Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire: Jose Quintana, Devin Williams, & Jorge Alfaro (2022)
My, how our waiver wire needs change when we get to this point in the season. While the trade deadline varies depending on league format and playing platform, it should be coming up in the next couple of weeks for most. That hope we had that we could maybe peel a top-line starter or a premium infielder in exchange for draft picks disappears, and instead, we are left with a waiver wire filled with others’ rejects, the never-has-beens, and never-will-bes. But there are still treasures to find, depending on how you plan to approach the rest of your season.
My mother-in-law always loved to say, “If you want to see God laugh, make plans.” I’ve thought about her a lot this week as I find myself hunting down pitchers collecting SV/HDs while also qualifying as SP in a deep league with unique categories. This is the beauty and joy of the waiver wire, and it will always have some treasures to unearth if you’re willing to take a risk or seven.
The waiver weekend after the trade deadline is typically chaotic because many players’ roles and fantasy values change. I will also follow the great Brian Entrekin’s formatting to help you find an edge as we rocket toward the 2022 fantasy baseball playoffs.
FAABulous Four: Top Waiver Wire Targets
Devin Williams (RP – MIL) 52% Rostered
Devin Williams has played for the Brewers since 2019 and, for the most part, played second fiddle in the bullpen to Josh Hader in that period. With Hader hanging out in San Diego now, Williams can put his 40.74 K% on display while enriching your saves total instead of just being a ratio specialist. For those of you in leagues where waivers only run once, it may require a higher bid than your initial instinct to employ the 27-year-old for the rest of the year. He is the clear-cut fantasy winner of the trade deadline.
Alec Bohm (3B – PHI) 38% Rostered
It appears that Alec Bohm doesn’t hate Philadelphia as much as he used to. Over the last two weeks, he has slashed .417/.435/.583 with two home runs, 11 RBI, and 11 runs scored. While that pace is unsustainable, his overall numbers are of the “safe and steady” variety, which I never thought I’d say about this guy. For the season, he is slashing .297/.327/.418, and the third-base position scarcity has carried so far. Grab him if you have anyone outside the top 10 playing that position on your roster.
Mitch Haniger (OF – SEA) 68% Rostered
Mitch Haniger suffered a high-ankle sprain on April 29, giving us too small of a sample size to judge how his 2022 would compare to his breakout, 39-HR season a year ago. He is hitting with power in his Triple-A rehab and is scheduled to return to Seattle next week. The Mariners have a crowded outfield with Jesse Winker, Jarred Kelenic, Kyle Lewis, and newly-acquired Jake Lamb in the current rotation. With Julio Rodriguez hopefully back as soon as he is eligible and Haniger returning, Seattle will have all the pieces they originally intended to put in its lineup. That batting order will get on base and need someone to drive them all in. If Haniger is available in your league, meet your RBI buddy for the rest of the year.
Jean Segura (2B – PHI) 64% Rostered
The Phillies reinstated Jean Segura on Thursday after having been on the IL since May 31, when he fractured his finger. Before that, he was having a productive season, slashing .272/.320/.402 with six home runs, 19 RBI, and eight stolen bases. He also had a BABIP beneath his career average, so those numbers were scheduled to rise before the injury. In recent weeks, the Phillies seem to have found an offensive groove, and Segura will contribute in multiple categories while not hurting your ratios. If you’re in the 36% of leagues where he’s available, he is definitely a priority pickup this weekend.
Priority Pickups – <40% Rostered
Aledmys Diaz (1B, 2B, 3B, SS, LF – HOU) 16% Rostered
Mr. Positional Versatility is hotter than the sun right now. Over the last week, he went 10-for-24 with three homers, five runs, and five RBI. The Houston lineup scores 4.5 runs per game with the ability to explode into higher numbers at any time. The addition of Trey Mancini boosts this number, and Diaz will always find his way into the lineup as long as he keeps hitting. Chances are high no other Houston pieces are hanging out on the wire, but it’s an offense worth seeking out, and Diaz is available all over.
