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Waiver Wire – Week 1

Waiver Wire2It has been a long time since most of us drafted our 2020 teams and a lot has happened in the interim. There is no shortage of options available this week to round out Fantasy squads. Power, speed starting pitching, and the usual mix of closers are all available. Spend wisely and spend lots this week. In this 60-game sprint, he who hesitates will be taking a rather huge loss.

Zack Britton, RP, NYY (CBS: 23% rostered): Aroldis Chapman has tested positive for Covid-19 and displaying mild symptoms, leaving his ability to be ready to start the 2020 season in doubt. Zack Britton’s solid history of closing out games in Baltimore makes him a great short-term investment for those chasing saves.

Corbin Burnes, RP, MIL (CBS: 12% rostered): A strong camp has Burnes on the cusp of earning the final spot in the Brewers rotation. The 70 strikeouts in 49 IP in 2019 is impressive. The 17 homers allowed, not so much. That strikeout potential is simply too alluring to pass up.

Diego Castillo, RP, TAM (CBS: 11% rostered): The assumption was that Nick Anderson would get the bulk of the save opportunities for the Rays in 2020. We still haven’t seen that fact confirmed. The Rays do have a history of spreading the saves around and Castillo was more than up to the task in 2019, amassing eight saves and a double-digit strikeout rate.

Yoenis Cespedes, OF, NYM (CBS: 25% rostered): We weren’t expecting to see Yoenis Cespedes this season, but it appears we were wrong. If healthy, and so far so good, the immense power potential from Cespedes will generate big FAAB spending this weekend.

Kyle Crick, RP, PIT (CBS: 3% rostered): Incumbent closer Keone Kela has yet to make an appearance at Summer Camp and on Friday was placed on the 10-day IL. Kyle Crick appears to be the early favorite to garner saves in Pittsburgh, but don’t rule out the possibility of a job share with Nick Burdi and that triple-digit high heat.

Rafael Dolis, RP, TOR  (CBS: not rostered): We didn’t think that Ken Giles would be in Toronto at the trade deadline last year. Our thoughts haven’t changed. Dolis has one of the best splitters on the planet and we’ll see plenty of it in 2020.

Mauricio Dubon, 2B/SS, SFG (CBS: 10% rostered): Finally, Mauricio Dubon is going to find his way into full-time at-bats. The Brewers loss will be the Giants gain.

Ian Happ, OF, CHC (CBS: 30% rostered): The combination of solid power, good wheels, and a career .340 OBP makes one wonder if Happ shouldn’t be hitting at the top-of-the-order for the Cubs?

Ryan Helsley, RP, STL (CBS: 14% rostered): Jordan Hicks has opted out of the 2020 season. Giovanny Gallegos finally reported to camp, but can he be ready to roll for the start of the season. Carlos Martinez still holds visions of returning to a starting role. At the very least, a job share in the closer role beckons for Helsely to start the 2020 campaign.

Aaron Hicks, OF, NYY (CBS: 19% rostered): Hicks looks to be on schedule in his return from TJS and should be ready to roll to start the season. Any bat garnering steady at-bats in that Yankees high-powered offense should not be overlooked.

Sam Hilliard, OF, COL (CBS: 26% rostered): In 2019, Hilliard hit 35 homers at Triple-A and followed that up with seven homers in a brief stint at Colorado to end the year. He swiped a total of 24 bases. Ian Desmond has opted out of 2020 and Hilliard appears to own the gig in left field. Why does my gut say that Matt Kemp will work his way into the mix?

Josh James, SP/RP, HOU (CBS: 50% rostered): James was late in reporting to camp but hasn’t looked the worse for it. The Astros better hope that he’s ready to roll and a repeat of those stellar strikeout rates (100 strikeouts in 61 1/3 IP) is forthcoming.

Howie Kendrick, 1B/2B/3B, WAS (CBS: 26% rostered): The DH being in play in the NL this season is the perfect situation for the again vet to enjoy yet another great year.

Isiah Kiner-Falefa, 3B/C, TEX (CBS: 10% rostered): He hit well in the Spring and has continued this trend into “Summer Camp”. He’s hit so well that it appears as if the Rangers are going to move Todd Frazier to First Base, creating at-bats for Kiner-Falefa at third. A catcher eligible bat getting everyday at-bats is very intriguing.

Sean Newcomb, SP, ATL (CBS: 15% rostered): Newcomb enjoyed a successful transition to his role as a reliever. It appears that the Braves are looking at giving him another opportunity to start. Will the transition back to a rotation spot be as successful?

