Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire: Chad Green set to close, Miguel Vargas might finally play

The latest Rotoworld Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire column sifts through the flotsam and jetsam littering the waiver wire in search of potential impact contributors. This week’s crop includes veteran Chad Green likely taking over as Toronto’s temporary closer, an unexpected opportunity for Miguel Vargas in Los Angeles and a pair of interesting arms with favorable upcoming matchups in José Soriano and Alec Marsh.

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Chad Green, RP, Blue Jays
Available in 86 percent of Yahoo! leagues

With Jordan Romano (elbow) still several weeks away from returning, and temporary stopper Yimi García landing on the injured list earlier this week with a nerve issue in his right elbow, Green has an opportunity to take over as Toronto’s primary closer for at least a few weeks. The 33-year-old veteran has been one of the premier high-leverage specialists in the game for at least a half-decade at this point, but has never found himself in position to close for an extended period between the Yankees and Blue Jays. He’s been outstanding this season with a sparkling 1.76 ERA, 0.85 WHIP and 12/4 K/BB ratio across 15 1/3 innings (15 appearances). There will undoubtedly be some Nate Pearson buzz, but Green is the far superior potential pickup for fantasy managers in Toronto at the moment.

José Soriano, SP/RP, Angels
Available in 75 percent of Yahoo! leagues

It’s worth noting that Soriano was scratched from Monday’s scheduled start against the Brewers due to abdominal pain, and Angels manager Ron Washington didn’t have an update on his status following the contest. Assuming he isn’t facing an extended absence, the unheralded 25-year-old righty is worthy of consideration in standard mixed leagues if he’s able to take the ball early next week in an extremely favorable matchup against the rebuilding Athletics, who rank 28th in runs scored this season. After making 38 relief appearances last year for the Angels, Soriano has excelled in his first opportunity to start this season for Los Angeles, compiling a respectable 3.48 ERA, 1.18 WHIP and 60/28 K/BB ratio across 72 1/3 innings (14 appearances, 12 starts). He’s done a nice job working deep into games over his last handful of starts, completing six frames in five consecutive outings since May 19. The lofty strikeout totals haven’t exactly been there, as evidenced by a pedestrian 20.3 percent strikeout rate, but he’s done a nice job limiting free passes and keeping the ball in the yard, which has enabled him to avoid any major blow-up outings. He’s throwing too many fastballs, and still needs to develop a changeup or refine an existing secondary offering to increase the effectiveness of his triple-digit heater. Yet, if this is the baseline starting point, he’s going to be an impactful fantasy contributor for years to come.

Miguel Vargas, 2B/OF, Dodgers
Available in 99 percent of Yahoo! leagues

There are no guarantees the Dodgers will actually give him an extended opportunity given how they handled his playing time earlier this year in a brief stint with the club. However, they may not have an alternative besides tossing the metaphorical car keys to Vargas, at least for a couple weeks, with Mookie Betts likely to miss at least 6-8 weeks with a fractured left hand after being hit by a pitch over the weekend. The 24-year-old former top prospect was one of the most intriguing young hitters in the entire fantasy landscape entering last year’s spring training before flopping completely in his first taste of the majors. He has nothing left to prove in the upper minors at this juncture and the unexpected injury to Los Angeles’ franchise cornerstone creates an immediate opportunity at the highest level to prove he belongs. We believed in the offensive talent in the recent past, so there’s no reason to think he can’t excel this time with another opportunity. Rolling the dice on a talented hitter finally getting a real shot is never a bad strategy, especially in deeper mixed leagues.

Alec Marsh, SP, Royals
Available in 71 percent of Yahoo! leagues

Marsh is quietly blossoming into a mixed-league relevant contributor for fantasy managers and should benefit tremendously from a tasty matchup on Tuesday night against the Athletics. The 26-year-old righty has pitched to a strong 3.63 ERA, 1.09 WHIP and 61/19 K/BB ratio across 67 innings (12 starts). He made some interesting tweaks to his pitch mix his last time out against the Yankees by scaling back his four-seam fastball usage, leaning more heavily on his sweeper/curveball combination, in addition to featuring his changeup more often against left-handed batters. He doesn’t profile as a potential fantasy star, but the fact that he’s gone from completely off fantasy radar screens to a viable streaming option or back-end rotation stabilizer qualifies as a significant development.

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