2. Scott Barlow
Know what’s kind of weird? Remember how the worst teams in baseball used to all carry 1-2 veteran rental relievers so they could flip them at the deadline for easy money? This year’s collection of tankers doesn’t even seem to be doing that right.
The Reds’ roster is impressively useless, unless the Yankees want Luis Cessa back. The Pirates’ crew is even cringier, with the super expensive David Bednar hanging out with the very bottom of your fantasy waiver wire. You know, the guys who retired in, like, 2005. “Why is Mike MacDougal still here?” you ask. No one answers.
The Kansas City Royals are somewhere in between friskiness and the dreaded tank, but they should still aim to sell high on a few bullpen assets if they can. With 1.5 years of control attached to him when the deadline approaches, left-hander Amir Garrett might be their best hope for striking a deal, and he’s an appropriate Yankees target/New York kid if he’s able to stay pitching at his current level.
KC might also consider unloading Scott Barlow, who’s sort of the new-school Josh Staumont. After examining the rest of MLB’s bottom feeders, he might end up being the most sought-after asset, along with the Tigers’ Michael Fulmer and his single year of control. Barlow’s signed through 2024, though, so there’s the rub. 2.5 years of control on the market is nearly unheard-of, and the journeyman reliever with a 1.46 ERA and 1.135 WHIP could cause a feeding frenzy, as long as MLB teams believe he is for real (his Statcast numbers indicate he likely is).
Adding Barlow feels too good to be true for a number of reasons, but the Yankees would rather create the next Barlow in their lab rather than overpay for this one.