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AL FAAB Factor: Waiver Pickups of the Week

Clay Link

Clay Link is the MLB Editor at RotoWire. A fan of the Cincinnati Reds, professional wrestling and hip hop music, he can be heard Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio. He also co-hosts the Prospect Podcast every Thursday.

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.

This year, we're incorporating sortable grids into the FAAB articles, so users can see at a glance how certain players stack up against others and how much they should command in a variety of formats.

These grids include a very basic "player grade" column. This serves as a reflection of a player's skills and role on an A-E scale. Carlos Correa would have been an "A" grade player last year -- that mark will be reserved for similar high-impact prospects stepping into an everyday role.

Not seeing a certain player? Check to see if they were mentioned in last weekís article. If there is a player not discussed in either 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) $ (AL-Only)
Dillon Gee KC SP C 0 2 5
Danny Duffy KC SP C No 0 3
Jhoulys Chacin LAA SP C 0 2 5
Martin Perez TEX SP C No 0 4
Sean O'Sullivan BOS SP D No No 0
Joaquin Benoit SEA RP C 0 2 5
Fernando Salas LAA RP C No 0 3
Matt Bush TEX RP D No No 1
Vance Worley BAL RP D No No 1
Gavin Floyd TOR RP D No No 1
Joe Biagini TOR RP D No No 0
Gary Sanchez NYY C B 3 7 16
Austin Romine NYY C D No No 0
Bobby Wilson TEX C D No 0 3
Marwin Gonzalez HOU 1B B 2 5 12
Adam Lind SEA 1B C No 0 3
Dae-Ho Lee SEA 1B C No 0 5
Richie Shaffer TB 1B D No No 1
Devon Travis TOR 2B C No 0 3
Josh Rutledge BOS 2B D No No 1
Gregorio Petit LAA 2B D No No 0
Brendan Ryan LAA 2B D No No 0
Alex Bregman HOU SS C 0 1 7
Tim Beckham TB SS D No No 2
Chase Headley NYY 3B C No 0 4
Jefry Marte LAA 3B D No No 0
Kaleb Cowart LAA 3B D No No 1
Norichika Aoki SEA OF B 2 5 12
Steven Moya DET OF C No 0 4
Ezequiel Carrera TOR OF C No 0 4
Jimmy Paredes BAL DH C No No 2

Starting Pitcher

Dillon Gee, Royals - Kansas City lost Chris Young (forearm) and Kris Medlen (shoulder) to the DL this week, and Gee will get an opportunity to run with a rotation spot until one or both make it back. Gee took the loss to the lowly Braves on Saturday in his first major league start since last June, allowing three runs over 5.1 innings. However, his stat line from the game is a little deceiving. The right-hander looked quite good throughout most of the outing -- he gave up just three hits and struck out five over five scoreless innings before running into trouble in the sixth. He was pitching well in relief to begin the season, and while the walks have been up, so is the strikeout rate (to its highest point since 2012), and that trend continued into his first start. Of course, the home park and defense behind him are highly favorable. Thereís a case for Gee in a variety of formats. 12-team mixed: $0; 15-team mixed: $2; AL-only: $5

Danny Duffy, Royals - Duffy will take the mound Sunday for his first start of the year, replacing Medlen, but will face a 50-pitch limit. The 29-year-old southpaw has not thrown more than 29 pitches in a game yet this season. Through 16 appearances, Duffy has an even 3.00 ERA, 1.22 WHIP and a 21:5 K:BB ratio, a year after posting an 8.3 percent K-BB% while working mostly in a starting role (21.6% K-BB% this year). The peripherals look great, but his splits against righties this season and track record as a starter suggest the results will remain mixed with more exposure to right-handed hitters over longer outings. He has some appeal as a potential streaming option in deeper leagues, but those in standard leagues may want to wait and see as Duffy gets stretched out. 12-team mixed: No; 15-team mixed: $0; AL-only: $3

Jhoulys Chacin, Angels - After one start with the Angels, Chacin is already looking like one of the teamís better starters, if not the ace of its injury-riddled rotation. The right-hander tossed seven innings of two-run ball against the Mariners on Saturday, three days after coming over from Atlanta in a trade, and was in line for the win when he left the game, He struck out four and perhaps most encouragingly, did not issue a walk. Chacin issued four walks in his final start with the Braves and had walked at least two in each of his prior three starts. There may be some ups and downs with the jump to the American League, but the favorable pitchers' parks out west should help in that regard. Further, while his career strikeout rate of just over 18 percent suggests his current mark is bound to fall, it may not fall as much as some think given his whiff rate. 12-team mixed: $0; 15-team mixed: $2; AL-only: $5