Edward Olivares, OF, SDP (CBS: 1% rostered): It would appear that the Padres like Edward Olivares a lot more than Franchy Cordero.

Tyler O’Neil, OF, STL (CBS: 30% rostered): Apparently, Dylan Carlson needs another week or so of seasoning before he’ll be ready to roll. Go figure?

Nate Pearson, SP, TOR (CBS: 36% rostered): A week or so down on the farm and Pearson should be ready to roll and begin what should be a long run as a top-of-the-rotation starter.

Jose Peraza, 2B/SS/OF, BOS (CBS: 49% rostered): Peraza looks to have the starting job at second to start the season for the Bosox. He’s only one year removed from a 14 homer, 85 runs scored, and 23 stolen base campaign.

Stephen Piscotty, OF, OAK (CBS: 10% rostered): An injury-plagued 2019 ruined the promise that we saw in 2018 when Piscotty hit 27 homers and drove in 88 runs. Now healthy, will a bounce-back season be in the cards for the 29-year-old outfielder?

Ryan Pressly, RP, HOU (CBS: 15% rostered): Ryan Pressly has been one of the best relievers in the game over the past several seasons. He’s currently dealing with a blister issue, but hopefully, it heals quickly as Roberto Osuna has yet to throw off the mound and is running late in his prep for the regular season. The Astros will need Pressly to pitch well if they hope to challenge for a title in 2020.

Matt Shoemaker, SP, TOR (CBS: 30% rostered): Shoemaker was off to a great start in 2019 before a torn  ACL in his fifth start was cause for him to miss the duration of the season. A small bid could secure some rather solid starts.

Nick Solak, 3B, TEX (CBS: 33% rostered): Willie Calhoun is dealing with a Grade 1 hip flexor strain and is not likely to be ready out-of-the-gate. Nick Solak will slide into Calhoun’s spot in the outfield. Those 32 homers last year between the Minors and a 116 at-bat stint with the Rangers is impressive.

Ross Stripling, SP, LAD (CBS: 30% rostered): Stripling was in the running for a spot in the Dodgers rotation, but David Price opting out of the 2020 season locks down a spot. A 3.02 and 3.47 ERA over the past two seasons with better than a strikeout per inning in a swingman role, should be cause for one to spend a good chunk of that FAAB this evening.

Yoshitomo Tsutsugo, OF, TAM (CBS: 22% rostered): Austin Meadows is doubtful to start the season, leaving no doubt that Tsutsugo will get plenty of at-bats in the early going.

Daulton Varsho, C, ARZ (CBS: 6% rostered): It looks like the DBacks have figured out that somehow and somewhere they have to find the room to get Varsho into the lineup. A catcher eligible bat with double-digit stolen base potential should be on everyone’s radar.

Taijuan Walker, SP, SEA (CBS: 11% rostered): Walker is now two-plus years from the TJS that derailed his career. That breakout 2017 campaign is still relatively fresh in my mind.

Evan White, 1B, SEA (CBS: 21% rostered): The service time concerns should not be an issue with the ink still wet from the 6-year offseason extension. The youthful M’s should be looking at giving White every opportunity to hone his craft on the fly.

Five Under Five

Austin Adams, RP, SEA (CBS: 2% rostered): M’s Manager Scott Servais has indicated that he will be using a bullpen-by-committee approach this year and with Yoshihisa Hirano currently not in camp, it appears that that committee is going to be made up of Austin Adams and Matt Magill. The 14.91 K per nine that Adams amassed in 2019 is most intriguing.

Franchy Cordero, OF, KCR (CBS: 4% rostered): The power/speed potential we’ve been waiting for from Cordero is finally going to be on display in a full-time capacity in Kansas City.

Buck Farmer, RP, DET (CBS: 1% rostered): The Tigers have placed Jordan Zimmermann on the 45-day IL with a right forearm strain. Daniel Norris tested positive for Covid-19 and likely won’t be ready to start the season. Michael Fullmer is working his way back from TJS. The Tigers bullpen will get plenty of work in 2020, and Buck Farmer will garner more than his fair share of that workload.

Cameron Maybin, OF, DET (CBS: 2% rostered): Anywhere else, Maybin would be coming off the bench as a fourth outfielder. In Detroit, he’s penciled into the leadoff slot.

Rowan Wick, RP, CHC (CBS: 3% rostered): How long do we wait for Craig Kimbrel to get untracked? We’ve now officially moved to the very concerned stage of the program. Rowan Wick appears to be next-in-line for saves in the Windy City and buying some saves insurance could prove to be a solid investment.





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