The All Waiver Wire Team

So the arbitrary and altogether not true halfway point is upon us and this allows everyone time to reflect on their squads and your respective successes and failures. As I do so, I’m reminded of what seems like an annual realization: There’s quite a bit of talent that goes under-owned. I’ve often fantasized about being able to amass an all-waiver-wire team at the break to see how they would compete for the remainder of the season. So as we celebrate our All-Stars during this infuriating break, let us also recognize the unsung.

For simplicity, I’m just going to use Yahoo! ownership rates, and I’ll touch on the best available talent that is owned at a 50% or less clip.

Starting Pitchers:

W ERA WHIP K% Ownership %
Ricky Nolasco 6 3.76 1.22 19.1% 45%
Bronson Arroyo 8 3.42 1.13 13.7% 43%
Kyle Kendrick 8 3.75 1.27 14.0% 42%
Zack Wheeler 3 3.54 1.43 17.1% 41%
Jhoulys Chacin 9 3.50 1.26 14.6% 34%
Eric Stults 8 3.40 1.14 15.3% 31%
Ivan Nova 4 3.63 1.29 24.6% 25%
Dan Straily 6 4.28 1.13 20.1% 11%

No, this team isn’t going to carry any categories, but in standard roto leagues you could probably manage middle of the pack in ERA and WHIP and potentially do fairly well in wins and strikeouts if you leaned on guys like Nolasco and Nova more than you did Arroyo and Kendrick. But about a 3.50 ERA and 1.20 WHIP ought to pull down 5-6 points in 10 team leagues, and that’s not bad considering all of them are free. Honorable mention to Brandon Beachy and Brett Anderson who are also very under-owned, but their futures are a little less clear than the above.


W ERA WHIP K% SV Ownership%
Francisco Rodriguez 1 1.19 1.00 28.10% 9 38%
John Axford 3 3.72 1.50 23.30% 35%
Rex Brothers 2 0.91 1.13 26.10% 4 28%
Andrew Bailey 3 3.77 1.22 33.60% 8 27%
Trevor Rosenthal 1 2.20 1.11 36.20% 28%

I have no earthly idea why FRod is owned at 38% but he’s the obvious choice here if you’re building a bullpen from scratch. The rest gets kind of dicey, but you’re probably looking for opportunity here. Axford, Brothers, and/or Bailey could all find themselves in closer roles with a bad outing or two from the incumbents or various trade scenarios. Rosenthal probably won’t get a chance to close this year, but his numbers are filthy.

First Base:

AVG HR RBI R SB Ownership%
Michael Morse 0.251 11 23 24 44%
Mitch Moreland 0.266 13 37 31 29%

Morse is on the DL, but he of the beautiful locks is probably a decent producer once he gets back on the field. Moreland at 29% surprises me, and might even be a better choice than Morse rest of season.  Honorable mention to Kendrys Morales who is only owned at 52% with a .280 batting average, 14 home runs, 54 RBI, and 42 runs. Sheesh.

Second Base:

AVG HR RBI R SB Ownership%
Kelly Johnson 0.244 13 44 32 7 33%
Jedd Gyorko 0.272 8 25 36 1 44%

Johnson isn’t going to light the world on fire with his batting average, but he nicely checks off four other categories and also comes with handy position eligibility. Gyorko is probably more valuable at third base due to scarcity.


AVG HR RBI R SB Ownership%
Nick Franklin 0.268 6 19 16 5 42%
Brandon Crawford 0.272 5 30 37 1 34%

There appears to be a Seattle Mariners theme in here, and while I can understand why their offense has been the butt of jokes for years, it’s worth noting that over the last 30 days, their team slugging percentage is second only to the Detroit Tigers. Rather inexplicably, the Mariners are hitting the ball again — and Franklin has been a part of that resurgence. Frequently compared to his infield mate Kyle Seager, Franklin appears to be a legitimate double digit HR and steals guy and his minor league profile of contact and patience seems to have translated over pretty well.

Third Base

AVG HR RBI R SB Ownership%
Jedd Gyorko 0.272 8 25 36 1 44%
Nolan Arenado 0.244 7 27 25 1 18%
Matt Dominguez 0.227 11 45 30 8%
Trevor Plouffe 0.265 10 34 30 1 18%

As Josh Homme said in one of those TCV tunes, “I hate to be the bearer of bad news. But I am.” Here’s where the all-waiver wire team really breaks down. Anyone who has struggled to find an everyday regular at third base this season knows — there’s just jack on the waiver wire as far as help goes. I don’t particularly care for anyone in here, but if you built a team that could stomach Dominguez’s batting average, he’d probably be the guy I’d go with.


AVG HR RBI R SB Ownership%
Raul Ibanez 0.267 24 56 38 49%
Leonys Martin 0.283 5 16 37 19 44%
Colby Rasmus 0.263 16 48 42 26%
Lorenzo Cain 0.259 4 36 39 10 33%
Adam Eaton 0.188 2 2 29%
Brandon Moss 0.228 16 44 40 2 30%

More Mariners, although Ibanez just barely makes the ownership cut. Even if you don’t buy his power surge, if you were just building a team off the scrap heap, it’d be hard to not roster the guy. He’s on pace to hit 40 home runs and possesses a truly comic spray chart:

Martin and Cain are your clear choices to make some noise in the stolen base category, and Eaton would be a good flyer to see if he can put together the bit-of-power lots-of-speed kind of season that was bandied about back in February.


AVG HR RBI R SB Ownership%
Jason Castro 0.269 12 31 40 2 44%
Jarrod Saltalamacchia 0.266 8 37 38 34%

The catcher position seems remarkably deep to me, at least in leagues requiring just one on the roster. There’s just not much damned sense that Castro and Saltalamacchia are free in a majority of leagues. But they are. And there’s a beautiful irony in my tongue-in-cheek post relative to the All Star Game because, of course, Jason Castro is actually an All Star.

There you have it — your all-waiver-wire team, for better or worse.  If anyone knows how to code a little and has the wherewithal, let it be known that I’d like to start a mid-season waiver-wire league just to make things interesting. Otherwise, maybe there are a couple hunks of pressurized coal in the rough up there that can actually help you on a real roster.

Only about 68 games left, kids. Good luck to you.

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Michael was born in Massachusetts and grew up in the Seattle area but had nothing to do with the Heathcliff Slocumb trade although Boston fans are welcome to thank him. You can find him on twitter at @michaelcbarr.

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I’d be losing my league with this team

Jason B
Jason B

Ummmm…duh. No one is claiming this team is going to win a league, or come anywhere close. It’s just the best of what’s typically available.


If you wouldn’t be losing your league with this team, then this post would be worthless to you because the waiver wire would have to be rich with talent.


You didn’t comprehend the point of the article. sheesh