Fantasy Baseball 2012: 5 Latest 'Buy Low' Fantasy Trade Options

George Anderson@BigChow73Analyst IIAugust 20, 2012

Fantasy Baseball 2012: 5 Latest 'Buy Low' Fantasy Trade Options

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    This week's fantasy baseball "buy low" trade options feature mostly big names that were expected to be pillars for fantasy owners.

    While they started out well, this group of players has hit a wall, and now is the time to get some big names at bargain prices.

    Get your trade screens ready.

    Here are the latest "buy low" fantasy baseball trade options.

Ryan Dempster, SP, Texas Rangers

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    When Ryan Dempster was acquired by the Texas Rangers, the team possibly thought its pitching was now at least in the same zip code as the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

    With the Chicago Cubs, Dempster looked like he was playing in the minor leagues through 16 starts. He had a 2.25 ERA with a 1.04 WHIP. 

    In the three games Dempster has started since being traded to the Rangers, he has an 8.31 ERA and a 1.73 WHIP.

    In other words, Dempster has allowed 16 earned runs through 17.1 innings pitched.

    It is apparent Dempster has not been what Texas had ordered. At the same time, he has not been what fantasy owners were hoping for when Dempster moved from one of the worst teams in baseball to a World Series contender.

    The Rangers may not be able to return Dempster, but look for fantasy owners to look to deal the fallen ace. 

    If you can find an owner willing to part with Dempster for little in return, make the deal, as Dempster is likely to find his groove if he wants to stay in the rotation. 

Johan Santana, SP, New York Mets

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    People handle success in different ways.

    Some build on their success to become better, and others look at the success as their peak and go crashing down.

    Fantasy owners of Johan Santana know that success may have been the worst thing to happen to a pitcher that was once a perennial Cy Young candidate.

    On June 1, Santana threw a no-hitter against the St. Louis Cardinals, and it seemed like the achievement had catapulted Santana back to his former self.

    Santana went on to go 4-2 in June, but since then he has taken a turn for the worse.

    Through the first three months, Santana earned an ERA under or close to 3.00. Since then, he has posted an ERA of 13.50 in July and has an ERA of 19.89 in August.

    According to the Associated Press:

    Santana is 0-5 with a 15.63 ERA in his past five starts, allowing at least six runs in each appearance. Since the no-hitter, he has lost seven of 10 decisions.

    Now Santana is not going to help in the playoffs as the Mets play the Pittsburgh Pirates, Atlanta Braves and Miami Marlins to end the season.

    What Santana can do is help you get into the playoffs as the Mets play the Colorado Rockies, Houston Astros and Philadelphia Phillies in the next three series.

    Santana may have a limited role, but he will come cheap, and you have to first get into the playoffs before you can win them.

Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C, Boston Red Sox

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    Saltalamacchia had been an unexpected source of power for fantasy owners. 

    Through July, Saltalamacchia had hit 20 home runs and 47 RBI. He also carried over a .260 batting average in each of the first four months.

    Since August 1, the 27-year-old catcher has been hitting like he is swinging with a tennis racket that is missing the webbing.

    Saltalamacchia has scored once all month, and he has only two RBI. He is also batting a measly .217.

    The good news is that this catcher can still belt home runs, and with series against Kansas City, Oakland, Seattle and Toronto on the horizon, he will have numerous opportunities to get back to being the offensive powerhouse he showed to be to start the season.

Justin Upton, OF, Arizona Diamondbacks

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    One of 2012's biggest fantasy disappointments has been Justin Upton. 

    With only nine home runs and 47 RBI, he has fallen well short of the MVP candidate fantasy owners were expecting when they drafted Upton in the early rounds.

    Despite being involved in trade rumors, Upton still has not found the spark needed to become the smasher he was last year.

    Upton only has four home runs since June 1, and his batting average has been below .270 over the last two months.

    There is little hope for Upton, but a little hope is better than none at all.

    Upton will still require decent value in return if you want to trade for him, but he will not cost the high-end player he once did.

    Once you have acquired Upton, look forward to a guy who still scores runs and has an extremely favorable schedule for the playoffs.

    Upton and the Arizona Diamondbacks face San Diego twice, Colorado twice and the Chicago Cubs towards the end of the season. 

    The Diamondbacks do face the San Francisco Giants twice, but the first series is at home and the second series comes after Arizona plays San Diego and Colorado.

    By the time the second series comes around, the Diamondbacks will probably be on a playoff run after a light schedule gets the team back into the NL West race. The light schedule and the momentum from winning should return Upton to the 2011 MVP candidate owners need him to be. 

Jason Kipnis, 2B, Cleveland Indians

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    The top "buy low" candidate recently has to be Jason Kipnis of the Cleveland Indians.

    Kipnis was an ideal fantasy pick, as he played a position that typically lacks depth and he could hit for power and steal.

    His first three months were great, as he hit 11 home runs and stole 19 bases.

    Since July, Kipnis has just fallen off the baseball radar.

    Kipnis has not hit a home run since June, and he only has four steals. Kipnis' average has also taken a dive, as he hit .250 in July and is hitting an atrocious .114 in the month of August.

    It is surprising as to the sudden downfall of one of the up-and-coming stars in baseball, and his being tired could be the reason for his downfall, though manager Manny Acta has his own opinion on the matter.

    Manager Manny Acta (via Paul Hoynes of the Plain Dealer) says, "He's missing some pitches because of mechanical issues, but you shouldn't be tired at this time of the year."

    If it is just mechanical, then it can be fixed. 

    But you should try to pry Kipnis loose from someone before he fixes those mechanics.

    With Minnesota, Kansas City and the Chicago White Sox comprising a large part of the Indians' remaining schedule, Kipnis will have plenty of time to get rested and return to form just in time for the playoffs.