AL FAAB Factor: Father's Day Edition

AL FAAB Factor: Father's Day Edition

This article is part of our AL FAAB Factor series.

This is our weekly look at American League free agents. We have two goals for this article:

1. Identify likely free agents and discuss their strengths and weaknesses.
2. Estimate how much of your free-agent budget you should bid on them.

One size does not fit all, and we could never hope to encompass all league structures, so bids are based on:

• 12-team league (either AL or Mixed, we'll specify)
• 5x5 categories
• $100 FAAB budget

Starting Pitching

Cody Anderson, Indians – Set to be called up Sunday to face the Rays, Anderson will remain in the rotation thereafter, as the Indians look for a fifth starter in their rotation after Shaun Marcum was let go. Between Double-A Akron and Triple-A Columbus, Anderson had a 1.89 ERA with 54 strikeouts and 14 walks over 71.1 innings. He is not a prospect, and considering he had a 5.44 ERA (4.85 FIP) last season at Akron, it's fair to have a bit of skepticism about his chances in the majors. This week he gets the Orioles on the road. Mixed: $1; AL: $3.

Joe Blanton, Royals – Blanton made his first start of the season this week against the Brewers and gave up one earned with no walks and four strikeouts in five innings. He's currently taking over the rotation spot left by Jason Vargas (hip), though there have been multiple injuries to the Kansas City rotation this season. It's tough to trust Blanton, considering he had a

This is our weekly look at American League free agents. We have two goals for this article:

1. Identify likely free agents and discuss their strengths and weaknesses.
2. Estimate how much of your free-agent budget you should bid on them.

One size does not fit all, and we could never hope to encompass all league structures, so bids are based on:

• 12-team league (either AL or Mixed, we'll specify)
• 5x5 categories
• $100 FAAB budget

Starting Pitching

Cody Anderson, Indians – Set to be called up Sunday to face the Rays, Anderson will remain in the rotation thereafter, as the Indians look for a fifth starter in their rotation after Shaun Marcum was let go. Between Double-A Akron and Triple-A Columbus, Anderson had a 1.89 ERA with 54 strikeouts and 14 walks over 71.1 innings. He is not a prospect, and considering he had a 5.44 ERA (4.85 FIP) last season at Akron, it's fair to have a bit of skepticism about his chances in the majors. This week he gets the Orioles on the road. Mixed: $1; AL: $3.

Joe Blanton, Royals – Blanton made his first start of the season this week against the Brewers and gave up one earned with no walks and four strikeouts in five innings. He's currently taking over the rotation spot left by Jason Vargas (hip), though there have been multiple injuries to the Kansas City rotation this season. It's tough to trust Blanton, considering he had a 6.04 ERA (5.27 FIP) last season with 108 strikeouts and 34 walks over 132.2 innings for the Angels and hasn't had a season with an ERA below 4.00 since 2007, when he called Oakland home. This week he gets the Mariners and A's at home. Mixed: $1; AL: $3.

Danny Duffy, Royals – Finally over his shoulder injury, Duffy is set to be activated this week and put back into the Royals rotation. Before landing on the DL, Duffy had a 5.87 ERA (4.63 FIP) with 30 strikeouts and 19 walks over 38.1 innings and looked nothing like the pitcher that finished 2014 strong with a 2.53 ERA (3.90 FIP), 113 strikeouts, and 53 walks in 149.1 innings. Considering he's had Tommy John surgery and now has shoulder woes, it's fair to knock Duffy as an injury risk, but in the meantime he should have value, at least in AL-only formats. This week he gets the Mariners on the road. Mixed: $2; AL: $6.

Kevin Gausman, Orioles – Finally back in the Orioles rotation, Gausman gave up two earned runs over five innings with one walk and one strikeout to the Blue Jays on Saturday. It's been a long time coming, as he likely should've started the season in the rotation, but the team thought better of it and started him in the bullpen and then sent him down to the minors to get stretched out, where he suffered a shoulder injury. Last season he had a 3.57 ERA (3.58 FIP) with 88 strikeouts and 38 walks over 113.1 innings. I expect him to be more dominant moving forward, though his rotation spot may not be safe with Wei-Yin Chen and Miguel Gonzalez due back soon. This week he gets the Indians at home. Mixed: $1; AL: $4.

