Some of the trade rumors I’ve seen are just plain funny.  Craig Kimbrel to the Yankees?  Wait, what!?  Really?  I’m not denying it as a possibility but I am thinking it might be a little overboard to acquire a premier closer when you probably only need a solid bullpen guy because you already have TWO premier closers.  The list of closers and strong middle relievers available is so long this year.  One thing’s for sure, there are going to be some strong bullpens vying for postseason play.  Here’s the lowdown on closers and some other relievers who could be dealt in the upcoming weeks, starting with some of the players most likely to be traded and ending in with those much less likely to be.

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The Cubs have recalled super catching prospect Kyle Schwarber to split catching duties while Miguel Montero is out for the next six weeks. Kyle was 3-for-4 with a run scored Friday night. We know the Cubs have a crazy amount of young talent on their roster, but Schwarber could be the final piece. I’ve seen enough baseball movies to know the hot-shot catching phenom usually comes in half way through the season to unite a bunch of ragtag misfits and lead them to victory, even though the owner wants to move them to Albuquerque. Schwarber is likely no exception. In a brief call up in June to serve as DH, Kyle slashed .364/.391/.591 with a homer and 6 RBI in 22 at bats (6 games). Extrapolate that! Let’s see…6 over 22 is equal to, carry the 1, cross-multiply, take the cosine and divide by zero…87 home runs! Whoa! Even I underestimated Schwarber’s ceiling, I guess! Or perhaps my math is off? Regardless, Schwarber is an immediate add in all leagues. In the minors, between AA and AAA he combined to hit .323/.430/.591 with 16 homers and 49 RBI. Prospector Mike ranked Kyle 7th on his Midseason Top 50 Prospects list, and Grey told you to BUY. Seventh is in the top 10 you guys. That’s right, more math. I’m just saying there is some serious upside here and Kyle Schwarber could be the biggest and smartest pick up you make all season. Now bring on the catcher questions!

Here’s what else I saw in fantasy baseball Friday night:

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With the time when prospects are called up and Memorial Day upon us, it’s appropriate for us to take this time to walk past the fallen rookies of the past. Sorta like the Rites of Passage walk on Survivor when they burn all of the Survivors’ belongings that didn’t make it to the end. When I write it out, it sounds like something Germany did in the 1940s. Any the hoo! Here we have the number one pick in the 2008 MLB draft, Tim Beckham. Actual Keith Law quote, “(Beckham has) the best chance of anybody in this draft pool to be a superstar.” Not Buster Posey (drafted a few picks after him), but Beckham. Next up, Jesus Montero and Zach McAllister. Actual Keith Law quote from a chatscript: Question, “Could Montero be an All-Star level 1B?” Answer from Law, “Yes.” Question, “How do you project McAllister?” Law answer, “At least a #3.” At least! These are fun, let’s do more! Another question posed to him, “I’ve heard contrasting things about Dustin Ackley’s power. Based on what you’ve seen what is Ackley’s ceiling in terms of HR/year?” Keith, or Klaw as he calls himself, said, “I could see 20-25. I’d say Ackley’s chance for 30 HR power is 20%.” Okay, one more (though I could do this all day) actual Keith Law quote, and this one is classic because he name drops his alma mater. In 2009, someone asked him, “Shouldn’t Teheran be higher on (Law’s prospect) list than Jeff Locke?” Keith said, “Are you asking me or telling me? When I first got to Harvard, there was this variety show that some upperclassmen put on during freshman week, and one guy had a funny routine about “flexers” — students who would ask bogus questions that were really designed to state opinions or try to show off knowledge. (Grey comment, “Sounds like a riot!”) Obviously, the answer is “no,” since I ranked Locke over Teheran. It’s incredibly naive to ignore probability when ranking prospects.” I do enjoy a pompous ass. I wonder if he has a post.harvard.edu email address. Of course, he does! Shoot, his email is likely harvardgrad@post.harvard.edu. So, what in the Hans Christian Anderson does this have to do with Carlos Correa? He’s a sure thing right now. That doesn’t mean he’s a sure thing. A lot of shizz happens between Matt Bush signing a contract and having his tiki torch snuffed out with his 4th DUI while singing Free Bird. Just like it’s also true that Albert Pujols was drafted in the 13th round. I’m reminded of the William Goldman quote about Hollywood, no one knows anything. What we do know is the Astros are winning and have no reason to keep down the hitting Correa. He looks like a young Hanley. Just remember, so did Xander Bogaerts. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

