Fantasy Baseball Hot Stove - AL
Also see: Fantasy Baseball Hot Stove - NL
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Diaz, a defense-minded backstop, will compete for a roster spot in Spring Training. Diaz's PT will depend on where heir apparent Alex Avila starts the season and if Detroit retains Gerald Laird, a free agent after this season. Keep casual tabs in two-catcher ALs.
The vet, who can also play short and third, gives the A's an infield insurance policy. The career .282 hitter had a down year in '09 and may still post a respectable clip, but even if he earns PT, Miles should be of concern only to deep AL players.
The one-time farm Triple Crown leader has noticeable pop that may be tamed slightly in his new home park. He'll be in the running for a starting job in an unstable infield and DH pictures this spring; his eligibility at both corners makes him a viable real-life and AL-only commodity - as well as a popular watch candidate in deep mixed.
The Tigs brought back their defensive-minded shorty for another round. His RBI and runs potential is worthy of a deep AL selection, but he hasn't shown enough speed recently to give him long-term mixed relevance.
It's hard to envision him dropping too far after this trade, but Grandy's whiffs and struggles against southpaws may scare some away this draft season. Value opportunity after the first three rounds? Perhaps, given his 30-30 potential, new lineup and new ballpark. He's one year removed from back-to-back seasons with a .360-plus OBP. Yanks hitting guru Kevin Long helped streamline Robinson Cano's approach last offseason; expect the organization to have Long focus heavily on their newest prize.
The talented athlete hit .300 at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre last season and was considered one of the top prizes in the Yanks' system. The Tigs gain what could be a younger, more disciplined version of the departed Curtis Granderson. The speedy Jackson's power hasn't yet come through but is projectable; he remains a high priority in dynasty leagues and a stashable single-year AL draftee.
This K machine moves to a more favorable team and slightly better ballpark. He'll have to throw more breaking stuff and develop a third pitch in the Junior Circuit, and control issues remain. On the bright side, his fastball remains as lively as his delivery, and his slider has some bite to it. There's room to grow, but don't overspend in mixed leagues.
The O's put their rebuilding plans aside, reportedly agreeing on a trade for Millwood, soon to be 35. After a strong start to '09, the righty faltered midseason. Though his sinker should help at another hitter-friendly home stadium, Millwood's already shaky K rate dropped to 5.57 per nine last year, and his .279 BABIP in '09 warns not to bank on another 3.67 ERA. He could round out a deep mixed rotation, but there's plenty of downfall to prepare for, especially with his wins potential.
Pettitte ate innings for the Yanks' shaky back end last year, and the Bombers believe he can do it again. While his real-life worth rests on his history with the organization, the 37-year-old doesn't have much upside. You know what you're getting from him, though; don't make him more than a late-round investment in deep mixed leagues.
Speculative saves alert: The hard-throwing lefty fanned 10.8 per nine in 18 1/3 MLB innings last year. Detroit is still shaping its bullpen; Fernando Rodney and Brandon Lyon probably won't be back. Despite his control issues (7.36 BB/9 in the bigs), this lefty will likely be in the discussion to replace 'Do-Rod.
Ray failed to convince Baltimore he was closer-worthy, and he'll enter an even more crowded picture for saves. Frank Francisco and C.J. Wilson have already proven worthy of closing, and Texas could also fall back on Neftali Feliz if necessary. While he's still an AL watch list inhabitant, Ray will need numerous bounces in his favor to regain fantasy value.
The Yanks' main eighth-inning option last year will be a key part of the Tigers' setup crew, but it'd be surprising if the southpaw were considered for extended save responsibilities.
Also see: Fantasy Baseball Hot Stove - NL
About Tim Heaney
Tim's work has been featured by USA Today/Sports Weekly, among numerous publications, and recognized as a finalist in FSWA's awards. The Boston University alum competes in Tout Wars and LABR and has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.
During baseball and football season, he's on The Reality Check with Glenn Clark every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore. He hits the airwaves every Thursday at 9:30 a.m. ET on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio, where he often crashes other shows, as well.
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