By Fred Zinkie
Special to Yahoo Sports
Before we delve into the names this week, I want to mention a big-picture concept around the “sell high” and “buy low” descriptions. Not all sell-high players are on a hot streak, as their placement in that category simply reflects my opinion that their current trade value is as high as it’s going to be for the foreseeable future. After all, getting something in return for a disappointing player is better than holding the asset and watching him continue to disappoint for the next two months.
And of course, the inverse is true for the buy-low picks who are playing well in the short term, but have yet to see their trade value really take off.
Jose Ramirez, 2B/3B, Indians
Although his season-long numbers are still ugly (.235/.312/.387 slash line), Ramirez is starting to heat up. Since June 14, the multi-position asset is batting .311 with six homers and 26 RBI across 30 games. And he has been a steals weapon all season, having totaled 21 swipes, which ranks fourth in baseball. Although there is certainly risk associated with Ramirez, this is one of the last chances to grab a potential elite asset at a major discount.
Cavan Biggio, 2B/OF, Blue Jays
Gamers who currently have Biggio on their roster are likely running for the exits, as the rookie is hitting .179 with a .528 OPS in July. But his season-long batted-ball data remains elite, including outstanding marks in hard-contact rate (45.1 percent), line drive rate (22.5 percent) and fly ball rate (48.0 percent). And with a respectable 0.58 BB:K ratio, Biggio is showing no signs of guessing at the dish. Likely available for a song, the 24 year old could be a premier power source down the stretch.
Michael Chavis, 1B/2B/3B, Red Sox
Like Biggio, Chavis is a talented rookie who has hit a bit of a wall in July (.226 average, .682 OPS). But I’ll take as many shares in the talented Red Sox lineup as I can get, especially when those shares come at a discount due to a cold streak. Chavis’ batted-ball and plate discipline data are relatively unchanged this month, and he should get back on track in short order.
Mallex Smith, OF, Mariners
Smith isn’t a buy-low option due to performance, as he has posted a respectable slash line while collecting six steals in July. Instead, Smith could be available for a discount due to his one-category contributions. Many gamers rostering the 26 year old are sitting pretty in the steals standings on the strength of this speedster’s 27 swipes. And because Smith doesn’t help in other areas, those rostering him may be more than reasonable when trading him away to fill an area of need. With the steals standings moving at a snail’s pace, Smith can pump up a fantasy squad in a hurry.
Scott Oberg, RP, Rockies
Oberg was a popular waiver-wire gem a few weeks ago when it seemed inevitable that he would take over the closer’s role from Wade Davis. But the baton has not yet been passed, and Oberg has not recorded a save since June 6. With the buzz having worn off, this is the perfect time for gamers to add Oberg at a minimal cost. Davis continues to post inconsistent results in the ninth inning and likely isn’t long for high-leverage situations.
Wade Davis, RP, Rockies
With a 5.83 ERA and a 1.64 WHIP, Davis certainly isn’t the sell-high option he used to be. But he still holds the closer’s role, and those who are in a tight saves race will likely give up something for his services. This is especially true in leagues of 12 teams or more, where the waiver wire is mostly barren of saves sources. Davis is on borrowed time with his ninth-inning gig and should be off mixed-league rosters in a couple weeks. This is the time to get anything you can for him.
Luis Urias, 2B, Padres
Urias was a must-stash prospect in deep-mixed formats before being promoted to the majors last week. And although the 22 year old was ripping it up in the minors, his trade value may never be higher than it is right now. Fantasy gamers tend to go gaga over rookies, and those who sold off Brendan Rodgers, Austin Riley and their peers at the outset of their time in the majors are certainly not disappointed today. The same drill applies to Urias: Trade him for a boring veteran now.
Jeff McNeil, 2B/3B/OF, Mets
McNeil may be leading the Majors in batting average, but his average is about as empty as they get. The infielder ranks outside the top-80 hitters in homers (9), runs scored (49), RBI (41) and steals (4). And with a .380 BABIP, McNeil is hardly a lock to maintain his .339 average the rest of the way. Those who aren’t in tight batting average races should surely swap him for a more balanced offensive player.
Joey Gallo, 1B/OF, Rangers
Gallo was surprisingly effective during the first half of the season, supplying his usual power totals while mixing in a helpful batting mark. But we knew it was too good to last, as the strikeout-prone slugger leads the Majors in July whiffs and is batting .125 this month. Still, his season-long numbers (22 homers, .253 average) are good enough to attract plenty of attention on the trade market. Gamers rostering Gallo who cannot afford a batting average drain should deal him now.
Giancarlo Stanton, OF, Yankees
I’m here to throw some cold water on your optimism for Stanton, who remains rostered in nearly every league. The injury-prone slugger is still removed from baseball activities, and he will be doing well if he makes any impact in August. Gamers rostering Stanton would be wise to use the slugger’s name value to trade him to a competitor who is looking for a spark in the power categories. I have a strong hunch that trading Stanton won’t come back to bite you in September.