Deep League Waiver Wire Players To Add – Week 5

These four players can bring added value in deeper leagues.

Each week we’ll look at a handful of different players whom fantasy managers should consider picking up in deeper fantasy baseball leagues. Many of these players will have the most value in larger leagues where waiver wire options aren’t as plentiful. Still, they could also occasionally be useful additions in other, more standard-sized leagues depending on your options at their position.

All roster percentages mentioned in this column are via FantasyPros as of Friday afternoon.

All 2024 stats are as of the beginning of play on Friday.


Mark Canha – 21%


Canha was mentioned in this column a few weeks ago, and while his rostered rate has improved slightly from 9% to the 21% number it is now, it’s still much too low for what Canha is doing at the plate and the role he’s playing for the Tigers.

The 35-year-old has provided his usual quality plate discipline for Detroit. In fact, his chase rate would be a career-best in the Majors if the season ended today.

Mark Canha So Far In 2024

In addition to that, Canha has logged a .348 xwOBA and a 7.9% barrel rate so far, his highest marks in afull season since 2019, when the veteran hit a career-high 26 home runs and logged a .362 xwOBA in 497 plate appearances for the Oakland A’s.

So all that is obviously very good for Canha’s fantasy ceiling, particularly in leagues where on-base percentage is part of the scoring. Entering play Friday, the outfielder was hitting .259 with a .394 on-base percentage, a 166 wRC+, five home runs, and a stolen base.

But the biggest key here is that Canha has moved up in the Detroit lineup.

Starting the year hitting more in the heart of the order, Canha has hit second in 11 of his last 14 appearances. Of the three times he didn’t hit second, one included him hitting leadoff, another featured him batting third and the last was a pinch-hitting cameo.

As of late, well April 12 to be specific, hitting second in Detroit has meant batting after Riley Greene, who is in the midst of an excellent start to the season at the plate. If 2023 was his breakout year, 2024 is seeing him build on that even more so.

So far, the 23-year-old is sporting an even .400 xwOBA, a 44.1% hard-hit rate, a 21.2% chase rate and walk rate (19.6%), and barrel rate (20.3%) metrics that are in the 100th and 99th percentiles respectively.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Canha has logged 10 of his 12 RBI this season in the 56 plate appearances since April 12, the day Greene started hitting leadoff consistently.


Jo Adell – 3%


Adell has been plenty productive in a part-time role for the Los Angeles Angels this season, hitting .316 with a .372 on-base percentage in 43 plate appearances, adding a further two home runs and five stolen bases.

The outfielder has also turned in a .435 xwOBA, a 51.7% hard-hit rate, a .348 xBA, and a .599 xSLG. There’s some concern with swing and miss moving forward. Despite just a 23.3% strikeout rate, Adell is sporting a 35.2% chase rate and a 28.4% whiff rate. So that’s certainly something to monitor. But otherwise, when he has made contact, it’s been about as ideal of a start as one could ask for.

The only thing is playing time and plate appearances, because it doesn’t seem to be a split or platoon type of scenario.

More than a quarter of the right-handed Adell’s plate appearances this season have come against left-handed pitching.

The Anaheim-based club simply played other outfielders more so far. Taylor Ward, Mike Trout, and Mickey Moniak have all logged more time at the Angels’ three outfield spots, and with Trout, Brandon Drury, Miguel Sanó, and Aaron Hicks all seeing time at designated hitter, it’s limited Adell’s playing time so far.

Angels Outfielders This Season

Both Moniak (10 wRC+, .186 on-base percentage in 59 plate appearances) and Hicks (23 wRC+, .218 on-base percentage in 55 plate appearances) have struggled so there could, in theory, be a pathway to a more consistent role if the 10-15 Angels decide to give Adell more plate appearances. If that’s the case, Adell will be worth a look in leagues with 12 or more teams given how impactful he’s been at the plate so far. Add him to your roster now before that happens.


Garrett Cleavinger – 3%


As with Adell and potential playing time, there’s really only been a major question with Garrett Cleavinger so far. And that would be the walks.

The 30-year-old has pitched to a 2.53 ERA and a 3.06 FIP in 10.2 innings for Tampa Bay, striking out 14 batters compared to nine walks.

Outside of the walks, he’s provided ideal production for a relief pitcher, both in terms of real-life baseball and fantasy baseball by missing bats (29.8% strikeout rate, 34.5% whiff rate), inducing a bunch of grounders (54.2% ground ball rate) and limiting quality contact (Cleavinger has held opponents to a 29.2% hard-hit rate, a .335 xwOBA and a .393 xwOBAcon).

And while walks are never ideal, Cleavinger is doing more than enough considering how’s able to limit damage, not to mention a potential share of ninth-inning work in Tampa Bay for the time being with closer Pete Fairbanks recently being placed on the injured list on Monday.

After a trio of losses, Tampa Bay’s first try at a save situation came on Wednesday, and they went with Cleavinger to protect a two-run lead against the Detroit Tigers. It was the second consecutive appearance with a save for the left-hander, who’s also collected a pair of holds and three pitcher wins in his first 10 appearances.

Even if he’s in a ninth-inning committee with fellow relievers Colin Poche and Jason Adam, his high-leverage role should keep him in the mix for potentially stealing pitcher wins here and there, to say nothing of potential holds chances, on days when he’s not pitching the ninth inning.

Rays High-Leverage Appearance Leaders, Among Relievers


Keaton Winn – 10%


Some of Keaton Winn’s early-season metrics aren’t ideal. He sits in the 54th percentile or lower in walk rate, strikeout rate, whiff rate, barrel rate, and hard-hit rate.

Keaton Winn In 2024

It is worth noting we’re still dealing with a smaller sample size to begin the year, so Winn’s metrics might not be so ranked in terms of percentiles once the season is over.

But, despite unideal metrics in places, the 26-year-old has been excellent both in terms of getting batters to chase out of the zone (with a 34.3% chase rate) and generating grounders to the tune of a 59.5% (!) ground ball rate.

That last bit, paired with Winn’s home park, makes him an intriguing waiver wire addition. Per Statcast, only San Diego’s Petco Park and Seattle’s T-Mobile Park have a lower overall park factor than Oracle Park’s 96 park factor in the last three seasons.

What’s more, despite all those unideal metrics from before, the right-hander is still sporting a 3.54 ERA and a 3.97 FIP in 28 innings this season. Elsewhere, and perhaps most encouragingly, Winn – per FanGraphs – ranks in the top 10 in the league in both Stuff+ (113, 10th) and Pitching+ (107, sixth) among qualified starters.

Taking ties into account, the only other starters to earn that distinction: Jared Jones, Hunter Greene, Dylan Cease, Tyler Glasnow, Grayson Rodriguez, Corbin Burnes, Logan Webb, Ryan Pepiot, and Freddy Peralta.


Photo by Adobe Stock | Adapted by Carlos Leano.

Ben Rosener

Ben Rosener is baseball and fantasy baseball writer whose work has previously appeared on the digital pages of Motor City Bengals, Bleacher Report, USA Today, FanSided.com and World Soccer Talk among others. He also writes about fantasy baseball for RotoBaller and the Detroit Tigers for his own Patreon page, Getting You Through the Tigers Rebuild (@Tigers_Rebuild on Twitter). He only refers to himself in the third person for bios.

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