Fantasy Baseball News

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J.D. Martinez has signed with the Boston Red Sox, according to ESPN's Pedro Gomez on Twitter. While he has been connected to the Red Sox since before Free Agency began, but it took until the start of Spring Training in an incredibly sluggish MLB offseason for the two sides to finally agree on a deal. Early reports from Gomez and Jon Morosi of MLB Network have the agreement as a five-year deal worth $110 million, with Martinez having the ability to opt out after two years. (Source: Pedro Gomez on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Martinez slashed .303 / .376 / .690 with 45 home runs, 103 RBIs, and 85 runs scored with the Detroit Tigers and Arizona Diamondbacks, and he inserts some desperately-needed power into the middle of Boston's lineup. The Red Sox have a crowded outfield, with Mookie Betts, Jackie Bradley Jr., and Andrew Benintendi, while Hanley Ramirez has been pencilled into the designated hitter slot, so it is not immediately clear where Martinez will play every day. Boston has some time to figure that out, and it is entirely possible that another deal could be coming.


Free agent starter Jason Vargas has agreed to a two-year deal with an option for a third year with the New York Mets, according to multiple reports on Twitter. (Source: Jon Heyman on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Vargas dazzled in the first half of 2017, his first full year after Tommy John surgery, pitching to a 2.62 ERA in the first half. He faded in the second half, however, and posted a 6.38 ERA. The Mets will be hoping to get more of what Vargas posted in the first half, but at the very least he provides a valuable veteran arm to a team that has been decimated by pitching injuries the past few seasons.


Diamondbacks GM Mike Hazen told members of the media that the team will begin using a humidor in 2018. (Source: AZCentral.com)

Fantasy Impact: A humidor is a climate-controlled chamber in which baseballs are stored. The general principle is that when a ball is stored in a humidor, it absorbs water, decreasing its bounciness and thus reducing how far a ball can be hit. Park factor concerns for Greinke should now be less concerning when drafting him or any Arizona pitcher. Balls should also be less dry which can provide a boost in grip and control for pitchers.


Yu Darvish is signing a six-year deal with the Chicago Cubs, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic on Twitter. Early reports have the contract at $126 million with the ability to earn up to around $150 million. (Source: Ken Rosenthal on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Darvish joins a Cubs rotation that already boasts Lester, Hendricks, Quintana, and Chatwood. He is coming off somewhat of a down year by his standards and ended the playoffs with some injury concerns, but he still struck out more than 200 batters with an ERA of 3.86 and a 1.16 WHIP.


According to Jane Lee of mlb.com, Athletics outfielder Dustin Fowler is the favorite to land the starting center field job as he continues to recover from his knee injury. (Source: mlb.com )

Fantasy Impact: Specifically, Fowler ruptured the patella tendon in his right knee last year while with the Yankees. He was making his major league debut and had yet to even get an at bat. Fowler was later sent to Oakland as part of the Sonny Gray trade. In 70 games at Triple-A last year Fowler hit 13 homers and stole 13 bases. He's sure to be a popular "sleeper" in fantasy baseball this season.


Manny Machado will be shifting over to shortstop in Baltimore for the 2018 season according to manager Buck Showalter. (Source: Roch Kubatko on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: The move means that Tim Beckham will play third base. Machado has wanted to get back to shortstop for a while and now he finally gets his wish. It's certainly a slight bump for his fantasy value this season as he will qualify at both short and third. Machado played 45 games at shortstop in 2016 but zero in 2017.


According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic the Milwaukee Brewers have signed free-agent outfielder Lorenzo Cain. (Source: Ken Rosenthal on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: The Brewers now have a crowded outfield. Cain will likely play center, with newly acquired Christian Yelich in a corner spot. That means Milwaukee will have to trade one of Ryan Braun or Domingo Santana. Last season with the Royals Cain hit .300 with 15 homers and 26 steals. He figures to get a slight offensive bump with the move to Miller Park.


Austin Jackson signs to Giants

Wed, Jan 24th 12:57pm EST
By Doug Brown

SF

Austin Jackson moves to the Giants on Tuesday. This could be a good move for Jackson. While GM Bobby Evans and Executive Vice President, Brian Sabean, both called Jackson a great addition as depth, and an excellent fourth outfielder, Jackson should still amass more than the 280 ABs he got with Cleveland last year. In 2017 Jackson hit .318 with seven HRs and three SBs. The Giants have Hunter Pence and Andrew McCutchen pencilled into left and right, respectively. That leaves the question, who is playing center? Many sites suggest the Giants are all in on their 24-year-old minor leaguer, Steven Duggar, to handle center. Last year Duggar moved from A League to AAA and amassed a .262 average. Between the 34-year-old Pence, the new 31-year-old right fielder, McCutchen, and the rookie Duggar, Jackson should see maybe 400 ABs. (Source: San Jose Mercury News)

Fantasy Impact: Austin Jackson will likely see an uptick of playing time with the Giants this year. He's a good hitter, and the Giants have only rookie Steven Duggar as competition in center.


