Fantasy Baseball News

Rumors

Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports the Phillies are in deep and serious negotiations with free agent Bryce Harper. (Source: Bob Nightengale on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Nightengale adds Phillies owner John Middleton doesn’t want to leave Vegas without a deal. Things have been trending in this direction for a while now and it appears a deal might finally be close to happening. Harper is expected to receive more than the $300 million Manny Machado got this past week.


The San Diego Padres have been linked to free agent left-hander Dallas Keuchel. Although he’s considered a longshot, San Diego is interested to a certain degree. (Source: Ken Rosenthal on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Landing with the Friars wouldn’t be the worst-case scenario for Keuchel’s fantasy outlook. Calling spacious Petco Park home and pitching in the NL West could go a long way for the pitch-to-contact hurler. Especially considering the infield defense he would have behind him, including new-comer Manny Machado. In 2018, Keuchel gave up more hits than innings pitched for the first time since 2013. His stock is as low as it’s been for years but linking up with the suddenly new-look Padres could turn things around for the 31-year-old.


Craig Kimbrel has reportedly not lowered his asking price and sources close to Kimbrel believe he will consider sitting out the season if his demands are not met, according to Jim Bowden. (Source: Jim Bowden on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Kimbrel had reportedly been seeking a six-year deal. He remains an elite reliever, but there's no indication that any team has been willing to come close to meeting his demands. With Boston's luxury-tax issues seemingly being a huge impediment to his signing there, Kimbrel's options remain a bit limited. For those drafting soon, drop Kimbrel down at least a few spots in your relief-pitcher rankings with this report.


Dan Hayes of The Athletic reports the Twins are showing serious interest in free agent infielder Marwin Gonzalez. (Source: The Athletic)

Fantasy Impact: Hayes adds the Twins have discussed the parameters of a three-year deal for Gonzalez, who hit .247 with a .733 OPS in 2018. However, the versatile utility man hit .303 with a .907 OPS the year prior. Gonzalez's skillset makes him an appealing option for nearly every major league club.


Newsday's Tim Healey reports the Mets and Jacob deGrom's agents will meet to discuss a possible contract extension. (Source: Newsday)

Fantasy Impact: Both sides have expressed interest in an extension in the past. New York would be buying high on the 30-year-old ace after deGrom posted a 1.70 across 217 innings a season ago. New GM Brodie Van Wagenen has indicated locking up deGrom is one of his top priorities.


Nationals manager Dave Martinez has challenged Trea Turner to be more aggressive stealing bases in 2019. (Source: MASN)

Fantasy Impact: Specifically, Martinez said the team will be in great shape if Turner attempts 75-80 stolen bases this year. Turner went 43-for-52 in steals attempts last year. More attempts would only make Turner even more valuable in fantasy rotisserie leagues. Only four players have attempted 80 thefts over the last decade.


Jimmy Yacabonis is viewed as a starter by Orioles manager Brandon Hyde but could also be used in long relief, Roch Kubatko of MASN Sports reports. (Source: Roch Kubatko on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Yacabonis, 26, has a career 5.04 ERA, and a 1.48 WHIP across 30 1/13 innings pitched. He doesn't appear to be the favorite to win a rotation spot and will have minimal fantasy impact in either role.


Red Sox chairman Tom Werner says the team has had contract extension talks with ace southpaw Chris Sale. (Source: Rob Bradford on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: It doesn't sound like anything is close to being done but both Sale and the Sox have expressed interest in an extension. Sale is a free agent after this season so there might be a sense of urgency to get things done before Spring Training ends. The ace lefty is deservedly being drafted as one of the top hurlers in fantasy baseball.


The Padres have reportedly offered Manny Machado a deal in the eight-year, $250M range. (Source: Jon Heyman on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Machado landing in San Diego could be looked at as a negative for his fantasy stock. However, the Padres are building a young core including Luis Urias and Fernando Tatis Jr. as potential infield mates. Paired with other quality big leaguers such as Wil Myers and Eric Hosmer, the Friars’ lineup would suddenly become a problem for opposing pitchers. The ballpark dimensions are a definite concern but considering the talent Machado possesses, there shouldn’t be much of a drop-off in his production, though a move almost anywhere away from Camden Yards is a downgrade.


Aaron Boone told reporters on Sunday that Aaron Hicks is the front runner to be the Yankees' leadoff hitter this season. (Source: James Wagner on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Boone also said that he'll flirt with Aaron Judge batting leadoff against tough lefties, though that seems unlikely. Hicks batted all over the lineup during his breakout 2018 season, including seeing 146 plate appearances at leadoff (his most of any spot). To the extent he moves to the top of the lineup on a full-time basis, owners should lower their projections for RBI, but increase them for runs.


