Fantasy Baseball Hot Stove: Michael Pineda, Jesus Montero, Seth Smith, Bartolo Colon, more

by Nicholas Minnix on January 16, 2012 @ 13:40:52 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.

New York Yankees-Seattle Mariners blockbuster: Jesus Montero for Michael Pineda

Montero is assured of PT in the M's anorexic lineup, although much of it, at least in 2012, may come at DH. Seattle can hold on to Miguel Olivo through this season (or at least until the deadline), decline his 2013 option and move Montero behind the dish next year - if the kid's D improves. Fangraphs' Dave Cameron ponders (essentially, to the roto players) whether Montero will retain his C eligibility in future seasons.

New Oakland Athletics SP Bartolo Colon
Colon may not be finished

Don't worry; he'll hit. Safeco Field and his teammates will simply deaden the impact. Montero, 22, should be a high-end No. 2 catcher with low-end No. 1 upside in mixed leagues, this year at least.

Pineda will probably give up more dingers in the Bronx, and the comp may be tougher in his new division, but the right-hander has elite talent. He has the kind of upside worth reaching for, but he'll stumble some more, assuredly. The early expectation is that his price won't factor in risk enough, but he could certainly be very good.

What is more open to debate is the fallout of this swap. And that's where the more interesting fantasy baseball players may lie. Phil Hughes and A.J. Burnett each has the appeal worthy of a stab in deep leagues. The exciting Danny Hultzen could face competition from someone like Hector Noesi, whom the M's acquired along with Montero, but the left-hander is so good that it's difficult to imagine anyone keeping him down for long. Hultzen, 22, will be on deep mixed rosters at some point.

Colorado Rockies send OF Seth Smith to Oakland Athletics for SPs Guillermo Moscoso, Josh Outman

Smith, 29, is likelier to find his fantasy self on waiver wires in deep mixed leagues much more often now that Coors Field won't be helping to prop up his value and Coliseum will do its best to sap some of it. Whatever his new park can't rob him of, Oakland's ill lineup will attempt to steal.

Smith is a well-known commodity, unlike Josh Reddick and Michael Taylor, which should ensure the veteran of that trio ample PT. Barring yet another development, Smith should sit on the strong side of a platoon in 2012, and very likely beyond, since he's under team control through 2014. Still, he's merely an appealing AL-only commodity whose BA could suffer with the move.

Coco Crisp will man center while he's healthy, but perhaps only until the trade deadline. Oakland has been busy acquiring depth, loading up on players with marginal roto value and forgoing the acquisition of a stud. For fantasy owners in deep leagues, the A's malleable roster makes analysis and projection of their assets more important than it is for many other teams.

Moscosco, 28, is a fly-ball pitcher who overachieved in his 128-frame stretch with Oakland in 2011. Fantasy owners should've been skeptical of him while he was still in the Bay Area; the move to the Mile High City makes matters worse.

Outman, 27, survived his first season after Tommy John surgery. He could improve his ground-ball rate and needs to shave something off that sub-par control rate. But he induces pop-ups, has a bit of strikeout ability and should improve in his second year post-op.

SP Bartolo Colon, Oakland Athletics agree to one-year deal

Colon isn't on most roto radars even after his season of resurrection (eight wins, 4.00 ERA, 7.39 K/9 and 2.19 BB/9 in 164 1/3 innings pitched). Judging from his post-break meltdown, he could just be washed up for good. The out-of-shape (to put it nicely) hurler has a history of injury problems.

But if the price is virtually nil, why not check him out? Considering that he didn't pitch competitively in 2010, fatigue could easily have been at the core of reasons for his fall off the 2011 wagon. He should have some kind of edge in a battle for a rotation spot, even though Oakland has acquired some talented arms this winter.

Last year, Colon, who'll be 39 in May, demonstrated strikeout and walk marks reminiscent of much earlier days in his career. He gave up 21 home runs, but 10 of them came in the season's final two months, and the new park should aid him a great deal in avoiding so many disasters.

Colon isn't a name that many roto players feel comfortable calling or bidding on, but he still has value. Approach him the way the A's did: Be willing to entertain him for a low price, at least.

Facebook Twitter Google +

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.

Don't miss these great reports....

What do you think? Sound off!

Recent KFFL releases