Kila Ka'aihue $11. Other bids $10, $7.
After a strong year at High-A High Desert in 2005, Ka'aihue struggled in his next two years in the minors, making him look like a failed prospect. He bounced back in a big way this year, mashing an incredible 37 HR and posting over 1000 OPSs at both AA and AAA. The Royals new, smarter regime decided that they'd give Ka'aihue a look this month at 1B, at least against righties, making him worth a stab in A.L. only leagues. This probably isn't a keeper price, but Ka'aihue is a good play down the stretch if you have a hole and are power hungry.
Gabe Gross $11. Other bid $4.
Gross isn't doing anything all that different from what he did in his last few years in the majors as a platoon/fill-in OF, but the Rays have maximized his utility, giving them a power hitting weapon from the left-hand side of the plate. He's swinging a very hot bat, and should be owned in all leagues as long as he continues to show the pop he's shown and rides the streak that's seen him put up a 302/393/528 in the last three weeks.
DeWayne Wise $3.
Even with Carlos Quentin most likely out for the year, Wise still won't see too much action with the White Sox likely going with a Dye/Griffey/Swisher alignment down the stretch. Wise has put up nice numbers when he's played, and has a little speed, but remains a borderline play in A.L.-only leagues unless one of the White Sox three OF goes down. Even Griffey's struggles shouldn't keep him out of the everyday line-up.
Josh Outman $2.
Outman was part of the A's booty for Joe Blanton from the Phillies. He throws hard but is still learning how to use his stuff, and the Phils were down on him before he was shipped to Oakland. He'll pitch middle relief the rest of the way in the crowded A's bullpen, making him a borderline get in A.L.-only 4x4 leagues. However, he's someone who is a fine flier for 2009. He might crack the rotation depending on how everything shakes out and the A's have a good track record lately of making projectable pitchers like this turn into something solid or better.
Matt Tuiasosopo $1.
Tuiasosopo got his first MLB start at 3B this past week, but I'd agree with the multiple touts who think his ceiling is low. He looks like a Jeff Cirillo type power-wise without the average. He has youth on his side (he's only 22 years old and played at AAA all year), but right now looks like a long shot to provide value now or in 2009. He's not going to make the Mariners trade Adrian Beltre this winter, though the Mariners have certainly made more foolhardy decisions this year than that.
Mike Sweeney $1.
The A's are caught between a rock and a hard place with a guy like Sweeney as their season anticlimactically winds down. They'd be better off playing their cavalcade of kids and seeing who will be part of the next winning A's team and who won't. However, part of the A's formula for success is finding low priced vets (known in analytical circles as "free talent") like Sweeney and convincing them to play for the A's at a reduced salary in exchange for a larger role. Benching or cutting Sweeney would be the wise thing to do, but he's playing so that the A's don't alienate these types of free agents going forward. This still means nearly squat for you, the savvy Rotisserie owner. Sweeney's power has eroded in the last two years, and he offers little but batting average and memories.
Masa Kobayashi. Claimed by 7th place team.
The Indians have announced that Kobayashi will see limited action down the stretch, since the Tribe is out of the running and doesn't want to overwork the Japanese import. That makes his extremely limited value for this year next to nil. Going forward, I suppose he could reclaim the closer job, but I suspect the Indians will bring someone else in if they can. He's worth a stab, I suppose, if you can get him on waivers like this.
Gary Matthews Jr. Claimed by 3rd place team.
Matthews has been swinging a surprisingly hot bat the last two weeks, punishing pitchers with a 407/448/556 line. That's come with zero HR or steals, and he's playing through a slight tear in his knee, so even if Matthews does continue to play, don't expect much in the way of steals. It will be interesting to see how Mike Scioscia manages AB in L.A. after the Angels clinch the division. Joe Torre played his regulars frequently when he was the Yankees manager to keep them in sync for the play-offs. Scioscia has already rotated Matthews and Robb Quinlan into the line-up on a semi-regular basis, and I suspect that most Angels regulars will rest fairly frequently after the team clinches. This doesn't necessarily make Matthews a must get, but it does mean that you should watch your other Angels closely and not be afraid to make moves aggressively - particularly in leagues with daily transactions - after the Angels clinch.