You in March, “Well, at least if I draft Carlos Gonzalez, he’ll either produce or be on the DL.” You now, “I wish he would get hurt already. Is he hurt? Could someone tell me what’s wrong with CarGo? Does CarGo even stand for Carlos Gonzalez anymore? Isn’t the other CarGo hurt too? I feel like a Russian mobster wondering what’s happened to my CarGo. If I find emaciated prostitutes inside my CarGo, there’s going to be hell to pay by my friend, Ukrainian Petrov. UP has let me down! Why am I muttering these things about CarGo while standing in the middle of Route 22 in a straitjacket? Is this a dream? Nightmare? Out of body experience? Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret.” There’s a few reasons behind this CarGo buy. Yes, I’m going to try to convince you to buy the hated CarGo. 1) The weather was atrocious in Colorado in April. Hitters can’t get into rhythm when they’re being rained/snowed/sleeted out three times a week. I’d say I’d buy low on any Rockie hitter due to this. 2) CarGo’s always been good when healthy. 3) There’s no 3. 4) He’s only 29. 5) You could be a 17-homer, .275 hitter in Coors. Yes, you, who just this morning confused a dirty Q-tip with a Cheez Doodle. 6) His BABIP is very low for him. He’s not a sub-.200 hitter. 7) His walk rate is up from last year and his strikeout rate is down from his last big season in 2013. 8) 675-3oooooh 9) I think his speed is more or less gone. If we see 7 steals, I’d be shocked. Okay, this isn’t a positive, but it’s worth noting. 10) To buy him right now, it will cost you about the price of admission to see Milli sing Girl, You Know It’s True next to Vanilli’s grave. I’m not paying a lot, but people are talking about dropping CarGo, so the price is right, Drew Carey, and I’d move in. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

“Hello, this is the Liquid Paper corporate office. How may I direct your call?” “Well, I’m not sure, to be honest. I run this fantasy baseball blog and–” “You want marketing. I’ll direct your call.” “No! No, sorry, I don’t want marketing. See, I have this pitcher, Corey Kluber, and his stats are saying he’s doing one thing, but it’s all a mistake and I see a big correction coming and…” “You want shipping and orders?” “No, I don’t think I do. I’m not looking to purchase anything.” “Sir, I can’t hear you over your cackle. Is someone tickling you?” “I’m trying to get a pitcher to correct himself, and I thought corrective fluid could work. Maybe I’ll try R&D.” “Transferring you.” “This is R&D. How may I direct your call?” “I want to know how I can get Corey Kluber’s stats to reflect his ability.” “BABIP problems?” “Yes!” “Just have him strike out everyone, get out of the first inning without surrendering any runs, have Roberto Perez consult with Yan Gomes on a game plan, and trust his stuff.” “Thanks so much!” “Would you mind taking a quick survey after the call?” “Sorry, I don’t have time.” Yesterday, Kluber went 8 IP, 0 ER, 1 hit, zero walks and 18 Ks. The best baseball fans are in St. Louis. At least when Kluber pitches to them! Hey, I told you to buy him about two weeks ago. Whether you did is on you. Now, please someone talk to Strasburg! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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I’ll be honest, picking a creeper early in the year is not an easy task. We have small sample sizes to work with, players under performing and pitchers very hard to predict. I ask myself every week as I prepare these: what angle can I find to make a call? What is a constant that doesn’t change? Where are my pants? Well, the third question is nearly impossible to answer because it’s like trying to figure out where Jimmy Hoffa is buried. The other two are things we always look for, regardless of what point of the season we are at, are park factors, lefty/righty match-ups, Schmotatoness, and batter vs. pitcher history. For example, this week, Brad Miller plays six games and for five of them, he faces right-handers. On the year, he bats .348 against RHP (good thing), but among the five he faces this week, he bats .191 against (not so good), and Hitter-Tron (-$2.5) says he won’t be any good. I’ll pass too. That’s a little snapshot into my process.  This week, I’m going for Schomtatoness and park factors to make my call. Would you like to hear more? Oh c’mon, I’ll give you some Arby’s coupons? Dairy Queen? Fine, then skip to the top 100 and we can fight about that in the comments instead.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Week 5 of the fantasy baseball season will be underway on Monday and now is the time to start preparing.  Adding quality players off the waiver wire isn’t the easiest thing to do in deep leagues, and that’s why we’re here to help.

