The fantasy baseball waiver wire is where championships are won and lost.

You’ve probably heard the phrase “no one wins a fantasy baseball championship on draft day,” and that statement could not be more accurate. Having a successful draft is certainly important, but over the course of a six-month season, it is your free agent scouting and waiver wire work that is most vital. You have to be smart. You have to be savvy. And, most of all, you have to be attentive. 



If you play in a league that uses straight waivers, you have to be diligent enough to get the players you need, but not so reckless that you lose top waiver priority when the options aren’t all that great. If your league uses FAAB bidding (Free Agent Acquisition Budget), you need to know when to be aggressive with your bidding and when you need to hold back and save some dollars for a rainy day. Just because a player is off to a hot start in April, doesn’t mean you should break the bank to acquire him.

But above all of this, it’s also about patience. Players hit peaks and valleys all the time. Baseball is a notoriously streaky sport and you have to have a firm understanding that a slow start can heat up in an instance and a hot start can cool down just as quickly.  DO NOT churn over your roster or your bench too quickly here at the start of the season. Trust in your draft and forget about any commentary from some garbage fantasy baseball team analyzer. You didn’t draft a player because you thought he’s be great for the first two weeks of the season. You drafted him because of the overall product and potential. So, before you go all willy-nilly on your waiver wire and start adding and dropping guys because of two or three bad games, ask yourself if the player you are adding is truly a better player or just off to a good start. Trust me – I’ve seen some MAJOR mistakes made with overzealous add/drops.

But with the 2024 MLB season about to fully commence, most leagues have a pre-season waiver wire to help fix some issues like late-spring injuries or, in Jackson Holliday’s case, an unexpected demotion. Be smart with your pickups here and do not drop someone who has a real shot at accruing at-bats, saves or even strikeouts.

**None of these players should cost more than 8-10% of your FAAB budget. There are no game-changers listed here before the season opens. If your league made a mistake during the draft and, for some reason there’s some stud available, but if not, keep the bidding low and conserve your FAAB for when it really matters.

Waiver Wire Catchers

One-Catcher Leagues

Luis Campusano, San Diego Padres

After a hitless debit in the Seoul Series, Campusano came out swinging hard in the next game and went 3-for-5 with two doubles, two RBI and two runs scored. That power he showed is for real and we spoke to Padres GM A.J. Preller who said the team wants Campusano out there as there every-day backstop. With strong plate discipline and burgeoning power, he makes for a solid add if your guy is struggling.

Bo Naylor, Cleveland Guardians

He’s probably more mid than someone with upside, but Naylor does have 15-20 home run power and he did like to run in the minors. How much running he’ll do in the bigs is not yet known, but Maybe 8-to-10 steals is a possibility. 

Two-Catcher Leagues

Connor Wong, Boston Red Sox

Good OBP numbers in the minors and can probably steal you a handful of bases over the course of the season. He’ll get the lion’s share of the work behind the plate, so if you’re in need of at-bats, you can lean on him. Just keep the batting average expectations in check.

Jake Rogers, Detroit Tigers

Recent reports that Carson Kelly will eat into Rogers’ at-bats are a bit of a bummer, but this guy popped 21 home runs over 265 plate appearances last season. Strictly a power-grab with little to no help in batting average or OBP, so if you add him, be sure to have help in those categories elsewhere.



Waiver Wire First Basemen

Andrew Vaughn, Chicago White Sox

We’ve seen the steady power increase over the last tree seasons, though the plate discipline has fluctuated. He’s a legitimate 20-homer bat capable of hitting .270 on the season, but you’ll have to keep your RBI and runs scored expectations low, given the surrounding lineup.

Jose Abreu, Houston Astros

He’s a veteran guy who, after a miserable first half last year, suddenly turned it on late in the season and managed to post some respectable numbers. He’ll stay on the field as the Astros first baseman, but we can no longer expect the power from him we once got. Last year’s .276 BABIP drove his average into the toilet, so expect a rebound of some sort in that department.

