Alejandro Kirk, C, TOR (CBS: 24% rostered): Danny Jansen is currently mired in a 2-for-28 funk with no homers and RBI s. The Jays will only tolerate his inability to hit for so long before Alejandro Kirk starts taking away at-bats. That time is fast approaching. It might have even arrived. Rowdy Tellez, 1B, TOR (CBS: […] The post Waiver Wire Week 3 first appeared on .
Ah! My good and noble reader! It has been too long since last I regaled you with tales of my raising of an army for the RazzSlam! Things are not going well, I m afraid. With the injury to Austin Nola documented in my original missives, to the occasional negative-earning performance by Danny Jansen and the continued toiling on the farm of one Adley Rutschmann, I can on very few occasions secure scoring of any kind from both of my catcher positions. Which, given my unabashed and very public distaste for the role, brings me no shortage of rage. I find myself, as of this writing, mired in 220th place, of 240 competitors. I do not intend, dear reader, to remain at such a mockable rank as this, and so I have turned my efforts to the mysterious legend that can save one and all from the fates of injury, demotion, and generally piss-poor performance. Have you heard, then, of the legendary FAABidden Island?
AL West AL Central NL West NL East NL CentralThe East has represented the American League in the World Series in two of the last three years. That theme could continue in 2021 as the division boasts three clubs projected to win at least 85 games. Here's a rundown of each team heading into Opening Day:Baltimore Orioles Mark Brown / Getty Images Sport / Getty2020 record: 25-35 (4th in AL East)Payroll: $76.4MO/U win total: 66World Series odds: +150003-year trend: 2018 (5th); 2019 (5th); 2020 (4th)Highest projected WAR: John Means (2.0)X-factor: Trey ManciniKey injuries: Chris Davis, Hunter Harvey, DJ StewartProspect to watch: Adley Rutschman (MLB.com: No. 2)Winter report card: C+Projected Lineup ORDER PLAYER POS. PROJ. WAR 1 Cedric Mullins (L) CF 0.3 2 Trey Mancini DH 1.2 3 Anthony Santander (S) RF 1.4 4 Ryan Mountcastle 1B 1.3 5 Pedro Severino C 0.3 6 Austin Hays LF 1.3 7 Maikel Franco 3B 0.7 8 Freddy Galvis (S) SS 0.6 9 Ramon Urias 2B 0.0 Bench PLAYER POS. PROJ. WAR Chance Sisco (L) C 0.0 Rio Ruiz (L) 3B 1.2 Pat Valaika IF/OF 0.1 Baltimore welcomes Mancini back to anchor what was an underrated offense from a season ago. The Orioles finished 13th in wRC+, 14th in OPS, and 15th in the majors in homers. Mountcastle hit five home runs while posting a 140 OPS+ over 35 games and will be a major building block for the future. Santander is one of baseball's underappreciated sluggers. The 26-year-old slashed .261/.315/.575 with 11 homers and 13 doubles in just 37 games last season.Projected Rotation PITCHER PROJ. IP PROJ. ERA John Means (L) 160 4.77 Matt Harvey 87 5.29 Bruce Zimmerman (L) 100 5.18 Dean Kremer 145 5.04 Jorge Lopez 85 4.96 Bullpen PITCHER PROJ. IP PROJ. ERA Cesar Valdez 56 4.55 Tanner Scott (L) 65 3.58 Travis Lakins 48 4.79 Dillon Tate 60 4.49 Paul Fry (L) 58 3.82 Shawn Armstrong 53 4.73 Cole Sulser 44 4.54 Tyler Wells 38 4.67 Adam Plutko 109 5.46 Means has looked like a legitimate frontline starter at times while Kremer is among the club's top pitching prospects. While the team is still rebuilding, it's exciting that the organization will start to see some of its young arms pitch in the majors. This might be Matt Harvey's final chance to be an MLB starter. He struggled this spring and owns a 7.82 ERA over his last two seasons across 71 1/3 innings. The back end of the bullpen will be pieced together with closer Hunter Harvey starting the season on the 60-day injured list.Boston Red Sox Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox / Getty Images Sport / Getty2020 record: 24-36 (5th)Payroll: $204.3MO/U win total: 80World Series odds: +70003-year trend: 2018 (1st); 2019 (3rd); 2020 (5th)Highest projected WAR: Xander Bogaerts (4.1)X-factor: J.D. MartinezKey injuries: Chris Sale, Ryan Brasier, Matt BarnesProspect to watch: Jarren DuranWinter report card: BProjected Lineup ORDER PLAYER POS. PROJ. WAR 1 Enrique Hernandez 2B 1.2 2 Alex Verdugo (L) CF 2.4 3 J.D. Martinez DH 2.2 4 