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NL FAAB Factor: Waiver Pickups of the Week

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 free-agent budget you should bid on them.

This year, we're incorporating 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 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.

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)
Austin Brice MIA SP E No No 2
Matt Garza MIL SP D 1 5 9
Edwin Jackson SD SP D 1 5 9
Reynaldo Lopez WAS SP C 2 7 11
Wily Peralta MIL SP D No 0 3
David Phelps MIA SP D 1 4 7
Alex Reyes STL SP C 0 1 4
Dan Straily CIN SP D 4 11 18
Luke Weaver STL SP C 1 5 9
Gabriel Ynoa NYM SP D No 0 2
Brett Anderson LA SP D 1 5 9
John Gant ATL SP E No No 2
Tyler Glasnow PIT SP C 3 9 14
Mauricio Cabrera ATL RP D 2 7 11
Raisel Iglesias CIN RP C 5 11 22
Adam Ottavino COL RP C 8 16 28
Fernando Rodney MIA RP C 8 16 28
Oscar Hernandez ARI C E No No 2
Yadier Molina STL C C 18 Owned Owned
Ben Paulsen COL 1B D No 2 7
Chris Owings ARI 2B D 1 5 9
Nick Noonan SD SS E No No 3
David Freese PIT 3B C 20 Owned Owned
T.J. Rivera NYM 3B E No No 3
Socrates Brito ARI OF D 2 7 11
Keon Broxton MIL OF E 1 5 9
Brandon Drury ARI OF E 1 5 9
Randal Grichuk STL OF D 3 9 14
Ender Inciarte ATL OF C 15 Owned Owned

Starting Pitching

Austin Brice, MIA -
Brice was called up from Triple-A New Orleans on Tuesday and made his major-league debut Friday in a perfect inning of relief against the White Sox with two strikeouts. He's been a starter most of his career, making 13 starts this season (27 appearances) at Double-A Jacksonville with a 2.89 ERA, 1.16 WHIP and 7.64 K/9. He'll pitch out of the bullpen for the Marlins, but it's possible he could be used in the rotation if needed. 12-team Mixed: No; 15-team Mixed: No; 12-team NL: $2

Matt Garza, MIL -
Garza posted this third quality start in his last four outings Thursday, allowing eight earned runs in that span. His K:BB in those four starts, though, is only 12:9. He's not a good source of strikeouts (5.13 K/9), but this stretch is the most comfortable he's looked on the mound since making his season debut in mid-June after a back injury. 12-team Mixed: No; 15-team Mixed: 5; 12-team NL: $9

Edwin Jackson, SD -
After seven shutout innings against the Pirates in his last start Wednesday, Jackson has four quality starts in his last five appearances. Since joining the Padres in mid-July, he has a 3.62 ERA and 1.24 WHIP in five starts. In his worst start, though, he gave up six runs in five innings, the only time he failed to go at least six innings. In the other four starts, his ERA is 2.30. He has just one start this week, but it comes against the Rays, who have a .308 wOBA (21st) and a 24.0 K% (4th) against right-handers this season. 12-team Mixed: $1; 15-team Mixed: $5; 12-team NL: $9

Reynaldo Lopez, WSH -
Lopez was called up Saturday and turned in an impressive start, allowing one run on five hits and two walks in seven innings against the Braves. He only struck out two, but he threw 71 of his 100 pitches for strikes. Lopez, 22, won't get the Braves every time out, but he'll see the same weak-hitting squad in his scheduled start Thursday. The hard-throwing righty has a chance to stick in the rotation after posting 122 K's in 102.1 innings between Triple-A and Double-A this season. 12-team Mixed: $2; 15-team Mixed: $7; 12-team NL: $11

Wily Peralta, MIL -
Peralta re-joined the rotation Tuesday for the first time since June 11 and posted a quality start, which he failed to do in each of his final six starts before his demotion. He showed increased velocity, but it's hard too get excited -- he needed 93 pitches to get through six innings against the lowly Braves, following a 6.31 ERA in 10 starts at Triple-A Colorado Springs. Peralta replaced the injured Junior Guerra, who is uncertain to come off the DL when eligible Friday. Peralta will have at least one more start this week, at Seattle, and could have a few more after that depending on Guerra's status. 12-team Mixed: No; 15-team Mixed: $0; 12-team NL: $3

