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April 02, 2006

ESPN Fantasy Column

Texas made three trades over the last three days. Their impact on the Rangers’ fantasy prospects is described below:

Dellucci’s trade to Philadelphia makes him an unperson in AL-only leagues. He also loses his value in mixed leagues because Philly doesn’t need a DH and Pat Burrell and Bobby Abreu don’t need a substitute. He’s a back-ender in larger NL-only leagues.

Nevin lost his only two competitors to the DH at-bats in the last week. As I mentioned a few days ago, I don’t expect greatness, but he could bat .260 with 20-plus homers and 80-plus RBI as the cleanup hitter. Worth a shot in all but the smallest of mixed leagues. If Nevin collapses, keep an eye out for Jason Botts, who will begin 2006 in AAA.

His owners can breathe easier. Wilkerson rebounded well from last week’s shoulder malady, and a move from center to left could help his stamina. A must-own in any 5x5 league.

Only last week, Nix seemed bound for AAA and fifth on the outfield depth chart. With Dellucci’s departure and Matthews’s placement on the Disabled List, Nix will start Monday in center field. Nix has a dubious resume but has struggled with shoulder problems during the last two years. Now fully healed, he might show improvement. He’s worth a flyer in AL-only leagues. Matthews will start against lefties and sub for the corner outfielders upon his return. He doesn’t provide much value right now, but if someone suffers an injury or Nix falters, he’ll become a tolerable AL-only outfielder.

Eaton will miss at least two months because of impending surgery on the middle finger of his throwing hand. He had no value in mixed leagues anyway, and his marginal value in AL-only leagues just cratered. Stash him on your DL if no absolutely have no other options.

Tejeda posted a 3.57 ERA as a rookie in Philly but got away with 5.3 walks per nine innings and a .260 average on batters in play. His fly-prone tendencies translate badly to Arlington. Tejeda just turned 24 and may yet develop into a solid MLB pitcher, but I doubt he’ll offer much to fantasy owners in 2006. I project a 4.75 ERA and 1.50 WHIP as a Ranger. His upside is in wins and strikeouts. I wouldn’t bother with him except in very large AL-only leagues.

Koronka, not Tejeda, will start the Rangers’ fifth game of the season. His minor-league stats do not impress, and I wouldn’t expect any more of him than of John Wasdin. No value anywhere.

Currently, Oakland needs Dominguez for its rotation like a mule needs a spinning wheel. Dominguez might appear in relief later in the season. No value anywhere right now.

You might remember him as a closer, but those days are over. He’ll attempt to provide league-average middle relief in Arlington and is no higher than third in line to get any saves. Don’t bother.

Posted by Lucas at April 2, 2006 04:13 PM