The Fantasy Baseball season hasn't even started and you've probably got some holes to fill in your lineup if you've already drafted. It happens every April, but it feels like we've had an especially tough spring in terms of injuries so far. Among just starting-caliber Fantasy options injured in the past week or so, we've got Eury Perez, TJ Friedl, Josh Lowe, and Gerrit Cole all expected to start the season on the IL, and it's starting to look like Matt McLain will join them after he suffered a shoulder injury Tuesday. 

In fact, it might be a lot longer than just an "opens the season on the IL" kind of injury for McLain. McLain had an MRI taken Wednesday that showed a vague, but ominous sounding, "something," per reports, and the Reds are considering their options. To be clear, Opening Day has not been ruled out yet, but surgery is also "considered an option" per one report ... which doesn't give us very much to go on!

McLain has had a lot of trouble staying healthy already this spring, with his start to spring delayed by an oblique injury that lingered from last season and kept him out of games until last week. However, he was still mostly being drafted as a top-100 pick throughout the spring, but that's definitely going to change after this latest news. I've moved him down to the 150 range of my rankings as we wait for updates on his status, and his upside could still make him worth drafting there even if he does end up having to miss time.

But if you've already drafted, you need to make alternate plans, just in case. If you had McLain slotted into a 2B, SS, or MI spot, you were probably expecting him to be a big part of your lineup in 2024, and he still may be; but there's also a real chance you don't get anything from him at all at this point. So, let's try to find some low-priced replacement options in the middle infield to consider buying low on before the season starts before we get to my preseason trade values charts for both Roto and H2H. 

You know, just in case. 

Five cheap Matt McLain replacements to consider

  1. Jackson Holliday, SS, Orioles -- If you want to aim for comparable upside to McLain, Holliday is where you should start, and one positive about him not making the Opening Day roster is, if you've got the flexibility to stash, he won't cost very much at all! It's disappointing that Holliday isn't opening the season on the roster, but with Orioles GM Mike Elias saying he's "very, very close," I still think there's a decent chance Holliday beats McLain to an MLB game. 
  2. Jonathan India, 2B, Reds -- You can also look for India's teammate, who has gone from having significant playing time concerns to potentially playing every day at second base if McLain is out; if McLain is fine, India should still play plenty between first base, third base, and the outfield. I have concerns about his lingering plantar fasciitis injury, but India's 150-game pace last season was pretty terrific: 21 homers, 18 steals, and 175 combined runs and RBI. It's not what you dreamed of from McLain, but it could be a terrific replacement. 
  3. Brandon Lowe, 2B, Rays -- Lowe won't run as much as McLain would have, so if you were counting on speed from that roster spot, he might not be the best choice. But Lowe had a bounceback season in 2023, and is still averaging 34 homers, 188 runs-plus-RBI, and even eight steals per-162 games for his career. He might be the best power hitter at second base besides Mookie Betts, and nobody seems to value him that way. 
  4. Trevor Story, SS, Red Sox -- I'm expecting Story to be better than the past couple of seasons, but even if he isn't, he should be a serviceable McLain replacement. In 137 games since signing with the Red Sox, Story has provided 19 homers and 23 steals with 145 combined runs and RBI. If he improves on his .227 average in that span, he's going to be a steal. 
  5. Gavin Lux, 2B, Dodgers -- There's been a lot of consternation around Lux being moved off shortstop by the Dodgers, but you could actually view it as a positive thing for his Fantasy value: The Dodgers are willing to move Betts to shortstop to keep Lux's bat in the lineup. He hasn't done much in the majors since being a top prospect, but Lux apparently saw a significant increase in bat speed last offseason before a season-ending ACL tear, and he has five-category upside for what might be a basement-level price if you try to trade for him. He's the longest shot here -- I actually feel very good about the other four being starting-caliber options -- but there's some upside here if you don't have many trade candidates to shop with. 

