Although it is early in the year, it is important to go and grab those players who may have gone undrafted. Injuries are also creating some early opportunities to grab a player who can boost an area of weakness in your lineup. Whether you need runs, strikeouts, or saves, this is the AL rundown for the waiver wire.
Clay Buchholz – Red Sox – SP – Y! 48% – ESPN 53%
Buchholz looked great in his debut as the Sox number one, and even though it was against the Phillies, he would have kept most teams at bay with the way he was pitching. He has been up and down over the last few years, and has his injury concerns, but is worth a pickup in any league. He has proven that he can be an above average starter.
James Paxton – Mariners – SP – Y! 62% – ESPN 15%
The Mariners will need Paxton to be on his game this season, and he is very capable of doing just that. In 13 starts last season, he had a 3.04 ERA and a 7.2 K/9. He took a tough loss against the Angels, but looked great against a tough right-handed lineup.
Danny Duffy – Royals – SP – Y! 53% – ESPN 25%
Duffy is not a sexy fantasy player, but he can give you plenty of quality starts. He kept a 2.53 ERA over 25 starts last season, not a ton of strikeouts, but a good backend rotation guy or for those streaming pitching.
Edward Mujica – Red Sox – RP – Y! 47% – ESPN 16%
Koji Uehara is close to coming back, but Mujica should grab a few saves while he is out. Uehara is 40-years old and this could be a sign of him starting to wear out a bit. Keep a close eye on Mujica, he could see more save opportunities if they keep Koji off back-to-back nights. He should be owned if your league counts holds.
Joakim Soria – Tigers – RP – Y! 35% – ESPN 8%
Joe Nathan hit the 15-day DL. Soria will be the Tigers closer for the meantime. A good pickup if you are bouncing back and forth between closers.
Asdrubal Cabrera – Rays – 2B, SS – Y! 58% – ESPN 80%
I am never one to draft a shortstop until my last few picks, and I swapped out a few guys to grab Cabrera. He is hitting third for Tampa Bay right now, a good pickup for such a weak position. He is consistent in getting 60 plus runs and RBI, as well as double digit home runs. The average is his only downside.
Chase Headley – Yankees – 3B – Y! 56% – ESPN 39%
Most lefties who play for the Yankees appeal to me because of the benefit of Yankee Stadium. He also gets to hit in Toronto and Baltimore quite a bit as well. I believe 20 home runs is very doable for Headley. He is a good player to grab for that corner infield spot.
Desmond Jennings – Rays – OF – Y! 56% – ESPN 20%
The Rays offense can be a little streaky, but they have a few players to pick up and try out. Jennings is one of those guys. Right now, he is hitting fifth in the lineup which gives him good opportunities to drive in runs. He is not a huge stolen base guy, but he can help a bit there as well.
Steven Souza – Rays – OF – Y! 45% – ESPN 20%
Souza is really getting his first chance to show what he can do at the major league level. He has stolen 20-plus bases numerous times in the minors, and tacked on double digit home runs. He is a talented prospect and getting the opportunity to hit in the top of the lineup. In deeper leagues he is worth a snag, and for standard leagues he is worth a bench spot. He could pay off eventually.
Michael Bourn – Indians – OF – Y! 5% – ESPN 5%
Bourn is setting the table for the Indians, and although he is not the 50 plus stolen base player he used to be, he can still give value to your fantasy team. The Indians have an above average offense which should provide a ton of runs from Bourn. He will add the occasional stolen base, unless he gives Francona confidence to give him the green light, then you could see more.
Dustin Ackley – Mariners – OF – Y! 7% – ESPN 6%
Ackley got his first home run of 2015 out of the way on Opening Day. He should close in on about 15 long balls this season. 60-plus runs and RBI are a fair projection as well for Ackley. A good fill in for any injured outfielders or for those in deeper leagues.
Kendrys Morales – Royals – 1B – Y! 5% – ESPN 5%
Morales hit over .300 with three home runs in the spring. He will have plenty of chances to drive in runs with Kansas City. Morales is still a very talented hitter. Kansas City holds an overlooked team for fantasy baseball, not a ton of power, but everything else they will gladly chip in.