Xander Bogaerts SS 4.1 5 Rafael Devers (L) 3B 4.1 6 Hunter Renfroe RF 0.6 7 Franchy Cordero LF 0.7 8 Christian Vazquez C 2.6 9 Bobby Dalbec 1B 0.7 Bench PLAYER POS. PROJ. WAR Kevin Plawecki C 0.4 Christian Arroyo IF 0.4 Marwin Gonzalez (S) IF/OF 0.5 The Red Sox spent the winter focused on making the roster more versatile by adding multi-position players like Hernandez, Renfroe, and Gonzalez. The outfield no longer contains the Killer Bs, but V-C-R is at least intriguing and possesses enormous power potential. Boston ranked ninth in OPS last season despite Martinez being a non-factor, so there's plenty of optimism that the Red Sox rank near the top in runs in 2021.Projected Rotation PITCHER PROJ. IP PROJ. ERA Nathan Eovaldi 149 4.24 Garrett Richards 122 4.78 Martin Perez (L) 161 5.12 Nick Pivetta 112 5.14 Eduardo Rodriguez (L) 152 4.39 Bullpen PITCHER PROJ. IP PROJ. ERA Adam Ottavino 66 4.53 Josh Taylor (L) 42 4.24 Phillips Valdez 36 4.62 Hirokazu Sawamura N/A N/A Darwinzon Hernandez (L) 53 4.18 Matt Andriese 63 4.62 Austin Brice 48 4.79 Colten Brewer 27 4.54 Garrett Whitlock 27 4.54 It can't be understated how awful Red Sox pitching was last season. The club ranked 28th in ERA and 30th in both WHIP and opponent's batting average as 12 different pitchers started games despite the shortened schedule. Boston's rotation is now in a much better place with the return of Rodriguez and the additions of Richards and Andriese, as well as some other depth arms. Sale's eventual midseason return should also give the club a jolt.New York Yankees Mark Brown / Getty Images Sport / Getty2020 record: 33-27 (2nd)Payroll: $203.7MO/U win total: 98World Series odds: +5003-year trend: 2018 (2nd); 2019 (1st); 2020 (2nd)Highest projected WAR: Gerrit Cole (5.2)X-factor: Corey KluberKey injuries: Zack Britton, Luis Severino, Luke Voit, Justin WilsonProspect to watch: Deivi GarciaWinter report card: BProjected Lineup ORDER PLAYER POS. PROJ. WAR 1 DJ LeMahieu 2B 3.9 2 Aaron Judge RF 4.2 3 Aaron Hicks (S) CF 2.8 4 Giancarlo Stanton DH 2.3 5 Gleyber Torres SS 3.7 6 Jay Bruce (L) 1B 0.0 7 Gio Urshela 3B 1.9 8 Gary Sanchez C 1.6 9 Clint Frazier LF 1.0 Bench PLAYER POS. PROJ. WAR Kyle Higashioka C 0.6 Tyler Wade (L) IF/OF 0.1 Brett Gardner (L) OF 0.7 Mike Tauchman (L) OF 0.1 The Yankees return almost the exact same lineup that finished fourth in runs and fifth in homers and OPS a year ago. This is an elite group, but the same questions remain. Can Judge and Stanton stay on the field after missing more than 300 games combined over the last three seasons? Will Sanchez regain his confidence and become an All-Star again? When this club is healthy, no other team in baseball can reach its ceiling, but the injuries are already piling up.Projected Rotation PITCHER PROJ. IP PROJ. ERA Gerrit Cole 201 3.54 Corey Kluber 156 4.18 Domingo German 105 4.71 Jordan Montgomery (L) 122 4.41 Jameson Taillon 133 4.63 Bullpen PITCHER PROJ. IP PROJ. ERA Aroldis Chapman (L) 63 3.09 Chad Green 64 3.75 Darren O'Day 60 4.70 Jonathan Loaisiga 58 3.81 Luis Cessa 50 4.84 Nick Nelson 44 4.55 Michael King 46 4.56 Lucas Luetge (L) 20 4.26 Brian Cashman is rolling the dice with his rotation. Cole was excellent last season but there are a number of question marks otherwise. Kluber and Taillon have made 15 starts over the last two years; Montgomery posted a 5.11 ERA in 10 outings last season; German was suspended for the entire 2020 season. New York will be in good shape if its rotation pitches to its potential, though it seems like a significant gamble for a team trying to win a World Series. A once-terrifying bullpen looks a little less formidable given Ottavino's departure and Britton's injury.Tampa Bay Rays Brace Hemmelgarn / Getty Images Sport / Getty2020 record: 40-20 (1st)Payroll: $79.9MO/U win total: 87World Series odds: +15003-year trend: 2018 (3rd); 2019 (2nd); 2020 (1st)Highest projected WAR: Tyler Glasnow (3.6)X-factor: Austin MeadowsKey injuries: Brett Phillips, Yonny Chirinos, Nick Anderson, Ji-Man ChoiProspect to watch: Wander Franco (MLB.com: No. 1)Winter report card: B-Projected Lineup ORDER PLAYER POS. PROJ. WAR 1 Austin Meadows (L) DH 1.3 2 Brandon Lowe (L) 2B 2.7 3 Randy Arozarena LF 2.2 4 Yoshi