One of the players featured in this edition of waiver wire pickups, Curtis Granderson, was acquired by a trade as the New York Mets sent the veteran outfielder to the Los Angeles Dodgers. On Twitter, a person wondered how a team could make a trade after the trading deadline? The official explanation comes from the mlb.com website and they state that: “After the July 31 deadline, any player on a 40-man roster must clear Major League waivers before being traded. That is, the player must be offered to the other teams in reverse order of the standings. If he is claimed by any club, the club that made the waiver request can either withdraw the request and keep the player or let the player go to the claiming team, which would then have the rights to the player and be obligated to that player’s current contract.” So it is possible to move a player after the trade deadline through this waiver process. Something to keep in mind as we look at this week’s recommended pickups of players owned in less than 50 percent of ESPN leagues. Stats as of August 25.
Curtis Granderson, OF, Los Angeles Dodgers
As mentioned earlier, the Dodgers acquired Granderson from the Mets. Acquiring a veteran like Granderson should play out very well with the young talent that has manned the Dodgers’ outfield. Before arriving in Los Angeles, he smashed an impressive 19 home runs, while batting in 52 runs. Over the last six games with his new team, Granderson has hit three home runs and recorded six RBI. Granderson could benefit a fantasy owner while the Dodgers should definitely enjoy the luxury of another threat from the left side of the plate.
Luke Weaver, SP, St. Louis Cardinals
There is no doubt that Weaver has a strong arm, as he has averaged 93.1 mph on his fastball, up from 91.9 mph a year ago, and he’s shown an ability to throw 96 mph and near 98 mph. Since being called up from Triple-A Memphis, Weaver has improved with every start this season, and he now owns a solid 2.95 ERA, 0.98 WHIP and 23/5 K/BB ratio across his three starts. In his last start against the San Diego Padres, Weaver struck out 10 in seven scoreless innings. His performance should keep him in the rotation even when Adam Wainwright returns from the disabled list.
Kevin Kiermaier, OF, Tampa Bay Rays
Kiermaier is hitting .355 with three home runs and eight RBI since returning from the disabled list after fracturing his hip June 8 while sliding feet first into first base against the White Sox. Kiermaier had hit seven home runs, 20 RBI, and 10 stolen bases in 62 games this season prior to going on the disabled list. He has been batting in the leadoff spot as the Rays like the idea that the high-energy center fielder might be a fire-starter for the team’s lagging offense. Kiermaier may not be able to continue slashing .476/.522/1.048 for the rest of the season, but many hope that he may just be the spark the Rays and fantasy owners need to make a run down the stretch.
Wilson Ramos, C, Tampa Bay Rays
Ramos struggled after missing the first three months of the season with a knee injury. He has recently made some adjustments at the plate and has posted a solid slash line of .327/.377/.469 in August. When Ramos went back to look at some tape from 2016, he noticed that his hands were higher this year and then went and made the necessary adjustments. Hopefully, we will see the form of 2016 when he hit .307 with 22 home runs and 80 RBI for the Nationals.
Ian Happ, 2B/OF, Chicago Cubs
The multi-position player is owned in less than 30 percent of leagues. After a post-All-Star-break slump, Happ is once again scorching hot, hitting .260/.350/.640 this month. On the year, the rookie is hitting .249/.326/.520. He has also totaled 19 home runs with 46 RBI while also swiping 7 bases. Happ’s walk rate (9.4%) and ISO (.271) hint at a special hitter. His OPS of .834 puts in the top five among National League rookies and ranks fourth on the Cubs, lower only than Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, and Willson Contreras. He is doing all of this with very little minor league experience.
Ian Happ: 18th career HR in 80th game.
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) August 19, 2017
Miguel Gonzalez, SP, Chicago White Sox
Since coming off the disabled list in mid-July, Gonzalez made seven quality starts and his ERA in eight starts since his return is 2.94. In his last outing against the Detroit Tigers, he struck out a season-high nine batters and didn’t walk anyone. He has shaken off the clavicle injury that put him on the disabled list in the first place as in his last 28 innings pitched, he has a 1.29 ERA with a 23/8 K/BB ratio. There is some talk on the south side of Chicago that he could be on the trading block, as Gonzalez pitched in a few pennant races when he was with the Baltimore Orioles, having two playoff starts in the 2012 and 2014 postseasons giving up only two earned runs during the 12 innings pitched.