Is there anything more depressing than the end of the buffet meal? You've worn a hole in the carpet trudging back and forth to fill your plate. You can't fit into your pants anymore without unbuttoning the top button. And you know by morning you'll be starving again, thanks to your newly-stretched stomach.
The same is true as we close down the trading tips desk for the season. Hopefully, though, you've found a few deals to fill your team with enough to reach the fantasy playoffs. Hopefully, you won't enter the offseason starving for a playoff appearance. And hopefully, your pants still fit. And if they don't, no worries; fantasy football season is here, and everyone dresses for comfort, not speed, in the fall and winter. Thanks to you all, it has been a privilege.
For the final time, on to the trade tips:
• Alex Rios, Texas Rangers: Those sneaky Rangers picked up a capable substitute for Nelson Cruz, who's suspended for the rest of the regular season, after the trade deadline. Rios watched his numbers dip this season, but that should change fast when he's in a better lineup. Odd as it may seem to say for a 32-year old, but Rios has a lot of upside after dragging through a lost campaign with the White Sox. Don't expect Babe Ruth, but an uptick in average and power wouldn't be a shock, and with the 26 steals he already has, would make Rios one of the more complete producers in fantasy.
• Pablo Sandoval, San Francisco Giants: I have long been a fan of the Panda, but with the Giants playing toward an October vacation, I have to admit -- Sandoval has been a disappointment this season. He's hitting just .256 with nine homers and 52 RBI, and with a team 14.5 games back in the Wild Card race, he doesn't have much incentive to lift his game. Tipping the scales at 240 pounds (listed) doesn't help his campaign; neither does getting hurt (an annual tradition). At least give Sandoval credit for not stat-padding his numbers in a lost season, but of course, his lost season is a big part of why the Giants aren't winning. Try to pass him off to an owner who is may be building for next season (in keeper leagues), or someone still sweet on players nicknamed after bamboo-eating members of the bear family.
• Prince Fielder, Detroit Tigers: Explain yourselves, Fielder sellers! Where will you find a more explosive bat than this? Unless you're getting a Chris Davis or a Miggy Cabrera in the deal, Fielder is a keeper. His power has been lacking its usual spark, but remember the Tigers have finished the past few seasons strongly, which could mean a lot of production from the middle of their order. There's a chance he fails to reach 30 homers, but how can you say no to even 10 home runs in the closing weeks?