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.

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.

Bids in general are best guesstimates. With so much uncertainty at least initially, those values may be even greater estimates than usual. The FAAB chart below lets users easily see at a glance how certain players stack up against others and how much they should command in a variety of formats.

The chart, which is sortable by column (click on the header), include a very basic "player grade" column. This is a reflection of a player's skills and role on an A-E scale. An "A" grade is reserved for a high-impact prospect stepping into an everyday role.

If you have questions on players, I'm happy to provide my thoughts in the comments.

PLAYERTEAMPOSGRADE12-Team Mixed $15-Team Mixed $NL-Only $
Anthony DeSclafaniSFSPD147 (slightly lowered return bid)
Chi Chi GonzalezMILSPENoNo4
Gordon GraceffoSTLSPC147 (stash bid)
Dallas KeuchelAZSPD159 (upped spec call up bid)
Nick LodoloCINSPB/C3914 (upped spec return bid)
Steven MatzSTLSPC/D15Rostered
Max MeyerMIASPA/B2711 (early spec call up bid)
Mitch WhiteLASPD147
Brusdar GraterolLARPC/D147

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.

Bids in general are best guesstimates. With so much uncertainty at least initially, those values may be even greater estimates than usual. The FAAB chart below lets users easily see at a glance how certain players stack up against others and how much they should command in a variety of formats.

The chart, which is sortable by column (click on the header), include a very basic "player grade" column. This is a reflection of a player's skills and role on an A-E scale. An "A" grade is reserved for a high-impact prospect stepping into an everyday role.

If you have questions on players, I'm happy to provide my thoughts in the comments.

PLAYERTEAMPOSGRADE12-Team Mixed $15-Team Mixed $NL-Only $
Anthony DeSclafaniSFSPD147 (slightly lowered return bid)
Chi Chi GonzalezMILSPENoNo4
Gordon GraceffoSTLSPC147 (stash bid)
Dallas KeuchelAZSPD159 (upped spec call up bid)
Nick LodoloCINSPB/C3914 (upped spec return bid)
Steven MatzSTLSPC/D15Rostered
Max MeyerMIASPA/B2711 (early spec call up bid)
Mitch WhiteLASPD147
Brusdar GraterolLARPC/D147
Victor CaratiniMILCDNo16
James McCannNYMCD027
Logan O'HoppePHICB147 (stash promotion bid)
Austin WynnsSFCENo05
Mike FordATL1BDNoNo6
Yoshi TsutsugoPIT1BDNoNo6
David BoteCHI2BD027
Mike BrosseauMIL2BDNoNo5
Johan CamargoPHI2BD015
Donovan SolanoCIN2BENoNo5
Josh VanMeterPIT2BENoNo4
Donovan WaltonSF2BENoNo3
Brian AndersonMIA3BDNo16
Elehuris MonteroCOL3BENoNo4
Miguel VargasLA3BA/B2711 (early stash bid)
Joey WendleMIA3BC/D159 (injury spec return bid)
CJ AbramsSDSSA/B51118 (up substantially if he sticks)
Oneil CruzPITSSA223344
Kevin NewmanPITSSENoNo5
Willie CalhounSFOFD015 (spec promotion bid)
Yonathan DazaCOLOFD2711
Ben GamelPITOFENoNo6
Bligh MadrisPITOFD159
Mickey MoniakPHIOFENoNo5
Tyler NaquinCINOFD3914 (upped injury return bid)
Lars NootbaarSTLOFD/ENoNo5
Eddie RosarioATLOFC2711 (early spec return bid)
Esteury RuizSDOFC159 (early spec call up bid)
Trayce ThompsonLAOFD159
Nelson VelazquezCHIOFENoNo6
LaMonte WadeSFOFD2711 (same injury return bid)

