Fantasy Baseball

Waiver Wire Report: Week 14

Welcome to week 14 of the waiver wire report. Each week I will dig through the f/a pool to find the best potential free agents on waivers (under 50% ownership). 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.

Starling Marte (Pirates)
Available in 21% of CBS, 44% of Y!, and 54% of ESPN leagues

It has been a week since this tweet, and while ownership has inched up a few points, it SHOULD be higher.

Unlike most players here, there is very little to say as to why Marte should be owned. His suspension is almost up.

Carlos Gomez (Rangers)
Available in 37% of CBS, 60% of Y!, and 49% of ESPN leagues

This is more for you Yahoo people who are behind the times. Those that stashed Gomez on the DL have been reaping the rewards. He is only batting .244 since returning, but Gomez does have six homers, 16 RBIs, and 11 runs scored. He even chipped in a stolen base. I would not proclaim Gomez back, but it’s a nice start. You will need an alternate when the Rangers face lefties, and Gomez is a bit of a homebody (.333 compared to .143 on the road). Still, his part-time home production is better than what some waiver wire candidates produce in a full season.

Curtis Granderson (Mets)
Available in 67% of CBS, 68% of Y!, and 71% of ESPN leagues

A .235 batting average with 12 home runs is not an impressive waiver wire find.The .128 April average is masking some real progress. Granderson hit .273 in May and will finish June with .315. Over the past 14 days Granderson has gone 14 for 40 with five home runs, 10 RBIs and 12 runs scored. Apparently old man river likes leading off – who knew? I don’t know how much longer this good fortune will last so take advantage while you can.

Paul DeJong (Cardinals)
Available in 90% of CBS, 94% of Y!, and 95% of ESPN leagues

I can’t believe I have not mentioned DeJong this year – odd considering I was pretty high on him coming into the season. Over 97 at bats DeJong is batting .278 with five home runs and 14 RBI. He had 13 home runs, 34 RBIs and a .299 average prior to his promotion. And last year in Double-A he hit .260 with 29 doubles and 22 homers.

As a third baseman he’s good, but the numbers are batter at second base (and shortstop on Yahoo). Strikeouts could derail things down the line, but for now DeJong is a terrific multi-eligible player that deserves a bench spot.

Orlando Arcia (Brewers)
Available in 73% of CBS, 92% of Y!, and 91% of ESPN leagues

I’ll admit to being rather low on Arcia coming into the season, thinking he would hit so bad he would be back in the minors by June. He did well enough to avoid a demotion the first two months, and in June he found his swing, batting.319 with two homers and four steals. Most of that hitting came in the past two weeks (.378) so we still don’t know if this is just a hot streak or the beginning of something. Arcia is a highly touted prospect, and if he is living up to what others expected of him this could be a difference maker in the second half.

Stephen Piscotty (Cardinals)
Available in 27% of CBS, 55% of Y!, and 57% of ESPN leagues

He was pretty popular last year, batting .278 with 22 home runs, 35 doubles and 170 combined runs and RBIs. So far we have not seen that Piscotty, but could he be slowly emerging?He hit just .229 in April causing some owners to drop him. There was zero home runs in May forcing more owners to release him, but the batting average was up to .258. In June that average has inched up again to .267, and he has six doubles and four homers to go with 16 RBIs and 14 runs scored. Quietly, and under the radar, Piscotty is slowing finding his groove. Avoid the mad dash to the waiver wire and grab him now before everyone else notices.

Randal Grichuk (Cardinals)
Available in 68% of CBS, 70% of Y!, and 80% of ESPN leagues

This is beginning to look like the St Louis edition of the waiver wire – I didn’t plan this, I swear. We’ve been down this road before so nobody is expecting any long-term success. Grichuk is a streaky power hitter, and only worth owning while he is streaking (queue the Frank the Tank soundbite). Since returning to the Cardinals Grichuk is 7 for 22 with three home runs and nine RBIs. This could all bottom out by next week, or he could prolong this hot streak for a while. Ride it while it lasts, and be ready to bail when you see the ride coming to an end.

