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Fantasy Baseball News

Rumors

George Springer is continuing to draw interest from the Blue Jays, per Jon Heyman of MLB Network. He noted that the Jays "have checked in on Realmuto but seem more focused now on George Springer, as CF is their greater need." (Source: Jon Heyman on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: The Mets have long been rumored to be the favorites to land Springer and were "engaging" in talks with him back in December. This latest bit of news, if true, could set up a potential bidding war for the coveted center fielder. Now that the arbitration in MLB is over, we could start to see a flurry of free agent signings and trades in the coming days.


Buster Olney of ESPN reports the bidding on free agent RHP Corey Kluber is moving quickly. (Source: Buster Olney on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Olney adds that the bidding will likely reach a conclusion by this weekend. Kluber threw for teams on Wednesday and by all reports looked impressive. The 34-year-old was limited to just one inning last year but perhaps there's still more left in his tank.


According to Jim Bowden, the teams interested in free-agent shortstop Marcus Semien include the Phillies, Reds, Red Sox, and Athletics. Bowden reports that MLB teams like Semien's versatility, durability, and 2020 postseason numbers. (Source: Jim Bowden on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: In 2019, Marcus Semien posted career highs across the board. He totaled 33 home runs, 123 runs, 92 RBI, and ten steals with a .285 batting average. However, in 2020, he struggled with seven home runs, 28 runs, 23 RBI, and four steals with a .223 batting average in 236 plate appearances. Granted that it's a small sample, but Semien totaled two home runs with a .407 batting average in seven postseason games. He's another player who deserves a roster spot on real-life and fantasy teams, and hopefully, he returns to his 2019 form.


According to Andy Martino, it sounds like there's continued speculation that Masahiro Tanaka will pitch in Japan this year. Tanaka also acknowledged that there's a possibility of that happening. (Source: Andy Martino on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: As a free agent, Masahiro Tanaka is coming off of a decent 2020 season. He finished 2020 with a 3.56 ERA and 1.17 WHIP with a 22.3% strikeout rate and a 4.1% walk rate in 48 innings. Throughout Tanaka's major league career, Tanaka has a 3.74 ERA and 1.13 WHIP with a 23.1% strikeout rate and a 4.8% walk rate. He provides healthy ratios with a decent K-BB%. He's a relatively safe and reliable starting pitcher for real life and fantasy squads.


Cole Hamels, 37, intends to pitch this year, but his throwing session for MLB scouts has not been scheduled yet. The San Fransisco Giants are among the teams to express preliminary interest in Hamels, according to Jon Morosi of MLB Network. (Source: Jon Morosi on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Cole Hamels, who missed most of the 2020 season with a lingering shoulder injury, started one game for the Atlanta Braves. Landing spot could ultimately dictate if Hamels winds up flirting with streaming value this season.


Andrew Benintendi, who's been heavily involved in trade rumors over the last few weeks, would "shock" a rival executive if he was not traded before the end of the weekend, per Mark Feinsand. (Source: https://twitter.com/Feinsand/status/1349164460829716481)

Fantasy Impact: Multiples teams, including the A's, Astros, Rangers, and Marlins have been linked to Benintendi over the last few weeks. His market is really heating up and this latest rumor make it sound as if a deal is imminent before the end of the week. Boston is just looking for the best return at this point. Despite his recent struggles, he's still just 26-years-old and is under team-control through the 2022 season. Stay tuned.


Jesse Rogers of ESPN reports free agent reliever Brad Hand is discussing multi-year deals with teams right now. (Source: Jesse Rogers on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Liam Hendriks received $54 million guaranteed on Monday night, so we might finally get some more action among free agent relievers. No MLB team claimed Hand off waivers when he was available for $10 million on a one-year deal, so it's interesting to hear that he's now discussing multi-year deals. Perhaps teams misread the reliever market back in the Fall. Hand was once again fantastic during the shortened 2020 campaign.


Tim Brown of Yahoo reports free agent INF DJ LeMahieu told his representatives to begin negotiations with other clubs. (Source: Yahoo Sports)

Fantasy Impact: The expectation all along has been that LeMahieu would re-sign with the Yankees. However, so far they don't seem interested in meeting his asking price. Brown reports LeMahieu wants more than Josh Donaldson's four-year, $92 million deal from last offseason. LeMahieu has been fantastic the past two seasons, but MLB teams have mostly been reluctant to spend so far this winter. Perhaps another team will begin to aggressively pursue LeMahieu, which will force the Yankees to consider how badly they want to retain him.


Jon Heyman of MLB Network reports the Nationals continue to express interest in Reds 3B Eugenio Suarez. (Source: Jon Heyman on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: However, Heyman adds that Washington doesn't want to part with top RHP prospects Jackson Rutledge and Cade Cavalli, which reportedly makes a deal unlikely. Cincinnati seems pretty interested in selling off players at the moment, so it wouldn't be a total shock if they ultimately lower their asking price.


