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Hot Stove: Broxton and DeJesus Find New Homes
Nate Springfield | Thursday December 1st, 2011
Broxton is hoping to return to pre-2010 form in 2012. (Icon SMI)
Broxton is hoping to return to pre-2010 form in 2012. (Icon SMI)
As we get closer to the MLB Winter Meetings, the hot stove is heating up with free agents finding new homes.  

Even though no big names inked any contracts this past week, here a couple signings that may prove to have significance during the 2012 season.

Jonathan Broxton - RP, Kansas City Royals
Jonathan Broxton and the Kansas City Royals came to terms on a one-year contract earlier this week worth $4 million that also includes the opportunity for Broxton to earn an additional $1 million based on performance incentives.  Broxton, who once was the dominant closer for the Los Angeles Dodgers, has really struggled in the past season and a half.  Since the 2010 All-Star break, he has allowed 19 earned runs in 36 innings pitched (4.75 ERA), while recording 28 strikeouts, and blowing six save opportunities.

The 27-year old Broxton projects to be the primary set-up man for Royals closer Joakim Soria, while last seasons set-up man Aaron Crow looks to join Kansas City's rotation.  This signing could end up being a win-win situation for Broxton and the Royals if he is able to perform like he did earlier in his career.  Not only would it increase Broxton's value for the 2013 season, it would also give the Royals a big trade chip at this season's trade deadline.

For fantasy purposes, Broxton's draft value lies in deep mixed leagues, or AL-only leagues, where middle relievers are valued or have holds as a category.  His early season performance will be worth monitoring to see if he is worthy of a roster spot as the season progresses.

David DeJesus - OF, Chicago Cubs
David DeJesus has become the first signing of general manager Theo Epstein's era on the north side of Chicago.  He and the Cubs agreed to a two-year contract worth $10 million, with a club option for a third year.  DeJesus, who turns 32 this month, spent eight seasons with the Kansas City Royals, before playing for the Oakland Athletics in 2011.  He struggled in Oakland last season, posting a .240/.323/.376 triple-slash line, compared to his career numbers of .284/.356/.421, but clearly had a better second half for the A's when he hit .270/.342/.438 after the All-Star break.

DeJesus figures to fill the void Chicago has in right field, but is able to move to left if the team is able to move Alfonso Soriano in an off-season trade.  The former Rutgers Scarlet Knight standout is regarded as a plus defender in the outfield, and should benefit at the plate from playing in the more hitter friendly Wrigley Field.  From the Cubs perspective, he adds a needed left handed bat to balance the batting order and a leadoff man, which allows Starlin Castro to move down in the order.

On your fantasy draft day, regard DeJesus as an ownable outfielder with little upside for both deeper mixed leagues and NL-only leagues.  He may end up being a steal for the owner that reaches on him, but more than likely he will be a steady contributor that will not have a huge positive or negative impact on a team.
Nate SpringfieldNate Springfield joined the Baseball Press crew for the 2010 season and hosts the site's podcast. His love for the game has grown thanks to fantasy baseball, with a specialty in NL-only auction leagues. You can contact him at nate@baseballpress.com or follow him on Twitter @NateSpringfield.