Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire: Mix of short-term adds and options with rest of the season upside

José Miranda has been red hot and has multi-position eligibility, making him a top add in fantasy baseball leagues. (Photo by Lauren Leigh Bacho/Getty Images)

With just 10 days until the All-Star break, all fantasy baseball waiver wire options can be sorted into two categories — those who may provide help for the rest of the season, and those who offer short-term assistance until we all enjoy a well-deserved rest for the Midsummer Classic. Fortunately, there are a few men from each bucket in the list below.

Apparently no one told Miranda that he was supposed to be squeezed out of a job when Royce Lewis returned from the IL. The 26-year-old has shown that good hitters find a way to stay in lineups, bouncing between 3B and DH while maintaining a .312 average and an .859 OPS. There’s no way that the Twins will move one of their best hitters to the bench, especially when they are sitting in a wild-card spot. And of course, the oft-injured Lewis is already back on the IL, this time with an adductor strain. If you need one more reason to add Miranda, Thursday he went 5-for-5 with three RBIs and four runs scored.

Neto and Garcia are the perfect solutions for anyone who is looking to solve a middle infield problem with a high-floor player. And they can both be used to illustrate the same point — players who contribute to all categories but are special in none tend to be undervalued by fantasy managers. Both men have a chance to post a 20-20 season, as Neto has 11 homers and 12 steals while Garcia has collected nine round-trippers and 11 swipes. And among players who are available in more than half of Yahoo leagues, Garcia sits third in RBIs and Neto places sixth. While other managers try in vain to find the next 30-homer slugger or 30-steal speedster, wise managers will grab balanced contributors like Neto and Garcia.

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Truthfully, I’m not sure where things will go from here for Kjerstad. But what I do know is that his ceiling is high enough to make him worth a roster spot in most leagues during the coming days. The No. 2 overall pick of the 2020 MLB Draft toyed with Triple-A pitchers this year, posting a .998 OPS and homering 16 times in 56 games. And after mostly leaving Kjerstad on the bench during his initial MLB trial, the O’s have played him more often this time around. The 25-year-old has hit .333 with two homers and a 1.095 OPS in 28 plate appearances since June 24, which should get him into the lineup at least twice during a weekend series against the lowly A’s. The schedule for the lefty swinging Kjerstad isn’t favorable next week, but my interest in him is more related to the long-term possibility of one of baseball’s best prospects flourishing in a lineup that leads baseball in OPS and runs scored.

Fantasy managers have become so fickle that even baseball’s best prospects are cast to the wayside if they don’t immediately hit the ground running. Such is the case with Scott, who posted respectable ratios (3.90 ERA, 1.08 WHIP) in five May starts before returning to Triple-A for the entirety of June. The right-hander returned on Wednesday and was one out away from a quality start when Luis Garcia Jr. took him deep in the sixth inning. This is the perfect time to add Scott, who is heading into a two-start week that includes favorable matchups with the Pirates and Rockies.

Managers who want to get ahead of their competition can stash Abbott for a favorable two-start week. The southpaw with respectable ratios (3.28 ERA, 1.20 WHIP) will head into the All-Star break on the heels of home starts against the Rockies, who rank 28th in road OPS, and the Marlins, who sit last in baseball in overall OPS. Pitching at offense-inducing Great American Ball Park has never hindered Abbott, who owns a lifetime 3.43 ERA at his home venue. The 25-year-old has a concerning 5.04 FIP, which means that wise managers will stream him for one week before sending him back to waivers.

I would never recommend the wild-throwing Chapman for long-term use. After all, the southpaw has walked 29 batters in 32 innings this season, which has contributed to a concerning 1.56 WHIP. But Chapman continues to collect whiffs in bunches (14.6 K/9 rate) and for the next 10 days, he can return plenty of value as the Bucs temporary closer. The 36-year-old has collected two saves and a win since June 22, and David Bednar, who has not yet thrown a bullpen session, should be sidelined through the All-Star break.

Hudson should be rostered in virtually all Yahoo leagues that allow for daily lineup moves. The reliever has not recorded a save this season but still ranks 36th among all players on the Yahoo Player Rater, by virtue of having logged eye-popping ratios (0.99 ERA, 0.66 WHIP) while maintaining a heavy workload (45.1 IP). Hudson is unlikely to maintain this remarkable pace, but he should remain effective as part of a Brewers organization that often gets the most out of their pitchers. Wise managers will lower their ratios by leaving Hudson in their active lineup while shuttling starters between their lineup and bench.

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