Fantasy Baseball: Buy-Low Candidates

As everyone knows, there are two ways to improve a fantasy baseball team: pick up players from the waiver wire and trade for players from other teams. I recently wrote about a trio of valuable players stuck in fantasy free agency, so it follows that today’s article will be about which players to trade for as you try to position your team for a run at the championship.

The general rule for fantasy trades is to buy low and sell high. I’m going to channel my inner Warren Buffet and tell you which players are being undervalued. Each of the following players seems like excellent candidates to produce at a level above what they have shown to this point in the season. This means they can help you without forcing you to gut your entire team to add them. Here we go.


CC Sabathia SP – Yankees

Sabathia is 33 years old and has looked like an aging pitcher for much of this season. His ERA got worse each month between April and July, culminating in a dreadful 6.60 mark over five starts last month. His average velocity is 91.1 MPH this season, down significantly from the 93.9 figure he posted in 2011.

The dip in fastball effectiveness helps explain why Sabathia has given up home runs on 14.7 percent of his fly balls this year, far higher than his career average of 9.2 percent.  In his last two starts, however, the left-hander has seen his fastball reach 95 mph and he had quality starts in both outings.

After his last start, in which he gave up two earned runs in six innings against the white-hot Dodgers, he said, according to ESPN, “I felt like I had pretty good stuff tonight.”

Sabathia liking his stuff is a good sign for the rest of his season. He’s still an ace, as he ranks ninth in the AL in strikeouts in a sub-par season, but with the 4.66 ERA he’s currently sporting, the guy who owns him in your league probably doesn’t value him as one. Swing a trade for a lesser pitcher and bet on Sabathia’s track record. He seems like a good bet to turn around a disappointing season very soon.

Eric Hosmer 1B – Royals

Hosmer has been the bane of many fantasy owners’ existence — including mine — I admit, over the last two seasons. He hasn’t developed the power everyone thought he would and his average plummeted after he hit .293 in 2011.

2013 seemed like another lost season for the one-time Kansas City top prospect until the Royals hired franchise legend George Brett in mid-June to be their hitting coach.

Something seems to have clicked for Hosmer under Brett’s tutelage. Since June 19, Hosmer has hit .305 with 10 home runs and 11 doubles. He has the third most hits in baseball over that span, with 65.

Hosmer has continued to hit even after Brett returned to the Royals’ front office on July 25, and Kansas City will lean heavily on him as it makes a push for its first postseason appearance in nearly three decades. If you deal for him, you’ll get not only a rejuvenated bat, but also a surprising number of steals from a first baseman (nine so far in 2013).

Alfonso Soriano OF – Yankees

The second Yankee on this list is the least scientific bet of the three players, but could lead to the most value if you act quickly. The Yankee left fielder has always had a reputation as a streaky hitter, and it was well-deserved. Earlier this season, he had a stretch of eight home runs in eleven games; when he’s hot he can put up monster numbers.

The former Cub seems to be at the beginning of one of those stretches right now. He has a jaw-dropping 13 RBI and four dingers in his last two games alone. He’s hit seven home runs in the three weeks since he was traded to the Yankees and it is reasonable to believe that the short porch in left field at his new home ballpark is helping his power numbers.

The 37-year old is hitting .284 on balls in play, 17 points below his career average, so his batting average is likely to rise from it’s current .249. His power numbers are still elite and with his current hot streak, he could be one of the most valuable outfielders in the AL in the coming weeks. “The Fons” could carry your team to a championship if you trade for him in the next few days.

Dylan Sinn is a freelance contributor for CraveOnline Sports. You can follow him on Twitter @DylanSinn or subscribe at

Photo Credit: Getty