Thu, Jul 9th 5:23pm EDT
By Brendan Tuma
J.T. Realmuto told reporters Thursday that extension talks with the Phillies have not progressed since the shutdown. (Source: Jim Salisbury on Twitter)
Fantasy Impact: This isn't a huge surprise since Phillies GM Matt Klentak said back in March that discussions would be tabled. Philadelphia traded prized-prospect RHP Sixto Sanchez to the Marlins in exchange for Realmuto prior to the 2019 season. They likely hope to retain him beyond 2020.
Andrew Vaughn was seen taking reps at third base during workouts this week. (Source: Scott Merkin on Twitter)
Fantasy Impact: Vaughn had taken grounders at third base and even shortstop during normal Spring Training to keep him flexible. With Yoan Moncada still away from the team, Vaughn could see the occasional appearance at third. Moncada is expected to be with the team soon, so there's nothing actionable here yet.
Marco Gonzales will toss the first game of the 2020 season for the Mariners, per manager Scott Servais. (Source: Corey Brock on Twitter)
Fantasy Impact: Gonzales was the "ace" of the Mariners' staff last year, so this announcement comes as no surprise. Gonzales provides volume, which is important in an unpredictable season. His 10.5% K-BB rate was not impressive, but he keeps the ball in the yard, pitching to a 3.99 ERA last year.
Brad Brach has not yet reported to camp. (Source: Andy Martino on Twitter)
Fantasy Impact: Brach is not in line to close games, even with the Mets saying they are considering a closer-by-committee approach to open the season. His 5.47 ERA and 1.62 WHIP from 2019 shows that he probably won't sniff a fantasy roster this year.
Wed, Jul 8th 1:25pm EDT
By Carmen Maiorano
Chris Bassitt said that he is behind the other starters on the A's due to not having access to facilities or sim games. However, he plans to build up to five or six innings easily. (Source: Alex Coffey on Twitter)
Fantasy Impact: Bassitt is battling for a rotation spot, and would be the next man up if Jesus Luzardo is not ready for his first start after testing positive for COVID-19. Bassitt pitched to a 3.81 ERA over 144 innings, making him an interesting target at the back of fantasy rotations.
DJ Stewart is set to start in left or right field this year, per manager Brandon Hyde. (Source: Jon Meoli on Twitter)
Fantasy Impact: Stewart injured his ankle in 2019, limiting him to 110 games total. This extended layoff allowed him to fully recover. With Trey Mancini out for the season, and Anthony Santander and Dwight Smith Jr. not yet reporting to camp, Stewart is slated to start on Opening Day. Stewart has above-average raw and game power, but his hit tool needs to develop before making an impact in fantasy.
Austin Hays is "set to take on a big role" for the Orioles this year, per manager Brandon Hyde. (Source: Jon Meoli on Twitter)
Fantasy Impact: Hays is set to be the centerfielder this year. With Trey Mancini out for the season and Anthony Santander and Dwight Smith Jr. not yet reporting to camp, Hays should have a long leash. He hit .309 with a .947 OPS and four homers last September, and is likely to outproduce his ADP of 300.
Tony Gonsolin was named a candidate for the Dodgers' 2020 rotation on Sunday. (Source: Ken Gurnick on Twitter)
Fantasy Impact: A starting spot has opened up after David Price announced that he will be opting out of the 2020 season; on Sunday, Dave Roberts suggested that Gonsolin is a candidate to fill that hole. Ross Stripling and Dustin May are also likely candidates for the starting role, and it is possible that all three see starting duties in 2020.
Trevor Bauer could toe the mound every fourth day in the abbreviated 2020 season, according to Reds' pitching coach Derek Johnson. (Source: Bobby Nightengale on Twitter)
Fantasy Impact: Bauer has expressed a preference for pitching in a four-man rotation, and Johnson recently said that dynamic is "100 percent on the table." The Reds are considering several creative scenarios for deploying their pitchers in 2020.
Pablo Sandoval received a vote of confidence from manger Gabe Kapler Sunday. Kapler expressed that Sandoval is healthy and has shown solid hitting tools so far in camp. (Source: Andrew Baggarly on Twitter)
Fantasy Impact: A picture of Sandoval began circulating Saturday, which led some to label him as out-of-shape. Kapler snuffed those comments out Sunday, also noting that Sandoval is a 'good DH candidate' for the Giants in 2020.
Hunter Harvey threw live batting practice on Sunday and 'looked great,' according to manager Brandon Hyde. (Source: Dan Connolly of The Athletic)
Fantasy Impact: Harvey was pushing Mychal Givens for the closer role in Baltimore back in Spring Training, so fantasy owners who were banking on Harvey winning the job have to be happy to hear this. Regardless of who wins the job, the Orioles' bullpen probably won't garner too many saves this year.
Harrison Bader is a candidate to see time as the Cardinals' DH out of the bottom of the order. (Source: Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
Fantasy Impact: Bader could provide speed and power at the bottom of the order. With a crowded outfield, Cardinals' manager Mike Shildt is reportedly looking to use Bader as a DH. The 26-year-old has recorded double-digit home runs and stolen bases in each of the last two campaigns. Bader slashed .205/.314/.366 with 12 homers, 39 RBI, 54 runs scored and 11 stolen bases across 406 plate appearances in 2019.
Edwin Diaz has yet to be formally named the Mets' closer heading into the start of the regular season. Manager Luis Rojas declined to commit to Diaz as the team's closer, admitting "I don't know yet. We'll get there at some point." (Source: Anthony DiComo on Twitter)
Fantasy Impact: Rojas mentioned Diaz, Dellin Betances, Seth Lugo, and Jeurys Familia as potential options for the ninth inning, and also hinted at a 'closer by committee' approach. Diaz should remain the favorite given his track record and what the team gave up to acquire him. Though his 2019 stats (5.59 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, seven blown saves) put him firmly in the hot seat.
OF Mike Trout is considering opting out of the 2020 campaign. “Honestly I don’t feel comfortable about playing in 2020,” said Trout. (Source: Fabian Ardaya on Twitter )
Fantasy Impact: Trout and his wife are expecting their first child in August. “I don’t want to test positive and bring it back to my wife,” Trout added. “I’ve thought hard about this, and still thinking about this. This is a tough time, a tough situation everyone is in.” Trout has made it clear that he will take paternity leave to be with his wife and child. It is unclear at this time if or how many games Trout would miss during the 2020 season. The three-time American League MVP is currently the second overall player in the latest expert consensus rankings.