Nick Blackburn $6. Other bid $1.
Blackburn was having a horrible season before the Twins finally pulled the plug and sent him down to the minors at the end of July. His four minor league starts certainly didn't raise eyebrows, but Kevin Slowey's trip to the DL forced the Twins to bring Blackburn back up. He responded with an OK start against the Rangers and an absolute gem against the Mariners. Some reports say that Blackburn's off speed stuff is back and that he'll be solid going forward. Other reports aren't as optimistic. Blackburn is clearly a risky play (and could lose his spot again if/when Slowey comes back), but for the wins alone in Minnesota he's worth a stab at. He gets the Rangers again this week, but at least he's home in spacious Target Field.
Justin Germano $3.
A starter with the Padres once-upon-a-time, Germano was occupying a swing role for the AAA Indians when they called him up to the big club to replace Kerry Wood. Germano was OK in the minors, but nothing could have predicted he'd be a shut down reliever for the big club. Germano has certainly been great, but I wouldn't continue to rely on this type of production from a journeyman.
Sergio Mitre $1.
Outside of a terrible July, Mitre has been a solid middle relief/long option for the Yankees. I'm not sure if the Yankees will push him in to a starting role due to A.J. Burnett/Javy Vazquez's struggles; his value is extremely limited if they don't.
Michael Kirkman $1. Other bid $1.
Kirkman was on the periphery as a prospect this year, but a solid showing in AAA raised his stock and found him getting the call to supplement the Rangers bullpen. He throws 90-94 MPH and has a decent slider. He's mostly mopping up right now, so like Germano and Mitre his value is currently limited, even in deeper formats.
Rafael Perez $1.
The 2.98 ERA looks pretty, but Perez's high WHIP is more indicative of what he's done so far this year; his xFIP this year isn't much better than what Perez put up last year. He's added a change-up for a third pitch, but Perez still has a long way to go to get back to where he was in the 2008 campaign....if he ever gets there, of course.
Javier Vazquez. Claimed by 12th, 11th and 2nd place teams.
Vazquez's salary is $20 - the same salary he was waived at - so he's not a keep at this price. Chances are the claiming team is trying to prevent Javy from getting picked up as a free agent and allowing him to sit at a $10 price next year. Vazquez had a solid relief outing in mop-up duty this past week but his value lies as a starter, and it is unclear when or if Joe Girardi will ever trust Vazquez again.
Michael Wuertz. Claimed by 11th and 2nd place teams.
I've written about Wuertz a few times this year already, so I won't rehash. He's a solid middle reliever who picked up some saves when Andrew Bailey was out and would probably be the A's go-to again this year if Bailey were to hit the DL again.
Fernando Rodney. Claimed by 10th, 8th, 5th, 4th, 2nd and 1st place teams.
With the trade of Brian Fuentes to the Twins, Rodney becomes the choice for manager Mike Scioscia to close the rest of 2010...and possibly 2011. What you see if what you get with Rodney: a flame thrower who throws a seriously hard heater but doesn't have anything special in the way of secondary offerings. If you can take the WHIP hit, you're obviously going to take a shot here on the saves if Rodney is available in your league.
Ramiro Pena. Claimed by 9th and 8th place teams.
Pena has some base stealing speed and some versatility, but his value in Roto - and real life - is extremely limited by a putrid bat. Even if Pena did pick up the majority of the starts while A-Rod were on the DL, he wouldn't provide enough offense to make him worth your while.
John McDonald. Claimed by 1st place team.
McDonald had a big game against the Red Sox on 8/20, but hasn't done much since. If you pick him up, that's what you're hoping for: the odd, big game, because he doesn't play that much at all.