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Waiver Wire Watch: So many Reds, Jose Siri running wild

Langford, Chourio lead MLB Rookie of the Year odds
Bet the Edge highlights several rising stars who could make serious noise in this year's MLB Rookie of the Year races, including Wyatt Langford, Evan Carter, Jackson Chourio and many more.

Welcome to Waiver Wire Watch, where we go through the top waiver wire adds and drops for each week of the MLB season.

The premise is pretty straightforward. Each week I’ll try to give you some recommended adds based on recent production or role changes. When I list a player, I’ll try to list the category where I think he’ll be helpful or the quick reason he’s listed. My hope is that it helps you to determine if the player is a fit for what your team needs or not.

For a player to qualify to be on this list, he needs to be UNDER 50% rostered in Yahoo! formats. I understand you may say, “These players aren’t available in my league,” and I can’t help you there. These players are available in over 50% of leagues and some of them are available in 98% of leagues, so they’re available a lot of places.

Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Adds

We’ll start by just looking at the teams with the best overall schedule in the next week. It’s just a part of the equation but it’s good to know which hitters will face an easier road.

Good Schedule
White Sox7vs ATL, @CWS
Royals7@BAL, vs CWS
Rays6vs TEX, @COL
Mets6vs DET, @CIN
Red Sox6@OAK, @LAA
Phillies6vs CIN, @WAS


Ceddanne Rafaela - OF, BOS: 48% rostered and Victor Scott - OF, STL: 44% rostered
Most people know who Rafaela and Scott are at this point and they’re both close to being over the 50% threshold; however, I just had to mention them here. Rafaela and Scott figure to play every day for their respective teams, and I think Scott will be up to stay if he hits. I think Rafaela has a better overall hit tool and has more power, but Scott has some of the best speed in the majors. Rafaela could still push for 25-30 steals in a full season, and I think he’s the better add of the two since he has more leash and more defensive versatility that could give him 2B/OF eligibility; however, both should be on far more teams.

Jake Cronenworth - 1B/2B, SD: 49% rostered
Cronenworth gets disrespected for fantasy because he doesn’t have any elite fantasy categories. However, he’s going to hit in the middle of the lineup for a solid Padres offense and has always had good plate discipline. I’m not sure he’s going to hit above .240, but he should hit between 15-20 home runs and has the opportunity to drive in a good number of runs. That will work for deeper league CI/MI spots.

Jose Siri - OF, TB: 34% rostered
Jose Siri said he wanted to steal 30 bases this year, and he’s already stolen three in three games. Considering how fast he is, it was a surprise that he only stole 12 bases last year, but he certainly has the wheels to swipe 20+ bases this year. Considering he also hit 25 home runs last year, there’s a chance Siri will be a 20/20 guy this year. Yes, he might also hit .220, but depending on your league format, it’s hard to let a 20/20 player sit on the wire.

Will Benson - OF, CIN: 26% rostered
It was a bit of a surprise on Opening Day when the Reds’ lineup had Benson in the two-hole. The lefty swinger has some swing-and-miss in his game, but he also has tons of power/speed for fantasy appeal. If he’s going to hit second in the Reds’ lineup against right-handed pitchers then he has a great chance to rack up runs and RBIs. He did hit ninth against a lefty, but at least he was in the lineup, which is more than we can say for Jake Fraley - OF, CIN: 25% rostered. I also still like adding Fraley in most league types. He hit fifth against a righty on Opening Day and should start every game against righties. He also has a solid mix of power and speed and stole a base on Opening Day. Both he and Benson should play a lot until T.J. Friedl returns. Also, look, you can add Nick Martini - OF, CIN: 10% rostered in deeper leagues or daily moves leagues. He’s going to be the DH for the Reds against right-handed pitchers. He doesn’t swing-and-miss often and he has some pop. This start is crazy, so don’t pay for it, but he’s not a bad player.

