In seven years of playing fantasy baseball, spanning 40-plus leagues, I have never drafted or traded for Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez (15 HR, 44 RBI, 54 runs, 11 steals, .276 BA).
So, it's a little surreal to dole out advice on how to survive a pennant chase without A-Rod, who will reportedly miss 4-to-8 weeks with a broken hand (courtesy of a hit-by-pitch from Seattle's Felix Hernandez on Tuesday).
Mega-contract aside, A-Rod has quietly been a stabilizing fantasy force in recent weeks, hitting at a .319 clip since June 10 and .308 with three homers, 11 RBI, 15 runs and five steals in the last 30 days. In fact, one could argue that he's been the No. 4 fantasy third baseman for the month of July, behind Miguel Cabrera, Ryan Zimmerman and David Wright.
But none of that matters for the next month or so. Fantasy owners must treat their unplanned vacancy at the hot corner as if A-Rod will only be making a cameo appearance in September. They should pursue an emerging talent at third base via waivers or execute a major trade for a formidable corner infielder (1B/3B slot), with the finish line in mind.
From my seat in the dugout, there is only one untouchable corner infielder from this point forward: Miguel Cabrera. Everybody else, from Joey Votto, Albert Pujols, Mark Trumbo, Prince Fielder and David Wright, has their respective price on the open auction market—especially during a pennant race.
In other words, get those two-for-one and three-for-one packages ready for some of the biggest corner-infield stars on the marketplace!
Top 5 Third Baseman Likely On Waivers
1. Todd Frazier, Reds (three homers, .320 BA since June 26)
2. Ryan Roberts, Rays (traded to Tampa Bay on Tuesday)
3. Jordan Pacheco, Rockies (best pure hitter of the bunch)
4. Logan Forsythe, Padres (solid contributor with 2B/3B eligibility)
5. Kyle Seager, Mariners (catch him at the right time...and you're golden)
Jay Clemons can be reached on Twitter, day or night, at @ATL_JayClemons.
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