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.
NATIONAL LEAGUE EAST
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.
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.
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.
NATIONAL LEAGUE CENTRAL
St. Louis Cardinals
Erik González – Glove-only utilityman.
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.
NATIONAL LEAGUE WEST
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.
Los Angeles Dodgers
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.
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.