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April 30, 2013

Free Agent Watch

American League, Week Five

by Paul Singman


David Phelps, SP, New York Yankees
Ownership: ESPN: 0.2% Yahoo!: 5%  CBS: 18%
2013 Stats: 17.0 IP, 1 W, 0 SV, 22 K, 5.29 ERA, 1.47 WHIP

With Ivan Nova landing on the disabled list, Phelps gets his opportunity to prove his stuff can work from the rotation, too. So far, he’s been working out of the bullpen as a long reliever and done a good job of missing bats with 22 strikeouts in 17 innings. However, he’s also been quite hittable and fairly wild, allowing 17 hits and eight walks, which has led to an ERA above 5.00. Still, some of that can be attributed to poor luck, and historically he’s shown great control in the minors, so Phelps has the potential to be solid fourth starter. In AL-only and 14-plus-team mixed leagues, he’s certainly worth owning. In shallower formats, I’d at least start him for his first attempt against the Astros tomorrow and go from there.

Trevor Bauer, SP, Cleveland Indians
Ownership: ESPN: 0.6% Yahoo!: 6%  CBS: 34%
2013 Stats: 18.0 IP, 1 W, 0 SV, 24 K, 2.50 ERA, 1.17 WHIP (AAA)

As a prospect, Bauer is more style than substance at this point, with his name carrying more influence than is warranted based on his actual numbers. He has consistently struck out over a batter an inning in the minors, but also has an inflated walk rate that balloons whenever he is promoted to the majors. If you remember his one start in the beginning of this year on April 6, he walked a casual seven batters over five innings of work. Anyway, tomorrow, Bauer will get his second major-league chance of the season in what’s being called a spot start versus the Phillies. Given the struggles of Indians starters Scott Kazmir and Ubaldo Jimenez before last night, Bauer can easily turn this spot start into something more permanent with a solid showing. In AL-only leagues, you don’t have a choice to pass him up, but in anything shallower than 15-team mixers, I’d let someone else roll the dice.

Andy Dirks, OF, Detroit Tigers
Ownership:  ESPN: 1.1% Yahoo!: 2%  CBS: 9%
2013 Stats: 5 R, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 2 SB, .196 AVG

After getting off to a slow, 8-for-48 start and missing most of last week with a minor knee injury, it’s unsurprising that Dirks has fallen off most people’s radars. With last night’s two-hit performance (including a homer), however, I’m sure he’s reappearing on the map. Dirks is nothing special as a strong-side platoon player, but he likely won’t hurt you in average and can reach low-double-digit homers. He’s similar to Chris Denorfia or Seth Smith in that regard, if Smith weren’t hitting out of his mind right now. If you’re in a 14-plus-team mixed league where those guys are owned, Dirks can have some marginal value as a fifth outfielder.

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Related Content:  Ownership,  Andy Dirks

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Premium Article The Call-Up: Marcell O... (04/30)
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Fantasy Article Free Agent Watch: Nati... (04/24)
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