not likely to lead to any other problems. Plus he's still a top-shelf starter on a winning team, and should yield decent trade value for you.
Trade for him because: Even though his strikeouts are down, he's had a lot of late-season success before, with seven complete games and four shutouts coming in the month of August during the course of his career. The injury is stupid, but minor, and Seattle's otherwise pretty good and can help him get wins. Bottom line: He's a Top 20 fantasy starter year-in and year-out, and can be trusted.
Miguel Sano, 3B/OF, MIN: 15-day DL: Return unclear, but possibly by end of June.
Trade him because: Before his hamstring injury, he was struggling for one of the worst teams in baseball, with a .235 batting average, 11 HRs and 27 RBI. Not terrible, but not what you hoped for when you drafted him as you're starting 3B in Round 5 after his 2015 campaign of 18 HRs, 52 RBI, .269 BA and .915 OPS in less than 280 at-bats. He's still young and there's a lot of potential power there, so he should have some decent trade value.
Trade for him because: Sure, he's having a sophomore slump, but four of his 11 HRs this season came in the week or so before he was injured, so maybe he's primed to rebound. You need HRs, and though he's not good enough to overtake your starting 3B, you could slot him in as a third OF or UTIL.
A.J. Pollock, OF, ARI: 60-day DL, may return this season.
Trade him because: He was a borderline Top 20 player overall before he got hurt just before the season started, and while he may return very late in the year (which is not even a certainty), you need bodies you can put in the starting lineup right now. His fantastic 2015 numbers, including 20 HRs, 76 RBI, 39 SBs and 111 runs scored, should net you plenty in a trade, particularly in a keeper league.
Trade for him because: You're not afraid of the risk that even if he's ready to play by late August, the Diamondbacks could play it safe, especially if they're out of contention, and have him wait until next spring for a comeback. He's an amazing 5x5 talent, still young enough that he could have even better seasons ahead than his fantastic 2015 season. If you're in a keeper league, it might be a no-brainer.
Kyle Schwarber, C/OF, CUBS: 60-day DL, out for the season.
Trade him because: The Cubs have ruled out a return this season, despite all the rumors suggesting otherwise. He's a borderline keeper, but you have other stars you'll keep into next year, and the rise of Willson Contreras means he may end up as a platoon OF anyway, and not even get a chance to develop further at catcher, where he would of course have much more fantasy value.
Trade for him because: The Cubs are going to trade him to the Yankees for a bullpen arm. You're in a keeper league, so you can hold him into next season, when he will hit 60 HRs with the help of the short right field in Yankee Stadium, and be hailed (once again) as the next Babe Ruth.
Disco Danny O'Shea is our man in fantasyland. He welcomes your comments.
The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour #197: On The Baseball Beat With The Cubs Conundrum And The White Sox Slog
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Posted on Apr 21, 2018