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Waiver Wire: August 17th

This waiver wire is New York Mets-themed because Mets fans need some solace in what is increasingly looking like another lost season. A 0.5% chance at the playoffs remain for the Mets, but these two players with lower ownership rates can help you better your own chance to get to your fantasy playoffs at least.

Hisanori Takahashi (14% owned)
Of course, Bull Durham taught all of us not to punch with your pitching hand, but perhaps Francisco Rodriguez has not seen the movie. His rage lead to an opening at the Mets’ closer position, and since Jerry Manuel is a creature of habit, it looks like Tak-san is already the winner. Of course, an argument could be made that the team needs to look to the future, and Bobby Parnell or even Chad Cordero offer more hope for cheap, controllable seasons in the future than does the 35-year-old, one-year contract Takahashi. But New York is the type of market that fosters an ever-present win-now mentality. Call it media pressure, or the new-stadium-driven need to get fans in the seats, but this is not a team that looks like it will be rebuilding any time soon. Most of this team is under contract for 2011, so the guess here is that, after some bluster and blarney, Rodriguez is back in the closer’s role next year. That means that Takahashi is left as the best stop-gap option, and will be garnering saves for the Mets for the next six weeks. You can mention Pedro Feliciano, but his 4.94 FIP against righties (822 batters faced) is an effective argument against. Here are some more words on the subject from a team future standpoint, but from a fantasy standpoint, Tak-san looks to be the winner here. Those doubting his ability to closer should take a look at this pitch f/x piece here (with the caveat that our Patrick Newman thinks the slider looked more pedestrian in Japan), and also note that this rates have been better as a reliever (10.22 K/9 and 4.14 B/9).

Fernando Martinez (0% owned)
It’s hard to call this a recommendation for a pickup at this point, but the nice news is that he’s only 117 plate appearances into his career, so his .087 ISO is still 400+ plate appearances away from meaning anything. He’s still just months past being named the number one Mets prospect by Maven Marc Hulet, too. But Dave Cameron warned us that a couple months can mean a lot when it comes to prospects, so what have we learned this year? Well, we learned that Martinez got injured yet again, and that these injuries are concerning. We also learned that a .209 ISO in Triple-A at 22 is part of his package, which is good news. It would be nice to see a year out of him where we didn’t mention his age, but that’s for the future. The bad news is that his platoon splits continued to be poor. This year at Triple-A he had a .832 OPS against righties, .691 against lefties, and the larger sample size, his entire minor league career, features a .819 OPS against righties / .689 against lefties. Even if that larger sample is only about 380 plate appearances against lefties and splits don’t become reliable until somewhere around 1000 plate appearances for left-handed batters, it seems the Mets will platoon him with Jeff Francouer and limit his development going forward – because that is how they roll. There’s still a chance here for some decent power from this outfielder. Judging from the ownership numbers, deep keeper leagues may find him on the wire, and a rebuilding team may want to take a shot on F-Mart.