The trade deadline has come and gone in most Yahoo! leagues, which makes the waiver wire the sole solution for managers who need to make bold roster moves to secure a championship. With less than two months remaining in the season, this is the time of year to chase immediate help at all positions and put little stock in long-term value. The good news is that there are still some newly-minted closers sitting on waivers in many leagues, as well as some position players and starters who have favorable upcoming matchups.
Let’s take a look:
Vaughn Grissom (SS, Atlanta Braves, 27 percent rostered)
The Braves top prospect on MLB Pipeline and several other courses, Grissom enjoyed a memorable debut on Wednesday when he tallied a home run and stolen base at Fenway Park. The 21-year-old should play second base regularly until Ozzie Albies returns from the 60-day IL, which should happen near the end of August — but is far from certain at the moment. Fantasy managers should add Grissom (14 HR, 27 SB, .324 BA in MiLB this year) as a short-term solution with high upside, while acknowledging that his opportunities will be somewhat hampered by hitting low in the lineup.
Luis Rengifo (2B/3B/SS/OF, Los Angeles Angels, 22%)
Rengifo has been regularly hitting among the top four spots in a depleted Angels lineup, which puts him in the immediate vicinity of Shohei Ohtani and (hopefully) eventually Mike Trout. The infielder hit .333 with four steals in July and has gone deep twice so far in August. And with four eligible positions, he is easy to fit into a lineup.
Nick Gordon (2B/SS/OF, Minnesota Twins, 24%)
Gordon has been solid throughout the 2022 season (.750 OPS) and has been one of the hottest hitters in baseball of late (1.015 OPS in August). He also has some speed, having already produced a pair of steals this month. I’m not sure that Gordon can be a long-term solution, but I would use him against a weak Angels pitching staff this weekend and see where things go from there.
Ha-Seong Kim (2B/SS/OF, San Diego Padres, 12%)
Kim will likely run into a playing time problem when Fernando Tatis Jr. returns from the IL, but he should squeeze in at least one more weekend of production until that happens. And this is a great weekend to fit the multi-position asset in fantasy lineups, as he is set to face a Nats pitching staff that sits last in the Majors in ERA.
Ramon Urias (2B/3B/SS, Baltimore Orioles, 31%)
After lacking infield options in this article for the past few weeks, I’m excited to have many multi-position players this time around. Urias might be the best long-term option among these hitters, having ranked as a top-50 hitter in the past 30 days while producing five homers and 14 RBIs. Even without an advantageous matchup this weekend (Baltimore faces the Rays), Urias can be added in many leagues.
Jake McCarthy (OF, Arizona Diamondbacks, 2%)
McCarthy has been a lineup regular since Arizona traded David Peralta near the end of July, and he is poised for a big series this weekend at hitter-friendly Coors Field. The outfielder is unlikely to produce any power, but he should collect a handful of base knocks and has the speed (3 SB in August) to swipe a bag or two.
Randal Grichuk (OF, Colorado Rockies, 52%)
Throughout his career, Grichuk has blown hot and cold as much as any player in baseball. And in the midst of a disappointing season, the slugger has turned things around by hitting .341 with three homers to this point in August. Those who need power numbers can add Grichuk for his weekend home series against the D-backs before sending him to waivers on Monday.
Chris Archer (SP, Minnesota Twins, 6%)
Going deep into games has been an issue for Archer all season, but with a 4.02 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP, the right-hander has been respectable for the innings that he has been allowed to throw. He could make it through five frames on Sunday, when he makes a road start against an Angels team that ranks 29th in OPS since July 1. And throwing five innings on the road would give the Twins lineup six innings to get Archer the lead and a victory.
Jake Odorizzi (SP, Atlanta Braves, 25%)
Odorizzi disappointed in his Braves debut, but his success with the Astros this season (3.75 ERA, 1.15 WHIP) should outweigh one poor outing. The right-hander should show Braves fans his best form when he starts today against a Marlins lineup that ranks last in baseball with a .594 OPS since July 1.
Jonathan Hernandez (RP, Texas Rangers, 14%)
Hernandez is arguably the best of a few potential saves options who are sitting on waivers in most Yahoo! leagues. The hard-throwing righty has picked up a pair of saves in the past two weeks, and he has looked effective overall (2.25 ERA, 1.00 WHIP) in the eight innings he has tossed since returning from Tommy John surgery. As long as he holds up his end of the bargain, Hernandez should be Texas’ closer the rest of the way.
Rowan Wick (RP, Chicago Cubs, 19%)
In the opinion of this writer, Wick is a worse pitcher than Hernandez and therefore a less-desirable option. But the right-hander likely has the closer’s role all to himself at the moment and has not allowed a run in the past month. In fact, he has collected three saves in the past five days. With good fortune on save opportunities, Wick could be a top-15 reliever down the stretch.