• A's send 10 to minor-league camp

    News: Former major league infielder Dallas McPherson was among the 10 players the Oakland Athletics reassigned to their minor league camp on Sunday. The team also reassigned right-handed pitchers Sam Demel and Matt Wright, left-handed pitcher Cedrick Bowers, catchers Joel Galarraga and Max Stassi, and infielders Grant Green, Jemile Weeks, Matt Whitney and Corey Wimberly. The Athletics have 53 players remaining in camp with the 40-man roster and 13 non-roster invitees. The breakdown includes 27 pitchers, four catchers, 12 infielders and 10 outfielders.
    Analysis: The players listed above will need to break through and get called up to the major leagues before they have any Fantasy value.
  • Whitney tries to finally make his way

    News: Matt Whitney was a big shot in high school, an All-American third baseman and a can't-miss prospect. These days the former first-round draft pick is with his third big-league organization and remains a prospect, though perhaps it is not such a sure thing. No matter. Whitney, who was assigned Barry Zito's No. 75 this spring after signing a minor-league deal with the Athletics last November, loves the game and says he will play until teams stop calling.
    Analysis: Whitney reached Triple-A for the first time last year and all indications point to him starting there this year. Consider the minor league journeyman nothing more than organizational depth at this point and ignore him on Draft Day.
  • A's hand out 19 spring invites

    News: Infielder Grant Desme, former Angels third baseman Dallas McPherson and ex-Reds reliever Marcus McBeth are among 19 players extended invitations to spring training on Monday by the A's. They also signed pitcher Matt Wright, infielder Matt Whitney, reliever Cedrick Bowers and reliever Fernando Hernandez to minor league contracts with invitations to spring training. The other 13 invitations are players already in the organization: right-handers Sam Demel and Tyson Ross; catchers Josh Donaldson, Joel Galarraga, Anthony Recker and Max Stassi; infielders Adrian Cardenas, Grant Green, Brett Wallace and Jemile Weeks; and outfielders Matt Carson, Corey Wimberly and Desme.
    Analysis: The arms are nothing more than middle relievers for the deepest of AL-only leagues that use true middle men, if they get time on the roster in 2010. Ignore them on Draft Day. McPherson is a nice injury-risk sleeper if he can prove healthy and capable of making the roster, while Desme, Wallace, Weeks, Cardenas and Wimberly are prospects worth considering in long-term keeper leagues at this point.
  • Nationals cut 10 from spring camp

    News: The Nationals optioned left-hander Mike O'Connor to Triple-A Syracuse and left-hander Ross Detwiler to Double-A Harrisburg on Tuesday in their first round of spring training cuts. O'Connor was 1-1 with a 13.00 ERA in five games, including one start, for Washington in 2008. Detwiler, who was 8-8 in 26 starts with Class A Potomac last year, was the Nationals' first-round draft pick in 2007 out of Missouri State. The Nationals also reassigned eight players to their minor league camp: left-hander Justin Jones; right-handers Bobby Brownlie, Preston Larrison and J.D. Martin; catcher Javier Herrera; first basemen Chris Marrero and Matt Whitney; and outfielder Destin Hood.
    Analysis: Marrero and Detwiler are top long-term keeper prospects, while the other players are nothing more than organizational depth at this point. Ignore them in all Fantasy leagues right now.
  • Nats sign 13 to minor league deals

    News: The Washington Nationals signed the following players to minor league deals on Saturday: Infielders Freddie Bynum, Brad Eldred, Joel Guzman, and Matt Whitney; outfielders Jorge Padilla and Mike Vento; right-handers Bobby Brownlie, Preston Larrison, J.D. Martin and Ryan Wagner; and left-hander Justin Jones. Outfielder Ryan Langerhans and infielder Pete Orr were also among the 13 players the Nats signed to deals.
    Analysis: All of these players have little Fantasy value unless they make the big club out of spring training. None of them are really expected to do so and should be avoided in Fantasy at this time.
  • Nats give Whitney minor deal

    News: The Nationals signed 1B Matthew Whitney to a minor league contract.
    Analysis: Whitney was a Rule-5 draftee from the Indians a year ago but had to be returned when he didn't make the Nationals' roster. The Nats have him back and he figures to be a masher in the higher minors in 2009. We don't seem him making an impact in the majors at this point, but we wouldn't put it past him because of his power potential.
  • Nats send Whitney back to Indians

    News: According to MLB.com, the Nationals had to return 3B Matt Whitney, picked in the Rule 5 draft, to the Indians on Saturday after they could not create a space for him on the major-league roster.
    Analysis: Whitney has some power potential, but the 24-year-old will begin the season in Double-A and likely not advance much further. Ignore him in all Fantasy leagues.
  • Whitney will have to fight for spot

    News: 1B Matt Whitney, the club's two selections in this year's Rule-5 draft, could have a tough time making the Opening Day roster, according to The Sports Xchange. The Nationals like Whitney's raw power -- he hit a combined 32 homers for Cleveland's Class A affiliates last season -- but the club already has veteran INF Aaron Boone, OF/INF Rob Mackowiak and OF/INF Willie Harris penciled in as key reserves.
    Analysis: As a Rule-5 pick, Whitney has to make the roster if the Nationals want to keep him, so expect them to give him every opportunity this spring. He has some Fantasy value as a long-term keeper, but his role this year will be too limited to help outside of the deepest of NL-only leagues.
  • Nats tender contracts to eight

    News: The Nationals agreed to terms Friday on one-year contracts with eight other players, including outfielder Lastings Milledge, acquired in the trade that sent catcher Brian Schneider and outfielder Ryan Church to the New York Mets. Milledge received a split contract that would pay him $402,500 if he's in the majors and $145,075 in the minors. Others agreeing to 2008 deals: left-handers Ross Detwiler, the team's top pick in June's amateur draft, and John Lannan, who made his big league debut last season; right-handers Garrett Mock and Chris Schroder; infielder Kory Casto; and first basemen Josh Whitesell and Matt Whitney.
    Analysis: Milledge has potential for deeper leagues, while Detwiler, Lannan and Mock are pitching prospect fliers. Schroder is nothing more than a middle reliever, while Casto and Whitesell need to dominate the high minors before they can be considered potential contributors in NL-only leagues. Whitney is a Rule-5 pick with power potential, so he could make the roster and be a long-term keeper, but his role this year will be too limited to help outside of the deepest of NL-only leagues.
  • Nats get slugger Whitney via Rule-5

    News: The Nationals selected infielder Matt Whitney from the Indians in the Rule-5 draft.
    Analysis: Whitney was the 33rd overall pick in the 2002 draft by the Indians and led their system 32 homers, 113 RBI in a combined 128 Class A games last season. He was named the 10th-best prospect in the Carolina League following the season by Baseball America, giving him a very good chance to stick on the Nationals' roster all season after being picked via Rule-5. His role will be too limited to help outside of being a reserve for the deepest of NL-only leagues, but he is an intriguing prospect for long-term keeper leagues. The fact he won't look like much this year will help him fly under the radar, too.