STARTING PITCHER

Anthony DeSclafani, Giants: DeSclafani, out since Apr. 22 with an ankle injury and on the 60-day IL, was activated and started Tuesday while giving up five earned runs on six hits and a walk in just three innings of work. He returned to action despite only throwing 5.2 innings in two rehab starts, looking like he needed additional minor-league outings. Disco posted a 6.08 ERA and 1.80 WHIP in 13.1 innings over three starts prior to sustaining his ankle injury and a career-best 3.17 ERA while starting 31 games for the Giants last season. 12-team Mixed: $1, 15-team Mixed: $4; 12-team NL: $7 (slightly lowered return bid)

Chi Chi Gonzalez, Brewers: Gonzalez, claimed off waivers from the Twins last week, started Tuesday and allowed three runs on four hits and a walk while striking out two in four innings. He got the nod again Sunday, but may head to the bullpen with Brandon Woodruff (hand) slated to return to action this week. Gonzalez was designated for assignment by Minnesota after he made two starts for the Twins and gave up six runs on 12 hits across seven innings while walking four batters. 12-team Mixed: No, 15-team Mixed: No; 12-team NL: $4 

Gordon Graceffo, Cardinals: Graceffo, drafted in the fifth-round last year, is steadily moving up the Cardinals' minor-league ladder. Over eight starts with High-A Peoria this season, the 22-year-old turned in an 0.99 ERA, 0.69 WHIP and 56:4 K:BB across 45.2 innings. Graceffo has produced a 2.78 ERA, 0.95 WHIP and 18:2 K:BB in 22.2 innings spanning four starts since his promotion to Double-A Springfield. He showcases a fastball that sits around 95 MPH with solid sinking action and mixes in adequate breaking stuff with a changeup that works well off his heater while also displaying pinpoint control. If Graceffo continues to succeed, he could see Triple-A late this year with a possible call up by the end of the season. 12-team Mixed: $1, 15-team Mixed: $4; 12-team NL: $7 (stash bid) 

Dallas Keuchel, Diamondbacks: Keuchel went seven innings Monday in his second outing for the Diamondbacks' affiliate in the Arizona Complex League and could start Sunday for the parent club. He allowed three runs - two earned - with one walk and 13 Ks after tossing four frames on Jun. 13. That latter "outing" was Keuchel's first following him signing a minor-league contract with Arizona after he was designated for assignment and ultimately released by the White Sox in late May. He posted a career-worst 7.88 ERA and 2.16 WHIP in 32 innings over eight starts in Chicago to start the season and his agreement with the Diamondbacks reunited him with pitching coach Brent Strom, whom he worked with for five years in Houston. 12-team Mixed: $1, 15-team Mixed: $5; 12-team NL: $9 (upped spec call up bid) 

Nick Lodolo, Reds: Lodolo, profiled last week, gets another mention as he's in the middle of his rehab starts in the minors. He tossed four scoreless innings Thursday with Triple-A Louisville and is scheduled for another minor-league rehab start Wednesday. Lodolo is expected to throw about five innings and 85-to-90 pitches in what should be his final start before rejoining the Reds' rotation. He opened the season with Cinci, but lasted just three starts before he was sidelined due a lower-back strain. Lodolo posted a 5.52 ERA and 1.57 WHIP in 14.2 innings in those three outings. Over 13 starts between Double-A Chattanooga and Triple-A Louisville last season, the 6-foot-6 lefty turned in a 2.31 ERA, 0.97 WHIP and 78:11 K:BB across 50.2 innings while holding opposing hitters to a .207 average. Mixed: $3, 15-team Mixed: $9; 12-team NL: $14 (upped spec return bid)

Steven Matz, Cardinals: Matz, sidelined since May 22 with left shoulder impingement, threw a bullpen session last weekend and increased his intensity during this past Friday's throwing session. The southpaw is expected to begin a rehab assignment at Triple-A Memphis on Tuesday. Given prior setbacks, the Cardinals will tread carefully with Matz, who is expected to require multiple rehab starts prior to returning from the injured list likely around the All-Star break. Prior to being injured, he had posted a 6.03 ERA and 1.39 WHIP in his first nine starts as Cardinal. 12-team Mixed: $1, 15-team Mixed: $5; 12-team NL: Rostered (spec injury return bid) 

