Fantasy Baseball Hot Stove: Alex Rodriguez, Kelly Johnson

by Nicholas Minnix on December 28, 2011 @ 11:29:36 PDT

 


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.

New York Yankees 3B Alex Rodriguez has experimental treatment on right knee, left shoulder

Toronto Blue Jays 2B Kelly Johnson
Another rebound in store for KJ?

A-Rod had the procedure sometime in the last month with the Yanks' consent, after the organization received clearance from the MLB commissioner's office to cover their rears. The Bombers' star took the recommendation of Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant, who's had Orthokine on a couple of occasions.

There's not yet enough medical evidence to confirm that the remedy has long-term benefits. At the very least, though, it reduces inflammation and pain significantly, providing relief in areas that have experienced physiological erosion.

Will this excursion pay off in terms of fantasy output for A-Rod? That's strictly TBD. At what point is it worth finding out? He's clearly willing to go to certain lengths in order to rebound from a demoralizing 2011. The shoulder bothered him for at least a few weeks early last year, and if the 36-year-old has increased the durability of his right knee, then there's reason to believe that he can hit 30 bombs and drive in 100-plus again.

In mixed leagues, Rodriguez is shaping up as an appealing target in the third through sixth rounds, especially if fantasy baseball players can land him toward the back end of that range. He comes with obvious risk, however, so those who draft him should prepare a contingency plan, too.

2B Kelly Johnson accepts arbitration from Toronto Blue Jays

The Jays offered the former Arizona Diamondback and Atlanta Brave salary arbitration in late November. About three weeks ago, Johnson accepted, which meant that GM Alex Anthopolous' club wouldn't be receiving draft picks as compensation. AA stated that he would've been happy either way, for whatever it's worth.

AA also said that Toronto is receptive to the possibility that Johnson will play in the outfield next season, at least part-time. The team would likely have to peddle an outfielder or two to make that happen, and they have no obvious candidate at second base besides Johnson - unless they're willing to reconsider Brett Lawrie's move to third base.

One thing is for certain: Anthopolous likes to keep his options open. Should roto players be open to owning Johnson? His affinity for drawing walks and willingness to tweak his approach should help him get comfortable with Dwayne Murphy in Toronto. But the numbers imply that coming up empty on his swings is becoming a concerning trend.

KJ will be only 30 years old in 2012. He'll be in another positive environment for offense, providing some reason for optimism. As well, his price point should be at a comfortable level, and he's already bounced back once from a very poor season. The results of his ST performance will be worth analyzing more than those of others.

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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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