Parker Meadows - OF, DET: 24% rostered
Parker Meadows was my choice for the 2024 version of Josh Lowe, a prospect of note who disappoints in his first MLB stint and then becomes a fantasy asset. You can read my full breakdown of Meadows in that article here, but I’d be trying to add him in most formats since he’s been leading off for the Tigers and is poised for a strong season. The second choice in that article was Zach Neto - SS, LAA: 21% rostered. That was before a spring training where the Angels said they were going to run more and then Zeto stole four bases in 22 games. I think he could be a 20/20 threat this season.

Mitch Haniger - OF, SEA: 24% rostered
The question for Haniger is usually never talent but health. He’s had double-digit barrel rates every year since 2018 and has a history of elite power production while playing in Seattle. He’s hitting clean-up right now, after Julio Rodriguez and Jorge Polanco and before Cal Raleigh. While he may not play a full season, you’re also not playing in a best-ball league, so add him and take his production for as long as he stays healthy.

Michael Conforto - OF, SF: 13% rostered
It wasn’t that long ago that Conforto was considered one of the best pure young hitters in baseball. In 300 games across the 2018-2019 seasons with the Mets, Conforto hit .250 with 61 home runs, 168 runs, and 174 RBI. He then hit .322 with nine home runs in 54 games in the COVID-shortened 2020 season before injuries impacted his 2021 season and he missed all of 2022 with a shoulder injury. He admitted in a great article at The Athletic that he was not in proper condition last year coming off the injury. He played at too heavy a weight and was worn down as the year went on. This year, he lost 15 pounds and worked on getting more power back into his swing. So far it’s working, and he should be locked into strong-side platoon at-bats in the absolute worst case. I think he’s worth in a flyer in most formats to see if he can recapture some of his old magic.

Travis d’Arnaud - C, ATL: 11% rostered
With Sean Murphy suffering an oblique injury, Travis d’Arnaud will now be the full-time catcher in Atlanta until Murphy returns. The Braves have said it won’t be a long stay on the IL for Murphy, but I’d expect at least three weeks, which should be more than enough for d’Arnaud to put up solid numbers and be a great two-catcher league target.

Willi Castro - 2B/3B/OF, MIN: 10% rostered
The injury to Royce Lewis will likely give Castro more at-bats in the early months of 2024. The Twins can move him all over, but he can play 3B against both righties and lefties and can back up at other positions too. I think he’s a good addition, especially if you need speed. It also seems that Carlos Santana - 1B, MIN: 7% rostered will be an everyday starter for the Twins, which makes him valuable given that he hit 23 home runs last year. You won’t get a great batting average but it shouldn’t hurt you anywhere (other than having no speed).

Alek Thomas - OF, ARI: 6% rostered
He’s started out the season well, going 3-for-9 with a home run and four RBI (OK, well, he then went 0-for-4 on Saturday). Click on this link to read more about Thomas’ swing change, but he was a well-regarded prospect not long ago, and he could be in for a solid season in a good lineup. At least, you should add him to your watch lists.

J.D. Davis - 3B, OAK: 6% rostered
In deeper formats, you like that Davis appears likely to play every day in Oakland. At this point, we know he’s unlikely to reach the ceiling some people felt he had while he was with the Mets. However, he can certainly hit and he crushes lefties. The lineup isn’t great, but Davis has the power to hit baseballs out of any park, as he showed with two home runs in the opening series against the Guardians. If you need some pop and an everyday hitter, Davis isn’t a bad option.

Jose Caballero - 2B/SS, TB: 2% rostered
Jose Caballero may not be a great hitter, but he has wheels and no competition. With Taylor Walls hurt and Niko Goodrum in the minors, the Rays have nobody else that can play shortstop on their active roster. Who knows how long that will last, but Cabellero should start almost every single day. Given his speed upside, that’s worth having on your roster if you’re in need of stolen bases.

Tyler Freeman - 2B/SS/3B, CLE: 2% rostered
I was intrigued when I read that the Indians were planning to use Freeman all over the field, and I figured he could be a super sub. Then it turns out that he won the starting center field job and started all three games to begin the season. While he had some renown as a prospect, he’s not somebody who is going to be an elite contributor; however, he makes a lot of contact and has the speed to run. The Guardians seem to be ready to run wild under new manager Stephen Vogt, so I’m interested in picking up shares of Freeman in deep leagues.

