Fantasy Baseball Hot Stove - Pitchers

by Tim Heaney on December 10, 2008 @ 01:00:01 PDT


Also see: Fantasy Baseball Hot Stove archive

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.

CC Sabathia, SP, New York Yankees

For information on this acquisition, please read New York Yankees net SP CC Sabathia.

Javier Vazquez, SP, Atlanta Braves

For information on this acquisition, please read Atlanta Braves trade for SP Javier Vazquez.

Mike Hampton, SP, Houston Astros

This lefty returns to the place where his career took off, but he's not the same pitcher. Hampton enjoyed a decent month and a half to close 2008, but everyone knows he can't remain healthy. NASA can't change that. Left-handed starters Wandy Rodriguez and Randy Wolf were successful at Minute Maid, but don't count on that from Hampton. Maybe he's a decent end-gamer in NL-only formats.

Scott Olsen, SP, Washington Nationals

The troubled but talented southpaw had a 3.30 September amidst an otherwise disappointing year. On the bright side, he has made at least 31 starts in his last three seasons. He hasn't posted an ERA below 4.04 in that time, though. At least he had a pitcher-friendly park when he was with Florida. Don't risk it in mixed league drafts.

Greg Smith, SP, Colorado Rockies

For in-depth analysis on this acquisition, check out Impact Analysis: Colorado Rockies acquisitions.

Jeffrey Marquez, SP, Chicago White Sox

Marquez's prospect stock with the New York Yankees leveled off after a sub-par 2008. He is reportedly a leading candidate for one of the Sox's final two rotation spots this year, but his rough go at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre last year doesn't bode well. Only consider drafting him near the end of deep AL-only games, but keep an eye on his waiver wire status as the season goes on.

Junichi Tazawa, SP, Boston Red Sox

For in-depth analysis on this acquisition, check out Impact Analysis: Junichi Tazawa, Boston Red Sox.

Francisco Rodriguez, CL, New York Mets

For information on this acquisition, please read New York Mets ink CL Francisco Rodriguez.

Kerry Wood, CL, Cleveland Indians

For information on this acquisition, please read Cleveland Indians agree to terms with CL Kerry Wood.

Huston Street, RP, Colorado Rockies

For in-depth analysis on this acquisition, check out Impact Analysis: Colorado Rockies acquisitions.

Kevin Gregg, RP, Chicago Cubs

Gregg has blown into the Windy City - and into another gig as a setup man. He'll probably be the eighth-inning complement to Carlos Marmol. Though righty Jeff Samardzija might threaten his role a bit, Gregg is worth a late-round stab pick in mixed leagues and should remain on NL-only radars since he's next in line for this job.

Jeremy Affeldt, RP, San Francisco Giants

The southpaw posted career-best ERA and strikeouts-per-nine marks last year. He may luck into a couple of extra wins and holds in San Fran, but he still only has value in NL-only leagues as a reserve.

Bob Howry, RP, San Francisco Giants

The Giants added Howry, too, in an effort to overhaul the bridge to closer Brian Wilson. Howry had a disappointing 2008 campaign, but he's a rebound candidate. His solid K's per nine and ERA should continue to give him value as a reserve reliever in NL-only leagues.

Ramon Ramirez, RP, Boston Red Sox

Wait, I thought Ramirez left ... oh, right. By sending Coco Crisp to the Kansas City Royals, the Sox bolstered their bullpen. This Ramirez finished with a 2.64 ERA, a .222 opponents' batting average and a solid 8.79 K's per nine frames. However, he doesn't have a clear successor path to closer Jonathan Papelbon, so his help will probably be with strikeouts. Ramirez is worth a final roster spot on a deep AL-only fantasy staff.

Trever Miller, RP, St. Louis Cardinals

Miller's (shoulder) contract is largely incentive-based because in November the Cards discovered a tear in the southpaw's shoulder. He probably won't have value in NL-only formats, although his K's per nine innings from the last three seasons are attractive.

Leo Nunez, RP, Florida Marlins

Sent to the Marlins in the Mike Jacobs deal, Nunez posted a 2.98 ERA for the Royals last season. However, the setup man only struck out 26 batters in 48 1/3 frames, giving him little fantasy value as a non-closer. Even those in NL-only formats should leave him for the waiver wire.

Mark Worrell, RP, San Diego Padres

Formerly part of a cluster of potential closers in St. Louis, Worrell heads to San Diego with a chance to eventually challenge Heath Bell for save opportunities. The 25-year-old Worrell struck out a phenomenal 329 batters in 280 lifetime farm innings, including 80 in 58 2/3 frames for Triple-A Memphis last year. Despite his rough big-league stint (7.94 ERA in 5 2/3 frames last year), there's a lot to like here, especially if he can tame his walk rate. Deep mixed and NL-only managers should have him on sleeper lists.

Jose Ceda, RP, Florida Marlins

The Marlins shipped reliever Kevin Gregg to the Chicago Cubs for Ceda, a promising 21-year-old righty with a hard fastball. He's a potential closer with high K rates, but he's at least a year away from making a true impact in the ninth with Matt Lindstrom closing things out in Florida. NL-only players should keep an eye toward the burly flamethrower, though; even without save chances he can help with strikeouts if he sees the majors.

Also see: Fantasy Baseball Hot Stove archive

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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, who competes in the prestigious LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.

He appears frequently, including every Sunday, on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio, as well as every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.

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