Jason Hammel (Royals)
Available in 54% of CBS, 76% of Y!, and 74% of ESPN leagues

Someone has been drinking from the Jason Vargas water fountain. Would you believe me if I said that Hammel was a top-25 pitcher in June? Me neither, and I’m looking at his numbers. Over his last five starts (32.1 innings) Hammel has a 2.51 ERA, a 1.02 WHIP, and a .225 BAA. He has 26 strikeouts to just four walks, and only four home runs allowed. It wasn’t the competition level as he faced Cleveland, Boston, and Houston in that stretch.

There is some BABIP luck involved so who knows how long this will last. We said the same thing about his teammate, Jason Vargas, in April and look how that has turned out. Hammel faces Minnesota today (Saturday) and will square off against the Dodgers on the road next weekend if you want to take him for a test drive.

Jhoulys Chacin (Padres)
Available in 70% of CBS, 89% of Y!, and 88% of ESPN leagues

Fun Fact: Chacin is a top-10 pitcher going just by home starts. Look it up if you don’t believe me. Chacin has eight starts (54 innings) at Petco and owns an outstanding 1.83 ERA, a 0.87 WHIP, and .176 BAA. He missed going at least six innings in one of those starts (seven quality), and that was a 5.1 inning one-run game against the Dodgers. He also won half his home starts – another bonus.

Just like Hammel there is some luck here, but when luck covers this many games there is usually a little more to it. Chacin is at home against the Dodgers Sunday, and next weekend he is at Philly. I know – road start, but he has been quality start good against weaker teams on the road. Kick the tires and see what happens.

Catcher Streams
For those of you forced to play the waiver wire.

The Manny Pina/Jeff Bandy catcher combination worked nicely early this season, before Bandy fell apart. Recently acquired Stephen Vogt now makes up the other half of the catcher time share, and I think a Pina/Vogt combination could work in the second half. Vogt was a .250 hitter prior to this season, he has double-digit pop, and now he has a more hospitable home park. The stars are aligned, and both catchers are available.

The Mike Zunino train is still rolling if you can buy a ticket. Manny Pina has also been hot lately if you want to go the mono route in Milwaukee. Sandy Leon is making the most of every at bat given to him. If he continues hitting he’ll eventually push Christian Vazquez for more at bats – monitor this weekly. Bruce Maxwell is the flavor of the month and off to a hot start. He’s not a batting average guy so don’t get too attached. Chris Herrmann is batting .296 over the past two weeks and continues to get additional at bats elsewhere in the field.

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.


This is the last week Andrelton Simmons will appear here. His ownership rate is over 50% and he should be owned in all competitive leagues. If he is still available in your league – Last Call!

Continue to add

Continue to add Bradley Zimmer, Ian Happ, Ben Gamel, Yuli Gurriel, Melky Cabrera, Joc Pederson, Lonnie Chisenhall, Asdrubal Cabrera, Jed Lowrie, Danny Valencia, Wilmer Flores, 

Franklin Barreto has been listed here as a stash for some time. Now that he has arrived, I question if it was worth the wait. We’ll see.

Mallex Smith, Hernan Perez, Jose Pirela, Shin-Soo Choo and Carlos Beltran had an off week but were solid prior – give them another week to turn things around.

Jose Iglesias, Eddie Rosario and Denard Span are still deep league adds.

Amed Rosario, Rafael Devers, Yoan Moncada and Derek Fisher and should be stashed now prior to their call up.

Hold Do not add them, but do not drop them yet if possible

I hesitate on placing Tommy Pham back under add. He is hitting, I just have a very hard time trusting or believing in him.

That’s two bad weeks in a row for Tommy Joseph. His two hits were home runs if you’re looking for something positive.

The batting average was the one thing giving Tim Beckham value, but now that’s starting to falter. Getting close to cutting bait – some have done so already.

Leury Garcia is still a DL stash provided you have the room and play four or more outfielders.

Josh Bell continues to provide the occasional home run, but with not much else. There is upside, but patience are running thin.

Hunter Renfroe is still flashing his power and giving double-digit run and RBI totals monthly, but a .228 batting average (.215 in June) severely limits his fantasy appeal.

Drop ’em

Eric Sogard was a deep league suggestion, but he is starting to slump and will slowly get pushed aside. Avoid the wait. Howie Kendrick went from hot add to drop in just a week. He isn’t worth the DL spot. Mike Napoli returned strong from the DL, but then went back to his non-hitting ways. The potential home runs are not worth it. Max Kepler and Adam Frazier were doing just enough to avoid being cut – the key word is “were”. You can do better.


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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.