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!
Francisco: new fav to save?
Mike Napoli, Texas Rangers (traded from Toronto Blue Jays)
In another favorable hitting environment, he'll still find at-bats pieced between first base and DH, but Yorvit Torrealba's defense will probably limit Napoli's time behind the dish. Still, you should be just as optimistic now as you were when he crossed the border.
Casey Kotchman, Tampa Bay Rays (signed)
The light stick's farm deal and spring invite should merely keep AL-only eyes open for possible playing time. Maybe Tampa decides Kotch's superior glove earns the hat tip over Dan Johnson, but they still might give first sacker ABs to others. Don't get too excited, if that's even possible.
Frank Francisco, Toronto Blue Jays (traded from Texas Rangers)
Frankie was one of the Neftali Feliz alternatives in Texas and will now enter Toronto's closer battle. If you're drafting before they name one, Frank-Frank is the best fantasy bet.
He lost his stopper job early last year, and his K/9 has dipped in each of the last three years. But his K/BB remained solid, and he bumped his grounder rate; though the latter still needs work, he looked more like his '08 closer-worthy incarnation.
Justin Duchscherer, Baltimore Orioles (signed)
Injuries have ruined much of his recent career. Environment? Division? Unfavorable. His K/9 as a starter has not been alluring. His control-based game leaves a thin margin for error.
At least his hip rehab appears to be ahead of schedule, and maybe he can extend the ground-ball success from his 2010 stint. If you're forced into considering him in AL-only, an investment should be low-risk, because the reward isn't high and would probably be luck-fueled.
Dave Bush, Texas Rangers (signed)
He reunites with Rangers pitching coach Mike Maddux. Though it slipped last year, Bush's control is his biggest asset, and he produced 18 quality starts in 2010. You can't be excited about his new park, though, and Neftali Feliz's role will help determine his future. Consider Bush an AL-only speculation and mixed watch candidate.
Bartolo Colon, New York Yankees (signed)
A stretch of winter ball success can't make up for his post-2005 decline. The 37-year-old, who didn't see MLB action last year, will compete for a rotation spot - and might win one at this rate. He was never a true K or GB artist. If his stuff is right, he can eat innings, which might be good enough for mixed waiver wire rentals and AL-only last-ditch action.
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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