Dave Martinez told reporters on Saturday that Adam Eaton will be the Nationals' primary leadoff hitter this season. (Source: Brittany Ghiroli on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Although he has played only 118 games over two seasons with the Nationals, Eaton has been a fine option at leadoff when playing, compiling a .394 OBP with the team. If he manages to stay healthy, he should be a fine overall contributor, particularly in the runs category batting atop the Nationals lineup. That's a very big "if," however.


Dave Martinez told reporters on Saturday that Trevor Rosenthal will see save opportunities this season. (Source: Brittany Ghiroli on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Rosenthal, who missed all of 2018 after undergoing Tommy John surgery, impressed clubs during his workout before signing with the Nationals. Sean Doolittle will certainly be the primary closer for Washington, but Martinez's comments suggest that Rosenthal will factor in occasionally. Given Doolittle's performance prior to his injury last season, however, this is more likely Martinez looking to manage Doolittle's workload, rather than a true sea change in the ninth inning.


Blue Jays GM Ross Atkins says "there is no firm timetable" on when Vladimir Guerrero Jr. will arrive to the majors. (Source: Keegan Mathenson on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: There's next to zero chance Vlad Jr. cracks spring training with the big league club as Toronto will undoubtedly prefer to manipulate his service time. Vlad Jr. was likely ready to face big league pitching last summer, but his defense can still use some work. He has an aggressive ADP in fantasy leagues right now but is also considered the best hitting prospect in a long time. It would be a disappointment if he doesn't debut sometime in mid to late April.


New Reds manager David Bell says it's very possible for Nick Senzel to successfully transition to the outfield. (Source: MLB.com)

Fantasy Impact: Senzel has only played second and third base in the minors, which means he's blocked by Scooter Gennett and Eugenio Suarez at the big league level. Cincinnati is giving him the chance to compete for the starting center field job, however, and early indications are he's adjusting well. The 23-year-old will likely begin the year in the minors so the Reds can manipulate his service time, but he won't stay down for long if he shows he can handle the outfield. Senzel is one of the top prospects in all of baseball and will be worth an immediate pickup in all fantasy leagues once he's called up.


Mychal Givens will be used in "high-leverage situations" said Orioles manager Brandon Hyde. He also would not commit to naming him the closer, Joe Trezza of MLB.com reports. (Source: Joe Trezza on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Givens is the favorite to close for the Orioles this season. The Orioles manager also added that he "won't manage the save stat." Givens' fantasy value would take a hit if he is used as a "relief ace" as opposed to a traditional closer. He does have fantasy upside thanks to his high strikeout numbers. Givens has a career 301 strikeouts in 260 innings pitched.


Jose Alvarado has not been named the closer to start camp. Manager Kevin Cash said there is "No urgency" to name a closer. He is in favor of flexibility and lots of options. (Source: Marc Topkin on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Many want to pencil in Alvarado as the closer. Do not fall for that trap. He is a lefty and should see save situations when lefties are due up in the ninth. The door is wide open for anyone to take control over the right handed role. Alvarado will still be a good value after 200 overall because of his ratios and will chip in 10 plus saves but don't expect more than 20.


MLB.com's Mark Sheldon hints new Reds manager David Bell might not use Raisel Iglesias as a traditional closer in 2019. (Source: MLB.com)

Fantasy Impact: Sheldon notes that new Reds pitching coach Derek Johnson comes from Milwaukee where the franchise used their best relievers in the most high leverage situations, regardless of what inning that came in. Until we hear definitively, however, we should still be drafting Iglesias as a top closer in fantasy. His fantasy value would obviously take a hit if the Reds announce he'll be used more as a "relief ace".


MLB.com's Steve Gilbert believes Archie Bradley is the favorite to win Arizona's closing job as we inch closer and closer to spring training. (Source: MLB.com)

Fantasy Impact: Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said back in December that Bradley was the favorite to close in 2019. However, that was before the team signed Greg Holland. There's also a scenario where both pitchers could receive save chances this year depending on game situations. It'll be a situation to monitor in February and March.


Jon Morosi of MLB.com writes the Indians are unlikely to trade ace right-hander Corey Kluber this off-season. (Source: MLB.com)

Fantasy Impact: There were rumblings early in the winter that Cleveland would look into trading Kluber to replenish the farm system and cut payroll. However, the Indians were able to shed some other contracts and now plan to keep Kluber as they look to contend in 2019. Kluber is set to turn 33 this April but is still easily an SP1 in fantasy baseball leagues this year.


Yolbert Sanchez worked out for the Orioles this past week and is now eligible to sign with any Major League ball club. (Source: Jesse Sanchez on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Sanchez, 21, could sign with a team soon or wait until the new international signing period which starts on July 2. The Orioles have $6 million in international spending money and are showing interest in Sanchez. According to Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com, the Cuban shortstop is believed to have a major league ready glove, average to slightly above-average arm as well as an average to slightly above-average running ability.