Fantasy Baseball: 5 Latest 'Buy Low' Fantasy Trade Options

Eric MatulaContributor IIJuly 31, 2012

Fantasy Baseball: 5 Latest 'Buy Low' Fantasy Trade Options

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    With the trade deadline coming up in the next couple weeks for most fantasy leagues, now is a good time to start lining up a trade.

    There's no better time than trying to buy low right now. Scope out some players that have been disappointing this season and try to get them cheap.

    Here's a list of five guys who can turn it around in the last two months of the season and help you make a playoff run in your league.

Carlos Santana, C/1B, Cleveland Indians

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    2012 stats: .233 BA, 9 HRs, 41 RBI, 39 Rs

    After being considered the top catcher in most fantasy leagues coming into the season, Carlos Santana has been a big disappointment so far.

    But, he's starting to turn things around.

    In the last two weeks, Santana is hitting .295 with four homers, 11 RBI and a 1.118 OPS. He's seen his average climb from .218 at the beginning of the month to .233.

    Now is a good time to try and get Santana. Last year, Santana hit 12 of his 27 home runs in the last two months of the year. August and September were also his best slugging and OPS months of the year.

    Santana is owned in 90 percent of Yahoo! leagues, so if he's available, I would definitely pick him up for the last couple months.

Mike Napoli, C/1B, Texas Rangers

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    2012 stats: .227 BA, 16 HRs, 37 RBI, 42 Rs

    Mike Napoli is another C/1B that has disappointed many this season. But, he's really not far off from where he was a season ago.

    Last year, Napoli had 15 homers and 39 RBI at the end of July.

    Then he finished the season on a tear. He belted 15 home runs and picked up 36 RBI over the last two months.

    The Rangers have 62 games remaining on the year and more than half of them will be home. This should bode well for Napoli because Rangers Ballpark ranks seventh in runs and 13th in homers according to ESPN's MLB Park Factors.

    Napoli's owner is most likely frustrated. Send him an offer and hope to catch the same Napoli who was unstoppable in the second half last season.

James Shields, SP, Tampa Bay Rays

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    2012 stats: 137.1 IP, 8-7, 4.52 ERA, 134 Ks, 1.46 WHIP

    James Shields has failed to copy his success from last year. Perhaps a change in months (and scenery?) can be all Shields needs.

    Shields' name has been thrown around in trade rumors, so a move to a contending team with a loaded offense can certainly give him an additional fantasy boost.

    Furthermore, the month of August has been one of his best months statistically. For his career, Shields is 18-10 with a 3.24 ERA and 1.22 WHIP in August.

    Shields' ERA looks rather high at 4.52, but his 3.84 FIP suggests he's been pitching better than his numbers indicate.

    Look for Shields to turn it up for the last two months. His ERA should be below 4.00 for the rest of the season.

Josh Johnson, SP, Miami Marlins

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    2012 stats: 124.2 IP, 6-7, 4.04 ERA, 109 Ks, 1.35 WHIP

    After an awful start, Josh Johnson is in line for a fine rebound season. He should look even better in the next two months.

    Looking at his stat line above, you would think JJ was having a below average year. But he's actually been pitching better than what the line portrays.

    While his ERA sits slightly above 4.0, his FIP is at 3.06. With that mark, Johnson is ninth in the MLB. He's ahead of guys like Justin Verlander, Ryan Vogelsong and C.J. Wilson.

    I expect Johnson to produce in the last two months. Expect him to win four or five more games the rest of the way with a sub-3.00 ERA.

    He's also available in 10 percent of Yahoo! leagues, so you might not even have to trade for him.

Ichiro Suzuki, OF, New York Yankees

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    2012 stats: .261 BA, 4 HRs, 28 RBI, 51 Rs, 17 SBs

    Ichiro is having the worst season of his Hall of Fame career, but a move to the Yankees could help turn it around.

    The biggest stat to look at is his home/away batting average splits.

    At home (in Seattle) Ichiro hit a lowly .216. On the road, he jumps way up to a .295 batting average. His OBP is 57 points better and his slugging percentage is 110 points higher on the road.

    His BABIP is also really low. It's significantly lower than it's been over the last decade. I expect that number to rise and help the batting average get closer to .300.

    Ichiro should find his groove in the Bronx. He likes Yankee Stadium, as his career batting average is .324 there.

    He is also available in almost 20 percent of Yahoo! leagues.