We usually give you the top waiver-wire targets from the previous night's action every morning, but given that there were only five games on Monday night, there just isn't much to talk about today. The big news is, obviously, the report that Jarred Kelenic is expected to get called up Thursday for the Mariners, and if he's available in any leagues at all, make sure you add him. Scott White broke it all down Monday night, and, while I'm not quite as high on Kelenic's immediate impact as Scott is, he's a top-30 outfielder for me in points and Roto before his debut, so you can hardly say I'm not excited.
Other than Kelenic's looming debut, there just isn't all that much to talk about from Monday. Framber Valdez seems to be getting closer to a rehab assignment, and at 66% rostered, he's worth stashing if you can spare the roster space. Luis Garcia also had another solid start for the Astros against the Angels and is worth targeting, especially in points leagues where his RP eligibility could be extra valuable -- at least until Valdez and Jake Odorizzi are ready to return.
But it was a pretty uneventful day all told. If you want more on Monday's action, check out the Fantasy Baseball Today podcast below where we break everything down. However, with little to talk about on the waiver wire, you should still be constantly looking for ways to improve your roster, so I figured I'd talk about some trade candidates instead.
I've got three buy-low candidates, three sell-high opportunities, plus one buy-high and one sell-low to help spur some trade ideas for you. Here are the moves I would be looking to make.
One buy high
Yankees OF Giancarlo Stanton
For the last few years, I've maintained a steady drumbeat on Stanton -- when he's healthy, he's a top-20 hitter. Technically, he's only No. 26 this season, but hey, we'll take it. Now, most people tend to focus on the "when he's healthy" part of that statement, and he's missed a ton of time over the years, so that makes sense. Maybe you can use that to your advantage, however, as whoever has Stanton may very well be nervous that the next injury is inevitable. Maybe it is, but Stanton is healthy right now, and that's more than many high-end players can say these days. Stanton is locked in, and he'll be one of the best power hitters in the game when he's on the field. If you can get him for a pitcher like Lance McCullers or Tyler Mahle, I would go ahead and do that. It's been a lot easier to find viable starters than good hitters this season, and Stanton is a great one.
Three buy lows
I talked about this on Monday's episode of the Fantasy Baseball Today Podcast and in our Week 7 Roundtable, but I just don't really have a good explanation for why Castillo is struggling. His velocity isn't where it was last season, but it isn't far from his pre-2020 levels. His spin rate is about where it should be, his arm angle and release point aren't much different than they have been in the past. Which is to say, there's no real indication that there is some kind of physical cause for his struggles. Is it mental? Is he tipping his pitches? Is he just … not pitching well? Any of those would be less concerning than an underlying injury or mechanical issue, and it gives me hope that he can turn this thing around sooner rather than later. I still have Castillo as a top-15 pitcher -- that's how confident I am.
Yelich is a player I would have to actually buy pretty low on, given the uncertainty around the health of his back. This is starting to kind of feel like Aaron Judge in 2019, when he suffered an upper body injury that the Yankees couldn't quite pin down until spring training the following year. Hopefully that won't be the case for Yelich and another couple of weeks of rest will get him right, because I think a healthy Yelich is still one of the best players in baseball. There's an awful lot of risk in buying in right now, but if you could get Yelich for someone like John Means or Carlos Rodon, I would still do it. It's a big swing, but with big potential to pay off.
Gurriel's slow start hasn't just been the result of bad luck -- he's hitting .205 with a .230 expected batting average to back it up. There isn't an obvious explanation for his struggles -- he just isn't hitting the ball as well as in years past. He's pulling the ball less and hitting fewer line drives, his hard-hit rate is way down, as is his average exit velocity. He doesn't have an especially long track record to fall back on, with just under 1,000 plate appearances in his career, so it's possible this could reflect his true skills more than 2019 or 2020 did. More likely, it's just a cold streak.