Matt Moore, Rays – Moore (elbow) will stretch out to 90 pitches this Sunday, continuing his rehab assignment at Triple-A Durham. He'll reportedly make at least one more start there and then could be back with the Rays before the All-Star break. This rehab start is his first at Durham and it will be interesting to see how his command holds up. Moore had a 3.29 ERA (4.10 FIP) in 2013 with 143 strikeouts and 76 walks over 150.1 innings before needing Tommy John surgery last spring. Mixed: No; AL: $3.

Ivan Nova, Yankees – Nova has finished up his rehab assignment and the next step is expected to be his activation and return to the Yankees rotation. I'm skeptical as to what he'll offer, as he gave up five earned runs in his last rehab start at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. In 2013, he had a 3.10 ERA (3.62 FIP) with 116 strikeouts and 44 walks over 139.1 innings before he made four starts in 2014 and suffered an elbow injury that required Tommy John surgery. Bid cautiously. Mixed: No; AL: $3.

Kyle Ryan, Tigers – Now that Shane Greene is back in the minors, Ryan has been inserted into the starting rotation for the time being. This past week he pitched 6.1 innings and gave up four earned runs on five hits (including three home runs) with one walk and four strikeouts. It was his second start of the season and not one that seems too promising. Earlier this season at Triple-A Toledo, he had a 4.67 ERA (3.24 FIP) with 31 strikeouts and 17 walks over 54 innings as a starter. This week he gets the Indians on the road and White Sox at home. Mixed: No; AL: $3.

Ervin Santana, Twins – Currently serving an 80-game suspension, Santana is set to return to the Twins rotation on July 5, meaning he should soon be owned in all AL-only formats and most deep mixed leagues as he begins to ramp up his minor league work. Last season with the Braves he had a 3.95 ERA (3.46 FIP) with 179 strikeouts and 63 walks over 196 innings. With the exception of 2015, he's always pitched in the AL, so that shouldn't be new to him. Considering his new park and his return to a division he knows, Santana shouldn't take long to get settled in. Mixed: $3; AL: $9.

Relief Pitching

Roberto Osuna, Blue JaysBrett Cecil has started to notch some saves recently, but he has also blown one save and had only one of his last six appearances end without him giving up an earned run, leaving his ERA at 4.50. Should manager John Gibbons need to go away from Cecil, Osuna remains the best choice as a replacement, as he has a 2.25 ERA (2.36 FIP) with 35 strikeouts and nine walks over 32 innings. Osuna has seen his ERA rise almost a run and a half in the last month, but it started at 0.81, so I'm not too concerned, as he's still not walking batters or giving up home runs. Mixed: $2; AL: $6.

Catcher

Alex Avila, Tigers – Close to beginning a rehab assignment, Avila (knee) expects to be back before the All-Star break. He's more important to the Tigers than he is to fantasy owners, as he hit .227 in 2013 and .218 in 2014. Still he has some power, so he's not a total liability. Don't expect James McCann to disappear upon Avila's return, as he has done enough to stick around. Mixed: No; AL: $2.

Curt Casali, Rays – Casali was called-up from Triple-A Durham this week after Bobby Wilson was designated for assignment. He's expected to be the backup to Rene Rivera, so don't expect him to see much playing time. Moreover, he hit just .205 at Durham over 132 plate appearances this season, so he won't bring much to the lineup offensively. Mixed: No; AL: $1.

Ryan Hanigan, Red Sox – Slated to start a rehab assignment at Triple-A Pawtucket on Monday, Hanigan (hand) should be back by early July. It's unclear who will lose playing time once he's activated, but sending Blake Swihart back to the minors to get more seasoning is an option. Hanigan isn't anything special offensively, but he's a veteran, which matters to the Red Sox, though with their season in the gutter, it would make some sense to let Hanigan mentor the young Swihart. Mixed: No; AL: $1.

First Base

Ike Davis, A's – Activated from the DL this week, Davis (quad) needs to be considered in mixed leagues. He hasn't shown the same power that he displayed when he hit 32 home runs in 2012 with the Mets, but he should get enough playing time to be relevant despite the presence of Stephen Vogt and Mark Canha. Davis is hitting .280/.345/.421 with two home runs over 119 plate appearances this year. Mixed: $3; AL: Owned.

