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As Sean Connery says, “Shituation: Dire.” Rios has been the pea under your mattress. The splinter in your paw. The tighty-whitey stain that your fourth grade classmates saw when you were changing for gym and have teased you about for the rest of your life (but maybe that was just me). Alexis Rios wasn’t a random stab in the dark when I pegged him for a terrific year in 2008. I wasn’t driving through the desert, high on peyote, when a random Native American said to me, “Rios will be good this year and make sure to hit the slots at Mohegan Sun.” So it’s disappointing when Rios’s slump looks amaranthine (Word of the Day, and I’m not even sure it’s used correctly, so try to use context clues), but there has to be an end in sight, doesn’t there? Yes, I believe there is an end to his struggles. But, for the record, Rudy and I disagree on this. Rudy says he should be sold. Well, whatever. Then I’m going down with the U.S.S. Rios. Rios’s gone through months like this before and he’s come out of it. Sure, his lineup looks like it should be in the AAGPBL, but I’m buying.  Anyway, here’s some more fantasy baseball hitters and pitchers to buy and sell:

BUY

Chris Perez – Isringhausen could be done done. To define those italics. Isringhausen is too old, too tired and Chris Perez is too heffin’ good. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Izzy hang up the cleats and retire (then return in two years as the Rays closer.) But can Ryan Franklin hold off Chris Perez? About as well as Britney Spears’s kids have of staving off rehab in twelve years. I think Perez could have fifteen saves this year and excellent peripherals. He’s not a starter that is biding his time in middle relief. He was a closer in the minors. A closer with terrific numbers.

Curtis Granderson – As most of you know, I think Curtis blows. But I’m starting to think, no one likes him, so whenever everyone starts zigging, you gotta look to zag. Now don’t zag for the sake of zagging — nobody likes a willy-nilly zagger! — but if you can move Pat Burrell and Joe Saunders or someone of their ilk for Granderson, you gotta consider it.

Corey Hart – Might be too late to buy because of his recent streak. As Alexis Rios and Corey Hart prove, invest in speedy OFs with girl first names!

Joey Devine – In a couple of leagues where I had Casilla, I’ve moved to Waking Joey Devine.

Matt Garza – 3 earned runs in almost 20 innings since coming off the DL. He’s a very capable pitcher with good K numbers in the minors. The only drawback is the Twins gave him to the Rays and the Twins know pitching. Damn you, Twinkies, what do you know that I don’t?!

Bobby Crosby – If he stays healthy, he could give you 20 home runs and a belch-worthy average.

Adam Wainwright – I’m still onboard the love train. He was a mess in the first half of ’07, but in the second half, he cut his runs allowed by almost half, his home runs allowed by more than half and he showed stamina. Don’t let his last two starts get you down.

Mike Cameron – I see Krispie Young Sr. on waivers in a lot of leagues. In ESPN leagues, he’s only 20% owned. (Of course, I do believe five thousand 3rd graders draft ESPN teams then abandon them, but still.) I’m sporting Cameron on a ten team mixed league and I’m getting what I expect. For a fifth outfielder, you can do worse. On the team I have him, I’m balancing his shizzy average with Youk.

Vladimir Guerrero – So he’s as limber as Ron Kovic, this isn’t something new.

Jose Contreras – Okay, so he remembers when they called movies “talkies” — whatever, he’s solid when healthy and he’s been healthy.

Johnny Damon/Robinson Cano – I’ve beat these horses before, but I still believe.

SELL

Ben Sheets – I’ve said it before. Ben Sheets can win the Cy Young. Know what else? Hillary can win the nomination. Andy Milonakis can be funny. I can date Mila Kunis without incurring criminal charges. Now will is an entirely different matter. Will Hillary win the nomination? I suppose if whatever state Obama is in collapses into the core of the earth. Will fatty ever be funny? I suppose if he steals better jokes. Will I date Kunis? If I can get rid of Culkin, you better believe it. So will Sheets win the Cy Young? He hasn’t made it to 30 starts since ’04. That year he had 264 Ks and 32 walks. Go ahead look at those numbers again. Yeah, they’re insane. That was coupled with a 2.70 ERA. He has pinpoint control and filthy stuff. Yeah, I’m a fan. Unfortunately, he could get injured in a pillow fight with your niece. So as much as I like him, I’m passing.

