Fantasy Baseball Hot Stove: Yu Darvish, Mike Cameron

by Nicholas Minnix on December 20, 2011 @ 10:17:03 PDT


Your fantasy baseball draft isn't far off.'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.

Texas Rangers win rights to negotiate with Japanese SP Yu Darvish

Texas Rangers SP Colby Lewis
Yu in, Lewis out?

Perhaps they should've just re-signed C.J. Wilson. Darvish looks likely to join an organization that works well with pitchers. The right-hander seems to stand an excellent chance of having considerable rotisserie value in the short term. He's a bit of risky player in which to invest, but the 25-year-old could pay big dividends, judging from his body of work in Asia.

Immediately, a likely overlooked aspect of this development is where that leaves one of Texas' other five prospective starters. The team could use one of its big-league starters' arms as its swingman, have him be the first man up, but it seems likelier that they'd explore the trade market.

The Rangers are discussing a deal with Derek Holland that would buy out his arbitration years and perhaps a year or two of free agency; they have no intention of parting ways with him or reducing his role, naturally. Perhaps the organization decides to keep Neftali Feliz in the bullpen. That would be a bit of a surprise since they spent on Joe Nathan for the short term, and they seem intent on testing Feliz as a starter at some point.

Alexi Ogando has proven to be a valuable asset; his cost will likely begin to escalate, but he'll still be relatively inexpensive. He's filled a variety of roles in his short time in the organization, but with all the success he had as a starter, why wouldn't Texas continue to take advantage of his abilities there? Matt Harrison would be a candidate for a two-way role because he's done something similar, but he posted a 3.39 ERA in a breakthrough 2011. The club controls him for three more years, too.

That leaves Colby Lewis, whom they won't be moving to relief. The Rangers already exercised his 2012 option, but given that his contract expires after this coming season, he seems to be the likeliest bartering chip. The team may be open to dealing any of its arms if they receive the proper return, however. It'll be interesting to see how this shakes out.

OF Mike Cameron reaches agreement with Washington Nationals

Ideally for the Nats, Cameron will serve purely as depth. He turns 39 not long after the New Year and posted a putrid .203/.285/.359 slash line last season with the Boston Red Sox and Miami Marlins.

D.C. expects to play Adam LaRoche, who's returning from major shoulder surgery, at first base at least on a part-time basis. That would push Mike Morse to left field semi-regularly. The club will give ultra-prospect Bryce Harper, who has only 147 plate appearances above the Class A level, a shot to win a starting job in ST. Best-case scenario for Cameron might be a platoon with Roger Bernadina.

The right-handed vet batted .259 in limited time in 2010 and put up quality numbers for deep-league fantasy baseball owners in 2008 and 2009. Odds are that he's toast, but he may have a little left in the tank if PT becomes available. NL-only owners shouldn't be ready to target Cameron, but they shouldn't forget about him.

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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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