Alex Kirilloff, Minnesota Twins

There’s not a whole lot of power here – maybe 15 homers if we’re lucky. But he should be able to post a .330-ish OBP, so using him as a fill-on corner-infielder will at least stabilize your roster until something better comes along.

Josh Bell, Miami Marlins

The batting average continues to decline, but Bell is a solid 20-homer bat who has some pretty good table-setters hitting in front of him so 80 RBI is a legitimate total to aim for here. You won’t get help anywhere else, though.

Waiver Wire Second Basemen

Jordan Westburg, Baltimore Orioles

The demotion of Jackson Holliday gives Westburg a fantastic opportunity to open the season without looking over his shoulder. He’ll see every-day at=-bats at second and is more than capable of providing 20 homers with a .25-.260 average. Nothing spectacular but with such little depth at this position, fantasy owners would be psyched to have him as their second baseman or middle infielder.

Jake Cronenworth, San Diego Padres

There’s no real power or speed here, though he did hit 21 homers just two years ago. What I like about him is that he is the perfect bench guy. He qualifies at multiple positions, so having him allows you some much needed roster flexibility. Should you get hit with an injury, your options for waiver wire replacements increase because you may not be limited by position. 

Cavan Biggio, Toronto Blue Jays

Yeah, we’re gonna give this another go. Why not? Davis Schneider was supposed to grab the job, but not only was the team confident in Biggio’s return to lean towards using him more, they traded away Santiago Espinal who had been their utility infielder. Biggio should also get a few looks in the outfield when guys need some rest, so added position-eligibility is always a bonus. Maybe, just maybe we see something close to his 2019 totals. Maybe. 

Waiver Wire Third Basemen

DJ LeMahieu, New York Yankees

He’s still dealing with a bruised foot, but all recent signs seem to point towards LeMahieu being on the field for Opening Day. What we’re looking for here is runs scored. He doesn’t hit for much power nor does he steal bases, but hitting atop the Yankees lineup with Juan Soto and Aaron Judge behind him means we should see a boatload of runs from a guy who can post a .340 OBP. 

Michael Busch, Chicago Cubs

The former Dodgers prospect qualifies at third, but should be seeing regular at-bats at first base for the Cubs, so if looking for multi-position eligibility, he should help. Busch has back-to-back 20-homer seasons in Triple-A and should benefit from the friendly confines of Wrigley Field. He needs to contain the strikeouts better, but overall, he’s got decent enough plate discipline to not kill you in the average category.

Brett Baty, New York Mets

To me, Baty remains one of those post-hype sleepers. I’m not sure if he’s really got the hit tool to make it bug in MLB, but he’s definitely not as bad as he was last season. He came in with a lot of hype and we all know how tough that can be in New York. He is supposed to be the every-day third baseman for the Mets this season, so it’s a low-risk/high-reward move for you.



Waiver Wire Shortstops

Jackson Merrill, San Diego Padres

While he should be listed among the outfielders, in many leagues, Merrill is sitting with shortstop eligibility as that’s where he’s been playing in the minors prior to this season. The move to the outfield has earned him the starting centerfield job, but if you can get away with using him at short or as your middle infielder, you’re in a real good spot. You’ll get a little pop and a little speed – maybe 15-15 if we want to set some mid-level expectations – but with the way he looked in the Seoul Series, he should stick all year.

Zach Neto, Los Angeles Angels

While the batting average last year was miserable, we also have to remember that no one was expecting him up either. He showed decent plate discipline in the minors, so the hope is for some all-around improvement with the experience. Not much in the way of power or speed, but if he can get on-base like he did in the minors, he could be a decent option for runs scored.

Tim Anderson, Miami Marlins

A leap of faith is needed, but let’s not forget that, before last season, he was a .300 hitter for four-straight seasons and swiped 18 bags back in 2021. He’s gone through some personal issues which he has acknowledged and apparently dealt with so he’s looking for a second chance here in Miami. For what he costs in drafts or free agency, it’s worth a shot.

