Recent MLB Player News

Ryan Brasier (toe) returns to Red Sox camp

Boston Red Sox reliever Ryan Brasier (right little toe infection) has returned to Red Sox camp and hopes to resume workouts soon.

What It Means:

Brasier was sent back to Boston earlier this week, but he should have no problem getting ready in time for Opening Day. The 31-year-old right-hander appears to be the current frontrunner for ninth-inning duties.

numberFire's models expect Brasier to convert 18 saves and record a 2.95 ERA with 58 strikeouts over 58 innings in 2019.

Trea Turner attempting 75-80 steals ideal for Nationals

Washington Nationals manager Davey Martinez said Thursday that if shortstop Trea Turner "attempts 75-80 [stolen bases], we’ll be in great shape.”

What It Means:

That would be a pretty big leap after Turner led the National League with 42 steals on 53 attempts last season. Over the last decade, only nine major leaguers have attempted 75-plus steals in a season and only four have attempted 80 or more. Still, the comment is a testament to the sort of upside Turner can provide for fantasy owners.

numberFire’s models expect Turner to bat .278 with 42 steals, 98 runs scored, 65 RBI, and 7 home runs this season.

Source: MASN

Carlos Martinez (shoulder) offseason program displeasing Cardinals

St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Carlos Martinez's (shoulder) offseason training regimen is irking Cardinals president John Mozeliak.

What It Means:

"Obviously, there’s a history with Carlos’ shoulder," said Mozeliak, "and it would be probably in everybody’s best interest if he maintained a constant or perpetual approach to [club-implemented workouts]." The Cardinals placed Martinez on a no-throw program Tuesday morning at camp due to concerns about the strength of his right shoulder, indicating the 27-year-old right-hander may not be ready for the start of the season. He was limited to 118 2/3 innings (18 starts, 15 relief appearances) last season due to multiple upper-arm injuries.

numberFire's models currently expect Martinez to record a 3.70 ERA and 1.27 WHIP with 181 strikeouts and 75 walks across 180 innings this season.

Source: Mark Saxon

Manny Machado reportedly agrees to 10-year, $300 million deal with Padres

The San Diego Padres and infielder Manny Machado have agreed to a 10-year, $300 million contract, reports Mark Feinsand of MLB.com.

What It Means:

The deal will be the largest free-agent contract in the history of American sports once it becomes official, at least until Bryce Harper signs. Machado, 26, slashed .297/.367/.538 with 37 home runs, 107 RBI, 84 runs scored, and 14 steals across 709 plate appearances for the Baltimore Orioles and Los Angeles Dodgers last season.

numberFire's models project Machado for a .295 batting average with 34 dingers, 99 RBI, 90 runs scored, and 13 steals for the Padres in 2019.

Source: MLB.com

Mariners' Mallex Smith (elbow) may miss Japan series

Seattle Mariners center fielder Mallex Smith (right elbow strain) is unlikely to be ready to play the field for games in Japan against the Oakland Athletics on March 20-21.

What It Means:

The Mariners are taking it easy with Smith to start the spring as he continues to recover from his elbow injury, but even if he's not cleared for defensive duties, the 25-year-old could contribute as a designated hitter or pinch-runner in Japan. That said, it wouldn't be surprising if Smith is held out until Seattle's season opener against the Boston Red Sox at home on March 28. He slashed .296/.367/.406 with 40 stolen bases over 141 games (544 plate appearances) last season, adding 65 runs scored, 40 RBI, and 2 homers.

numberFire's models currently expect Smith to bat .271 with 34 steals, 66 runs scored, 4 dingers, and 38 RBI in 2019.

Source: MLB.com

Cardinals' Carlos Martinez (shoulder) not throwing for 2 weeks

St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Carlos Martinez will be on a no-throw program for two weeks in order to strengthen his shoulder.

What It Means:

The positive news is that an MRI taken Monday revealed no structural damage in Martinez's shoulder, but this does create some doubt about the 27-year-old right-hander's availability for the start of the season. Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says Martinez will be re-evaluated on March 5.

numberFire's models currently expect Martinez to record a 3.70 ERA and 1.27 WHIP with 181 strikeouts and 75 walks across 180 innings this season.

Giants' Bruce Bochy to retire after this season

San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy announced Monday that he's retiring after the 2019 season.

What It Means:

Bochy informed his players during a team meeting on Monday morning. He made his managerial debut in 1995 with the San Diego Padres, where he won a National League pennant in 1998. Bochy later joined the Giants in 2007 and went on to win three World Series titles (2010, 2012, 2014). Turning 64 in April, the future Hall of Famer needs 82 more wins to enter the top-10 all-time. Bochy is averaging 80.3 wins per season in his career.

Bochy is 1926-1944 (.498) over 24 seasons.

Angels' Justin Upton dealing with patellar tendinitis

Los Angeles Angels outfielder Justin Upton is dealing with patellar tendinitis in his right knee.

