Fantasy Major League Baseball: Sell-High, Buy Low Candidates

John ZaktanskyCorrespondent IApril 27, 2010

KANSAS CITY, MO - APRIL 05:  Justin Verlander #35 of the Detroit Tigers pitches during the season opener against the Kansas City Royals on April 5, 2010 at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by G. Newman Lowrance/Getty Images)
G. Newman Lowrance/Getty Images

Some may consider this time of the year as late spring, or grass mowing season or even yard sale season. I like to think of it as fantasy baseball trading season.

With nearly a month in the books, it is time to start making a more aggressive push for players who have struggled enough in April to get their respective owners nervous. Even if it is a little.

Which is why I am seriously pushing in all my fantsay leagues for the following buy-low candidates... and looking to move some of the sell-high guys. I’d urge you to do the same.

Buy-low candidates

My No. 1 target in all fantasy league formats at the moment is Justin Verlander. He’s been on these lists before, but his continual struggles over the past three-plus weeks has started to make certain fantasy owners nervous. If you have one of those topsy-turvy owners in your league, it is time to pounce. Verlander is historically a slow starter, and there is little doubt in my mind that he turns around his 6.95 ERA in 22 innings pitched and becomes one of the premier fantasy pitchers sooner rather than later. I’ve been preparing packages of Zack Greinke and a lesser pitcher for Verlander and a mid-level hurler or two. You could also look to upgrade on offense.

Grady Sizemore has yet to either hit a home run or steal a base through three-plus weeks of the season. Considering the injury-plagued 2009 campaign, owners are getting plenty scared that Sizemore will continue to flounder around all season. For the right price... such as a strealing Vernon Wells... I’d look to make a move for Sizemore based on upside potential. Will he produce first-round talent? Hard to say. But I’d still bank on him over a chronically disappointing Vernon Wells or similar player.

Carlos Lee has continued majorly struggle this season, batting just .162 with no homers and very little accompanying stats to boot. However, after a recent “night off”, Lee responded with a triple, two RBI and a stolen base on two-for-five hitting. Pounce now before his stats level out.

Sell-High candidates

According to Yahoo stat lines, Jose Guillen is the fifth-best fantasy baseball producer so far this season.  Hard to argue with his .351 average and seven homers. It is also hard to argue against his track record for getting injured. Most seasoned fantasy baseball owners wouldn’t give you super great value for Guillen, but with the right team and with the right package, you could swing Guillen for Grady Sizemore. It is more likely that you could deal him for Carlos Lee. I would.

In 108 games with the Arizona Diamondbacks last year, second baseman Kelly Johnson homered eight times. He already has seven this year, along with a .322 batting average. Is Johnson having a breakout campaign in 2010? Possibly. Is it more likely that he’s going to hit some statistical walls at some point soon? You betcha.

Carlos Silva is loving his return to the NL... and his stats show it. A 0.95 ERA and 0.68 WHIP in 19 innings is just crazy-good. However, it is way too good, especially factoring in Silva’s track record. Moving him soon as a sell-high option is strongly advised.

For other sell highs and buy low candidates, check out this link.

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