AL FAAB Factor: Waiver Pickups of the Week

AL FAAB Factor: Waiver Pickups of the Week

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 $100 starting free-agent budget you should bid on them.

We've incorporated grids into the FAAB articles, so users can easily see at a glance how certain players stack up against others and how much they should command in a variety of formats.

The grids, which are sortable by column (click on the header), include a very basic "player grade" column. This serves as a reflection of a player's skills and talent on an A-E scale. Wander Franco would have been an "A" grade player last year – that mark will be reserved for similarly high-impact prospects that could thrive in an everyday role.

As always, if there is a player that was not discussed in the article that you would like to know about, feel free to ask about the player in the comments.

PLAYERTEAMPOSGRADE12-Team Mixed $15-Team Mixed $AL-Only $
Tyler GlasnowTBSPB137
Michael LorenzenLASPC37Rostered
Simeon Woods RichardsonMINSPCNo11
DL HallBALRPBNo14
Jimmy HergetLARPE25Rostered
Lou TrivinoNYRPDNo14
Matt BrashSEARPB111
Garrett CleavingerTBRPE111
Tim MayzaTORRPE

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 $100 starting free-agent budget you should bid on them.

We've incorporated grids into the FAAB articles, so users can easily see at a glance how certain players stack up against others and how much they should command in a variety of formats.

The grids, which are sortable by column (click on the header), include a very basic "player grade" column. This serves as a reflection of a player's skills and talent on an A-E scale. Wander Franco would have been an "A" grade player last year – that mark will be reserved for similarly high-impact prospects that could thrive in an everyday role.

As always, if there is a player that was not discussed in the article that you would like to know about, feel free to ask about the player in the comments.

PLAYERTEAMPOSGRADE12-Team Mixed $15-Team Mixed $AL-Only $
Tyler GlasnowTBSPB137
Michael LorenzenLASPC37Rostered
Simeon Woods RichardsonMINSPCNo11
DL HallBALRPBNo14
Jimmy HergetLARPE25Rostered
Lou TrivinoNYRPDNo14
Matt BrashSEARPB111
Garrett CleavingerTBRPE111
Tim MayzaTORRPE111
Jesus TinocoTEXRPE111
Zack WeissLARPE111
Ryan JeffersMINCC137
Bo NaylorCLECB2511
Logan O'HoppeLACC111
David FletcherLA2BCNo14
Dylan MooreSEA2BC2511
Anthony RendonLA3BC111
Gabriel AriasCLESSCNo14
Livan SotoLASSC2511
Jake MeyersHOUOFC2511
Drew WatersKCOFC3715

Starting Pitcher

Tyler Glasnow, Rays: I wrote up Glasnow last week assuming he'd be used in relief, but apparently Tampa's got an eye on stretching him out for a possible spot in the postseason rotation. The right-hander worked three innings and 50 pitches in his season debut Wednesday, looking fairly sharp against Cleveland, lining him up for a start against Boston on Monday. If he builds up to about 70 pitches he could last long enough to quality for a win, but he's better viewed as someone who can give you a handful of innings with good ratios and some Ks. 12-team Mixed: $1; 15-team Mixed: $3; 12-team AL: $7

Michael Lorenzen, Angels: If you're in the market for one more start, hoping for a win, a QS, or just as many good innings as you can get, Lorenzen should be at the top of your pickup list. The righty has pitched well in four starts since coming off the IL, and his strikeouts have returned – he has a 3.05 ERA, 1.11 WHIP and 23:11 K:BB over 20.2 IP in September. More importantly, his last start of the year comes against Oakland. In three starts against the A's in 2022, he's got a 0.50 ERA, 0.94 WHIP and 16:6 K:BB in 18 frames, including eight Ks in five innings Wednesday while allowed just one unearned run. 12-team Mixed: $3; 15-team Mixed: $7; 12-team AL: Rostered

Simeon Woods Richardson, Twins: Sure, let's call up one more interesting prospect, what the heck. SWR was part of the package Minnesota got from Toronto for Jose Berrios, but his tenure in the Twins organization got off to a terrible start and he dropped off a lot of prospect rankings. The 22-year-old has turned things around in a big way though, posting a 2.36 ERA, 0.95 WHIP and 56:14 K:BB through 49.2 Triple-A innings since the beginning of August, and that stretch earned him his big-league debut. He'll start Sunday, so he has no redraft value, but in keeper and dynasty formats he could be worth stashing in the hopes of a 2023 breakout. 12-team Mixed: No; 15-team Mixed: $1; 12-team AL: $1