Max Meyer, Marlins: Meyer, out since May 17 with ulnar nerve irritation in right elbow, was activated from Triple-A Jacksonville's 7-day injury list Wednesday. He tossed four innings, allowing one run on a single hit while striking out five that day after pitching three innings at Single-A Jupiter on Jun. 17. Meyer had posted a 1.71 ERA, 0.80 WHIP and 33:6 K:BB through 26.1 innings over his five starts at Triple-A before getting rocked in consecutive starts just before landing on the IL. Drafted third overall in 2020, he boasts an elite fastball-slider combination and logged a 2.27 ERA, 1.19 WHIP and 130:42 K:BB in 111 innings with 20 starts last season coming at Double-A and two at Triple-A. If Meyer is successful over the next few starts, he could be in the majors just before or after the All-Star Game. 12-team Mixed: $2, 15-team Mixed: $7; 12-team NL: $11 (early spec call up bid) 

Mitch White, Dodgers: White started Saturday on short notice after Andrew Heaney (shoulder) was placed on the 15-day injured list Friday, but was fully rested since he last pitched at Triple-A Oklahoma City last Saturday. He allowed three runs on five hits and a pair of walks while striking out three in four innings. White made starts in his past four outings for the Dodgers while posting a 3.31 ERA, 0.98 WHIP and 16:5 K:BB over 16.1 innings before being sent down Jun. 10. The right-hander will likely have a chance to make several turns through the rotation while Heaney is sidelined. 12-team Mixed: $1, 15-team Mixed: $4; 12-team NL: $7

RELIEF PITCHER 

Brusdar Graterol, Dodgers: Graterol's importance to the Dodgers' bullpen went up exponentially due to Daniel Hudson suffering an ACL injury Friday. Prior to allowing a pair of runs in the ninth inning, Graterol had thrown 7.1 consecutive scoreless innings over seven outings where he's managed a 6:0 K:BB and picked up one win along with two holds. With Hudson out, Graterol should slide into the eighth inning role setting up Craig Kimbrel while Blake Treinen (shoulder) remains sidelined for at least a few more weeks. 12-team Mixed: $1, 15-team Mixed: $4; 12-team NL: $7 

CATCHER

Victor Caratini, Brewers: Despite the return of Omar Narvaez from the COVID list two weeks ago, Caratini is still seeing solid playing time. While he's primarily starting against lefties, the 28-year-old is making the most of his opportunities and has posted a career-high .830 OPS through 33 contests. More impressive is Caratini's .978 OPS vs. southpaws going into Saturday, making him almost a must start in DFS when Milwaukee faces lefties. 12-team Mixed: No, 15-team Mixed: $1; 12-team NL: $6

James McCann, Mets: McCann, out since May 13 and underwent surgery on May 17 to repair a fractured left hamate bone, was activated but not in the starting lineup Friday. His activation came after he completed a five-game stint at Double-A Binghamton where he hit .286 with two doubles, three runs and an RBI. McCann struggled early in the season with a .196/.266/.286 slash line, but the Mets missed his pitch calling and framing. Tomas Nido hasn't impressed and the Mets could look to bolster the spot if they think Francisco Alvarez - who's raking at Double-A - isn't ready yet. 12-team Mixed: $0, 15-team Mixed: $1; 12-team NL: $7

Logan O'Hoppe, Phillies: Bryce Harper suffered a fractured left thumb after getting hit by Blake Snell pitch Saturday. His absence will leave a huge hole in the Phillies' outfield and lineup. They could go with Kyle Schwarber, Odubel Herrera and Nick Castellanos from left to right field despite the defensive liability with that alignment, with Matt Vierling also seeing time. Harper's injury could open the door for O'Hoppe, despite him not being on the 40-man roster, to be promoted and DH. He's slashing .273/.381/.531 with 14 home runs and 39 runs batted in at Double-A Reading. It's a long shot O'Hoppe gets the nod, but he's worth a bid if that happens. 12-team Mixed: $0, 15-team Mixed: $1; 12-team NL: $5 (spec promotion bid)

