NL FAAB Factor: Waiver Pickups of the Week

NL FAAB Factor: Waiver Pickups of the Week

This article is part of our NL FAAB Factor series.

This is our weekly look at National 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.

This year, we are again using 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 grid, which is 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 role on an A-E scale. Dansby Swanson would have been an "A" grade player last year -- that mark will be reserved for similar high-impact prospects stepping into 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.

PLAYER TEAM POS GRADE $ (12-Team Mixed) $ (15-Team Mixed) $ (NL-Only)
Zach Eflin PHI SP E 0 1 4
Chris Flexen NYM SP E 0 1 4
Tyler Glasnow PHI SP C 2 7 11
Mark Leiter PHI SP E 0 1 4
Justin Nicolino MIA SP E No No 2
Tyler Anderson COL SP E No No 2
Chad Bettis COL SP D 3 9 14
Scott Feldman CIN SP E No 1 4
Matt Harvey NYM SP
This is our weekly look at National 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.

This year, we are again using 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 grid, which is 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 role on an A-E scale. Dansby Swanson would have been an "A" grade player last year -- that mark will be reserved for similar high-impact prospects stepping into 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.

PLAYER TEAM POS GRADE $ (12-Team Mixed) $ (15-Team Mixed) $ (NL-Only)
Zach Eflin PHI SP E 0 1 4
Chris Flexen NYM SP E 0 1 4
Tyler Glasnow PHI SP C 2 7 11
Mark Leiter PHI SP E 0 1 4
Justin Nicolino MIA SP E No No 2
Tyler Anderson COL SP E No No 2
Chad Bettis COL SP D 3 9 14
Scott Feldman CIN SP E No 1 4
Matt Harvey NYM SP D 1 4 7
Kyle Barraclough MIA RP D 5 11 16
Matt Bowman STL RP D 1 4 7
Carter Capps SD RP D 1 4 7
Tyler Lyons STL RP D 0 1 4
Mark Melancon SF RP B 11 17 28
Hoby Milner PHI RP E No No 3
Jorge Alfaro PHI C E 0 1 4
Alex Avila CHI C D 2 7 11
Victor Caratini CHI C D No 0 3
Stephen Vogt MIL C D 2 7 11
Rhys Hoskins PHI 1B B/C 14 28 42
Dominic Smith NYM 1B C 11 22 33
Adrian Gonzalez LAD 1B C 5 11 18
Gavin Cecchini NYM 2B E 0 1 4
Daniel Descalso AZ 2B E 2 7 11
Orlando Arcia MIL SS C 18 Owned Owned
Ketel Marte AZ SS D 8 14 22
Jose Reyes NYM SS D 2 7 11
Dansby Swanson ATL SS C 1 5 9
Nick Ahmed AZ SS E No No 2
Tommy La Stella CHI 3B E No No 2
Ryan McMahon COL 3B C 2 7 11
Curtis Granderson NYM OF D 5 11 18
Ty Kelly PHI OF E No No 3
Andre Ethier LAD OF D No No 2
Juan Lagares NYM OF D 1 4 7
Austin Slater SF OF E No No 2
Michael Taylor WAS OF C 25 35 50
Yasmany Tomas AZ OF D 0 1 4
Jayson Werth WAS OF D 3 9 14

STARTING PITCHER

Zach Eflin, Phillies - Eflin opened the year in the minors but was promoted to the majors two weeks after the season started. He pitched decently his first few starts, then had the wheels fall off and was sent back down to the minors in late May. Eflin then missed about five weeks with an elbow injury and went 0-4 with a 4.60 ERA and a 40:12 K:BB in 45 innings for Triple-A Lehigh Valley after returning. Despite those poor numbers, Eflin was called up to start Tuesday, replacing Jake Thompson in the Phillies' rotation. He picked up his first win of the season, allowing two runs on seven hits and a walk with three strikeouts over seven innings. Eflin used his sinker to generate weak contact and will get at least one more turn in the rotation. 12-team Mixed: $0; 15-team Mixed: $1; 12-team NL: $4.

