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Fantasy Baseball: 7 Pitchers to Trade for Right Now

Nathan PalatskyCorrespondent IIApril 3, 2011

Fantasy Baseball: 7 Pitchers to Trade for Right Now

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    You shouldn't be trading right now. I've written for years, from the opening pitch until the third Sunday of the season, there should be no trading.

    But if you feel so inclined, and you are looking for some buy-low starting pitchers, this is the place to find them. These guys will all have different asking prices, and I'll try to give an accurate idea of what I would pay for each. 

No. 1: Max Scherzer

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    The kid is a budding ace. 

    After the All-Star break last season, Scherzer had a 2.47 ERA and 1.137 WHIP. He will strike out between eight and nine batters per nine innings.

    He is only 26 years old, so Scherzer still has room to grow. Barring injuries, 200 innings and as many strikeouts are well within his abilities, and he could be a perennial 3.30 ERA, 1.125 WHIP guy. 

    His price might have temporarily dipped after a rocky first start. I'd probably trade away a pitcher like Ted Lilly or Wandy Rodriguez, or a batter in the range of Alex Rios or Adam Lind. 

No. 2: Wandy Rodriguez

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    Joe Robbins/Getty Images

    Wandy Rodriguez is one of the more frustrating players to own in fantasy baseball.

    He had another bad start to kick off the season, but he looked outstanding after the break last season. You can get him pretty cheap right now.

    Don't go crazy, as it's possible he has a few more rough starts ahead, but there is monster upside to be had once he gets it in gear. 

    I'd probably give up a player like Angel Pagan or Nick Markakis, or a pitcher like Ricky Nolasco or Chad Billingsley. 

No. 3: Brian Matusz

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    Injured players are cheap. Brian Matusz has the talent to be a top-25 starter right now. 

    Missing his first few starts could be a blessing in disguise, as the Orioles will likely not have to worry about him throwing 200 innings, and thus let him pitch deeper into games. He won't be skipped late in the season.

    A fair expectation for Matusz in 2011 is around 13 wins, 3.40 ERA and 1.200 WHIP. He will also tally a useful amount of strikeouts. 

    I would trade a player like Juan Pierre or Mark Reynolds, or a pitcher like Anibal Sanchez or Trevor Cahill. 

No. 4: Rick Porcello

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    This young Tigers pitcher might be available on waivers in some leagues, so check there first. 

    After an awesome rookie year, winning 14 games at 20 years old, he struggled mightily last season and was eventually sent down to the minors, but he returned stronger and more confident. 

    He is still only 22 years old, and still has some growing pains ahead, but it wouldn't be crazy to expect 12 wins, 3.50 ERA and 1.250 WHIP. 

    I would trade a player like Chase Headley or Ryan Raburn, or a pitcher like Jake Westbrook or James McDonald. 

No. 5: Ervin Santana

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    Santana may be the least-owned 17-win pitcher in fantasy baseball. He is owned in only 56 percent of ESPN leagues. 

    The 28-year-old has already won 15-plus games three times in his career. It's time people took notice.

    His ERA isn't likely to help you, hanging around four, for the most part. But he will strike out seven per nine innings, and pitches in a division where he gets to go to Safeco and the Oakland Coliseum.

    When trading for him, expect something around 15 wins, 3.80 ERA and a 1.300 WHIP, with decent Ks.

    I would trade a player like Franklin Gutierrez or Juan Uribe, or a pitcher like Dallas Braden or Edwin Jackson.   

No. 6: Kyle Drabek

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    Drabek is only owned in 20 percent of ESPN leagues, so he might be out there for free, but he is worth giving up a little if you have to. 

    Drabek struck out seven in seven innings of his first start this season. He only allowed one hit and one run. There are some growing pains ahead, but he is one of the best young arms in baseball.

    With that powerful offense, 13-14 wins are not out of the question. Expect an ERA around 3.50 and a 1.300 WHIP. 

    I would give up a player like Casey Blake or Kila Ka'aihue, or a pitcher like Paul Maholm or maybe Josh Beckett. 

No. 7: Francisco Liriano

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    Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

    His rough start yesterday might have brought his price down enough to go and get him. 

    This is a guy I'm buying for more than 15 wins and an ERA under 3.25. I think he will be a top-10 starter at the end of the season, and isn't being priced that way. 

    Don't pay elite prices for him, but don't hold out if you can get him because it will be worth it. 

    I would trade a player like Paul Konerko or Delmon Young, or a pitcher like Matt Cain or Ubaldo Jimenez. 

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