Austin Wynns, Giants: Wynns, acquired from the Phillies earlier this month when Joey Bart was sent to the minors, continues to receive consistent playing time behind the plate for the Giants. Curt Casali is still in the catching mix, but Wynns should at least split time if he shows something at the plate. 12-team Mixed: No, 15-team Mixed: $0; 12-team NL: $5 

FIRST BASE

Mike Ford, Braves: Atlanta recalled Ford from Triple-A Gwinnett on Monday. Claimed off waivers from Seattle earlier this month, he joined the big club after spending the prior week and a half at Triple-A Gwinnett. Ford provides Atlanta with a left-handed bat off the bench, but isn't expected to usurp either of Matt Olson or Marcell Ozuna for the top job at first or DH. 12-team Mixed: No, 15-team Mixed: No; 12-team NL: $6

Yoshi Tsutsugo, Pirates: Tsutsugo, sidelined since May 26 with a lumbar muscle strain, began a rehab assignment at Triple-A Indianapolis on Tuesday. Once cleared to return from the 10-day injured list, he could unseat either Michael Chavis or Daniel Vogelbach for regular starts at first base or designated hitter. But that is unlikely, as Tsutsugo struggled to a .177/.281/.257 line through 35 games this season while Chavis has hit well enough to maintain his hold on the starting role. And the Pirates are getting several injured players back who can fill in at DH. 12-team Mixed: No, 15-team Mixed: No; 12-team NL: $6 

SECOND BASE

David Bote, Cubs: Bote, on the 60-day injured list following offseason shoulder surgery, was activated Friday with Jonathan Villar waived in a corresponding move. He appeared in 18 games during a rehab assignment at Triple-A Iowa and slashed .284/.351/.403 with a triple, six doubles, 12 RBI, seven runs and three stolen bases. Bote should see time as utility infielder between second and third base, especially with Villar gone. 12-team Mixed: $0, 15-team Mixed: $2; 12-team NL: $7

Mike Brosseau, Brewers: Brosseau, on the shelf since Jun. 3 with a sprained right ankle, was activated off the IL Friday. He appeared in five minor-league games during a rehab assignment, going 5-for-18 with two doubles, three runs, three walks and three strikeouts. The 28-year-old should operate in the short side of a platoon at second or third now that he's healthy. 12-team Mixed: No, 15-team Mixed: No; 12-team NL: $5

Johan Camargo, Phillies: Camargo, out since Jun. 7 with a strained right knee, was activated Tuesday and batted eighth while playing third base against the Rangers. He was deemed ready to go after a brief rehab assignment. Camargo had been a near-everyday player immediately prior to his injury, but may not have the same number of opportunities available going forward since Didi Gregorius has returned from a knee injury. 12-team Mixed: $0, 15-team Mixed: $1; 12-team NL: $6 

Donovan Solano, Reds: Solano (hamstring) was reinstated off the 60-day injured list Tuesday after completing his rehab assignment earlier this month. Now active, Solano should get time at second, third and shortstop as a short-side platoon option for Jonathan India, Kyle Farmer or Brandon Drury, depending on which player the Reds want to rest. 12-team Mixed: No, 15-team Mixed: No; 12-team NL: $5

Josh VanMeter, Pirates: VanMeter, out after fracturing his left ring finger Jun. 1, began a minor-league rehab assignment at Triple-A Indianapolis on Tuesday. Prior to being sidelined, he had settled in as the Pirates' primary second baseman despite a mediocre .214/.280/.357 slash line. VanMeter likely won't reclaim that role once his rehab assignment concludes following the promotions of Tucupita Marcano (illness) and Oneil Cruz for the middle infield coupled with the presence of Yu Chang, Diego Castillo and Hoy Park. 12-team Mixed: No, 15-team Mixed: No; 12-team NL: $4 

