Well, it was a solid five-week run in terms of having multiple viable waiver-wire options across both leagues, but admittedly, this week is quite thin. It is very common to see the waiver wire talent pool have a large variance from week to week in deep -only leagues, so for those of us that compete in such formats, we have come to expect dry spells from an available free agent perspective.
While not exciting, some of these names will land on fantasy teams after the next FAAB period, and our purpose here is to help out our fellow deep-league owners. We have had a pretty good track record thus far with providing serviceable players off the waiver wire, and we think there are a few gems in the latest mix, too.
Eddie Rosario, OF, Minnesota Twins
I wrote about Rosario last week, after the Twins called up the outfielder to take Oswaldo Arcia's roster spot when Arcia was placed on the DL with a hip injury. Rosario has been getting his share of ABs in the Twins OF since his call-up and because of his potential he is still is a solid AL-only FAAB option, with additional value in keeper leagues. Rosario remained on the waiver wire this week in the Tout Wars AL-only league, which is why I am mentioning him here again.
Thomas Field, 2B, Texas Rangers
The Rangers purchased Field’s contract from Triple-A Round Rock this week to replace Rougned Odor on the big-league roster. The former 24th-round pick back in the 2008 draft has never been much of a prospect, but does have a little pop for a MI, posting double digits in home runs three times in the minors. He was slashing .298/.373/.538 at Round Rock this season at the time of his promotion and started at second base in each of his first three games with Texas. He’s worth a bid if you need to fill a dead spot in your middle infield.
Other AL-Only FAAB hitting options: Jose Pirela, SS, New York Yankees; David Lough, OF, Baltimore Orioles; Zach Walters, MI/OF, Cleveland Indians; Justin Ruggiano, OF, Seattle Mariners
Edward Mujica , RP, Oakland A’s
The veteran reliever was dealt by the Red Sox to the A’s this past weekend to help out an underachieving bullpen in Oakland. Mujica was victimized by the long ball while with the Red Sox this season, so maybe the move to the A’s will be a welcome change for Mujica, who has registered 47 saves over the last three seasons. I think Mujica will have value in his new setting.
Fernando Rodriguez, RP, Oakland A’s
After missing the 2013 season while recovering from Tommy John surgery, Rodriguez put up great numbers in Triple-A in 2014, including a 1.97 ERA and 10.4 K/9 over 45 1/3 innings, buttressed by nine innings of one-run ball with Oakland. The right-handed reliever was called up last week and has allowed just one hit in four scoreless appearances while notching seven punchouts with the A’s. Rodriguez could begin to see more high-leverage situations and he’s not a bad flier in deep AL-only leagues.
Will Harris / Tony Sipp, RP, Houston Astros
As long as these two Astros bullpen arms remain floating around on the waiver wire in expert leagues, I will give them their deserved respect here.
Here are Sipp’s and Harris’ updated combined numbers on the season: 3-0, 31 1/3 IP, 34/7 K/BB ratio, 0.57 ERA, 0.638 WHIP
This just might be a weekly installment.
Other AL-Only FAAB pitching options: Tommy Hunter, RP, Baltimore Orioles; Ernesto Frieri, RP, Tampa Bay Rays
Luis Sardinas, 2B/SS, Milwaukee Brewers
Sardinas was recalled from Triple-A Colorado Springs on Thursday to replace Jean Segura on the roster when Segura was DL’d with a broken pinkie finger. The Brewers’ acquired Sardinas from the Rangers in the Yovani Gallardo deal this offseason to provide middle-infield depth. At 21 years old, Sardinas is very young, but he played well in 43 games with the Rangers last season. From a fantasy perspective, Sardinas’ value will be tied to speed, so if he does see any significant time for the Brewers while Segura is out, he’ll be a valuable fantasy piece.
Elian Herrera, 2B/3B, Milwaukee Brewers
Herrera made an appearance in this article a couple of weeks ago, and when you hit home runs on three consecutive days, you deserve another mention. The fantasy upside is limited with Herrera, but those three long flies this week would certainly have helped several NL-only squads.
Other NL-Only FAAB hitting options: Jose Lobaton, C, Washington Nationals
Tyler Lyons, SP, St. Louis Cardinals
With Jaime Garcia and Marco Gonzales still nursing injuries, Lyons will remain in the Cardinals rotation for the time being. The results have certainly not been positive for Lyons in first two starts, but he has posted a 12-to-3 K:BB ratio in his 9 1/3 innings and his .428 BABIP indicates he has been unlucky. He’ll get the start against the Tigers this weekend and then again versus the Mets next week, so if your FAAB period runs Sunday night, you could get Lyons on the cheap for his start against an anemic Mets offense if he struggles against the Tigers.
Mike Dunn, RP, Miami Marlins
I am not the biggest believer in Dunn, but when you earn $17 in NL-only 5×5 the past two seasons, you bring value to NL-only formats. With Steve Cishek being removed from the closer role in Miami, A.J. Ramos was given the first shot at closing and shut down the Dodgers for a save on Wednesday night. However, the back end of the Marlins bullpen could be a very fluid situation, so Dunn might be in the mix for some save opportunities. Dunn walks a few too many, but he has had solid K/9 rates over his career and he has also proven to be a reliable late-inning option. The lefty has had nine consecutive scoreless outings, so he’s not a bad spec play.
Luis Avilan, RP, Atlanta Braves
Avilan enjoyed considerable success in his first two big-league seasons, and he headed into 2014 with a career ERA below 2.00 and WHIP south of 1.00 while coming off a 27-hold campaign. The regression concerns were realized last year, as his K/9 rates and BB/9 worsened for the second straight season and he saw a normalization in his BABIP. Avilan was not as bad as his numbers would indicate, as nine of his 22 earned runs allowed came in two appearances, one of which came while the southpaw battled a hamstring injury. Avilan has seemingly recapture some of his pre-2014 magic this year, and has turned in seven consecutive scoreless outings. With Jason Grilli’s recent struggles, Jim Johnson seems to be next in line for ninth-inning duties, and I do not see Avilan seeing save opportunities any time soon. However, Avilan was a $10 pitcher in NL-only 5×5 formats in 2013, and that is what I would roll the dice on getting if you have an open pitcher slot.
Other NL-Only FAAB pitching options: Mitch Harris, RP, St. Louis Cardinals; Dale Thayer, RP, San Diego Padres; J.P. Howell, RP, Los Angeles Dodgers;
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LeMahieu has had a rough May after his hot start to the season, but I still like him this year over Sanchez. Sanchez might have a little more speed, but LeMahieu should provide more consistency.