Andrew McCutchen traded to Giants

Wed, Jan 24th 12:32am EST
By Doug Brown

SF

Andrew McCutchen was traded to the Giants January 17th for right-hander Kyle Crick, minor league outfielder Bryan Reynolds, and a $500,000 in international signing bonus allocation. Pittsburgh thinks Crick could be closer quality and he also has starting experience. Reynolds is still in A ball but has never hit less than .300 in two seasons. Pittsburgh improves young depth and all importantly cuts payroll. As for the Giants, they have McCutchen pencilled into right field initially, with Hunter Pence moving to left. The 31-year-old, McCutchen is a lifetime .291 hitter but over the last two years, he's only managed a .268 clip. Last year was somewhat a bounce back year as he increased his HRs by four and his BA by 24 points. (Source: ESPN, Associated Press)

Fantasy Impact: McCutchen goes to a Giants team playing home games at AT&T Park, which is the worst park in MLB for HRs. However, the field is much more negative to left-handed batters and McCutchen is a righty. The Giants lineup, with recent additions of McCutchen, Evan Longoria, and Austin Jackson, should be at least as productive as Pittsburgh. Last years production puts McCutchen somewhere near the 20th overall outfielder and he will likely be in a similar spot with the Giants.


The New York Mets have agreed to terms with free agent first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today. (Source: Bob Nightengale on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Gonzalez played in just 71 games in 2017 and hit .242 with three homers. He was traded to the Atlanta Braves this off-season who immediately released him. The 35-year-old Gonzalez is a low-risk signing for the Mets. It's unclear who will be the primary first baseman in Queens between Gonzalez and Dom Smith. Even if Gonzalez wins the job he's unlikely to carry much fantasy value.


According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the Minnesota Twins have signed Addison Reed to a two-year deal worth around $17 million. (Source: Ken Rosenthal on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: The relief market continues to be one of the only position groups making waves this off-season. Reed turned 29 years old this winter, and is coming off a year where he posted a 2.84 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, and 76 strikeouts in 76 innings. It's unclear if Reed will take closing duties away from Fernando Rodney. If he does, he will have obvious fantasy value.


According to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN, Jay Bruce is headed back to the New York Mets. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports the deal is for three years and $39 million. (Source: Jerry Crasnick on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Bruce hit a combined 36 homers between New York and Cleveland last year. He posted a .832 OPS with 101 RBIs. Still just 30 years old, Bruce will likely play everyday in right field next season. He's a solid target for fantasy teams in need of power.


Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports that Los Angeles Angels two-way star Shohei Ohtani has a first degree sprain in the UCL of his throwing elbow. (Source: Jeff Passan, Yahoo Sports)

Fantasy Impact: The good news is that a first degree sprain is the least severe of its kind. MLB teams were notified of this when Ohtani entered the posting system. However, it definitely places him at higher risk than most pitchers to fully tear his UCL. He's expected to be ready for Spring Training. The hype surrounding him will likely cause him to go overdrafted in fantasy baseball drafts this year.


Matt Harvey on the trade block

Mon, Dec 11th 11:09am EST
By Brendan Tuma

NYM

Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Baltimore Orioles are one of the teams who could make a move for Mets starter Matt Harvey. (Source: Jon Heyman on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Marc Craig of Newsday reported over the weekend that Harvey was going to be made available by the Mets. It's tough to envision them getting much of a return for him, however. Harvey posted a horrendous 6.70 ERA in 2017. He won't be a fantasy option to start next year.


Bob Nightengale reports that the Boston Red Sox are making Jackie Bradley available for trade. (Source: Bob Nightengale on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Boston has made it no secret that they are seeking a power bat this winter. With the Yankees recently trading for Giancarlo Stanton, there is even more of a sense of urgency for the Red Sox to do something. Bradley wasn't the same hitter in 2017 that he was the year prior, but he's under club control through 2020. So far he has been linked to the Royals and Giants.


FanRag Sports' Jon Heyman reports that the Los Angeles Dodgers are still involved in the Giancarlo Stanton sweepstakes. (Source: FanRag Sports)

Fantasy Impact: Los Angeles has seemed like Stanton's preferred destination all along. However, they are already over the luxury tax threshold, limiting their ability to take on his contract. It appears as if we are currently looking at a three team race for Stanton between LA, San Francisco, and St. Louis.


FanRag Sports' Jon Heyman reports that the New York Yankees have remained in touch with CC Sabathia regarding a potential return to the Bronx. (Source: Jon Heyman on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Sabathia turned 37 this year, but was one of the team's best starters. He also drew rave reviews for his clubhouse leadership. A return makes sense, even more so with New York out of the Shohei Ohtani sweepstakes. Despite the strong 2017, Sabathia will likely only have streaming value in fantasy next season.


ESPN's Scott Lauber reports that the Chicago White Sox are asking for "an arm and both legs" for first baseman Jose Abreu. (Source: Scott Lauber, ESPN)

Fantasy Impact: Abreu has been linked to the Red Sox, but it's unclear if Boston will be able to meet Chicago's high asking price. While the 30-year-old Abreu doesn't exactly fit with the rebuilding White Sox, many think the team could keep him around to help mentor young players such as Yoan Moncada. Regardless of where Abreu ends up he should be expected to hit 25 homers and drive in 100 runs per usual.


Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Starling Marte is struggling in winter ball, batting just .197 through 20 games. (Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette )

Fantasy Impact: So far Marte has posted a disappointing .244 OBP with a .316 slugging percentage. Marte also has a 21/3 K/BB ratio, which is less than ideal. He served a long suspension for PEDs this past season, and struggled upon returning. He's a risky fantasy bet right now.


According to Jon Morosi of MLB Network, the Baltimore Orioles are discussing a contract extension with second baseman Jonathan Schoop. (Source: Jon Morosi on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Schoop was one of the most valuable fantasy assets at his position last year, hitting a career-high 32 homers. Morosi adds that Schoop's camp is looking for a contract higher than what Jean Segura recently received, which was five years and $70 million. Schoop just turned 26 and is set up for another big year in Baltimore come 2018.