It’s what good teams do
Good teams around Major League Baseball seem to always be taking fliers on players to add depth.
The reigning World Series champion Chicago Cubs do this, as do the red-hot Los Angeles Dodgers.
These teams find useful contributors to fill out rosters.
Sure, Chicago and Los Angeles have young, impact players that they will continue to build around, but their entire rosters aren’t entirely comprised of young stalwarts.
The team’s respective rosters are partially filled out with under-the-radar additions.
Hector Rondon, who saved 18 games for the Cubs in 2016 and has turned in a SIERA under 3.00 in each of the last three seasons was a Rule 5 draft pick.
Meanwhile, Dodgers’ third baseman Justin Turner, who currently leads the National League with a .336 batting average, signed with Los Angeles in a relatively unheralded deal after three seasons with the Mets.
Infielder and outfielder Chris Taylor, who is sporting a .923 OPS and a 4.5 WAR, in 2017 was acquired from Seattle for a pitcher with 12.2 career innings in the Majors and a 5.23 lifetime ERA at Triple-A.
Boston and Houston
The American League’s best have also acquired talent by buying low on players, in a manner of speaking.
Boston brought in catcher Sandy Leon from the Nationals after Leon had appeared in just 34 games over a three year period for the National League East franchise.
Leon turned in a 2.4 WAR for Boston last season, and is currently splitting time with Christian Vazquez behind the plate for the pennant-chasing Red Sox.
Over in Houston, the American League-leading Astros have two key hurlers on the team’s pitching staff who were acquired via waiver claim.
Harris owns a 2.23 ERA, a 3.07 FIP and 9.3 strikeouts per nine innings in 169.2 frames since joining Houston.
Over in the rotation, McHugh has pitched to a WAR of 3.0 or above in each of the 2014, 2015 and 2016 campaigns.