Fantasy Baseball Hot Stove - AL

by Tim Heaney on January 13, 2010 @ 00:00:00 PDT

 


Also see: Fantasy Baseball Hot Stove - NL

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!

Catcher

Ramon Castro, Chicago White Sox (re-signed)

An incorrect report in December had him going to the Toronto Blue Jays. Fantasy speculators should be thankful. This hitter-friendly environment will be more helpful, and A.J. Pierzynski is aging and may not return after 2010. Castro can hit when given the chance. Prospect Tyler Flowers will start the year at Triple-A, too.

First basemen

Dan Johnson, Tampa Bay Rays (signed)

The former hyped Oakland Athletics prospect hit 18 homers in '07 and spent last year in Japan. He's Carlos Pena (fingers) insurance. AL managers keep an eye out, but Pena's recovery seems to be going fine. Know who Johnson is, but know there's no rush.

Second basemen

Mark Grudzielanek, Cleveland Indians (signed to minor league deal)

Grudz made a cameo in the Minnesota Twins' farm system last year at Double-A New Britain. Grudzielanek will compete with Jason Donald and Luis Rodriguez to be Cleveland's new Jamey Carroll - not a bad thing, since his utility spot was useful at times in ALs. Junior Circuit travelers should store Grudzielanek in their memory bank.

Shortstops

Khalil Greene, Texas Rangers (signed)

Texas Rangers DH Vladimir Guerrero
Vladdy Daddy will stay in the AL West

A broken hand bone and social anxiety disorder have aided in Greene's fall from fantasy grace, but he has been working to improve with the help of his former college coach. He'll serve a roving utility role similar to what Omar Vizquel did for the Sheriffs last year. Consider Greene a stash commodity in deep AL setups who has the power to utilize Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, if a spot opens up for him.

Outfielders

Scott Podsednik, Kansas City Royals (signed)

Pods ended up being a superb value in speed-related categories last season for the Chicago White Sox. This situation isn't as alluring, but he's still a useful player atop a lineup; KC's slate is budding, too. Deep mixed selectors shouldn't rush unless Podsednik fills a need at the proper late portion, but AL leaguers may overvalue him a tad.

Designated hitters

Vladimir Guerrero, Texas Rangers (signed)

It's Vladdy Daddy's Shangri-La. He's the probable full-time DH - probably hitting cleanup - in one of the top hitter's parks. Hibernating in the batter's box should ease his knee, chest and other nagging issues while also stretching out his season; his adjusted 162-game numbers from '09 were attractive for his current value.

Some of his skills remain intact, but the Impaler pierces your flexibility by qualifying only at UTIL. His Average Draft Position will probably start climbing; pick your spots when considering him. Either way, 25 homers isn't a pipe dream.

Also see: Fantasy Baseball Hot Stove - NL

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About Tim Heaney

Tim's work has been featured by USA Today/Sports Weekly, among numerous outlets, and recognized as a finalist in the Fantasy Sports Writers Association awards. The Boston University alum, who competes in the prestigious LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.

He appears frequently, including every Sunday, on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio, as well as every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.


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