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Rummaging Through the Bargain Bin
May 9, 2003

Right about now, teams in the lower half of the standings are starting to get desperate and may view their slumping superstars in a different light than they did at draft time.  If you are one of these owners, you must resist the temptation to trade your players when their value is low.  If you are eyeing these players, then now is the time to swoop in and take advantage of the frustrated owner.
There are also players out there who are exceeding their potential.  Those are the ones you must avoid or trade them now if you own them.  First, let's look at who can be found in the bargain bin.  If you own these players, hang on to them, but if you don't, make an offer because things will only get better.

Wade Miller (SP) - way too good for the stats he's putting up now (5.02 ERA, 1 win).  Things will only get better.

John Lackey (SP) - less talent than Miller, but much better than the junk he's displaying now.  Trade for him cheaply and put him in your rotation.

Danny Bautista (OF) - always full of potential, this slumping hitter would make a nice 5th outfielder if he can be had for next to nothing.

Tony Womack (SS) - get Womack now while he's hitting below the Mendoza line.  Counsell is out for maybe 3 months and Womack is a career .272 hitter who provides plenty of steals.

Roy Halladay (SP) - if his owner is thinking last year was a fluke, acquire Roy because he has good stuff and his stats will get better.

Byung-Hyun Kim (SP) - at 1 - 5 and on the DL, Kim should come cheap.  His ankle will get better and his record doesn't indicate how well he has pitched.

Paul Konerko (1B) - even if he doesn't approach his numbers from the past 2 seasons, Konerko will undoubtedly improve on his current lack of production.

Aramis Ramirez (3B) - worth a risk if you can get him cheap because of his power potential.

Eli Marrero (OF, C) - if he's eligible at catcher in your league, acquire him and his .227 average because he'll improve and he's getting most of his PT in the outfield.

Other potential bargains:  Burkett, Berkman, Colon, Hinske, A. Kennedy, C. Jones, Lowe, Burrell, Green, Buehrle, Abreu, F. Thomas

Don't be fooled by the startling numbers some players have, like Baldelli's batting average or Carl Everett's home run total.  Remember, you don't get those stats in the future, and if you own these players, don't fall in love with them;  trade them while they're hot.  Here are a few more players overvalued at this point.

Gil Meche (SP) - he may finish with decent numbers, but use his hot status now to acquire a known quantity.

Esteban Loaiza (SP) - everyone already knows that he always falters when April leaves, but someone will believe that he's as good as his stats indicate.  Don't let that be you.

Shawn Chacon (SP) - pitching in Coors, the success can't last forever.  Trade him before things get ugly.

Hank Blalock (3B) - a good hitter, but he's not going to finish anywhere near the .358 he's hitting now.

Marcus Giles (2B) - the average and production will surely dip, so lay off or get a good deal for him now.

Gary Sheffield (OF) - Shef is a great player, but use his ridiculous stats to get another great player in return.

Alex Gonzalez - FLA (SS) - his hot start might get you a decent player for someone you might be sitting in the second half of the season.

Ramon Hernandez (C) - when it comes to average catchers, always trade the hot ones and never give away any talent to get one.  In this case, Ramon will never be hotter.

Other overvalued players:  Day, Biddle, Run. Hernandez, Suppan, Borowski, D. Lee, Ainsworth, Moss, W. Williams, Encarnacion

Use this guide to help you through the early parts of the season.  Don't fall in love with your players and remember that you don't get the benefit of a hot player's past stats if you don't own him, so trading for him is a mistake because things will only get worse.  Buy low and sell high is just as true a statement in fantasy baseball than anywhere else.  Good luck!