Fernando Perez $19.
Perez has a few people in my league buzzing due to exciting speed and some unexpected pop in his major league trial. John Sickels classifies Perez as a fourth OF long term and he's probably right, though I could see Perez getting a starting shot somewhere in a weaker organization that overvalues speed. For the final week, Perez is a decent roll of the dice on steals. His 156 whiffs in AAA this year concern me a great deal, and make me think that Sickels is overrating Perez, but as a short term play this week, Perez is fine.
Freddy Garcia $11. Other bids $6, $3, $3.
Garcia threw five solid innings against the Rangers in his return this week. I heard he looked "crisp," but who knows how to really gauge such a miniscule sample size? Looking at Fangraphs, the velocity on Garcia's fastball was in line with his 2006-2007 numbers, and not his 91 MPH 2005 rate. That could mean Garcia will have to work savvier going forward, it could mean nothing. He's a decent what-the-heck flier at this price, though I'd be more likely to throw him back and try to get him for anywhere from $1-5 depending on the ST results.
Jon Meloan $10.
Meloan was part of the Indians swag for parting with Casey Blake and his magical, mystical beard. Meloan throws hard but still looks like a pitcher who needs more than a little refinement. The Dodgers were starting Meloan at AAA this year but the Indians saw a future closer and moved Meloan to the pen. In both roles, he's walked too many guys to be successful in the bigs. No one can question his raw stuff, but Meloan is a project, and barring an incredible winter/spring training, Meloan will start 2009 in AAA again.
Phil Humber $10.
Humber was a big piece of the Johan Santana trade, but he had a weak year in the minors, with a particularly worrisome HR/IP rate. He's going to get tagged in the bigs if he continues to give up so many long flies. He's not young at 25, and is at the age where you have to start to question whether or not he'll live up to the potential. My guess is he goes back to AAA next year to start the season.
Alfredo Aceves $6. Other bid $3.
I wrote about Aceves earlier this month. That $3 bid was mine, and he was my first choice over Garcia and Andy Pettitte (see below). I like Aceves a great deal, and while I think the league will begin to adjust, think the stuff and the composure is for real. Think Joakim Soria; this kid has a chance to be that good (though if he stays in the rotation, his numbers obviously won't be that stellar).
Ramon Vazquez $3.
Vazquez might get some games in at short down the stretch for the Rangers with Michael Young's lingering finger injury. He's a limited pop, BA option, but in most deep leagues the middle infield options at this time of year are putrid, and this is about as good as it gets.
Brian Tallet $3.
Tallet is a pure middle relief option for Rotisserie players in 4x4 leagues, but he's a good option in the last week for teams looking to protect their ERA/WHIP. Of course, I said that last year (and put my money where my mouth was with a $7 bid) and watched Tallet proceed to pitch two innings with a 9 ERA and a 2.5 WHIP.
Octavio Dotel $2.
Dotel's been an on again, off again reliever this year, but with whispers about Bobby Jenks health (his slider has lost velocity and bite according to Sox watchers), Dotel could sneak into the closer's role in 2009 if Jenks was seriously hurt. I doubt he is, but this is the stuff late September FAAB bids are made of.
Andy Pettitte. Claimed by 11th, 10th, 7th, 6th, and 4th place teams.
It's been a poor year for Pettitte, but he's always benefited from luck, as his ERA has typically been more favorable than his WHIP. This year, things seemed to even out. His 14 wins and strikeouts (in 5x5 leagues) make him worthwhile, and he's at $10 in this league, so he's definitely worth picking up if he's somehow out there. He was only out there in this league because his previous owner wanted to protect his ERA and WHIP in the final weeks.
Brad Wilkerson. Claimed by 7th place team.
Brad Wilkerson is probably finished. If he's hurt, I haven't heard it, and his numbers are unacceptable for a middle infielder, let alone a corner outfielder.
Gary Matthews Jr. Claimed by 6th place team.
I wrote about Matthews a couple of weeks ago in this space and not much has changed. He should play in the last week as the Angels attempt to keep their line-up fresh for the play-offs, but he's not running or hitting for power and is a longshot to contribute to your team.
Mike Redmond. Claimed by 2nd place team.
Redmond was picked up for Rod Barajas, who likely won't play the rest of the season for the Blue Jays. Redmond is a safe average play but little else, and the Twins will probably run Joe Mauer out there everyday until they're eliminated or clinch a play-off spot.