2013 fantasy baseball waiver wire claims

BY John Halpin • August 2, 2013

This week, we’ve got a few players that appear due to trade deadline fallout, but none related directly to the imminent Team Biogenesis suspensions. Two shortstops appear to be among the three big-name players mentioned (Nelson Cruz, Jhonny Peralta, Everth Cabrera), so start scouting that position.

Here’s our latest edition of Free Agent Frenzy. Please note that, as in past seasons, no player will be mentioned in this space more than once in a four-week span, because we don’t want to beat you over the head all year long about the same players.

Let’s get going!

Catcher: Jason Castro, Astros (owned in 28.6 percent of FOXSports.com leagues)

Attention, fantasy owners! Castro is T-4 among catchers with 44 runs, ninth with 13 home runs, and seventh among qualifiers with a .265 batting average. What are you waiting for?

Digging deeper: With Mike Zunino on the DL, Henry Blanco (0.1 percent owned) is getting semi-regular playing time for the Mariners, and he hit a homer on Thursday. He’s not a bad fill-in for your AL-only squad.

First base: Daniel Nava, Red Sox (owned in 42.3 percent of FOXSports.com leagues)

Nava is having a nice season, batting .285 with 10 home runs, 53 RBI, 54 runs and a .796 OPS. His dual 1B/OF eligibility is a nice bonus.

Digging deeper: Chris Colabello (0.1 percent owned) has been getting close-to-regular DH time with the Twins, and has two homers in his last four starts. He hit 24 homers at Triple A before his callup, so the power is legit.

Second base: Ryan Raburn, Indians (owned in 6.3 percent of FOXSports.com leagues)

Raburn is having a terrific season, batting .283 with 13 home runs and a .961 OPS. He’s been playing right field quite a bit lately, but his real fantasy value lies at the keystone. Get him, for crying out loud!

Digging deeper: What’s so great about Jeff Bianchi (0.0 percent owned)? Well, nothing. However, he played just about every day in July for the Brewers, bouncing between shortstop and third base. He has flashed some speed in the past, and might be able to help your NL-only team in that department.

Third base: Chris Johnson, Braves (owned in 47.8 percent of FOXSports.com leagues)

We’ve all been waiting for Johnson to stop hitting … and now it’s August, and he’s batting .346. I’d usually be the first to tell you that his .430 BABIP is unsustainable, and it is, but Johnson is a .290 career hitter, so it’s not like he’s going to turn into Mark Reynolds in the batting average department.

Digging deeper: Cody Asche (0.1 percent owned) was called up earlier this week to be the Phillies’ everyday third baseman. Before his promotion, Asche batted .295 with 15 homers and 11 stolen bases at Triple A. That’s worth a look in deep mixed leagues, right?

Shortstop: Adeiny Hechavarria, Marlins (owned in 2.1 percent of FOXSports.com leagues)

Did anyone notice that Hechavarria batted .324 with five stolen bases in July? He has dual SS/3B eligibility, too.

Digging deeper: Xander Bogaerts might be coming up soon to be the Red Sox’ everyday third baseman. Bogaerts is a stud prospect, and though he might struggle at age 20, talent like his is certainly worth an AL-only pickup.

Outfield: Michael Morse, Mariners (owned in 38.6 percent of FOXSports.com leagues)

Morse returned from the DL this week after a five-week absence due to a quad injury. He’s got 30-homer power, and should be grabbed in all formats if you need some pop.

Digging deeper: Avisail Garcia’s (0.0 percent owned) path to playing time with the White Sox is unclear, as the team didn’t deal Alex Rios before the deadline. Still, he’s batting ,374 with some power at Triple A this season, so as a non-contender, they’ll probably find room for him soon. Garcia is worth a speculative add to your AL-only bench.

Starting pitcher: Edwin Jackson, Cubs (owned in 4.1 percent of FOXSports.com leagues)

I was bullish on Jackson before the season, and he’s been a huge disappointment. But he’s got a 1.83 ERA over his last five starts, with 22 strikeouts against six walks in 34 1/3 innings. I think Jackson’s bad first half was due more to bad luck (62.9 LOB%) than bad pitching, and his recent good stretch signals a turnaround. I’m a sucker for his strikeout/groundball skillset.

Digging deeper: Andre Rienzo (0.1 percent owned) has taken Jake Peavy’s place in the White Sox rotation. Rienzo isn’t a big-time prospect, but he averaged a whiff per inning at Triple A to go along with his 4.00 ERA.

Relief pitcher: Jose Cisnero, Astros (owned in 0.4 percent of FOXSports.com leagues)

With Jose Veras dealt to Detroit, Astros manager Bo Porter has hinted that he’ll give many pitchers the opportunity to close games. However, Cisnero seems like the best bet, as he’s shown a pretty good ability to miss bats (41 K iin 42 1/3 IP). Save speculation isn’t an exact science, right?

Digging deeper: This week’s contestant in the non-closing reliever game is Atlanta’s David Carpenter (0.2 percent owned), who has 43 strikeouts in 38 2/3 innings with a 2.09 ERA. Not bad in deeper formats, right? If you need an AL-only option, try Seattle’s Danny Farquhar (0.1 percent owned), who has whiffed a ridiculous 50 batters in 33 innings since being called up in mid-May.

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