Fantasy Baseball

Waiver Wire Report: Scrounging for Talent

The trade deadline has passed for a good number of you and is quickly approaching for the rest (this Sunday is standard in Yahoo leagues).  If you are looking for trade targets, I made several suggestions a few days ago.  If your deadline has passed or trades aren’t your thing, that’s what the waiver wire is for.  It may run low on merchandise from time to time, but there are usually a few good bargains to be found if you look hard enough.

David Peralta (Diamondbacks):  This one is an unknown to many as he played independent ball for 2 years before signing a minor league contract with Arizona in 2013.  After 410 at bats in the minors, the D-Backs had seen enough.  He has some decent pop and could be a 20 home run hitter.  While he didn’t show it in the minors, Peralta stole 25 bases over 377 at bats for the Wichita Wingnuts in 2012 so he has some speed.  He doesn’t strikeout much (13.8%) and is capable of drawing more walks that he now has.  So far he’s hit for a very good average and while long-term there may be some questions, for the next few months I wouldn’t worry much about it.  Overall Peralta is a solid addition for leagues with 12 or more team and possibly 10 team leagues that use 4 or more outfielders.  Don’t worry about the return of A.J. Pollock, Arizona has had enough injuries that Peralta will remain in the lineup even when A.J. returns.  He could also make a sneaky late round pick next year so even if you didn’t get a chance to get him, remember the name.

Available in 91% of Yahoo and 65% of CBS & Fantrax leagues

Kennys Vargas (Twins):  Normally Vargas wouldn’t be a consideration given how deep first base is, but with all the injuries this season he could make a decent stopgap.  His average was, well, average in the minors as was his power.  If he continues to hit in the middle of the order, an average number of runs and RBI are on tap.  Vargas isn’t anything special when it comes to first base or as a corner infielder, but in deeper leagues he could be a stable bat as long as he hits for average.  Joe Mauer will resume his place at first, but with Josh Willingham traded, the DH slot is wide open so there is no need to worry about playing time.  As long as Vargas is hitting, he’s a good addition for leagues with 14 or more teams.

Available in 97% of Yahoo, 74% of CBS and 70% of Fantrax leagues

Jake Lamb (Diamondbacks):  He was a .300 hitter for his 3 years at the University of Washington and over his brief 3 years in the minors.  A 21% strikeout rate might be a problem, but he balances that with a BB% close to 12.  Lamb has enough power to hit 20 home runs annually, and had 14 in 374 at bats in AA (plus 1 home run in 18 at bats in AAA).  He is a solid yet unspectacular option for 3rd base.  With Martin Prado traded and the D-Backs out of it, he should be given every chance as Arizona probably wants to see what they have.  Third base hasn’t been kind to fantasy owners this year, but I’m not sure jumping on Lamb is the right choice.  10 team leagues can ignore him, 12 team leagues should monitor him and 14 team leagues might make a speculative grab.  Anything deeper than that he deserves a spot somewhere (and is probably already rostered).

Available in 99% of Yahoo, 91% of CBS and 85% of Fantrax leagues.

Kolten Wong (Cardinals):  He’s going quickly in CBS and Fantrax leagues (ownership is at 70%); those of you that play in Yahoo leagues though, you still have a chance as he’s available in 60% of leagues there.  For the past month, Wong has been a top 5 option at second.  He hit 5 home runs and stole 6 bases in July and has 3 homers so far in August.  You can ignore the overall batting average, that is deceiving due to a horrid April and an even worse June.  Wong was a .300 hitter in the college and in the minors and that’s close to what he’s been doing lately.  I recently benched Dustin Pedroia in one league in favor of Wong.  If you have an underperforming or weak option at second, you might want to do the same while you still can.

Rymer Liriano (Padres):  Liriano is a solid prospect that hasn’t received enough attention, overshadowed in the headlines by big name guys like Javier Baez.  He’s slipped in the rankings mostly due to Tommy John surgery that cost him the 2013 season.  Liriano is a 5 tool player and could eventually be a 20/20 guy.  His biggest problem is strikeouts, and a 25% K rate isn’t going to cut it in the majors.  He hit well in the minors, but as he progressed levels, the batting average has gone down (.281-A, .264-A+, .260-AA).  He was hitting .452 before his call up, but that was in limited at bats and in the PCL so don’t read too much into that.  While I believe he could be a decent fantasy contributor one day, I don’t think it will be this year.  There is a chance he could be lightning in a bottle so leagues with 14 or more teams may want to throw a dart at the board.  Shallower leagues can wait, no need to rush out and roster him.

Available in 98% of Yahoo and 85% of CBS & Fantrax leagues

Denard Span (Nationals):  I’m not going to say much here as he’s gone in CBS & Fantrax, but he is available in 40% of Yahoo leagues.  If you play on Yahoo and he’s available in your league, you should be ashamed of yourself (and your fellow owners).  That’s all I have to say about that.

Colby Lewis (Rangers):  Most will look at Lewis’s 5.50 ERA, cringe and move on.  This can’t be someone I want to add to my team, right?  If you’re looking for a stable workhouse with a decent strikeout total, it is.  From 2010 to mid-2012, Lewis held a WHIP of 1.21 or below.  His BAA during that time was .245 or lower.  And during that time, he amassed 458 strikeouts in 506 innings.  Sure Lewis has had it rough since he’s been back, but he seems to have turned the corner after his July 10th debacle.  Over the past 4 games he has one shutout, 2 games of allowing 2 runs or less and one with only 3 earned runs.  Other than the shutout the other 3 games look average, but they are a step in the right direction.  If Lewis has truly turned the corner, he could make a solid addition to the back-end of your rotation.  His next two starts are at home verse the Rays & Angels.  If he fares well, you might want to show him some attention.  After that he has Kansas City, Houston, Kansas City, Seattle and Oakland.  This may not be an immediate add, but if he does well in his next two starts, he’ll become one.