Edinson Volquez – In the comments recently someone asked about Edinson. Here’s what I said, “You see what’s happening with Cueto right now? Yeah, Volquez will be seeing him in the ‘kinda not startable’ category soon. Edinson’s a great pitcher but very, very rarely does a pitcher arrive in the majors and never hit a correction period. Could he avoid it? I suppose, but you don’t bet on the least likely thing to happen. You’re playing with house money right now and you need to cash out and move on.” Admit it, I take your breath away like Dr. Kevorkian.

Adrian Gonzalez – Don’t fall in love with his first half numbers. Let’s put it this way, he says to Teixeira, “You complete me.” Now don’t sell him for Luis Hernandez and a bottle of Valtrex and say, “Look, Grey, I did good!”

Jon Garland – Don’t make the same mistake The Town That Bobby Grich Built Angels made. He’s not a great pitcher.

Jon Lester/Doug Davis – As Hank said in the comments the other day, “Damn, cancer really is the new AIDS. Free plane tickets, no-hitters, and sympathy rotation spots. ‘What kind of cancer do you have? The All-Over kind.'” Meanwhile, Casey Kotchman writes in his journal, “Mono is not good enough!”

Kevin Youkilis – Youuuuuuuuuk is not a 2nd half hitter.

Joe Saunders – Rudy said this the other day in the comments, “Saunders is projected as a low K pitcher with around 5.00 ERA and 1.50 WHIP. His 3.6 K/9 IP and 1.6 K/BB ratios are AWFUL. The only real change from his performance last year is that he’s getting lucky with balls that are in play – it’s .240 instead of an expected .300.” And that’s me quoting Rudy!

Billy Butler – I’m gonna pull a Willie Randolph and say it’s racist if people still have Butler on their team. If he were black or Isiah Thomas or Herm Edwards, he would not be on your team. And that’s egregious! So let’s all get along and drop Butler. Now doesn’t that feel good?

  1. IowaCubs

    IowaCubs says:
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    Offer: Dude offered me A.J. Burnett for B.J. Ryan. I might need Barron’s advice on this Toronto zinger. A.J. looked awesome in his last start. Isn’t this a buy?

  2. Zebo says:
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    @Grey: Drop the hot dog eating champion for Chris Perez?

  3. p0rk burn says:
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    @zebo: thats the exact move I made once Perez cleared waivers. The Cleveland mess is too muddled right now. The STL situation is a lot better as far as I’m concerned. Franklin has pitched well but I think he’s better suited as a MR. My money is with Grey on Perez taking over before too long.

  4. Zebo says:
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    @everyone,
    Thanks guys, I did just that and was able to save my waiver claim for Kershaw. This is my lineup as of today. I have no one on my bench for hitting, who should I drop to get Kershaw with #3 claim? The #1 owner does not care, #2 owner does not spend too much time on his team, I have a decent chance of getting Kershaw.

    C Dioner Navarro
    1B David Ortiz
    2B Brandon Phillips
    3B David Wright
    SS Yunel Escobar
    OF Torii Hunter
    OF Jacoby Ellsbury
    OF Nick Markakis
    Util Casey Kotchman
    Util Conor Jackson
    DL Ryan Doumit

    Pitching
    SP Leo Núñez
    SP Aaron Harang
    SP Tim Hudson
    SP Ervin Santana
    RP Francisco Cordero
    RP Trevor Hoffman
    P Chris Perez
    P Salomón Torres
    BN Jonathan Broxton
    BN Micah Owings
    BN Scott Kazmir
    BN Justin Verlander
    BN Joey Devine
    DL Santiago Casilla

  5. Dim says:
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    As an AGonz owner, I’d advocate selling now (with two-thirds of his upcoming couple months’ games at home) and trying to pick him back up in July. 16 of SD’s 25 games in September are on the road, if you’re thinking ahead to the playoffs.

    Or just bench him at home and watch him hit dingers on back to back nights. :angry:

  6. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Zebo: When in doubt about dropping a player, I tend towards the lowest MR on the totem pole. Nunez or Devine in this case. I have less faith in Street so I choose Nunez, but a case could be made to drop Devine.

