Waiver Wire Report (Week 20)

After a couple of weeks dominated by the trade deadline and subsequent moves, it’s back to normal this week with a decent number of hitters and starters and a few relievers.

In the article, I cover the players using CBS’s (40% or less initial roster rate) and Yahoo’s ADD/DROP rates. Both hosting sites have the option for daily and weekly waiver wire adds. CBS uses a weekly change while Yahoo looks at the last 24 hours. Yahoo is a great snapshot of right now while CBS ensures hot targets from early in the week aren’t missed. The players are ordered for redraft leagues by my rest-of-season preference grouped by starters, relievers, and hitters.


Brandon Belt: Since coming off the IL, he’s hitting .240/.321/.760 with 4 HR. He might be one of the few true power plays available on some waiver wires.

Josh Harrison: He remains the perfect bench bat with all-around contributions and is qualified at several positions. Just check to see if he gets back in the lineup with his recent quadriceps injury.

Rafael Ortega: He’s been great so far this season (.333/.388/.517, 6 HR, 7 SB) while leading off. The regression light is flashing since he has .426 BABIP.

Chas McCormick: Since the trade of Myles Straw, McCormick (.251/.303/.472, 11 HR, 3 SB) has started all but one game (at an NL park). A nice accumulator who is not a drag in power and speed.

Miguel Cabrera: He’s hitting like the Miggy from five years ago since the All-Star break (.303/.363/.539 with 5 HR). The biggest improvement has been with his plate discipline. In the first half, he had a 5.3 K/BB and it is down to 1.1 K/BB in the second half.

Lewis Brinson: Since his last promotion, he’s hitting .348/.411/.697 with 7 HR in 73 PA. It’s tough to find a single improvement for the turnaround. His K/BB is down from a 5.6 career mark to 3.3. His GB% is 37% with a 49% career mark. He has a 59% Pull% while just 44% for his career. His Soft% is down from 18% to 11%. It’s tough to know if the changes will stick, but he’s hitting the ball in order to generate cheap home runs (what made Jose Bautista great) with better plate discipline.

Lorenzo Cain: He’s been heading to the bench quite a bit having only started in two of the last five games. The production has been there (.326/.347/.435, 1 HR, 3 SB) since coming off the IL in late July so the Brewers might be trying to keep him healthy for the playoffs.

LaMonte Wade Jr: With the demotion of Steven DuggarMike Yastrzemski and Wade are splitting starts against lefties helping bump up his playing time from a strict platoon. He was amazing in July with a 1.027 OPS and 7 HR, but his production has been nearly cut in half in July (.654 OPS). I tried to find out why, but could not find an obvious cause.

Frank Schwindel: Since being called up, he’s started nine of 11 games while hitting .310/.344/.603 with 4 HR.

Carter Kieboom: He’s been surprisingly OK (.271/.353/.407, 2 HR) since getting a full-time run as a starter (15 straight starts). While he’s a decent points league player right now, he’s just and low-end counting stats contributor in Roto leagues.

Aledmys Díaz: He’s qualified at several positions and has been playing every day (14 straight starts) with Bregman and Gurriel on the IL. He should be able to provide some batting average and power when in the lineup (.303/.351/.486, 6 HR).

Sam Hilliard: He’s been hitting (.261/.346/.580 with 6 HR) and playing (11 starts in last 12 games) since his July promotion. With a homestand coming up, he’s a must-play.

Connor Joe: He’s started sporadically over the season, but in each of last four games, he has hit leadoff. In the second half, he’s hit .328/.364/.672 with 6 HR and has a home series this next week.

Yonny Hernandez: The 23-year-old third baseman has been on base five times this season and two stolen bases over that time. Steals only gamble.

Hoy Park: Park has been hitting enough (.250/.308/.444 with 1 HR and 0 SB) to remain the Pirates’ leadoff hitter.

Jorge Mateo: He’s started six straight games since signing with the Orioles. He has hit .259/.286/.444 in those games with 0 HR and 3 SB. I’m not sure he’s a major league hitter, but he’s stealing bases right now and he’s playing. At least one manager in each league should roster him.

Corey Dickerson: Since coming off the IL, he’s started in nine of 12 games while hitting .259/.310/.407 with 0 HR and 1 SB. A volume-only play in deeper leagues.

Tyler Wade: Seven starts in the 14 games while hitting .273/.347/.341 with 0 HR and 11 SB. I guess some fantasy managers are really desperate for steals.

Jack Mayfield: Since the All-Star break, The 30-year-old has not been a drag by hitting .241/.292/.542 with 7 HR. I’ve completely dismissed him up until this point but he’s shown improvement with his monthly OPS going from .000 to .341 to .545 to .755 to .825. I looked for any injuries he could have been recovering from and didn’t find one. While I could be wrong, I think he’s just having a career month and he’ll go back to being fantasy irrelevant in a week or two.