Chris Flexen, Mets - Flexen, profiled two weeks ago when he was promoted from Double-A Binghamton to replace the injured Zack Wheeler in the Mets' rotation, picked up his first win this week. With Matt Harvey potentially a few weeks away, Flexen will get a few more turns in the rotation, and then it will depend if he or Rafael Montero is pitching better. Flexen has yet to have a quality start in his three outings, posting an  8.49 ERA and 8:8 K:BB in 11.2 innings. After missing most of 2015 recovering from Tommy John surgery, Flexen had a solid 2016 at High-A St. Lucie. He began 2017 at that level after knee surgery this spring but quickly was promoted to Binghamton. Flexen, who throws a mid-90s fastball, curve and changeup, posted a sterling 1.66 ERA and a 0.73 WHIP over 48.2 innings at Binghamton prior to being promoted. There is an outside shot he sticks in the rotation the rest of the season. 12-team Mixed: $0; 15-team Mixed: $1; 12-team NL: $4

Tyler Glasnow, Pirates - Glasnow has excelled since his demotion to Triple-A Indianapolis, going 7-0 with a 1.65 ERA, 1.03 WHIP and 92:25 K:BB ratio in 60 innings. He built on those numbers with his stellar start Friday, in which he struck out 11 while allowing one run in seven innings. His Triple-A stats are a stark contrast to what he posted in the majors, as he was just 2-6 with a 7.45 ERA and 1.91 WHIP in his 12 starts before getting sent down after his June 9 start. When he is on, Glasnow mixes a mid-90s fastball and plus-curveball, but what has made the difference in the minors – and one reason why he failed in the majors – is him trusting his changeup. With Pittsburgh now eight games out of the wild card, look for Glasnow to be up before too long. 12-team Mixed: $2; 15-team Mixed: $7; 12-team NL: $11 (to be increased when he is promoted)

Mark Leiter, Phillies - Leiter will replace the injured Vincent Velasquez (finer) in the Phillies' rotation. Leiter allowed one run in five innings with seven strikeouts of relief after Velasquez left his last start Thursday, so he lines up perfectly to take a spot in the rotation. This was the second straight extended relief outing for Leiter, who tossed 4.1 scoreless innings with nine strikeouts Aug. 5. He faces the Padres and may be sneaky streaming option given the opponent and how well he has pitched since his recall from the minors at the end of July. 12-team Mixed: $0; 15-team Mixed: $1; 12-team NL: $4.

Justin Nicolino, Marlins - Nicolino was called up from Triple-A New Orleans and started Saturday against the Rockies. He posted a 3.19 ERA and 1.25 WHIP in 79 innings for New Orleans, but he has failed to carry any minor-league success into the major leagues. Nicolino allowed two runs, one earned, on six hits and four walks while striking out two in 5.1 innings to earn the win. He should get another turn in the rotation against the Mets this week but is a risky bet. 12-team Mixed: No; 15-team Mixed: No; 12-team NL: $2.

Injury activation/updates:

Tyler Anderson, Rockies - Anderson sidelined since early July after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery, is slowly working his way back. He threw 20 pitches off a mound to a catcher positioned in front of home plate Wednesday and will require several regular side and bullpen sessions before embarking on a rehab stint. Anderson struggled to a 6.11 ERA and 1.55 WHIP but had a 63:15 K:BB ratio over 63.1 innings before he was sidelined. He could be back in September, either as a starter or bullpen arm. 12-team Mixed: No; 15-team Mixed: No; 12-team NL: $2

Chad Bettis, Rockies - Bettis, who fortunately appears to have won his battle with testicular cancer, will be recalled from Triple-A Albuquerque to start Monday against the Braves. Shortly after he completed his fifth minor-league rehab start Aug. 3, the Rockies reinstated him from the 60-day disabled list and optioned him to Triple-A, which seemed to indicate that he would be there a while. But it appears the club only made the transaction because Bettis' 30-day rehab window had expired, and the team was still eager to have him increase his pitch count in one final rehab start in the minors before he rejoined the big club. Bettis threw 70 pitches and tossed five innings of one-run ball Tuesday, paving the way for his promotion. Bettis likely will slide into the starting spot that had previously fallen to Kyle Freeland (groin), who was placed on the 10-day disabled list last week. He led the Rockies in innings pitched last year with 186, going 14-8 with a 4.79 ERA. In the second half of the season, Bettis went 7-2 with a 3.17 ERA over 14 starts. Bettis provides the wild-card leading Rockies a fresh arm for the final six weeks of the season. 12-team Mixed: $3; 15-team Mixed: $9; 12-team NL: $14.

