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.
Josh Bard, C, Boston Red Sox
Though they don't yet have another catcher on the 40-man squad with extensive big league experience, the Red Sox expect Bard to be the backup unless they don't have an alternative. He should be given the chance to improve on his former Boston role as the specialist for knuckleballer Tim Wakefield, but he's only valuable as a No. 2 in AL-only games.
Michael Barrett, C, Toronto Blue Jays
Even if he were to break through out of camp via his spring training invite, he'd be the backup to backstop Rod Barajas. If the team elevates prospect J.P. Arencibia this year, Barrett may even lose his current value as a second catcher in AL-only leagues.
Mark Teixeira, 1B, New York Yankees
For in-depth analysis of this acquisition, please read Impact Analysis: Mark Teixeira, New York Yankees.
Aaron Miles, 2B, Chicago Cubs
A candidate for the Cubs' leadoff spot, Miles remains strictly a deep NL-only option at corner or middle infield. He's in line to compete for playing time in Chicago's middle infield with shortstop Ryan Theriot, second baseman Mike Fontenot and infielder Ronny Cedeno.
Mark DeRosa, 3B, Cleveland Indians
DeRosa is already a valuable multi-positional hitter who had a career year last season. The Indians lineup has ample room to rebound from a disappointing 2008, and DeRosa remains a comfortable fit as a corner infielder, middle infielder or No. 5 outfielder in deep mixed leagues.
Willy Taveras, OF, Cincinnati Reds
As Cincy's probable leadoff hitter in 2009 he'll remain a persistent threat for swiping bags. Major League Baseball's 2008 stolen base king (68) will probably be taken late in the middle rounds of mixed drafts for those who wait to address Taveras' specialty category.
A.J. Burnett, SP, New York Yankees
For in-depth analysis of this acquisition, please read Impact Analysis: A.J. Burnett, New York Yankees.
Brad Penny, SP, Boston Red Sox
Lingering injuries and conditioning problems marred Penny's 2008 campaign, and the Sox are buying low - hoping he can regain his 16-win form from the preceding two seasons. Fantasy owners should approach him the same way in the last few rounds of deep mixed leagues, at best, but you're probably better off plucking him from the waiver wire early on if he can excel as Boston's No. 5 starter.
Jason Marquis, SP, Colorado Rockies
Colorado: Where pitchers go to die - or continue erratic careers. Marquis can pitch well enough to earn double-digit wins with a solid lineup behind him, but he's not too stable in any other category. He's strictly for deep NL-only drafters looking for a flier, but most should avoid him if possible given his new home and unreliable background.
Claudio Vargas, P, Los Angeles Dodgers
In a brief tour with the New York Mets last year, Vargas fulfilled his role of mediocre starter/reliever. His role is undetermined, but he'll compete for a backend rotation spot. Only bother with him if you need a last-ditch arm in deep NL-only drafts.
Mark Hendrickson, SP, Baltimore Orioles
His competition for a spot in the O's rotation makes him a last-round pick in deep AL-only leagues, at best. He had a productive start to 2008, but his move back to the AL East should make you a bit nervous.
Brian Fuentes, RP, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
For information on this acquisition, please read Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim sign CL Brian Fuentes.
Derrick Turnbow, RP, Texas Rangers
The former Milwaukee Brewers closer suffered from shoulder problems during a rough 2008 and will compete to break Texas' camp as a setup man. New Rangers pitching coach Mike Maddux, Turnbow's pitching coach at Milwaukee, may be able to help his former pupil. However, Turnbow is far behind in Texas' saves depth chart and needs to prove his strength is still there. He's fodder for deep AL-only universes.
Also see: Fantasy Baseball Hot Stove archive
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 competes in Tout Wars and LABR and has won several industry leagues in both baseball and football.
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