Lawrence Butler: OF, OAK: 1% rostered
Lawrence Butler has started every game for Oakland due to Esteury Ruiz seeming like a platoon bat. I wrote about Lawrence Butler in my Next Josh Lowe article, which you can read here, but I’m certainly interested now that he has a full-time job. Butler has intriguing power/speed but he had some plate discipline issues. However, he has made improvements in that area every time he repeats a level and showed gains in Triple-A last year. He looked good at the plate this spring and might be an intriguing sleeper who could become relevant in all formats if he makes good on his raw talent.


Jack Flaherty - SP, DET: 47% rostered
It might be shocking but Flaherty is only 28 years old. He was once one of the best young pitchers in baseball and while injuries derailed him a bit over the last few years, he looks much better this spring. The Tigers coaching staff has done wonders with this staff, and Flaherty is no exception. He was throwing harder in spring training with more vertical movement on his four-seam. He was also throwing his slider harder, which helped improve his spring Stuff+ grades. I’m not sure if it will last, but I think it’s worth a waiver add to see.

DL Hall - SP, MIL: 40% rostered
Hall was one of my favorite late-round starting pitcher picks this season, and I wrote about him as part of my bold predictions for Rotoworld. I know he didn’t look great in his first start, but I’m still holding or adding where I can because I think the upside is there. I’m not going to let one mediocre start undo months of analysis and prep. With that said, some of the other late-round starting pitcher targets who remain on waivers who I would like to add are Luis Gil - SP, NYY: 23% rostered, Casey Mize - SP, DET: 23% rostered, Reynaldo Lopez - SP, ATL: 16% rostered, and Zack Littell - SP, TB: 14% rostered. I also would go after Garrett Crochet - SP, CWS: 44% rostered; however, keep in mind that he faces the Braves next and you’re probably not starting him then.

You can check out my list of streaming starting pitchers below.

Jason Foley - RP, DET: 39% rostered
A.J. Hinch has come out and said he’s going to play matchups with his bullpen, so don’t bid on Foley as if he’s the closer. That said, he was throwing 101 mph sinkers in his first outing and looked electric. However, Foley does have some issues against lefties, so it was his teammate, Shelby Miller - RP, DET: 2% rostered who the team went to on Saturday. Miller also looked great over two innings, picking up a win in extra innings. I’d add both of them to my roster, but I do believe this will be some form of a committee at first.

Jared Jones - SP, PIT: 31% rostered
I’m surprised Jones’ roster rate is this low. Once he won a rotation job, I expected this number to jump up. Jones has come a long way as a pitching prospect now that he has made clear gains with his command. He features a plus-plus four-seamer with a hard slider that misses lots of bats. Jones has two other workable pitches, but I’m willing to bet on a young pitcher who is a fierce competitor and has two really solid offerings. He missed tons of bats in his debut with a 46% whiff rate and 40% CSW. You should be grabbing shares.

Michael Kopech - RP, CWS: 16% rostered (John Brebbia)
Kopech may not be the closer and the White Sox may not get tons of saves, but I think he has the potential to be the best reliever in the White Sox bullpen, and so he’s worth stashing on your roster. The team seems to want to improve his trade value and the best way to do that is to show that he can close games, so I think he’ll get a shot eventually.

Trevor Megill - RP, MIL: 8% rostered
Megill didn’t pick up any saves this weekend, and I think the Brewers’ bullpen situation is going to be a bit of a mess. However, Megill looks like a closer in terms of his pitch mix profile, and he was used twice to face the heart of the Mets’ order. I think Pat Murphy trusts him in high-leverage spots, and that makes him worth a bench stash for me. You can obviously also pick up Abner Uribe - RP, MIL: 46% rostered, but I wouldn’t go overboard in your bids because he got the first two saves. Pat Murphy has said he’s going to mix and match at the end of games, and the Brewers found themselves with a save chance after a late-game meltdown on Saturday after Megill had already pitched, so we can’t be certain the plan was to use Uribe as the only closer.