H2H Trade Values Chart

Rank Player Value Eligible
1Ronald Acuna53OF
2Jose Ramirez433B-DH
3Juan Soto43OF
4Kyle Tucker43OF
5Mookie Betts432B-OF
6Corbin Carroll43OF
7Aaron Judge43DH-OF
8Freddie Freeman431B
9Yordan Alvarez43DH-OF
10Fernando Tatis43OF
11Spencer Strider43SP
12Julio Rodriguez37OF
13Bobby Witt36SS
14Shohei Ohtani36DH-SP
15Corey Seager35SS
16Corbin Burnes35SP
17Bryce Harper351B-DH
18Matt Olson351B
19Pete Alonso281B
20Trea Turner25SS
21Marcus Semien252B
22Tarik Skubal24SP
23Aaron Nola24SP
24Zac Gallen24SP
25George Kirby24SP
26Austin Riley243B
27Ozzie Albies242B
28Vladimir Guerrero241B-DH
29Francisco Lindor24SS
30Jose Altuve242B
31Rafael Devers243B
32Kevin Gausman24SP
33Pablo Lopez24SP
34Framber Valdez24SP
35Luis Castillo24SP
36Gunnar Henderson243B-SS
37Zack Wheeler24SP
38Bo Bichette23SS
39C.J. Abrams21SS
40Logan Webb21SP
41Logan Gilbert21SP
42Elly De La Cruz213B-SS
43Alex Bregman213B
44Randy Arozarena19OF
45Adolis Garcia19OF
46Mike Trout19OF
47Zach Eflin19SP
48Christian Yelich19DH-OF
49Tyler Glasnow19SP
50Luis Robert19OF
51Nico Hoerner192B-SS
52Michael Harris19OF
53Cole Ragans19RP-SP
54Yoshinobu Yamamoto19SP
55Cody Bellinger181B-OF
56Royce Lewis183B
57Oneil Cruz18SS
58Manny Machado183B-DH
59Kyle Schwarber18DH-OF
60Nolan Jones17OF
61Max Fried16SP
62Blake Snell15SP
63J.T. Realmuto15C
64Paul Goldschmidt151B-DH
65Josh Hader15RP
66Will Smith15C
67Grayson Rodriguez15SP
68Emmanuel Clase15RP
69Seiya Suzuki15OF
70Jazz Chisholm15OF
71Tanner Bibee15SP
72Edwin Diaz15RP
73Jesus Luzardo15SP
74Nolan Arenado153B
75Justin Steele15SP
76Max Muncy153B
77Joe Musgrove15SP
78Freddy Peralta15SP
79Adley Rutschman15C-DH
80Bobby Miller15SP
81Xander Bogaerts15SS
82Nick Castellanos15OF
83Yandy Diaz151B
84Dylan Cease15SP
85Bryan Reynolds15OF
86William Contreras15C-DH
87Riley Greene15OF
88Christian Walker151B
89Wyatt Langford15OF
90Ketel Marte152B
91Triston Casas151B
92Ha-seong Kim142B-3B-SS
93Andres Gimenez142B
94Luis Arraez142B
95Chris Bassitt14SP
96Ian Happ14OF
97Josh Naylor141B-DH
98Raisel Iglesias14RP
99Jose Berrios14SP
100Vinnie Pasquantino141B
101Gleyber Torres142B
102Spencer Torkelson141B
103Bryson Stott142B
104Sonny Gray14SP
105Camilo Doval14RP
106Anthony Santander14DH-OF
107Yainer Diaz14C-DH
108Evan Carter14OF
109George Springer14DH-OF
110Josh Jung143B
111David Bednar13RP
112Bailey Ober13SP
113Paul Sewald13RP
114Shane Bieber13SP
