Throughout January and February, 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.
Here's another club that's been fairly quiet in the winter, so our hands our tied when it comes to the HSH assignment. Don't shoot me, I'm just the piano player. If you want to take a broader view of the Cardinals in the comments, I'll play along.
Let's get the gags out of the way first - yes, this is the guy who lost a fight with an equipment locker last year, and yep, Greene is a card-carrying member of the Reggie Cleveland All-Stars. Let's move to the more important issue at hand: should Greene be on our radar as a late-round middle-infield option?
I'll make a case for Greene solely on the strength of his non-Petco resume over the years. He hit .270 on the road for the Padres with a .802 OPS, and keep in mind he's just two years removed from a 27-homer season. He won't turn 30 until the World Series. It's very unlikely he'll hit .262 on balls in play again. The current ADP has Greene set as the No. 16 shortstop (pick 219.7), and I think we make a profit at that price. Fearless Forecast: .264-63-22-67-5.
By default Chris Perez has the leg up in this competition and he passed the eye test down the stretch in 2008. It's probably his job to lose. Converted catcher Jason Motte, who also looked good at the end of last season, is on his heels. Journeyman Ryan Franklin crashed and burned in the middle of 2008 and can't be taken seriously here. Kyle McClellan is around, and there's also been talk of Chris Carpenter getting a look in the bullpen if he's not able to make it all the way back as a starter. You know Tony LaRussa, he's not happy unless 5-6 relievers on his roster get saves, somehow, someway.
Cardinal Chirping: Can Ryan Ludwick come close to his amazing 2008 breakthrough? His improvement against lefties were a big part of the story, but keep in mind he's already 30 . . . Who's the third baseman now that Troy Glaus is hurt? Read all about prospect Brett Wallace here . . . Is this the year Adam Wainwright steps up and becomes a legitimate No. 2-3 fantasy starter? You can argue he took the leap when on the field last summer, but a finger injury cost him two months . . . Is Yadier Molina the most underrated catcher in baseball? Go ahead, guess what he hit in 2008 . . . Hanley, A-Rod or Phat Albert? . . . What's the timetable on super-prospect Colby Rasmus? Rather than play winter ball, he spent the last few months in the gym . . . Have at it, let's discuss Cardinals 2009.