David Phelps, MIA -
Phelps has turned in two solid starts since joining the Miami rotation when Colin Rea was dealt to San Diego. Phelps was limited to 70 pitches in his first start and then threw 91 in his second. His pitch counts likely will continue to be limited, which could keep him from going deep into games. He has a 2.40 ERA and 11.03 K/9 this season, and a 9:4 K:BB in his two starts. He is scheduled to start Tuesday against the weak-hitting Reds. 12-team Mixed: $1; 15-team Mixed: $4; 12-team NL: $7

Alex Reyes, STL -
Reyes made his major league debut Tuesday in relief, throwing a perfect ninth inning against the Reds with one strikeout. He retired the side on 11 pitches, eight for strikes. The 21-year-old flashed the electric stuff that has made him one of the game's top pitching prospects, hitting 101 mph on the radar gun and pulling the string on a devastating curveball. Luke Weaver started Saturday for the injured Michael Wacha (shoulder), and it's not clear when Reyes will make his first start, but it seems likely he'll get a chance to start at least a game or two before the end of the season. 12-team Mixed: $0; 15-team Mixed: $1; 12-team NL: $4 (lower bid since he will be in bullpen)

Dan Straily, CIN -
Straily has not allowed more than two runs in his last six starts and has posted eight consecutive quality starts with a 2.65 ERA, 0.94 WHIP and 37:11 K:BB in that span. He gave up 10 hits in his last start Saturday, but that looks to be an aberration as he entered ranked in the top 10 in the league in batting average against. Straily has allowed 19 homers this year -- not necessarily surprising considering his 89 mph fastball -- but otherwise he's induced weak contact and registerd a 7.17 K/9. 12-team Mixed: $4; 15-team Mixed: $11; 12-team NL: $18

Luke Weaver, STL -
Weaver turned in a decent outing in his major-league debut Saturday, allowing two runs on four hits and three walks in four innings with three strikeouts against the Cubs. He was done after 85 pitches and likely will continue to have his innings limited. But the Cardinals' No. 3 prospect has a lot of upside with a low-90s fastball and solid changeup. He posted a 1.40 ERA and 10.29 K/9 in 12 starts at Double-A Springfield this season before a recent promotion to Triple-A Memphis. Weaver could stick in the rotation for a while, considering Michael Wacha, whom Weaver replaced, could miss the rest of the season with right shoulder inflammation. 12-team Mixed: $1; 15-team Mixed: $5; 12-team NL: $9 (wait and see bid)

Brett Anderson, LA -
Anderson (back) was activated from the disabled list to make his season debut Sunday against the Pirates. He was solid in 12 rehab innings (three games), allowing three earned runs and striking out 11 batters. 12-team Mixed: $1; 15-team Mixed: $5; 12-team NL: $9

John Gant, ATL -
Gant (oblique) thew 70 pitches in a four-inning rehab start Wednesday and is expected to pitch seven innings in his next rehab outing. Gant, out since June 27, might be an option to start again once he builds his pitch count up, given the lack of options for the Braves. 12-team Mixed: No; 15-team Mixed: No; 12-team NL: $2

Tyler Glasnow, PIT -
Glasnow (shoulder) threw a 50-pitch bullpen session Tuesday and is schedule for a 65-70 pitch rehab start Sunday. It's uncertain how many rehab starts he will need or if he will join the Pirates' rotation immediately or head to Triple-A. 12-team Mixed: $3; 15-team Mixed: $9; 12-team NL: $14 (if healthy)

