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MLB Hot Stove Update: Stephen Strasburg stays, Marcell Ozuna too

Heath examines the Hot Stove with a fantasy baseball slant.

Getty Images/Pete Rogers Illustrations

Welcome to the MLB offseason, otherwise known as the “Hot Stove.” Why do we call it the “Hot Stove League,” you ask? I’ll tell you! Essentially, back in the olden days, baseball was king. There was no football or basketball league to talk about, so when people were huddled up around the iron pot-bellied stove in an effort to stay warm during the winter—aka during the MLB offseason—the topic of conversation would frequently circumnavigate back to the MLB. Again, baseball was the only sport around...so baseball news was the deal. And it just so happened to be during the winter. Hence, the stove piece. Anyway, part of me has always wondered why we call it the “Hot Stove.” Don’t act like you already knew. I know you better.

Let’s get to today’s Hot Stove happenings, eh?

Stephen Strasburg signs with the Nationals

We don’t care about the real life dollar amount a whole lot in the fake game, but here ya go anyway:

That’s a hefty deal, and the breakdown is that Gerrit Cole could get in excess of $300 million. Wow. Anyway, Strasburg obviously returns to the same team and park as before, so it’s tough to see his value changing that much (no matter what happens with Anthony Rendon). Strasburg is still an SP1, someone you anchor your staff around in fantasy baseball. He was taken as the 11th starter on average in early Pitcher List mock drafts, right after Jack Flaherty and right ahead of Clayton Kershaw. For my part, I’d consider him at any moment in Round 3 of a typical 12-team draft. Round 2 feels a bit aggressive, but you’re going to have to pay up for pitching this year, anyway. I’d suggest getting used to it.

Marcell Ozuna is not heading to the White Sox, apparently

I guess we shouldn’t count our proverbial chickens before they hatch, right? Here’s the latest:

I suppose the White Sox are content to roll out some combination of Leury Garcia, Adam Engel, and only the baseball gods know who else at the corner outfield spot that is not occupied by Eloy Jimenez. Snagging Ozuna seems like a no-brainer to me...but hey, if they aren’t interested, I’ll take him in Atlanta!