Waiver Wire Guidelines: Are These Recently Traded Starters Worth Grabbing?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Not every player traded at the deadline is created equal.  Sometimes there are reasons for us not to get excited, but as we all know things change quickly.  Should fantasy owners be quick to pull the trigger, though?  Let’s take a look at two starting pitchers who have seen their stock rise quickly and determine if they are worth grabbing off the waiver wire:


Lance Lynn – New York Yankees
After stepping into the Yankees rotation, replacing Sonny Gray, Lynn opened some eyes by throwing 7.1 shutout innings allowing 2 H and 1 BB while striking out 9.  It came on the heels of a 4.1 shutout inning relief appearance in his Yankees debut, and with what should be a potent offense behind him it’s easy to get excited.

The performances came against the Orioles and White Sox, however, so we have to take them with a little bit of a grain of salt.  We also can’t ignore his 5.10 ERA prior to the trade, as he struggled with his control (5.45 BB/9) and was being hit hard (22.6% line drive rate).  Maybe we’d expect improvements in both categories, but he also can’t maintain the 0.77 BB/9 and 11.1% line drive rate (as well as his .259 BABIP and 100.0% strand rate in his short sample size as a Yankee).

Throw in the potential for some home run issues, despite a 50.9% groundball rate for the season, pitching in Yankee Stadium and for many the risk likely outweighs the reward.

Fantasy Waiver Wire Guidelines:

  • 10 Team League – Streaming Option
  • 12 Team League – Streaming Option
  • 14+ Team League – Worth Gamble
  • AL-Only League – Worth Gamble
  • Keeper/Dynasty – Use guidelines for respective league size


Tyler Glasnow – Tampa Bay Rays
The Rays appear to be stretching him back out as a starter, and the early results are promising:

  • August 1 (vs. LAA) – 3.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 H, 1 BB, 5 K
  • August 8 (vs. BAL) – 4.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 H, 0 BB, 9 K

Control has long been his biggest issue, and obviously we aren’t going to draw any definitive conclusion off of 7.0 innings of work.  That said it’s interesting that despite working more as a starter he’s continued to use just two pitches over these first two outings:

  • August 1 – 72.92% Fourseam, 27.08% Curveball
  • August 8 – 72.13% Fourseam, 27.87% Curveball

It’s hard for any starting pitcher to get threw a lineup multiple times while depending on two pitches.  If he wants to excel he’ll have to get another pitch back into the mix, and he’s shown that in the past when working as a starter.  Before we are ready to go all in, at least for ’18, we are going to need to see him get back to that.

We’ll also need to see him continuing to limit the walks while also proving he can maneuver through the difficult matchups the American League present.  Can he have similar success against the Yankees and Red Sox?  There’s no questioning the long-term appeal, but if you are looking at just ’18 there’s cause for concern and reason to be conservative.

Fantasy Waiver Wire Guidelines:

  • 10 Team League – Streaming Option
  • 12 Team League – Worth Gamble, but pick your spots on when to use him
  • 14+ Team League – Must Add
  • AL-Only League – Must Add
  • Keeper/Dynasty – Must Add

Sources – Fangraphs, Brooks Baseball

Make sure to check out all of our Midseason Prospect Rankings:

First Baseman
Second Base
Third Baseman

One comment

  1. DB says:

    Just a heads up, Glasnow throws three pitches, (FB, CU, SL,) but the tracking data Brooks uses doesn’t pick up the SL. Trackman/Statcast, however, does pick them up as two different pitches. They look very similar, but the SL has more velo.

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