Martin Perez, Rangers - Perez continues to defy the ERA indicators like FIP and SIERA. With a quality start against the Blue Jays this week, Perez lowered his ERA to 3.23 through 47.1 innings. Heís allowed more than two runs in just one of his eight starts, yet has struck out only two more batters (28) than heís walked (26) on the year. The lefty has overcome the uptick in walks to this point with a 56.6 percent groundball rate (fifth in AL among qualifiers) and dominance against left-handed hitters. The cloud of impending regression and lack of strikeout upside scares off many prospective owners, and understandably so, but Perez is secure in the rotation and warrants consideration as a streamer in mixed leagues. 12-team mixed: No; 15-team mixed: $0; AL-only: $4

Sean OíSullivan, Red Sox - The 28-year-old did not walk a batter over six innings and picked up the win against Oakland in his first start of the season, but the 12 hits and four runs curbed enthusiasm to a large extent. His window to start will likely slam shut once Eduardo Rodriguez (knee) returns, and in the meantime, thereís not enough strikeout upside here to warrant a pickup even in AL-only leagues that allow daily lineup changes. 12-team mixed: No; 15-team mixed: No; AL-only: $0

Relief Pitcher

Joaquin Benoit, Mariners - Upon completion of a simulated inning Saturday, Benoit deemed himself ready to come off the DL, although it remains to be seen if the Mariners will activate him without a rehab stint. Regardless, Benoit is closing in on a return, and itís possible he could be closing for Seattle in short order. Itís been a tough couple of days for Steve Cishek, who blew back-to-back save chances Friday and Saturday, allowing five runs in two innings to raise his ERA from 0.98 to 3.10. Cishek did go 11-for-12 in save chances to open the 2016 campaign and may not be on thin ice quite yet, but Benoit will be an option if Cishek canít rebound in his next couple of save opportunities. 12-team mixed: $0; 15-team mixed: $2; AL-only: $5

Fernando Salas, Angels - Manager Mike Scioscia used Joe Smith in the eighth inning Friday night with the Angels down one run. After the team rallied to take the lead against Cishek in the in the top of the ninth, Salas came on to close things out. The right-hander breezed through a perfect frame on 10 pitches en route to his first save since 2011, but Salas then blew the lead Saturday, giving up one run on two hits and needing 20 pitches to record his lone out. Smith ended up getting the save Saturday and remains the preferred ninth-inning option with Huston Street on the DL, but Salas may continue to vulture occasional saves, and he has the talent to leap Smith in the pecking order at some point. 12-team mixed: No; 15-team mixed: $0; AL-only: $3

Matt Bush, Rangers - Nearly 12 years after being drafted first overall by the Padres, and following a three-year stint in prison, Bush finally made his major league debut Friday. He retired the heart of the Blue Jaysí order (Donaldson-Bautista-Encarnacion) on 17 pitches, routinely touching 97 mph with his fastball. He also throws a slider in the low-90s and successfully mixes in the curveball. It sounds like Bush will have a solid support system on the road, and the skills make him appealing for rebuilding teams in deep keeper leagues, but Bush will have to earn the trust of coaches and teammates. Manager Jeff Banister said Bush will not have a defined role in the bullpen to start. 12-team mixed: No; 15-team mixed: No; AL-only: $1

Vance Worley, Orioles - With two scoreless innings his last time out, Worley has now turned in six straight scoreless appearances since transitioning to the Oriolesí bullpen. He has a 20:6 K:BB in 20.2 innings and remains in the mix for spot starts down the line, but Worley will be hard-pressed to enter the mixed-league discussion at any point. 12-team mixed: No; 15-team mixed: No; AL-only: $1

Gavin Floyd, Blue Jays - The 33-year-old has quietly put together a strong first six weeks of the 2016 season, allowing four runs on 10 hits with 20 strikeouts against four walks in 18 innings. He has a 1-3 record and two holds, but Floyd may start working in more high-leverage spots if he keeps this up. Until then, heís merely a ratios play in deeper AL-only leagues. 12-team mixed: No; 15-team mixed: No; AL-only: $1

Joe Biagini, Blue Jays - One run in 11.1 innings; not a bad way to begin a major league career. The six walks are troubling, and his swinging-strike rate is south of eight percent, but hitters seem to be having a tough time squaring Biagini up right now. Still, heís only worthy of consideration in the deepest of leagues. 12-team mixed: No; 15-team mixed: No; AL-only: $0