Waiver Wire Outfielders

Parker Meadows, Detroit Tigers

It looks like Meadows should hit atop the Tigers lineup, at least for the start of the season. That puts him in a decent spot for runs scored and stolen bases. He does have developing power, as evidenced by 22 home runs between Triple-A and the majors last season, but you shouldn’t expect much of that from the onset. He’s shown strong on-base skills in the past and he appears locked into the centerfield job, so definitely worth the add if you’re short in the outfield.

Sal Frelick/Garrett Mitchell, Milwaukee Brewers

Both are listed here as we could see a but of a platoon for the start. Frelick appears to have the inside track on the playing time, but he doesn’t offer you much in the way of production at the plate. If he struggles offensively, Mitchell, who has fantastic speed, could push him out of the way. Remember, everyone was in on Mitchell early last season prior to his injury. 

Mitch Haniger, Seattle Mariners

His last full season as a Mariner, Haniger popped 39 homers. We certainly don’t expect to see that again, but 15-20 might not be too far out of the question. He’s had a real nice spring and can get off to a hot start should he carry that momentum with him. Mid-level power with a .250 average is probably where we’re at these days, but if you’re losing players to injury early, he’s a rock-solid replacement.



Waiver Wire Starting Pitchers

Andrew Abbott, Cincinnati Reds

He earned the fifth starter’s spot for the Reds and while we don’t like the home ballpark, this kid’s stuff plays, despite a slow spring. He’s been working on his slider and curve more in the hopes of inducing more ground balls, so expect him to still be ironing out a few kinks early in the season. But the strikeouts will certainly be there and if his command and control are on-point, he’s got crazy, good upside.

Kutter Crawford, Boston Red Sox

Though the strikeout rate has dipped a bit this spring, Crawford is dazzling with his command right now. He showed a lot of potential last season and really built on his 2022 debut with a lower walk rate, improved K/9 and xERA and FIP that showed how well he was actually pitching. Might be a struggle to squeeze some wins out of this team, but he should help in the other categories.

Reese Olson, Detroit Tigers

He just grabbed the last spot in the Tigers’ rotation and while he doesn’t have overwhelming stuff, he has solid command of a five-pitch arsenal and should be able to average about a strikeout per inning. The Tigers have a real soft schedule to open the year – White Sox, Mets, A’s and Pirates – so two starts in April could be surprisingly good. 

JP Sears, Oakland Athletics

I’m willing to add him to a roster and see what happens based on how good he’s looked this spring, but, obviously, expectations will be kept in check. Still, a 15:1 K:BB over 13 spring innings shows us that he’s learned a little something between last year and this year. He’s just someone to add for depth if you lost someone like Gerrit Cole or Eury Perez, but don’t green-light him to start for you just yet.

Waiver Wire Closers & Relief Pitchers

Griffin Jax, Minnesota Twins

With Jhoan Duran on IL for what could be up to a month, Jax should settle in as the Twins closer for the most part. Brock Stewart may also get a look here and there as manager Rocco Baldelli loves to play the match-ups. But Jax has a great groundball rate and has posted more than a strikeout per inning over the last two seasons. 

Joel Payamps/Abner Uribe, Milwaukee Brewers

From everything we are hearing out of Milwaukee, Payamps could get the initial look as the closer with Devin Williams out. He’s got great stuff, but Pat Murphy doesn’t appear ready to commit. That is likely because Uribe profiles much better as the team’s ninth-inning specialist. He’s really worked on his command this spring and has walked fewer batters. If he continues to show this improvement, he’s already shown the arm-strength and strikeout ability. He could be the guy by the end of the first month.

Hunter Harvey, Washington Nationals

Kyle Finnegan is going to get first crack at being the Nationals closer again, Harvey is next in line and not too far back, so expect a short leash on Finnegan which boosts the value of Harvey for those ready to chase saves on the waiver wire.