What It Means:

The Angels will take a conservative approach with Upton this spring, but he should be fine for Opening Day. The 31-year-old slashed .257/.344/.463 with 30 home runs and 85 RBI over 613 plate appearances (145 games) last season.

numberFire's models expect Upton to hit .258 with 30 dingers, 86 RBI, 83 runs scored, and 10 steals in 2019.

Craig Kimbrel 'extremely unlikely' to return to Red Sox

The Boston Red Sox are "extremely unlikely" to re-sign closer Craig Kimbrel, club chairman Tom Werner said Monday.

What It Means:

If Kimbrel isn't brought back, the Red Sox will likely turn to Ryan Braiser or Matt Barnes at closer. The right-hander spent the past three seasons in Boston. He turns 31 in May.

Kimbrel converted 42 saves with a 2.74 ERA and 96 strikeouts (31 walks) across 62 1/3 innings for the Red Sox in 2018.

Mike Moustakas reportedly re-signs with Brewers, will try second base

The Milwaukee Brewers and third baseman Mike Moustakas have agreed to a 1-year contract renewal, reports Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.

What It Means:

Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that the deal will pay Moustakas $10 million once finalized. Brewers manager Craig Counsell said Monday that the club will try Moustakas out at second base this spring. The 30-year-old has never played second base in the majors, but if he's comfortable with the switch, Travis Shaw would likely take over at the hot corner for Milwaukee. Moustakas slashed .251/.315/.459 with 28 home runs, 95 RBI, and 66 runs scored across 635 combined plate appearances for the Brewers and Kansas City Royals last season.

numberFire's models expect Moustakas to hit .257 with 28 dingers, 87 RBI, 69 runs scored, and 3 steals in 2019.

Brewers' Mike Moustakas reportedly agrees to one-year deal on Sunday

The Milwaukee Brewers and third baseman Mike Moustakas have reportedly agreed to a one-year contract on Sunday.

What It Means:

Moustakas will remain with the Brewers after reportedly signing a one-year contract on Sunday. Look for the veteran infielder to remain at third while Travis Shaw starts at second base.

In 54 games with Milwaukee last season, Moustakas produced 8 home runs and 33 RBI.

Mallex Smith's (elbow) Opening Day status for Mariners in air

Seattle Mariners outfielder Mallex Smith (right elbow) will be limited the first 7-10 days of spring training, manager Scott Servais said.

What It Means:

The Mariners expect Smith to be an everyday starter in center field and the injury is to his throwing arm, so the club understandably wants to err on the side of caution with his recovery. "I don’t know right now," Servais replied when asked if Smith would be ready for Opening Day. "I don’t know if you are going to have a good idea until he picks up a ball again. We’re just trying to let it calm down." Smith, 25, was acquired in a trade with the Tampa Bay Rays earlier this offseason and is expected to be an elite source of steals in 2019.

Smith slashed .296/.367/.406 with 40 stolen bases over 141 games (544 plate appearances) last season, adding 65 runs scored, 40 RBI, and 2 taters.

Ronald Acuna may lead off for Braves again this season

Atlanta Braves outfielder Ronald Acuna could bat leadoff again this season, manager Brian Snitker said.

What It Means:

"There's a few different ways we could go that are all really good," Snitker said. "We're just going to wait to see where we're at in a couple weeks. All those things will play itself out. You've got to start somewhere with a lineup. Then you kind of adjust and adapt as it goes and as players go, kind of similar to last year." Acuna said he enjoys leading off and would prefer to stay there. The reigning National League Rookie of the Year Award winner posted his best numbers at the top of the order in 2018, with a .328/.409/.634 slash and 1.042 OPS over 301 plate appearances.

The 21-year-old slashed .293/.366/.552 with 26 home runs, 64 RBI, 78 runs scored, and 16 steals across 487 plate appearances during last year's rookie campaign.

Source: MLB.com

Pirates' Jameson Taillon will start on Opening Day

Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Jameson Taillon will be the Opening Day starter against the Cincinnati Reds.

What It Means:

Taillon will be the Pirates' Opening Day starter for the 2019 season after being picked to pitch against the Cincinnati Reds. The Pirates' rotation for the first week after Taillon will be Trevor Williams, Joe Musgrove, and then Chris Archer.

Look for Taillon to build off a successful 2018 season where he pitched to a 14-10 record with a 3.20 ERA and 179 strikeouts.

Orioles sign shortstop Alcides Escobar to minor league contract on Saturday

The Baltimore Orioles signed shortstop Alcides Escobar to a minor league contract on Saturday.

What It Means:

Escobar will join the Orioles after agreeing to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training. Look for Escobar to provide depth at second base and shortstop primarily.

In 140 games last season, Escobar produced 112 hits and 8 stolen bases.

Source: Joe Trezza

Yankees' CC Sabathia will retire after 2019 season

New York Yankees starting pitcher CC Sabathia will retire after the 2019 season.

What It Means:

Sabathia held a press conference on Saturday to announce the 2019 season will be his last. The veteran will head into his 19th year with a career record of 246-153 and 2986 strikeouts in 538 starts.

In ten seasons with the Yankees, Sabathia has pitched to a 129-80 record with 1593 strikeouts.

