Fantasy Baseball Hot Stove: Ryan Madson, Ike Davis, Luke Scott

by Nicholas Minnix on January 11, 2012 @ 11:42:32 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.

RP Ryan Madson agrees to one-year contract with Cincinnati Reds

Madson, 31, will have an opportunity to land more security after 2012. The Reds have lured one of the most efficient relievers in the game, one who has major incentive to maintain his high standards.

New York Mets 1B Ike Davis
Ike likes his recovery

The right-hander has posted a 9.08 K/9 or better and a 2.56 BB/9 or better in each of the past three seasons. He's also done a solid job of keeping the ball out of the air, with fly-ball rates of 36.8 percent or lower in each of the past three seasons. That should come in handy at GABP.

The Philadelphia Phillies helped Madson to develop his incredibly slick changeup, and he leaned on Carlos Ruiz to understand how to attack hitters better. He'll take what he's learned with him, but it'll be interesting to see if Madson will be able to develop the same kind of relationship with what could be a greener set of backstops in Cincy.

Regardless, Madson is accustomed to pitching in dangerous ballparks and will assume the prime role in the Reds' bullpen. Roto players who've already been monitoring draft stocks won't be surprised to see this reliever's rise in the weeks ahead. He should be a quality No. 1 or No. 2 closer in mixed leagues and comes with only slightly more risk than the mainstays of the position.

New York Mets 1B Ike Davis: I'm ready

This is excellent news. Davis lost the majority of his 2011 season to a worse-than-expected left ankle injury because he didn't receive a proper diagnosis for months. Newsday reports that he's gone through extensive, intense rehab for two months and reports that he has no doubts about the health of his ankle.

Davis, 25 in March, was perhaps on his way to a breakthrough season before the malady. He hit .302 with seven bombs and 25 RBIs in 36 games. His optimism about his health now bodes well for his opportunity to recover his ability to push off his back foot and get through the strike zone.

There may be a period of adjustment, but Davis could pick up where he left off, if things go smoothly. Fantasy owners didn't appear to be much concerned about his health entering 2012, judging from early value reports on sites like Mock Draft Central, but this news should give them only more confidence in drafting this solid low-end first baseman or high-end corner candidate.

Tampa Bay Rays agree with DH Luke Scott

Tampa Bay has secured its designated hitter, although Scott can also don a mitt in left field or at first base, if need be. It's likely that the cost-conscious and metric-faithful Rays will seek a more skilled first baseman, however. Scott is shaking hands on a one-year deal with a 2013 option.

In 2011, Scott played in only 64 games and was nauseating in them thanks to a torn labrum in his right shoulder, on which he had surgery in late July. He also opted to have LASIK surgery while he was recovering. He's positioning himself for a rebound effort, which is more than likely in some capacity.

The left-handed hitter should be healthy entering spring training. Factors affecting his power outlook for 2012: how much strength he was able to restore in that shoulder, and the impact of the change from the hitter-friendly Camden Yards to neutral Tropicana Field.

Scott, 33, had been a bargain power bat in mixed leagues for a couple of seasons prior to last year, but in competitive leagues, there wasn't much of a discount. He should come with a reduced price this year, and he'll still have outfield eligibility, a plus, so he should be an asset worth pursuing at 2012's rates.

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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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