Waiver Wire Pickups of the Week (Week of August 30, 2021): Best Players Available Under 50%, 40%, 30%, 20%, and 10% on Yahoo

by Mickey Bell

*Stats and Roster % as of the morning of August 29


  • Batters
    • Tyler Naquin, OF, CIN (40% to 65%)
    • Amed Rosario, SS/OF, CLE (44% to 58%)
  • Starters
    • Corey Kluber, SP, NYY (47% to 55%)
  • Relievers
    • Paul Sewald, RP, SEA (38% to 57%)
    • Chad Green, RP, NYY (50% to 53%)


Tarik Skubal, SP, DET (44% to 48%)

Earlier in the year, I expressed concern about Skubal’s control/command and HR issues. While Skubal does have three games since the All Star break with two or more homers allowed, his walks have evaporated. Skubal has walked just four batters in 39.1 IP through seven starts since the break, helping him earn a 3.20 ERA and a 0.99 WHIP. He is walking about three fewer batters per nine innings in that time (0.92 to 3.86 BB/9). In his most recent start at St. Louis, he struck out 10 in five innings (38% CSW). Start (or sit) Skubal based on matchups moving forward. While his WHIP is no longer an issue, the home run concerns still exist.

Honorable Mentions: 

  • Batters
    • Miguel Sano, 1B/3B, MIN (43% to 46%)
    • Anthony Santander, OF, BAL (34% to 44%)
    • Josh Rojas, 2B/SS/OF, ARI (44%: returning)
    • Patrick Wisdom, 1B/3B, CHC (25% to 43%)
    • Kolten Wong, 2B, MIL (30% to 42%)
  • Starters
    • Elieser Hernandez, SP, MIA (50%: returning)
    • Touki Toussaint, SP/RP, ATL (44% to 43%)
    • Josiah Gray, SP, WAS (36% to 41%): Gray now has a 2.89 ERA and 1.11 WHIP in five starts with the Nats. Last week, I mentioned his low BABIP and 100% LOB% will regress toward the mean (which would hurt him) but his HR/FB% will also come down (which will help him). His curveball has an elite 47.3% CSW on the year. He gets two starts this week, hosting the Phillies and Mets.
  • Relievers
    • Andrew Kittredge, SP/RP, TBR (47% to 49%)
    • Giovanny Gallegos, RP, STL (47%: returning)
    • Jonathan Loaisiga, SP/RP, NYY (44% to 45%)
    • Kyle Finnegan, RP, WAS (40% to 44%)


Luis Urias, 2B/3B/SS, MIL (35%: returning)

While I called Urias a trade deadline faller after the Brewers’ acquisition of Eduardo Escobar, he now has the everyday role again and should continue to thrive. He has started ten straight games with Escobar on the IL with a hamstring injury and his return timeline is unclear. Urias has 5 HR, a 0.286 BA, and a 0.890 OPS in August.

Honorable Mentions: 

  • Batters
    • Nicky Lopez, 2B/SS, KCR (14% to 40%)
    • Daulton Varsho, C/OF, ARI (24% to 39%)
    • Frank Schwindel, 1B/OF, CHC (40% to 35%)
    • Jonathan Villar, 2B/3B/SS, NYM (34%: returning)
    • Andrew Vaughn, 1B/OF, CWS (37% to 34%)
  • Starters
    • Matthew Boyd, SP, DET (31%: new)
    • Tanner Houck, SP, BOS (27% to 31%)
  • Relievers
    • Scott Barlow, RP, KCR (26% to 38%)


Jeimer Candelario, 1B/3B, DET (31% to 28%)

Candelario just keeps hitting. He has a 0.281 BA and a 0.809 OPS (126 OPS+) in 712 PA since the beginning of 2020. While his 17 HR in that time is subpar, the switch hitter offers solid runs, RBI, and average. In points leagues where overall production is more rewarded, Candelario is an excellent option. He leads the MLB in doubles with 36.

Honorable Mentions: 

  • Batters
    • Rafael Ortega, OF, CHC (45% to 30%)
    • Cesar Hernandez, 2B, CWS (34% to 29%)
    • Akil Baddoo, OF, DET (27%: returning)
    • Josh Harrison, 2B/3B/OF, OAK (26% to 25%).
    • Connor Joe, 1B/OF, COL (16% to 24%)
    • Lorenzo Cain, OF, MIL (23% to 22%)
  • Starters
    • Edward Cabrera, SP/RP, MIA (26%: new)
    • Carlos Hernandez, SP/RP, KCR (24%: new)
    • Tyler Anderson, SP, SEA (20% to 23%)
    • Luis Gil, SP/RP, NYY (33% to 22%)
  • Relievers
    • Mychal Givens, RP, CIN (35% to 30%)
    • Adam Ottavino, RP, BOS (23%: returning)


Drew Steckenrider, RP, SEA (10% to 16%)

If you need some saves, look no further than this 11-20% range. Tyler Clippard, David Bednar, and Dylan Floro join Steck as fairly solid options for saves who won’t tank your ratios. Steckenrider got a 1-2-3 save today (Sunday) thanks in part to a diving catch by Jake Bauers. He now owns a 1.84 ERA and 0.98 WHIP on the year, though with a pedestrian 8.05 K/9. Paul Sewald worked the eighth of the game today. While Sewald will get some saves too, the Mariners like to use him in the fireman role.

Honorable Mentions: 

  • Batters
    • Abraham Toro, 2B/3B, SEA (20%: returning)
    • Brendan Rodgers, 2B/SS, COL (20%: no change)
    • Jake Meyers, OF, HOU (6% to 16%)
  • Relievers
    • Tyler Clippard, RP, ARI (17% to 20%)
    • David Bednar, RP, PIT (8% to 19%)
    • Dylan Floro, RP, MIA (20% to 18%)


Keibert Ruiz, C, WAS (10%: new)

The Nationals called up the MLB Pipeline’s current #19 prospect this weekend. He came over to Washington with the abovementioned Josiah Gray in the trade of Max Scherzer and Trea Turner to the Dodgers. Ruiz had a 140 and 144 wRC+ in AAA for the Dodgers and Nats, respectively. His combined slugging in the two spots hovered around 0.600 and he had 21 HR in 72 games. He should get a chance to play a lot down the stretch while getting spelled every few games by another promising albeit less highly touted offensive catcher, Riley Adams.

Honorable Mentions: 

  • Batters
    • Colin Moran, 1B/2B/3B, PIT (10%: returning)
    • Rowdy Tellez, 1B, MIL (11% to 7%)
    • Yadiel Hernandez, OF, WAS (4% to 5%): Hernandez has 7 HR, 3 SB, a 0.297 BA, and a 0.802 OPS in 190 PA on the year. Since Washington traded Trea Turner, Kyle Schwarber, and Josh Harrison at the trade deadline, Hernandez has finally been able to show his offensive skills. The Nationals signed the now 33 year old back in 2017 but he had just 28 PA in the majors before this year. Hernandez had a career 0.889 OPS in the minors and a 0.915 OPS across 10 years in foreign leagues (mostly in Cuba).
    • Bradley Zimmer, OF, CLE (3%: new)
    • Yonny Hernandez, 3B, TEX (1%: no change)
  • Starters
    • Mitch White, SP/RP, LAD (7%: new)
    • Bailey Ober, SP, MIN (4% to 5%)
  • Relievers
    • Cole Sulser, RP, BAL (7% to 5%)

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