115Chris Sale13SP
116Dansby Swanson13SS
117Jordan Walker13OF
118Hunter Greene13SP
119Alexis Diaz13RP
120Jordan Romano13RP
121Marcell Ozuna12DH
122Ryan Helsley12RP
123Carlos Rodon12SP
124Thairo Estrada122B-SS
125Ke'Bryan Hayes123B
126Spencer Steer121B-3B-OF
127Jackson Chourio12OF
128Merrill Kelly12SP
129Andres Munoz12RP
130Teoscar Hernandez11DH-OF
131Christian Encarnacion-Strand111B-DH
132Joe Ryan10SP
133Zack Gelof102B
134Pete Fairbanks9RP
135Jhoan Duran9RP
136Alec Bohm81B-3B
137Joshua Lowe8DH-OF
138Walker Buehler8SP
139Gavin Williams8SP
140Kodai Senga8SP
141Jorge Soler8DH-OF
142Clay Holmes8RP
143Jarren Duran8OF
144Mitch Keller8SP
145Evan Phillips8RP
146Gerrit Cole8SP
147Steven Kwan8OF
148Salvador Perez71B-C-DH
149Tanner Scott7RP
150Jordan Montgomery7SP
151Masataka Yoshida7DH-OF
152Cal Raleigh7C
153Justin Verlander7SP
154Francisco Alvarez6C
155Michael King6RP-SP
156Adbert Alzolay6RP
157Sean Murphy6C
158Willson Contreras6C-DH
159Brandon Nimmo6OF
160Jake Burger63B-DH
161Matt McLain52B-SS
162Isaac Paredes51B-3B
163Shota Imanaga5SP
164Kenley Jansen5RP
165Bo Naylor5C
166Yu Darvish5SP
167Logan O'Hoppe5C
168Rhys Hoskins51B
169Henry Davis5OF
170Mitch Garver5C-DH
171Gabriel Moreno5C
172Craig Kimbrel5RP
173Cristian Javier5SP
174Keibert Ruiz5C
175Bryce Miller5SP
176Willy Adames5SS
177Hunter Brown5SP
178Nick Pivetta5RP-SP
179Chas McCormick4OF
180Cedric Mullins4OF
181Byron Buxton4DH
182Trevor Story4SS
183James Outman4OF
184Eduardo Rodriguez4SP
185Anthony Volpe4SS
186Nathan Eovaldi4SP
187Jackson Holliday4SS
188Joel Payamps3RP
189Carlos Estevez3RP
190Ryan McMahon32B-3B
191Ryan Pepiot3RP
192Lane Thomas3OF
193Alex Lange3RP
194Brandon Pfaadt3SP
195Carlos Correa3SS
196Jose Leclerc3RP
197Aaron Civale3SP
198Charlie Morton3SP
199J.D. Martinez3DH
200Jonathan India32B
201Jeremy Pena3SS
202Ryan Mountcastle31B-DH
203Gavin Stone3SP
204Jackson Merrill3SS
205Jung-Hoo Lee3OF
206Taylor Ward3OF
207Luis Severino3SP
208Maikel Garcia33B
209A.J. Puk3RP
210Jose Alvarado3RP
211Max Scherzer3SP
212Andrew Vaughn31B
213Bryan Woo3SP
214J.P. Crawford3SS
215Tommy Edman32B-OF-SS
216Jonah Heim3C
217Brandon Lowe32B
218Kerry Carpenter3DH-OF
219Edouard Julien32B-DH
220Justin Turner31B-DH
221Josh Bell31B-DH
222Reid Detmers3SP
223Yusei Kikuchi3SP
224Jeimer Candelario31B-3B
225Christopher Morel3DH-OF
226Daulton Varsho3OF
227Ezequiel Tovar3SS
228Eloy Jimenez3DH
229Nolan Gorman32B-DH

