- Tristan H. Cockcroft, Fantasy
On Monday, we took a look at the most significant offseason moves in the American League, so today, let's turn our focus to the National League. Here are the 10 most notable winter transactions in the NL, ranked in order of their fantasy significance:
10. The Philadelphia Phillies sign RP Tom Gordon. While serving as one of the best set-up men in the American League the past two seasons, Gordon's wish was to get one more crack at closing before calling it a career. He's got that chance now, despite the fact that he has topped 25 saves just twice and double-digit totals in the category just five times in 17 seasons. Gordon has actually been an extremely effective reliever throughout the years, with a 3.09 ERA and 1.159 WHIP in 581 games, and he did save an AL-high 46 games in 1998. The move back to the NL could provide him enough of an advantage that he has one more elite fantasy closer campaign left in him.
9. The San Diego Padres acquire OF Mike Cameron from the New York Mets in exchange for OF Xavier Nady. Only a handful of players are skilled enough on defense that they make a noticeable impact on their team's pitchers' statistics. Cameron is one of those players, one of the few who has the range needed to cover all that ground in center field in PETCO Park. He finished among the top five center fielders in range factor each year from 2000-04, though the concern is that his offensive statistics could take quite a dive at PETCO. Cameron batted just .223 with a .702 OPS in 301 career games at Safeco Field, and had .241/.759 numbers in 118 games at Shea, so it seems his only true fantasy asset will come in the stolen base category. Fortunately, his departure from New York sets up an interesting battle of sleepers in right field for the Mets: Nady should give Victor Diaz a run for the job. The winner of that contest could be quite the NL-only sleeper.
5hAdam Rubin and Kieran Darcy