Yesteday, I quickly covered the fantasy effects of the Winter Meetings on the 2007 fantasy baseball season. This morning I'll hit on the NL, which to date, has had much more movement. For a less fantasy-focused assessment of the NL East, click over to my SBN colleagues at Talking Chop. (ed: Isn't any and all baseball talk fantasy-applicable?)
Atlanta: The Rafael Soriano acquisition dampens the value of closer Bob Wickman and that drop in value accures directly to Soriano's draft price ($11).
Florida: Dealt for minor league flamethrowers Henry Owens and Matt Linstrom along with Angels middle reliever Kevin Gregg. Someone here is closing next year.
New York: The Moises Alou signing means Lastings Milledge's first productive fantasy season is pushed into 2008 barring a trade.
Philadelphia: 3B Wes Helms is the new starting 3B and should be good for 10-15 HRs and 60-70 RBIs. Isn't that David Bell? With the defection of Dave Dellucci, Shane Victorino has a full-time gig and the hopes of a return to his AAA performance is on every fantasy owners wish list.
Houston: The Carlos Lee signing moves Lance Berkman to 1B and opens RF for ABs to be shared by Lance Scott and Chris Burke. One of those two are hurt and I'd guess Burke loses out more. A major fantasy sleeper is Jason Lane who appears to have nowhere to garner ABs and that makes him a lock for $1. The back-end of the starting rotation is going to be filled with $1/undrafted pitchers. Jason Hirsh is a lock for 30 starts.
Chicago: Minor league 2B Eric Patterson and CF Felix Pie are the big losers as the Cubs spent big bucks on CF Alphonso Soriano and 2B Mark DeRosa. Soriano is understandable, but DeRosa?
St. Louis: Adam Kennedy should provide enough steals to be a decent $10 middle infielder and prevent Albert Pujols from ever leading the team in steals again. By not signing an OF, Chris Duncan retians his high teens draft value.
Milwaukee: C Johnny Estrada immediately steps in and becomes a quality $5/late round pick. He won't wow anyone with high-single digit power but should play frequently enough to acculuate 60 RBIs and hit for a solid AVG. The signing of Craig Counsell and acceptance of arbitration by Tony Graffanino pushes 35 HR uber-utility man Bill Hall into the OF. This sends Brady Clark to the bench while Geoff Jenkins and Corey Hart fill the corner spots.
Cincinnatti: GM Wayne Krivsky's man-love for mediocre middle relievers continued with the $5.5MM signing of LHR Mike Stanton. At least he can say he pushed the middle reliever market to the point where Billy Beane wasted the same amount on the equally-effective LHR Alan Embree. Despite his myriad of addiction problems, who isn't hoping for the 2007 success of Rule 5 pick Josh Hamilton? Other than Chris Denofria that is.
Pittsburgh: Nothing yet, but that LaRoche trade would have made this an incredibly successful off-season for the struggling organization.
Los Angeles: The big fantasy effects are the signings of veteran 1B Nomar Garciaparra, CF Juan Pierre and LF Luis Gonzalez block the continued development of 1B James Loney (no OF ABs here) and OFs Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp along with 3B Andy LaRoche, who has to hope for a tortoise-like start from incumbent 3B Wilson Betemit.
Colorado: Nothing yet, but Dan O'Dowd has been asking for one valuable piece too many in his discussions about RHS Jason Jennings (SP, RP, and CF) and RF Brad Hawpe (SP and another player.) However, this keeps the OFers Jeff, Baker and Salazar, solidly in the cheap fantasy sleepers category as neither has a clear path to everyday ABs but do have roster spots.
Arizona: LHS Doug Davis is going to provide 150+ ks for some fantasy team, but at what cost to his ratios? Expect a lot of discussion about the good defense behind him and parallels to Brando Webb's walk probelms until last season. If true, then expect the same positive effects for rookie Dana Eveland and take a $1 flyer on him.
San Francisco: Only Houston allows their minor league prospects to age (wither on the vine?) as much as the Giants. OFs Todd Linden, Jason Ellison and Fred Lewis are blocked by Bonds/Roberts/Winn. Lance Niekro is blocked by Rich Aurilia.
San Diego: I love the Greg Maddux signing as Petco should provide enough room for error to keep Maddux as an effective WHIP & W play in fantasy leagues. His prodigous pitching knowledge will also rub-off on at least one starting pitcher and that one will return even more than expected for the all-drafted Padres rotation. 3B Kevin Kouzmanoff is an obvious sleeper with little season-long competition.