Waiver Wire: American League

American League now, National League tonight.

American League

Jeremy Guthrie | BAL | SP – Last week I mentioned Guthrie, but he has continued to impress. I have to bump up the recommendation on him. He might regress, but having Leo Mazzone as his pitching coach could be the reason for his improved numbers. Be cautious, but if Guthrie keeps putting up these numbers he would have value in all leagues.
Recommendation – Should be strongly considered in 8-team and owned in 10, 12, and 14-team mixed leagues. Should be owned in all AL-only leagues.

Jonny Gomes | TB | OF – Gomes was talked about in the “Cust Inefficiency” article, so I won’t go into too much detail here. He has very good power but a below-average BA. The Devil Rays are reportedly shopping Elijah Dukes, further cementing Gomes’s role as a full-time player.
Recommendation – Should be owned in deep 10, 12, and 14-team mixed leagues. Should be owned in all AL-only leagues.

Mark Ellis | OAK | 2B – 7 Home Runs out of Ellis looks impressive so far, but none have gone past 400 ft, and only 1 did last year. His Fly ball rate is up to 54%, though, so his drop off might not be too steep. He could end up at 15 HRs if the FB% doesn’t fall off. He also should be hitting for a higher average given his 85% Contact, 8.6% Walk, and 21.3% Line Drive rates. He could get up to .285-.290. He’s matched his career high in SBs (6), but I wouldn’t expect him to keep up this pace. There are likely better options available at Middle Infield.
Recommendation – Should be considered in deep 14-team mixed leagues. Should be owned in 12 and 14-team AL-only leagues.

Billy Butler | KC | OF – 84% Contact and 18% Walk rates in AAA this year are great, but the 15% Line Drive rate is not. 15 AB/HR is pretty good, but we’re looking at a small sample size. Last year, for AA, Butler put up an 86% Contact, 8% Walk, and 15% Line Drive rate. I wouldn’t expect big things out of Butler this year, but he could become a .300/25 hitter in the future. He might get demoted when Mike Sweeney returns. He should see time at 1B and DH, so he might stay up. Time will tell.
Recommendation – Should be considered in deep 14-team mixed leagues. Should be owned in 12 and 14-team AL-only leagues.

Jon Lester | BOS | SP – With Schilling on the DL (ugh… another one of my favorite players gets hurt. That makes 6 in one league.), Lester is the top candidate to take his place. He wasn’t very impressive last year, though, with a 1.40 K/BB and 40% Ground ball rate. He has only put up a 1.75 K/BB in AAA this year, so I wouldn’t expect him to do much better in the majors.
Recommendation – Should be avoided except in very deep leagues.

Kei Igawa | BOS | SP – His Ground ball rate was 29.5% in the majors this year and just 24% in AAA, so he will need to have a dominating K/BB right off the bat. He didn’t in the majors, but in AAA showed some promise with a 9.99 K/9 and 2.59 BB/9. He should do better than his first stint in the majors, but Igawa seems unlikely to live up to the hype surrounding him when he signed. Might put up a line like this: 6.5 K/9 | 3.25 BB/9 | 30% GB%. Just another example of the Yanks throwing money away.
Recommendation – Should be owned only in deep mixed leagues. Should be considered in 12 and owned in 14-team AL-only leagues.

Shaun Marcum | TOR | SP – After 8 starts this year, Marcum looks good. Last year in 14, he didn’t. But in AAA last year, he dominated. Marcum could be for real. His line: 8.72 K/9 | 3.38 BB/9 | 42% GB%. If he keeps this up, Marcum has lots of value. Own him until he gives us a reason not to.
Recommendation – Should be strongly considered in deep 10 and owned in 12 and 14-team mixed leagues. Should be owned in all AL-only leagues.

Milton Bradley | OAK | OF – Designated for assignment, Bradley might be dropped in your league. If he is, he might be worth a pickup. When healthy, he has can play well. A .285-.290 BA with 20-25 HRs in 500 ABs is about where he’s at right now.
Recommendation – Should be strongly considered in 12 and owned in 14-team mixed leagues. Should be owned in all but shallow AL-only leagues, although he could move to the NL.

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