Fantasy Baseball Hot Stove: Mariners, Diamondbacks and White Sox keep building

      December 17, 2013 @ 12:57:56 PDT


Corey Hart and Logan Morrison, 1B/OF, Seattle Mariners

Jack Zduriencik continues to stockpile middling or redundant corner/DH options. This pair, at least, will garner more draft-season intrigue than last year's trio of Kendrys Morales, Raul Ibanez and Justin Smoak.

New Arizona Diamondbacks RP Addison Reed
New book a good Reed

According to ESPN Hit Tracker, all of Hart's 30 homers clubbed in 2012, his last season of action, would've cleared Safeco Field's fences or at least reached them. He'll probably bat in the cleanup spot, behind Robinson Cano, a trait that probably will feed him some nice pitches.

Anyone with lower-body issues that nag loses power upside, but based on his continued recovery from knee surgery, Hart may wind up boasting the best price point of this trio because of the negative perception of Safeco. If he winds up qualifying in outfield, depending on how he can move out there, that boosts his value.

Thankfully, the post-hype, frequently dinged Morrison enters the DH league, which could keep him in the lineup while also managing his fragile body.

Too bad it's one of the least exciting places to which he could've gone, especially with his high grounder rate limiting his fence-clearing ceiling.

Of course, Safeco feels like Yankee Stadium in comparison to Marlins Park. Stranger things have happened to hitters with unpromising peripherals that reach the famed breakout benchmark of 1,500. He's 21 plate appearances away. Morrison's power spurts aren't enough to make him an everyday piece of a mixed lineup, but he's still an attractive bonus piece.

The Arizona Diamondbacks have acquired RP Addison Reed from the Chicago White Sox for 3B Matt Davidson.

This makes the RP's immediate future a bit sunnier ... if he beats out J.J. Putz for the role. (Come on, Kevin Towers. Really?) Reed's HR/9 drop has a better chance of continuing, or at least staying in place. Though Chase Field generally has a hitter-friendly rep, it's much less pronounced than U.S. Cellular Field's. Plus, it's always nice for a hurler to move to the NL. Maybe his ERA drops 20 points or so, giving him a better place among the top 12-ish stoppers once the organization comes to its senses.

The move pays off for Davidson in 2014, too. Though he'll hit in the bottom third, his arrival in the South Side gives him a shot at one of the best power-boosting parks. Davidson's opposite-field ability means his BA ceiling fits somewhere between that of two hitters whom he resembles: Mark Trumbo and Paul Goldschmidt. At his peak, Davidson's power could rival theirs, and though it's probably too early in his development to expect it, fantasy owners should take the chance as deep drafts come to a close. AL-only players may have to pay above market price for his services considering how shaky this position looks heading into March.

The resulting White Sox closer vacuum probably puts Nate Jones in the lead, especially since he's proven adept at shutting down lefty bats. Matt Lindstrom, Ronald Belisario and Donnie Veal could challenge him down the road, as well.

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About Tim Heaney

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, who competes in LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.

During baseball and football season, he appears on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio on Thursdays and Sundays, and every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.

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