Relief Pitching

Mauricio Cabrera, ATL -
Cabrera, 22, has been dynamite since coming up in late June, posting a 2.78 ERA supported by a 20:6 K:BB in 22.2 innings. His average fastball is 100.4 mph. He had major control issues in the minors, but that is often the case with young fireballers until they learn to harness their fastball. And, in any case, he looks to have a handle on it now. Jim Johnson isn't in any risk of losing the closer's role in the short term, but Cabrera could be Atlanta's closer of the future. 12-team Mixed: 2; 15-team Mixed: 7; 12-team NL: $11

Raisel Iglesias, CIN
- Iglesisas picked up his first save Tuesday, as he continues to thrive in the bullpen (0.64 ERA in 28 innings). The Reds have largely used him as a multiple-inning reliever in the seventh and eighth innings, but he could see more ninth-inning work if the Reds want to at least give him a shot at closing with nothing left to play for this season. 12-team Mixed: $5; 15-team Mixed: $11; 12-team NL: $22 (closer spec)

Adam Ottavino, Col -
Ottavino recorded his first save of the season Thursday in his return to the Rockies' closer job. He has 17 consecutive scoreless appearances since his return from Tommy John surgery, though his velocity is down well below where it was before the procedure. Regardless, the closer job is his after Carlos Estevez pitched his way out of the ninth inning. 12-team Mixed: $8; 15-team Mixed: $16; 12-team NL: $28

Fernando Rodney, MIA -
Rodney is back in the closer job with A.J. Ramos on the disabled list. Rodney saved 17 games with the Padres before he was traded to Miami to set-up for Ramos. Now he'll get some more save chances until Ramos' broken finger heals. Rodney hasn't been as effective since joining the Marlins, raising his ERA from 0.31 to 2.30. Still, he'll get save chances until at least Aug. 21, when Ramos is eligible to return, and likely longer than that if Ramos doesn't make it back quickly. 12-team Mixed: $8; 15-team Mixed: $16; 12-team NL: $28 (if Ramos' finger keeps him out)


Oscar Hernandez, ARZ -
Hernandez was recently called up to back up Tuffy Gosewisch with Welington Castillo on paternity leave and Chris Herrmann on the disabled list. Hernandez homered Wednesday in his first start and saw action Saturday, as well. Castillo is expected back soon and Herrmann is a week or two from returning. Hernandez's time in the majors figures to be short. 12-team Mixed: No; 15-team Mixed: No; 12-team NL: $2

Yadier Molina, STL -
Molina has been on fire since the All-Star break, batting .375/.415/.557 with two homers and 10 doubles in 24 games. He's only driven in seven runs in that span, but you could do worse at the position. He dealt with a right hand contusion recently, but was not considered serious and he has since returned to the lineup. 12-team Mixed: $18; 15-team Mixed: Owned; 12-team NL: Owned

First Base

Ben Paulsen, COL -
Mark Reynolds' hand injury opened the door for Paulsen, who was called up Friday. Paulsen was demoted in May after hitting .258 with six extra-base hits in 29 games so he could get everyday at-bats rather than ride the Colorado bench. At Triple-A Albuquerque he found his stroke, hitting .276 with 27 extra-base hits, including six home runs, in 72 games. He made consecutive starts after his callup, and first base should be his for the next four to eight weeks while Reynolds is out. 12-team Mixed: No; 15-team Mixed: $2; 12-team NL: $7

Second base

Chris Owings, ARZ -
Owings (plantar fasciitis) was activated off the disabled list July 23, but in the last week he's started to finally find his way, going 12-for-24 with three doubles, two triples, four RBI and two stolen bases in six games. The injury kept him out most of June and July, but he appears back to normal health now. Owings, who played primarily in center earlier this season, is getting regular playing time at shortstop with Nick Ahmed on the DL. He's not an elite option, but Owings offers a solid batting average and a little speed, which puts him on the fantasy radar. 12-team Mixed: $1; 15-team Mixed: $5; 12-team NL: $9


Nick Noonan, SD -
Noonan was called up Wednesday and likely will get the bulk of the playing time at shortstop as the Padres look to phase out Alexei Ramirez in favor of their younger guys. Noonan, 27, batted .321/.353/.445 with four home runs in 87 games in the Pacific Coast League. He's not a top prospect and is on his third organization with just 135 big-league plate appearances. But he should get regular at-bats the rest of the way, making him in option in deep leagues. 12-team Mixed: No; 15-team Mixed: No; 12-team NL: $3

