Russ Canzler $13. Other bids $5, $2.
The dollar amounts are irrelevant at this point; the bids have more to do with how much money some teams have left than others. There were no keeper bids for Canzler, but the non-contenders in this league are all almost out of money. Canzler replaces Alexi Casilla; the losing bidders were attempting to replace Nick Markakis and Brennan Boesch. Travis Hafner mercifully goes bye-bye this winter once the Tribe pays the buyout, so it seems logical that Canzler is going to get a long look this month. He offers some power with a subpar batting average, although the BABIP gods have been on his side thus far. Canzler is a must own in A.L.-only, but keep in mind that he's a DH-only if you're playing using standard Rotisserie position eligibility rules.
Tony Abreu $4
A.L.-only: the only format on Earth where Abreu would be joining his second contender this year. Abreu offers a slight power/speed combo at middle infield and his versatility is marginally useful if you have an injury and need to slide Abreu to another position. He's stealing some at bats from Johnny Giavotella and could provide a little value down the stretch if that paradigm holds.
Thomas Neal $3
Neal was the Markakis owner's consolation prize after losing out on Canzler. Neal was acquired at the trade deadline in 2011 from the San Francisco Giants for Orlando Cabrera. He had a strong all around season in the minors, but is 25 years old and was at Double-A. Neal is your classic tweener: a guy with not enough power to man a Major League corner and not enough speed to roam center field in a big league ball yard on a regular basis. He'll get some at bats against lefties down the stretch and with the Indians out of contention might get more regular at bats as we get closer to the end of the 2012 campaign.
Ben Francisco $2
There are some pretty weird/funky job sharing arrangements going on in Tampa Bay, and while they might be working wonders for the team's chances to win, it makes figuring out whom to play in fantasy aggravating. Francisco has been stealing some at bats in the outfield over the last few days. He has modest pop and a slight amount of speed, but the danger with a guy like Francisco is that he can disappear as quickly as he appeared, and it's not like he offers the potential for ridiculous numbers even if he does play every day.
Adeiny Hechavarria $2
Hechavarria was playing for Brett Lawrie, but started at shortstop today and should see a fair amount of time in the infield for the Blue Jays down the stretch. Some scouts love his glove, but with the exception of an incredible stretch at AAA in 2011, Hechavarria has shown little with his bat. He is young, but profiles as a future utility guy and not a regular.
Clayton Mortensen $1
The Red Sox have been justifiably slammed for a lot of poor decision making this year, but Mortensen has turned out to be a solid acquisition. He has struggled as a starter throughout his career, but a move to middle relief has done wonders for Mortensen's numbers. He has also gone back to throwing a ton of sliders (something he didn't do for the Rockies in 2011), which seems to have helped. Mortensen is a safe looking rate stats play.
Mark Teixeira. Claimed by 12th place team
Teixeira carries a $39 salary for next year, so even if a contender wanted to gamble on Teixeira's health the rest of the way, fitting him under the league's $350 cap would be challenging. The play here for a non-contender isn't a keeper play, but rather making sure no one sneaks Tex onto his team with a lowball bid next week once Teixeira passes through waivers. I don't know when Teixeira is coming back this year. The Yankees clearly need him in the line-up, but he didn't look ready to me on Saturday even before he aggravated his injury.
Joe Saunders. Claimed by 11th, 8th, 4th, and 2nd (tie) place teams
With a $10 waiver salary, you might wonder why the 11th place team is claiming Saunders. The answer is innings. This team is behind the eight ball in innings pitched and would lose 13 points in the standings if he didn't make the IP requirement, impacting his potential draft pick next season. The 8th place team is on pace to make innings but still not there and probably trying to do the same thing. Saunders is projected to face the A's in Oakland this week: a historically good match-up, but the way the A's are hitting one where you should exercise caution if your rate stats matter.
Ricky Romero. Claimed by 8th place team
Romero showed some faint signs of life in a tough match-up against the Yankees to close out August but then was demolished by the Rays in a home start on September 2. The Blue Jays skipped Romero's turn last week and he should get the Mariners this week. He's not worth owning if you're contending. The team that picked him up is trying to make innings, though Romero isn't even a safe bet to accumulate those right now.
Mitch Moreland. Claimed by 7th, 5th, 2nd (tie) and 2nd (tie) place teams.
Moreland has been a pretty strong source of power when he has been able to stay on the field this year, but then that has been the rub. Assuming the Rangers don't eat Michael Young's contract, Moreland could get pushed out next year by the emergence of Mike Olt. Three contenders tried to claim Moreland but were blocked by a non-contender...an odd move, given that Moreland is an option player and a league free agent once the season ends.
Sam Fuld. Claimed by 6th place team.
Fuld is part of the confusing Rays offensive alignment mentioned above, so has been receiving a few starts here and there. He offers stolen base potential and little else, and is only worth the gamble if you're in a tight, tight stolen base race and locked in in the power categories.
Junichi Tazawa. Claimed by 2nd (tie) place team.
Like Mortensen, Tazawa offers some theoretically safe rate stats with little if any chance at saves. Very quietly while the carnival has been in town, the Sox have put together a decent bullpen core.