Donovan Walton, Giants: Walton was called back up from Triple-A Sacramento with Luis Gonzalez (back) hitting the IL. He appeared in 16 games after being promoted from Sacramento in mid-May while posting a .529 OPS. LaMonte Wade (knee) is close to returning, after which Walton could head back to the minors. 12-team Mixed: No, 15-team Mixed: No; 12-team NL: $3

THIRD BASE 

Brian Anderson, Marlins: Anderson, sidelined since May 28 due to a mild disc bulge in his lumbar spine, began a rehab assignment at Triple-A Jacksonville on Thursday. He's seen most of his action at the hot corner, but also logged 13 games in the outfield. Jon Berti has excelled at third base while Anderson has been sidelined and Joey Wendle (hamstring) is close to returning from the 10-day IL. The presence of both could result in Anderson seeing a major decline in playing time once ready to return as his production has waned the past two years partially impacted by his shoulder injury and surgery. 12-team Mixed: $0, 15-team Mixed: $1; 12-team NL: $6

Elehuris Montero, Rockies: Montero, who had a brief stint with the major-league club earlier in June and went 2-for-13 with five strikeouts, was recalled from Triple-A Albuquerque on Tuesday. He was more successful in the minors having slashed .327/.395/.563 with 13 home runs, 43 RBI, 35 runs and three stolen bases this season. Montero appears to be stuck occupying a small-side platoon role, as all four of his starts this year have come with a southpaw on the mound. His stint in the majors this time may last only until Kris Bryant (back) is ready to return to action next weekend. 12-team Mixed: No, 15-team Mixed: No; 12-team NL: $4

Miguel Vargas, Dodgers: Vargas, profiled in mid-May, gets another mention as he started in left field for Triple-A Oklahoma City for the first time this season on Wednesday. That decision came a few days after Mookie Betts (hip) landed on the IL.  Vargas, a top-20 prospect in nearly all circles, got off to a slow start, but has been raking ever since slashing .286/.384/.487 with 11 home runs, 50 RBI, 58 runs and eight stolen bases on 10 attempts. Last season, he hit .319/.380/.526 with 23 home runs, a 16.4 K% and an 8.3 BB% in 120 games at High-A and Double-A, evidencing his upper-tier hit and power tool. It wouldn't be surprising to see Vargas called up at some point this season as he's stood out building on his impressive spring and improved plate discipline. 12-team Mixed: $2; 15-team Mixed: $7; 12-team-NL: $11 (early stash bid) 

Joey Wendle, Marlins:  Wendle, on the injured list since May 30 for the second time with hamstring discomfort, started a rehab assignment as the DH for Triple-A Jacksonville on Saturday. It's possible the 32-year-old will require multiple rehab games, but it seems likely he'll rejoin the Marlins sometime next week. Brian Anderson (back) is also in Jacksonville on a rehab assignment, and it's not yet clear how the playing time will be dished out once Anderson, Wendle and Jon Berti are all at full health. But that playing time could also be impacted if Miguel Rojas' right bone contusion keeps him out of the lineup. Prior to going down the first time on May 11, he had maintained a .304/.368/.456 line with two home runs, 10 RBI and 12 runs scored across 87 plate appearances. 12-team Mixed: $1, 15-team Mixed: $5; 12-team NL: $9 (injury spec return bid)

SHORTSTOP

CJ Abrams, Padres: Abrams was recalled by the Padres on Monday with Manny Machado dealing with an ankle injury. He opened the season in the bigs having come straight from Double-A but looked overmatched leading to a demotion a little over a month in with a .182/.270/.273 line across 20 games. Abrams has fared far better in his first taste of Triple-A action going.314/.365/.507 in 30 contests. He's starting regularly at shortstop, with Ha-Seong Kim sliding to cover third base - at least until Machado returns. When that happens, Abrams could overtake Kim and move him to a utility role or could go back down. 12-team Mixed: $5, 15-team Mixed: $11; 12-team NL: $18 (up substantially if think he sticks in the majors) 

