There are literally a hundred (or more) considerations to take into account when you journey to the waiver wire. How badly do you need the player? Does the player feature a skill set/numbers that will help your team? Does he fit positionally on your roster? Who are you letting go in order to make room for the new guy on your roster? Is he in line for regular playing time with his real-life club? I could go on and on.
As we get set for May to turn to June we're also dealing with another issue that pertains to those still coming up through the ranks. When will they be called up? Washington farmhand and shortstop Trea Turner is currently exhibit A of the situation at work. The Nats have shortcomings with both Danny Espinosa and Stephen Drew, but they've yet to make a call-up of their high-end prospect. This has happened for a couple of reasons. One, the big league team is winning and that buys them wiggle room. Secondly, we have the usual contract considerations that arise with every prospect. Simply put, the Nats get an extra year of control with Turner if they hold off on calling him up until June.
I bring all of this to the fore because there are many fantasy players currently stashing Turner with the expectation that he will be called up soon and that he will have success. The success side of the equation is up for debate. Turner is certainly holding his own at AAA with an average well-above .300 and an OPS over-.850. He looks the part, but that doesn't mean a promotion is imminent. And, because of that, Turner works as a stash in some leagues, but not in others.
I believe that it is incredibly difficult to defend stashing Turner if you are in a 10-team league. If you have needs, you need to address them with players who actually playing. There is just too much talent available in most every 10-team league to be holding onto a guy who might or could get called up sometime in the near future. And, frankly, will Turner be a top 10 shortstop upon his arrival? He didn't show much in a 40 at-bat introduction last season. Beyond that, the shortstop position has actually offered many more viable bats that most anyone expected back in the preseason.
Those in 12-team leagues have an argument to stash Turner, but only if they are enduring a messy situation currently at the SS position. Beyond 12 teams, if you're healthy throughout your roster and can afford the roster spot then, yes, grab Turner if you still can.
Always remember ... stashing a player is a luxury. It doesn't work for everyone because of more pertinent needs in the here and now. If you're holding onto an unproven and unplaying asset while other useable pieces pass you by, you're quite often making a mistake.
(Note: To make the list, I'll apply a loose definition that says a player is likely be unowned in a vast majority of 12-team mixed leagues. At the end of each player note, I'll also provide a suggested bid for those that use FAAB (Free Agent Acquisition Budget) for their waiver process (based on a $100 budget). Understand that this is only a suggestion ... if you've just lost your starting outfielder to injury and you have an immediate need or gaping hole in your lineup, you will find it necessary to bid more in order to get that week's top available outfielder.)
Michael Bourn, OF, Arizona
They say that speedsters in their 30s don't exist. Bourn is proof of that. Since hitting that less-than-magical age back at the end of 2013, Bourn has just 28 steals in 41 attempts. That's over the course of 250 games. Bourn has gotten old quite quickly and that's led to a big falloff in his fantasy value. Now, because of injuries in the D'Back outfield (A.J. Pollock and David Peralta), Bourn is slotted into the starting nine for the foreseeable future. Most of you should ignore the opportunity. Bourn is little beyond a singles' hitter and won't be turning the clock back to 2011 on the basepaths. You could perhaps ride a slight hot streak for two-to-three weeks, but I'd be surprised if Bourn is still the guy for Arizona when mid-June rolls around. Performance is one thing, but he has also battled the injury bug in recent seasons. A pure flier.
Suggested FAAB bid - $2
Tommy Joseph, 1B, Philadelphia
The former catcher has an opportunity to stick in Philly's lineup. For the most part their hitters have struggled this year and the first base position has been one of the biggest problems. Overall, Philadelphia has received a putrid .188/.248/.396 slash from their collection of 1B options. Joseph's first home run of the season came earlier in the week and if he carries any sort of success over he should get plenty of starts. At the very least, he deserves to be in the starting lineup against southpaws (aka, Ryan Howard's kryptonite). It's hard to say what Joseph can actually be. He's dealt with concussion issues that ended his time behind the dish. Look at his total plate appearances over the past three years ... 457! He's very inexperienced and is probably being pushed a little too quickly. His prospect tag isn't shiny so, in all reality, he's a desperation corner infield add for fantasy purposes.
Suggested FAAB bid - $2
Tony Kemp, 2B/OF, Houston
The 2016 encore to 2015's surprising postseason berth has been full of potholes for Houston. Their starting rotation has been mostly ineffective across the board. No hitter is having a truly strong year. And, there's been the mysterious crash-and-burn of Carlos Gomez. So let the changes commence. Gomez has been placed on the DL with a rib injury and will probably be out until close to mid-June. Kemp is one of the beneficiaries of the move, but he's not a huge beneficiary. He'll see time in the outfield and does provide ample speed when he gets on base (101 SBs in 361 minor league games), but he'll (somehow) lose some ABs to Jake Marisnick. I don't think such a set-up lasts for long because Marisnick is, in a word, terrible. Kemp should see more playing time and gives fantasy players a useful utility option who could find his way to an OK showing in the average, steals, and runs scored categories. He showed excellent patience in his first game, going the other way twice for hits and also drawing a late game walk. I think a semi-aggressive bid is worthy.
Suggested FAAB bid - $7
Colin Moran, 3B, Houston
Moran was also an early-week call-up for the Astros. Not only is his profile different from Kemp (no speed here), but his outlook is also more murky. Mostly, Moran is a decent average, gap-heavy kind of hitter. Playing time might also be more of a battle. The Astros have plenty of guys (Marwin Gonzalez, Luis Valbuena) that can hold fort at 3B and Moran might find it a struggle to differentiate himself from the pack. He does figure to play against most righties initially. If he hits early, he'll stay on-board. If he struggles, he'll become nothing more than an option off the bench, but not an option for fantasy players.
