Jose Guillen $15. Other bids: $15, $13, $11, $11, $10, $1.
Predictably, Guillen generated moderate excitement this week in my N.L., particularly when you consider that all of the contenders are either capped out or maxed out in terms of quality players better than Guillen. He's certainly not without risk: from July 1 through yesterday's action he was a lousy 17-for-98, with a horrible 173/221/296 slash line. Moving from the moribund Royals to the team contending for the play-offs might light a spark under Guillen, but who knows? He's certainly worth the flyer at this price, but it's entirely possible that this will be a swing and a miss, and a waste of your money.
Paul Maholm $2. Other bid $1.
This is the third time Maholm's been picked up in this league after being dropped by his previous owner. Maholm's been up-and-down this year but mostly down, posting his worst ERA since 2007 and a terrible K/IP rate under 4.5 for the first time in his career. Forget about what this does to his BABIP and xFIP; in 5x5 pitchers like this are suicide. He gets the Marlins this week, but unless you're desperate for wins and have a significant ERA/WHIP cushion, I would shy away from Maholm even in N.L.-only formats.
Koyie Hill $1. Other bid $0.
With Geovany Soto on the shelf, Hill should get a good chunk of AB for the Cubs this coming week behind the dish. Even so, he's still a borderline option. Hill flashed serious power in the minors in 2008, but that power has never translated to the Majors and now he's a 31-year-old journeyman. Maybe you'll get lucky here with this pick-up, but you also could burn your batting average if Hill goes 1-for-16 this week. Given his history, the latter's more likely than the former.
Steven Hill $1.
Interesting. Hill is one of those minor league power hitters who is a cripple hitter, plays a lot of positions capably but not particularly well, and someone who could be exposed in the Majors. However, if he's catcher eligible in your league, he's an interesting play for the power potential alone. Hill hit 19 HR in 464 AB at AA last year and continued the fun with 22 HR at AA again this year. There's the rub. At 25, Hill was really old for his level and repeating it; as a result, his MLE says he's a .220 hitter with 14 HR power over those 371 AB. Guys like can sometimes hold their own in the Majors, though, and at the very least Hill has earned his shot. I'm not sure he'll pan out, but he's a more interesting play than a lot of the back-up catching dregs currently floating around N.L.-only leagues at the moment.
Takashi Saito $1.
While other relievers might get more hype, Saito continues to quietly dominate at the Age of 40, this year with the Braves. His excellent 11.4 K/9 makes him a worthwhile add even in 5x5 and he's next in line for saves if something happens to Billy Wagner or if Wagner can't go.
Brian Schneider $1.
Schneider continues to serve as Carlos Ruiz's caddy. He'll pop the odd HR but will hurt your batting average, even in limited AB. His HR/AB rate has improved mainly due to a higher FB%, but not enough to warrant serious consideration unless you have a dead slot.
Brooks Conrad $1. Other bid $0.
With Chipper Jones out for the year, Conrad inherits the 3B job for the Braves, at least in the short-term. He put up some ridiculously crooked power numbers in the minors from 2005-2008 before the A's finally gave him a shot late in '08 as a utility guy. Trouble is that Conrad's 30 and his batting averages in those years ranged from meh to terrible. He's worth an add in N.L.-only leagues and I believe that some of that power will translate, but Conrad could hit .200 for you if you let him.