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May 30, 2014

Free Agent Watch

Week Nine

by Mike Gianella and Bret Sayre


Welcome back to our weekly walk through some of the players who may want to keep an extra eye on in your leagues. Mike and I will be tackling this topic on Thursdays again and focusing on a singular hitter and pitcher in four of the more popular formats: shallow mixed, deep mixed, NL-only and AL-only. These are certainly not the only players who are worth pickups, but it gives us a nice opportunity to write about players we have close tabs on in our leagues.

12-TEAM MIXED

Denard Span, OF, Washington Nationals
There’s a certain vanilla-ness to Span’s fantasy value that gets him overlooked in shallower mixed leagues, but when he’s right, he can still be a very good last outfielder in the format. This year, he has the lowest strikeout rate of his career (at 9.7 percent) and the only thing keeping him from being on pace for a .280 season with 25 steals is a .285 BABIP, which is well south of his career .316 pace. Of course, BABIP by itself is lazy analysis, but he’s hitting line drives at a higher clip than his career norm and he’s perched atop a Nationals lineup that will only get stronger as the season goes along (i.e. once Bryce Harper and Ryan Zimmerman return). He’s been strong lately—the last two weeks, he’s hitting .321 with a homer and three steals. There’s no reason he should be owned in one-fourth as many leagues as Michael Bourn is. —Bret Sayre

Comparable Player: Michael Bourn

Jaime Garcia, LHP, St Louis Cardinals
It fills me with such joy that I can heartily recommend that Garcia be picked up in just about all leagues right now. The last two seasons have been disappointing for the promising lefty, as he’s thrown only 177 innings over that stretch and had tears in both his labrum and rotator cuff. While that all sounds delightfully frightening, Garcia is out to prove that not all shoulder injuries are career-derailing. In his first two starts, he’s doing the things that I love him for: getting strikeouts (12 in 12 2/3 innings), reducing walks (none so far) and keeping the ball on the ground (54.3 percent ground-ball rate). It’s too early to say that he’s fully regained our trust from a health perspective, but the skills never really went away and he’s still only 27 years old. This is the Holy Trinity in its purer form. —Bret Sayre

Comparable Player: The Jaime Garcia of our hearts

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<< Previous Article
Daily League Strategy:... (05/30)
<< Previous Column
Fantasy Article Free Agent Watch: Week... (05/22)
Next Column >>
Fantasy Article Free Agent Watch: Week... (06/05)
Next Article >>
Fantasy Article Fantasy Starting Pitch... (05/30)

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