Travis d’Arnaud: Off the IL and a must-add in all formats.

Yan Gomes: Reliable catcher for batting average (.272) and power (11 HR).

Austin Nola: He’s starting about two-thirds of the time while hitting .400/.444/.500 with .471 BABIP and 0 HR and 0 SB in 45 PA since coming off the IL.

Tyler Stephenson: Starting against all lefties and some righties while hitting .287/.373/.429 with 7 HR on the season.

Elias Díaz: A must-start this next week with the Rockies home.

Wilson Ramos: He’s starting about half the time in Cleveland and has two homers in 11 PA since joining the team.

Adley Rutschman: Promoted to AAA where he’s hitting .471/.500/.588.

CBS Batter Rostership Rates
Name Prev Roster% Current Roster% Change
Josh Harrison 2B OAK 40% 43% 3%
Adley Rutschman C BAL 39% 41% 2%
Tyler Stephenson C CIN 38% 42% 4%
Travis d’Arnaud C ATL 31% 41% 10%
Rafael Ortega CF CHC 29% 42% 13%
Yan Gomes C OAK 27% 33% 6%
Austin Nola C SD 26% 33% 7%
Brandon Belt 1B SF 24% 40% 16%
Corey Dickerson LF TOR 24% 26% 2%
Elias Diaz C COL 19% 32% 13%
Carter Kieboom 3B WAS 19% 25% 6%
Miguel Cabrera DH DET 19% 21% 2%
Lorenzo Cain CF MIL 17% 24% 7%
LaMonte Wade 1B SF 17% 19% 2%
Aledmys Diaz 3B HOU 10% 13% 3%
Sam Hilliard CF COL 7% 13% 6%
Wilson Ramos C CLE 7% 9% 2%
Chas McCormick LF HOU 6% 8% 2%
Jack Mayfield 3B LAA 3% 7% 4%
Lewis Brinson LF MIA 2% 27% 25%
Jorge Mateo 2B BAL 2% 5% 3%
Hoy Jun Park RF PIT 2% 4% 2%
Connor Joe LF COL 1% 7% 6%
Tyler Wade 3B NYY 1% 3% 2%
Yonny Hernandez 2B TEX 0% 2% 2%
Frank Schwindel 1B CHC 0% 2% 2%


Elieser Hernandez: In his two appearances so far this season, Hernandez has been great (9 K’s in 7 IP) and he’s coming off the IL to start on Thursday. He could be a difference-maker if he can stay healthy.

Luis Gil: He has two starts coming up (vs LAA and MIN) next week while being a strikeout machine (14 K in 11 IP). The key will be if he can continue to keep his walks down because they’ve been an issue in the minors (6.8 BB/9 in AAA).

Cal Quantrill: I’ve not been able to put my finger on Quatrill’s turnaround (1.25 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, 8.3 K/9 since the All-Star break). What I’d recommend is reading Daniel Port’s full breakdown over at PitcherList, but here is his summary.

So, what does all this say about Cal Quantrill for the rest of the season? I’m not sure yet. There are four major things I’ll be watching.

  1. Can he continue to start counts off with strikes and use that advantage to control at-bats?

  2. Can he continue to draw high levels of weak contact?

  3. Will his cutter/slider combo continue to be effective?

  4. Can he develop a third consistently above-average pitch?

Brett Anderson: His high-groundball (58% GB%), low-walk (2.3 BB/9) nature makes him a decent streaming option against most teams.

Tyler Anderson: Two starts at Texas and Houston for steady (i.e. boring) Anderson. He is throwing his changeup (16% Swstr%) more (24% to 31%) since being traded to Seattle.

Steven Brault: I had little faith in his return, but in two starts so far, he’s walked one batter. This is surprising since his career walk rate is 4.6 BB/9. One improvement has been from his 56% Zone% where his career mark is 49%. The other his that he’s throwing his sinker (6% SwStr%, 60% GB%, 58% Zone%) more (12% to 22%).

Alec Mills: He’s been serviceable (4.27 ERA, 1.41 WHIP, 6.7 K/9) against weaker opponents. Too bad he doesn’t get to face the Cubs.

David Price: He’s got a nice two-step next week against the Pirates and Mets. While he’s thrown over 5 IP in two of his last five starts, he needs to be nearly perfect to qualify for a Win since he’s not thrown over 74 pitches this season.

Carlos Hernández: His stuff is legit, but he’s disappointed as a starter (7.8 K/9, 3.7 BB/9) with only a .230 BABIP keeping him in the rotation.

Vladimir Gutierrez: While he’s posted a 3.38 ERA and 1.30 WHIP since the All-Star break, he’s not improved his profile so I expect his ERA to eventually head up towards his ~5.00 ERA estimators.

