The trade deadline is coming up around the corner in many fantasy baseball leagues.
If you don't want to pay an arm and a leg for some of the top players in the game, why not go after players of lesser value, who are putting up nearly identical stats? You might be able to return similar stats for a lot cheaper price, a tactic that may help your team make a run at a championship.
You may want to think twice before trying to acquire players such as Dan Uggla, Carlos Lee, Jacoby Ellsbury, CC Sabathia, or Johan Santana. Here is the reason why:
Mirror Image No. 1: Dan Uggla & Ian Stewart
Dan Uggla (FLA - 2B)
'09 Stats: .242 AVG, 22 HR, 63 RBI, 58 Runs and 1 Stolen Base
Ian Stewart (COL - 2B/3B)
'09 Stats: .232 AVG, 18 HR, 54 RBI, 59 Runs and 7 Stolen Bases
Suggestion: Ian Stewart will cost you about half of the value that it would take to get Dan Uggla and they are turning out surprisingly similar stats. His numbers are a shade under Uggla's, but if you're in need of a power-hitting second baseman for a somewhat cheap price, Stewart is a great bargain.
Mirror Image No. 2: Jacoby Ellsbury & Nyjer Morgan
Jacoby Ellsbury (BOS - LF/CF/RF)
'09 Stats: .300 AVG, 6 HR, 40 RBI, 64 Runs and 53 Stolen Bases
Nyjer Morgan (WAS - LF/CF/RF)
'09 Stats: .310 AVG, 3 HR, 37 RBI, 69 Runs and 39 Stolen Bases
Suggestion: The only difference that might jump out at first is the difference in stolen bases. Don't be fooled, since Morgan has arrived in Washington, they have been letting him run wild. Morgan has actually been stealing bases at a better pace than Ellsbury since he has joined the Nats squad.
If you're thinking about acquiring Ellsbury, think again. Go after Nyjer Morgan, who appears to be every bit as valuable as Ellsbury, with a lot cheaper price tag.
Mirror Image No. 3: Carlos Lee & Jason Kubel & Juan Rivera
Carlos Lee (Hou - LF)
'09 Stats: .313 AVG, 20 HR, 76 RBI, 53 Runs and 3 Stolen Bases
Jason Kubel (MIN - LF/RF)
'09 Stats: .311 AVG, 20 HR, 68 RBI, 52 Runs and 1 Stolen Base
Juan Rivera (LAA - LF/RF)
'09 Stats: .310 AVG, 19 HR, 69 RBI, 52 Runs and 0 Stolen Bases
Suggestion: Carlos Lee has made quite a name for himself for some time now and he will cost you a pretty penny. Why not save yourself the trouble of paying a hefty price for Lee and target either Jason Kubel or Juan Rivera instead?
If you're going to trade for Carlos Lee, you will undoubtedly have to trade an elite fantasy player to return his services. However, you won't have to trade away a top talent to bring in players like Kubel or Rivera, who are putting up eerily similar stats.
Mirror Image No. 4: CC Sabathia & JA Happ
CC Sabathia (NYY - SP)
'09 Stats: 178.2 IP, 14 Wins, 3.58 ERA, 1.12 WHIP and 140 Ks
JA Happ (PHI - SP)
'09 Stats: 128.2 IP, 9 Wins, 2.66 ERA, 1.16 WHIP and 92 Ks
Suggestion: Happ's wins and strikeout totals aren't on par with Sabathia's because he wasn't named a starter until roughly six weeks after the season started. If Happ would have been a starter since the beginning of the season, his wins and strikeouts would probably rival those of Sabathia's.
Sabathia is widely considered a top 10 starting pitcher in the fantasy realm, so his asking price is rather high. Happ may be able to provide fantasy teams with Sabathia-esque type numbers down the stretch without the high asking price.
Mirror Image No. 5: Johan Santana & Adam Wainwright
Johan Santana (NYM - SP)
'09 Stats: 158.2 IP, 13 Wins, 3.10 ERA, 1.21 WHIP and 144 Ks
Adam Wainwright (STL - SP)
'09 Stats: 172 IP, 14 Wins, 2.62 ERA, 1.27 WHIP and 149 Ks
Suggestion: Johan Santana is considered one the top fantasy pitchers in the game. However, if you're considering making a deal for the premier pitcher, you may want to look at another option that won't cost nearly as much.
Wainwright's asking price is lower than Santana's and he looks like he should be able to contribute to your fantasy team in all of the same ways.