Tsutsugo (L) 1B 0.8 5 Manuel Margot RF 1.4 6 Joey Wendle (L) 3B 0.9 7 Willy Adames SS 2.4 8 Kevin Kiermaier (L) CF 1.5 9 Mike Zunino C 1.1 Bench PLAYER POS. PROJ. WAR Francisco Mejia (S) C 0.4 Yandy Diaz 1B/3B 1.4 Mike Brosseau IF/OF 0.4 Tampa Bay returns the exact same group of position players - with the exception of Mejia - that ranked fourth in stolen bases, sixth in runs and OPS, and seventh in homers. The club will get a full season of Arozarena, who enters with sky-high expectations following an epic postseason run that saw him post a 1.234 OPS in the World Series. A bounce-back season from Meadows would go a long way in helping the Rays repeat as AL champs. The 2019 All-Star hit .205/.296/.371 with 50 strikeouts in 36 games last year.Projected Rotation PITCHER PROJ. IP PROJ. ERA Tyler Glasnow 163 3.55 Ryan Yarbrough (L) 163 4.56 Chris Archer 139 4.25 Rich Hill (L) 106 4.44 Michael Wacha 121 4.69 Bullpen PITCHER PROJ. IP PROJ. ERA Pete Fairbanks 64 3.34 Diego Castillo 65 3.48 Ryan Thompson 58 4.19 Chaz Roe 50 4.34 Cody Reed (L) 40 3.62 Andrew Kittredge 24 3.64 Ryan Sherriff (L) 32 4.48 Jeffrey Springs (L) 16 3.88 Collin McHugh 67 4.14 Injuries and significant turnover have the rotation looking much different. Glasnow takes over as the ace. He's been excellent when on the mound, but he's thrown over 100 innings just once in five MLB seasons. Archer is trying to rebuild his career after a miserable stint in Pittsburgh that included shoulder surgery. The 41-year-old Hill remains an effective starter, though there are legitimate concerns over how long he can hold up over a full season. Wacha was awful in eight outings (6.62 ERA, 1.156 WHIP) with the Mets in 2020. Kevin Cash covers innings better than anyone, but he'll have his work cut out for him over a full season. Still, with all the concerns, you can't write off Tampa Bay.Toronto Blue Jays Douglas P. DeFelice / Getty Images Sport / Getty2020 record: 32-28 (3rd)Payroll: $150.1MO/U win total: 85World Series odds: +20003-year trend: 2018 (4th); 2019 (4th); 2020 (3rd)Highest projected WAR: George Springer (3.9)X-factor: Robbie RayKey injuries: Nate Pearson, Thomas Hatch, Kirby YatesProspect to watch: Simeon Woods Richardson (MLB.com: No. 87)Winter report card: A-Projected Lineup ORDER PLAYER POS. PROJ. WAR 1 George Springer CF 3.9 2 Marcus Semien 2B 3.1 3 Bo Bichette SS 3.8 4 Teoscar Hernandez RF 0.6 5 Vladimir Guerrero Jr 1B 3.1 6 Lourdes Gurriel Jr. LF 1.4 7 Cavan Biggio (L) 3B 2.5 8 Rowdy Tellez (L) DH 0.7 9 Danny Jansen C 2.0 Bench PLAYER POS. PROJ. WAR Alejandro Kirk C 1.4 Joe Panik (L) IF 0.1 Randal Grichuk OF 0.7 Jonathan Davis OF 0.0 The Blue Jays added Semien and Springer to a lineup that scored the third-most runs in the AL last year. Not only will the two premier players boost the offense, but they'll also take the pressure off young stars Bichette, Guerrero, and Biggio. Plus, adding Semien and Springer up the middle upgrades what was a poor defensive club last season. That improved defense should help a pitching staff that projects to be the club's weakness.Projected Rotation PITCHER PROJ. IP PROJ. ERA Hyun Jin Ryu (L) 179 3.96 Ross Stripling 122 4.29 Steven Matz (L) 132 4.54 Tanner Roark 135 5.15 Robbie Ray (L) 163 4.30 Bullpen PITCHER PROJ. IP PROJ. ERA Jordan Romano 62 3.96 Rafael Dolis 65 4.11 Tyler Chatwood 81 4.24 Ryan Borucki (L) 56 4.07 David Phelps 58 4.08 Julian Merryweather 53 3.95 Tim Mayza (L) 5 3.89 Trent Thornton 67 4.79 Ryu lived up to lofty expectations a season ago and might be the second-best starter in the AL East. However, much like the rest of the division, the bulk of the rotation comes with significant concerns. Ray, Roark, and Matz are all coming off poor seasons. If the veteran starters are unable to provide the club much value, there are a number of other alternatives in the bullpen or within the system that could slot into the rotation. The front office opted to go with quantity over quality, which may not be the worst approach coming off a shortened season. The lack of top arms in the rotation could hurt the team come playoff time, but that's a problem that can be addressed down the road.Copyright © 2021 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.