We would all love to win our league on Draft Day, but that’s simply not possible. The fantasy baseball waiver wire is a necessary tool for fortifying your roster. How much FAAB should you be willing to spend on some of the hot adds? Here’s a look at some of the players, generally owned in 50% or less of leagues, who may be worth considering.
More great fantasy baseball advice and analysis: Waiver Wire & FAAB Recommendations | Daily MLB Injury Report | MLB DFS Picks | Line-up Analysis | Dynasty Rankings and Strategy | MLB Bullpen Updates | MLB Player Props | Prospect Rankings & Analysis | Fantasy Baseball Risers and Fallers
Fantasy Baseball FAAB Recommendations
Catchers – Waiver Wire/FAAB Options:
- Luis Campusano – San Diego Padres (FAAB – 1%) – Who would’ve thought that Campusano could lose significant AB to Gary Sanchez? While Campusano has gotten some AB in the DH spot, consider him more as part of a platoon currently. That doesn’t eliminate all value, however. He has shown power coming up through the minors, and also a strong approach. The latter hasn’t been the case in the Majors, with just a 4.3% walk rate over 161 PA. He doesn’t swing and miss excessively (9.5% SwStr%), instead, he needs to reign in the aggressiveness (37.0% O-Swing%). That, as well as adjusting to breaking balls (.152 BAA) will be key long-term. That may not happen in 2023, especially with the presence of Sanchez eating into his opportunities. More of a long-term waiver wire addition, he should be left for the deepest of two-catcher formats.
- Mitch Garver – Texas Rangers (FAAB – 3-5% ) – Remember him? Many fantasy owners seem to have forgotten him, but with catcher eligibility back he needs to be on radars. Garver is on the favorable side of the playing time behind the plate, and he is also getting AB from the DH spot. With an Exit Velocity of 90.7 mph and an average home run distance of 417 feet, there’s no question that he’s hitting the ball well. Even with a .349 BABIP hanging over him, the power and playing time make him a no-brainer. While he may be a better fit for those in two-catcher formats, he should also have value in shallower leagues (though, those in one-catcher formats should lower the FAAB to 1-2%).
Infielders – Waiver Wire/FAAB Options:
- Jake Burger – Miami Marlins (FAAB – 1% ) – The Marlins celebrated Burger’s arrival by selling $5 hamburgers in the stadium. Will he live up to the fanfare? He’s provided power in ’23, with 25 HR. It’s come with a .213 AVG, thanks to an ugly approach (17.5% SwStr%, 41.7% O-Swing%). He had more success at home (17 HR, .256 AVG), so the change of scenery is going to raise a red flag. You have to wonder how many of the home runs will start to fall short anyway (15 doubles, average home run of 401 feet ties him for 103rd among qualified hitters). Is there value? Sure, but don’t go crazy with your FAAB.
- Curtis Mead – Tampa Bay Rays (FAAB – 1%) – Mead is the latest rookie callup, though he was hitting .291 with 3 HR and 3 SB over 211 PA at Triple-A. There is some power in his bat, but he has yet to consistently tap into it during games. You also have to wonder how much he’s going to see the field. Maybe he finds some platoon AB with Brandon Lowe (who struggles against LHP), but that isn’t enough. The current limitations in statistics and AB make him a player much better suited for those in long-term keeper leagues.
- Brendan Rodgers – Colorado Rockies (FAAB – 5-7.5%) – At one time it looked like Rodgers would be lost for the season. He’s shown an ability to hit for a strong average and provide some pop, hitting .266 with 13 HR last season (with more power upside, playing in Coors Field and having added 30 doubles and 3 triples). It may take time, but with time he could prove to be a difference maker over the finally few weeks of the season. If he’s sitting on your wire, don’t hesitate to grab him immediately.
