What are the fantasy implications of some of the recent trades and signings?
Marco Scutaro | Colorado Rockies | SS/2B | Acquired via Trade
After spending all of 2011 struggling to find someone capable of handling second base adequately, the Rockies have finally found someone. Scutaro is far from a sexy player, and the move to Coors Field won’t help him as much as it will a guy like Michael Cuddyer, who has actual power, but Scutaro should still receive a moderate benefit from the park and league change. But the biggest benefit might come from where he’ll bat in the order. If the Rockies decide to bat Scutaro second, as they did many of their second basemen in 2011, he would see a big increase in runs from batting eighth or ninth for the Red Sox. In NL-only leagues, Scutaro could be a very nice, under-the-radar pickup.
The move severely hurts the value of Chris Nelson, Jonathan Herrera, and D.J. LeMahieu, who were set to battle it out for the starting spot prior to Scutaro’s arrival. In Boston, the move opens up shortstop for a potential Mike Aviles/Nick Punto platoon. Whether that’s a strict platoon will have a large effect on each player’s value. Aviles is the better fantasy option, but he’s right-handed, so it’s possible he only faces lefties. If the split is more 50-50, or if Aviles gets the majority of starts, we’d need to remember that we’re just one year removed from a lot of analysts calling this guy a fantasy sleeper. He had an up-and-down 2011, but he still has some potential across-the-board skills that could be useful to an AL-only owner. Value Change: Gain for Marco Scutaro; Loss for Chris Nelson, Jonathan Herrera, and D.J. LeMahieu; Gain for Mike Aviles; Gain for Nick Punto
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With word that Jed Hoyer will be joining Theo Epstein in Chicago, the Padres have a familiar face sliding into the GM chair.
With Padres GM Jed Hoyer headed to the Cubs in the same capacity under former boss Theo Epstein, another Epstein protégé, Josh Byrnes, takes over in San Diego. Although Hoyer's tenure didn't last as long as anyone expected, he made a few key moves that will help shape the course of the franchise.
Do early-season phenoms fade once the rest of the league learns to stop giving them pitches to hit?
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A quick review of some of the minor deals and pickups from the early action at the Winter Meetings.
The White Sox send 1B-R Chris Carter to the D'backs for OF-R Carlos Quentin: An interesting exchange, but one I think the Snakes will get the better of. Quentin's health-related setbacks aside, his power potential still strikes me as another example of park-generated hype from within Arizona's bandbox-laden farm system, and corner outfielders with only modest pop aren't great prospects. He'll be one of the guys fighting for playing time in left field in spring training. If he beats out guys like Brian Anderson and Ryan Sweeney, that's not necessarily a reflection of real value; Quentin might be able to particularly exploit the Cell's nearby corner in left, but it's more likely that his value will come from his combination of Bayloresque peltability at the plate (his minor league HBP totals are nothing short of alarming) and his willingness to work the count and take a decent number of walks. He might not be Ozzie Guillen's kind of of guy at the top of the order, but if Quentin can deliver on that element of his ability, he'd help fix that one problem for the Sox.
For the Snakes, this might represent the third nice pickup from an otherwise generally poorly-stocked Sox system. Between Chris B. Young, Aaron Cunningham, and now Carter, it looks like if the White Sox have a position player prospect, he winds up with Arizona. Add in the potential confusion of the Snakes first one and now the other first base prospect named Chris Carter, and it's king of amusing. Credit GM Josh Byrnes for trading up Carter-wise. Carter is only about to turn 21 having already gotten his full-season debut under his belt, and his power projects into the thirties in the major leagues. Kevin Goldstein did a nifty write-up of his virtues in the White Sox Top 11 Prospects, and if he's not much of a first baseman, that hasn't been a problem for the organization when employing either their original Chris Carter (now a Red Sock), or Conor Jackson in the majors.