Ivan Nova $9. Other bids $1, $1.
With A.J. Burnett struggling, and Javier Vazquez reportedly having lost his fastball entirely, the Yankees have decided to take the plunge on Nova. His ERA at AAA Scranton looks pretty, but his K/IP isn't dominant, which has been a knock on Nova for nearly his entire minor league career. Nova does have a history of keeping the ball on the ground, but his markers aren't dominant enough to recommend him if you're playing for this year. He gets the Blue Jays on Monday...and after that it will probably depend on his performance. It wouldn't surprise me to see him push Vazquez to the pen for a while if Nova is even passable for the Yanks.
Andres Blanco $3.
He's only 26, but Blanco seems like one of those players who have been around forever, as he made his MLB debut with the Royals way back in 2004. Blanco is a good glove, no hit middle infielder that would have been better suited to the 1970s. He isn't a Roto asset and even though he is getting AB for the Rangers with Ian Kinsler and Cristian Guzman on the shelf, Blanco can be bypassed even in A.L.-only formats.
Taylor Teagarden $2. Other bid $1.
After an abysmal 1-for-27 start (his only hit was an infield single) that included 17 strikeouts, Teagarden was demoted to the minors in late April...and then demoted again to AA. The Rangers called him up for his defense to caddy new acquisition Bengie Molina, and all Teagarden has done since his call-up is hit. He has an 800 SLG and 1157 OPS in 25 AB with three HR. This makes Teagarden relevant again in A.L.-only. He has the capability to hit 2-3 HR down the stretch, which is more than you can say for a number of catchers in the circuit.
Kyle Davies $2.
At a glance, Davies' numbers look like his usual, sub-pedestrian stuff: 5+ ERA, 1.5+ WHIP, barely under six whiffs per nine, more than four walks per nine. A closer look, though, reveals a pitcher who might be turning a corner. Davies' cutter - which he started throwing last year - is the third most valuable cutter in the American League (behind Mariano Rivera and Jon Lester). He has been solid this month, posting a 3.47 ERA and not allowing a HR in four starts. He's still Kyle Davies, so temper your expectations for now, but at the very least he bears watching.
Jordan Walden $2. Other bid $1.
Walden was a starting pitcher in the Angels system until the Halos decided to move him to relief. He's been called a closer-of-the-future in many circles, but didn't have the kind of season this year that screams "future closer." His strikeouts were low, his walks were high and while he was switching roles his numbers were still unimpressive for someone with Walden's pedigree. Teams playing for 2011 should bid on Walden, though, since it's unlikely Brian Fuentes' option will vest (he needs to finish 23 games) and Walden could be in the mix to close with a strong spring.
Eduardo Nunez $2.
I heard a few positive reports on Nunez after the Yankees called him up, but it seems like there's little to see here. A 721 OPS for a 23-year-old isn't worth getting worked up over, and there is nothing in Nunez's minor league career that says more than utility player. I like the speed, but given the Yankees conservative history I wouldn't count on Nunez running. Given the Ramiro Pena's the only other true 3B on the roster, Nunez is OK if you had A-Rod and need the warm body, but expect little.
Gerald Laird $1.
Laird has a little power, but he's below the Mendoza Line and with the Tigers out of the race is losing even more playing time to Alex Avila. He's about to enter the back-up stage of his career if his career does indeed continue.
Jesse Carlson $1.
After a great rookie campaign in 2008, Carlson was pedestrian in 2009 and a poor spring and a deep Toronto bullpen led to minor league banishment. He's back in the Majors now, and while he's probably a useful middle reliever, his value is limited in what is still a deep pen.
Casey Kotchman. Claimed by 12th, 9th, 5th and 2nd (tie) place teams.
There has been some BABIP bad luck here, but that doesn't entirely explain Kotchman's regression into an unacceptable starting first baseman. Justin Smoak's injury gave Kotchman a reprieve, and while he had a strong July (and was hitting well this past week), he's hard to recommend at this point. Like Laird, I doubt Kotchman's going to be starting anywhere next season.
Gabe Gross. Claimed by 10th place team.
There was a time where Gross exhibited enough sock off of the bench to make him worth it in deep A.L.-only leagues. It appears that this time has passed. Gross only started once this week, and he's two years removed from having enough thump to make him a commodity with limited playing time.
Craig Breslow. Claimed by 2nd place (tie) team.
Breslow continues to provide solid work for the A's, and even picked up a save last week helping Mike Wuertz fill in for Andrew Bailey. Bailey is back, so Breslow will provide some value as a middle reliever but probably won't see any more save ops the rest of the way.