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New acquisitions, injuries bring fantasy impact

March 9, 2016

Spring Training is in full swing, and wise fantasy owners are paying close attention to the daily news out of Florida and Arizona. The following recent headlines have resulted in the greatest changes in fantasy values.Alvarez inks deal with Orioles A career .203 hitter against lefties, Pedro Alvarez will likely

Spring Training is in full swing, and wise fantasy owners are paying close attention to the daily news out of Florida and Arizona. The following recent headlines have resulted in the greatest changes in fantasy values.
Alvarez inks deal with Orioles
A career .203 hitter against lefties, Pedro Alvarez will likely have his work as Baltimore's designated hitter limited to days when the club faces a right-hander. But the lefty masher clubbed 24 homers in 375 at-bats against righties last season, and he could improve on that rate of power production now that he is set to play half his games at hitter-friendly Camden Yards.
Fantasy fallout: Because of his potential to flirt with the 30-homer mark, Alvarez is worth a late-round pick in standard leagues despite his career .236 batting average. This signing may push Manny Machado back to the leadoff spot, which would inhibit his ability to amass a lofty RBI total. But Machado remains a desirable pick at the tail end of Round 1 in mixed-league drafts.
Capps set for Tommy John surgery
An expected closer battle lasted just a few days, as Carter Capps will miss all of the 2016 season. A.J. Ramos is now entrenched as the Marlins' closer after posting 32 saves, a 2.30 ERA, a 1.01 WHIP and an 11.1 K/9 rate last season.
Fantasy fallout: Capps should fall to waivers in all leagues. Because of his strong results last season and the lack of competition for save chances, Ramos is a second-tier stopper who should be ranked roughly 10th at his position on mixed-league draft lists.

Jackson joins White Sox
Austin Jackson supplied a fair mix of speed, power and on-base ability earlier in his career, but he has declined in the latter two departments since the outset of 2014 (.261/.310/.364 slash line). The 29-year-old can still contribute with his legs, but he will need to find success at the dish in order to earn playing time in a crowded White Sox outfield. Jackson's arrival on the South Side creates an outfield logjam that will likely spill into the designated-hitter spot. Melky Cabrera will remain an everyday player and Adam Eaton should continue to log a heavy workload, likely leaving Jackson, Avisail Garcia and Adam LaRoche to compete for two spots in the starting lineup. Coming off a poor 2015 season in which he hit .207, LaRoche is the player who is most vulnerable to a playing time dip.
Fantasy fallout: Cabrera and Eaton will continue to be mixed-league factors, while Jackson and Garcia will be relevant in deep-mixed formats. LaRoche's value is reduced to American League-only leagues.

Peralta deals with torn left thumb ligament
Expected to miss April and possibly all of May, Jhonny Peralta will struggle to accumulate 400 at-bats this season. While the 33-year-old recovers on the disabled list, the recently acquired Jedd Gyorko will likely log a heavy early-season workload at the shortstop position.
Fantasy fallout: With a career .268 average and a lack of speed, Peralta was already a low-end option in standard leagues. The veteran should now open the campaign on waivers in most formats. Because of his power stroke, Gyorko could earn an early-season lineup spot in deep-mixed leagues.
Dyson to miss six weeks
Speedsters such as Jarrod Dyson need healthy core muscles to run the bases aggressively, which likely means that he will not be rushed back by the defending World Series champs. A candidate to use his recently expanded role to lead the Junior Circuit in steals, Dyson could have a notable impact when he returns. Paulo Orlando will likely receive the majority of right-field starts in early April.
Fantasy fallout: Dyson should still be selected in the late rounds of mixed-league drafts, as he could swipe 35-40 bases this year. Orlando warrants late-round attention in AL-only formats.

Anderson out three to five months
After finally staying healthy and tossing 180 1/3 innings last season, Brett Anderson has regained his fragile label. The southpaw will likely miss the first half of the season, which will ensure a long-term rotation spot for Alex Wood. Because the Dodgers are also dealing with a season-opening disabled-list stint for Hyun-Jin Ryu, the club will likely need either Brandon Beachy or Mike Bolsinger as part of its starting quintet in April.
Fantasy fallout: Anderson can fall to waivers in all mixed leagues. Wood should be selected in all formats, and he could become a rotation staple in standard leagues. Bolsinger warrants National League-only attention.

Maybin expected to open season on disabled list
Expected to be the Tigers' main man in center field, Cameron Maybin will now likely open the year on the disabled list. The speedster should produce 15-20 steals, but his ground-ball lean limits his overall offensive profile. Anthony Gose will receive regular playing time at the outset of April. He could compile a few early-season swipes before settling into a reserve role when Maybin returns.
Fantasy fallout: Maybin and Gose should both start the season on waivers in most standard leagues. Those in deep-mixed formats could use Gose for cheap speed in early April, and Maybin can be stashed in the same leagues.

Wilson not ready for rotation
A bout of shoulder tendinitis will delay C.J. Wilson's quest to reestablish his durability after a 132-inning season last year. The lefty has overcome a 1.35 WHIP to post a respectable 3.87 ERA in four seasons with the Angels. Wilson's injury opens the door for Matt Shoemaker to have the inside track on an Opening Day rotation spot. Shoemaker struggled with the long ball last season, but he owns a solid lifetime 3.68 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP.
Fantasy fallout: Because of his inability to keep the bases clean, Wilson can open the campaign on waivers in mixed leagues. Shoemaker could offer short-term value as a final-round pick in deep-mixed formats.

Fred Zinkie is the lead fantasy baseball writer for Follow him on Twitter at @FredZinkieMLB.