Ben Brown - SP, CHC: 4% rostered
Ben Brown was called up to replace Justin Steele in the rotation. He has plenty of questions with his command so I wouldn’t go crazy with your bids, but I did love this video with Lance Brozdowski chatting with him about some changes to his pitch mix.

Ryan Yarbrough - RP, LAD: 4% rostered
Yarbrough has a history of being effective as a multi-inning reliever or “follower” and that’s exactly the role he has in Los Angeles. Considering the Dodgers love to be cautious with their starters’ innings, there’s a good chance Yarbrough will throw 4+ innings a week out of the Dodgers bullpen, which should lead to wins or three-inning saves, like he had this weekend. I think he should be rostered in many more leagues.


Tanner Houck (BOS) @OAK, vs LAA
Reese Olson (DET) @NYM vs OAK
Jack Flaherty (DET) vs OAK
Reynaldo Lopez (ATL) vs CWS
Dean Kremer (BAL) vs KC and @PIT
Max Meyer (MIA) vs LAA and @STL
Casey Mize (DET) @NYM
Luis Gil (NYY) @ARI and vs TOR

Players to Drop

It’s only been four days, so we certainly don’t want to overreact and drop people because they had a bad weekend. However, I’ll list some players I think are rostered in too many leagues as of now, and I’ll also list the schedule as well to highlight which teams have fewer games or face a tougher road of pitchers.

Bad Schedule
Brewers5vs MIN, vs SEA
Twins5@MIL, vs CLE
Guardians6@SEA, @MIN

Matt McLain - 2B/SS, CIN: 77% rostered and Royce Lewis - 3B, MIN: 97% rostered
I’m not outright advocating for cutting McLain or Lewis because they’re immensely talented and there are so many different league types. I just wanted to mention that you should expect to be without both of them for a while. I really wouldn’t expect McLain to play this season before July, if at all, and Lewis suffered such a severe quad strain that the team said he will be shut down from all activity for a month just to rest. Then they will determine his timeline from there, so I think it’s safe to say he’ll be out at least two months.

If you’re in a league with no IL spots, it’s hard to hold McLain and Lewis for that whole time, and even if you do have IL spots, you may soon find that they fill up pretty quickly. You obviously should TRY to keep both of them, but it may be hard to hold them on your IL for three to four months as other injuries mount.

Esteury Ruiz - OF, OAK: 83% rostered
I understand you don’t want to cut Ruiz because you drafted him early-ish and he’s probably a major part of your plan for stolen bases. However, he graded out as a terrible defender last year and Oakland has responded by having him on the bench for two of the season’s first three games. If he doesn’t play, he’s not going to steal bases and that’s really the only value he gives your team. If you want to hold him a little longer, that’s OK, but it’s not starting well.

Will Smith - RP, KC: 56% rostered
Look, you don’t HAVE to drop Will Smith, but he looked awful in his first appearance, and I would much rather take a chance on James McArthur or John Schreiber, who I think fit the closer’s mold a bit better than Smith does at this stage of his career.

Luis Rengifo - 2B/3B/SS/OF, LAA: 51% rostered
I don’t think you HAVE to drop Rengifo, but he was on the bench for the Angels’ first two starts against a right-handed pitcher. If he’s only going to start versus lefties, then it’s going to be hard to roster him. Now, there’s a good chance he can carve out more playing time in the coming weeks, so he’s not a player you have to drop in all formats, but I think you can churn him for an attractive waiver option in shallower leagues.

Players to Hold

It’s week one, so I also want to take some space to highlight players who are among the most dropped players on Yahoo and who I think you should hold onto.

A.J. Puk - SP, MIA
I know Puk couldn’t find the strike zone in his first start, but he had just a 5% walk rate last year and didn’t have issues with command during spring training. I understand the narrative “spring is over,” but we also don’t want to abandon our beliefs in a player after one start. If that’s not enough, Puk will get the Angels this week. I think you have to hold him for that start, and if he doesn’t deliver then, that’s another story.