Third Base

David Freese, PIT -
Freese is on pace for his best season since 2012 in St. Louis, as he's hitting .284 with 11 homers, 46 RBI and an .811 OPS in 100 games. He's gotten added playing time at first base recently, in addition to covering third for the struggling Jung Ho Kang. Freese is a bit risky as his contact rate has dropped to 70 percent and his strikeout rate is up to 26.4 percent. But he's drawn more walks this season, as his 9.1 percent walk rate is his highest since 2012. 12-team Mixed: $20; 15-team Mixed: Owned; 12-team NL: Owned

T.J. Rivera, NY -
A utility infielder in his first stint in the majors, Rivera, 27, is not much of a prospect. His impressive .349/.391/.513 Triple-A batting line is tempered by the fact that it came in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League. He will share time with Kelly Johnson and Ty Kelly at third base while Jose Reyes (oblique) is on the DL, which will allow Wilmer Flores and Matt Reynolds to handle the duties at shortstop while Asdrubal Cabrera (knee) is also on the DL. Given how many similarly mediocre options the Mets have on the left side of the infield, Rivera will probably fail to see enough playing time to be of value in most formats. 12-team Mixed: No; 15-team Mixed: No; 12-team NL: $3


Socrates Brito, ARZ -
Brito was activated off the disabled list last week and should see time in right field with David Peralta out for the season, though Brandon Drury likely will get most of the starts. The organization's 2015 minor league player of the year, Brito failed to do much in two earlier stints with Arizona earlier this season, but perhaps this time around he will get more playing time and consistent at-bats. Brito, 23, is an excellent prospect and could contribute across the board if given the opportunity. 12-team Mixed: $2; 15-team Mixed: $7; 12-team NL: $11

Keon Broxton, Mil -
Broxton has earned somewhat regular playing time in center field lately. He has has a power/speed combo that is rare for his position. Since being recalled July 25, Broxton is 17-for-45 (.378) with two home runs, nine RBI and five steals in 16 games. His hit tool has always been considered below average, however -- in 130 plate appearances this season with Milwaukee his contact rate is a mere 56 percent while his strikeout rate is 36.9 percent. So, don't expect the hot average to last. But he can offer some homers and stolen bases. 12-team Mixed: $1 15-team Mixed: $5; 12-team NL: $9

Brandon Drury, ARZ -
Drury is expected to get increased playing time in right field with David Peralta out for the season. He's been cold over his last 30 games, batting .213/.276/.337. If that continues prospect Socrates Brito could take some of his at-bats. Drury has average power (.159 ISO) and qualifies at multiple positions, as he's played second and third base this season, as well. 12-team Mixed: $1; 15-team Mixed: $5; 12-team NL: $9

Randal Grichuk, STL -
With Matt Adams was placed on the disabled list, Grichuk was recalled to add some power to the lineup. And now with Matt Holliday on the DL, and his season in jeopardy, Grichuk should get more regular playing time down the stretch. Grichuck and Stephen Piscotty likely will handle most of the work at the corner outfield spots, but Grichuk probably will play center field too along with Tommy Pham. Grichuk's had a disappointing year, but he has 14 homers in 302 plate appearances. 12-team Mixed: $3; 15-team Mixed: $9; 12-team NL: $14

Ender Inciarte, ATL -
Inciarte is hitting .342 with a .784 OPS, 21 runs and three steals in his last 30 games, as he is finally warming to the opportunity offered him in the Atlanta outfield after a season of struggles. His contact rate is up to 88 percent, while his strikeout rate has fallen to 10.9 percent. He seems to have slowed on the basepaths, however, with just one attempt (and he was caught stealing) in his last 18 games. But if he continues to get on base somewhere near his .391 clip dating to July 9, he'll give himself opportunites for steals and runs, in addition to a good average. 12-team Mixed: $15 15-team Mixed: Ownded; 12-team NL: Owned