Miguel Sano, Twins – Per Twins manager Paul Molitor, Sano could be called up from the minors soon, which means he needs to be on everyone's radar as he holds great power upside. Over his last 36 games, he's hitting .306 with seven home runs, 18 walks, and 36 strikeouts in 156 plate appearances at Double-A Chattanooga. There isn't really a good spot for Sano in the lineup, but Kennys Vargas has struggled since returning from the minors earlier this month. The Twins have already promoted Byron Buxton, so don't be surprised if Sano isn't far off, as he's their top prospect still in the minors. Mixed: $1; AL: $3.

Travis Shaw, Red Sox – Shuttling between the majors and minors, Shaw is currently up with the Red Sox, but he's getting sporadic playing time behind Mike Napoli at first base and Pablo Sandoval at third. Sandoval sprained his ankle Saturday, so Shaw could see an uptick of playing time, but don't expect much. He only hit .259 with five home runs over 247 plate appearances this season at Triple-A Pawtucket. Mixed: No; AL: $2.

Jonathan Singleton, Astros – Singleton hasn't hit a home run this month, which isn't like him, but he should still be on the radar of most owners. He is hitting .285/.386/.538 with 14 home runs over 293 plate appearances this season at Triple-A Fresno, so we'll cut him some slack. There isn't a clear spot for him on the Astros' current roster, so owners will need to remain patient. He hit .168 with 13 home runs in 362 plate appearances in the majors last season, but he was just 22 and it was his first exposure to the big leagues. Mixed: $1; AL: $3.

Second Base

Tim Beckham, Rays – Beckham could begin a rehab assignment as soon as this Monday, as he works his way back from a hamstring injury. A former first-overall pick, he was only hitting .213 with five home runs and three stolen bases over 105 plate appearances before going down. He's more middle-infield depth for the Rays than anything else, so don't expect much playing time when he returns. Mixed: No; AL: $2.

Marwin Gonzalez, AstrosJose Altuve has missed six of the last eight games for the Astros with a hamstring injury, so it wouldn't be a big shock to see him hit the DL, though he continues to claim that he's close to returning. Meanwhile, Gonzalez has filled in for Altuve and performed mildly well with a .286 average over the last week. If you're an Altuve owner, keep Gonzalez close to your FAAB list. Mixed: No; AL: $2.

Rougned Odor, Rangers – Back from a 30-game demotion to Triple-A Round Rock, Odor is worth owning in all AL-only formats and deeper mixed leagues as well. At Round Rock, he hit .352/.426/.639 with five home runs and three stolen bases over 124 plate appearances. He skipped Triple-A on his way to the majors the first time, so it's reassuring to know he has mastery of the level. He went 3-for-3 in his first game back and had a hit in the both of the next two games, as he hasn't let his promotion slow him down. Still just 21 years old, he holds upside as the second baseman of the future for the Rangers. Mixed: $3; AL: $9.

Rob Refsnyder, YankeesStephen Drew went through a phase earlier this month where he hit two home runs in two games, but since then he's gone back to his offensive woes. On the season he's hitting .176/.242/.356, which leaves me still wondering how he continues to hold a roster spot. Meanwhile, Refsnyder is hitting .275/.353/.393 with five home runs and six stolen bases over 276 plate appearances at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. With 12 errors there, he's got some work to do defensively, but at least he's shown he can hit. Keep Refsnyder in mind if you're in desperate need of second base help in an AL-only league. Mixed: No; AL: $2.

Jonathan Schoop, Orioles – Schoop (knee) is working out with teammates in Baltimore but is not yet ready for a rehab assignment, though he is expected back around the All-Star break. Before his injury, he hit .259 with three home runs over 29 plate appearances and was starting to pick up steam in AL-only formats. Ryan Flaherty has taken over the keystone and is hitting .239 with three home runs this season. It's tough to say what to expect from Schoop when he returns or if he'll even return as the starter, as he's a career .214 hitter over 525 PA. Still, he holds enough power that he should be of value in AL-only leagues. Mixed: No; AL: $3.

Shortstop

Francisco Lindor, Indians – Called up last Sunday from Triple-A Columbus, Lindor has supplanted the struggling Jose Ramirez as the Tribe's starting shortstop. Known more for his glove than his bat, Lindor should help the team's pitchers more than he helps fantasy owners. Still, he's just 21 years old and has upside as a threat on the basepaths with 28 stolen bases over 567 plate appearances last season between Double-A and Triple-A. The fact that he's gotten six hits in his first five games is promising, but don't get too carried away thinking he'll be an asset with his bat. Mixed: $2; AL: $6.

