Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
As the trade deadline approaches next month, fantasy owners will hold their breath as some of the names on their roster get bandied about.
If your guy is playing well, you don't want to see any changes as in Milwaukee pitcher Zack Greinke. However, if he's struggling, like Kevin Youkilis, a move might be just the thing to get him going.
Let's look at eight players and talk about what a change might mean to their fantasy value.
Ryan Dempster, SP, Chicago Cubs - The New York Yankees have been inquiring about the Cubs right-hander who owns a mediocre 3-3 record, but with a stellar 2.11 ERA and 1.012 WHIP. Imagine what his record would be with the mighty Bronx Bombers bats behind him (4.76 runs-per-game vs Cubs 3.69 rpg)? Fantasy owners can only hope that this one comes to fruition.
Matt Garza, SP Chicago Cubs - If President of Operations Theo Epstein wants to clean house, Dempster won't be the only Cubs starter heading out of town. The Dodgers has shown interest in Garza (as have the Yankees) who is 2-5 with a 4.04 ERA and 1.121 WHIP. A move to Dodger Stadium wouldn't necessarily change his ERA or WHIP but the move to a winning team couldn't hurt his won/loss total.
Carlos Quentin, OF, San Diego - He'll be a free agent a few days after the World Series ends and the way he's hitting would likely be out of the Padres' price range. What fantasy owner wouldn't want to see Quentin out of "Death Valley" a.k.a. Petco Park. Since coming back from injury (knee), the Padres outfielder has been on fire, batting .413 with five homer and 11 RBI in 14 games. Imagine him in Boston, Toronto or Detroit.
Kevin Youkilis, 3B, Boston - Youkilis could become expendable if youngster Will Middlebrooks continues to produce. The 33-year-old Youkilis simply hasn't been the same hitter he used to be, batting just .212 with four homers, 13 RBI and a 0.636 OPS in 38 games this season. Arizona is said to be interested and perhaps Philadelphia who desperately needs another bat in the lineup. Both Citizens' Bank Park and Chase Field are "hitter-friendly" and fantasy owners wouldn't lose sleep over the move and in fact a change of scenery might be just what Youkilis needs to start producing as he did from 2006-10.
Joe Saunders, SP, Arizona - The Diamondbacks are looking to move Saunders in order to create space for top prospect Trevor Bauer. The Red Sox need pitching to help a starting rotation that includes: John Lackey (DL), Daisuke Matsuzaka (just off the DL), Josh Beckett (sore shoulder).
Zack Greinke, SP, Milwaukee - The price tag to sign Greinke will in all likelihood be more than the Brewers' wallet can handle. If they decide to sell then there would be a long line of interest parties. Certainly the Yankees would be interested and the Chicago White Sox as well. The White Sox might be the perfect location for Greinke to continue pitching, not the pressure cooker of New York (he's had anxiety issues in the past), but still with a first-place team that can back him with run production. While fantasy owners would probably like him to stay put, a move to the Windy City could help Greinke's win total.
Justin Morneau, 1B, Minnesota - Toronto has inquired about Morneau's availability. He'd be a nice get for the Blue Jays, a Canadian with a big bat but also a high-risk venture given his big salary and concussion problems of the last few years. Target Field hasn't been as friendly as the Metrodome and Morneau owners probably would like to see this one come true.
Wandy Rodriguez, SP, Houston - It seems that Rodriguez has been mentioned for the last few years, but the Astros haven't pulled the trigger. He's cooled after a hot April (2-2, 1.72 ERA, 1.085 WHIP) which may force Houston to lower their asking price or keep him. Fantasy owners obviously would like Rodriguez in a place where he has a chance for the "W" every time he steps on the mound. The Yankees were interested in him last season and could be again this year.
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