While Major League Baseball marks its trade deadline tomorrow afternoon at 4 fieldwithballmoon_copy_2zyhPM, many Fantasy Baseball owners have a little more time to digest the MLB moves and act accordingly.  In the Hausier’s Krowedum Fantasy Baseball League, owners have until August 5th before trades are no longer an option for improvement.  The deals started last week as players like Roy Halladay, Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Howard turned up on the rosters of the teams at the top, acquired from those out of the running.   With many fantasy leagues facing deadlines over the next few weeks, it seems like a good time to discuss trade strategy and protocol from both sides of the transaction.

Contenders should always target statistical categories when making a trade and factor potential monetary gains into a player’s valuation.  For instance, if you find that there is potential for a bump of three points in a tightly bunched ERA category and the prize for winning your league is $500, you should give up significantly more for Joel Pineiro or Jarrod Washburn than you would have back in April or May.  They may not be players worthy of a high draft pick or stud keeper under normal circumstances but they are when you can win.  Don’t underbid.

Be alert for peripheral deals that can help you by hurting your opposition.  Earlier this week in the HK League, Bobby Carr found his Skippy Shakes looking up at the Shady Gradys.   Carr saw that he had a big lead in HR and was locked into 6th place in SB; 20 behind and 20 ahead of his closest rivals.  The Gradys however had a slim 2 SB lead over the Four Horsemen.  As Carr is just 6 points behind the second place Gradys in the overall standings, he sent Alex Rios to the Horsemen, hoping the addition would vault the Horsemen to the top of the category and take a valuable point away from a rival.  A deal like this can be more valuable to you than an acquisition.

If you’re back in the pack and find yourself selling instead of buying, act quickly, as the contenders will be willing to give up only so much and you could be left holding the bag.  Such is the case for Ken Jankowski of GMoney, who came out of the HK Fantasy Baseball draft with a team full of studs that would soon end up on the DL.  Disappointed, Kenny set out to improve draft position for next year.  The problem was, the four contenders had already made a number of deals for high draft picks and there wasn’t a lot left.  He moved Alex Rodriguez for a 2nd rounder and as of this writing was still holding Mark Teixeira without a deal in sight.

Finally, if you are a seller, don’t just turn your attention to your Fantasy Football Draft as soon as the deadline passes.  Keep an eye on your team as it is your responsibility to help maintain the integrity of the standings.  You don’t have to grab free agents every day, especially if it’ll cost you money, but you owe it to the rest of the league to replace injured player

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Buy Low- Don’t let Cliff Lee’s record fool you.  After a rough April, he’s spent the last three months throwing every bit as well as he did in winning the Cy Young last year.  Now that he’s in Philly, look for the W to pile up… Despite a seven game win streak, Rockies’ starter Aaron Cook remains a free agent in some mixed leagues.  Even if he’s not, see if his owner’s been paying attention… Cole Hamels has put three strong starts together since the break and might be a nice deadline pickup for your squad… Might be your last chance to

Sell High- The Orioles are actively looking to move George Sherrill with the Dodgers as one of the destinations.  With Jonathan Broxton entrenched in the closer’s role, Sherrill would no longer be a source for S… Tampa’s James Shields is winless in his last 7 starts… Rangers’ 2B Ian Kinsler has struggled for two months while his BA has dropped to .242.  If you’re NOT in a keeper league, he’d bring a boat load of draft picks… Clint Barmes’ slump has gotten so bad that Rockies’ manager Jim Tracy recently dropped him from 2nd to 8th in the batting order…

Grab Bag- Cubs’ C Koyie Hill has started every game since Geovany Soto went down with an injury. OF/3B is his only backup… Bronson Arroyo has put together quite a few solid starts over the last two months and could see his value leap if he’s traded to a contender… This might be your last chance to pick up the red hot Josh Willingham. Hope you read Moonlight two weeks ago…

Drop Zone- No room at the inn for Ben Francisco, who moves from the Indians’ OF to the Phillies’ bench… Magglio Ordonez needs just 130 plate appearances for a 2010 option for $18 million kicks in.  The way he’s hitting, can’t see the Tigers allowing that to happen… Royals’ reliever, Juan Cruz, is 0-2 with two blown saves since the All Star break… Despite the Angels’ success, Joe Saunders continues to struggle with a 6.58 ERA over his last 11 starts… Chad Tracy is no longer an option in even the deepest of NL only leagues as the D’Backs look to the future…

