Weekly Waiver Wire Report
Note: My waiver wire report digs a little deeper and is slanted toward high-stakes leagues (15 teams)
Dom Nunez, COL
Over the first week of the season, Nunez smashed three home runs with five RBI in four games of action at home. He flashed power (17 home runs and 42 RBI) in 2019 at AAA over 213 at-bats. From 2015 to 2019 in the minors, Nunez hit .240 with 60 home runs and 216 RBI over 1,600 at-bats. He’ll take walks while being about league average in his strikeout rate. Nunez is worth a flier as C2 in deep leagues, but he remains in a split role with Elias Diaz for now.
Colin Moran, PIT
The top option in the free-agent pool in 12-team leagues in the high-stakes market looks to be Moran. His season started with two home runs and three over 25 at-bats while hitting .280. In 2020, he flashed an uptick in power (10 home runs over 178 at-bats). Moran should be close to a .270 hitter, even with a high number of strikeouts (11) out of the gate.
Mitch Moreland, OAK
Despite only having four hits over his first 24 at-bats, Moreland should be a target to pick up in deep leagues. The A’s have had him in the starting lineup every this year, which bodes well for his playing time going forward. Over the past two seasons, he hit .256 with 29 home runs and 87 RBI over 434 at-bats. Moreland has a 20/80 floor with the approach to produce a higher than expected batting average.
Luis Arraez, MIN
The wise guys in the high-stakes market swooped in and picked up Arraez last week in 15-team leagues. The injury to Josh Donaldson ensures starting at-bats while receiving a top-of-the-opportunity against right-handed pitching. His season began with eight hits in 21 at-bats with one home run and five RBI. Arraez is tough to strike out while offering an edge in batting average and possible runs. His speed isn’t a factor with minimal upside home runs. He should work as short-term cover in shallow leagues.
David Bote, CHC
The Cubs shipped Nico Hoerner to their minor league camp to start the season. Chicago awarded Bote their starting second job. Over his first three years with the Cubs, he hit .240 with 85 runs, 24 home runs, and 103 RBI over 612 at-bats. Bote offers power while chipping in with some steals. He only makes sense in deep leagues due to his batting average risk.
Phillip Evans, PIT
The injury to Ke’Bryan Hayes created a starting opportunity for Evans. Over his first five games as a starter, he went 7-for-19 with two home runs and three RBI. Evans shined in power over his last two seasons at AAA (.274 with 113 runs, 31 home runs, 100 RBI, and five steals over 685 at-bats. If he plays well, the Pirates could push him to the outfield when Hayes returns.
Travis Shaw, MIL
The Brewers cleared the way for Shaw to start at third base after sending Orlando Arcia to the Braves. Over his first 19 at-bats, Shaw hit .316 with one home run and six RBI. In 2017 and 2018, he bashed a combined 33 home runs with 187 RBI and 15 steals over 1,036 at-bats. I would look to own Shaw in all formats.
Amed Rosario, CLE
Despite shot at-bats (8) to start the year, Rosario should work his way into a regular job once he is more acquainted with centerfield. The Indians gave him a shot at the leadoff spot on Friday night, which would be a win if he plays well. Two years ago, Rosario offerings a balanced skill set in power (15) and speed (19) while adding value in batting average (.287). He should be in the free-agent pool in most 12-team leagues.
Andrelton Simmons, MIN
In most formats, Simmons tends to be an afterthought as a starting fantasy option. When at his best, he has a chance at 15 home runs with double-digit steals. His season started with nine hits in 20 at-bats with six runs and three RBI. In deep leagues, he may be the best option to replace Fernando Tatis Jr. over the short term. Simmons is tough to strike out, leading to some help in batting average. By adding him, a fantasy owner hopes for a couple of hot weeks in power and speed.
Jay Bruce, NYY
The Yankees will find ways to get Bruce in their starting lineup once he starts driving the ball out of the park. His season started with only three hits in 24 at-bats, with one home run and three RBI. He has 319 career home runs and a swing that should play well in Yankee Stadium. I’d ride him out until he gets hot, plus Bruce offers insurance as in the outfield.
Hunter Renfroe, BOS
The Red Sox stumbled out of the gate with an 0-3 record. Over their last four games, Boston scored 33 runs, helping them to four straight wins. Renfroe is off to a quiet start (3-for-19 with one RBI). From 2017 to 2019 with the Padres, he bashed 85 home runs with 190 RBI over 1,288 at-bats. His swing should play well in Fenway Park. If your team is short power, Renfroe should be a viable out early in the year.
Jarred Kelenic, SEA
With Jake Fraley landing on the injured list and Taylor Trammell (two-for-19 with three RBI) whiffing (13 strikeouts) his way toward a demotion, Kelenic should be extremely close to a call-up to the majors. Based on service time requirements, the Mariners could call him up at about the 17th of April. In 2019, Kelenic hit .289 over 450 at-bats with 83 runs, 23 home runs, 68 RBI, and 21 steals while playing at three levels in the minors. If he is available in shallow leagues, I would try to pick him up this week.
Bryce Wilson, ATL
Next week the Braves will play seven games, which requires them to add a fifth starter. This player’s window will be longer than first expected, with Mike Soroka developing a right shoulder issue. Bryce Wilson pitched well in 2019 at AAA (3.42 ERA and 118 strikeouts over 121 innings) while showing growth in 2020 with the Braves over his final three appearances (two runs and nine hits over 14 innings with 15 strikeouts). Atlanta should give Huascar Ynoa another start, but he doesn’t have the resume to support his success in his first start (no runs over five innings with five strikeouts), making Wilson a viable buy and hold in deeper leagues.
Nick Neidert, MIA
The Marlins gave Neidert his first major league start last week after Elieser Hernandez landed on the injured list. He allowed one run over 4.1 innings with five strikeouts. Neidert missed most of 2020 with possible contact with Covid. Over his first four years in the minors, he went 30-18 with a 3.01 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, and 368 strikeouts over 406.2 innings. His opportunity to start will be until Sixto Sanchez gets healthy if Neidert pitches well. His 2019 season (4.67 ERA over 54 innings) was limited due to a knee issue. Possible buy and hold if Neidert shows he can handle major league batters.
Joey Lucchesi, NYM
Lucchesi tossed two shutout innings with three strikeouts and no walks in his first appearance out of the bullpen. The Mets had him penciled to start last week, but they decided to change their rotation. Lucchesi is scheduled to take the mound on Monday vs. the Phillies at home. If he pitches well, he may see a second start at the end of the week. His opportunity will only last until Carlos Carrasco returns unless Lucchesi beats out David Peterson for the fifth starting job. Over his first 56 starts for the Padres, he went 18-19 with a 4.14 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, and 303 strikeouts over 293.2 innings. Lucchesi has buy-and-hold upside.