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Waiver Wire: A plethora of useful parts

Michael Hurcomb
Fantasy Writer
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Correct me if I'm wrong, but haven't we've seen this act before from Emilio Bonifacio?

Coming off his best season in 2011, Bonifacio was a hot commodity on Draft Day 2012, especially since he had multiple-position eligibility. He got off to a quick start that season, batting .370 with four stolen bases through the first seven games. Unfortunately, his hot start wouldn't last.

Bonifacio was hitting .233 by May 8, he would only play in 25 games after May 18 because of injuries and months later he was shipped to Toronto in the mega deal that also sent Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson and Mark Buehrle north of the border.

The question now beckons following Bonifacio's fast start in 2014: Will he be more like the player he was in 2011 or 2012?

Fantasy owners are gambling on Bonifacio returning to his 2011 form, as his ownership went from 18 percent in Week 1 to 77 percent in Week 2. He was the most-added player in CBSSports.com leagues.

Most added players on CBSSports.com
Player Own %
1. Charlie Blackmon, OF, COL 59 (+56)
2. Emilio Bonifacio, 2B, CHC 78 (+55)
3. James Paxton, SP, SEA 86 (+54)
4. Casey McGehee, 3B, MIA 62 (+54)
5. Justin Smoak, 1B, SEA 74 (+40)
6. Francisco Rodriguez, RP, MIL 72 (+38)
7. Adeiny Hechavarria, SS, MIA 45 (+37)
8. Chris Colabello, 1B, MIN 38 (+37)
9. Mark Buehrle, SP, TOR 78 (+35)
10. Aaron Harang, SP, ATL 36 (+33)

I'll admit that I wasn't part of the movement flocking to waivers to add Bonifacio since drafting him in 2012 proved to be very costly, and I really didn't want to waste my waiver priority on him. However, I have no beef with Fantasy owners wanting to add Bonifacio, especially in Rotisserie leagues.

Maybe Bonifacio wasn't consistent offensively before dealing with injury problems in 2012, but he opened the season a perfect 20-for-20 on stolen base attempts and his injury problems started when he hurt his thumb on his first caught stealing attempt of the season.

While his tenure in Toronto last season was forgetful, he was a different player when he joined the Royals. He hit .285 with a .352 on-base percentage and 16 stolen bases in 42 games.

He already has four stolen bases in six games this season, so it seems the theme on the North Side of Chicago is "Run Emilio Run."

Casey McGehee, 3B, Marlins


Ownership in CBSSports.com leagues: 62 percent (up 54 percent)
Once upon a time, McGehee was a regular in Fantasy lineups. But the last time that happened was 2010. McGehee's career quickly spiraled downward, and he eventually had to play in Japan in hopes of stirring up a major-league comeback. Well, McGehee is not only back, but he's producing as the Marlins' cleanup hitter. McGehee was great in Japan last year, batting .292 with a .515 slugging percentage, 28 home runs, 30 doubles and 93 RBI in 144 games. Maybe the year overseas fixed whatever plagued McGehee, and surely the lineup protection from Giancarlo Stanton hasn't hurt. But it's a hard sell to convince me that McGehee has the potential to finish as a top 10 Fantasy third baseman, and it wouldn't surprise me either to see him on the most-dropped list soon.
Leagues worth adding him: 12-team Rotisserie and Head-to-Head leagues

Charlie Blackmon, OF, Rockies


Ownership in CBSSports.com leagues: 59 percent (up 56 percent)
Blackmon was once one of the Rockies' top outfield prospects, but his career had been derailed the last few seasons due to injuries. Blackmon is now healthy and opens the season as the preferred choice in center field for manager Walt Weiss. However, Blackmon is going to have to keep producing because Weiss could easily turn to Drew Stubbs or recall Corey Dickerson from the minors. Blackmon had pretty good numbers throughout his minor league career, but had moderate home run power. He is more of a contact hitter with decent speed, so he could be a cheap source for batting average and steals in Rotisserie leagues. I added Blackmon in a 24-team mixed league, but I'm not convinced yet he's going to be a long-term option.
Leagues worth adding him: 12-team Rotisserie and Head-to-Head leagues

Jose Valverde, RP, N.Y. Mets


Ownership in CBSSports.com leagues: 53 percent (up 26 percent)
Valverde went from temporary closer to permanent option -- well at least for the time being -- after the Mets announced Bobby Parnell will undergo season-ending Tommy John surgery. Papa Grande might not be the dominant closer he was in the past, but if you are in need of saves, you could do a lot worse. Valverde has tossed 3 1/3 scoreless innings and has six strikeouts through his first three appearances. This coming after he was 1-0 with a 3.38 ERA and 1.13 WHIP in 10 spring appearances. The Mets might not be contenders, but that's not a bad thing. They could be in a lot of close games, which means save chances for Valverde.
Leagues worth adding him: All formats that reward for saves