Avialable in 94% of Yahoo, 72% of CBS and 78% of Fantrax leagues

Collin McHugh (Astros):  Another guy Yahoo people are slow to pick up on.  I can see the reason for hesitation.  He’s had some blow-ups, had a hard time getting through 6 innings (and sometimes 5) and plays for the Astros.  In a H2H league this can be frustrating.  The bottom line is, McHugh has a 3.18 ERA, a 1.08 WHIP and 115 K’s in 102 innings.  That alone should justify a higher ownership than he currently has.  If you need pitching help, someone to fill out your rotation, this is your man (looking at you Yahoo owners).

Available in 71% of Yahoo, 33% of CBS and 35% of Fantrax leagues

J.P Arencibia (Rangers):  The Adam Dunn of catchers has been on a roll.  In the past 2 weeks, Arencibia has 4 home runs, 15 RBIs and has scored 11 runs.  For those of you who have struggled along with Brian McCann, this should have been your first stop when looking for a replacement.  He’s also batted .275 over the past 2 weeks, something I don’t expect to continue but stranger things have happened.  There are a lot of decent catchers out there but we’re entering crunch time, especially in roto and points leagues that have limits on games played.  Most people have extra games to make up at the catcher position due to the days off your backstop received.  Even if you have a solid catcher, you should be looking for someone else to fill in on the days your man has off to take advantage of every point.  While Arencibia is on a roll, you may want to consider him.  Two other catchers to consider would be Tyler Flowers and Dioner Navarro.  Over the past 2 weeks Navarro has batted .333 with 2 home runs and 9 RBIs while Flowers has hit .306 with 3 home runs and 7 RBIs.  Must be something in the water over in the American League.

Available in 80% of Yahoo, 65% of CBS and 72% of Fantrax leagues

Previous Waiver Wire suggestions Update.

In 12 team leagues, Chase Anderson, Kyle Hendricks, Odrisamer Despaigne and Edinson Volquez are still worthy additions.  Jacob deGrom is a safe added as long as his recent injury doesn’t turn out to be anything serious.

Joaquin Benoit & Neftali Feliz are still available if you’re searching for saves, but he won’t be for long.

Josh Willingham, Brock Holt, Chris Carter, Jedd Gyorko, Conor Gillaspie Arismendy Alcantara, and Stephen Vogt are all still solid adds to those in 12 team leagues or deeper.  Dustin Ackley hit a wall with the batting average but the power is still there.  Use your own discretion here.  A.J. Pollock should be back soon and deserves consideration as a DL stash.

Josh Reddick, Kevin Kiermaier, Oscar Taveras, Will Middlebrooks, Grady Sizemore and Steve Pearce have been downgraded from add to monitor and/or drop in 10 and 12 team leagues.

Brett Anderson, Domingo Santana, James Jones and Dan Straily can all be dropped and or taken off your watch list. Continue to monitor Taijuan Walker and Mookie Betts, but neither one should be counted on until September.

Finding their way to waivers

It’s time to start trimming the fat and shedding your roster of those unwanted pounds players.  Last week I said to drop Mike Minor and Allen Craig.  Since then, Minor has had a start skipped and Craig has hit the DL.  This week’s recommendation is Tim Lincecum.  He teased the fantasy world on June 25th by tossing a no-hitter.  Prior to that time he had a 4.90 ERA, which is basically what he gave us in 2012 and 2013.  He followed the game against the Padres with a 4 hit 8 inning gem against St. Louis.  Whoever didn’t run to the waiver wire after the shutout were doing so now.  Over his next 2 starts he allowed only 1 earned run, the only earned run allowed in 30 innings.  On July 22nd he rewarded owners with something special, a save as he came in the 14th inning to close out the Phillies.  That game looks like the beginning of the end for Lincecum.  In his next start he only lasted 4.1 innings and allowed 6 earned runs.  He couldn’t even make it through 4 innings his next time out and allowed 5 earned runs.  August 5th at Milwaukee wasn’t horrible with 3 earned in 6 innings, but it was back to basics at Kansas City with 3.1 innings and 6 earned runs.  The real Slim Shady has stood up.  I know you all wanted to believe he was back, and for 1 short month it was fun, but fun time is over.  Do yourself and your team a favor and drop him.  Just like I said with Minor last week, don’t concern yourself with the one or two good games he may give you over the remainder of the season, the clunkers in between will cancel them out.

The blast from the past was nice to watch though.

By Jim Finch

The self proclaimed Grand High Exhausted Mystic Ruler of Fantasy Baseball. While I am not related to Jennie or Sidd Finch, I will attempt to uphold the integrity of the Finch family name as it relates to baseball.

4 replies on “Waiver Wire Report: Scrounging for Talent”

As a Pedroia own I can feel your frustration; under the right circumstances, I can see dropping Pedroia. This is not one of them. I don’t think Soler will contribute more than Pedroia for the remainder of the season and it will probably be a year or two before he is fantasy relevant. In yearly leagues I would ignore Soler. If you’re in a keeper league, Pedroia still has enough name value that you will be able to get a better prospect than Soler in trade.

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