Since Toz hasn't posted a Gearing Up, I thought I'd look to see if any big players out there were worth writing up. There aren't. It's kind of quiet right now in the National League. Writing 400 words about the desiccated shell of Scott Rolen wasn't doing it for me.
Instead, I thought I'd take a look ahead at something that might happen: the acquisition of Kevin Youkilis by a National League team. The rumor mill makes a Youkilis trade seem imminent, and while we all know that the rumor mill can sometimes miss the mark by a million miles (Michael Young, anyone?), it would seem that Youk is on the verge of being traded.
For Youkilis himself, if he does get traded into a starting role, you're going to have to at the very least put up a semi-aggressive bid - probably at least $35-45 of $100 FAAB budget - and that might not get him if an owner decides to gamble on Youk returning to his 2008-2009 form. I'm nearly out of FAAB in Tout Wars so I won't be a horse in this race, but I wouldn't spend my entire wad if I had a wad to spend. I doubt Youk is finished, but he played a combined 222 games in 2010-2011. He's a potential impact player, but the recent earnings history says he isn't. In an OBP league, you might want to be more aggressive, though Youk's BB/AB are down this year too.
If Youkilis does get traded, who stands to gain or lose depending on where he lands?
Red Sox: Will Middlebrooks would be the regular third baseman the rest of the way, though by now he's owned in a good portion of mixed leagues, even if he's only stashed on a reserve list somewhere. Once Youkilis is traded, you can start Middlebrooks with confidence. That batting average is extremely unlikely to hold, but another 8-12 HR wouldn't surprise me at all.
Pirates: I thought there would be an obvious playing time loser here, but while Casey McGehee has been the weakest corner infielder for the Buccos, Garrett Jones and Pedro Alvarez haven't been a lot better than McGehee. I would think that McGehee would get cut or spend the most time on the bench, though Jones could also shuttle off to the outfield and spell Alex Presley or Jose Tabata at a corner spot. This would be a potentially messy situation for fantasy owners in N.L.-only, as any and all of these players could lose some at bats.
Indians: In the short-term, Jose Lopez would go to the bench and Lonnie Chisenhall would go back to Triple-A. Once Travis Hafner returned, the picture would get a little muddier, though Jack Hannahan, Casey Kotchman, and Hafner could all rotate in and out of the line-up fairly easily. I could also envision a scenario where Kotchman or Hannahan get DFAed after Hafner returns.
Dodgers: In a perfect world, Youkilis in L.A. would mean the end of the line for Juan Uribe. That could happen, though I could also see Uribe shifting over to second base, Jerry Hairston Jr. moving to the outfield and Elian Herrera going back to AAA. Youkilis might also get some AB at 1B to spell James Loney, though Loney has already been pushed into a quasi-platoon by his poor performance.
White Sox: This situation seems clear cut. Orlando Hudson would likely get DFAed and Youkilis would slot in at third base. Perhaps the White Sox could keep Hudson as infield depth and option Eduardo Escobar, but then they'd need someone on the bench who can play shortstop.