Also see: Fantasy Baseball
Hot Stove - NL
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Dallas McPherson, Oakland Athletics (signed to minor league deal)
Might as well try again, right? The post-post-hype prospect will fight to win Oakland's third base job in Spring Training, depending on how broken Eric Chavez (back) will be. Mac hit 42 bombs in 2008 for Triple-A Albuquerque (Florida Marlins), but he missed all of 2009 with back problems; he also sat out for the entire 2007 campaign with back maladies.
Best-case scenario, he's the next Jack Cust. Worst case, you discard him again if he can't sniff his once massively hyped potential. He's a swing-for-the-fences player in fantasy, too. For the price, there's little risk - just don't overpay.
Omar Vizquel, Chicago White Sox (signed)
After being available to mold Elvis Andrus while with the Texas Rangers, Vizzy will fill a similar utility infielder and mentor duties on the South Side. The slick-gloved but weak-sticked ageless wonder should be an AL end-gamer, at best.
Andruw Jones, Chicago White Sox (signed)
There's an opening in right field, but Jones will probably see time as a part-time designated hitter and outfielder, similar to what he did with the Texas Rangers. Jones' new home park doesn't hurt, and he offers insurance if first baseman Paul Konerko is traded or DH Jim Thome doesn't return.
Jones turned back the clock with eight dingers in 67 July at-bats. Despite an accompanying .214 clip, his 17-homer '09 proved there's enough here to make him a useful AL-only bench player; he'll have stretches when he's relevant in deep mixed, as well.
Eladio Moronta, New York Yankees (signed)
The speedy and potentially powerful 20-year-old Dominican inked a deal with the Bombers; the center fielder comes fresh off a yearlong banishment from MLB for misrepresenting his age that was lifted after he admitted to his real age (20). Scouts have pegged him as another Raul Mondesi, citing his raw bat and upside. No rush here; he's watch list material in keeper leagues.
Jorge Campillo, Kansas City Royals (signed to minor league deal)
An injury shortened the righty's 2009 season, but this former Atlanta Braves swingman flashed some skills in the previous year. He isn't exciting; his best fantasy case could be made if he wins a rotation spot next spring. Even then, he'd merely be roster filler in deep AL-only setups.
Bryan Bullington, Kansas City Royals (agreed to minor league deal)
Ineptitude and injuries, including a torn labrum in his throwing shoulder, have limited the 2002 No. 1 overall draft pick to 39 major league innings. Six of those came last year as a Toronto Blue Jays reliever, when he posted a 3.00 ERA and a 2.17 WHIP with five strikeouts. As a full-time 'pen arm, he also posted some eye-catching Triple-A dominance in '09 with 43 K's in 38 1/3 innings.
His Spring Training invite offers similar intrigue to Campillo's, but it's hard to be too excited about the 29-year-old until he shows us more. Speculate if you must, deep Junior Circuit seekers, but don't expect miracles.
Brad Thompson, Kansas City Royals (signed to minor league deal)
The Royals will be hurling ample spaghetti at the wall during Spring Training. Thompson can serve as a starter or long reliever, but the undominant righty is only AL fodder for those doing their own pasta flinging.
Also see: Fantasy Baseball
Hot Stove - NL
About Tim Heaney
Tim's work has been featured by USA Today/Sports Weekly, among numerous outlets, and recognized as a finalist in the Fantasy Sports Writers Association awards. The Boston University alum competes in Tout Wars and LABR and has won several industry leagues in both baseball and football.
During baseball and football season, hear him every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore. On Thursdays, he visits 106.1 FM WMTI in New Orleans and Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio, where he often crashes other shows, as well.
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