Thursday, December 02, 2010

Hot Stove Update: Adam Dunn Lands in Chicago

Brett Gardner is having surgery to fix a problem in his wrist, the problem has been described as tendinitis. Kind of weird to need surgery to fix tendinitis in my experience, but the Yankees expect him to be ready to go at the start of Spring Training. I'm just a little worried...

Lance Berkman is leaning towards Colorado as his new home. He would apparently do so as a part-time first baseman and ocassional outfielder. I'm not certain that Berkman needs to sign as a back-up. The Athletics are supposedly after him as a lineup regular...

Are you counting on Joe Nathan making a triumphant return in 2011? Maybe you invested in Nathan during his Tommy John Season to get him ultra cheap. Chances are you still wasted your money. As Parker Hageman of Over the Baggy (an excellent Twins Blog) explains, pitchers usually require 22-24 months before they can be effective after TJS. Though there have been some relevant exceptions as Parker points out.

Derek Jeter and the Yankees Brass met for the first time in three weeks on Wednesday, at Jeter's request. Supposedly, they needed to meet and remember how much they love each other. No one agrees with me that they should just pay him. But can we agree that the Yankees could just give him what he wants and not suffer for it?

Over at the Tao of Stieb (a most excellent Blue Jays Blog) they are losing sleep over Adam Lind. They worry that his awful splits against lefties will continue into the 2011 season. I'd be more worried that the Jays bench him against lefties without giving him another shot at them. He was that bad last season. That's probably just as senseless, but you never know what a new manager will do. Am I fear mongering? I feel like FOX News...

Key Free Agent Signings

The Chicago White Sox have agreed to a four-year contract with first baseman Adam Dunn.

Adam Dunn has agreed to a deal with the Chicago White Sox according to USA Today's Bob Nightengale. The deal won't be official until Dunn passes a physical scheduled for Friday, December 3rd, but it looks pretty solid. I usually wait until these things are locked in but no one else does so whatever. It's a four-year, $56 million deal, he'll become the regular designated hitter if they manage to re-sign Paul Konerko.

Dunn is an excellent power hitter. He has great plate discipline and patience at the plate. He is not a great contact hitter but more than makes up for that with his tremendous power. The White Sox have been an aggressive running team under Ozzie Guillen. We may see stolen bases return to Dunn's game. Obviously, big, slow, aging dudes shouldn't be counted on for their speed, but 5-10 steals would be nice for his fantasy value. Dunn also moves out of a neutral to slight pitcher's park into one of the premiere homerun parks. He should be a lock for 40-plus homers.

The Boston Red Sox have agreed on a one-year deal with catcher Jason Varitek.

Jason Varitek agreed to a one-year, $2 million deal to stay with the Boston Red Sox. At the moment the Red Sox have penciled Jarrod Saltalamacchia into the starting catcher role. That could easily be reversed or develop into a platoon.

The Seattle Mariners signed free agent LHP Erik Bedard.

The Seattle Mariners are desperately trying to get something out of the time, energy and players they spent on Erik Bedard. If he's healthy, he's a fantastic number two starter, if he's plowing through an injury he's rotation filler, and if he's truly injured, it will be typical Erik Bedard.

The Florida Marlins signed free agent RHP Javier Vazquez.

I like this move for the Marlins, especially after the series of poor moves they made to kick off the hot stove season. I think back in the National League, Javier Vazquez should rebound at least some. I doubt he'll be the pitcher he was in 2009 with the Braves but still a better than average pitcher. I think he hates pitching in the American League and especially in New York City. Just a hunch, that is...

Fantasy owners should be aware that Vazquez has seen his fastball velocity drop three consecutive seasons. During the 2009 season he claimed that he had worked on reducing his velocity to increase his command but who knows if that's what we're seeing here. I would bid up to $2o in my deep NL-only but not further than that. That's fairly confident he rebounds, isn't it?

The San Francisco Giants signed free agent SS Miguel Tejada.

Miguel Tejada agreed to a one-year, $6.5 million contract with the Giants on Tuesday. The Giants may still be in on shortstops Jason Bartlett and J.J. Hardy, but I'm sure what they were willing to deal for either player has now been drastically reduced.

Tejada is just barely hanging on at this point. His bat has been severely reduced and his fantasy value is mostly dependent on his position. Don't dig too deep to add him to your roster.

The Trades

The Seattle Mariners traded infielder Jose Lopez to the Colorado Rockies for right-hander Chaz Roe.

Jose Lopez is not a good player and I have absolutely no idea why the Rockies wanted him (if they even do). Maybe it's like one of those fantasy deals you make just to make, then you dump the guy you got.

Other Significant Transactions

RHP Bobby Jenks elected free agency.

LF Matt Diaz elected free agency.

DH Jack Cust elected free agency.

3B Edwin Encarnacion elected free agency.

LF Travis Buck elected free agency.

Atlanta Braves signed free agent LF Eric Hinske.

Los Angeles Angels signed free agent LHP Hisanori Takahashi.

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