Roto Trade Values Chart

Rank Player Value Eligible
1Ronald Acuna55OF
2Julio Rodriguez42OF
3Bobby Witt41SS
4Corbin Carroll38OF
5Fernando Tatis38OF
6Mookie Betts382B-OF
7Juan Soto34OF
8Kyle Tucker34OF
9Spencer Strider34SP
10Freddie Freeman341B
11Aaron Judge33DH-OF
12Shohei Ohtani33DH-SP
13Jose Ramirez333B-DH
14Yordan Alvarez33DH-OF
15Trea Turner33SS
16Corbin Burnes30SP
17Matt Olson301B
18Austin Riley293B
19Bryce Harper291B-DH
20Rafael Devers283B
21Pete Alonso281B
22Francisco Lindor27SS
23Marcus Semien262B
24Ozzie Albies262B
25Zack Wheeler26SP
26Vladimir Guerrero251B-DH
27Gunnar Henderson243B-SS
28Bo Bichette23SS
29Luis Castillo23SP
30Luis Robert23OF
31Elly De La Cruz233B-SS
32Pablo Lopez23SP
33Michael Harris23OF
34Jose Altuve232B
35Corey Seager23SS
36Randy Arozarena22OF
37Aaron Nola21SP
38Tarik Skubal21SP
39Tyler Glasnow21SP
40Zac Gallen21SP
41Yoshinobu Yamamoto21SP
42Kevin Gausman21SP
43Adolis Garcia21OF
44Framber Valdez21SP
45Nico Hoerner202B-SS
46C.J. Abrams20SS
47George Kirby20SP
48Max Fried20SP
49Logan Gilbert20SP
50Logan Webb20SP
51Royce Lewis193B
52Jazz Chisholm18OF
53Mike Trout18OF
54Nolan Jones18OF
55Kyle Schwarber18DH-OF
56Christian Yelich18DH-OF
57Josh Naylor151B-DH
58Josh Jung153B
59Adley Rutschman15C-DH
60Manny Machado153B-DH
61Justin Steele15SP
62Yainer Diaz15C-DH
63Xander Bogaerts15SS
64Jackson Chourio15OF
65Joshua Lowe15DH-OF
66Nolan Arenado153B
67Raisel Iglesias15RP
68David Bednar15RP
69Bryson Stott152B
70Freddy Peralta15SP
71Gleyber Torres152B
72George Springer15DH-OF
73Dylan Cease15SP
74Bryan Reynolds15OF
75Paul Sewald15RP
76Blake Snell15SP
77Emmanuel Clase15RP
78Grayson Rodriguez15SP
79Jesus Luzardo15SP
80Cole Ragans15RP-SP
81Andres Munoz15RP
82Anthony Santander15DH-OF
83Ketel Marte152B
84Oneil Cruz15SS
85Edwin Diaz15RP
86J.T. Realmuto15C
87Will Smith15C
88Andres Gimenez152B
89Bobby Miller15SP
90Tanner Bibee15SP
91Cody Bellinger151B-OF
92Spencer Torkelson151B
93Riley Greene15OF
94Ha-seong Kim152B-3B-SS
95Josh Hader15RP
96Nick Castellanos15OF
97Christian Walker151B
98Camilo Doval15RP
99Paul Goldschmidt151B-DH
100Seiya Suzuki15OF
101Triston Casas151B
102Jordan Walker15OF
103William Contreras15C-DH
104Joe Musgrove15SP
105Alex Bregman153B
106Zach Eflin15SP
107Yandy Diaz151B
108Dansby Swanson15SS
109Wyatt Langford14OF
110Evan Carter14OF
111Jordan Romano14RP
112Alexis Diaz14RP
113Teoscar Hernandez13DH-OF
114Vinnie Pasquantino131B
115Hunter Greene13SP
116Pete Fairbanks13RP
117Chris Sale13SP
118Evan Phillips13RP
119Ryan Helsley13RP
120Jhoan Duran13RP
121Clay Holmes13RP
122Cal Raleigh13C
123Spencer Steer131B-3B-OF
124Luis Arraez132B
125Christian Encarnacion-Strand121B-DH
