Go to The Mountain

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MIXED LEAGUES

(Players rostered in under 50 percent of Yahoo leagues)

Note: Percentages are from the morning of Thursday, August 4

Félix Bautista, RP, Orioles (Yahoo: 46 percent rostered)

One of the most surprising moves made at the trade deadline was the Orioles trading All-Star closer Jorge Lopez to the Twins. The move opens up the ninth inning in Baltimore, and Bautista is the obvious candidate to slide into the role. “The Mountain” has been one of the best relievers in baseball this season, posting a 1.81 ERA, 0.87 WHIP and 60/14 K/BB ratio over 44 2/3 innings. Bautista possesses a fastball that reaches triple digits and a devastating splitter that boasts a 56.6 percent whiff rate. Assuming the 27-year-old gets the first crack at the job, he could run with it.

C.J. Abrams, 2B/SS, Nationals (Yahoo: 10 percent rostered)

Abrams was one of the young players who landed with the Nationals in the mega Juan Soto/Josh Bell trade. The 21-year-old mostly looked overmatched at the plate when rushed to the majors by the Padres, producing just a .605 OPS and 27/4 K/BB ratio over 139 plate appearances. Perhaps Abrams ultimately isn't ready for the big leagues just yet, and the Nats are sending him down to Triple-A Rochester initially. He's their shortstop of the future, though, and that future figures to arrive sooner rather than later. Abrams stole just one base in three attempts in San Diego, but he remains a good bet to be a major asset in that category.

Esteury Ruiz, 2B/OF, Brewers (Yahoo: 11 percent rostered)

Speaking of stolen bases, Ruiz has piled up a whopping 60 of them between Double- and Triple-A this season while also producing a 1.028 OPS with 13 home runs. Like Abrams, Ruiz struggled in his initial stint in the big leagues, and also like Abrams, he's being sent back down to the minors by his new team for the time being. However, the Brewers somewhat surprisingly didn't add an established center fielder at the trade deadline, which means Ruiz could get his shot there before long. The 23-year-old's bat isn't a sure thing, but he'll be helped by American Family Field and he should run wild.

Jarred Kelenic, OF, Mariners (Yahoo: 25 percent rostered)

With Julio Rodríguez (wrist) sidelined, Kelenic is getting another look with the big club after batting .288/.353/.550 with 11 homers and three steals at Triple-A Tacoma. I'm not sure Kelenic will stick around when Rodríguez comes back, which is expected to be pretty soon. It almost surely won't happen if he doesn't perform at the dish, but he did take Gerrit Cole deep Wednesday. Admittedly, this is a half-hearted endorsement, but Kelenic's pedigree is worthy of a roll of the dice in five-outfielder leagues.

Rowan Wick, RP, Cubs (Yahoo: 11 percent rostered)

Yet another closer job opened up with David Robertson being shipped to the Phillies. Mychal Givens (Mets), Chris Martin (Dodgers) and Scott Effross (Yankees) were also traded, leaving plenty of uncertainty in the Cubs' bullpen. Wick has not pitched well this season with a 4.36 ERA and ugly 1.73 WHIP, but he does have four saves in 2022 and a total of 15 in his career. He might receive the first crack at the job by default, as manager David Ross doesn't seem to have any other good alternatives.

Dany Jiménez, RP, Athletics (Yahoo: 34 percent rostered)

A.J. Puk, RP, Athletics (Yahoo: 23 percent rostered)

Zach Jackson, RP, Athletics (Yahoo: 18 percent rostered)

Lou Trivino was included in the trade which sent Frankie Montas to the Yankees, leaving a hole in the ninth inning for Oakland. Jiménez had the gig for much of the first half and was successful for a while before cracks started to show and he went down with a shoulder ailment. He's back now, though, and he would be my pick to lead the team in saves the rest of the way even if he's eased back into things initially. Puk and Jackson – who notched a save Wednesday -- also both have had nice seasons and are worthy of being rostered in deeper formats.

Deeper Dandies:

(Players rostered in under 10 percent of Yahoo leagues)

Matt Moore, RP, Rangers (Yahoo: 4 percent rostered)

Jonathan Hernández, RP, Rangers (Yahoo: 7 percent rostered)

Brett Martin has been a disaster lately, allowing eight earned runs over his last five appearances while blowing two save chances over that stretch. Both Moore and Hernández have scooped up saves during that span and the Rangers figure to go with one or both of them to close games out for a while. Moore has been surprisingly great for Texas this season, but I'm more interested in Hernández, who recently completed the long road back from Tommy John surgery. The 26-year-old was looking the part of a closer before getting hurt, and the velocity on his fastball and the bite on his slider have been back in his first six appearances.

