Five players to trade for today
The trade market is the fastest way to improve your roster and weaken the competition at the same time. Smart owners should immediately send offers for the five players listed below, and then watch their teams soar up the standings.
Billy Hamilton, OF, Reds
Despite a .212 batting average -- which can be partially attributed to a .241 BABIP -- Hamilton has compiled 17 steals and 22 runs across 33 games played. As his BABIP rises toward the sustainable .304 mark he posted last season, the speedster will have even more opportunities to accumulate runs and swipes. Because Hamilton can affect the steals standings more than any other player can impact a single category, he is worth a princely sum for those in need of a speed boost.
Jose Bautista, OF, Blue Jays
Since sitting out five straight games from April 22-26 with a shoulder injury, the slugger has hit .279 with two homers, nine RBIs and 12 runs across 76 plate appearances. Because the Blue Jays need his potent bat in the lineup, Bautista will likely be permitted to serve as the designated hitter for as long as necessary. Smart owners will add an elite bat at a discount by bringing up Bautista's shoulder woes during trade talks.
Jake Arrieta, SP, Cubs
Since joining the Cubs during the 2013 season, Arrieta has posted a 2.84 ERA, a 1.03 WHIP and 252 strikeouts across 253 1/3 innings. Despite his ace-like numbers, the 29-year-old is still regarded as a No. 2 starter by many owners. Those in need of a stud hurler should target Arrieta, rather than paying the premium for established aces such as David Price or Max Scherzer.
Mike Fiers, SP, Brewers
Because Fiers has compiled a 1-4 record, a 5.00 ERA and a 1.58 WHIP this season, his fantasy owners could be ready to deal him for a small return. However, the right-hander could be set to rebound, as he has a 3.93 FIP that shows his ERA is likely to drop in the coming weeks. And most importantly, he owns an elite strikeout rate, having fanned 49 batters across 36 frames this season, after striking out 76 across 71 2/3 innings a year ago. Don't be deterred if the 29-year-old struggles against the Tigers on Monday, as a rough outing vs. a tough lineup shouldn't be indicative of Fiers' future performance and could even cause his trade-market value drop even further.
Kenley Jansen, RP, Dodgers
Fresh off the disabled list, Jansen -- who has posted a 2.24 ERA, a 0.96 WHIP and a 14.1 K/9 rate during his big league tenure -- should immediately return to being a top-tier closer. Because Craig Kimbrel has been inconsistent this season, and because Greg Holland has dealt with an injury and a decreased strikeout rate, Jansen could stand behind only Aroldis Chapman for fantasy production among closers during the rest of the campaign. Smart owners will give the "saves are saves" sales pitch to Jansen owners, and hope to acquire the right-hander for the cost of a second-tier stopper.
All statistics are accurate through the completion of Saturday's games.