Adeiny Hechavarria, SS, Marlins


Ownership in CBSSports.com leagues: 45 percent (up 37 percent)
Don't mortgage the farm to get Hechavarria on your roster. This is just a nice hot streak to open the season. Sure, he hit .312 in his last full season in the minors, but that was in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League. Hechavarria has always been lauded for his defense. He's hitting leadoff right now for the Marlins with Rafael Furcal on the disabled list, so there's a chance he'll be moved to the bottom of the lineup when Furcal is healthy. If you recall last season, Hechavarria had a nice stretch in July when he hit .417 over an 18-game span, but then he hit .191 over his last 64 games. There's just not a lot of offensive upside here.
Leagues worth adding him: NL-only and maybe deep Rotisserie formats as a middle-infield option

Aaron Harang, SP, Braves


Ownership in CBSSports.com leagues: 36 percent (up 33 percent)
You know pitching is a premium in leagues when you see Fantasy owners climbing over each other to add Harang off waivers. I guess it helps his appeal that he's pitching for a team that's supposed to compete for the NL East crown, and his first start went way better than expected. But Fantasy owners quickly forget he was 5-12 with a 5.40 ERA last season. He might have done well for the Mets down the stretch, posting a 3.52 ERA and striking out a surprising 26 batters in 23 innings. However, Harang also gave up five home runs and walked 12 batters in his four starts for the Mets. I still don't know why the Braves thought Harang was an upgrade over Freddy Garcia.
Leagues worth adding him: NL-only and deep Head-to-Head mixed leagues

Chris Colabello, 1B, Twins


Ownership in CBSSports.com leagues: 38 percent (up 37 percent)
Of the top 50 most added players, Colabello is the only one who had zero percent ownership heading into Week 1. Collabello is a good story. He had to cut his teeth for several years playing independent ball before joining the Twins' organization in 2012. He handled minor league pitching well, but struggled in his first taste of the majors last season. He had a pretty good offer to play overseas this offseason, but Colabello chose to stay stateside and earn his way onto the Twins' roster. He not only did that, but he's thriving hitting in the heart of the order. Not many players are breakout stars at 30 years old, but Justin Ruggiano did it a few years ago, so don't overlook Colabello. He can rake, and he really has nothing to lose. If he fails, he knows he can go finish his career elsewhere.
Leagues worth adding him: 12-team Rotisserie and Head-to-Head leagues

Jenrry Mejia, SP, Mets


Ownership in CBSSports.com leagues: 52 percent (up 22 percent)
Although Daisuke Matsuzaka had a strong spring and deserved a spot in the Mets' rotation, the team made the right call to choose Mejia as the fifth starter, and he didn't disappoint in his season debut. I drafted Mejia as a late-round sleeper in a few of my leagues and glad I did. He did have some control issues against the Reds Friday, but he struck out eight in six innings and still picked up the win. Mejia was phenomenal in five starts last season for the Mets, and he did that with a bum elbow. Now that the Mets are done toying with shuttling him between the bullpen and rotation, this kid has serious potential as a starter.
Leagues worth adding him: 12-team Rotisserie and Head-to-Head leagues

Tyler Skaggs, SP, Angels


Ownership in CBSSports.com leagues: 71 percent (up 17 percent)
The more and more I read about Skaggs, the more and more I'm convinced he's on the verge of a breakout run. Skaggs had anything but a lights-out spring, posting a 4.94 ERA and 1.82 WHIP in six starts. He also walked 12 batters and allowed 31 hits in 23 2/3 innings. Yet, Skaggs won a spot in the Angels' rotation. He has since tossed eight scoreless innings in his season debut against Houston and revealed after the game he relied on a two-seam fastball, which is a new pitch in his arsenal. It was also encouraging to hear that Skaggs was throwing in the mid-90s in his last spring start, which even he admitted is the hardest he's thrown in a while. I know it's one start and it came against the Astros, but Skaggs was a top pitching prospect in the minors and still has a lot of untapped potential.
Leagues worth adding him: 12-team Rotisserie and Head-to-Head leagues

Chris Owings, SS, Diamondbacks


Ownership in CBSSports.com leagues: 55 percent (up 21 percent)
The Diamondbacks made the right call to choose Owings over Didi Gregorius at shortstop. Gregorius is a stellar defender, but Owings is the better all-around player. While Owings has no RBI or home runs through nine games, he's batting .367. He might only have moderate home run power, but he's a good contact hitter and could be a cheap source for steals. The only issue might be in Head-to-Head leagues, where Owings strikes out a lot and doesn't draw many walks.
Leagues worth adding him: Rotisserie formats and Head-to-Head leagues that only penalize minus-0.5 for strikeouts

