In Chase Utley and Carlos Quentin, we’ve seen guys with tremendous starts begin to cool off. That doesn’t mean you should ship those guys away though. Baseball is an impossibly long season, no player goes through 162 games without encountering a minor slump. That’s where Utley and Quentin sit right now.
But there are a lot of big name players who have gotten off to slow starts that you may be able to acquire for a reasonable price in a trade.
Carl Crawford- Tampa Bay Rays (LF)
The Rays are the feel good story of the baseball season, but they’re have their best season in franchise history with their best player under performing. Crawford tends to get drafted too high because people fall in love with his ability to rack up steals. Speed, of course, never falls into a slump, so Crawford’s 19 steals are what you’d expect. But he has never shown the ability to turn himself into a solid power hitter, something everyone believed would eventually happen. Still, Crawford is much better than the .681 OPS he has put out so far. If you can get him for cheap and need some steals, take a shot at him. Also: wouldn’t it be a lot cooler if Tampa had kept “Devil” and ended “Rays” with a “z”? Devil Rayz is downright intimidating.
Nick Swisher- Chicago White Sox (1B, CF, RF)
Swisher has said his versatility is almost like a curse: because he plays so many positions, he has never been able to get comfortable at one. Well fantasy owners don’t care about defense, and Swisher’s ability to play all over the diamond makes him extremely valuable. That is, obviously, when he’s hitting. After the Sox’ failed experiment trying him as a leadoff hitter, Swisher got off to a horrid start, hitting below .200 for part of the season. He’s been much improved lately, finally starting to hit some homers while raising his average to .230. Swish has legit 30 homer power, so he may be a guy to target if you need walks and dingers.
Miguel Cabrera- Detroit Tigers (1B, 3B)
Cabrera is another guy who gives a team versatility, but that’s not his real value: he’s supposed to be one of baseball’s best pure hitters. For the guy people coined The Next Manny Ramirez, Cabrera has gotten off to a very slow start in Detroit. The Tigers have been playing better lately, but it’ll be hard for them to make a run at the AL Central crown with the state for their pitching. Cabrera will need to go on a tear and carry the club in the second half if it wants to make the playoffs. You may as well take a gamble on him to see if he can do it.