With less than a week until the MLB Trade Deadline, fantasy rosters are about to experience some major changes. This is the perfect time to send underachieving players to waivers to create the necessary roster space to add players who are surging or those set for a larger role because of real-life deals.
Here are some names who could get you through the weekend in style, with a few potential long-term options mixed in.
Danny Jansen (C, Toronto Blue Jays, 20 percent rostered)
I mentioned Jansen in this space last Friday, and a few hours later he homered twice and drove in six runs in the Jays' 28-run outburst in Boston. The 27-year-old has raked when healthy this year, collecting nine homers and 21 RBIs across 84 at-bats and hitting .238 despite a .177 BABIP. Even in one-catcher leagues, Jansen deserves strong consideration.
Jean Segura (2B, Philadelphia Phillies, 41%)
Segura is currently on a rehab assignment and should return from the 60-day IL early next week. The infielder doesn’t dominate in any one area, but his across-the-board production (6 HR, 8 SB, .275 AVG in 44 games this year) makes him easy to fit into any lineup. He should be rostered in most 10-team leagues by Monday.
Chas McCormick (OF, Houston Astros, 2%)
McCormick has started to take possession of the Astros centerfield job in July, having hit .270 with four homers and 10 RBIs across 63 at-bats. And with his main competitor, Jake Meyers, struggling this month (.649 OPS), McCormick could provide power for fantasy managers for the remainder of the season as long as the Astros don’t add a centerfielder at the trade deadline.
Anthony Santander (OF, Baltimore Orioles, 48%)
I have mentioned Santander in this space before, as his steady production sometimes goes overlooked. The slugger doesn’t ruin a fantasy squad’s batting average, and his 17 homers and 52 RBIs would make him an asset on most squads. This is an especially good weekend to give Santander a chance, as the right-handed hitter will play three games at hitter-friendly Great American Ball Park against a poor Reds pitching staff, with two of the games scheduled to be started by southpaws.
Aaron Ashby (SP/RP, Milwaukee Brewers, 28%)
Ashby showed his potential in his initial second-half start when he collected nine strikeouts across seven innings of two-run ball. The left-hander needs to make small gains on his control skills, but his terrific combination of generating strikeouts (27.3 percent) and ground balls (56.8 percent) give him a sky-high ceiling. I nearly fell out of my chair when I saw Ashby’s Yahoo! roster rate, as it should be above 50 percent.
Johnny Cueto (SP, Chicago White Sox, 51%)
Although his strikeout rate is poor, Cueto has emerged as a solid streaming candidate in shallow leagues by posting a 2.89 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP across 13 outings since joining the White Sox in the middle of May. And this is the perfect weekend to add Cueto for a day or two, as he lines up for a home start against the lowly A’s lineup (.617 OPS) on Saturday.
Ranger Suarez (SP/RP, Philadelphia Phillies, 50%)
Suarez has turned things around after a poor start to the season, posting a 3.77 ERA in June and allowing nary a run while achieving an 8:1 K:BB ratio in his two starts thus far in July. The left-hander has a great opportunity to keep things rolling on Saturday when he faces a Pirates lineup that ranks 28th in baseball in OPS (.653).
Jake Junis (SP/RP, San Francisco Giants, 25%)
Junis is still building up his endurance after missing more than a month with a hamstring injury, but his overall results this year (2.98 ERA, 1.01 WHIP) suggest that he won’t be on the waiver wire for long. This weekend feels like a good time to reintroduce the right-hander to mixed-league rosters, as he draws a Saturday start at his pitcher-friendly home park against a weak Cubs lineup.
Scott Effross (RP, Chicago Cubs, 2%)
The Cubs are likely to be looking for a new closer at this time next week, as the club will almost certainly trade David Robertson by Tuesday afternoon. Effross has been arguably their best reliever this year, having posted a 50:9 K:BB ratio, a 2.72 ERA and a 1.02 WHIP across 43 innings. Those with some bench room could stash the 28-year-old now in hopes of getting ahead of a waiver wire rush for his services in a few days.
Kyle Finnegan (RP, Washington Nationals, 25%)
Finnegan has taken hold of the Nats closer’s role since the team lost Tanner Rainey for the season, collecting saves in back-to-back outings on July 24 and 25. As long as he makes it through the trade deadline with his Washington cap still on, the right-hander should be a stable source of saves down the stretch. Admittedly, the Nats won’t generate too many save chances, but there should be enough opportunities for Finnegan to help those in 12-team leagues.
Felix Bautista (RP, Baltimore Orioles, 15%)
The Orioles surprisingly sit three games out of the last wildcard spot but are likely to stay on their rebuilding course by being sellers at the trade deadline. Closer Jorge Lopez is a prime candidate to be dealt which would create a situation where Bautista becomes the favorite for save chances. With a 1.50 ERA, a 0.86 WHIP and 55 strikeouts, the rookie righty has been good enough to help fantasy teams even if stuck in a setup role.