Scott Feldman, Reds - Feldman, out since July 17 with inflammation in his right knee, returned to start Saturday. He allowed three runs – all in the first inning – on six hits and a walk while striking out six in four innings against Milwaukee. Prior to this outing, Feldman was 7-7 with a 4.34 ERA in 19 starts this season. He was 3-2 with a 2.92 ERA in the six starts before the All-Star break, though he had allowed nine runs in his last two starts prior to landing on the disabled list. Feldman took the place of Tim Adleman in the Reds' rotation. 12-team Mixed: No; 15-team Mixed: $1; 12-team NL: $4.

Matt Harvey, Mets - Harvey, sidelined since June 15 with a stress injury of the scapula bone in his right shoulder, kicked off a rehab assignment with short-season Brooklyn on Saturday. He gave up one run on one hit and one walk with zero strikeouts, throwing just seven of his 18 pitches for strikes, in one inning. Harvey spent much of the first month he was sidelined building strength in the muscles behind his right shoulder before moving to throwing off the slope of the mound last week and a pair of bullpen sessions, including a 25-pitch one Tuesday. It's been a rough few years for the Dark Knight, as he struggled the first half of last year before undergoing thoracic outlet syndrome surgery. This season, Harvey had a 5.25 ERA and 1.45 WHIP when he was sidelined. Barring a setback, Harvey should make 3-4 rehab starts before rejoining the team's rotation. 12-team Mixed: $1; 15-team Mixed: $4; 12-team NL: $7 (slightly upped early spec return bid)

RELIEF PITCHER
 
Kyle Barraclough, Marlins -
Barraclough continues to work his way back to the Marlins, following his 35-pitch bullpen session Monday by beginning a rehab assignment Thursday in the Gulf Coast League. He has been on the DL since July 26 with a right shoulder impingement but could rejoin Miami after completing a short rehab stint. Barraclough made his second rehab appearance Saturday, issuing one walk while striking out two in a scoreless inning for High-A Jupiter. Following a few more appearances, Barraclough, who has a 3.30 ERA and ugly 1.51 WHIP this season, should be back with the Marlins within the next two weeks and could become the team's closer later this season or next year, replacing Brad Ziegler, though Ziegler is 4-for-4 in saves for Miami. His numbers are skewed by an ugly start, but the hard-throwing righty had been much better before he was sidelined. 12-team Mixed: $5; 15-team Mixed: $11; 12-team NL: $16 (saves spec bid)

Matt Bowman, Cardinals - With Trevor Rosenthal unavailable, Bowman received the call to close from manager Mike Matheny and notched his first save of the season. The scoreless inning was Bowman's eighth straight clean appearance. Bowman, a Rule 5 pick from the Mets at the end of 2015, is having his second straight solid season in the Cardinals' bullpen, after shifting from starting while part of the New York organization. 12-team Mixed: $1; 15-team Mixed: $4; 12-team NL: $7

Austin Brice/Carter Capps/Justin Grimm/Javy Guerra/Chris Hatcher/George Kontos/Jose Valdez - This week's key middle reliever callups/activations, as well as expected callups, were/will be in Cincinnati, San Diego, Chicago, Miami, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh and San Diego. None, save for Capps, has substantial value. Capps, recovering from Tommy John surgery, posted a  2.81 ERA and 28 strikeouts in 25.2 innings for Triple-A El Paso and was called up Monday. He has altered his motion a bit, enabling his foot to stay on the rubber, but his fastball velocity is down substantially. That could tick up as he gets more innings under his belt and there is a possibility he closes in the future, but for now, he will set up Brad Hand. All save for Capps - 12-team Mixed: No; 15-team Mixed: No; 12-team NL: $0; Capps - 12-team Mixed: $1; 15-team Mixed: $4; 12-team NL: $7.

