Waiver Wire: American League

We’ve reached the point in the year where you’re probably better off going for one or two category helpers instead of guys whose overall value is higher. If you’re in a position where these overall value guys are still helpful, though, I’ve got you covered here. Also, check in on previous editions for ideas because many of those guys are still good pickups; I’m just not going to repeat them all every week. With that aside, here’s the American League Waiver Wire…

Joaquin Benoit | TEX | CL? – It looks like Benoit might be the guy to own in Texas now, getting the past two save chances. The Rangers haven’t produced one of those chances since September 7, though, so it’s a bit difficult to tell for sure. I’d probably take Benoit over Wilson right now.
Recommendation – Should be owned in all leagues.

C.J. Wilson | TEX | CL? – Again, it’s a tough situation to judge because the Rangers haven’t entered the ninth with a small lead lately, so there haven’t been many save chances to go around. Wilson is still worth owning in some leagues, but even if he is splitting time with Benoit now he still likely won’t get too many saves over the next couple of weeks.
Recommendation – Should be owned in 10, 12, and 14-team mixed leagues, for now. Should be owned in all AL-only leagues, for now.

Vicente Padilla | TEX | SP – Not sure why — given that he has allowed 6 runs in two of his last five starts — but I’ve been hearing a lot about Padilla lately. 4.79 LIPS ERA, 1.52 DIPS WHIP, and a strikeout rate a point below league average doesn’t make him a great choice in most leagues. His numbers have been a little better since his return from the DL, but he still isn’t someone to target.
Recommendation – Should be avoided in mixed leagues, for now. Should be owned in 14-team AL-only leagues.

Bartolo Colon | LAA | SP – Back from the DL, Colon looks to pick up on the solid first half of the season he put up. 7.04 K/9 will help and his 2.45 K/BB is his best since 2004, but his LIPS ERA is just 4.41. Still, the Angels’ offense should give him an opportunity to pick up a couple of wins.
Recommendation – Should be avoided in mixed leagues. Should be owned in 12 and 14-team AL-only leagues.

Jason Kubel | MIN | OF – The one-time top prospect has gotten regular at-bats the past week and has been tearing it up for a month and a half now. 82% contact, 9% walk, and 22% line drive rates are all good, and he has shown some decent power too. Has hit 5 of 10 home runs past 400 true feet (according to HitTracker), although the furthest went just 411 true feet.

Still, people are saying that he looks like his former self, circa-2004. Of course this is a little subjective and I’m not sure how reliable these sources are, but it’ll be interesting to see if he can put a couple of balls past that 411 mark in the coming weeks. Either way, he makes a decent start if he can keep getting at-bats. Hit 2nd twice and 3rd, 6th, and 8th once each over the past week, so he could be good for some runs and RBIs, without getting a great number of either if that sort of thing keeps up.
Recommendation – Should be owned in 14-team mixed leagues. Should be owned in deep 10, 12 and 14-team AL-only leagues.

Daric Barton | OAK | 1B – From Manager Bob Geren: “Daric is going to play. He’s going to get as many at-bats as possible before the season ends.” Barton was a walks machine in the minors and should also be able to keep a contact rate around 80%, possibly higher. He started hitting tons of line drives once he hit AAA, hitting 24% last year and 21% this year.

The problem with Barton is that he doesn’t possess a ton of power. His HR/FB was just 4% last year and 6% this year. He’s gotten 19 of his 22 at-bats so far in the number 2 spot, and if that continues Barton could help with runs. Otherwise he’ll be limited to helping just a little bit with batting average.
Recommendation – Should be avoided in mixed leagues. Should be owned in 12 and 14-team AL-only leagues.

Yorman Bazardo | DET | SP – Will get a start Saturday and could get more if he does well, but I wouldn’t want to count on Bazardo for my fantasy team. 5.19 K/9 in Double A last year and 5.00 K/9 in Triple A this year aren’t what we’d like to see. Good with ground balls, but if his K/9 drops to 3.00 in the majors it won’t matter. Tigers offense might put him in contention for a win or two, but there are better guys for this sort of thing.
Recommendation – Should be avoided in all but the deepest AL-only leagues.

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