Gary Sanchez, Yankees - The abbreviated stint for Sanchez -- the result of Luis Severinoís injury and its impact on the bullpen -- was a buzz kill. However, it may have created an opportunity to get Sanchez at a discount. The 23-year-old got off to a great start with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, slashing .288/.336/.541 with 11 doubles and five homers in 27 games. Itís only a matter of time before Sanchez returns for an extended stay, and his return could be expedited if the Yankeesí offense doesnít pick up. Some owners in 15-team mixed leagues would be better off swapping out their second catcher for Sanchez and taking a zero in that spot until Sanchez comes back up. 12-team mixed: $3; 15-team mixed: $7; AL-only: $16

Austin Romine, Yankees - With Sanchez demoted, Romine got the start at DH on Saturday. He doubled in three at-bats, raising his average on the year to .303, but heís not playing enough to rack up counting stats at a useful clip. 12-team mixed: No; 15-team mixed: No; AL-only: $0

Bobby Wilson, Rangers - A grand slam off Marco Estrada on Saturday pushed Wilsonís RBI total to nine since his return to Texas earlier this month (seven games). Heís seeing the primary share of the workload behind the plate, and that will likely continue while the Rangers await the return of Robinson Chirinos (forearm). However, Wilson has never been able to hit at a palatable clip over any sort of extended period, and unless he can start making more consistent contact, he will remain a risk in the batting average department. 12-team mixed: No; 15-team mixed: $0; AL-only: $3

First Base

Marwin Gonzalez, Astros - Gonzalez is seeing more regular playing time this month -- heís already logged more at-bats in May than he had in April -- as Tyler White and Luis Valbuena have struggled to carry their weight on offense. With hits in nine of his last 10 games, and five multi-hit games over that stretch, Gonzalez has raised his average from .185 to .253 and his OPS from .569 to .736. A.J. Reed hit the DL down at Triple-A, which pushes back his ETA and affords Gonzalez a decent window to build on his recent success. 12-team mixed: $2; 15-team mixed: $5; AL-only: $12

Adam Lind, Mariners - The 32-year-old homered Saturday in a two-hit effort, marking his second homer and sixth multi-hit game of the season. Lindís now hit safely in four straight games, but the overall line remains ugly and this stretch isnít enough to change his status as waiver wire fodder in mixed leagues. 12-team mixed: No; 15-team mixed: $0; AL-only: $3

Dae-Ho Lee, Mariners - Heís now up to five home runs, but Lee remains on the short side of the first-base platoon, and the counting stats continue to suffer as a result. Lee has made all of two starts against opposing right-handed pitching this season, so heís still better left for AL-only leagues. 12-team mixed: No; 15-team mixed: $0; AL-only: $5

Richie Shaffer, Rays - Logan Forsytheís placement on the DL with a hairline fracture in his shoulder blade has created a void at second base, one which Steve Pearce will help fill. The need for Pearce at the keystone could afford Schaffer a chance in a platoon role alongside Logan Morrison at some point, although the team hasnít given any indication that a promotion is imminent. Shaffer is hitting .265/.377/.402 with three homers and a steal in 33 games with Triple-A Durham. As a 24-year-old last year, Schaffer combined for 30 homers between three levels (four in 31 games with Tampa Bay). 12-team mixed: No; 15-team mixed: No; AL-only: $1

Second Base

Devon Travis, Blue Jays - Now six months removed from shoulder surgery, Travis was cleared to begin a minor league rehab assignment this week. He went 1-for-4 with a double on Friday in his first game with the teamís High-A Dunedin affiliate. The Jays are going to make him earn the starting job back, but Travis should be able to do just that so long as he avoids any setbacks as he works his way through the system. 12-team mixed: No; 15-team mixed: $0; AL-only: $3

Josh Rutledge, Red Sox - The 27-year-old has fared well in a limited number of opportunities so far this season, going 8-for-23 with four doubles. His starts will remain few and far between, but Rutledge could soon gain third-base eligibility (eight appearances this season) and that helps his case in really deep leagues, if only slightly. 12-team mixed: No; 15-team mixed: No; AL-only: $1

Gregorio Petit, Angels - Called up to replace Cliff Pennington (hamstring) on the active roster, Petit got the start at shortstop on Saturday and went 1-for-3 with a single. Heís a 13-year minor league veteran whoís played nine seasons at the Triple-A level and 83 games in parts of five seasons in the majors. Thereís no offensive upside to speak of here. 12-team mixed: No; 15-team mixed: No; AL-only: $0

