Since we last met (at least in the baseball world), football has taken over much of the fantasy space, with good reason. We went straight from a lockout to the height of draft preparation, essentially going from zero (or a little higher) to 60 overnight. A flurry of moves surrounding the trades in real-life baseball has already had an effect on our fantasy game less than a week after the trade deadline. Those moves dominate our waiver wire this week.
Marlon Byrd, Cubs -- GM Jim Hendry foolishly refused to shop Byrd at the deadline, and while the Cubs are worse off for it, the fantasy gamer may be better off with the center fielder remaining in Chicago. Had he been traded, there's a chance he would have ended up in a platoon role. With the Cubs, he's one of the team's most consistent hitters, posting a .313/.355/.452 slash in 272 at-bats this season. Since returning from a scary incident in which he got hit by a pitch in the face, Byrd has raised his OPS 42 points in a month. The Cubs offense isn't potent as a whole, but Byrd is a worthy starter in 12-team leagues.
Mark Trumbo, Angels -- Trumbo hit his 20th home run of the season Tuesday, yet he somehow remains owned in fewer than half of fantasy leagues. You know, because there are so many guys with abundant power out there. Yes, Trumbo is going to hurt your rates, but he's a major contributor to both homers and RBI, and for a guy getting on base fewer than 30 percent of the time, his 43 runs are respectable. He has to be able to find a home in any league that goes 12 deep with corner infielders.
Paul Goldschmidt, Diamondbacks -- Goldschmidt got the call up to the bigs earlier this week, and the Diamondbacks handed him the reins to the first base job after putting up with zero production from a prime offensive position. Goldschmidt tore the Southern League (Double-A) apart with Mobile, posting a .306/.435/.626 line with 30 homers and 94 RBI in 366 at-bats. He's a must-add in NL-only leagues, but he's got value in deep mixed leagues, too.
Jason Bourgeois, Astros -- After unloading Hunter Pence and Michael Bourn, the Astros barely resemble a major league team. Left in the wake of the trade deadline is Bourgeois, the one roster-worthy position player in Houston in mixed leagues. Bourgeois has speed to burn and is getting on base at a .368 clip. You have to add him knowing he's only a serious contributor in two categories, but he's a huge asset on the base paths, swiping 22 bags in 27 chances. Just ignore the HOU next to his name, and shift your eyes over to those glittering rates and steals. If you need speed, he's your guy.
Ryan Ludwick, Pirates -- This is an addition for a deeper league, but there is reason to expect more out of Ludwick now that he's in Pittsburgh. Petco has depressed the stats of better hitters than Ludwick, and the outfielder struggled mightily at home before the trade; he hit .218/.298/.361 at Petco before the trade. He'll play every day and hit in the middle of the lineup. PNC Park isn't necessarily a hitter's paradise, but it will feel that way to a guy who slogged his way through a season in San Diego.
Alejandro De Aza, White Sox -- De Aza has taken over the every day center field job for the White Sox after they couldn't put up with Alex Rios any longer. He's got some power and speed, and can contribute to an AL-only roster.
Kosuke Fukudome, Indians -- Fukudome should remain a starter for the Indians for the rest of the season. He has managed to stave off the usual second-half swoon thus far, posting a .273 batting average and .374 OBP. His power has disappeared, though, as he has just three homers on the year.
Jerry Hairston, Jr., Brewers -- Hariston is a good short-term add in NL-only leagues while Rickie Weeks rehabs an ankle injury. He provides plus-power from the second base position.
Rick Ankiel, Nationals -- Ankiel is back in center and atop Washington's order. He hit two homers on Monday and a grand slam Tuesday, and has started five of the last six games.
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