Hopefully you started off your spring training right by catching Nicholas Minnix and me at Baseball HQ's First Pitch Forums fantasy baseball seminar in Los Angeles this past weekend. There'll be more gatherings across the country if you want to get in on the fun.
While we were discussing some of the vital issues for the 2012 fantasy baseball season, MLB news continued rolling into today. Some highlights:
New York Yankees ink Raul Ibanez for DH duties: It's a great park and porch for him, but he struggled against right-handed pitchers in 2011 and looks every bit of his 39-year-old self. He'll split time, most likely, with Eric Chavez, southpaw stomper Andruw Jones or any elderly starting Bomber looking for a rest. His outfield eligibility plays well for AL-only managers that must stock a deep fly-catcher crew, but he'll only have fleeting value in mixers due to his spotty playing time and declining skills.
Short porch, short PT window?
- Yanks finally ship A.J. Burnett to the Pittsburgh Pirates: They got P Diego Moreno and OF Exicardo Cayones - two warm-bodied minor leagues - for disposing of the talented enigma. In the much quieter Pittsburgh market, Burnett should move closer to rediscovering the upside we've all seen in him. He won't face DHs outside of interleague play, and PNC Park plays much better to his skills than Yankee Stadium. The NL Central was also weakened with the exits of Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder. There's plenty of blowup risk, but his NL-only flier potential receives a significant boost. He'll boast mixed rental value, as well.
- Chone Figgins expected to top Seattle Mariners lineup: Nick prepped us for this announcement.
- Manny Ramirez to sign with the Oakland Athletics: In the tradition of Frank Thomas, Billy Beane continues his philosophy of adding aging DH options. Ramirez will still have to serve his 50-game suspension but upon returning should earn primary duties as a bat-only commodity. His new home park won't turn around his declining power skills, but, PEDs or not, he's a workout warrior and can reward a bid of a few AL-only dollars for the patient owner. Of course, Oakland's 1B-OF-DH picture is a bit crowded, so there's risk in him falling beneath that pile if he can't adjust upon his return.
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 LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.
During baseball and football season, he appears on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio on Thursdays and Sundays, and every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.
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