Brendan Ryan, Angels - Between Petit and Ryan, itís uncertain who will see more work with Andrelton Simmons and Pennington out, but itís largely moot for fantasy purpose. Neither is worthy of a pickup, even in 12-team AL-only leagues, as itís hard to imagine either ending up a net positive. Ryan is 0-for-7 with four strikeouts so far this year. 12-team mixed: No; 15-team mixed: No; AL-only: $0


Alex Bregman, Astros - General manager Jeff Luhnow acknowledged this week that Bregman has a chance to reach the majors this season, which seems pretty significant. The 22-year-old Bregman played third base for Double-A Corpus Christi on Friday, marking his first professional start at the position, and the team has not ruled out the possibility he could get a look at other positions. Third base is his best path to 2016 playing time. When he does get the call, Bregman will immediately warrant a starting spot in most leagues, but the question is whether he will get the call in time to pay off as a long-term stash in standard formats. 12-team mixed: $0; 15-team mixed: $1; AL-only: $7

Tim Beckham, Rays - Steve Pearce and Brandon Guyer (leadoff) are the obvious beneficiaries with Logan Forsythe hitting the DL, but Beckham should play against all left-handed starters, and who knows, maybe heíll see a start against a right-hander. Those in mixed leagues looking to replace Forsythe in a middle-infield spot would be wise to look more toward National League options (like Trea Turner, Derek Dietrich, etc.). Beckham hit nine homers last year but the power has been non-existent so far this season. 12-team mixed: No; 15-team mixed: No; AL-only: $2

Third Base

Chase Headley, Yankees - An absolutely miserable start to the season led to Headley hitting a lot of mixed-league waiver wires, and thatís probably where he should remain. The 32-year-old smacked his first two home runs (and first two extra-base hits) this week, and now has more hits this month than he had in April. His strikeout, contact and walk rates suggest the plate skills remain intact for the most part, but the batted ball profile hints at declining bat speed. 12-team mixed: No; 15-team mixed: $0; AL-only: $4

Jefry Marte, Angels - Marte hit a pair of doubles in Fridayís win, but Yunel Escobar returned to the lineup Saturday, so Marteís tenure with the big club will presumably come to an end in the near future. 12-team mixed: No; 15-team mixed: No; AL-only: $0

Kaleb Cowart, Angels - A first-round pick in 2010 (18th overall), Cowart has fallen off the prospect radar completely over the past few years. That said, he is off to a nice start at Triple-A Salt Lake (.302/.360/.444) and the Angels are getting next to nothing from the second base position. Cowart is still just 23, and while thereís little power or speed to see here, he might be relevant in AL-only leagues with regular playing time. 12-team mixed: No; 15-team mixed: No; AL-only: $1


Norichika Aoki, Mariners - Despite a .238/.333/.315 line through 35 games, Aoki remains the primary leadoff option for Seattle. Heís been caught five times in seven attempts on the basepaths and is still without a home run, but the 34-year-old has been showing some signs of life recently, going 14-for-47 (.298 average) to begin May. For now, Aoki can be left be in 12-team mixers, but if heís out there in 15-teamers, Aoki deserves some consideration for a reserve spot. 12-team mixed: $2; 15-team mixed: $5; AL-only: $12

Steven Moya, Tigers - Saturdayís start was Moyaís third straight, but itís uncertain if heíll stick around upon Cameron Maybinís return this week. While the 24-year-old was off to a blistering start with Triple-A Toledo before getting the call to Detroit, slashing .310/.341/.627 with nine homers in 31 games, he could probably use additional time in the minors to refine his approach. 12-team mixed: No; 15-team mixed: $0; AL-only: $4

Ezequiel Carrera, Blue Jays - A bout of chest soreness led to Kevin Pillarís scratch from Saturdayís lineup and afforded Carrera the start in center field. He has enough speed to be somewhat interesting in deep leagues if he were ever to land a regular role, but unless Pillar hits on the DL, Carrera will likely continue to see only sporadic opportunities. 12-team mixed: No; 15-team mixed: $0; AL-only: $4

Designated Hitters

Jimmy Paredes, Orioles - Now 18 games into his rehab assignment, Paredes is batting .308/.370/.477 with a pair of homers, with eight hits in 24 at-bats since transferring to Triple-A Norfolk. Itís uncertain where heíll fit in once his rehab clock officially runs out -- itís possible he could head back to Norfolk upon activation to continue knocking the rust off -- and heís UTIL-only in most leagues, but Paredes can hit enough when in a regular role to be relevant in AL-only leagues. 12-team mixed: No; 15-team mixed: No; AL-only: $2