Yangervis Solarte, 3B, Yankees


Ownership in CBSSports.com leagues: 31 percent (up 29 percent)
Solarte reminds me a lot of Zolio Almonte, who tore the cover off the ball following his promotion to the majors last season but quickly faded. Right now, there isn't much of a scouting report on Solarte, which I feel is helping his hot start. Even Almonte had better numbers in the minors than Solarte, so I would have given him a better chance to survive than Solarte because of his track record. Solarte was a decent contact and gap hitter in the minors, but he had just a .336 on-base percentage and slugged .397 over 672 games. He might be worth using in deeper formats while he gets regular at-bats for New York, but I just don't see him having staying power.
Leagues worth adding him: AL-only

Michael Morse, OF, Giants


Ownership in CBSSports.com leagues: 43 percent (up five percent)
It's shocking to see so many Fantasy owners pass over Morse, who has the potential to be a must-start option. He's been added in just five percent of leagues over the last week, but it wasn't long ago that Morse was raking for the Nationals. He's had two straight injury plagued seasons, so I can understand the hesitation of Fantasy owners a little bit. However, he's healthy now and off to a great start. Morse is slugging .550 through seven games and that's a great sign. From 2009-12, Morse had a .514 slugging percentage and did a lot of damage for Fantasy owners. Right now, he's a very cheap option and could end up being a steal off waivers.
Leagues worth adding him: 12-team Rotisserie and Head-to-Head leagues

Abraham Almonte, OF, Mariners


Ownership in CBSSports.com leagues: 20 percent (up 14 percent)
I don't mind evaluating Almonte, but I was hoping at this point of the season we would be talking about Stefen Romero as the Mariners' outfielder to pick up. Romero posted great numbers this spring -- slugging .643 in 24 games -- and has serious potential in Fantasy. In time, we will probably be talking about adding Romero, but for now the focus is on Almonte, who had 21 Fantasy points in Week 1. He's another player with moderate home run power, but he showed last season in the minors he has the ability to fill up the stat sheet. Don't sleep on Almonte as a 25-steals threat as early as this season. He's the leadoff hitter in what's looking like a pretty good Mariners' lineup. I'm not sure Almonte will become a must-start Fantasy option, but he might develop into a reliable reserve outfielder in deep formats.
Leagues worth adding him: 14-team Rotisserie and Head-to-Head leagues

Player you might reconsider dropping

Mike Moustakas, 3B, Royals


Ownership in CBSSports.com leagues: 72 percent (down 16 percent)
It took only one week for Fantasy owners to already start bailing on Moustakas, who opened the season mired in a 0-for-18 slump through five games. Moustakas has obviously been a bust in his young MLB career, but I'm not ready to give up on him yet. Not after all the progress he made in the offseason and spring training. Also, the Royals aren't panicking about Moustakas' slow start. In past years, it's been a different story, but the Royals are speaking confidently that this is just a slump and not a long-term issue. The team is most encouraged by Moustakas' plate discipline. He's seeing more pitches per at-bat and it's showing up in his walk percentage, which is at a career-high 14.3 percent through five games (FanGraphs.com). Moustakas' career walk percentage (BB/PA) is 6.3 percent.
Leagues worth keeping him: 12-team Rotisserie and Head-to-Head leagues

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Player News
Report: Yankees looking to void milestone bonuses for A-Rod
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(10:05 pm ET) The Yankees are looking to void milestone bonuses in Alex Rodriguez 's contract, according to the New York Daily News.

When Rodriguez signed his deal with the club in 2007, it contained bonuses as Rodriguez tied or passed the top home run hitters. Rodriguez, who has 654 career home runs, is just six away from tying Willie Mays, which would trigger a $6 million bonus. He is also set to receive an additional $6 million once he ties Babe Ruth, and another $6 milliion if he ties Hank Aaron.

The team, however, now views those bonuses as worthless due to his 2014 suspension. The team will argue that these bonuses were signed under false pretenses. The club is apparently willing to fight the player's union over the decision should Rodriguez file a grievance. 

Rodriguez, who hasn't played since 2013, has already found it difficult to mend the fences with his team. Rodriguez proposed a meeting with the club where he would publicly apologize for his actions last season, but the team declined the offer. "This is a relationship that is never going to be repaired," one source told the Daily News.


