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Bits: Longoria, Stanton good trade targets

8/8/2012

Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria and Miami Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton each returned to active duty Tuesday after long, injury-induced absences, and fantasy owners shouldn't hesitate to activate them into lineups and acquire them before ESPN's Friday fantasy trade deadline. Both Longoria and Stanton drove in runs on sacrifice flies Tuesday.

• Rays right-hander James Shields held the Toronto Blue Jays to two hits and one run over eight innings Tuesday, which is significant since it was his second consecutive dominant outing after four months of struggles. Shields can be a fantasy ace, but his fantasy owners are likely conflicted. Keep Shields around; yes, his 4.52 ERA and 1.40 WHIP through 21 starts were disappointing, but perhaps he has turned back into the 2011 version.

Arizona Diamondbacks shortstop Stephen Drew homered Tuesday for the second consecutive game, and while it's only 103 at-bats, he has raised his batting average from .185 to .223 in three games. Drew might not return to 100 percent health until 2013, but those needing middle infield help should monitor his progress. Drew did average 16 home runs per season from 2008-10.

Texas Rangers right-hander Ryan Dempster cruised into the seventh inning at Fenway Park Tuesday with a shutout, then allowed three unearned runs on a Will Middlebrooks home run, but it was an improvement from his first AL outing. Dempster remains more sell-high than buy-low because of his unsustainable season stats and his new home ballpark, and moving him now before he faces the Yankees next week is wise.

Milwaukee Brewers right-hander Mike Fiers took a perfect game into the seventh inning against the Cincinnati Reds Tuesday, ending up with eight innings of three-hit, one-run ball. Fiers fanned seven and for the third time in four outings issued no walks. Fiers boasts a 1.80 ERA and 80 strikeouts after 80 innings -- quite unexpected. While he's also more sell-high than most this week, unlike Dempster there are no signs of regression. Enjoy it.

Cleveland Indians right-hander Chris Perez allowed three runs (one earned) in the ninth inning Tuesday, just two days after a brutal five-run outing in Detroit. Perez was having a nice season to that point (2.75 ERA, now it's 3.98), but setup man Vinnie Pestano has permitted one run since May in 27 1/3 innings. It's a good time to preemptively add Pestano if chasing saves, or just good innings.