Tyler Lyons, Cardinals - Lyons has become a key member of manager Mike Matheny's bullpen, as a setup man to Trevor Rosenthal. He extended his scoreless streak to 12 Saturday, a stretch during which he's recorded five holds, giving him nine for the season. Lyons has posted a 2.92 ERA with a 45:13 K:BB ratio in 36 innings, showing equal effectiveness against lefties and righties. 12-team Mixed: $0; 15-team Mixed: $1; 12-team NL: $4

Mark Melancon, Giants - Melancon, placed on the disabled list June 28 with a right pronator (elbow) strain and received a PRP injection shortly thereafter, completed a four-game rehab stint this week and likely will be activated Saturday but won't go back to the closer role right away. Three of his four appearances were scoreless, but he allowed four runs without recording an out in his next-to-last outing. Melancon, who signed a four-year, $62 million deal with SF this offseason, will need to pitch in a few games before slotting back into the ninth inning, replacing Sam Dyson as the team's closer sometime next week with Dyson, who has filled in for Melancon, moving to a set up role. 12-team Mixed: $11; 15-team Mixed: $17; 12-team NL: $28 (determine bid based on his health)

Hoby Milner, Phillies - Manager Pete Mackanin said this week Milner would likely get more late-inning relief opportunities over the rest of the season. That was the case Saturday, as Milner opened the ninth inning with the Phillies up 3-1 and Michael Conforto at the plate. He retired Conforto on a fine catch by Maikel Franco in foul territory down the third base line and then was pulled after Asdrubal Cabrera singled. Don't expect many saves, but Milner, who needs to show he can retire righties, should notch some holds down the stretch. 12-team Mixed: No; 15-team Mixed: No; 12-team NL: $3.

CATCHER
 
Jorge Alfaro, Phillies -
Alfaro, profiled last week when he was promoted, gets another mention, as he is sticking around Philly and will get a significant bump in playing time with Andrew Knapp (fractured hand) out for a few more weeks, Cameron Rupp is still ahead of Alfaro on the depth chart, but with the Phillies in evaluation mode down the stretch, look for Alfaro to play a lot while Knapp is sidelined. Alfaro at one point was a big-time prospect and one of the main centerpieces of the Cole Hamels haul by Philadelphia. But he was hitting just .241/.291/.359 with seven homers and 43 RBI in 350 plate appearances for Triple-A Lehigh Valley with a 113:16 K:BB ratio and batting average under the Mendoza Line since June 1. What I am saying then is temper your expectations even with additional playing time. 12-team Mixed: $0; 15-team Mixed: $1; 12-team NL: $4.

Alex Avila/Victor Caratini, Cubs - Avila, profiled last week after he was traded to the Cubs as part of the package along with Justin Wilson, with the Tigers receiving Jeimer Candelario, Isaac Paredes and either a player to be named or cash, gets another mention, as he will receive a major uptick in playing time due to Willson Contreras' hamstring injury. Prior to the trade, Avila was having a solid year overall, hitting .274/.394/.475 with 11 HR and 32 RBI, but he was in the midst of a brutal slump. Avila's last home run was a month ago and he was just 9-for-55 in July. Caratini, who is having a monster year at Triple-A Iowa, hitting .344 (94-for-273) with 24 doubles, 10 home runs and 59 RBI in 76 games, will back up Avila. He could carve out the majority of the playing time if Avila doesn't regain his stroke at the plate, though all this is dependent on how long Contreras is sidelined. Avila - 12-team Mixed: $2; 15-team Mixed: $7; 12-team NL: $11; Caratini - 12-team Mixed: No; 15-team Mixed: $0; 12-team NL: $3

Injury activation/updates:

Stephen Vogt, Brewers - Vogt suffered a strained MCL in his left knee and neck in a collision with Chad Kuhl on July 17. The knee injury was expected to sideline him for a month, but Vogt began a rehab assignment this weekend. If all goes well, Vogt will move to Triple-A Colorado Springs this week before rejoining the Brewers over the weekend against the Rockies, resuming his role as starting catcher over Manny Pina. 12-team Mixed: $2; 15-team Mixed: $7; 12-team NL: $11

FIRST BASE
 
Rhys Hoskins, Phillies -
Hoskins, profiled several times the last few weeks, gets another mention, as he was promoted to the majors Thursday. Philly moved Hoskins to left field last week in the minors, increasing his versatility and allowing him to be in the lineup at the same time as Tommy Joseph. Hoskins had a monster year at Double-A Reading where he hit .281/.377/.566 with 38 home runs in 498 at-bats. He took advantage of a hitter-friendly park in Reading where he slashed .292/.396/.636 with 25 of his 38 home runs. Hoskins has shown that production is no fluke, batting .284/.385/.581 with 29 home runs and 91 RBI in 401 at-bats for Triple-A Lehigh Valley this season, prior to his promotion. Most impressive may be his 75:64 K:BB there, continuing his solid eye at the plate that is coupled with a simple but effective swing, which should allow him continued success as he advances. Hoskins has shown in the minors that he can hit lefties and righties, though there are questions regarding whether he will hit enough when he gets to the majors and has to face better offspeed stuff. But so far, he has answered every challenge in the minors and should succeed at this level. Hoskins will see the majority of his playing time in left field until Aaron Altherr (hamstring) returns from the disabled list. 12-team Mixed: $14; 15-team Mixed: $28; 12-team NL: $42.

