Waiver Wire: AL

Erick Aybar | Los Angeles | SS
YTD: .292/.333/.407
True Talent: .275/.317/.377
Next Week Forecast: 0.2 HR, 2 Runs, 2 RBI, .278 BA, 0.4 SB
Maicer Izturis is avoiding injuries by resting against LHP. That’s great news for their other slick-fielding shortstop who doesn’t play other positions, Erick Aybar. Aybar is a winning ballplayer in the mold of Orlando Cabrera (.273/.321/.396 career). With the injuries, Scioscia doesn’t have to bench one of his three middle infielders, as Kendrick can DH. Aybar is adequate “filler” in mixed leagues until Vlad and Torii return, when his PT should again be reduced to 70% and his lack of HR or SB really hurt.

Brian Bannister | Kansas City | SP
YTD: 5.7 K/9, 1.9 K/BB, 3.66 ERA
True Talent: 5.3 K/9, 1.8 K/BB, 4.61 ERA
Next Week Forecast: 5.2 IP, 0.3 W, 3 K, 4.83 ERA
Bannister won lots of Internet fans a couple years ago by using BABIP in a sentence, and people were wondering if he’d figured out a way to suppress his below that of a typical pitcher with his mediocre peripherals. He’s at it again in 2009, but we think that he’s due for some rough times. His career second-half stats are awful (5.37 ERA, .285/.341/.491 against), he doesn’t strike out many, and he has the Royals popgun barrage “supporting” him. Consider him only for one-day pickups against A’s and M’s.

Clay Buchholz | Boston | SP
YTD: 8.1 K/9, 3.0 K/BB, 2.36 ERA (AAA)
True Talent: n/a
Next Week Forecast: n/a
Supposedly only called up for one start, Buchholz is arguably the third-best option for the Red Sox right now. His strikeout rate is down a little from almost 9 K/IP between majors and minors last year, but he’s inducing over 53% ground balls, and basically proving that he’s far too good for AAA. For now, he’s a high-risk/high-reward pickup in any format. He’s an excellent SP waiting for Smoltz or Penny to falter.

Jeff Clement | Seattle | C?
YTD: n/a
True Talent: n/a
Next Week Forecast: n/a
You have to respect new GM Jack Zduriencik for being uncompromising about defense like an “Old School” guy, while using every latest piece of data (and the tools to analyze them) to the fullest. But at some point, enough is enough! In case nobody noticed, the M’s are still in the race this year. This despite hitting an anemic .261/.313/.396 against RHP. Catchers have hit .217/.261/.332, DH .236/.330/.389. So, maybe Clement isn’t a great defender, and not a top-tier hitter. But he’s hit .292/.378/.496 against RHP in his minor-league career and even in the unlikely case that he’s awful like 2008 again (.227/.295/.360 in 224 PA), even that’s an improvement for the M’s. A good preemptive pickup in AL Leagues, if allowed.

Alex Gordon | Kansas City | 3B
YTD: .095/.269/.238
True Talent: n/a
Next Week Forecast: n/a
Seemingly everyone wrote a “who to get” article about players who would do well in the second half. Well, here’s the guy. If he’s on a roster, don’t hesitate to trade for him. The ugly stat line (in just 26 PA) is friendly for a good trade price. With Inge, Rolen, Crede, and Teahen playing over their heads, 3B doesn’t seem like a shallow position, but Lowell is dinged, Beltre out, and DeRosa gone. The aforementioned overperformers should decline, and Gordon could vie for fifth-best behind Longoria, A-Rod, Figgins, and Young.

Shaun Marcum | Toronto | SP
YTD: Injured
True Talent: n/a
Next Week Forecast: n/a
Another high-risk pitching possibility, the Blue Jays could have some good news for a change this season, as he’s due back soon. Marcum is a strike-thrower (99 BB in 310 IP in 07/08) who allows too many home runs to be a truly top-notch starter. Don’t expect much ERA help, and the IP should be low as he’s coming off an injury, but he could be a nice boost for WHIP in any format and pick up a few wins.

Gary Matthews | Los Angeles | OF
YTD: .226/.290/.321
True Talent: .254/.324/.386
Next Week Forecast: 0.7 HR, 4 Runs 4 RBI, .257 BA, 0.5 SB
Time for a round of, “How desperate are you?” Seemingly in another lifetime, GM Jr. hit .313 for the Rangers, earning a sweet contract from the desperate Angels. He even helped fantasy owners somewhat the following year, with 18 HR and 18 SB. Normally, we’d say the extra playing time boost he’s getting due to the Hunter injury just makes him more damaging to rate stats. Yet, for an AL-only team that needs a miracle to catch up, an owner can encourage himself with the Shandler-ism, “once a player shows a skill, he owns it,” and desperately clutch for Matthews.

