Fantasy Baseball News

Latest Player Updates

Jeurys Familia will "probably get the majority of the saves" according to Mets pitching coach, Dave Eiland. New manager Mickey Callaway had suggested that the Mets might use a closer-by-committee approach, but we've heard that from many teams in the past before watching them ultimately settle on one guy for the job. Familia posted a disappointing 4.38 ERA over 26 appearances in 2017 while battling right shoulder trouble, but he's the man to draft in the Mets' bullpen. (Source: Anthony DiMico on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: This news comes as there was talk that the team might consider using a committee approach. 2017 was not the greatest year for Familia as he dealt with a shoulder injury that led him to a 4.38 ERA. Assuming health isn't an issue, Familia could be one of the top closers in the league as evidenced by his 43 and 51 save totals in 2015 and 2016 respectively.


The Orioles have signed Andrew Cashner to a two-year deal worth $16 million, according to Jon Heyman. (Source: Jon Heyman on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Cashner had a fine ERA last year with the Rangers of just 3.40, but he saw a shocking drop in strikeout rate, with just 86 in 166 2/3 innings. It's hard to imagine him having that much success again with such a low rate, especially pitching in the AL East against tough lineups. Cashner has had some success in the past, so he's worth a flyer in AL-only leagues, but temper your expectations.

Category: Transactions


Ryon Healy, who was acquired by the Mariners this offseason, underwent surgery to remove a bone spur in his hand, according to Ryan Divish. He is expected to miss 4-6 weeks. (Source: Ryan Divish on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Healy showed major power potential last year, hitting 25 home runs in just 149 games with the A's. His status as a cheap source of power remains, though he'll likely miss most or all of spring training. With that news, it's safer to plan on five months of production, rather than six, for Healy this season, but he can still be considered as a bench piece late in drafts.

Category: Injury Updates


A.J. Ellis has signed a minor league deal with the San Diego Padres, according to AJ Cassavell on Twitter. (Source: AJ Cassavell on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Ellis is not much more than a soft-hitting backup catcher at this point in his career, and he has not been relevant to fantasy owners since 2013, when he caught 115 games for the Dodgers. He will look to beat out fellow catchers Rocky Gale, Rafael Lopez, and Luis Torrens for the opportunity to backup starter Austin Hedges.

Category: Transactions


Chris Stratton will be fighting for a starting job in spring training. With pitchers and catchers reporting on Valentine's Day, Stratton hopes he won't be massacred this year. Last year in AAA, he pitched to a 5.11 ERA and batters hit .290 against him. He fared much better in San Francisco. After his promotion, he held opponents down much better. His ERA was 3.68. That was better than expected from the 27-year-old. He had a decent strikeout pitch and took out 51 in 58.2 innings.

Fantasy Impact: In his five-year minor league career, Stratton has a 4.07 ERA. He's looked better in the show, but that may have been a bit of luck. As of the start of spring training, he's looking like the Giants' fourth starter.


The Brewers have signed Wade Miley to a minor league deal, according to Bob Nightengale. Miley is guaranteed $2.5 million if he makes the major league team and he can make up to $5.7 million if he makes 29 starts. (Source: Bob Nightengale on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Miley's ERA has risen for five straight seasons, and he's never been a particularly usable pitcher for fantasy purposes. He was, however, a decent innings eater back when he pitched with the Diamondbacks, and he could find himself with some NL-only value if he makes the Brewers' roster.

Category: Transactions


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.


The Rays have re-signed Sergio Romo to a one-year, $2.5 million dollar deal. (Source: Tampa Bay Rays on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Romo will most likely pitch the eighth. He has excelled at it throughout his career. Last season with Tampa he had a 1.47 ERA. He will not have any fantasy value unless Alex Colome is traded, injured, or loses his job to poor performance.

Category: Transactions


Chase Utley re-signs with Dodgers

Tue, Feb 13th 11:44am EST
By Dan Harris

LAD

The Dodgers have re-signed Chase Utley, according to Jon Heyman. Terms of the deal are currently unknown, but it's likely a one-year deal like Utley has signed each of the past two offseasons. (Source: Jon Heyman on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Utley is no more than a backup at this point, slashing .236/.324/.405 with eight home runs in 127 games for the Dodgers last year. He provides little fantasy value, although he can be a low-end play in deep NL-only leagues.

