On the Bubble Hitters without Options – National League

One potential avenue to finding a playing time gem is searching for those who are out of options and thus cannot be sent down to the minors without having to clear waivers. Some of these guys would clear waivers and wouldn’t be great even with some playing time, but I’m still including them just to be thorough. I’ll obviously highlight my favorites. The new 26-man roster will definitely save quite a few of these guys.


Atlanta Braves

Adam Duvall – We’re getting further removed from his back-to-back 30+ HR seasons (2016-17) and there’s no room in the Atlanta outfield right now. He’s a capable 4th OF and would make a nice power pickup if extended time opened up.

Charlie Culberson – He gets more at-bats that his profile page suggests because he definitely plays a handful of games every year in Dansby Swanson’s jersey and I simply cannot be convinced otherwise.

Miami Marlins

Jesús Aguilar – He kinda got back on track after being traded to Tampa Bay (from 82 w/MIL to 103 wRC+ w/TB) and I’d say he’s relatively guaranteed to stick given his 2017-18 (127 wRC+ in 877 PA). There is some depth on this roster so he could be benched if he starts poorly again.

Magneuris Sierra – Speedy solid defender, but at best he’s the 6th option.

New York Mets

Tomás Nido – Defense-only backup catcher.

Washington Nationals

Eric Thames – Quality strong side platoon bat who posted an .877 OPS against righties last year.

Michael A. Taylor – First up if there are any injuries in the outfield, but his speed would come at a cost as he has a career 79 wRC+ over 1705 plate appearances.

Wilmer Difo – Glove-only utilityman.

Adrían Sanchez – Meh.

Philadelphia Phillies

Roman Quinn – I’ve always liked Quinn and he is the next best CF option behind rookie Adam Haseley, so there could be some cheap SB available for deep leaguers.



Milwaukee Brewers

Manny Piña – Could find some extra time due to a glove advantage over Omar Narváez, but his value is limited to NL-Only, two-catcher leagues.

St. Louis Cardinals

Rangel Ravelo – Remember when he hit that one homer?

Chicago Cubs


Pittsburgh Pirates

Erik González – Glove-only utilityman.

Cincinnati Reds

Phillip Ervin – Multiple offseason moves pushed him down the depth chart and now he could be a trade candidate as there’s just no room for him.

Curt Casali – Solid backup catcher, but even two-catcher leagues don’t really give him value.



Arizona Diamondbacks

Christian Walker – He’ll have a long leash after a breakout season, but the 29-year old could lose time if he goes the way of Aguilar.

Ildemaro Vargas – High contact bat could offer some AVG if he felt into some playing time, but he’s blocked off everywhere heading into the season.

Domingo Leyba – His lack of options are likely keeping him on the roster over Josh Rojas at this point.

Los Angeles Dodgers

Austin Barnes – Once seen as the heir apparent, he’s been passed by Will Smith and remains a modest backup.

Tyler White – Probably needs to be dealt to find a shred of playing time on this uber-deep roster.

San Francisco Giants

Yolmer Sánchez – Glove-only utilityman.

San Diego Padres

Greg Garcia – He’s just under average in 1232 PA (96 wRC+), but there’s not much intrigue here.

Colorado Rockies

Raimel Tapia – I’ve always rooted for him, but he’s once again buried and his 73 wRC+ in 686 PA says the Rockies probably aren’t missing out by relegating him to 5th-6th OF status.

My favorites for deep league drafts: Thames, Aguilar, Duvall, Quinn, and Tapia still because I’m a sucker.

Paul is the Editor of Rotographs and contributes to ESPN's Daily Notes. Follow Paul on Twitter @sporer and on Twitch at sporer.

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Rockies GM and Bud need to be on the bubble as they refuse to play their young guys and keep signing broken down retreads.


Seriously, I don’t get it. I could see if they lucked into some success at some point and thought they could duplicate it, but their track record is terrible yet they still pursue this course.


Their owner told fans at a Rockies event that he expected the team to win 94 games. That would be a franchise record. He passed the buck to “the analytics department”, so when ZiPS turns true and they continue throwing away prime Arenado, just blame the nerds. I’m sure Desmond was their plan A!