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Hot Stove notes and other stuff...

Notes from the Hot Stove
By Dave Regan
Nov. 20, 2011
If you've yet to do your Christmas shopping for your daughter/niece, I invite you to consider the cursing doll.
A few deals this week…
Dodgers sign 2B Mark Ellis to a two-year, $8.75 million deal, C Matt Treanor to a one-year $1 million deal, and extend OF Matt Kemp via an eight-year $160 million deal.
Busy offseason so far for the Dodgers, but expect this to be the high point. Kemp's deal was driven by Bud Selig's desire to make the team more marketable once the auction ensues. It's a ton of money to invest in "Hollywood" Kemp, but from a fan standpoint, it had to be done. Ellis just adds to the team's collection of mediocre infielders, but at least the glove is solid. At catcher, the Dodgers are committing to A.J. Ellis and his OBP skills here. Hopefully he'll see 300+ at-bats. He's NL-only worthy.
Twins sign C/1B/DH Ryan Doumit to a one-year $3 million deal and INF Jamey Carroll to a two-year $6.75 million deal.
It's probably a good call that Doumit turned down a similar deal from the Dodgers. His numbers in the AL will be better. With Joe Mauer good for a couple DL stints at least, Doumit should maintain C eligibility come 2013. He could see enough time to go .280-15-65. Carroll meanwhile is a risk on a multi-year deal, but then again, I thought the same thing two years ago, and that worked out well for the Dodgers. Unless you're in OBP leagues however, Carroll's fantasy value will remain very limited.
Diamondbacks re-sign 2B Aaron Hill to a two-year $11 million deal and INF Willie Bloomquist to a two-year $3.8 million deal.
I like Hill's upside far more than that of Mark Ellis', and for just $2.25 million more, this is a solid deal for Arizona. In 2009-2010, Hill totaled 62 homers folks. I'd go as high as $17 in NL-only formats. As for Bloomquist, he's an NL-only in-season pickup at best. Two years? Ugh.
Pirates sign SS Clint Barmes to a two-year $10.5 million deal and C Rod Barajas to a one-year $4 million deal.
Yet another example of mediocre teams spending far too much money on stop-gaps. I pity the NL-only team that rosters both of these guys. At least they are short-term deals, but look for both guys to be shopped around come July.
Colorado 3B Nolan Arenado wins the Arizona Fall League MVP.
Beast. I saw this guy play earlier this month and EVERYONE raved about him. He's Ian Stewart (former #10 overall pick), but I think he'll actually have some success. Look for Arenado to make his MLB debut late this coming season and open 2013 as the team's starter at the hot corner.
Orioles sign 2B/3B Matt Antonelli to a major league deal.
Shocking really, considering Antonelli has just 500 pro at-bats over the past three seasons. Antonelli though did have a .393 OBP for Triple-A Syracuse this past year and he was once a Top-100 prospect, though that was several years ago. He's in the right organization to rebuild his career, but we'll have to see what else the Orioles do this offseason before projection Antonelli's at-bats.
OF Bryce Harper finishes his Arizona Fall League with a triple-slash of .333/.400/.634.
He's also going to mash in spring training, so unless the Nationals (wisely) look to delay the starting of his service clock, Harper is going to be pushing for a starting OF slot very, very soon.
Screw betting on football ever again. Hit 3 of 4 on a four-team parlay, 2 of 3 on a three-team pleaser, and gulp, 11 of 12 on a 12-team teaser. The only loss on the last one was taking the under on the Bears game at 50.5. Final score: 31-20. Any good books out there on sports betting, or just general philosophies that can help me?
Phillies trade for Ty Wigginton
Wigginton should get enough at-bats (300+) to maintain NL-only value, particularly early in the year, when we can expect him to fill in for the injured Ryan Howard (achilles). In fact, given his home park and the lineup around him, Wigginton could go .280-15-60 while maintaining eligibility at multiple positions.
As for the NBA lockout, I couldn't care less. We have a great NFL season going on. MLB has a new collective bargaining agreement that was hammered out behind the scenes with zero acrimony. The BCS is in shambles with undefeated teams dropping like flies, and college basketball has kicked back up. Yeah I'll watch a Lakers-Heat final next year once this stuff gets worked out (and it will), but until then, it's out of sight out of mind. I just feel bad for the sports bars / casinos in my neck of the woods, who will lose revenue because of a couple percentage points and a ton of greed.
Hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving. Here are my initial thoughts on the Thursday NFL slate:
Packers (-6) @ Detroit - Anytime the Packers are getting less than 7, I can't go against them. Sure, the Lions put up 49 on Sunday, but Clay Matthews and company won't let that happen, even on the road. Pick: Green Bay.
Dolphins (+7) @ Dallas - I don't know which Cowboys team will show up each week, but after watching the Dolphins dismantle an admittedly reeling Buffalo team Sunday, I'm taking the points. If you can barely beat Rex Grossman, 7 points are too many. Pick: Miami.
49ers (+3) @ Ravens - 3.5 would have made it much easier to go with San Francisco here. This is essentially a pick 'em game for me. The Ravens though are 5-0 at home this year, so if the line stays as is, advantage Baltimore: Pick: Ravens.