Fantasy Baseball Hot Stove - AL

by Tim Heaney on February 10, 2010 @ 00:00:00 PDT

 


Also see: Fantasy Baseball Hot Stove - NL!

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 to the Fantasy Baseball Hot Stove!

Second basemen

Orlando Hudson, Minnesota Twins (signed)

O-Dog will be hitting No. 2 ahead of Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau. It's safe to say that ups his runs stock a bit. You know what you're getting otherwise: safe average, a little power and some steals.

He's a fine deep mixed middie, but he'll be more expensive as a starting second sacker in AL formats considering his favorable cast mates and the decreased options in the player pool. Don't go overboard unless your draft dictates you need some stability.

Outfielders

Marcus Thames, New York Yankees (signed to minor league deal)

The former Bombers farmhand will compete with Brett Gardner and Randy Winn for left-field time this spring. Gardner likely has a leg up because of his speed and lefty bat.

Winn struggled against lefties last year and is showing more rings in his bark, so Thames has a decent chance at earning significant PT. As long as he's a bench-completing investment in ALs, he can help an AL squad; his power alone is worth owning.

Jacque Jones, Minnesota Twins (signed to minor league deal)

This reunion also comes with a Spring Training invite. He hasn't touched the bigs since a combined 106-at-bat stint for the Detroit Tigers and Florida Marlins in '08. Jones, 35 in April, will need favorable dominoes to fall to break camp with the Twinkies. Nostalgia is nice, but let's live in the present on this one.

Starting pitchers

Erik Bedard, Seattle Mariners (re-signed)

Erik Bedard, SP, Seattle Mariners
Worth stashing?

The talented but fantasy-frustrating lefty returns to his favorable environment from last year. You'll likely have to wait for Bedard (shoulder), who probably will miss at least one month during his rehab. He thinks he could pitch in May. Err on the side of caution; see how cheap his price tag is and if you can get by while stashing him.

Dana Eveland, Toronto Blue Jays (traded from Oakland Athletics)

Toronto must have spotted a casting call for Hoarders; they continue to gather starters. Eveland fell off after an OK 2008. His best chance at gaining a rotation spot is to keep his grounders up and regain a bit of strikeout punch. A place in Toronto's five would make him at least ownable in deep Junior Circuit setups.

Relief pitchers

Kevin Gregg, Toronto Blue Jays (signed)

Persona non grata in Chicago, Gregg will have a shot at redemption while battling for the Jays' closer gig with Jason Frasor and Scott Downs. The newcomer has the most experience among the troika, with 84 saves since '06. He actually settled down for awhile after a ghastly April last season. Of course, he blew up again in August.

We may see a cannibalization of closures here, but Gregg should at least be owned in every AL and deep mixed league. Rogers Centre isn't nearly as bad as Wrigley Field for allowing homers. Even with his FB increase last years, odds dictate his ballooned homer peripherals will normalize, making him a potential late-round steal. His stock may climb if he inches toward the role during spring, though, so watch out.

Mike Ekstrom, Tampa Bay Rays (claimed off waivers)

The righty made a big dominance jump last season while maintaining his groundball effectiveness. If he sustains his control improvements, he could make for an AL-only rental for periods of 2010.

Will Ohman, Baltimore Orioles

Persistent shoulder issues kept the sometimes useful southpaw out for most of last year. He might register the occasional save, but in all leagues you can wait to see if he can help you in-season.

Also see: Fantasy Baseball Hot Stove - NL!

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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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