Fantasy Baseball News

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The Athletics have re-signed Beau Taylor to a minor league contract. (Source: Susan Slusser on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Taylor was used up at Triple-A for most of last year, he slashed .248/.360/.348 with three homers. He could have a role in the Majors this year with Oakland still looking for their starting catcher.


Craig Kimbrel will test free agency after rejecting a qualifying offer from the Red Sox. (Source: MLBPA on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: This is likely the last significant contract for Kimbrel, who remained one of the game's top relievers in 2018. There are plenty of teams looking for bullpen help, and Kimbrel will most likely retain his role as closer regardless of where he lands. His best bet would probably be a reunion with the Red Sox, but his value will be determined by his landing spot this offseason.


Bryce Harper has become a free agent after turning down a qualifying offer from the Nationals. (Source: MLBPA on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: It was reported recently that Harper also turned down a 10-year, $300 million offer from Washington prior to the end of the regular season. As a result, we can expect one of the largest contracts in MLB history for Harper, if not the largest. He'll continue to be one of the top players in fantasy baseball, but his overall value will be determined by his landing spot this offseason.


Dallas Keuchel has declined the Astros' qualifying offer, meaning he'll hit the free agent market. (Source: MLBPA on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Keuchel signing elsewhere will net the Astros a pick. Despite the required compensation and Keuchel's regression, he is likely to remain a highly-targeted arm this offseason. His ultimate landing spot will determine his fantasy value.


Yasmani Grandal declined the Dodgers' qualifying offer on Monday. (Source: Fabian Ardaya on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Grandal's teammate, Hyun-Jin Ryu, was the only player to accept a qualifying offer, so Grandal will hit the open market. Despite being 30 years old, his market should be robust, as several teams are in desperate need of a catcher, particularly one who is coming off a 24-homer season.


Patrick Corbin declined the Diamondbacks' qualifying offer on Monday, as expected. (Source: Jon Heyman on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: After a banner season, Corbin is in line for a hefty multi-year deal. The Yankees are reportedly interested in signing the lefty, and a move to a small park in the American League would hit Corbin's value a bit.


A.J. Pollock declined the Diamondbacks' qualifying offer on Monday. (Source: Jon Heyman on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: The move was expected, as Pollock should have plenty of suitors on the open market. His injury history should likely keep the length of his deal in check, but he's a rare power-speed combination that should garner a lot of interest from several teams.


The Pirates and Jung-Ho Kang have agreed on a one-year contract. (Source: Bill Brink on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Kang should platoon with Colin Moran at third base this season. Although he provided fantasy production when he played, it's been nearly two years since he appeared in a Major League game. Don't expect much from him in 2019 other than in NL-only formats.


The Rays and Mariners are finalizing a deal that would send Mallex Smith to Seattle in exchange for Mike Zunino and Guillermo Heredia. (Source: Jeff Passan on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Smith can play all three outfield positions, and is likely just the first low-cost addition for the Mariners this offseason. Smith offers blazing speed (he stole 40 bags last year) and a solid batting average, and nothing about his prospects should change with the move.


The Rays and Mariners are finalizing a deal that would send Mike Zunino and Guillermo Heredia to Tampa Bay in exchange for Mallex Smith. (Source: Jeff Passan on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: The deal is not official yet, but all signs point to it going through at some point on Thursday. Zunino has substantial power, having hit 45 home runs over the past two seasons, but his batting average is prohibitively low, even for a catcher. The change in ballpark should mean little, as both his former and new stadium favor pitchers.


The Yankees have signed CC Sabathia to a one-year, $8 million deal, according to Mark Feinsand. (Source: Mark Feinsand on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Sabathia, who had a clean-up procedure on his knee after the season, pitched well for the Yankees last year. Although his 3.65 ERA and 1.31 WHIP won't win you many leagues, he retains a decent strikeout rate, making him worthy of a spot in your rotation in AL-only formats, at least.


Trevor Rosenthal has signed a one-year deal with the Nationals worth a guaranteed $7 million. (Source: MLB.com)

Fantasy Impact: The deal includes incentives similar to Greg Holland's from last year that could increase the total deal to $28 million over two seasons. Rosenthal missed all of 2018 after undergoing Tommy John surgery roughly 14 months ago. He showcased his ability for teams recently and touched 100 mph. At this point, Rosenthal would be on track to set up for closer Sean Doolittle along with fellow recent acquisition Kyle Barraclough.


The Indians did not extend Michael Brantley a qualifying offer. (Source: Zack Meisel on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Brantley will hit free agency at an excellent time, after batting .309 with an .832 OPS and staying mostly healthy for the season. The Indians still reportedly have interest in bringing him back, but he'll garner plenty of interest on the open market.


The Rangers declined Robinson Chirinos' option, electing to pay him a $100,000 buyout. (Source: Glenn Fraley on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Chirinos can now become a free agent, and he should have plenty of suitors. The veteran batted just .222 last season but did pop 18 home runs in just 113 games. Wherever he signs, he'll likely continue to fall outside the range of startable catchers other than in two-catcher formats.


The Astros did not extend a qualifying offer to Charlie Morton. (Source: Jake Kaplan on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: This was mildly unexpected, as Morton had a fine season. The lack of a qualifying offer makes him a more attractive free agent candidate, likely on a short-term deal somewhere. If he moves to the National League, his value should only increase.


The Cubs have reportedly traded Drew Smyly to the Rangers, according to Jerry Crasnick. (Source: Jerry Crasnick on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: This move was mostly about finances, both because the Cubs wanted to clear Smyly's $7 million salary to exercise Cole Hamels' option, and because the Rangers were on the hook for Hamels' $6 million buyout if the Cubs did not exercise the option. Smyly has not pitched in the big leagues in two seasons, and should not be much more than a late-round pick in deep leagues this season, assuming he is healthy.


The Cubs have reportedly exercised Cole Hamels' $20 million option, according to Jerry Crasnick. (Source: Jerry Crasnick on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: This is good news for Hamels' fantasy outlook, as he pitched to a 2.36 ERA with the Cubs last season, as opposed to a 4.72 ERA with the Rangers. Although his raw stuff continues to diminish, he should once again be a useful fantasy starter in 2019, roughly in the 30s to 40s for starting pitchers in pre-season rankings.


Boston Red Sox ace Chris Sale had his 2019 team option picked up by the team on Tuesday. President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski added that Sale should not need offseason surgery and is expected to be 100% for Spring Training with just rest. (Source: Christopher Smith on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Picking up Sale $15M option was a no-brainer for the Red Sox, and the early prognosis for his ailing shoulder is great news. Check back for an update on his status as we get closer to Spring Training, but it sounds like a few months of rest are all that Sale will need.


Boston Red Sox utilityman Eduardo Nunez exercised his $5 million option with the Red Sox for 2019 on Thursday. (Source: MLB.com)

Fantasy Impact: While he had a down year offensively in 2018, Nunez was still a valuable utility player for the Red Sox, filling in for the injured Dustin Pedroia for much of the season while also platooning with the young left-handed hitting Rafael Devers at third base at times. He figures to fill a similar role in 2019, although much will depend on the health of Pedroia heading into the season.


Former Brewers catcher Stephen Vogt cleared waivers and became a free agent on Thursday. Vogt missed the entire 2018 season due to shoulder surgery. (Source: MLB.com)

Fantasy Impact: Despite being already 34 years old, Vogt will likely get some looks in free agency as long as he is healthy. While he hit just .233 in 2017, he is a career .251 hitter with 57 home runs across seven MLB seasons.