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!
Brad Ausmus, Los Angeles Dodgers (re-signed)
Despite the Blue's supposed faith in A.J. Ellis as a viable alternative, Ausmus instead will serve as Russell Martin's backup. That's about it.
Jason Giambi, Colorado Rockies (re-signed)
No matter how good Todd Helton says his back is feeling, the man spelling him and backing him up is intriguing. Something like an end-game investment in Giambi could pay dividends for NL players at some point.
Chad Tracy, Chicago Cubs (signed to minor league deal)
Tracy may be worthy of a bench spot in single-league games, depending on the depth. He has been breaking down, but one can't rule out an Aubrey Huff-like return to value, with an opportunity. This hurts Micah Hoffpauir's chances to do something similar.
Xavier Nady, Chicago Cubs (agreed)
The X man is expected to platoon with Kosuke Fukudome, which means the lineup would have a bit of a different look were Fukudome to secure the leadoff spot. Nady has mild NL value in that role, but he won't have much of an impact in the first month or so. Stashers will have to be patient, but it could pay off before the All-Star break.
Gary Matthews Jr., New York Mets (traded from Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim)
This deal may not be good for Fernando Martinez, but it's probably an indication of the club's uncertainty regarding Carlos Beltran (knee). Matthews would platoon with Angel Pagan for as long as Beltran is sidelined. Matthews would need a few breaks to have and maintain fantasy value, but he has OK big league skills and a change of scenery.
Jim Edmonds, Milwaukee Brewers (signed to minor league deal)
The 40-year-old says he'll get the chance to play every day, or at least receive significant PT. He didn't play last season. It's hard to imagine Edmonds being valuable for anything more than his presence.
Jon Garland, San Diego Padres (agreed)
Garland plus a homer-unfriendly ballpark equals certain interest from the fantasy community. He was pretty good in his six-game stint with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Wins have never been hard to come by for the righty, but then again, he has never toiled for the Friars before. File this one under "potential money earner, but potentially overvalued."
Rich Hill, St. Louis Cardinals (signed)
Perhaps the Cards felt so confident in Dave Duncan's ability to turn Brad Penny around that they desired a more daunting challenge. Hill is coming off shoulder surgery as well as a reckoning period that has lasted for two-plus years. Discover control, have success. If anyone can help the southpaw do it, it's Duncan, but this is a definite project. Keep watch.
Jose Contreras, Philadelphia Phillies (signed)
The Cuban sounds like a desperate man, but that at least means he's driven. Health has been his biggest obstacle. In the bullpen, he could make enough of an impact to have occasional LIMA usefulness in NL leagues. Maybe more? He was clocked in the mid- to high 90s in his limited bullpen work for the Colorado Rockies and said he felt very comfortable back there....
Derrick Turnbow, Florida Marlins (signed to minor league deal)
The crowning achievement from Turnbow's last three seasons: a sub-5.00 ERA in 2007. He still throws hard, but his velocity fell off the table a bit last year. The bottoming-out of his control isn't encouraging. Florida's closer situation isn't exactly settled, though, so monitor Turnbow.
Justin Speier, Colorado Rockies (signed to minor league deal)
This 36-year-old is unlikely to be in a prominent fantasy spot, but his command (thanks to a solid strikeouts-per-nine rate) is respectable. To be useful, he'll have to cut down on the homers, a tall task at Coors Field.
Tyler Walker, Washington Nationals (agreed)
The righty is nothing special and unlikely to move into a fantasy-conducive position even if he's on the big league roster at any point.
Jose Arredondo, Cincinnati Reds (signed)
Arredondo (elbow) will have Tommy John surgery and miss this season. The Reds invested for 2011. In deep NL carryover leagues, he's interesting for the long term. Francisco Cordero is signed through that season and has an option for 2012, but he may well be trade bait before then.
Tim Redding, Colorado Rockies (signed to minor league deal)
It would take a miracle for this unspectacular swingman to get back to barely fantasy worthy, like he was in 2007.
Also see: Fantasy Baseball Hot Stove - AL
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.