    @Dim: Did you get that reader issue fixed? Was it on your end?

  7. Baron Von Vulturewins says:
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    “If he stays healthy, he could give you 20 home runs and a belch-worthy average.”

    I feel like I’ve been reading this about Bobby Crosby since 2004. Remember when John Kruk picked him for AL MVP a few years ago? Or was it last year? Or was it in a dream I had where fools were kings and baseball analysts knew nothing about baseball? And why haven’t the As fired their personal fitness trainer? Eric Chavez wants to know.

    @IowaCubs: I will tell you a story about AJ Burnett. Last year, I was first in Ks and I had AJ, who was absolutely devilish. He’d just struck out 12 in 7 IP in his last start. So in early June I traded him to a guy starving for Ks in exchange for the stinkerrific Garrett Atkins. Burnett struck out 13 in 7 IP in his next start. (That’s 25 in 14 IP in two starts, for those playing at home.) The other owner was very happy. Then AJ got hurt. Then he came back two weeks later, pitched again, got hurt again. Was out till mid August. Other owner was sad.

    Meanwhile Atkins started smoking. Not literally. I mean he didn’t explode, or take up Kool Menthols. He started to hit very well.

    So what is the moral? Trusting AJ Burnett to stay healthy is like trusting Rich Harden to stay healthy is like trusting Ben Sheets to stay healthy. He will not stay healthy. Also, the Jays have a terrible history with handling pitcher injuries (see above example of shutting him down for two weeks, then bringing him back, then shutting him down again. Ooops!).

    HOWEVER, this is a strange case because you’re trading one limp-winged Jay for another. So the Jay-bumbling-injury-risk factor sort of evens out. Plus Burnett is in a contract year, so may have more incentive to pitch through the kind of nagging injuries he’s been accused of exaggerating in the past.

    So, short version: Yes. I agree with Grey. Swap those Jays!

  8. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Baron Von Vulturewins: re: trade Great answer.

    re: Crosby Still Can Mash — I think Gammons actually picked him for MVP, but then he was diagnosed with a brain tumor, which picking Crosby was either the cause of or the effect of. No one’s sure.

  9. Dim says:
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    @Grey– eh, just reclicked the RSS thingy and the new one’s working fine.

  10. Zebo says:
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    @Grey: the reason I held onto Nunez was his SP,RP eligibility, allowing me to plug him in daily, cuz we start 4 SP spots and we count holds, and no one has 4 starters on any given day, so Nunez allows me to not waste that spot. Now that we received some positive medical update on Casilla, is it Devine’s demise for sure? Another thing is when Casilla comes back I will have to drop another guy, so Nunez and Devine may both get axed anyhow.

  11. Frank Rizzo says:
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    Grey I sure hope you’re right because I’ve followed your advice almost to a T. Volquez sold…..check. Wainwright purchased………check. Granderson held………check.

  12. @Baron Von Vulturewins: Grey is right it was Gammons AND Harold Reynolds. I remember b/c I drafted him that year. Might as well have drafted David Crosby. And you’re right on AJ. If it wasn’t his contract year, I’d be less bullish…one thing I’ll say about him though…his stuff is nasty….

    @IowaCubs: Great trade, Iowa. Trading BJ for AJ is like trading a decent looking girl for a decent looking girl who, on occasion, is awesome in the sack. I’m hoping AJ starts fuckin’ like a champion soon…

  13. Hank

    Hank says:
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    Amaranthine:

    1. Eternally beautiful and unfading; everlasting.
    2. Deep purple-red.
    3. Of an imaginary flower that never fades

    All of things describe a girl I once knew named Alexis. Now I’m oh so confused.

  14. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Hank: Well, I did mention that I didn’t think I used it correctly. That’s what I get for trying to educate (however incorrectly) you people. (If I were to do emoticons, I’d put one here of a winking face.)

  15. cockyphoenix says:
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    For somebody with 5 solid SP and 4 solid RP already, which one SP and one RP from these 4 would be my best bet?

    RP Max Scherzer
    RP Chris Perez
    SP Rich Harden
    SP Clayton Kershaw

    I own the former of each pair, and am leaning heavily towards making a move in both cases.