Category: Transactions


Bud Norris has agreed to a deal with the Cardinals, according to Ken Rosenthal. The deal is pending a physical and the terms are currently unknown. (Source: Ken Rosenthal on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Norris had an excellent first half of the season with the Angels last year, taking over as the closer for almost two months of the season. But knee inflammation threw him off course, and his overall numbers suffered. Assuming he remains a reliever, he should slide into a setup role behind Luke Gregerson, and should be one of the first options to take over the closer's role if Gregerson stumbles.

Category: Transactions


Hunter Pence, nicknamed The Preacher for all his gung-ho encouraging speeches, is excited to be moved to left field. He's been an excellent right fielder for the Giants but at his soon to be age 35, the Giants thought with the addition of a younger, faster Andrew McCutchen as a corner outfielder, it was time to place Pence in left. Right field at AT&T Park has a huge expanse into right center, known as triples alley. Pence met the change with his usual upbeat attitude when discussing his situation at Giants' fan-fest. He is also on a new diet and exercise regimen he's excited about, where he feels ready for 150 games plus.

Fantasy Impact: Pence's first two years with the Giants, he played in all 162 games. The last three years have been cut short with injuries. Even at 35, Pence feel confident he's now back to 100 percent. If he can play 150 games, he's underrated. He has better hitters around him and could again push 20 home runs and 75 rbis at his ceiling.

Category: Rumors


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.

Category: Transactions


Brandon Belt is ready for spring

Sat, Feb 10th 2:19pm EST
By Doug Brown

SF

Brandon Belt has never hit 20 home runs in six full major league years. This year, I've seen him predicted to hit as high as 30. He will not hit 30. Belt has the tools to hit 30 but lefties at AT&T Park, who are not named Barry Bonds, will not be hitting 30 HRs. AT&T is the hardest park to hit homers and it's quite a bit harder for lefties to go yard. Belt has also had four concussions in the past four years. That has been largely due to being unlucky, but he is more susceptible to injury than some. He was having perhaps his best power year last year with 18 home runs in a bit over the first half of the season, but he missed the second half. I'd wager this year he will pass 20 homers for the first time, but 30 is quite a stretch.

Fantasy Impact: Belt is undervalued in most fantasy leagues. His average draft selection is 301 at NFBC. He has an on-base percentage of over .350 and an on-base plus slugging around .850. He'll hit 20-25 HRs this year.

Category: Rumors


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.


Brent Honeywell is expected to start the season in the minors. There is no room in the Rays’ starting rotation for him currently. (Source: Marc Topkin on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Honeywell is one of the top pitching prospects in baseball. He should be up by mid-season, contributing to fantasy teams. He should be drafted in deeper leagues and AL-only formats.

Category: Rumors


Ervin Santana underwent capsular release/debridement surgery on the MCP joint of his middle finger today. He is expected to be out 10-12 weeks. (Source: Mike Berardino on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: The timeline means that Santana should likely be back sometime in late-April, which obviously puts a damper on his fantasy prospects. Santana had been bothered by his right hand toward the end of last season, but opted not to have surgery in favor of an injection that obviously didn't work. There's no reason to expect the injury to linger once Santana returns, but he's nothing more than a very late-round pick now.

Category: Injury Updates


The Mets have signed Todd Frazier to a two-year, $17 million contract, according to Ken Rosenthal. The deal is pending a physical. (Source: Ken Rosenthal on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Frazier had a down season in 2017, but he still hit 27 home runs. He also upped his walk-rate to a career-high 14.4% and kept his strikeout rate consistent. He should play third base every day for the Mets, and should provide plenty of power as a corner-infield option in mixed leagues.

Category: Transactions


Bartolo Colon has agreed to a minor league deal with the Texas Rangers. Colon can earn a base salary of $1.75 million if he makes the big league roster. (Source: Evan Grant on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Colon had a dreadful season in 2017, with a 6.48 ERA between two teams. It seems highly unlikely that the soon-to-be 45-year-old could possibly contribute to the Rangers or a fantasy team, but keep him on your radar if for no other reason than entertainment value.

Category: Transactions


Andres Blanco signed a minor league deal with the Giants to try to be one of their bench infielders. Blanco has a lifetime .256 average but is better known for his fielding. He's played every infield position in the majors and is a switch hitter.

Fantasy Impact: Not someone for any fantasy format.

Category: Transactions


Alex Avila has passed his physical and his two-year, $8.25 million deal with the Diamondbacks is now official. (Source: Ken Rosenthal on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Avila had a fine season in 2017, batting .264 with 14 home runs, and finishing second in the league in hard-contact rate at 48.7 percent. If a humidor gets imposed in Arizona, it may take the shine off Avila's outlook a bit. But absent that, he should make a fine option in two-catcher formats, at least.

Category: Transactions