Outfielders – Waiver Wire/FAAB Options:
- Randal Grichuk – Los Angeles Angels (FAAB – 1%) – Grichuk found a new home at the Trade Deadline, leaving Colorado. That’s always going to be a red flag for fantasy owners, though Grichuk has hit more home runs on road in ’23 (5 on the road vs. 4 at home). The bigger concern is what role Grichuk will fill once Mike Trout is ready to return from the IL. Could he see time over Mickey Moniak or Hunter Renfroe? Will he spell Trout, especially initially? Both are likely yes, but he seems like more of a role player for the long term. He’s not going to be a savior, instead more of a short-term option. That means temper those FAAB bids.
- Ryan O’Hearn – Baltimore Orioles (FAAB – 1%) – Known better as a first baseman, O’Hearn has played 14 games in the OF this season as well. He sits against left-handed pitching, lowering his value, but against righties he’s settled into the cleanup spot of a very good lineup. He’s hitting .306 with 9 HR and 37 RBI over 209 PA in the Majors. He’s benefited from an unsustainable .360 BABIP, but his 92.6 mph Exit Velocity helps to support the inflated number. If Baltimore is facing a string of southpaws O’Hearn is unusable, which caps the FAAB. If they have all righties on the schedule, he’s a must start. That makes him well worth owning in all formats.
Starting Pitchers – Waiver Wire/FAAB Options:
- Steven Matz – St. Louis Cardinals (FAAB – 1-2%) – With St. Louis selling at the deadline, Matz finds himself back in the St. Louis rotation for the rest of the season. St. Louis had actually reinstalled him prior to the deadline moves, and he’s looked great in the process (1 ER over 17.0 IP). He may not be that good, but he’s shown strikeouts (8.42 K/9), control (2.90 BB/9) and enough groundballs (45.7%) all season long. He could struggle to get wins, given St. Louis’ struggles, but that’s always a tough stat to chase. If you are looking for some pitching depth, don’t be afraid to grab him and pick your spots.
- Cole Ragans – Kansas City Royals (FAAB – 1%) – Control has always cost Ragans from being a good fantasy option. However, the Mets recently made him look like an ace (6.0 shutout innings with 8 K) and that’s grabbing attention. In fact, though, since returning to the rotation (2 starts) Ragans has just 3 BB in 11.0 IP. He has always shown the ability to miss bats, so if the newfound control can be maintained he will hold fantasy appeal. It’s hard to fully buy in, especially with fantasy titles hanging in the balance. If you want to roll the dice, and see if he truly has figured things out, it could be worth it.
Relief Pitchers – Waiver Wire/FAAB Options:
- Giovanny Gallegos – St. Louis Cardinals (FAAB – 3-5%) – With Jordan Hicks traded away, Gallegos is likely to assume the closer’s role. He’s proven capable (36 SV since 2021), but home runs have been an issue (1.40 HR/9 this season) and his strikeouts are down. Even if he is first in line, are we confident he can hold it?
- Gregory Santos – Chicago White Sox (FAAB – 10%) – Kendall Graveman was traded and Liam Hendriks was lost to Tommy John surgery. That leaves Santos, who has the chance to entrench himself long-term. The 23-year-old has elite control (1.89 BB/9) and groundball stuff (52.9%). Plus his 98.8 mph fastball could help lead to more strikeouts in time (as it is he is close to a strikeout per inning). If he’s available don’t be afraid to go big in your bids.
While Andres Munoz has too great of an ownership to include here, he’s one of the biggest post-Trade Deadline adds. With a 13.16 K/9 and 61.4% groundball rate, he could emerge as a Top 5 closer. If he’s on your waiver wire, don’t be afraid to go all in if you are searching for saves. A 15% FAAB bid is a minimum, with 20% or more not out of the question depending on need.
Sources – Fangraphs, Brooks Baseball, Baseball Savant, MLB.com, CBS Sports
⚾️ Home Run Derby Champion Signed Jersey Giveaway
Like and Comment below your Fantrax Username for a chance to win a Signed Vladimir Guerrero Jersey! pic.twitter.com/v4HHvwK0uO
— Fantrax (@Fantrax) July 13, 2023