126Zack Gelof122B
127Marcell Ozuna11DH
128Kenley Jansen10RP
129Ian Happ9OF
130Esteury Ruiz9OF
131Thairo Estrada82B-SS
132Sean Murphy8C
133Mitch Garver8C-DH
134Jackson Holliday8SS
135Francisco Alvarez8C
136Chris Bassitt8SP
137Tanner Scott8RP
138Carlos Rodon8SP
139Willson Contreras8C-DH
140Sonny Gray7SP
141Keibert Ruiz7C
142Trevor Story7SS
143Gerrit Cole7SP
144Rhys Hoskins71B
145Isaac Paredes71B-3B
146Jake Burger73B-DH
147Joe Ryan7SP
148Justin Verlander7SP
149Jonah Heim7C
150Craig Kimbrel7RP
151Gabriel Moreno7C
152Anthony Volpe7SS
153Jarren Duran7OF
154Alec Bohm71B-3B
155Matt McLain72B-SS
156Merrill Kelly7SP
157Jorge Soler7DH-OF
158Salvador Perez71B-C-DH
159Max Muncy73B
160Willy Adames7SS
161Ke'Bryan Hayes73B
162Bailey Ober7SP
163Logan O'Hoppe7C
164Adbert Alzolay7RP
165Walker Buehler7SP
166Kodai Senga7SP
167Steven Kwan6OF
168Masataka Yoshida6DH-OF
169Shane Bieber6SP
170Jose Berrios6SP
171Bryan Woo6SP
172Chas McCormick6OF
173Cedric Mullins6OF
174Eduardo Rodriguez6SP
175Shota Imanaga6SP
176Brandon Nimmo6OF
177Mitch Keller6SP
178Christopher Morel5DH-OF
179Nolan Gorman52B-DH
180Eloy Jimenez5DH
181Lane Thomas5OF
182Byron Buxton5DH
183Bo Naylor5C
184Yu Darvish5SP
185Gavin Williams5SP
186Jordan Montgomery5SP
187Michael King5RP-SP
188Daulton Varsho5OF
189Jose Alvarado4RP
190Bryce Miller4SP
191Cristian Javier4SP
192Jung-Hoo Lee4OF
193Kerry Carpenter4DH-OF
194Taylor Ward4OF
195Nathan Eovaldi4SP
196James Outman4OF
197Hunter Brown4SP
198Colt Keith33B
199Carlos Correa3SS
200Brandon Drury31B-2B
201Aaron Civale3SP
202TJ Friedl3OF
203Nick Pivetta3RP-SP
204Carlos Estevez3RP
205Joel Payamps3RP
206Luis Campusano3C
207Alex Lange3RP
208Tommy Edman32B-OF-SS
209Anthony Rizzo31B
210Ezequiel Tovar3SS
211Jeimer Candelario31B-3B
212Matt Chapman33B
213Jose Leclerc3RP
214Nate Lowe31B
215Ryan McMahon32B-3B
216Henry Davis3OF
217Starling Marte3OF
218Lourdes Gurriel3DH-OF
219Ryan Mountcastle31B-DH
220Lars Nootbaar3OF
221Jackson Merrill3SS
222Max Scherzer2SP
223Justin Turner21B-DH
224Andrew Vaughn21B
225A.J. Puk2RP
226Max Kepler2OF
227Brandon Pfaadt2SP
228Ryan Pepiot2RP
229Jack Suwinski2OF
230Andrew Abbott2SP
231Robert Suarez2RP
232Yennier Cano2RP
233Jorge Polanco22B
234Jeremy Pena2SS
235Reid Detmers2SP
236Tyler O'Neill2OF
237Nestor Cortes2SP
238Jarred Kelenic2OF
239Josh Bell21B-DH
240Yusei Kikuchi2SP
241Braxton Garrett2SP
242Luis Severino2SP
243Maikel Garcia23B
244Mason Miller2SP
245Danny Jansen2C
246Kutter Crawford2SP
247Bryan De La Cruz2OF
248J.D. Martinez2DH
249Luis Rengifo22B-3B-OF-SS
250Nick Lodolo2SP
251Jonathan India22B
252Kenta Maeda2SP
253Kyle Bradish2SP
254Kyle Finnegan2RP
255Tyler Stephenson2C-DH
256Charlie Morton2SP