Day 3 of the Winter Meetings still left us wondering where the biggest bats on the market will land. Reports have Miami out on Albert, and Prince with lots of offers to choose from. The other bats are all waiting for those guys to sign to fall into place and once one or both of them are signed, the market will take shape quickly and we could have a rush on signings and trades. We did have some important movements yesterday though especially in the starting pitching market. Here’s the news in “hit” format and then I’ll “run” down the fantasy implications as we have our 3rd day of The Hit and Run’s coverage of the winter meetings.
RUN: Surprsingly one of the hottest free agents of the off-season Mark Buehrle became the newest catch of the Miami Marlins as the newly free-spending fish continue to be one of the main teams in on seemingly every free agent out there. Buehrle will quickly be a fan-favorite for his quick style which might even keep the games in the attention span of Miami fans and get them home in time for bed. He’s a workhorse and will save wear and tear on the bullpen by eating his usual 200+ innings. His move to the NL should also help is ERA to drop quite a bit as he moves out of the AL Central and faces all new hitters in the NL East. He would’ve been a sneaky good signing if he would’ve come cheaply or quietly, but with all the attention paid to him the money and years do seem a bit much to me. He’s a solid mid-rotation option in mixed leagues heading into the new season in his new location.
RUN: Street’s trade out of Colorado is a straight salary dump for the Rockies, and the Padres agreed to take the money to get the closer to replace the departed Heath Bell. Street was expendable due to the emergence of Rafael Betancourt as a late-innings option. Since he gets to close in PETCO, Street’s a very good option when healthy. I’d put him outside the top 10 of closers but not outside the top 15. He will probably visit the DL at least once this year and may change teams again before the end of the season, but he’s a good mid-level closer to target once the elite’s are off the board.
HIT: Erik Bedard signs with Pittsburgh. Washington Post
RUN: The Pirates have been active this offseason and made this move to bolster their starting rotation. He’ll slot near the top of their rotation when healthy and should be boosted by the AL-to-NL switch. He may be a little more prone to injury due to having to bat, but Bedard showed flashes of serious upside last year when he has the opportunity and the health to stay on the field. Look for him as a sleeper at the end of your draft if your a believer.
HIT: Francisco Rodriguez accepts arbitration. Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel
RUN: The Brewers will be paying closer money to K-Rod to be their set-up guy. There’s a chance they try to move him in a salary dump somewhere, but this was a worst-case scenario for Doug Melvin. The Brewers’ hands will be financially tied now as they try to make the other additions they were hoping to this offseason (SS, 3B, 1B). The closer market dried up so fast that K-Rod was let with nowhere to close, so he took the money and went back to Milwaukee. He has no fantasy value unless Axford goes down or he Rodriguez gets moved.
HIT: Angels sign LaTroy Hawkins. LA Times
RUN: Hawkins continues to hang around as a set-up man. Now he’ll be added as a veteran to the Halos ‘pen in front of young Jordan Walden as closer. He won’t have value unless something changes due to injury or further movement.
RUN: Dotel will be part of the remade Tigers bullpen and will be used in middle relief and setup work. He doesn’t have any fantasy value in his current role, but does become part of a nice ‘pen in Detroit.
Day 4 tends to be a little shorter on news than the first 3, but if there’s anything Fantasy Baseball News worthy (like a Pujols or Wilson signing, or a Garza or Bailey trade) we’ll bring you another hit and run tomorrow. Still lots to do, but we’re already counting the days to spring training here at CPR…