Tomorrow is the trade deadline, which means a lot of pieces could be on the move. Could we see Jon Lester, Cole Hamels, and Jimmy Rollins with a new team? If so, that means younger players will be coming up to play every day, which makes the waiver wire that much more important.
Whether it is a free agent pool, a budget-based system, or weekly waivers, playing the wire is a key element to winning your fantasy baseball leagues.
Each week, XN Sports will present an option at each position (if there is anyone worth picking up), and why you should add them.
Without further ado, let’s play the waiver wire:
Rather than taking a look at the regular wire (as we did on Monday), here are a few players that could have full-time roles after the trade deadline. In order to beat the rush, adding them before the deadline is best, if you have an open roster spot.
Each player listed below could be traded, so who would replace them?
Who Replaces Marlon Byrd?
Darin Ruf would be the player to receive the bulk of the playing time should Byrd be traded, and he has some value in fantasy baseball. Ruf would be eligible at first base and outfield and has some pop. In 306 career Major League at-bats, Ruf has 18 home runs. In 2012 in the minors, Ruf hit 38 home runs. If you need some cheap power and Byrd gets traded, add Ruf in deeper leagues.
Who Replaces Jon Lester?
Anthony Ranaudo could be the first prospect up for the Red Sox to replace Lester in the rotation if the southpaw is traded, and would have immediate fantasy value. Ranaudo is 12-4 with a 2.41 ERA in 21 starts so far this season in Triple-A and has gotten better with every promotion. If Lester is traded, Ranaudo could be the next young pitcher off the waiver wire.
Who Replaces Jonathan Papelbon?
Ken Giles is next in line for the Phillies, and he is already on the Major League roster. If you need help in the saves category, Giles is worth picking up now and stashing. He is likely to be the closer of the future for the Phillies, as he lights up the radar gun with close to 100 miles per hour each night. Has he had success so far? Giles has allowed just two runs and 16 base runners in 19.1 innings of work this season, and has struck out 27 batters for a ridiculous 12.6 strikeouts per nine innings.
Who Replaces Alex Rios?
Daniel Robertson is next on the depth chart to replace Rios if he were to be traded. Is he worth an add in the outfield? So far this season, Robertson is hitting .274 with three stolen bases and 10 runs batted in in just 84 at-bats. The Rangers are happy with his production in July so far, as he is 13-for-38 with four runs scored, two stolen bases, and six runs batted in in limited playing time. Robertson is worth a look in deeper leagues, as he could contribute in multiple categories down the stretch with full playing time.
Who Replaces David Price?
Rumor has it that Price could possibly be sent to the Cardinals for Shelby Miller and Oscar Taveras. That would likely mean Miller would replace Price in the Rays’ rotation, but would Taveras play right away? It is likely, so keep an eye on the top outfield prospect. Although he is hitting just .217 in 92 at-bats in the big leagues, Taveras is one of the better young prospects in baseball and could be a multi-category player if he starts in Tampa Bay. He is hitting .318 in Triple-A so far, and it will not be too long before he is hitting Major League pitching consistently as well.
Statistics from Baseball Reference and MLB.com