Dominic Smith, Mets - The trade of Lucas Duda, whose contract was up at the end of the year, opened the door for Smith, the Mets' first baseman of the future. Moving Jay Bruce for a less than optimal return created the roster spot that Smith will fill. Smith is a wizard defensively, whose bat finally has caught up to his glove. There are still questions as to the power and Smith will need to watch his weight, but his .330/.386/.519 line with 16 homers, 76 RBI and 77 runs scored across 500 plate appearances this year is impressive even by PCL standards. Eight of those home runs were hit in July after he blasted 14 and drove in 91 runs at Double-A Binghamton last season. Smith should see a lot of playing time, but Wilmer Flores still could see time at first base against lefties. 12-team Mixed: $11; 15-team Mixed: $22; 12-team NL: $33.

Injury activation/updates:

Adrian Gonzalez, Dodgers - Gonzalez, sidelined since June 13 due to a herniated disk in his back, moved his rehab assignment to High-A Rancho Cucamonga on Saturday. He hit .308 with a home run over five games for Triple-A Oklahoma City and has shifted his assignment down two levels but closer to L.A. Cody Bellinger has replaced Gonzalez at first base, but L.A. could move Bellinger back to left field and shift Chris Taylor to second base when A-Gone returns. Gonzalez, expected to be activated from the disabled list during the Dodgers' upcoming road trip that begins Friday in Detroit, has homered only once in 165 at-bats and has a career-low .339 slugging percentage, but when he is back, look for him to be in the starting lineup almost daily. 12-team Mixed: $9; 15-team Mixed: $16; 12-team NL: $25 (increased spec bid to be increased again as he gets closer to the major leagues)

SECOND BASE
 
Gavin Cecchini, Mets -
The trade of Neil Walker to the Brewers creates a hole at second base for the Mets. With T.J. Rivera (elbow) on the shelf, and Asdrubal Cabrera dealing with a hand injury Jose Reyes figures to be the team's second baseman, at least initially. With New York looking to 2018, Cecchini figures to get a callup before too long and see time at second base. After a rough start, Cecchini has been hot at the plate the last month or so and should get another chance to show he belongs on the Mets next season. 12-team Mixed: $0; 15-team Mixed: $1; 12-team NL: $4 (early spec callup bid)

Daniel Descalso, Diamondbacks - Chris Owings fractured his right middle finger, landing him on the 60-day disabled list while creating a middle infield hole for Arizona. Descalso, profiled last week, has for the most part taken advantage of his additional playing time thriving with his extra at-bats, as he has surpassed Brandon Drury to be the Snakes' starting second baseman. Don't expect much power from Descalso, but he has posted a solid OBP and likely will set career highs in runs and runs batted in while qualifying at all four infield spots. 12-team Mixed: $2; 15-team Mixed: $7; 12-team NL: $11.

SHORTSTOP

Orlando Arcia, Brewers - Arcia, who struggled in his first go-around in the majors last season, has found his way at the plate recently. His season line, which sat at .251/.293/.368 at the end of May, is now up to .283/.325/.418, through Friday's game, aided especially by his recent hot streak. Since Aug. 3, the 23-year-old has gone 13-for-34 at the plate, with two home runs, three RBI and six runs, resulting in a move up in the batting order. On the year, Arcia, who is known for his defense, has 11 HR, 39 RBI, 11 SB and 45 runs but he still needs to work on his plate discipline, as he has struck out 75 times with just 24 walks in 419 plate appearances. 12-team Mixed: $18; 15-team Mixed: owned; 12-team NL: owned

Ketel Marte, Diamondbacks - Marte, who was called up in late-June when Nick Ahmed fractured his right hand, has taken advantage of the absences of Ahmed and now Chris Owings, who fractured his right middle finger, landing him on the 60-day disabled list. Marte, who extended his hitting streak to 10 games Thursday and posted a .916 OPS the last month, is entrenched as the team's starting shortstop. Ahmed may be back at the end of August but it's unlikely he places a big dent in Marte's fantasy value. 12-team Mixed: $8; 15-team Mixed: $14; 12-team NL: $22.