  16. Jose Contreras says:
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    Hey! If Sen(i)or McCain can be president so can I!

  17. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @cockyphoenix: If I understand you correctly, you own Perez and Kershaw and you’re thinking of moving to the other two?

    I would move to Harden from Harden, but I would stay with Perez over Scherzer at this point.

    @Jose Contreras: hehe

  18. Hank

    Hank says:
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    @Grey: BTW, thanks for the mention in the post! It spurred me to post some new content, cuz we haven’t in awhile, cuz we’re lazy!

  19. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Hank: No worries. It was a funny comment. (Unlike this one.)

  20. johnson says:
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    “limber as ron kovic.” genius. i pissed myself when i read that. albeit in my colonoscopy bag.

  21. Baron Von Vulturewins says:
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    @Rudy Gamble: Agreed. There are lots of pitchers out there who can pitch well, or be very effective. There are only three who, when I see them pitch in the highlights, I wonder how anyone ever hits them ever, because their stuff looks like they can actually control the ball with their minds after they’ve released it. One is Peavy. One is Lincecum. And one is AJ Burnett.

    (Beckett is an honorable mention. But only sometimes.)

    For the kids out there — and because I know you’re wondering — Doc Gooden in his prime was the most visually untouchable pitcher I’ve ever personally witnessed. In ’85? For. Get. It. You might as well have stepped to the plate with a broomstick on your shoulder, wearing a tutu.

    Which is why you should stay away from the illegal narcotics, kids. And that’s one to grow one.

    Also for the record: Most hittable-looking great pitcher I’ve ever seen: Curt Schilling. Watching that bloody-sock game, every pitch looked like it would end up in the left field bleachers. Yet somehow he gets it done. Or did.

    I’ll go back to my rocking chair now.

  22. Darrin says:
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    Being the cub fan that I am….it is really hard to buy into these damn Cardinals. First it was Ludwick and now I have C. Perez. Fantasy baseball is the devil!

  23. Andy says:
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    Why did I ever trade Volquez?

    *cries*

  24. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Andy: Can’t look at one game. You need to wait for the bigger picture. But with that said, he did look damn nasty tonight. Then again, he was facing a team that would lose to the Taiwanese Little League All-Stars.

  25. john says:
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    You know what really sucks?..when your entire team, including pitching, slumps for an entire week in H2H and you’re getting hammered 0-11-2…..stupid Wright, Markakis, Cojack, EE, Matsui, Greinke, Maine, Webb’s loss, Snell, Dice-K’s ERA and Whip….the only bright spot has been Mckie D McCann and Quentin the Conquerer

  26. cockyphoenix says:
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    billybutler.com is my homepage

  27. Chet says:
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    @Andy: I’m in the same boat. Just remember it’s not even the all star break.

  28. Baron Von Vulturewins says:
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    @Andy: You may take heart in my AJ Burnett story, above, in which Burnett struck out 13 in 7 IP the start after I traded him, knowing he’d get hurt.

    He got hurt.

    And Volquez (who I also recently traded for Justin Morneau) will not end the year with a 1.34 ERA. Or even 2.34. 3.34 would be kind of a miracle, actually.

  29. cockyphoenix says:
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    So I just traded Justin Upton for Adam Wainwright, then Upton went away from Chase for a week. He sucks on the road so he got dropped to waivers. I filled in his spot with Joey Votto. Should I go back to the only player on my team younger than I?

  30. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @cockyphoenix: Someone traded you for Upton then dropped him that quickly? I think they’re both going to be great players, but they’re also going to have some growing pains. If you’re set at 1st and need an outfielder, I guess you could make that switch. It’s not the best move, since I think both players should be on a team. Maybe you can drop a random middle reliever for Upton. They’re both going to have peaks and valleys because they’re rookies. Maybe wait ’til one gets hot again for a week or two and trade them away for a known commodity.

  31. justin says:
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    Grey:

    first off great blog

    second: J. Loney/ A. gordon or Prince/Headley

    16 team keeper league, which side wins out?

  32. mike says:
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    Would u start Justin Duchscherer at home VS. Boston or Jered Weaver @CWS?