Oneil Cruz, Pirates: Cruz finally got the call last Monday to join the Pirates and take over as the team's starting shortstop, though he could see the occasional game in left field. He posted a .233/.337/.424 slash line to go with nine home runs and 11 stolen bases across 246 plate appearances, building off the success he had in Double-A last season. More importantly, Cruz showed at the higher level he could handle the position defensively. He's made an immediate impact for Pittsburgh on both sides of the ball while flashing his five-tool potential. 12-team Mixed: $22, 15-team Mixed: $33; 12-team NL: $44

Kevin Newman, Pirates: Newman, out since Apr. 26, first with a groin injury and then a hamstring, began a rehab assignment at Triple-A Indianapolis on Tuesday. Once active, he'll move into a backup role due to the promotion of Oneil Cruz, but could see some action at second. Pittsburgh lists several players at the keystone, making Newman a potential trade candidate. 12-team Mixed: No, 15-team Mixed: No; 12-team NL: $5 

OUTFIELD

Willie Calhoun, Giants: Calhoun was traded from the Rangers to the Giants in exchange for Steven Duggar on Thursday. He hit just .136 with a homer, seven runs and two RBI over 18 games with the Rangers to begin the year and was outrighted to Triple-A Round Rock in early June. Calhoun, who spent the last six years with Texas, slashed .217/.264/.410 with five home runs, 20 RBI and 18 runs over 21 games in Round Rock. He's started his stint with SF in the minors, but could be up in the majors before too long if he starts hitting. 12-team Mixed: $0, 15-team Mixed: $1; 12-team NL: $5 (spec promotion bid)

Yonathan Daza, Rockies: Daza has taken over in left field while Kris Bryant has been on the IL. Until getting a day off Saturday, he had started the last 15 games and hit .297 with four doubles, 10 runs and two RBI during that time. Bryant is due back this week, but Daza should still receive consistent playing time at all three outfield spots and provide a solid BA and OBA with some runs, albeit with no power or speed. 12-team Mixed: $2, 15-team Mixed: $7; 12-team NL: $11

Ben Gamel, Pirates: Gamel, on the 10-day injured list since May 29 with a strained left hamstring, began a rehab assignment at Triple-A Indianapolis on Thursday. The Pirates will likely keep him on assignment for several games before considering activating him. Though the 30-year-old was playing regularly against right-handed pitching prior to landing on the shelf, he may need to settle for a reserve role once reinstated with the rebuilding Pirates probably inclined to give younger players a look in the outfield. All of Jack Suwinski, Bligh Madris and Cal Mitchell are probably viewed as higher-priority options than Gamel at this point, though all four could get time at DH in place of Daniel Vogelbach. 12-team Mixed: No, 15-team Mixed: No; 12-team NL: $6 

Bligh Madris, Pirates: Madris, a ninth-round pick in 2017, joined Oneil Cruz in Pittsburgh on Monday. The lefty outfielder earned the promotion by slashing .308/.390/.526 with five homers and two stolen bases in 177 plate appearances with Triple-A Indianapolis, numbers aided by a hot June. With fellow rookies Jack Suwinski and Cal Mitchell seemingly established as the Pirates' primary starters at the corner-outfield spots, the 26-year-old Madris may have to initially settle for a reserve role with Pittsburgh, but should operate at both spots along with first base and DH. 12-team Mixed: $1, 15-team Mixed: $5; 12-team NL: $9 

Mickey Moniak, Phillies: Moniak, who broke his hand just before the start of the regular season and cost him a spot on the Opening Day roster, was activated and called up at the end of May. He was sent down after playing just nine games, posting a.160/.250/.161 slash line and 37.9 percent strikeout rate. Moniak has raked since his demotion and could get called up again with Bryce Harper fracturing his left thumb Saturday. Matt Vierling is likely the primary beneficiary of Harper's injury while Yairo Munoz could also factor in the outfield mix.  12-team Mixed: No; 15-team Mixed: No; 12-team-NL: $5 

