Welcome to week two of the waiver wire. Each week I will dig through the f/a pool to find the best potential free agents on waivers. Some are good for a quick boost, others could be good long-term additions, and there will be a few speculative adds thrown in there as well.
For the most part I will deal with hitting; my colleague Marc Goldstein will run down streamable pitching option each Sunday along with listing some of the best under-owned pitching options available. I will, though, on occasion, step on his toes if there is a pitcher that deserves some much-needed attention.
This week is more about the speculative adds geared more towards larger and deeper leagues. For more 12-team relevant names, scroll down and see last week’s recommendations.
Travis Shaw (Brewers)
Available in 43% of CBS, 54% of Y! and 76% of ESPN leagues
In 2016 Shaw showed a little pop (16 home runs), but a .242 average and 133 strikeouts over 480 at bats left the fantasy community skeptical. This spring Shaw, with a new home and something to prove, went 20 for 57 with five home runs and just 12 strikeouts over 57 at bats.
It appears that hot spring is carrying over into April, and fantasy owners are advised to take advantage. Another strong week and you’ll have missed your chance.
Delino DeShields (Rangers)
Available in 69% of CBS, 83% of Y! and 93% of ESPN leagues
Speed has never been an issue for DeShields. The problem has been hitting for average and getting on base enough for that speed to matter. I’m still skeptical, but his spring numbers cannot be overlooked. DeShields went 20 for 62 (.323) with 14 stolen bases and 14 steals. That’s Billy Hamilton territory. He is only 24 years old so maybe it just took him time. It’s also possible that hot start will lead to nothing.
If you have the need… the need… for speed – DeShields might be the answer.
Manuel Margot (Padres)
Available in 57% of CBS, 75% of Y! and 60% of ESPN leagues
Margot is DeShields minus the jaded major past. An Alex Dickerson back injury expedited Margot’s ascension. He did not impress during his 2016 cup of coffee, and he didn’t do much this spring to inspire his team or fantasy owners. So why is he here? Just like DeShields, Margot has speed – 32 or more steals in four of the past five seasons. With the exception of Double-A (.271) he hit .285 or higher in the minors so there is batting average potential. Margot will hit leadoff for now adding to his value.
Monitor him in 12-team leagues, speculate on him in 14-team leagues with four or more outfielders.
Ryan Zimmerman (Nationals)
Available in 74% of CBS, 93% of Y! and 95% of ESPN leagues
Three years of injuries and lack luster performances can really damage a fantasy reputation. Zimmerman was once thought of as one of the next big top third baseman. Now he is an afterthought – at best. Still, when he was in the lineup he hit the ball hard. This spring Zimmerman hit .302 (16 for 53) with two home runs, and he’s 5 for 12 with two home runs so far. He begrudgingly made some adjustment this off-season, and the early results are positive.
I know Zimmerman has burned many of you out there (myself included), but right now he is healthy, hitting, and deserves some attention until that next DL trip.
Raul Mondesi (Royals)
Available in 67% of CBS, 97% of Y! and 93% of ESPN leagues
This is a speculative grab in my option. Mondesi is the future second baseman for the Royals. This spring he stole the starting job from Whit Merrifield after batting .333 this spring with three homers and four steals. He does not yet profile as a power hitter, but he does have speed. The problem with Mondesi is his lack of experience above Double-A as well as batting average and strikeout issues.
If Mondesi is stealing bases and hitting for average he makes an interesting middle infield option. Just keep him on a short leash and have some alternatives ready on your watch list when things go south.
Chase Headley (Yankees)
Available in 87% of CBS, 84% of Y! and 91% of ESPN leagues
It is no secret I am a staunch Headley hater. He will never appear on one of my rosters – Ever! However, every year I find myself listing him here during one of his hot streaks, only to move him to the drop column later in the month. It just so happens that Headley decided to get his hot streak out of the way early. He is 7 for 11 over his first three games with a home run and stolen base. While the average was poor, he did hit four home runs and steal two bases this spring.
This may be one of the few times this year that Headley has any value. I do no endorse this pick-up – you do so at your own risk. I’m just giving you the numbers.
Bradley Zimmer (Indians)
Available in 78% of CBS, 96% of Y! and 98% of ESPN leagues
If you are looking for a future stash I would start here. Zimmer hit .358 (19 for 53) with five doubles, three home runs, and four stolen bases. He even put up a respectable 25% strikeout rate – not bad considering the strikeout numbers the past two seasons. There is little int he way at the major league level holding Zimmer back, and management has all but told him they want him to force them to bring him up. He could struggle with the batting average upon arrival, but the power and speed should more than make up for it. Buy your stock now.
Jesus Aguilar (Brewers)
Available in 94% of CBS, 97% of Y! and 98% of ESPN leagues
All the talk in Milwaukee is about Eric Thames. Nobody has even noticed or mentioned Aguilar. For those that don’t know Aguilar, he hit .270 across three levels and has 20 plus home run pop. He hit .452 this spring (over 62 at bats) and cracked seven home runs. His bench role serves as incentive and a warning to Thames who is still displaying the strikeout issues which lead to batting average woes that force him to relocate overseas.
This is a speculative add for those in larger leagues, but if Aguilar begins to steal at bats he could by 12 and 14 team relevant soon.
Previous Waiver Wire Recommendations
I like to hold myself accountable for past recommendations so I will monitor my hits
and misses from the previous weeks and adjust the players accordingly.
Once the ownership level of a previous recommended player reaches 50%, they will be listed here as a last chance addition before being removed. Hopefully you were smart enough to add them before they got to this level.
Continue to add
- Corey Dickerson, Travis Shaw, Asdrubal Cabrera, Chris Owings and C.J. Cron are still solid adds.
- Hernan Perez has started every game, and with his multi-eligibility he should at least be on your radar.
- Aaron Judge, Pablo Sandoval, David Peralta, Mitch Haniger, Yuri Gurriel and Tyler Saladino are off to a slow start, but don’t overreact to a handful of at bats.
Hold – Do not add them, but do not drop them yet if possible
- I may have jumped the gun on Ben Revere; Cameron Maybin appears to be the front-runner for at bats despite Revere’s hot spring. Give it another week or so if you own him to see if this continues.
Once a previously recommended player has worn out their welcome, they will be listed here.
Need more waiver wire recommendations and free agent pick-ups, check out Fantasy Rundown daily for that and more.