Ryan Tepera, RP, Angels (Yahoo: 9 percent rostered)

José Quijada, RP, Angels (Yahoo: 4 percent rostered)

The Braves made a trade for Raisel Iglesias right at Tuesday's deadline. It kills his fantasy value, at least for 2022, as Atlanta plans to keep Kenley Jansen in the closer role. Iglesias exiting Anaheim does create some new opportunity for the guys remaining with the Halos, though. Quijada was the first to benefit, picking up a save Tuesday with a scoreless frame versus the A's. Oakland had L-L-R due up, which could be why it was Quijada who was called upon. He has seemingly leap-frogged the struggling Aaron Loup from the left side, though, and has also outperformed Tepera. I still suspect Tepera is the guy to roster here, although wins for the Angels will be hard to come by.

JP Sears, SP, Athletics (Yahoo: 2 percent rostered)

I was on the live trade deadline edition of the Circling the Bases podcast on Tuesday, which I recommend checking out if for nothing else to see/hear my buddy Chris Crawford's reaction to Whit Merrifield being traded to the Blue Jays. Anyway, one guy I mentioned on that pod as seeing a boost in value following a change of uniforms is Sears, who landed in Oakland in the Montas deal. Sears has been considered a pretty middling prospect, but he's always posted good numbers in the minors and has been especially excellent in 2022, holding a 1.67 ERA, 0.72 WHIP and 55/7 K/BB ratio over 43 Triple-A innings while also putting up a 2.05 ERA in 22 frames with the big club. The left-hander will report to Triple-A Las Vegas for now, but he should get a shot with the A's soon.

Weekend Warriors:

Germán Márquez at ARI (Yahoo: 32 percent rostered)

It hasn't been a great season for Márquez. His 5.29 ERA and 1.43 WHIP would both easily be full-season highs, and his strikeout rate has tumbled to just 18.8 percent. His velocity has been fine, though, and there's been a nearly two-run separation between his home (6.11) and road (4.20) ERA. Márquez has had two outings against the Diamondbacks on the road this season and both of them were quality starts. There's some obvious risk here, but I'm fine with streaming Márquez in favorable road matchups, and this is one.

Jesús Luzardo at CHC (Yahoo: 45 percent rostered)

Luzardo looked good in his return from the injured list on Monday, holding the Reds to two runs over five innings while sporting a 5/0 K/BB ratio. The left-hander has often been dynamic this season when healthy, holding a 3.97 ERA, 1.09 WHIP and 46/16 K/BB ratio over 34 innings covering seven starts. There's always some risk that Luzardo could have a setback with his forearm injury, and his command can waver at times. However, especially in good matchups, he's someone I want to have in my lineup.

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AL ONLY

Michael Massey, 2B, Royals (Yahoo: 1 percent rostered)

Massey is getting a shot with the Royals finally parting ways with Whit Merrifield. The 24-year-old doesn't rank all that high on prospect lists, but he's performed well in the minors, which includes a .903 OPS, 16 home runs and 13 stolen bases this season between Double- and Triple-A. Massey has also picked up five hits already in 11 at-bats with the big club.

Ken Waldichuk, SP, Athletics (Yahoo: 2 percent rostered)

Waldichuk is another lefty the A's acquired from the Yankees in the Montas trade. He might be behind Sears in arriving in Oakland since Sears already has big league experience, but Waldichuk is the more highly regarded prospect. In 76 1/3 innings covering 17 starts between Double- and Triple-A in 2022, the 24-year-old has posted a 2.71 ERA and 116/33 K/BB ratio. Waldichuk doesn't have much left to prove in the minors, and when he is promoted he'll get to take advantage of a favorable home environment at RingCentral Coliseum.

NL ONLY

Lars Nootbaar, OF, Cardinals (Yahoo: 1 percent rostered)

The Cardinals traded Harrison Bader to the Yankees, committing to Dylan Carlson in center field and opening up playing time in right for guys like Nootbaar. Nootbaar got off to a poor start in the majors this season and found himself shuttling back-and-forth between St. Louis and Triple-A Memphis. The 24-year-old has really found his footing since the beginning of July, putting up a 1.099 OPS with three home runs and 10 RBI over 19 contests. Nootbaar reached base in all four trips to the plate Tuesday in what was his seventh straight start.

Matt Bush, RP, Brewers (Yahoo: 1 percent rostered)

The Brewers sent shockwaves through baseball with their trade of Josh Hader on Monday. They did their best in trying to replace him in the bullpen with the additions of Taylor Rogers, Trevor Rosenthal and Bush. Bush might be the least likely of the three to close games (and they could all defer to Devin Williams), but he's had the best season of the trio (especially since Rosenthal hasn't pitched yet) with a 3.35 ERA, 1.06 WHIP and 46/10 K/BB ratio across 37 2/3 innings of work.