Suggested FAAB bid - $3
Jhonny Peralta, SS, St. Louis
We are still a little less than a month from Peralta's return, but if you've been muddling through the first couple of months with lousy SS play, he should be on your watch list. The Cardinals have said that Peralta will play somewhere when he's fully healed from his thumb injury. The question is where. Aledmys Diaz has been the best-hitting SS in the entire game and has earned regular playing time. We could see a situation where he, Peralta, and Matt Carpenter all move around the diamond. Diaz can handle some work at both third and second, in addition to his regular gig at shortstop. Peralta will see defensive work at the hot corner while in the minors. And, Carpenter, the regular man at third, can handle work across the diamond at first base. In other words, if you add Peralta, you'll be adding a near-everyday player who will also eventually sport dual-eligibility. Peralta has some pop (38 total HRs in the past two seasons) and provides respectable numbers in four of the five fantasy categories. You'll have to wait a bit, but a cheap bid right now before folks realize he's almost back, could lead to a solid second half pay-off.
Suggested FAAB bid - $4
Chase Anderson, SP, Milwaukee
Anderson was added in the Jean Segura deal this past offseason. Segura has been sailing for a full seven weeks in his new digs. Anderson, though, has experienced choppy waters. Before taking a no-hitter into the 8th inning earlier this week the righty had given up four or more runs in four of his previous five starts. He does have the ability to post quality starts, but you won't find many punchouts in his line. He owns just a 7.2 K/9 for his career. The other issue that plagues Anderson is his gopher-itis. He's already served up 11 homers this year! Miller Park (and, heck, all parks) won't be forgiving moving forward through the summer.
Suggested FAAB bid - $3
Sean Doolittle, RP, Oakland
Ryan Madson is the guy, right? Well, he is for now. Madson is doing just fine in the 9th inning for the A's (a perfect 11-for-11 in his save opportunities, plus a sub-2.00 ERA), but there are some warning signs. Frankly, he's been lucky this year. He has had just two clean sheets in his past eight appearances and his K-rate has cratered from a year ago (from over 8 to under 7). Beyond that he's giving up some shots, as attested by his 32% line drive rate. For now he has the job and the faith of his team, but Madson's surface numbers are masking some dark clouds. Which, of course, leads us back to the deposed Doolittle. He was off in April and once he was removed from the closers spot a couple of weeks back most fantasy owners dumped him. It might be time to pick him up. He's allowed a run in just one of his past 14 outings. He's whiffed nine of the past dozen hitters he's faced. Once Madson's luck evens out we could see Oakland go right back in the direction of Doolittle. That could happen in the next couple of weeks which means it's time to grab the lefty now.
Suggested FAAB bid - $5
Tyler Duffey, SP, Minnesota
Duffey's loss on Friday night is going to save you a good deal of FAAB this week. He was not bad versus Toronto, but he did suffer the loss and he did fall apart in the 6th inning. That left him with a pockmarked final line (5.2 innings, 9 H, 6 ER). Understand that four of those runs came with two outs in the 6th. And two of those four 6th inning runs were scored when the pitcher after Duffey (Trevor May) was popped for a 3-run homer by Jose Bautista. So, yeah, you could say I'm looking at the silver lining in this one! I like Duffey because of his body of work. Before the loss to the Jays he had allowed a total of just five runs in his previous four starts. Beyond that he was whiffing nearly a batter per inning (he's still at 8.5). Duffey makes for an excellent fantasy bench arm. He's not due superstardom, but there are plenty of matchups this summer where he should fit in well as a streamer. Don't hold too much of last night against him.
Suggested FAAB bid - $2
Junior Guerra, SP, Milwaukee
Eleven strikeouts will turn heads and when those 11 K's come against the fearsome Chicago Cubs, the head turns will linger. Don't waste your time. Here's what you need to know ... Guerra is 31 (!) and has a grand total of seven MLB appearances. He's also been in more leagues than a 40-year slow pitch softball player. Here's the run-down ... Gulf Coast, Appalachian, South Atlantic, Hawaii Winter, New York-Penn, Florida State, Venezuelan Winter, American Association, Mexican, Southern, International, American, Pacific Coast, and National. California Penal is likely next. Guerra will continue to get some shots in the Brewers rotation, but it's difficult to see much fantasy success. His split-fingered fastball is the key. When it's on, he can compete. When it isn't, he'll get shelled. Expect many more 'peanut' efforts.
Suggested FAAB bid - $1
Seung-hwan Oh, RP, St. Louis
Oh has been dominant in his first major league season. Serving as the 8th-inning set-up man, the import has punched out 29 hitters in under 22 innings of work. He's constantly getting ahead of hitters and sports a WHIP under-.80 through his first 20 games. All in all, he's been a force. He's only a consideration for those who can afford a stash, though (for those in leagues that score holds, he should have been grab more than a month ago), because of the presence of Trevor Rosenthal. Rosenthal continues to own the 9th inning for the Birds, but he has had some major issues with free passes. I'll just say this ... closers with a walk rate near 8 (Rosey is at 7.6), don't last very long. There's nothing imminent about Rosenthal losing the job, but continued control problems could lead to some chances for Oh. Deep leaguers should be all over him.
Suggested FAAB bid - $3
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