Source: MLB.com

Yankees' Luis Severino agrees to four-year $40 million dollar extension on Friday

New York Yankees starting pitcher Luis Severino will avoid arbitration after agreeing to a four-year $40 million dollar extension on Friday.

What It Means:

Severino will continue serving as the ace of the Yankees' starting staff after agreeing to a four-year extension on Friday. Look for the 24-year old to build off his strong 2018 season despite struggling after the All-Star break.

In 32 starts last season, Severino went 19-8 with a 3.39 ERA and 220 strikeouts.

Source: MLB.com

Nick Senzel could start for Reds in 2019

Cincinnati Reds manager David Bell said that it is "very possible" that prospect Nick Senzel will be the starting center fielder.

What It Means:

Senzel has never played in the outfield, but the Reds are confident he can make the transition. "Having never seen him on the field, my first impression was, 'This guy can really move. He's an athlete. This is more than possible,'" Bell told reporters. Senzel may have to wait until mid-to-late April to make his MLB debut due to service time rules, but it shouldn't be long before the 23-year-old becomes an everyday player for Cincinnati.

Senzel slashed .310/.378/.509 in 44 games (193 plate appearances) at Triple-A Louisville in 2018 before suffering a season-ending finger injury in June.

Yangervis Solarte, Giants reportedly agree to terms

The San Francisco Giants have agreed to terms on a contract with infielder Yangervis Solarte, reports Robert Murray of The Athletic.

What It Means:

Murray adds that the deal is pending a physical. Solarte primarily played third base while appearing in 122 games for the Toronto Blue Jays last season, but he can contribute all over the infield. Solarte turns 32 in July.

Solarte slashed .226/.277/.378 with 17 home runs, 54 RBI, and 50 runs scored across 506 plate appearances in 2018.

Blue Jays' Vladimir Guerrero Jr.'s MLB debut undetermined

Toronto Blue Jays top prospect Vladimir Guerrero Jr.'s MLB debut has "no firm timeline," general manager Ross Atkins said Thursday.

What It Means:

Guerrero Jr. likely won't debut until mid-to-late April due to baseball's service time rules. He turns 20 next month.

Vlad Jr. turned in a phenomenal .381/.437/.636 batting line with 20 home runs, 78 RBI, and 67 runs scored over 95 games (408 plate appearances) last season across four different levels of the Blue Jays' minor league system.

Jacob deGrom named Mets' Opening Day starter

New York Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom will be the club's Opening Day starter, manager Mickey Callaway announced Thursday.

What It Means:

deGrom is the reigning National League Cy Young Award winner and coming off an absolutely dominant campaign, so it would have been shocking if Callaway named anyone else. The Mets tee the 2019 season off in Washington against the Nationals on March 28.

The 30-year-old right-hander led the majors with a 1.70 ERA last season, the sixth-lowest ERA among qualified pitchers since Major League Baseball lowered the mound in 1969. He also struck out 269 batters over 217 innings.

Source: Mike Puma

Angels' Shohei Ohtani (elbow) not expected to be ready to DH until May

Los Angeles Angels pitcher/designated hitter Shohei Ohtani (elbow) is not expected to be ready to play until May, per manager Brad Ausmus.

What It Means:

Ohtani underwent Tommy John surgery on his elbow this offseason and will not be able to pitch in 2019. He will, however, be able to remain the Angel's primary DH, but not until May at the earliest. Albert Pujols and Justin Bour will likely cover first base and DH until Ohtani is ready to play.

Ohtani slashed .285/.361/.564 with 22 homers, 61 RBI, and 10 steals in 367 plate appearances in 2018.

Free agent Bryce Harper currently not considering short-term deals

Free-agent outfielder Bryce Harper will not sign or even consider any short-term deals, per Jon Heyman of MLB Netowrk.

What It Means:

With pitchers and catchers already have reported, the saga of Harper and free agency continues to drag on. The outfielder has been tied to the Philadelphia Phillies, San Francisco Giants, San Diego Padres, and Washington Nationals but there appears to be no clear favorite at the moment. Harper is looking for a 10-year, $300M offer, but seems unlikely to get one now.

Harper slashed .249/.393/.496 with 34 home runs, 100 RBI, and a league-high 130 walks over 695 plate appearances in 2018.

Francisco Lindor (calf) expected to be out nearly two months

Cleveland Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor will reportedly miss about the next two months after suffering a calf strain.

What It Means:

The Indians said Lindor "is expected to return to Major League game activity in 7-to-9 weeks," and opening Day is in exactly seven weeks from now. He'll be cutting it close based on this timeline, but there's enough time for him to recover in time to start the season healthy.

In 158 games last season, Lindor hit for a .277 batting average with 38 home runs, 129 runs, 92 RBI, 25 stolen bases and an OPS of .871.

Astros' Carlos Correa awarded $5 million in arbitration

Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa has won his arbitration case against the team.

What It Means:

Correa was offered $4.25 million for his services this season, but after taking the case to mediators, he was awarded the full $5 million he requested.

In 110 games last season, Correa hit for a .239 batting average with 15 home runs, 60 runs, 65 RBI and an OPS of .728.

Source: Jon Heyman

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