Waiver Wire: AL

Edwin Encarnacion | Toronto | 3B
YTD: .199/.297/.338
True Talent: .261/.346/.447
Next Week Forecast: 0.2 HR, 1 Runs, 1 RBI, .260 BA, 0.0 SB
Understandably, “EE” is on a lot of transaction wires, as owners are trying to shed the dead weight. So far, he’s been nothing short of a complete disaster for the Jays, on both sides of the ball. We don’t think there’s a great reason to expect an immediate turnaround, but it also wouldn’t be shocking to see a two-HR game, launching him into a September-long hot streak. Very high risk, but upside is playable in most formats.

Chad Gaudin | New York | SP/RP
YTD: 8.9 K/9, 1.8 K/BB, 4.81 ERA
True Talent: 8.1 K/9, 2.0 K/BB, 4.40 ERA
Next Week Forecast: 4.11 ERA
He’s not overly tall, and his “heat” comes up around 90 mph. He’s very long odds to get Cy Young votes, ever. He’s not even a master at thwarting the running game (27-10 against lifetime), or inducing grounders (44%). But his career ERA is 4.53 in 578 IP, and he’s just 26. It’s simply baffling how he keeps getting treated like a “free resource.” It will be interesting to see what free agency brings him—this season should keep his three-year IP average at about 140/year. TT projection tells you what you need to know. Playing for the Yanks will increase win potential, though endangering the rate stats. Some of our comments following an earlier WW mentioned Gaudin with some additional points.

Chris Getz | Chicago | 2b
YTD: .267/.327/.360
True Talent: .258/.321/.352
Next Week Forecast: 0.1 HR, 2 R, 1 RBI, .260 BA, 0.2 SB
We visited Chris Getz before, making the comparison to Adam Kennedy. But Getz is stealing bases much more prolifically than AK did. And since July 9, he’s hit .313/.375/.409, going 11-1 on SBA. We still think the rate stats will line up with Kennedy’s in the end (.276/.329/.390 career), but he now has 23 SB in 387 career PA. We doubt he’ll continue quite that roto-delight rate of theft, as it’s about twice his minor-league rate (and his OBP was higher in the minors). But it’s difficult to picture him having fewer than 30 SB in 2010.

Austin Jackson | New York | OF
YTD: .300/.354/.405 24-4 SB-CS(AAA)
True Talent: n/a
Next Week Forecast: n/a
With his team up 1-0 in the Triple-A playoffs, don’t expect Jackson for a couple weeks. And with CF in decent shape for the Yanks (.273/.337/.414 season line combined), it’s hard to envision Jackson getting much time, though he should be similarly adequate if he does. The real question is how much he is worth as a keeper. He was explosive to start ’09, hitting .324/.389/.452 before the break, with 15 SB. But he was so bad in July/August that even a hot September hasn’t really restored his stat line. As a 22-year-old at Triple-A, the opposite would have been more expected. We think he is almost a lock to earn $5-plus in “normal” AL-only formats in 2010, and $10-plus thereafter, as a five-category contributor.

Felix Pie | Baltimore | OF
YTD: .267/.335/.443
True Talent: .270/.329/.429
Next Week Forecast: 0.5 HR, 3 R, 2 RBI, .266 BA, 0.5 SB
May 29 was Pie’s 166th career game, after which his career line was .216/.281/.326 in 385 PA. But he got a pinch-hit double his next game and hasn’t looked back, hitting .317/.380/.537 since (137 PA). He was a career .299/.355/.470 hitter in the minors, and that’s consistent with his TT projection. But he’s always been a low-percentage base thief, and has stopped running this year altogether. In AL-only leagues, you have to respect the PT boost with Jones being out, but he’s not overly exciting for mixed leagues.

Landon Powell | Oakland | C?
YTD: .254/.317/.474
True Talent: .216/.304/.378
Next Week Forecast: 0.3 HR, 1 Runs, 1 RBI, .220 BA, 0.0 SB
Powell is a better hitter than that TT projection suggests. He’s lost huge chunks of time to injuries over the years. This, combined with the usual rigors of catching, beat down his BABIP artificially in 2008. The thing TT does capture is that he’s patient and has good power, as noted from how high the OBP and SLG are, given such a tiny BA projection. Seems likely to follow Ramon Castro‘s path of showing tantalizing offense from the “2” position, yet having injuries and perceptions keep him as just a No. 2 catcher instead.

Robinson Tejeda | Kansas City | SP
YTD: 11.6 K/9, 2.0 K/BB, 3.21 ERA
True Talent: 8.9 K/9, 1.8 K/BB, 4.26 ERA
Next Week Forecast: 6.0 IP, 0.4 Wins, 6 K, 4.52 ERA
Good news for glass-half-full people in KC, in a season where they seemed to deliberately avoid debuting players while giving playing time to bad veterans. Tejeda seems to have finally found a home for his mid-90s fastball and almost Marmol-ian lack of control in the bullpen. He’s allowed just 54 hits with KC … in 2 seasons! (92.2 IP) But leave it to the run-amok Royals to mess with one of the few things that was working, moving him back to the rotation. At least it’s a move that has very good upside, but we’re thinking it’s more likely to leave the half-full glass cracked.

Dan Wheeler | Rays | RP
YTD: 6.4 K/9, 4.5 K/BB, 3.55 ERA
True Talent: 7.3 K/9, 2.9 K/BB, 3.70 ERA
Next Week Forecast: n/a Saves, 3.70 ERA
One might think that having a closer collapse (Howell since Aug. 1: .375 OBP and .569 SLG allowed, 3 BS, 3 L) would open the door for the guy with a WHIP that starts 0.8. And Wheeler did indeed get a save in that period. But Maddon seems to be taking an “if it ain’t broke” approach to Wheeler, and it’s almost as likely that the extra SP will end up closing if he does give up on Howell. Wade Davis did strike out six in his first two IP, after all.

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