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!
Ryan Theriot, St. Louis Cardinals (traded from Los Angeles Dodgers)
Theriot is a perfect fit for the Cards, who seem to have made a habit of stockpiling borderline middle infield material. The former Chicago Cubs shortstop is instantly the leader of the club's bunch, though. The bad news: Theriot's steady decline in on-base ability and stolen base attempts, coupled with Tony La Russa's apparent abhorrence for the running game. The good: Theriot's likely supply of at-bats.
Javier Vazquez, Florida Marlins (signed)
A fish worth catching?
Williamsport in August may draw more people than the Fish do. OK, this is exactly the kind of move fantasy baseball players needed to see in order to consider Vazquez seriously on draft day. Now, how much do you like him? Did his velocity drop significantly because of his nagging injuries and fouled up mechanics, or are we talking some degree of burnout? Was it all the pressure, or are his skills truly eroding? Finding the answers will take time.
Jorge De La Rosa, Colorado Rockies (re-signed)
The Rockies successfully tapped into talent where other clubs failed. Health remains perhaps the biggest obstacle for the southpaw, although consistent control rates aren't far behind. There is potentially serious evolution going on here, though, particularly because of his ground-ball generation. Investing in De La Rosa will once again require patience.
Blake Hawksworth, Los Angeles Dodgers (traded from St. Louis Cardinals)
Hawksworth used to be a top prospect for the Cardinals (on a couple of occasions), but injuries sidetracked him. He grew up as a starter but has been transitioning to the bullpen. The righty hasn't displayed a top-end K/9 in the bigs but has good, hard stuff with improving command. He could be a long-range sleeper, but the Blue's wasn't the best bullpen to join.
Zach Duke, Arizona Diamondbacks (traded from Pittsburgh Pirates)
Some pitchers just need a change of scenery. To those who haven't proven to be anything special and tend to get in enough trouble without giving up more than the league average in home runs, Arizona might not be that place. The most encouraging news for Duke's fantasy baseball stock would involve mechanical adjustments and an even greater emphasis on keeping the ball down - plus some evidence that they're working.
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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