Seth Brown (1B, OF – OAK) 14% Rostered
Speaking of players on fire, Seth Brown is currently on a burner himself. He has been streaky all year, but over the past couple of weeks, he slashed .333/.393/.745 with six home runs and eight RBI. Has he also struck out 11 times? Of course. But he walks a bunch, too, and even though it is an ugly Athletics lineup, he will play every day and tends to make things happen. Maybe avoid him in leagues where strikeouts count against you.
Jose Quintana (SP – STL) 20% Rostered
Jose Quintana induces a ton of ground balls and now plays for a team that is fifth in defensive runs saved. The Cardinals’ infield is as solid as they come, with plus defenders around the horn. His K/9 rate is only 7.9, but his K/BB rate is 2.91, so he should protect your ratios while racking up wins in his new division. A division, I might add, where the other four teams are in the top 10 in MLB in strikeouts, so that K/9 will probably rise. He is worth an add anywhere you starved for pitching.
Dustin May (SP – LAD) 19% Rostered
Dustin May is expected to have two more rehab starts before returning to the Dodgers’ rotation. His stuff was electric before his Tommy John surgery last May, and even if LA is taking a cautious approach to his return, he will arrive in time for the playoffs in reality and fantasy. He won’t arrive for a couple of weeks, but in a couple of weeks, he won’t be on the waiver wire. Grab him and stash him if you have the space.
Priority Pickups – Marlins Edition
Jesus Luzardo (SP – MIA) 25% Rostered
Braxton Garrett (SP – MIA) 20% Rostered
Tanner Scott (RP – MIA) 14% Rostered
The Miami Pitching Machine continues to churn out pitchers worth rostering for various reasons. Tanner Scott should be the full-time closer for the remainder of the year after they unloaded Anthony Bass and Zach Pop to Toronto at the deadline. He’s not an elite closer by any stretch, but saves are saves. Jesus Luzardo returned last week from a forearm strain that had kept him out of the rotation since May 10. He sports a 12.2 K/9, so he is primarily a strikeout add as long as you can absorb his unsightly 4.2 BB/9. Finally, Braxton Garrett seems to have figured things out. He has a 3.79 ERA and 0.92 WHIP in his last seven starts, with 49 strikeouts in 40 1/3 innings. Most of those starts have come against NL Central teams, though, so be cautious when he faces a powerhouse like the Mets or Dodgers.
Deep-League Target – <10% Rostered
Miguel Vargas (3B – LAD) 3% Rostered
Miguel Vargas is probably rostered in dynasty leagues, but it could be worth taking a flier on him for everyone else. After going all “Veni, Vidi, Vici” in his first start, he had an 0-for-4 in his second, which is how rookies roll; however, if he continues to get at-bats in the seventh spot of that Dodgers order, he should have tons of opportunities based on the level of talent around him. He may also be a short-lived add if Justin Turner returns from the IL and Vargas finds himself back at Sugar Land.
Deep-League Targets – Catchers Tier
Jorge Alfaro (C – SD) 4% Rostered
Jose Trevino (C – NYY) 9% Rostered
Productive catchers in August are like tornadoes in Minnesota in December. Pretty rare, but they’ve happened, and when they do, it kind of freaks me out. Much like Aledmys Diaz, Alfaro may be the only piece of the crazy-good San Diego lineup that fantasy managers can still get their hands on. He’s having a decent season, slashing .268/.299/.423 with seven homers and 36 RBI. I expect both numbers to go up quickly for the rest of the season. Trevino is in the same boat and has been hot in the last couple of weeks. He has 10 homers, which is quite the feat considering he had only nine dingers in his entire career before 2022. Yankee Stadium effect is live for him, indeed.
These two can be serviceable ROS options in a position where most fantasy managers are just hoping for someone not to hurt them too much.
Play the hand you’re dealt and use the waiver wire in any way you see fit to get you into the playoffs. And, as always, good luck!
Beyond our fantasy baseball content, check out our award-winning slate of Fantasy Baseball Tools as you prepare for your draft this season. From our free mock Draft Simulator, which allows you to mock draft against realistic opponents, to our Draft Assistant, which optimizes your picks with expert advice, we’ve covered this fantasy baseball draft season.
Kelly Kirby is an editor and featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Kelly, check out her archive and follow her on Twitter @thewonkypenguin. She writes about fantasy sports and other random things at wonkypenguin.com.