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Pickups of the Day: Have Mercy, Tom Murphy

Reason for optimism with Scherzer to retain value?
After being traded to the Rangers, Connor Rogers breaks down what fantasy managers should expect from Max Scherzer, with reasons to be optimistic about remaining valuable in fantasy leagues.

Rotoworld’s brand-new Pickups of the Day column is designed to help fantasy managers uncover a handful of widely-available targets over the course of the season. It could be a breakout candidate, a prospect stash, an injury replacement, a pitcher with a favorable matchup or week, a player who is due some better luck, or any other number of scenarios. If there’s value to be found on the waiver wire, we will find it and bring it your way. Today’s edition features an emerging source of saves in Chicago and a power-hitting catcher having an outstanding month in Seattle.

Gregory Santos, RP, White Sox
Available in 79 percent of Yahoo leagues

It goes without saying that things haven’t gone as planned on the Southside of Chicago this year. Tim Anderson just hit his first homer in over a year over the weekend. They sit in fourth place in AL Central, arguably the easiest division in the majors, and have been one of the more active teams selling at the trading deadline. However, there is still some fantasy baseball goodness on this roster. Santos picked up his second save of the season last Friday. With Kendall Graveman reuniting with the Astros and Liam Hendriks still on the injured list, Santos has emerged as the go-to guy for Pedro Grifol in the ninth inning. The 23-year-old has been fantastic as a set-up man this season, posting a 2.63 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, and 51/11 K/BB ratio over 46 appearances. While it remains to be seen how many opportunities Santos will see the rest of the season, he is a great pickup for any fantasy manager looking for saves at this point of the season.

Tom Murphy, C, Mariners
Available in 98 percent of Yahoo leagues

If you are like many fantasy managers who were left scrambling to find a catcher on the waiver wire after Jonah Heim landed on the injured list last week, you are in luck, as I have just the player you are looking for! Tom Murphy is putting together the best season of his career in the Pacific Northwest. Over the past 30 days, Murphy has hit .333/.375/.450 with four homers and seven RBI, which equates to a 204 wRC+. The only catchers that have a better average than him over that time, with 40 or more plate appearances, are the Contreras brothers and Ryan Jeffers. Also, he is tied for fourth among catchers in homers with Danny Jansen and J.T. Realmuto over the same time period. That’s some pretty elite company for someone freely available on many waiver wires. Not only has he been one of the best catchers over the past month, but he leads the Mariners with a 24 percent barrel percentage over the same time period. While Cal Raleigh does get more playing time than the veteran backstop, his recent production has forced Mariners manager Scott Servis’ hand to give the veteran backstop more playing time. So if you need reliable production at the catcher position, pick up Murphy before your leaguemates catch on.