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Scott Pianowski

Hot Stove Helper: From Holliday Road to Fascination Street

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Throughout January and February (okay, and March), we're reviewing offseason MLB transactions that have fantasy implications, and we're going team-by-team. This isn't quite like Hot Stove Daily. The focus here is limited. We're only looking at ownable fantasy players who've found new employers.

Colorado Rockies

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The Rockies were in the World Series just a year and a half ago, but things have quickly gone south since that magical run. Last year's disappointing 74-88 mark was a precursor to significant changes, and the first domino fell in November when the club shipped its signature player (Matt Holliday) to Oakland. With left-handed ace Jeff Francis already out for the year and first baseman Todd Helton stuck in an injury rut that might never subside, this is clearly a franchise that's in a remodeling phase. Let's take a trip into the thin air and try to make some sense of it all.

Acquired RP Huston Street via trade

A sore hip and a flat slider greased the skids for Street in Oakland last year, and he wasn't closing over the final third of the season. He's set to battle trimmed-down Manny Corpas for the ball in the ninth inning this spring, and he'll be performing for his next contract as well. Don't be surprised if both of these guys wind up being shopped aggressively around the midsummer trading season.

The roto public, for what it's worth, is sticking with the name player in this position battle; Street's current ADP checks in at 188, while Corpas doesn't come off the board until 317. I'd opt for Street as well, all else equal, but if he doesn't get the bite back on his slider (especially against left-handed hitters, who took him deep five times last year), this is going to end badly. The early word out of Colorado camp had Corpas looking sharper than Street, for what it's worth.

Acquired OF Carlos Gonzalez via trade

There are a couple of spots up for grabs in the Colorado outfield now that Holliday and Willy Taveras are gone. Gonzalez is probably behind Seth Smith in the left-field battle and he has to contend with Dexter Fowler and Ryan Spilborghs in the center field chase, and after his lost season in Oakland last year another spell in Triple-A might be the best thing for everyone involved. Most mixed-league players don't need to consider Gonzalez until he's earned something tangible from the Rockies, and that's unlikely to happen right away.

Rockie Ramblings: Helton's wonky back has already acted up and he won't be back on the diamond until sometime next week. … A minor finger injury knocked Brad Hawpe out of the WBC, but it's not going to interfere with his readiness for opening day. … Garrett Atkins slides back to third base this year after playing two months at first last season, but he'll return to the right side of the diamond if Helton has any additional injury problems. Coincidence or not, Atkins was far more productive as a third sacker last year (102 extra OPS points). … Ian Stewart doesn't have a job as camp opens but he is capable of playing second, third or the outfield. Clint Hurdle would prefer not to tax Stewart too much with a host of defensive changes and responsibilities, but that might be the clearest path for Stewart to get at-bats. … Clint Barmes appears to have a solid hold on the second base job, helped in part by Stewart's inexperience at the position and the elbow injury that's dogging Jeff Baker. … Chris Iannetta is an interesting target at catcher. He's coming off a sneaky 18-homer season, and he didn't get quite the push from Colorado that you might expect (he hit 30 points higher on the road). Now that he has the starting gig from the jump, I can't imagine why he won't give us an easy 25-homer, 80-RBI campaign, and the cost still looks downright reasonable (ADP around 140).

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