Relief Pitcher

DL Hall, Orioles: Felix Bautista has a sore knee, and Baltimore has no reason to push him back onto the mound. Hall picked up the save Friday, and given his status as a top prospect, the O's may well keep him in that role if they have any more leads to protect. The lefty's also pitching well, racking up a 1.17 ERA, 1.04 WHIP and 9:2 K:BB over his last 7.2 innings. 12-team Mixed: No; 15-team Mixed: $1; 12-team AL: $4

Jimmy Herget, Angels: Herget has a save (four) or hold (three) in seven straight appearances without giving up a run, and while the Angels' probably don't have a true closer, he seems pretty close. The Angels also finish up against the A's, so they've got as good a chance as anybody of winning a couple more games and generating a couple save chances. 12-team Mixed: $2; 15-team Mixed: $5; 12-team AL: Rostered

Lou Trivino, Yankees: With Clay Holmes not healthy, the Yankees' closer situation is murky yet again. Scott Effross, who I wrote up last week, is probably the top option for saves, but Trivino got a save Tuesday so he might be in the mix too. The veteran righty's been pitching well in September with a 2.79 ERA and 14:4 K:BB through 9.2 innings, although his 1.45 WHIP is a little Trivino-like. 12-team Mixed: No; 15-team Mixed: $1; 12-team AL: $4

With only three days left on the calendar for the regular season, in a lot of cases your best move is going to be to load up your pitching staff with high-K relievers in place of starters who aren't going to get another turn. All the following guys will carry $1/$1/$1 bid recommendations and are largely interchangeable, although if you want a tiebreaker a handful of teams (Detroit, the Yankees, Seattle and Texas) are scheduled for four games instead of three due to doubleheaders.

Matt Brash, Mariners: Brash has been stuck in a middle relief role in a deep Seattle bullpen that's been the secret weapon for the playoff-bound squad, but the top prospect's been scored upon in only one of his 14 September appearances with a 19:8 K:BB through 11.1 innings plus a win and three holds.

Garrett Cleavinger, Rays: An unheralded Tampa Bay reliever providing value? Who'd-a thunk it? Cleavinger has been filling a long relief role at times for the Rays, and in September he's posted a 1.88 ERA, 0.56 WHIP and 19:3 K:BB through 14.1 innings. The downside with the southpaw is the lack of wins, saves or holds (one, zero and zero), but the extra innings potential compared to one-inning guys could make a difference.

Tim Mayza, Blue Jays: In case an extra win could be huge for you, why not pick up 2022's preeminent vulture? Mayza's got eight wins on the year, and as Toronto's top lefty he gets regular high-leverage work. That heavy workload has led to a bit of a late fade, and he now carries a 4.50 ERA through 10 innings in September, but that comes with a 1.10 ERA and 13:3 K:BB, along with a save, five holds... and yes, three wins.

Jesus Tinoco, Rangers: I've had my eye on Tinoco for a while as a possible closer dart, because he was ringing up great numbers at Triple-A. He never got his chance in the ninth in the majors, but since getting promoted in September he's posted a 0.69 ERA and 0.92 WHIP in 13 innings. His 9:6 K:BB doesn't look appealing, but it's also deceptive – five of the six walks came in his first four appearances, while all nine Ks have come in his last six. 

Zack Weiss, Angels: The 30-year-old is no kind of prospect, and his only other big-league experience came in 2018 when he failed to get an out and gave up four runs in his only appearance for the Reds, but Weiss is dealing right now, and that's all that matters. He's got a 2.25 ERA. 0.92 WHIP and 17:7 K:BB through 12 innings since a September promotion, albeit with only one hold, and the slider he throws over 60 percent of the time is good enough for that not to seem like a fluke.