Sick Bay- Carlos Beltran estimates he is 2-3 weeks away from a return to the Mets lineup after sitting out with a bone bruise in his knee… Yanks’ hurler Chien Ming Wang will undergo season ending surgery, as will Twins’ starter Kevin Slowey… Seattle 3B Adrian Beltre is expected back from a shoulder injury in two weeks… Houston’s Lance Berkman is on the 15 day DL with a strained calf…

The Marlins’ decision to send Ricky Nolasco to the minors earlier in the year is fieldwithballmoon_copy_2zyhpaying tremendous dividends right now as Nolasco is leading Florida’s charge to the top of the NL East. Sunday, Nolasco continued his hot streak with 12 K over 8 shutout IP… I’ve been asked more than a few times if Tigers’ 3B Brandon Inge is a Sell High candidate. At the hot corner, he might be, but his eligibility behind the plate makes him a keeper…Chicago’s Jermaine Dye, already with 20 HR and 51 RBI, is not only one of the more consistent performers in the game, he’s also one of the most underrated in most fantasy baseball rankings… While the Rockies try to convince themselves and others that Garrett Atkins will turn things around in the second half, the fact that the third baseman’s numbers have not improved a bit while Colorado has become the NL’s hottest team is enough to make me stay away… Mike MacDougal, 5 for 5 in S opportunities since becoming Washington’s closer, is this week’s example of why you should never reach for closers in your fantasy baseball draft… Baltimore’s Matt Wieters 3 H, 1 HR performance on Sunday raised his BA to .277 during a hot streak that started on Father’s Day when I got my Wieters t-shirt from my kids… Derrek Lee and David Ortiz have spent the month of June proving that players with hand or wrist injuries need warm weather more than anything in order to return to form… Seattle’s Brandon Morrow has strung together three solid performances as he readjusts to the starting rotation… Be careful if you have Alex Rios on your fantasy baseball team. You might be inclined to try and time Rios’ hot streaks, especially now that he’s been dropped to seventh in Toronto’s order. Don’t… In St. Louis, Colby Rasmus has 10 HR and 32 RBI in limited playing time. Keep an eye on him, though, as he’s still struggling to gain Tony LaRussa’s confidence and may lose AB when Mark DeRosa returns to the lineup… Tigers’ rookie hurler Rick Porcello, after a sensational start, may be hitting a wall, as indicated by two straight tough outings. Don’t give up on him… Vladimir Guerrero returned to the Angels’ outfield this weekend after serving exclusively as the team’s DH to this point… Dan Haren has issued just 15 BB in 17 starts… In his last 43 plate appearances, Lance Berkman has reached base 25 times… Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder have combined for 134 RBI to this point and the anemic Brewers have needed every one of them… Only Babe Ruth, Mark McGwire, Ralph Kiner, and Harmon Killebrew hit 300 HR in less AB than Adam Dunn, who reached the plateau this weekend…

Buy Low- With his A’s in the basement and the trade deadline approaching, look for Billy Beane to move Matt Holliday soon. A move out of Oakland’s spacious ballpark could be just what he needs… Might be your last chance for David Ortiz, as his 8 HR in June indicate his hand is all the way back…

Sell High- Now that the Padres have traded Scott Hairston, no one is left to protect Adrian Gonzalez, who had 21 BB while Hairston was on the DL… 3B Aramis Ramirez is expected to return to the Cubs’ lineup today, signaling the likely end of regular playing time for Jake Fox… Alfonso Soriano is on this list instead of the Drop Zone only because he has a recognizable name. He’s carrying a .226 BA and has been dropped to sixth in the Cubs’ order…

Grab Bag- Cleveland’s Asdrubal Cabrera has been performing capably in the leadoff spot with a .304 BA… Ben Francisco, after posting a .141 June BA, hit .409 over the Indians’ nine game homestand… Tony Gwynn is the Padres’ only true CF and should remain in the leadoff spot for awhile… Pittsburgh’s Virgil Vasquez has turned in a quality start in each of his two starts since being called up from AAA…

Drop Zone- Just because the Yankees are obsessed with force feeding Joba Chamberlain into their starting rotation doesn’t mean you should. He can’t get out of the fifth inning… Josh Fields is out of a job as the White Sox have given Gordon Beckham the 3B spot…

Sick Bay- Kansas City’s Mike Aviles is through for the season after Tommy John surgery…Randy Johnson left his last start with a left shoulder strain…

Farm Fresh- Milwaukee’s Manny Parra, who struggled mightily early in the season, is 1-2 with a 2.92 ERA in four AAA starts since being sent down.

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