Fantasy Baseball Hot Stove - NL

by Nicholas Minnix on December 31, 2009 @ 17:00:00 PDT


Also see: Fantasy Baseball Hot Stove - AL

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!

First basemen

Jeff Bailey, Arizona Diamondbacks (signed to minor league deal)

The former lukewarm prospect from the Boston Red Sox organization hopes to compete against other bodies with somewhat similar skill sets for time at first. Conor Jackson has a big leg up. The position was a revolving door last season, so maybe Bailey becomes a low-dollar free-agent pickup.


Mark DeRosa, San Francisco Giants (signed)

New York Mets OF Jason Bay
Will this Bay have rougher waters in NY?

Folks have soured on DeRosa, if early mock drafts are any indication. However, he clubbed another 23 jacks last season despite spending his time in less homer-friendly venues than Wrigley Field (2008, 21 dingers). He's expected to man the hot corner, but he provides the Giants with flexibility.

The lack of a second base tag doesn't help his value. DeRosa, 35 in February, is also coming off a wrist injury that caused him to miss the first half of July. He waited until the offseason to have surgery. He smacked 10 of his round-trippers after the injury and hit well in the NLDS, though. DeRosa should remain a solid if unspectacular value play.

Juan Uribe, San Francisco Giants (re-signed)

Uribe proved to be a valuable utility player by the Bay (.289-16-55 in 398 at-bats) last season. He may be ticketed for a backup role again, but once again, the Giants will be fielding a couple of injury-prone or unproven players around the infield. Uribe, 30, may once again present an upside investment, although he won't be nearly as cheap as he was in 2009.


Jason Bay, New York Mets (agreed to deal)

The Metropolitans appear to have finally solved their left fielder conundrum, assuming Bay's physical doesn't hold the deal up. Now, the question becomes: Was Bay's 2008 and 2009 power production largely a result of his stay in Beantown? Initial glances say Bay, 31, is back in form.

A look at a few indicators gives reason for pause, however. Bay also joins an offense that, on paper, is outstanding, but has a ton of injury concerns. The Mets also enter Year 2 at Citi Field, where gopher balls seemed to go to die. The data is still limited and doesn't affirm some assumptions. Bay doubters have a little more material heading into 2010.

Marlon Byrd, Chicago Cubs (signed)

San Francisco Giants IF Mark DeRosa
How much can DeRosa bloom in San Fran?

Byrd enhanced his value because - it would appear - he has little competition for playing time. In fact, injury-prone Alfonso Soriano and streaky Kosuke Fukudome virtually ensure Byrd won't have to look over his shoulder. How will he handle everyday play?

Well, he did that, essentially, in 2009 (.283-20-89 in 547 at-bats). He moves to another solid hitter's venue and experienced a spike in flyball rate. Even if he doesn't repeat, nothing suggests a drastic fall-off, and he'd like to see a few more fastballs. He could be a value (a very good No. 5 mixed outfielder - or even more?) if buyers aren't enthused.

Relief pitchers

Bob Howry, Arizona Diamondbacks (signed)

Howry returned to form - solid setup reliever - after a nightmarish 2008. The flyball rate continued skyward, though, and in the desert, that could trigger more bad dreams. Howry, 36, hasn't been fantasy-relevant outside deep NL leagues for the past couple. Only save chances (unlikely) will change that this year.

Eddie Guardado, Washington Nationals (signed to minor league deal)

It's not a bad idea to take a shot on Easy Eddie. If the vet has anything left and makes the club, he's a LOOGY - assuming he can retire left-handed hitters this year. More importantly, he might serve as a mentor to Matt Capps and Drew Storen. No fantasy value to see here.

Also see: Fantasy Baseball Hot Stove - AL

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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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