Orioles, Ryan Flaherty avoid arbitration
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(9:42 pm ET) The Orioles have avoided arbitration with infielder Ryan Flaherty, according to CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman. 

Flaherty will make $1.075 million next season. He can make an additional $25,000 if he receives 400 plate appearances. The 28-year-old Flaherty hit .221/.288/.356 over 281 at-bats last year.


Angels' Josh Hamilton setting lofty goals for 2015
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(8:30 pm ET) Angels outfielder Josh Hamilton is ready to set some lofty goals for 2015, according to MLB.com.

Hamilton said he's aiming to hit .300, with 30 home runs and 100 RBI this year. After struggling through injuries in 2014, Hamilton said his offseason has been mostly normal. The 33-year-old hit .263/.331/.414 over 338 at-bats last year. 


Angels' Jered Weaver bulked up during offseason
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(7:57 pm ET) Angels pitcher Jered Weaver decided to bulk up during the offseason, according to MLB.com.

Weaver went from 199 pounds to 224 pounds during the offseason. He said the goal was to get bigger and stronger so that he can pitch deeper into games next year. The 32-year-old Weaver posted a 3.59 ERA over 213 1/3 innings. 


Brewers have discussed Francisco Rodriguez
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(7:15 pm ET) The Brewers have discussed reliever Francisco Rodriguez, according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

The news shouldn't come as a major surprise. Rodriguez has been linked to the club since the team traded Yovani Gallardo, according to CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman. Brewers owner Mark Attanasio basically confirmed the news, saying agent Scott Boras contacted the team following the Gallardo trade in order to try and convince them to sign some of his players. Attanasio didn't rule out the move, and said general manager Doug Melvin is considering everything. "Frankie [Rodriguez] had an 89 percent save percentage and the guy has never been on the disabled list," he said. "We know he likes Milwaukee."

Rodriguez posted a 3.04 ERA over 68 innings last year. 


Twins' Mike Pelfrey feels 'normal' heading into camp
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(6:59 pm ET) Twins pitcher Mike Pelfrey feels "normal" heading into camp, according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

The 31-year-old Pelfrey was knocked around in five starts before undergoing elbow surgery last season. He's been able to rehab during the offseason, and should be 100 percent heading into spring training. Pelfrey said he started throwing Dec. 1, and admitted he feels "normal" now. 

Pelfrey posted a 7.99 ERA over five starts last season.


Mariners sign Endy Chavez to minor-league deal
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(6:06 pm ET) The Mariners have signed outfielder Endy Chavez to a minor-league deal, according to the Tacoma News Tribune

The 36-year-old has been linked to the club recently, and finally decided to return. He spent the first month of last season in the minors, but joined Seattle in late May. Chavez hit .276/.317/.371  over 232 at-bats. The deal includes an invite to spring training. 


Brewers' Scooter Gennett prepping for full-time role
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(5:52 pm ET) Brewers infielder Scooter Gennett is prepping for a full-time role in 2015, according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

Gennett had a bit of a breakout season in 2014, but platooned with Rickie Weeks. With Weeks now a free-agent, Gennett is looking at a full-time role. "When it comes to playing every day and facing lefties, I’m looking forward to that," he said. "It has been a while. I can finally get back to my game."

Gennett admitted that he doesn't think it will be that hard to adjust to seeing left-handers while at the plate. "For me, it doesn’t matter what side it is coming from if I’m getting consistent at-bats," he said. 

The 24-year-old Gennett hit .289/.320/.434 over 440 at-bats last year.


Twins' Alex Meyer willing to pitch out of the bullpen
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(5:44 pm ET) Twins reliever Alex Meyer is willing to pitch out of the bullpen, according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press

The 25-year-old Meyer is considered one of the team's better prospects, and started 27 games last season at Triple-A. Meyer posted a 3.52 ERA over 130 1/3 innings. While Meyer could compete for a rotation spot during spring training, he said he would be open to pitching out of the bullpen if that will put him in the majors faster. "Whatever it takes to help the Minnesota Twins," Meyer said. "If it’s me being a left-on-left guy, I really don’t care."

As long as he stays healthy, Meyer is expected to make his major-league debut at some point in 2015.


Brewers GM not looking to add another starting pitcher
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(5:09 pm ET) Brewers general manager Doug Melvin said Sunday the team is not looking to add another starting pitcher to replace Yovani Gallardo.

"I don't think we have room for a notable starting pitcher," Melvin said. "We'd like to add a pitcher that could be a spot starter."

Milwaukee currently has Jimmy Nelson as their fifth starter, who went 2-9 in 2014 with a 4.93 ERA and 57 strikeouts for the club.


 
 
 
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