MLB fantasy waiver wire: A-Rod, Cashner offer late power surge
The Waiver Wire is here to offer up the choicest cuts of waiver wire goodness, paying attention to mixed, as well as AL- and NL-only leagues. Every league is different, and some players listed here may not be available if you play in a deep mixed league. However, we'll try to address everyone's needs, whether the depth of your league resembles a kiddie pool or the Atlantic Ocean.
Alex Rodriguez, Yankees -- A-Rod returned to the Yankees earlier this week after a broken bone in his left hand kept him out of action for about six weeks. It had been an average season for Rodriguez before the injury, though he was finally starting to heat up at the plate. He hit .315/.367/.493 in July, and even swiped five bases in the month. That hot month got him up to .276/.358/.449 on the year with 15 homers and 11 steals. He's not the A-Rod of old, but he's certainly a great bat to add during the fantasy stretch run.
A.J. Griffin, A's -- Oakland activated Griffin from the DL last weekend, and he returned in strong fashion, allowing one run across seven innings, striking out five in a win over the Red Sox. Griffin is now 4-0 with a 2.26 ERA on the year, and has fanned 40 batters in 51.2 innings. With Bartolo Colon out the rest of the season, he is guaranteed a spot in Oakland's rotation, so long as he remains healthy. He'll likely get the Mariners and Angels in his next two turns, though only the Mariners come during this week, which is the final week in most fantasy regular seasons.
Ronald Belisario, Dodgers -- Kenley Jansen is out for the foreseeable future with an irregular heartbeat, so Belisario and Brandon League will share closing duties in his absence. The bet here is that if Jansen is out for an extended period of time, Belisario will eventually take this job for himself. He has been lights out this year, posting a 2.54 ERA, 1.02 WHIP and 52 strikeouts in 56.2 innings. League, on the other hand, has struggled all year, both with the Dodgers and Mariners. With L.A. chasing the Giants in the NL West, manager Don Mattingly will no doubt want the back end of his bullpen settled. That leads to Belisario as the closer.
Andrew Cashner, Padres -- My love for Cashner is no secret, but bias aside, I think he makes a great addition for the final month of the season. The Padres activated him from the DL last week, and he should find a spot in their rotation for the rest of the year. He hasn't been able to stay healthy, but he's a strikeout monster when he's on the mound, whiffing 45 batters in 36.2 innings this year. San Diego will consider this a de facto tryout for the 2013 rotation, so they'll give Cashner a ton of leash his next few times out. He makes a strong addition for the strikeout-needy.
Jurickson Profar, Rangers -- Baseball's top prospect made his debut with a bang over the weekend, hitting a home run in his first at-bat. It's unclear how much playing time Profar will get, but he's worth a shot in AL-only leagues, as well as keeper leagues of all stripes.
Samuel Deduno, Twins -- Deduno has proved himself a reliable starter in AL-only leagues, though he is far from matchup-proof. At 5-3 with a 3.33 ERA he's worth rostering, but he comes with a caution sticker.
Joaquin Arias, Giants -- Arias had a huge August, hitting .417/.438/.717 with three homers and 15 RBI in 60 at-bats. Manager Bruce Bochy said he'd try to get Arias in the lineup more, regardless of where he plays in the field.
Jedd Gyorko, Padres -- The Padres will likely call Gyorko up the majors in the near future, though there are no guarantees. The 23-year-old hit .328/.380/.588 with 24 homers and 83 RBI at Triple-A Tucson this season.
Chat with me on Twitter, @MBeller.
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