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May 9, 2013

Free Agent Watch

American League, Week Six

by Paul Singman


Daric Barton, 1B, Oakland A’s
Ownership:  ESPN: 0.0% Yahoo!: 0%  CBS: 0%
2013 Stats: 18 R, 3 HR, 21 RBI, 0 SB, .287 AVG (AAA)

The thickly bearded, rocket-armed Josh Reddick has hit the disabled list with a wrist injury, prompting the veteran Barton to be recalled to Oakland. Barton’s past experiences in the majors aren’t pleasant ones, with replacement-level play forcing his demotion in the first half of both 2011 and 2012. Thus far in 2013, he has been playing well at Triple-A, batting .287 with three homers, 21 RBI, and a typical 19 percent walk rate. Barton figures to see playing time at first base when the A’s are facing a righty, but only for the couple of weeks Coco Crisp and Reddick are out. If you are in an AL-only league that uses OBP, he can be mildly exciting. Otherwise, there’s nothing to see here. 

Junichi Tazawa, RP, Boston Red Sox
Ownership: ESPN: 42.5% Yahoo!: 47%  CBS: 32%
2013 Stats: 14.1 IP, 2 W, 0 SV, 18 K, 2.51 ERA, 0.98 WHIP

Tazawa leapfrogged setup man Koji Uehara to steal the Red Sox’ closing gig after both Andrew Bailey and Joel Hanrahan succumbed to muscle strains in their throwing arms. Based on his performance to date, Tazawa has the chops to close and should thrive in the role. Even though Bailey could return in a week, I can see Tazawa hanging on to the job, considering Bailey was closer for all of five minutes before getting hurt. If you need saves, now is a good week to add a closer with volatility in several bullpens.  

Hector Santiago, SP, Chicago White Sox
Ownership: ESPN: 3.4% Yahoo!: 10%  CBS: 34%
2013 Stats: 26.2 IP, 1 W, 0 SV, 25 K, 1.68 ERA, 0.98 WHIP

Along with Matt Harvey, Santiago was the other tough-luck recipient of a no-decision in Tuesday night’s duel. After holding the Rangers to one run in 5 1/3 innings in his first start, he next blanked the Mets in seven innings, punching out seven batters. Last year, inflated 5.12 BB/9 and 1.28 HR/9 ratios hurt Santiago’s ERA, but so far in 2013, he’s been able to limit both his walks and homers allowed. His high projected strikeout rate, near 8.0 K/9, makes him an appealing option for all league types, and his soft May schedule (@MIN, @LAA, MIA, @CHC) only sweetens the pot.

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<< Previous Article
Pebble Hunting: Every ... (05/08)
<< Previous Column
Fantasy Article Free Agent Watch: Nati... (05/07)
Next Column >>
Fantasy Article Free Agent Watch: Amer... (05/14)
Next Article >>
Fantasy Article Bullpen Report: Boston... (05/09)

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