D.J. Short

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Winter Meetings: Day Two

Wednesday, December 11, 2013


Things are finally getting interesting at this week's MLB Winter Meetings in Orlando, Florida. While Day One consisted of a lot of rumors and very little else, Day Two brought some much-needed action.

The big move on Tuesday was a three-team trade between the Diamondbacks, Angels, and White Sox which sent slugger Mark Trumbo to Arizona. Here are the particulars of the deal: The Diamondbacks received Trumbo and two players to be named while they dealt outfielder Adam Eaton to the White Sox and left-hander Tyler Skaggs to the Angels. Meanwhile, the White Sox sent left-hander Hector Santiago to the Angels. All three teams addressed areas of need while all players involved could see a boost in fantasy value.

Trumbo figures to be the regular left fielder in Arizona with Paul Goldschmidt at first base, which isn't great news for the Diamondbacks' defense, but he'll play half of his games in a more favorable hitting environment. Of course, he wasn't hurt much by playing with the Angels, as he's tied for fifth in the majors with 95 homers over the past three seasons. But moving to Arizona gives him a much better chance to be among the league leaders in home runs and RBI once again. The 27-year-old is admittedly a flawed player, but we can overlook them a bit in standard fantasy leagues.

As for the Angels, they received two pitchers who could contribute in the rotation in 2014. Skaggs showed diminished velocity with the Diamondbacks this past this season while posting a 5.12 ERA over seven starts, but he's only 22 and is just one year removed from being considered one of the best pitching prospects in the game. Santiago has thrived as a reliever and starter over the past two seasons, posting a 3.49 ERA and 216 strikeouts in 219 1/3 innings. He'll provide the Angels with some flexibility in 2014.

While the White Sox gave up Santiago in the deal, they netted Eaton to serve as their new starting center fielder and leadoff man in the process. The 25-year-old was limited to just 66 games in the majors this year due to an elbow injury, but he was hyped as a fantasy sleeper in the spring due to his on-base ability and speed. He even offers just enough pop to be useful in all five fantasy categories. The addition of Eaton makes Alejandro De Aza expendable, so the White Sox might not be done making deals.

Be sure to keep refreshing Rotoworld's player news page and HardballTalk on NBCSports.com for all the latest Hot Stove news and analysis. We'll be all over this week's action at the Winter Meetings. And while you're at it, follow @Rotoworld_BB and @djshort if you're on Twitter.

Colorado Goes Gambling

Brett Anderson looked like a potential frontline starter during his rookie season in 2009, but after struggling to stay on the field in recent seasons, the Athletics finally said goodbye on Tuesday. The injury-prone southpaw was traded to the Rockies in exchange in exchange for left-hander Drew Pomeranz and right-hander Chris Jensen.

It's a reasonable gamble for the Rockies, as Anderson doesn't turn 26 until February and the Athletics are paying $2 million of his $8 million salary for 2014. He's coming off a 6.04 ERA in five starts and 11 relief appearances this past season and injuries have limited him to a grand total of 163 innings at the major league level since 2011, but his history of solid control and ground ball ways could be a nice fit at Coors Field. Granted, pitching in O.Co Coliseum would be a better scenario for him, but don't just assume he'll be a fantasy zero because of where he's pitching. Of course, none of this will matter if he can't stay healthy.

Pomeranz, a former top pitching prospect, is the most interesting piece for the Athletics. He owns a 5.20 ERA over 30 starts and four relief appearances in the majors, but he just turned 25 in November and could benefit by getting out of Colorado. Chances are he'll begin 2014 in the minors, but keep an eye on him.

Rajai Speeding to Motown

The Tigers have been mentioned as a possible suitor for free agent outfielder Shin-Soo Choo this winter, but we can likely rule them out as an option after Tuesday. Speedster Rajai Davis has reportedly agreed to a two-year, $10 million contract with Detroit, where he's expected to platoon with Andy Dirks in left field next season.

Davis hit .260/.312/.375 with six home runs and 24 RBI over 108 games with the Blue Jays in 2013 while going 45-for-51 in stolen base attempts. The 33-year-old has reached at least 34 stolen bases in each of the last five seasons while only the Indians' Michael Bourn has swiped more bags in the same time span. That speed should continue to give him value in fantasy leagues even if he's on the weak side of a platoon.

Winter Meetings Short Hops

Rakuten Golden Eagles assistant GM Aki Sasaki said Tuesday that the club hasn't decided whether Masahiro Tanaka will be posted … According to Steve Gilbert of MLB.com, the Diamondbacks could pursue Matt Garza if they are unable to land a starter via trade. On that note, ESPN's Buster Olney hears Arizona is targeting the Indians' Justin Masterson and the Cubs' Jeff Samardzija in trades … CBS Sports' Jon Heyman reports that the Red Sox have determined that Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp "isn't a fit at this time" … According to T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com, the Rangers won't sign Shin-Soo Choo unless his price goes down considerably …  CBS Sports' Jon Heyman hears that A.J. Burnett remains "torn" about whether to pitch in 2014 … Jon Heyman of CBS Sports writes that the Brewers are "working hard to secure a return" of Corey Hart while Jim Duquette of MLB Network Radio hears that Milwaukee has been ruled out as a potential suitor for the Mets' Ike Davis …  Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that the Rangers are interested in Bartolo Colon, but only on a one-year deal … The Brewers, Pirates and Mariners are most interested in a trade for Marlins first baseman Logan Morrison, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports … Buster Olney of ESPN reports that Omar Infante is looking for at least $8 million per season on a long-term deal … Bob Elliot of the Toronto Sun hears that the Blue Jays are shopping Colby Rasmus for pitching … The Yankees, Mets, and Padres have asked about the Mariners about the availability of Dustin Ackley, according to CBS' Sports Jon Heyman … Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post reports that trade talks with the Cubs regarding relievers Drew Storen and Tyler Clippard are dead … FOX Sports' Jon Paul Morosi hears that the Cubs, Pirates, Royals and Braves are among the teams interested in Jason Hammel … Jordan Bastian of MLB.com reports that the Indians are among the teams interested in John AxfordMichael Morse is looking for a one-year deal worth $7-8 million, according to ESPN's Buster Olney … Per Jack Curry of YES Network, Kevin Youkilis would prefer to play with a team close to his home in California … The Nationals have no intention of trading infielder Danny Espinosa, reports Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com … CBS Sports' Jon Heyman reports that eight clubs are interested in Eric Chavez



D.J. Short is a Rotoworld baseball editor and contributes to NBCSports.com's Hardball Talk blog. You can also find him on Twitter.
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