In this week’s edition of “Deep Impact”, I’ll be discussing a few players who can give you an edge in the stolen bases category – one SAGNOF and two who can provide more than just speed.  As per usual, ownership percentages are taken from ESPN.com, but since every league has different settings, I can’t guarantee every player I suggest will be available in each of your individual leagues.  Let’s not waste any more time ¡Ándale!

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The first week I told you to buy Devon Travis. The 2nd week I told you to buy Steven Souza. This might be the most improbable streak since Joe DiMaggio’s. I’m not talking about his 56-game hitting streak, either. I’m talking about his lesser known streak, but equally improbable 117-day streak of him calling Marilyn Monroe, having another man pick up, but still thinking she was being loyal. That streak might actually be even more remarkable than the hitting one. “Who was that? Cable guy? There’s no cable for another thirty years. Oh, a guy that drives a San Fran cable car? It’s research for a part? Gotcha.” That’s Joe D. ringing up Monroe. Dexter Fowler‘s criminally underowned. Let’s just go on this alone: Fowler, Soler, Rizzo, Bryant, Castro. For the whole year. That’s the Cubs lineup. If Fowler doesn’t back into 95 runs, it’s due to injury. Next up, he looks like Pookie from New Jack City, but he has surprising ten homer power. Actually, 12 homers is likely the low end. A couple of windy days in Chicago when it gets hot and he’s getting 15 homers. If Jim Belushi bats his eyelashes at the right Cubs scorer, Fowler may just get gifted an extra homer. Steals? Well, that’s the tricky thing. He has 25-steal speed, but it’s been a few years since he’s shown it. He had 4 steals already this year. Just doing rudimentary math and he gets to 24 steals on the year. That can go up to 30 or down to 19. Either way, 95/12/40/.265/20 is ownable and startable in every single league. Now, excuse me, I’m returning to writing my one man stage play of Joe D. and Marilyn dating in heaven called, “And The Cloud Went Crazy.” Anyway, here’s some more players to buy or sell this week in fantasy baseball:

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Apparently, it was never the elevation in Coors. It was because it was cold in Colorado. Or at least that’s what the Yanks/Tigers game looked like last night while it was played in Arctic temps (granted, a hot day in the Arctic) and snow. Other teams may get some ideas that it’s all about the cold. “Let’s get Howard, Utley, Galvis and Asche on that side of the air conditioner, and the outfield on the other side. Now go straight from the AC to the batter’s box. No, don’t stop at the on-deck circle! You’re dropping to room temp!” Yesterday, David Price gave up 8 ER on 13 baserunners in 2 1/3 IP. That reminded Yankee fans of their teams from the 1950s, or when most of the current roster was teenagers. Obviously, this is just a blip, but if you can buy Price from a panicked owner, I’d consider it, even if it did seem yesterday like Price was Rocky screaming at Mickey to cut him. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Dressed in a tuxedo, Ron Kittle walks up to Leon Durham, looking fabulous in a red dress and high heels, and says, “It would be my pleasure to give you a lesson in marksmanship.” Leon scoffs, “You couldn’t give me a lesson in long-distance spitting.” Then they begin to go back and forth, “Anything you can do, I can do better. I can do anything, better than you.” “No, you can’t, Kris Bryant!” “Yes, I can, Carlos Rodon!” “No, you can’t, Kris Bryant!” “Yes, I can, Carlos Rodon!” “You four-eyed honkey, KRIS BRYANT!” “You four-eyed non-honkey, CARLOS RODON!” And so went the Annie Get Your Gun musical performed by the White Sox and Cubs alumni this weekend. Rodon is ready to perform, but why start his clock to pitch out of the bullpen? Unless the White Sox are sick of Noesi butting into their rotation where he doesn’t belong. I’d have to guess that’s what’s happening here. The White Sox are saying Rodon will work out of the bullpen, but within a week or two, he’ll be in the rotation. Why do we care? Because he can be the best pitching prospect call up of the season. Yes, he can! I’d own him in any league, but he’s likely gone. No, he can’t! Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?