Third Base

Kyle Kubitza, Angels – In 22 plate appearances since being called up from Triple-A Salt Lake, Kubitza is hitting .300. At Salt Lake, he hit .287/.362/.452 with three home runs over 260 plate appearances. Playing behind David Freese, he's not in the lineup often enough to generate value in mixed leagues, but Freese is hitting .235 this season and if he slips much further offensively, he could lose even more playing time to Kubitza. Mixed: No; AL: $2.

Richie Shaffer, Rays – Hitting .300/.390/.700 with eight home runs over 82 plate appearances at Triple-A Durham, Shaffer is tearing through the minors this season to the point that he might be ready for a promotion to the majors soon. He's blocked by Evan Longoria at third base, but with James Loney (finger) still out, the team could promote Shaffer and see how he handles first base and move Jake Elmore back to his utility role. Either way, Shaffer is worth keeping an eye on in AL-only formats. Mixed: No; AL: $2.

Outfield

James Jones, Mariners – Recalled from Triple-A Tacoma on Monday, Jones is unlikely to see much playing time in Seattle as a reserve outfielder. He hit .264/.338/.362 with one home run and 15 stolen bases over 197 plate appearances at Tacoma before his promotion. Last season he hit .250 with 27 stolen bases over 328 PA in the majors, so those looking for cheap speed might be able to extract some value out of him. Mixed: No; AL: $2.

Chris Parmelee, Orioles – Back from Triple-A Norfolk, Parmelee announced his return with two home runs in a 4-for-6 effort that included three runs scored. Considering Adam Jones is the only sure thing in the O's outfield and right now he's dealing with a shoulder injury, there's plenty of playing time for Parmelee to carve out for himself. Last season with the Twins he hit .256 with seven home runs over 270 plate appearances. As a left-handed batter, a platoon where Parmelee gets the lion's share of the playing time should be attainable for him if he can build on his nice start. Mixed: $2; AL: $5.

Ryan Rua, Rangers – Over his ankle injury, Rua was activated from the 60-day DL this week and will likely see a fair amount of playing time in left field with the Rangers dealing with injuries to Josh Hamilton and now Delino DeShields Jr. Rua has power, but is allergic to taking a walk and isn't likely to make enough contact to be of value in mixed leagues. For now consider him, if you're struggling for outfield depth in an AL-only format. Mixed: $1; AL: $3.

Domingo Santana, Astros – With Colby Rasmus on the bereavement list, Santana was bumped up from Triple-A Fresno to the majors this week. He was expected to only have a brief stay, but Jake Marisnick (hamstring) landed on the DL later in the week, meaning Santana's stay has been extended. Skills wise, Santana has power, but also plenty of swing and miss in his bat. At Fresno he hit .320/.444/.584 with 11 home runs over 241 plate appearances. Now that Rasmus is back, expect Santana's playing time to be limited to reserve duty. Mixed: No; AL: $3.

Travis Snider, Orioles – Snider, a left-handed batter, has started to see more playing time recently with the Orioles continuing to shuffle their outfield with an injury to Adam Jones (shoulder), promotions of Chris Parmelee and Nolan Reimold, and the recent lack of faith in Delmon Young's powerless bat. It makes sense to platoon Snider, and the Orioles are doing just that with him seeing 123 at-bats against right-handers and only 26 against lefties this season. His skill set only goes so far, so don't expect him to have value in places outside of AL-only formats. Mixed: $1; AL: $3.

Shane Victorino, Red Sox – Victorino, coming back from a calf injury, remains close to starting a rehab assignment. The veteran was hitting just .255/.379/.345 with three extra-base hits and three stolen bases over 66 plate appearances before his injury. The team is likely not rushing him back, as they have Alejandro De Aza new to the team, Rusney Castillo needing as many reps as he can get, and the versatile Brock Holt. Moreover, the team's season looks headed to nowhere, so the only incentive to play Victorino would be to showcase him for a trade, which could be a possibility. Considering his injury history, lack of power, and leg issues, there's no reason to save many FAAB dollars for Victorino. Mixed: No; AL: $2.

Note: If you have anyone else you'd like me to discuss, just drop a line in the comments section.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Andrew Martinez
Andrew Martinez writes about baseball and football. He is a native Texan and roots for the Astros, Rockets, Texans, and Rice Owls.
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