Nestor Cortes: He has been starting a few games for the Yankees with a good 3.04 ERA (5.19 xFIP) while having a .235 BABIP. Additionally, he’s struggled the third time through the order (9.00 ERA) with no above-average non-fastballs.

J.A. Happ: He is in the middle of a two-start week with the first start being a success (6 IP, 5 K, 2 BB, 1H, 1 ER, and a Win) against the Pirates who he faces next. The Pirates are the only team he’s had success against this season. He has a 0.68 ERA in 13 IP against them and a 7.13 ERA against the rest of the league.

Triston McKenzie: His results have been all over the place this season with the end result being an ERA over 5.00 with ERA estimators to match. He’s now in a stretch where he’s lowering his walk and strikeout rate. There is no way to know what he’s doing or going to perform.

Justin Steele: In his first MLB start of the season, he allowed 3 Runs while only striking out one batter. Additionally, his fastball velocity was down ~1.5 mph off his reliever speed. That said, I’m interested in anyone with a 67% GB% because those groundballs can cover up a ton of mistakes. Roster and bench for now.

Griffin Jax: He’s on everyone’s radar after his 10 K performance against the White Sox. The problem is that he’s below average in strikeouts, walks, and allowing home runs.

Mitch White: He’s started two games for the Dodgers and has struggled with a 4.70 ERA. He faces the Pirates and Mets next week. He’s probably not going to get a Win since he’s been limited to 58 and 59 pitches in his last two starts.

Josh Fleming: While he’s got two starts against Baltimore and the White Sox coming up, he’s not been effective since the All-Star break with a 10.38 ERA and 2.26 WHIP. The damage is because his walk rate is 4.6 BB/9 during that time frame.

Jaime Barria: Fantasy managers are adding a starter with a 4.6 K/9 and 3.5 BB/9? He’s lucky his ERA is only at 4.21 and not a run or two higher.

CBS Starter Rostership Rates
Name Prev Roster% Current Roster% Change
David Price RP LAD 39% 47% 8%
Josh Fleming SP TB 39% 43% 4%
Triston McKenzie SP CLE 38% 44% 6%
Cal Quantrill RP CLE 35% 71% 36%
Vladimir Gutierrez SP CIN 30% 45% 15%
Tyler Anderson SP SEA 29% 31% 2%
Elieser Hernandez SP MIA 25% 31% 6%
Luis Gil SP NYY 23% 46% 23%
J.A. Happ SP STL 20% 24% 4%
Alec Mills RP CHC 18% 24% 6%
Brett Anderson SP MIL 14% 19% 5%
Carlos Hernandez RP KC 9% 28% 19%
Jaime Barria SP LAA 8% 11% 3%
Nestor Cortes RP NYY 6% 10% 4%
Ryan Pepiot SP LAD 4% 6% 2%
Griffin Jax SP MIN 3% 18% 15%
Steven Brault SP PIT 2% 5% 3%
Reynaldo Lopez RP CHW 2% 4% 2%
Justin Steele RP CHC 1% 6% 5%


Alex Colomé: OK reliever who is the closer.

Dylan Floro: OK reliever who is most likely the closer.

Mychal Givens: OK reliever who might be the closer.

Michael Lorenzen: OK reliever who might be the closer.

Zack Britton: OK reliever is temporarily the closer.

Tyler Matzek: OK reliever who is the backup closer.

Jonathan Loaisiga: Good multi-inning reliever who may be next in line for Saves until Chapman comes off the IL.

Brent Suter: OK multi-inning reliever who has a propensity for getting Wins (11).

Reynaldo López: He’s a good bullpen long man who has made a couple of successful starts this season. The issue is that he’s not thrown more than 51 pitches (3.0 IP this season) or being used in a high-leverage situation for possibly a Win. Ignore.

CBS Reliever Rostership Rates
Name Prev Roster% Current Roster% Change
Jonathan Loaisiga RP NYY 26% 40% 14%
Alex Colome RP MIN 22% 38% 16%
Dylan Floro RP MIA 19% 26% 7%
Michael Lorenzen RP CIN 12% 14% 2%
Brent Suter RP MIL 8% 10% 2%
Zack Britton RP NYY 8% 10% 2%
Mychal Givens RP CIN 4% 13% 9%
Tyler Matzek RP ATL 4% 6% 2%
Mitch White RP LAD 1% 4% 3%

Jeff, one of the authors of the fantasy baseball guide,The Process, writes for RotoGraphs, The Hardball Times, Rotowire, Baseball America, and BaseballHQ. He has been nominated for two SABR Analytics Research Award for Contemporary Analysis and won it in 2013 in tandem with Bill Petti. He has won four FSWA Awards including on for his Mining the News series. He's won Tout Wars three times, LABR twice, and got his first NFBC Main Event win in 2021. Follow him on Twitter @jeffwzimmerman.

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2 years ago

Ah, no mention of Joe Barlow, TEX RP/Closer?