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Sunday 25th Feb 2018

Richard the III would declare, "My kingdom for a pitcher" this week if he dared look at the transaction line, as MLB seems to be scrambling for arms in likely as desperate a search as the world of fantasy owners.

In response to the call to arms, big league teams are taking a look at some pitchers familiar to us, and even tempted us with moments of success. So, let's take a look at some of these retread arms and see if they are worth picking up for fantasy purposes.

Of course we have to frame looking at these guys knowing that they are probably of potential use only in the deepest of leagues, but, well, there is always someone like Chris Young, Edinson Volquez or Scott Feldman who do give us a late-season push towards redeeming value.

An interesting gamble of this cluster in my view belongs to the Brewers' Wily Peralta, who held the Braves in check after being recalled early in the week. Peralta was sent down in June after going 4-7, 6.68 over 66 frames before being relegated to the Minors, and the reality is Peralta was bad with Colorado Springs, going 1-3, 6.38. But Peralta has at least a history of pretty good success between 2012-14, and is still just 26 years old.  

Possibly my favorite spring training moment this year was waiting to pick up my rental car and spotting a fan wearing a Chris Narveson t-shirt. Truth is, I never expected Narveson was good enough to merit a tee, but Narveson, now 36, was decent enough in the Minors (4-5, 3.48) to get a new shot with the Fish, although the lefty's first foray back to The Show was less than stellar, despite a win (8.3 innings, eight runs, and six whiffs). Narveson has a career 1.35 WHIP as a Major Leaguer, which is actually better than Peralta's 1.44, but I would be wary.

Perhaps the best bet to help a team is the Padres' Brandon Morrow, who has a checkered career for sure, but can indeed whiff hitters with 788 strikeouts over 767.6 innings. Still just 32, Morrow previously toured with the Mariners and Jays, but he has never toiled more than 179 innings in a season, which he did for the Jays in 2011. Morrow does, as noted, get the whiffs, but he also owns a lifetime WHIP of 1.343, obviously is not too durable, and plays for a crappy team. On the other hand, he does get whiffs and pitches in a pretty good park.

Ugh, the next bunch are beyond the pale to a degree, but teams are using these pitchers, and strange things do happen. Like, I mentioned Scott Feldman above, who was a throw-in when I made a trade in 2009 as part of Tout Wars where I swapped CC Sabathia for some hitting (Howie Kendrick) and also got Feldman, giving me an arm to plug into Sabathia's spot. Feldman was 9-4, 3.99 when I got him at the trade deadline, but went 5-0, 2.89 over August, and, well, that helped me win a pennant.

That doesn't mean I can recommend Ross Detwiler, now of the Athletics, but, well, the 30-year-old did have a pretty good start the other day, blanking the Orioles over eight innings. Detwiler has a career mark of 22-37, 4.19 over 542 innings, and was less than effective for the Tribe (0-0, 5.79 over 4.6 innings) before the Athletics--who are as pitching starved as anyone--purchased the southpaw to try and fill in the gaps. Detwiler is not a strikeout guy (just 331 whiffs) and has a WHIP of 1.435, but like Morrow, he gets to pitch in a park favorable to hurlers.

Daniel Norris was recalled by the Tigers this week, after injuring his back during the spring. The #2 draft pick of the Jays--who was traded to Detroit for David Price--whiffed 543 over 519 minor league innings and managed a 4-2, 3.93 record in the Majors, including a victory this past week over the Mariners when he gave up a run over five frames. Norris is an interesting grab for the stretch, and has the most potential of anyone discussed today over the long haul.

We can finish up this week with a couple of position players, starting with Angels catcher Carlos Perez. The Angels have been having trouble filling the backstop role the past few seasons, and though Perez did log a .250-4-21 line last year over 86 games, he could only manage a .298 OBP (19 walks, 49 whiffs). If you need a catcher in an AL-only, Perez could at least fill the hole benignly, but the reality is I prefer Jett Bandy over the long haul.

If last is best, the Yankees advanced 6'7" outfielder Aaron Judge, the team's first-round selection in 2013. Over three seasons and 348 minor league games, Judge put up a .278-56-215 line with a solid .373 OBP that featured 189 walks to 373 strikeouts. Judge has homered in each of his first two big league games, and will probably get every chance to start and prove his mettle as the Pinstripes retool. Grab Judge wherever you can.

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