Catcher

Ryan Jeffers, Twins: Jeffers came off the IL on Wednesday and started three straight games before getting a rest Saturday, going 3-for-11 with a couple RBI during that stretch. If he's going to see regular playing time over Minnesota's last three games, he could give you just a bit more offense than one of your current backstops. 12-team Mixed: $1; 15-team Mixed: $3; 12-team AL: $7

Bo Naylor, Guardians: Sure, let's call up one more interesting prospect, what the heck. Josh's little brother is one of the top catching prospects in the game and slugged 21 homers with 20 steals in 118 games in the high minors this season, and Cleveland's gotten absolutely no production behind the plate all year. It's not clear how much playing time Naylor will get, but giving him an audition to see if he's ready for a spot on the postseason roster seems entirely plausible. The 22-year-old is pure upside gamble, but if you're in a spot where you need both homers and steals from somewhere, this is the kind of dart you want to throw. 12-team Mixed: $2; 15-team Mixed: $5; 12-team AL: $11

Logan O'Hoppe, Angels: Sure, let's call up one more interesting prospect, what the heck. Acquired from the Phillies for Brandon Marsh, O'Hoppe jumped straight from Double-A to the majors Wednesday and has started two of the last four games, going 2-for-7. The 22-year-old is better viewed as a keeper or dynasty stash than someone who can push you over the finish line in 2022, but he could have real value in 2023 with Max Stassi failing to establish himself as a viable starter. 12-team Mixed: $1; 15-team Mixed: $1; 12-team AL: $1

Second Base

David Fletcher, Angels: Fletcher has started three straight games since coming off the IL on Thursday, so it looks like he'll have a regular role even though the Angels should probably be looking at younger infield options. He's the kind of guy who could string together some hits and maybe steal a base for you. 12-team Mixed: No; 15-team Mixed: $1; 12-team AL: $4

Dylan Moore, Mariners: Moore's found his groove since returning from an oblique strain, slashing .286/.390/.371 in his last 12 games with six steals and eight runs. The utility player might run into a homer too, but if you pick him up, runs and SBs are what you're after. 12-team Mixed: $2; 15-team Mixed: $5; 12-team AL: $11

Third Base

Anthony Rendon, Angels: Rendon got activated from IL last week, mainly so he could serve a five-game suspension and get it out of the way before 2023. I remain skeptical he'll really see much playing time once that runs out, but the Angels will have to use him in some fashion, otherwise there could be some questions asked by the league about that activation. If you can get him cheap enough he's a keeper option, but his recent track record even makes that a bit iffy. 12-team Mixed: $1; 15-team Mixed: $1; 12-team AL: $1

Shortstop

Gabriel Arias, Guardians: Arias has started six straight games, and with the Guardians having clinched the 22-year-old could keep getting playing time while regulars get a rest ahead of the playoffs. He's gone 5-for-20 with a homer, a steal, four runs and four RBI during that stretch, so he could deliver some production. 12-team Mixed: No; 15-team Mixed: $1; 12-team AL: $4

Livan Soto, Angels: Soto's simply been too hot to take out of the lineup. He's got multiple hits in six of his last eight games, batting .481 (13-for-27) with four doubles and a triple, plus a steal, four runs and five RBI. Even with Fletcher and Rendon back in the mix, the 22-year-old should get playing time over the final half-week. 12-team Mixed: $2; 15-team Mixed: $5; 12-team AL: $11

Outfield

Jake Meyers, Astros: I seem to have a weak spot for Houston outfield prospects, even if they struggle in their first crack(s) at the majors. I believed in Derek Fisher past the point everyone else had given up on him, my patience paid off with Kyle Tucker, and now here we are with Meyers. The 26-year-old started the season hurt and never seemed to find his rhythm at the plate, but that might finally have changed at Triple-A. He slashed .345/.462/.563 for Sugar Land in September with more walks (19) than strikeouts (16), and it earned him a late-season promotion. Chas McCormick's been passable but certainly hasn't locked up the center field role, so Meyers could get a look to see if he can be the guy in the playoffs. 12-team Mixed: $2; 15-team Mixed: $5; 12-team AL: $11

Drew Waters, Royals: Waters is on a roll to close out the season, batting .400 (10-for-25) over his last eight games with two doubles, a triple and three homers. He's also struck out only six times, which is nice to see. The 23-year-old could be a big part of the Royals' 2023 outfield plans, so they have no reason not to keep starting him right down to the wire. 12-team Mixed: $3; 15-team Mixed: $7; 12-team AL: $15

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Erik Siegrist
Erik Siegrist is an FSWA award-winning columnist who covers all four major North American sports (that means the NHL, not NASCAR) and whose beat extends back to the days when the Nationals were the Expos and the Thunder were the Sonics. He was the inaugural champion of Rotowire's Staff Keeper baseball league. His work has also appeared at Baseball Prospectus.
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