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April 23, 2013

Free Agent Watch

American League, Week Four

by Paul Singman


Ryan Roberts, 2B/3B, Tampa Bay Rays
Ownership:  ESPN: 0.1% Yahoo!: 2%  CBS: 5%
2013 Stats: 4 R, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 0 SB, .304 AVG

The Rays lineup is chaotic right now, with few players holding steady, everyday roles. However, one thing that was steady in the recent, three-game sweep of the A’s was Roberts manning second base. The tatted fan-favorite played his role in the sweep, collecting four hits and driving in a couple of runs while batting second. And, as I’m writing this, he just hit his second home run off of CC Sabathia. Roberts is known for bursts of offensive production, and this week, with the Rays playing a full slate of games, he is a good bet to deliver solid stats. His playing time won’t be helped by the return of Luke Scott in a week or a possible call-up of Brandon Guyer or Wil Myers, so Roberts is just a one-week plug-and-play for anyone in need of a MI bat.

Yunel Escobar, SS, Tampa Bay Rays
Ownership:  ESPN: 0.9% Yahoo!: 6%  CBS: 24%
2013 Stats: 4 R, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 0 SB, .167 AVG

In the preseason shortstop tiers article, I listed Escobar as my sleeper for the one-star tier. Based on his atrocious play through the first 17 games of the season, I regretted highlighting him there. However, now there are signs of life, as he’s collected a home run in each of his past two games. It’s also worth mentioning here that although Hak-Ju Lee’s knee injury was a terrible incident, from Escobar’s standpoint, it further ensures regular playing time. In AL-only leagues, he’s certain to be owned, but if he was dropped in your mixed league, I still believe he can be a serviceable middle infielder.  

Justin Grimm, SP, Texas Rangers
Ownership:  ESPN: 0.5% Yahoo!: 2%  CBS: 8%
2013 Stats: 10.0 IP, 1 W, 0 SV, 11 K, 2.70 ERA, 1.50 WHIP

Last year, I streamed Grimm for one start against the Tigers in late June. He made it through exactly one inning, but not before six runs crossed the plate. That experience is burned in my memory and makes me hesitant to recommend the 24-year-old right-hander; and yet, here we are. Grimm has started twice this year, both times against the Mariners. In his most recent start, he excelled over six innings, allowing just one run and racking up an uncharacteristic nine strikeouts. Looking at his minor-league strikeout rate, he’s more like a Tommy Milone, mid-6.00s strikeout-rate kinda guy. But he does limit his walks and could be mid-4.00s ERA pitcher with decent win potential as a member of the Rangers. In mixed leagues, hopefully you can do better, but he should be owned in AL-only formats.

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<< Previous Article
Premium Article The Call-Up: Bruce Ron... (04/23)
<< Previous Column
Fantasy Article Free Agent Watch: Amer... (04/16)
Next Column >>
Fantasy Article Free Agent Watch: Nati... (04/24)
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Baseball ProGUESTus: T... (04/23)

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