The Padres are working on a contract extension with star shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. According to Jon Heyman and Jessica Kleinschmidt, Tatis' contract extension could be 11 years and $320 million. (Source: Jon Heyman on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: With 2019 and 2020 combined, Fernando Tatis Jr. totaled 24 doubles, eight triples, 39 home runs, 111 runs, 98 RBI, and 27 stolen bases. He also slashed .301/.374/.582. Tatis crushed the ball in 2020 with an average exit velocity, hard-hit rate, and barrel rate that all ranked in the 100th percentile. He also ranked 2nd with a 100.2 mph average exit velocity on FB/LD in 2020. Overall, he proved that he's one of the best players in baseball.


Jeff Passan of ESPN reports the Mets are reportedly "deep into talks" to acquire Indians star SS Francisco Lindor. (Source: Jeff Passan on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Check back shortly for the fantasy impact.


Free agent Kolten Wong is still a priority for the St. Louis Cardinals. They "maintain interest in bringing" him back, despite declining his $12.5 million option back in November, per Jon Heyman of MLB Network. (Source: Jon Heyman on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Heyman added that the option decline was more about the price than anything and that the Cards still like him. Wong put up a .265/.350/.326 batting line to along with one home run, 16 RBI, and five stolen bases over 181 at-bats in 2020. He also took home his second-consecutive gold glove. The Cardinals are the only team Wong has ever known and they have a good shot to bring him back.


Jon Heyman of MLB Network reprots free agent RHP Trevor Bauer is seeking a five or six years deal for $36 million to $40 million per season. (Source: Jon Heyman on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Heyman adds that the market is slow, which is understandable as many organizations have had to cut costs this year amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The record AAV for a starting pitcher was set by Bauer's "rival" Gerrit Cole at $36 million last offseason.


Dennis Lin of The Athletic writes that it's "a possibility" Kirby Yates re-signs with the Padres. (Source: The Athletic)

Fantasy Impact: Yates made just six appearances in 2020 before undergoing surgery to have bone chips removed from his elbow. He was viewed as one of the top closers in baseball as recently as 2019, so it's a bit surprising we haven't heard more rumors about him. He'll turn 34 before the '21 campaign gets underway.


Catcher Wilson Contreras is being "extensively" shopped by the Cubs, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today. The 28-year-old is set to earn at least $5 million in arbitration. (Source: Bobby Nightengale on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: After dealing star pitcher Yu Darvish, the Cubs don't appear to be done with their offseason moves. Contreras is still under team control for two more seasons and is a solid option for any team that misses out on the J.T. Realmuto sweepstakes.


Mark Feinsand of MLB.com reports Yu Darvish is heading to the Padres as part of a seven player trade. (Source: Mark Feinsand on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Feinsand notes that C Victor Caratini is also headed to the Padres. Zach Davies, SS Reginald Preciado, OF Owen Caissie, OF Ismael Mena and SS Yeison Santana are going back to the Cubs. This is a bit of an underwhelming package in terms of top prospects, but we'll wait and see if there are any additional names involved.


RHP Joe Musgrove is "drawing keen trade interest" according to Jon Heyman of MLB Network. The list of interested teams has expanded in the wake of Blake Snell being traded to San Diego. (Source: Jon Heyman on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Musgrove has been linked to trade rumors since the offseason began and it would make sense that the field of interested teams has expanded recently. The 28-year-old registered a 3.86 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, and 55:16 K/BB ratio across 39 2/3 innings for the Pirates in 2020. He would be a solid addition for any contending club looking to beef up their starting rotation.


Free agent Kike Hernandez is getting pursued by the Boston Red Sox, who have a "strong interest" in him, according to Chris Cotillo of MassLive.com (Source: Chris Cotillo on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Hernandez would be a nice fit for the Red Sox as he offers defensive versatility and can mash left-handed pitching. He only slashed .230/.270/.410 with five home runs and 20 RBI last season for the Dodgers but he came up clutch in multiple spots during LA's run to a World Series title.


The Washington Nationals are "definitely" open to trading Carter Kieboom, according to Britt Ghiroli of The Athletic. (Source: Britt Ghiroli on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: This news comes as a bit of a surprise as Nationals manager Davey Martinez gave Kieboom a vote of confidence earlier this month when he said the third base job was his to lose. Perhaps the Nats have seen enough of Kieboom after a disappointing start to his career (.181/.309/.232 batting line over 138 at-bats). It wasn't that long ago that the 23-year-old was considered a top prospect so he should be an attractive piece on the trade market. Ghiroli added that Cade Cavalli and Jackson Rutledge, Washington's last two top draft picks, are not on the table.


Free agent pitcher Adam Wainwright is drawing interest from the Kansas City Royals, per Jon Morosi of MLB Network. (Source: Jon Morosi on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Morosi mentioned that the Royals "don't appear to be frontrunners to sign him" but there is interest due to Wainwright's ties to current Royals manager and former Cards manager Mike Matheny. Waino had a resurgent 2020 season in St. Louis, posting a 3.15 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, and a 54:15 K/BB ratio across 65 1/3 innings (10 starts). It's likely the Cardinals would try and re-sign the veteran but KC would be a nice fit as well.