Archive for Waiver Wire

Fantasy Baseball Existentialism: The Dumpster Dive

After a 13-hour work day, I took a walk through the North Bay suburb of Petaluma—southwest Petaluma to be exact. The sun had set but the sky was still mostly blue, surrounded with red paint above the mountains that surround our valley. I hadn’t had time to check Twitter that day, so when my brother, Ringo, texted me, “Got heeem!” I was hopeful he meant that the San Francisco Giants had acquired David Price.

“Price?” I replied.

“Not those Giants. No, we got your boy: Dan Uggla.”

“He’ll hit.”

“You’re insane.”

As a Giants fan, I’m legally obligated to compare each of general manager Brian Sabean’s dumpster dives to his acquisition of Pat Burrell in 2010. When a GM gets you two championships in three years and drafts players like Matt Cain, Tim Lincecum, Madison Bumgarner, and Buster Posey, you learn to ignore the flaws in his scheme.

Burrell had hit .218/.311/.361 in one season-plus with Tampa Bay, earning his release. Sabey-Sabes picked up the 33-year-old left fielder off the scrap heap, and Pat the Bat went on to hit .266/.364/.509 with 18 home runs over 96 games with the Giants, helping the club to its first championship since moving west to San Francisco in 1958.

Uggla, who is 34, hit just .175/.295/.332 over the last season-plus, earning his release from Atlanta. Sabey-Sabes sent Uggla to Fresno for a quick tune-up, in which he’s gone 2-for-7 with two walks over two games. He’s back! It’s a small sample size against weak competition, but it’s okay to use small sample sizes in my book because baseball is a series of small sample sizes added together to form the totality of the game.

Look fantasy owners, this is science. Brian Sabean picked up a disgruntled Pat Burrell in 2010, and Burrell was suddenly rejuvenated. It’s an even year, so Sabean’s magic is bound to work again with Uggla. If you need help at second base for the stretch run, you need to ask yourself, am I smarter than Brian Sabean? Of course you aren’t, because as far as I know, you haven’t won two World Series championships as a GM of a Major League Baseball club (please disregard the appeal to authority nature of my argument).

Now, some of you are saying that while Sabean’s dumpster dive worked with Burrell, similar moves didn’t work with washed-up veterans like Orlando Cabrera, Jeff Francoeur, Jose Guillen (who stole playing time from eventual postseason hero Cody “Mr. October” Ross), and Bill Hall.

The Hall comp might be the most apt, as he t0ok over for a permanently broken Freddy Sanchez. When the Giants first acquired Hall, he claimed to have found major improvements in his swing under the tutelage of hitting coach Hensley “Bam Bam” Meulens. Hall then proceed to hit .158 in just 16 games with the Giants.

Given that Uggla has been terrible for two years and pretty average for the two seasons before that, it’s more than likely he’ll got the route of Cabrera, Guillen, Francoeur, and Hall in San Francisco. However, he’s going to get a shot because Joe Panik’s only plus tool is his facial resemblance to Posey, Marco Scutaro’s back is held together by duct tape and pine tar, and Ehire Andrianza is not good at hitting baseballs.

If you need a second baseman in fantasy right now, you aren’t going to find Chase Utley or someone like that freely available. In real baseball, when your starting second baseman gets the plague, you aren’t going to find Chase Utley, either, particularly if you have the Giants atrocious farm system.

Everyone has to go dumpster diving sometime, especially in an era of baseball where it’s nearly impossible to field eight average or above-average position players. Where oh where has all the talent gone?!

Wherever it went, I don’t know, but even though I knew it was insane, I really did believe that Dan Uggla was going to be rejuvenated in San Francisco as I walked home that night earlier this week. Of course, he’ll then sign a two-year, $24 million contract with the Giants this winter and hit .170 over the life of the deal.

The point is that this is fantasy baseball, and my understanding of fantasy baseball is you get to believe what you want to believe. Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong on that point. So if Sabey-Sabes worked his dumpster diving magic with the Pat the Bat once, it has to work with Uggla, too. More importantly, would you want to face a lineup with ripped, muscular bros like Uggla, Michael Morse, and Hunter Pence? Didn’t think so.

Relative Waiver Wire: Josh Rutledge, Robbie Ray

There have been some decent pickups at the middle-infield positions lately for those who play fantasy baseball games. This is nice. The latest recommendation of one of those types doesn’t figure to have much of a shelf life, so the depth of the rotisserie or head-to-head league should figure into a fantasy owner’s decision of whether and how to pursue him. The other rec may be nothing about which to be excited, any time soon, but somewhere, somehow, it probably plays.

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Dan Johnson & Jordany Valdespin: Deep League Wire

Isn’t it fun playing the free agent pool merry-go-round? Ya know, picking up another player seemingly every week to fill that one roster spot you just can’t find a permanent player for. Between injuries and demotions, that describes about half my Tout Wars roster. Awesome. Here are two options for deep leaguers, one is almost guaranteed to be temporary, the other could potentially become permanent.

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Relative Waiver Wire: Juan Francisco, Trevor Cahill

Downtime. Major leaguers have some right now. Most of us fantasy baseball players need some, at some point. Today’s first entry had been getting some a little more regularly because the appropriate teammates of his were healthy. Today’s second entry hasn’t really had much because his organization wanted him to continue to pitch, just not for the parent club, understandably.

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Christian Vazquez & Enrique Hernandez: Deep League Wire

Boy, it’s tough to do a deep league wire after returning from a week and a half vacation having looked at a total of zero box scores while being away! During my quick research for players to recommend, I was surprised at how much I missed. Unplugging does have its negatives.

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Tony Cruz & Kevin Correia: Deep League Waiver Wire

In need of another catcher? Rummaging through the discount bin in the hopes of finding an undervalued arm? That’s funny — we’re looking at the same things this week in another edition of the deep league waiver wire.
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Relative Waiver Wire: Danny Salazar, Andrew Heaney

I don’t like to recommend to stash players too often. The deeper the league, the more such a move is beneficial, however. Each of these pitchers will have taken different paths to his major league recall. The first is a more exciting option, in my opinion, the second likely a bit safer of a bet. Both are still pretty exciting.

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Marwin Gonzalez & Justin Ruggiano: Deep League Waiver Wire

Hard to imagine we’re one week away from the All-Star break, but alas, time flies when you’re having fun. As we continue our never-ending search for upside guys on the fantasy scrap heap, we turn our attention to two players who can help owners, one a multi-position infield tool, the other a sleeper outfielder at season’s outset who, halfway into the season, might just be making good on his preseason promise.
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Relative Waiver Wire: Oscar Taveras, T.J. House

Opposite ends of the fantasy baseball spectrum for folks in search of pickups, once again. One of these cats is basically no-duh, must-own material, but I just wanted to explain why I believe so for those who may be reluctant. The other is a flier, a shot in the dark, a cross-your-fingers type, and he just appeals to me.

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Relative Waiver Wire: Dylan Bundy, Derek Dietrich

Two different places on the fantasy baseball spectrum, right here. Not much to say besides that before we get to the players, so … let’s get to the players.

P Dylan Bundy, Baltimore Orioles

Ownership: CBS 32% | Yahoo! 6% | ESPN 0.1%

Fantasy owners haven’t forgotten about him just because he’s been rehabbing from June surgery to reconstruct the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. It seems as if there’s a good chance that, when Bundy is ready for major league activation, he joins his club’s bullpen, either initially or eventually, and not its rotation. But hey, rotisserie and head-to-head managers have to seek talent, the attribute likeliest to make a difference for them in their league’s standings.

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