Jose Reyes, Mets - The trade of Neil Walker to the Brewers creates a hole at second base for the Mets. With T.J. Rivera (elbow) on the shelf, and Asdrubal Cabrera dealing with a mild hand injury Reyes figures to be the team's second baseman, at least initially. Reyes hasn't had a good season, but he does have nine home runs, 39 RBI and 13 SB, but with a .220 AVG and .283 OBP. He split time between shortstop and third base most of this season, but has been displaced by Amed Rosario at short and Wilmer Flores plus Cabrera at third. Reyes may hold the job only until Gavin Cecchini is promoted. 12-team Mixed: $2; 15-team Mixed: $7; 12-team NL: $11.

Dansby Swanson, Braves - Swanson, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2015 draft, received an earlier than expected callup last season and excelled. He hit .302/.361/.442 in 38 games with the Braves, creating high expectations for this season. Swanson failed to meet those lofty expectations, hitting just .213/.287/.312 with six home runs and 35 RBI in 324 at-bats with Atlanta, earning a July 26 demotion to Triple-A Gwinnett. He bottomed out before that demotion by going just 2-for-40 with 15 strikeouts over his last 15 games. Swanson went just 9-for-38 at the plate during his 11-game stay at Gwinnett but was called back up due to Johan Camargo suffering a bone bruise on his right knee while running onto the field prior to Tuesday's game. Swanson will be Atlanta's primary shortstop, as it gets an early view of their projected middle infield combination of Swanson and Ozzie Albies. 12-team Mixed: $1; 15-team Mixed: $5; 12-team NL: $9.

Injury activation/updates:

Nick Ahmed, Diamondbacks - Ahmed, out since fracturing his right hand on June 27 and on the 60-day disabled list, was cleared to begin hitting and throwing Monday. Ketel Marte has more than ably filled in the last month-plus for Ahmed, who is ineligible to return until the end of the month. When that happens, Ahmed will be the back up Marte. 12-team Mixed: No; 15-team Mixed: No; 12-team NL: $2.

THIRD BASE

Tommy La Stella, Cubs - La Stella was recalled from Triple-A Iowa last Sunday. He gives Chicago infield depth, reprising his usual role with the team. 12-team Mixed: No; 15-team Mixed: No, 12-team NL: $2.

Ryan McMahon, Rockies - McMahon struggled at Double-A Hartfoed last season but more than regained his prospect status this season. He hit .354/.401/.587 with 19 home runs and 11 steals in 108 games between Double-A and Triple-A this year. McMahon slashed.326/.390/.536 with six home runs, 28 runs scored and 32 RBI in 49 games at Hartford, showing that he had mastered that level to earn the promotion to Triple-A Albuquerque. At that level, all McMahon did was bat .375/.409/.625 with 13 home runs and four steals in 59 games in the Pacific Coast League, though part of those numbers have be discounted due to the league effect. McMahon is blocked at third base by Nolan Arenado, but moved to first base, where there is a clearer path, while also seeing some time at second base. Mark Reynolds is dealing with a hand injury, resulting in McMahon's callup, but he returned Friday, resulting in McMahon serving as a bench bat. After a hot start, Reynolds was hitting .253 with four home runs through Thursday's games since the All-Star break, so it's possible McMahon can wrest playing time from him. 12-team Mixed: $2; 15-team Mixed: $7; 12-team NL: $11 (spec bid, more in keeper leagues)

OUTFIELD

Curtis Granderson/Brandon Nimmo, Mets - The trade of Jay Bruce to Cleveland opened a spot in the outfield for the Mets. Curtis Granderson is seeing most of the action in right field with Michael Conforto still in center field. Once/if Grandy is traded, Conforto could move to right with Juan Lagares and Nimmo splitting time in center field, if Conforto moves. Manager Terry Collins also could give Lagares, who was hot before he was hurt, a true run in CF. For now, Granderson is manning RF as the Mets showcase him for a deal. Nimmo's playing time will depend on Grandy moving and how Lagares and Conforto are deployed if that occurs. 12-team Mixed: $5; 15-team Mixed: $11; 12-team NL: $18; Nimmo - 12-team Mixed: No; 15-team Mixed: $0; 12-team NL: $4.

