Your fantasy baseball draft isn't far off. KFFL.com's Fantasy Baseball Hot Stove surveys free agency, trades, salary arbitration and injuries that will affect your rotisserie or head-to-head baseball league. You're cleared for your MLB offseason program: The Arizona Fall League, Baseball Winter Meetings, Rule 5 draft and more will shape your fantasy baseball rankings.
SS Jose Reyes agrees to six-year deal with Miami Marlins
Changes: Reyes' home venue (with little idea about how it plays) and teammates (which improve and may continue to do so). Remains the same: his dynamic fantasy baseball worth and propensity for injury.
Hot corner for Hanley
Of course this deal could backfire, but Reyes, 28, may turn out to be an excellent investment for the Fish, according to Fangraphs writer Dave Cameron. Roto owners will have to pay dearly as well for a risky player at a premium position. Maybe the longer stretch of warm weather will bode well for Reyes' chronically ailing hammies. Maybe.
The biggest effect that this development may have is on position depth. Hanley Ramirez will shift to the hot corner. Fantasy managers will have one more high-end - albeit risky - candidate in what had become a shallow pool. The diverse production that Han-Ram can bring plus his eventual multi-position eligibility will make him slightly more attractive to some bidders.
Third base receives a bit of a jolt in 2012. In 2013, shortstop may very well appear to be quite barren. Keeper league players should keep this in mind when acquiring players at the position for future seasons. Paying for a quality shortstop in 2012 may very well pay off for the next few years.
Emilio Bonifacio, 26, and Chris Coghlan, barring other changes, are expected to man center field for Miami. Boni had a revelatory campaign this past season when he became an everyday player for Jack McKeon. The switch-hitter doesn't possess the profile of a .296 hitter, however; it's likely that his batting average will dip to something like his .269 career mark, or worse.
Coghlan, 26, has dealt with his share of injury issues in the past couple of years and is a likely candidate to begin the 2012 season in the minors. His outlook will drive down his price, perhaps immensely.
That presents an enticing buying opportunity, at least for NL players. Coghlan's skill set includes plus BA ability and above-average stolen base potential. If he proves to be healthy, he stands a reasonable chance to overtake Bonifacio, previously a super-utility player, should the latter perform below expectations, which is more than possible.
In the New York Mets' camp, this solidifies Ruben Tejada's spot in the club's 2012 opening day lineup. Mixed-league managers won't find anything about which to be excited. At best, a solid return on an investment will be empty batting average. He'll probably be a low-dollar NL play with no upside.
Injury-prone Daniel Murphy is the leading candidate to enter this coming campaign as the Metropolitans' second baseman, too. Assuming that remains the case, he may be worth a buck or two to players in MLB universes. Murphy is a reasonable bet to help in BA and provide double-digit home runs.
Philadelphia Phillies sign OF Laynce Nix to two-year agreement
Nix, 31, jacked 15 in 309 at-bats in 2009 and 16 in 324 at-bats this past season. The lifetime .244 hitter doesn't do much for the Phillies' supposed shift in emphasis on patience at the dish, but NL players will continue to have low-dollar interest in the part-time outfielder, justifiably. If he's healthy and plays regularly, Nix should have mixed-league value for stretches - as long as right-handers litter the upcoming schedule.
Earlier this offseason, Phils GM Ruben Amaro Jr. stated that Domonic Brown would benefit from a full season at the Triple-A level. The Nix signing seems to cement Brown's 2012 course. Nix will likely form an uneven platoon in left field with John Mayberry Jr., although Fangraphs' Jim Breen wonders whether it's a necessary move.
Mayberry is expected to receive an opportunity to be a regular. It's no surprise that the Phillies brought aboard a player to serve as a safety net versus right-handers, so this doesn't affect Mayberry's outlook as a raw deep sleeper with decent upside.
About Nicholas Minnix
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.
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