Fantasy Baseball News

Rumors

The Rangers have broken off negotiations with Seung-Hwan Oh, according to the Dallas Morning News. The team and Oh had previously agreed to a one-year deal. (Source: Dallas Morning News)

Fantasy Impact: The article refers to "disconcerting issues that came up on the MRI of [Oh's] arm," which obviously doesn't bode well for Oh's prospects this season. The Rangers, meanwhile, still do not have a designated closer, though Alex Claudio is likely the best bet for saves at this point.


John Fay reports that Reds third base prospect Nick Senzel will get a chance to play in the outfield during spring training. (Source: John Fay on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: With three years of team control remaining for current third baseman Eugenio Suarez, the Reds have to find a spot for Senzel. The 22-year-old Senzel had a .973 OPS at Double-A Pensacola in 2017 and will likely make his big league debut at some point in 2018. This could potentially speed up that process and enhance his value with multi-position eligibility.


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.


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.


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.


Gorkys Hernandez looked like a possible center field candidate after Dernard Span was swapped when the Giants acquired Evan Longoria. He was for awhile, their only center fielder. Enter Andrew McCutchen and Austin Jackson, who are two players capible of starting in center. When Jackson was added as a "fourth outfield", it spurned the question, who is the third outfielder? Rookie Steven Duggar seems to be the franchises hope. Also in the running for outfield playing time is last year's starting left fielder, Jerrett Parker, as well Austin Slater, and Mac Williamson.

Fantasy Impact: Gorkys is hoping for a spot on the team and will probably have a lesser roll.


When Austin Jackson signed with the Giants, it appeared they had their needed new center fielder. GM Bobby Evans and Executive Vice President, Brian Sabean, both called Jackson a great addition as depth, and an excellent fourth outfielder, 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, with six HRs in 164 ABs. With the January 30th addition of Gregor Blanco to the outfield mix, this will allow Duggar to not be forced into a platoon unless he's ready. (Source: Mercury News)

Fantasy Impact: It's yet to be seen if Duggar can handle major league pitching, but he looks to have the chance. Watch spring training numbers carefully, but he could be a breakout youngster.


Travis Shaw has been the subject of trade rumors over the last few days, with the Yankees, Mets, and Braves speculated as landing spots for the slugger. The Brewers are reportedly in on free agent third baseman Mike Moustakas, which would make Shaw available. (Source: Jim Bowden on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: These are merely rumors at this point, and a trade seems unlikely, but Shaw flourished in his first season with Milwaukee, hitting a career high 31 home runs in 606 PAs, so a trade may not be the best thing for his value. Miller Park is known to favor left-handed power, so a move to Atlanta or the Mets would be a park downgrade, while the Yankees would probably be a wash.


According to Buster Olney of ESPN, the Mets have reached out to the veteran first baseman. He was recently released by the Atlanta Braves on Monday, after being traded by the Los Angeles Dodgers. (Source: ESPN)

Fantasy Impact: The Mets want to send Dominic Smith to the minors for more development. Gonzalez could be a low cost fill-in, until Smith is ready for a full-time role. Gonzalez only played 71 games last season.


According to Dallas Morning News reporter Gerry Fraley, the Mets would be interested in signing the 1st baseman, who has ties with Mets manager Mickey Callaway. Callaway was the former pitching coach for the Cleveland Indians. (Source: Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: The Mets are not alone in their pursuit of Napoli. The Minnesota Twins are also keen in signing the power hitting 1st baseman. As a right handed batter, Napoli hit .193 with 29 home runs last season.


According to the New York Post, Stanton has placed the New York Yankees in his short list of preferred destinations. However, Stanton could be swayed to join the San Francisco Giants, if the team succeeds in signing Shohei Ohtani. Apparently, Stanton's list now includes the Los Angeles Dodgers, the New York Yankees, the Chicago Cubs and the Houston Astros. (Source: New York Post)

Fantasy Impact: Stanton in the Bronx would significantly boost his numbers, as well as the Yankees lineup. The Yankees could have the best offense in baseball that features Gary Sanchez, Aaron Judge and Stanton in the heart of their lineup.


According the Long Island Newsday, the Mets and Bruce have expressed interest in a reunion. He could play first base, while Dominic Smith goes back to the minors. (Source: Newsday)

Fantasy Impact: Bruce finished the season hitting .254 with 36 home runs and 101 RBIs. If he plays at first base, then he'll be part of a potent lineup that features Michael Conforto and Yoenis Cespesdes. However, it would make little sense if he is brought back to play the outfield as the Mets already have enough starters to play the outfield.


According to Jon Morosi via Twitter, the Mets have had preliminary discussions on an Ian Kinster trade. it's still unclear what the Mets will offer to get the veteran second baseman. (Source: Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: The 35 year old Detroit Tigers veteran had 22 home runs and 14 steals for the Tigers. He'll likely bat near the top of the Mets' lineup should the trade go through. He'll have a lot of run potential with sluggers Michael Conforto and Yoenis Cespedes hitting right behind him.


According to Mike Puma of the New York Post, the Mets are looking to add depth to their bullpen by signing free agent Bryan Shaw. (Source: Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: The Cleveland Indians reliever appeared in 79 games last season, striking out 73 batters in 76.2 innings. He had a 3.52 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP, and would likely serve as a setup man for closer Jeurys Familia.


With the Mets showing interest in Carlos Santana, they have shown their lack of confidence in Smith's ability to handle first base duties for the team. According to the New York Post, the Mets are considering dealing him to another club to bolster their lineup or sending him back to Triple-A. (Source: NY Post)

Fantasy Impact: In 49 games last season, Smith struck out 49 times in 167 at-bats. He also hit for a paltry .198 with a slugging of .395. If dealt, he'll likely be part of a package (likely one of the Mets starting pitchers).


According to the New York Post, the Mets consider the 31-year-old slugger as a "difference-maker." Santana's ability to hit on both sides of the plate would prove valuable, and bolster a lineup that already includes Michael Conforto and Yoenis Cespedes. (Source: NY Post)

Fantasy Impact: The Mets have strong competition for Carlos Santana, who posted 23 homers with 79 RBIs for the Cleveland Indians. He'll likely hit in the cleanup spot, sandwiched by Cespedes and Conforto. If the Mets do sign him, Santana could have a big year playing in New York.


According to ESPN, the Mets are considering a strong pursuit of Japanese phenom Shohei Otani. The 23-year old is a rare prospect who can pitch and hit at a high level, and has been dubbed as the modern day Babe Ruth in Japan. (Source: ESPN)

Fantasy Impact: The Mets are looking to trim down their payroll of $155 million, yet are seeking ways to bolster their roster. Otani would only cost a signing bonus of $3.5 million, which is a bargain. If he was an MLB player, he could easily command a contract of $200+ million.