Also see: Fantasy Baseball Hot Stove - AL
KFFL delivers the fantasy baseball spin on each Major League Baseball Hot Stove deal that matters in your fantasy baseball league. Check back for frequent updates to the Fantasy Baseball Hot Stove!
Dusty Ryan, San Diego Padres (traded from Detroit Tigers)
The book on Ryan reads good news in the power chapter and great news when he's wearing the tools. It's a downer because of the holes in his swing, though. The Friars' serious lack of depth behind the plate may make him relevant in deep NLs by default, at some point.
Joe Thurston, Atlanta Braves (signed to minor league deal)
Thurston's big league batting eye has always been a bit too lopsided on the K side. In deep NL leagues, he could see fantasy PT for the desperate, assuming he lands a utility job with that Spring Training invitation.
Melky Cabrera, Atlanta Braves (traded from New York Yankees)
Starter Javier Vazquez exits, but the Bravos may slowly be putting together a club with a reliable defense. Cabrera is expected to man left, but he's an adept center fielder; it may make more sense to move Nate McLouth to a corner.
Melky loses mixed value because Atlanta can't rival the Yanks in terms of bats. He should be in no danger of losing PT, though, making him a sound investment in NL leagues. Maybe he'll run a bit more, too.
Laynce Nix, Cincinnati Reds (re-signed)
Cincy inked the injury-prone Nix to another minor league deal with an ST invite. The lefty bat strikes out a ton but displayed impressive power in limited at-bats - no shock. This outfield is crowded, though.
Brian Barton, Los Angeles Dodgers (signed to minor league deal)
Barton has a decent bat and some speed, but he's no Juan Pierre. Manny Ramirez can still miss time, though. Perhaps Jason Repko and Xavier Paul, among others, will have more to say about those potential at-bats, however.
Jason Marquis, Washington Nationals (signed)
This right-hander delivered a surprising 15 wins for the Colorado Rockies in 2009, and some of his peripherals suggest the modest 4.04 ERA was for real. His career emphasis on grounders received a bigger boost during his stay in Denver.
The skill may be less of a help in D.C.; the Nats were one of the worst fielding teams in the majors. Marquis' strikeout-to-walk rate doesn't suggest continued success, especially with a hapless franchise. Don't overvalue those W's, please.
Arodys Vizcaino, Atlanta Braves (traded from New York Yankees)
The Dominican right-hander can throw 96, has a sharp curve and screams potential as a starter. Like many youngsters, Vizcaino, 19, needs to work on his changeup, but hasn't had much trouble adjusting to baseball in the States thus far. Take note of the Yankees' former No. 4 overall prospect, per Baseball America - at least in leagues with deep reserve rosters.
John Ely, Los Angeles Dodgers (traded from Chicago White Sox)
This part of the haul for outfielder Juan Pierre was considered a bit of a coup. Ely was 14-2 with a 2.82 ERA and 125 K's in 156 innings for Double-A Birmingham this past season. The report: Scouts view him as a fifth starter or long reliever. Know the name; don't get overly excited.
Matt Capps, Washington Nationals (signed)
In 2009 Capps posted a 5.80 ERA but was 27-for-32 in save chances. He was horrific for the Pittsburgh Pirates away from PNC Park. His major league career-high 7.62 K/9 doesn't thrill anyone, but it's the spike in BB/9 (2.82) that's nerve-racking.
Capps developed mechanical issues that were believed to be the result of his attempts to throw harder. That would explain the rise in both rates. Some correction could help the righty return to previous form, which was marked by pinpoint sub-2.00 BB/K (including 0.84 in 2008).
D.C. houses a bad team, but we've seen closers on bad teams produce saves. Capps signed a one-year deal and appears to be out to prove that his 2009 performance was not representative of his ability. At the right price on draft day, he could end up earning you a nice return.
Mike Dunn, Atlanta Braves (traded from New York Yankees)
Atlanta also pulled in a flame-throwing southpaw with a tough slider who has made a relatively recent transition to reliever with moderate success. His poor control necessitated the move, but he has struck out more than a batter per frame in the minors. He could be a quality setup man - or more - down the road and will compete for a bullpen spot this spring.
Also see: Fantasy Baseball Hot Stove - AL
Minnix is baseball editor and a fantasy football analyst at KFFL. He plays in LABR and Tout Wars and won the FSWA Baseball Industry Insiders League in 2010.
The University of Delaware alum is a regular guest on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio and Baltimore's WNST AM 1570.