Ty Kelly - This week's fourth and fifth outfielder callups/activations, as well as expected callups, or those potentially to see a slight uptick in playing time was in Philadelphia. Kelly gives the Phillies a back up second baseman and left fielder, but won't see many at-bats. 12-team Mixed: No; 15-team Mixed: No; 12-team NL: $3.

Injury activation/updates:

Andre Ethier, Dodgers - Ethier, sidelined for the season to date with a herniated disc in his back, will began a rehab assignment with High-A Rancho Cucamonga on Saturday. Since Ethier has missed so much time, he will require the full 20 days allowed for a rehab stint. The hope remains that he'll be able to rejoin the Dodgers when rosters expand at the beginning of September. If that happens, Ethier could see playing time in right field, when Yasiel Puig is given a day off, or left to replace Chris Taylor or Cody Bellinger. 12-team Mixed: No; 15-team Mixed: $0; 12-team NL: $2 (early spec return bid)

Juan Lagares, Mets - Lagares, out since June 15 with a fractured thumb that required surgery, was activated after going 7-for-29 in an eight-game rehab stint at Double-A Binghamton. The trade of Jay Bruce to Cleveland opened a spot for Lagares. Curtis Granderson is seeing most of the action in right field with Michael Conforto still in center field. Once/if Grandy is traded, Conforto could move to right with Lagares and Brandon Nimmo splitting time in center field, if Conforto moves. Manager Terry Collins also could give Lagares, who was hot before he was hurt, a true run in CF. 12-team Mixed: $1; 15-team Mixed: $4; 12-team NL: $7.

Austin Slater, Giants - Slater, who was to miss 2-3 months after he was diagnosed in early July with a torn adductor muscle, reported to the Giants' spring-training facility in Arizona over the weekend to begin rehabbing. He likely will need three weeks or so before he is possibly ready to return to the Giants. Slater had acquitted himself well following his promotion before he was sidelined. Once he's healthy again, Slater could challenge Jarrett Parker for an everyday role in left field. 12-team Mixed: No; 15-team Mixed: $0; 12-team NL: $2 (early spec return bid)

Michael Taylor, Nationals - Taylor, out since July 7 with a strained right oblique muscle, moved his rehab this week to Double-A Harrisburg after beginning a rehab assignment at High-A Potomac last week. He kicked off the assignment shortly following receiving clearance to resume full baseball activities after being limited to light conditioning while waiting for the oblique muscle to heal. Taylor could be activated ahead of the Nationals' series opener with the Angels on Aug. 15. Brian Goodwin has more than ably filled in for Taylor, who had replaced Adam Eaton (ACL). But the Nationals will welcome their leadoff hitter back, who was hitting .278/.320/.510 with 12 HR, 35 RBI, 40R and 10 SB and had been red-hot when he was sidelined. 12-team Mixed: $25; 15-team Mixed: $35; 12-team NL: $50 (if available)

Yasmany Tomas, Diamondbacks - Tomas, sidelined since June 4 with a strained groin, suffered a setback in early July, forcing him to shut down his rehab stint. He was able to do some running on the basepaths Tuesday and may be close to starting a minor-league rehab assignment soon. Despite hitting 31 home runs and posting a .508 slugging percentage last year, Tomas will be a part-time starter or bench bat once he returns. Tomas lost his everyday role in the corner outfield after Arizona acquired J.D. Martinez in July, and A.J. Pollock and David Peralta man the other two outfield spots. 12-team Mixed: $0; 15-team Mixed: $1; 12-team NL: $4 (early spec return bid)

Jayson Werth, Nationals - Werth, sidelined since June 3 after fouling a ball off his left foot, was to run Saturday and will embark on a rehab assignment if all goes as planned and there are no setbacks. The only hurdle in Werth's way is getting back into game shape. Werth may need all 20 days on a rehab stint, working his way up the levels in the minors before rejoining the team. Werth will be the starting left fielder again once healthy, which will be needed given Bryce Harper's injury. 12-team Mixed: $3; 15-team Mixed: $9; 12-team NL: $14 (slightly increased early spec return bid)

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jan Levine
Levine covers baseball and hockey for RotoWire. He is responsible for the weekly NL FAAB column for baseball and the Barometer for hockey. In addition to his column writing, he is master of the NHL cheat sheets. In his spare time, he roots for the Mets and Rangers.
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