Magglio Ordonez | Detroit | OF
YTD: .260/.330/.343
True Talent: .294/.359/.449
Next Week Forecast: 0.3 HR, 2 Runs 2 RBI, .292 BA, 0.1 SB
Fans have collectively “forgotten” what typical aging curves look like thanks to PED’s, and Maggs is of an age when many in the past have collapsed. But … we’re guessing the manipulative Jim Leyland is tearing him down and platooning him to “inspire” him. He’s an exceptional “buy-low” candidate now, though obviously high-risk. He has a career Ct% of almost 88%, giving him one of the better combinations of contact and power in the game.

True Talent and Next Week Forecasts courtesy of Heater Magazine.

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  1. rafi said...

    In my 10 team AL-only league, every one of these players is owned and has been for at least weeks.

    In fact, Marcum and Bannister and possibly Matthews are the only guys on the list who haven’t been on a roster all season.

    Though they were/are in the minors, even Clement and Buchholz were stashed all year despite us only having 4 bench spots to use.

    I just want to point this out because lots of roto advice sites list single-league waiver adds with no real chance of being available.

  2. MadMaxScherzer said...


    I’m in a 12-team mixed head-to-head matchups categories league with the categories consisting of: R, HR, RBI, SB, BB, AVG, OPS, IP, W, SV, K, TB, ERA, and WHIP.

    I’m in 6th place (the last playoff spot) and won the league last year, but my pitching has been a disaster (I just dropped Joe Saunders and am considering doing so with Joba). I think that I should find a way to pick up two of the following three players: Edwin Encarnacion, Phil Hughes, and/or Ramon Troncoso. Can you offer any advice based on my current roster?

    C   Jorge Posada (NYY – C)
    1B   Ryan Howard (Phi – 1B)
    2B   Ian Stewart (Col – 2B,3B)
    3B   Brandon Inge (Det – C,3B,OF)
    SS   Marco Scutaro (Tor – 2B,3B,SS)
    OF   Ryan Ludwick (StL – OF)
    OF   Franklin Gutiérrez (Sea – OF)
    OF   Marcus Thames (Det – OF)
    Util   Prince Fielder (Mil – 1B)
    P   Francisco Rodríguez (NYM – P)
    P   David Aardsma (Sea – P)
    P   Cole Hamels (Phi – P)
    P   Brad Lidge (Phi – P)
    P   Scott Kazmir (TB – P)
    P   Randy Wells (ChC – P)
    BN   Emilio Bonifacio (Fla – 2B,3B,SS)
    BN   Michael Bourn (Hou – OF)
    BN   Jason Kubel (Min – OF)
    BN   Garrett Jones (Pit – OF)
    BN   Gil Meche (KC – P)
    BN   Joba Chamberlain (NYY – P)
    BN   Max Scherzer (Ari – P)
    DL   Ryan Dempster (ChC – P)DL
    DL   John Maine (NYM – P)DL
    DL   Shaun Marcum (Tor – P)DL

  3. Rob McQuown said...

    I just posted some comments on this team in the NL section. Good luck with the team – I know you can use Dempster at his best, and as a Cubs fan, I’m hoping he comes back strong from the stupid toe injury.  (as an aside: Imagine how much ill-will would have been directed at Bradley or even Zambrano if they’d done the same boneheaded thing as Dempster did!)

  4. Rob McQuown said...

    alskor – That’s a good point about the contract, but of course if the MLBPA can prove the team did that, the Tigers would be facing a losing legal battle.  If he’s not good and they really don’t want him to reach the AB threshold, they will cut him as they did with Sheffield.  As the Blue Jays did with Frank Thomas, for another example.

    I’ll stick with the position that he still has something left.  As noted, I’m very skeptical of post-34 guys with MLB trying to crack down on chemical assistance.  But he’s just 35, and though his 2007 was BABIP-inflated, he did hit an amazing .363/.434/.595, just 2 years ago.  His ZiPS RoS is similar to TT, suggesting .300/.365/.446.  All players look “not very good” when they are struggling at the plate.  But all players struggle sometimes.  If the organization honestly feels as you suggest, then he’s still a good pickup, since he’s very likely to be playing somewhere else.  Anyway, my guess is that Leyland is trying to “light a fire” under him.  We’ll find out soon enough.

  5. alskor said...

    “But … we’re guessing the manipulative Jim Leyland is tearing him down and platooning him to “inspire” him.”

    Bad Guess. Theyre platooning him because he has a vesting option for 2010 at $18 million with 135 starts or 540 PAs in 2009. It can also vest with enough combined starts/ABs over 08-09. They dont want to come anywhere near that option vesting.

    He’s a virtual lock to not get full time ABs back until the tail end of the season as a result.

    Also… he’s not very good.

  6. scott said...

    Magglio Ordonez won’t get out of his platoon.  If he gets too many PAs, his option will be guaranteed, costing the Tigers $18M in 2010 (vs a $3M buyout).  He was doing much better vs LHP earlier in the season, so they can platoon him, get some value, and have legit ammo if the player’s union balks at his reduced PT.

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