Your fantasy baseball cheat sheets are no longer of use. KFFL.com's Fantasy Baseball Diamond Market series gives you candid ratings of fantasy baseball players making MLB news in your rotisserie or head-to-head baseball league. If they're available in any of your fantasy baseball games as free agents, on waivers or for your FAAB dollars, you'll know whether they make the cut.
||Add (in most circumstances)
||Add for speculation or because of need
||Track player, consider if trend continues
||Do not add player (in most circumstances)
Hideki Matsui, OF, Tampa Bay Rays
Godzilla is expected to sign a minor league deal. The Rays continue collecting 1B/OF/DH types. If he looks somewhat like his old self, however, Matsui seems like the type Tampa would eventually choose over recently inked retread Brandon Allen, especially for a playoff push.
If and when Matsui arrives, how would he be used? Luke Scott enjoyed a scorching start but is a notorious streaker and sinkhole versus southpaws, against whom Matsui has proven surprisingly competent in some facet, even in his late years.
Even though he'll soon turn 38, his swing is compact enough to avoid being overpowered. Though slipping, his command of the strike zone remains sound. It's not a stretch to think Tampa believes Matsui could face left-handers consistently. Their chess-piece lineup management and history of rescuing discarded commodities augment Matsui's allure.
The chance of him showing something between his 2010 and 2011 form - even with fleeting PT - stands out in Junior Circuit waiver cesspools. Thank Oakland for keeping him outfield-eligible, too.
Shallow mixed: Pass
Deep mixed: Watch
Tim Hudson, SP, Atlanta Braves
The Bravos put the wheels of Hudson's return in motion by demoting Jair Jurrjens on Monday; Huddy is expected to return next Sunday or Monday against the Pittsburgh Pirates - not a bad opening matchup.
The bulldog's recovery from back surgery in November and delayed start to 2012 have kept him on many waiver wires. Get a jump on adding him. The sinkerballer won't be a strikeout stud, but the control freak, even at age 36, remains a wily top-shelf arm that will bolster any team he joins.
Shallow mixed: Acquire
Deep mixed: Acquire
Marco Estrada, SP, Milwaukee Brewers
The right-hander's impressive five-inning, one-run, two-hit, nine-strikeout effort Saturday cemented the Crew rotation's fifth spot in place of Chris Narveson (torn rotator cuff), who could be shelved for the rest of 2012. Highly regarded prospect Wily Peralta could have his say sometime in 2012 and limit Estrada's tenure.
With his 29th birthday coming in July, Estrada isn't a prospect. However, the vets that have clogged the back of Milwaukee's quintet have delayed Estrada's opportunity; it's a backlog, not a knock on his abilities. His sound 2.82 BB/9 in 2011, his first significant MLB stretch, showed guile. He isn't a flamethrower and doesn't have a stable batted-ball profile, but he can dial it up if needed and should survive with an arsenal that includes a four-seamer, curveball and changeup. He could also institute more two-seamers and cutters into his SP approach.
Estrada's splits while taking the first-inning rubber last year showed attractive dominance and command rates that reflected his farm work - a good sign that he'll be handy as a backend fantasy option as long as he holds the gig.
Shallow mixed: Watch
Deep mixed: Consider
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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