One sell low
Yankees 2B/SS Gleyber Torres
I wanted to believe Torres' 2020 was just the result of a cold, but the fact that it's carried over so far makes it harder to keep the faith. We're still talking about only 74 games across the last two seasons, compared to 267 where he was much better between 2018 and 2019, but it really is starting to look like his 38-homer season in 2019 was a serious fluke. He outperformed his expected stats and absolutely feasted on the lowly Orioles the season, setting the major-league record for home runs against one opponent in a season with 13. Against the rest of the league, he hit .263/.318/.465. Truth is, Torres is still viewed by many as a high-end hitter, but the rest of his track record doesn't look all that different from someone like Didi Gregorius. In fact, here's what both have done since Torres entered the league in 2018:
- Didi Gregorius: .259/.314/.467, 88 R, 28 HR, 102 RBI, 8 SB
- Gleyber Torres: .268/.340/.475, 79 R, 29 HR, 85 RBI, 6 SB
At what point do we accept that we're just chasing a wholly unsustainable run against a terrible Orioles pitching staff in 2019? I'm sure someone in your league views Torres as a bounceback candidate, and while I think he'll hit better than he has moving forward, I'm not sure there's a compelling reason to think he's much more than a low-end starting shortstop without further improvement.
Three sell highs
Angles 1B/OF Jared Walsh
Walsh has made legitimate improvements to his game, and I'm buying him as a solid Fantasy starter at either outfield or first base, where I was plenty skeptical before the season. However, he's performed like an elite bat since 2019, hitting .310/.368/.592 with a 38-homer, 135-RBI pace -- and that's what you should be selling against. Walsh should be a solid player moving forward, capable of hitting 30-plus homers without hurting you in batting average, but if someone views him as a star-level hitter, this is the perfect time to sell. I would be looking for someone like Marcell Ozuna, Byron Buxton, Kyle Tucker, Ketel Marte, or even maybe see if you can get Yelich for him from a panicked player. There's no guarantee any of those offers work, but it's worth starting to put out feelers.
Yankees SP Corey Kluber
I'll admit, I wrote Kluber off entirely after his four-walk, two-strikeout, 4.2-inning outing on April 21, and he made me look pretty stupid by throwing 14.2 innings with 15 strikeouts and only two walks in his next two outings. Okay, maybe there's like here yet. But, on the whole, Kluber still looks like a pretty boring pitcher, with a below-average 22.9% strikeout rate, a still-bloated 11.1% walk rate, and a 3.97 xERA and 3.92 FIP belying his pretty-on-the-surface 3.06 ERA. Can he still be a useful Fantasy option against the right matchups -- such as, say, Baltimore and Detroit, his two opponents during that two-start stretch? Sure. But, "useful against the right matchups" is streaming material, and Kluber has had to pull out all the stops just to get back to that point -- he's abandoned his four-seam fastball and is throwing his sinker just 24% of the time on the season. Kluber's name still attracts attention, and his ERA and recent signs of might be catching someone's eye. Try to move him now, preferably for someone with more upside like Chris Paddack or Dylan Bundy. You may actually be able to pull that one off.
Braves SP Huascar Ynoa
Ynoa has been one of the best stories of the early season, a guy with a career 4.32 ERA in the minors emerging a a bonafide star for the Braves -- and actually standing out as their best player as we approach the quarter-way mark of the season. Ynoa has legitimate swing-and-miss stuff, and his 28.4% strikeout rate may not be a fluke. He's got a little -- or maybe a lot -- of Dinelson Lamet in his game, powered as he is by a pitch mix made up almost exclusively of wipeout sliders and high-90s heaters. The problems come when he doesn't get strikeouts, because hitters are absolutely crushing him when they do make contact, as he ranks in the 20th percentile in average exit velocity, 11th percentile in hard-hit rate, and sixth percentile in expected wOBA allowed on contact. It's a delicate balancing act is attempting to pull off, and there are going to be ugly stretches coming up soon. I would love to be wrong, but I would be trying to move Ynoa for the same kinds of pitchers I'd be looking to move Kluber for