  33. Mike says:
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    Figgins for Rios ? Is this a joke trade that will definetly get rejected ?

  34. Baron Von Vulturewins says:
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    @Mike: That doesn’t sound veto-able to me. Both players are third/fourth round talent… plus Rios is struggling.

    Then again, from what I’ve read here, some leagues would veto the deal if a team traded Manny Ramirez for himself.

  35. mike says:
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    also do u think bedard is a buy low?

  36. cruisinkc says:
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    Who is better.. Lincecum or billingsley?

  37. cockyphoenix says:
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    hey Garrett Atkins was supposed to play today; I didn’t even know Ian Stewart got called up

  38. Zebo says:
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    @Grey: I am trying to flip Torii Hunter and Ervin Santana to get Ichiro or Crawford, do you think it’s too late to sell on Santana? I am also trying to trade the kiss of death guy Kotchman for Hunter Pence. Do you think I stand any chance on any of these?

  39. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @justin: Prince side.

    @mike: Inconceivably Rios was dropped in one of my ‘pert leagues, so him for Figgins should go through fine. BTW, there was a backlash on the messageboard about the guy dropping Rios. I believe if you’re going to field some pitchers, you may as well start. With that said, I wouldn’t start Duch.

    re: Bedard — Sure, if someone’s not buying into his talent, then go after him. I choose him for my AL Cy Young, so I believe in his talent. It’s the injuries I’m concerned with.

    @cruisinkc: I think they’re much closer than people give them credit for, but Lincecum is looking a hair better right now.

    @cockyphoenix: Stewart is up and he’s on a few of my teams. I mentioned last week for about three days straight he would be up soon. Maybe I’ll write a quick post right now. Talk amongst yourselves.

  40. cockyphoenix says:
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    so do you figure Atkins gets pushed to 2nd then? Dealing Utley would be tempting in that case since I’m pretty sure I could get half a team for him in this league

  41. cockyphoenix says:
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    I also hear that Holliday might get moved and Stewart would man left. Personally I hope the Rockies stop sucking because I like my first rounder batting in Coors.

  42. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @cockyphoenix: Don’t deal Utley on the hopes Atkins gets 2nd base eligibility. If he gets it, then that would be a different story.

  43. john says:
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    So what do you think..time to sell high on Quentin and slightly high on Cojack?

  44. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @john: I think Quentin will be a valuable player for the entire year, so I wouldn’t necessarily say to sell him high. If you need a pitcher or someone else, then Quentin should be sold as if he’s going to continue to perform. As for Conor Jackson, you can sell him? For what? If someone’s thinking he’s better than he’s ever performed then sell him. I wouldn’t think he’s worth more than a a second tier closer or a pitcher who is currently performing poorly that could in theory turn it around.

  45. If Atkins gets 2B-eligiblity (for Y!, he still needs 5 starts or 9 games), that would move him to top 30 players in my book. Will it happen? I kind of doubt it. But with TuLo and Barmes out, Omar Quintanilla may need to man SS which leaves 2B open. Jayson Nix is garbage. Atkins looked better at 2B than Stewart in limited trials. Seeing that I have Atkins in both my expert leagues (4th round pick) and I punted 2B in my drafts, I’d be frigin’ ecstatic if he got 2B eligibility…

  46. john says:
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    I was mainly thinking I would throw him in a deal for a better 1b….i’m looking at a deal like Dice-K, Soria, Matsui(or Quentin) and Cojack for Hamels and Pujols….this kid has Blowroski as 1 of only 2 closers and some underperforming OF/Util

  47. cruisinkc says:
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    Trade Corey hart for lincecum? Good deal?

  48. Junker23 says:
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    Just traded Volquez for Rios.

  49. mike says:
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    I desperately need a closer…am i giving up too much to offer oswalt for percival?

  50. Julius says:
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    Try to find someone better than percival

  51. Julius says:
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    Is my Volquez for someone’s Carlos Lee a good deal?

  52. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @mike: I agree with Julius. You can do better than Percy. But you should act fast because Oswalt’s battling an injury and it might send him to the DL or make him unusable.

  53. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Julius: Yeah, that’s solid.

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