While Day 2 of the Winter Meetings were not as busy as the first (at least in terms of action), let’s take a look at the potential fallout from the moves that were made:


The Cubs signed 1B Carlos Pena.

Pena had a terrible 2010 campaign, hitting .196 with 28 HR and 84 RBI in 484 AB.  The fall in power (he had hit 46, 31 and 39 over the previous three seasons) was not due to the number of AB, as he has never had more than 500 AB in a season. 

Part of that is due to his stellar walk rate (he’s been at 14.9 percent or better each of the past four years).  The problem was that his fly ball rate was down to 40.6 percent, after being over 50 percent the previous two years.  A rebound there will certainly lead to another 30+ HR campaign, especially as he takes advantage of the wind blowing out in the summer months at Wrigley.

His average struggled due to a poor BABIP (.222), something you would have to expect him to rebound from.  While he’s never going to be a “good” average hitter, due to a career 31.2 percent strikeout rate, he’s definitely better than he showed last season.

Moving to the NL and the middle of the Cubs lineup, it wouldn’t be surprising to see him hit around .250 with 35 HR and 100 RBI.  That’s not an elite option at a deep position, but it certainly will have value.  Don’t ignore him over his poor 2010.


The Rockies signed INF Ty Wigginton.

With Todd Helton and Ian Stewart starting at the corners, Wigginton appears to be coming in to serve a reserve role.  However, that always seems to be the intention of teams, yet Wigginton always manages to earn regular playing time.  He’s coming off a year where he hit 22 HR with 76 RBI.  Yes, he struggled to a .248 average, but an improvement to his .270 BABIP will help to offset that (he has a career .287 mark).

He spent over 20 games at 1B, 2B and 3B in 2010, meaning he has eligibility at all three positions in the majority of formats.  It would not be a surprise to see him playing four or five times a week as a super utility, spending time across the infield (and at DH when they are playing in AL ballparks). 

With no one having a clear-cut lead in the 2B race, it’s possible he ultimately claims that job.  The bottom line is, in deeper formats, he’s going to be worth owning as a depth option.  Since 2003 he’s had under 400 AB just twice (once was in 2005 when he played in just 57 games).  Somehow he just manages to find at bats and is a source of power at a position you don’t allows find it (2B), stash him away.


The Mets signed P D.J. Carrasco.

When he was traded from Pittsburgh to Arizona, I thought that he could be given a chance to close considering how pathetic the Diamondbacks bullpen was.  While that didn’t happen, he posted another solid season overall, with a 3.68 ERA and 1.30 WHIP.  He’s not going to have fantasy viability, barring something dramatic in New York, as Francisco Rodriguez is currently looking like the closer and Bobby Parnell next in line.


The Mets signed C Ronny Paulino.

He’s being brought in to face left-handed pitching as part of a platoon with Josh Thole.  That’s a perfect role for him, but it doesn’t bring much fantasy appeal.  Thole is the better catcher to own, but even he is going to be restricted to two-catcher formats.  He offers little power and figures to get ample days of rest now that Paulino is in the mix.


The Pirates signed OF Matt Diaz.

It will be interesting to see if he gets regular playing time or not, but Diaz figures to be a platoon player.  He does a solid job against left-handed pitching, but if that’s all he’s used for he’s not going to have value.  At this point in time, it’s better to leave him on the waiver wire unless the plans change.


The Dodgers signed OF Tony Gwynn Jr.

He brings speed, but has hit just .244 in 924 career at bats.  The Dodgers have Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier locked in as starting outfielders and while Gwynn could challenge for the left field job, chances are he serves a reserve role.  Even if he earns a starting job (an unlikely event), he’s only going to have value for those in need of stolen bases.

What are your thoughts on these moves?  Who is the biggest winner?  Who are you now targeting?

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