Tyler Naquin, Reds: Naquin, out since May 31 with a quadriceps injury, ran the bases Wednesday and could be cleared to begin a minor-league rehab assignment by the end of the week. This is in line with the information that came out last week that he was reportedly "way ahead of schedule" in his recovery from a left quadriceps strain, an injury that had been expected to sideline him for 4-to-6 weeks. If Naquin begins a rehab stint early this week, he could return in early-July. Once active, he should start almost daily in right field. 12-team Mixed: $3, 15-team Mixed: $9; 12-team NL: $14 (upped injury return bid)

Lars Nootbaar, Cardinals: Nootbaar was recalled from Triple-A Memphis on Monday with Tyler O'Neill (hamstring) going on the injured list. He accomplished very little with his 57 plate appearances earlier in the season, striking out a third of the time while hitting .140/.228/.240. Nootbaar has been better during this stint, but is likely limited to being a fourth outfielder and around until O'Neill is ready to return. 12-team Mixed: No, 15-team Mixed: No; 12-team NL: $5 

Eddie Rosario, Braves: Rosario, on the IL since late April due to blurred vision and swelling in his right retina, began a rehab assignment at Triple-A Gwinnett on Saturday. He progressed to this step after having his vision re-evaluated Thursday, which came following getting cleared to resume hitting and throwing in early June. Rosario likely will require several rehab games before being recalled, which should occur either just before or right after the All-Star break. 12-team Mixed: $2, 15-team Mixed: $7; 12-team NL: $11 (early spec return injury bid) 

Esteury Ruiz, Padres: Ruiz has posted a .375/.500/.661 slash line with four homers, 11 steals and an 8:14 BB:K through 14 games since his promotion to Triple-A El Paso on Jun. 9. That came after he tore up Double-A San Antonio going .344 with nine home runs, 37 RBI, 54 runs scored, and 37 steals over 232 plate appearances - both figures aided by a very high BABIP. Trent Grisham has shown some signs of life the past few weeks, which has enabled the Padres to keep Ruiz in the minors. But if Ruiz, who profiles best in center field, continues to rake and Grisham regresses, the drumbeats to promote the former from the minors will get louder. 12-team Mixed: $1, 15-team Mixed: $5; 12-team NL: $9 (early spec call up bid) 

Trayce Thompson, Dodgers: Thompson, who joined Detroit on a minor-league contract in mid-May, was traded from the Tigers to the Dodgers on Monday for cash considerations. He appeared in 41 games between Triple-A El Paso and Toledo this year, slashing .305/.365/.721 with 17 home runs, 36 RBI, 33 runs and two stolen bases. Thompson provides LA an extra right-handed bat in right field while Mookie Betts (rib) is sidelined. He was expected to operate as a short-side platoon mate for the switch-hitting Eddy Alvarez, but started the past two and could earn additional at-bats if he produces. 12-team Mixed: $1, 15-team Mixed: $5; 12-team NL: $9

Nelson Velazquez, Cubs: Velazquez was recalled from Triple-A Iowa on Monday for his second stint in the majors. He spent two days on the big-league roster in late May and went 2-for-7 at the plate. Velazquez got the nod despite not being particularly good at Triple-A this season where he hit .211/.290/.415 in 34 games while striking out 36.2 percent of the time. He's made the most of his playing time during this current stint going 4-for-9 with three walks in five games. With Jason Heyward batting just .204 and Chicago looking to the future, Velazquez could see consistent playing time - at least in the short-term. 12-team Mixed: No, 15-team Mixed: No; 12-team NL: $6 

LaMonte Wade, Giants:  Wade, on the IL twice since late spring due to inflammation and a bone bruise in his left knee, is close to completing the rehab assignment he started Jun. 17. He originally returned to action May 6 before being sidelined again two weeks later due to the same injury. Luis Gonzalez, now sidelined with a lower-back strain, and Austin Slater have filled in for Wade in right field. Once back in action, Wade should see substantive playing time in left and right field - and largely against righties due to his struggles versus southpaws.  12-team Mixed: $2; 15-team Mixed: $7; 12-team-NL: $11 (same injury return bid, up when activated) 

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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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