Working The Waiver Wire: Week 5
Happy Easter to all of those who observe, and to those that don’t, happy Sunday! It is waivers and FAAB Sunday and before you put those bids in be sure to consider the players below. Just because it is a holiday though, fantasy baseball doesn’t stop. Don’t be a jamolke and miss out on your weekly bidding period. I told my whole family that I couldn’t make their dinner tonight because this article was more important. You’re welcome. Also, the previous sentence isn’t true. But still check out the waiver options.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr, 3B, Toronto Blue Jays. I know he is only available in about ten percent of leagues, but the dude is getting called up Tuesday. If you play in one of those ten percent PLEASE move on him now!
Clint Frazier, OF, New York Yankees. I got a question from a reader when Frazier was called up if I thought that he would get enough playing time to warrant a pick up. I hesitated at the time, but he has come up and hit, and now with the injury to Aaron Judge there’s no doubt that Frazier is worth an add. The entire Yankees outfield is injured, and I don’t think any are that close to returning. If Frazier continues to hit (.327, four homers, 12 RBI in just 15 games) it will be hard for the Yankees not to keep him in the lineup, so if he is available in your league he likely should be your top priority.
Cole Tucker, SS, Pittsburgh Pirates. One of the top prospects for the Pirates, Tucker was called up when Erik Gonzalez was injured. Tucker is much more valuable for his running than his power, but he did hit a home run in his Major League debut. The Bucs also had him leading off in his first game, which tells you what Pittsburgh thinks of him. If you are in need of speed, Tucker is a great target to pick up.
Brandon Lowe, 2B, Tampa Bay Rays. I’ve been beating this drum for a couple of weeks now and he still isn’t owned in 50 percent of leagues. He is hitting in a run producing spot in a solid lineup, he plays middle infield, and best of all he hits! Lowe has six home runs, 14 RBIs and two steals in just 19 games while hitting .275. If he is available in your league, pick him up NOW!
Hunter Dozier, 3B, Kansas City Royals. The Royals corner infielder is showing a lot of pop and a decent batting average to go with it. He does have a 20+ homer season in the minors and before last season showed the ability to hit for a pretty decent batting average, and if you have need at his position, Dozier is a solid pickup.
Michael Chavis, 3B, Boston Red Sox. The Red Sox top hitting prospect was off to a good start in the Minors with four homers and 12 RBI, and got the call to the Majors with multiple injuries to the Red Sox infield. Although he is not a second baseman, he could see some time there along with the corner infield spots. Chavis did hit 31 homers in 2017 between A and AA but he also did have a PED suspension after that. He likely won’t spend the rest of the year in the Majors, but he could have an impact while he is there.
Renato Nunez, 3B/DH, Baltimore Orioles. This is a bandwagon that I was on before the season if you read our preseason sleepers and busts (at least I think it was on there), and after a slow start, Nunez has started to pick up steam. He had three homers and four RBI in a double header the other day and is hitting over .300 in the young season. I have said it many times, someone has to put up points even on the shittiest teams, and I like Nunez to be one of those guys for Baltimore, one of the shittier teams around (sorry Oriole fans).
Dwight Smith Jr, OF, Baltimore Orioles. Smith isn’t going to win you any leagues, but with the number of injuries going around, and if you are in a deeper league, he might have some value. See what I said about about someone needing to score runs for bad teams, and Smith has hit .288 with four homers, 13 RBI, and three steals in 20 games. He did leave Sunday’s game with a quad injury so be sure to catch that news before making a move.
Teams are using closers by committees much more than I anticipated that they would. While I will name a few closing options below, also keep the names of A.J. Minter (with the season long injury to Aroyds Vizcaino) and Ryan Brasier in mind. Both are owned in slightly more than 50% of leagues, but at least deserve a mention. Now, on to the rest.
Caleb Smith, SP, Miami Marlins. I am not sure how this guy isn’t owned in more than 50% of leagues, but I checked Yahoo and ESPN and somehow he hasn’t topped 50% in either. Smith has allowed six earned runs total in his four starts and has 29 strikeouts in just 23 innings. I know the Marlins suck but he already has two wins and has gone six innings in three of his four starts. He is an exciting young arm and someone that should be owned across the board.
Frankie Montas, SP, Oakland Athletics. While he struggled the past couple seasons in the Minors, Montas has come up this year and is producing in a solid way. He is generally good for nearly a strikeout an inning, and has the stuff to be a very good fantasy pitcher. Two of his four starts have even been against the potent Astros offense, so it isn’t like he’s been pitching against scrubs. Montas isn’t going to lead you to any championships, but he is a good mid to end of the rotation pitcher and is worth an add for sure.
Roenis Elias, RP, Seattle Mariners. Anthony Swarzak got the first two saves of the season, but his last one was April 9th. All of a sudden, Elias has been the choice in the ninth inning and has racked up four saves this year. Elias is a failed starter from years ago, and doesn’t profile as the prototypical closer, but right now he is the hot hand. He has ten strikeouts in 13 innings, so he isn’t a crazy whiff machine like a lot of closers, but the Mariners are playing well and Elias is getting the chances. I wouldn’t drop an established closer for him, but if you have a guy on your roster who is iffy and you need saves, I would ride the hot hand in Seattle.
Hector Neris, RP, Philadelphia Phillies. What a disaster this situation is. David Robertson has a hurt elbow, and Seranthony Dominguez has been pitching like garbage. Neris hasn’t given up a run since Opening Day and has two saves this year. While I am not suggesting him with any sort of confidence, if you are in desperate need of saves, Neris could be your guy for a short period of time because Robertson will be back before long and I think Dominguez is better than he has been so far.
Aaron Sanchez, SP, Toronto Blue Jays. Sanchez has been walking too many guys, but his blister problem hasn’t reared it’s ugly head yet, and this guy has proven that when healthy he is certainly a fantasy relevant pitcher. His last start was his worst as he allowed four earned runs, but I like Sanchez as a pickup until the blisters start. He isn’t sexy, he won’t strikeout 12, but he will give you solid production and if you are looking for a starter you can do much worse than Sanchez.
Ty Buttrey, RP, Los Angeles Angels. This one is more of a speculative add, but trouble is abrewing in the City of Angels. Cody Allen has been a disaster in two straight outings, taking losses in both and allowing three earned runs. In fact he was pulled the last time he took the mound. The Angels clearly brought him in to be their closer, but they can’t afford for him to keep pitching like this. Buttrey is intimidating at 6’6”, hasn’t allowed a run yet this season, and has 13 strikeouts in just 8.1 innings. If you are someone who likes to grab guys before they pick up their first save, Buttrey might be a guy worth looking into. Plus his last name starts with Butt, it doesn’t get better than that.