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Fighting Chance Fantasy (ID# 41631)
  • Pierzynski and Flowers to share catching duty
    David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that A.J. Pierzynski and Tyler Flowers will share the catching duties for the Braves in 2016.

    Advice: When asked about it, Pierzynski said that the ideal situation would be to have each catch 80 games. The 39-year-old is coming off a nice season where he slashed .300/.339/.430 with nine homers and 49 RBI in 113 contests. It's discouraging news for his fantasy value if he's only going to play half the time, especially in deeper two-catcher formats. Today, 1:51 pm
  • Tanaka looks good in first bullpen session
    According to Yankees' pitching coach Larry Rothschild, Masahiro Tanaka (elbow) looked good in his first bullpen session on Sunday.

    Advice: Tanaka, throwing off a mound for the first time since undergoing offseason surgery to remove a bone chip in his elbow, threw around 20 pitches in the session. The Yankees believe that he's right where he should be at this point in his recovery, though his stamina is slightly behind the other starters in camp. Today, 1:05 pm
  • Yadier Molina (thumb) has cast removed
    Yadier Molina has had the cast removed from his surgically-repaired left thumb.

    Advice: Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak said in an interview on KMOX 1120 in St. Louis on Sunday that the club should know within the next 2-3 weeks whether Molina is on pace to be ready by Opening Day. The catcher had to undergo a second procedure on his thumb in December after an operation in October didn't take. Even if Yadi makes it back for the opener, his offense has declined the last couple years and coming back from a twice-repaired thumb won't help. Today, 9:45 am
  • Astros have talked extension with Keuchel
    Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle reports that the Astros and Dallas Keuchel "have had substantial talks about extensions... but to no avail."

    Advice: Keuchel's agent, Darek Braunecker, said in early January that the two sides had not had any discussions about a long-term deal this offseason, but it sounds like they may have engaged in talks between then and now. Either way, it doesn't appear that any traction was ever gained. Keuchel will be paid $7.25 million in 2016, which is a record one-year deal for a first-time arbitration-eligible player. Today, 7:40 am
  • Astros, Castro have discussed extension
    Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle reports that the Astros have discussed a two-year deal and a three-year deal plus an option with Jason Castro this winter.

    Advice: Obviously neither proposal worked, and the two sides wound up going to an arbitration hearing last week (the Astros won and will pay Castro $5 million in 2016). The fact that a hearing was needed despite just a $250,000 difference in figures would seem to indicate that a long-term contract isn't in the cards anytime soon. Castro is slated for free agency after 2016. Today, 7:36 am
  • Jenrry Mejia claims he didn't use PEDs
    Jenrry Mejia told Hector Gomez of Z101 in the Dominican Republic that he is "certain I did not use anything (illegal)."

    Advice: "It’s not like they say," Mejia said in Spanish. "I am certain I did not use anything. I have a lot of faith. I have to clear my name." It's frankly hard to believe Mejia after he was given a lifetime ban by Major League Baseball following his third failed PED test over the last year. But, he'll eventually have a chance to defend himself, as he can apply for reinstatement in one year. The suspension must last at least two years, though, and in all likelihood Mejia's career in baseball is over. Today, 6:58 am
  • Red Sox interested in Franklin Morales
    Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe reports that the Red Sox have interest in Franklin Morales.

    Advice: It would be on a minor league contract. Morales held a 3.90 ERA over two-and-a-half seasons for the Red Sox from 2011-13 and put up a 3.18 mark over 67 appearances last season for the Royals. The southpaw has limited left-handed batters to a .210/.288/.326 line in his career. Today, 6:38 am
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  • Late April/early May for Brantley (shoulder)?
    Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer writes that a date for Michael Brantley's (shoulder) projected return is "still hazy," but it could happen "maybe late April or early May."

    Advice: Brantley still isn't sure when he'll be allowed to begin a hitting program following November labrum surgery on his right shoulder, so any timetable is educated guesswork at this point. A clearer picture on Brantley's status should be available during spring training. The 28-year-old will be a risky fantasy investment this spring as he works his way back from major surgery. Rajai Davis is slated to hold down left field for the Indians until Brantley is ready. Today, 6:28 am
  • Whitley (Tommy John) on same schedule as Cobb
    Chase Whitley (elbow) should return around the same time as Alex Cobb.

    Advice: Both are recovering from Tommy John surgery and should be back around late July. Whitley has made 16 starts for the Yankees over his last two seasons but may have to settle for a long relief role in Tampa. The 26-year-old owns a thoroughly underwhelming 5.02 ERA across 95 big-league innings. Yesterday, 8:52 pm
  • Alex Cobb (elbow) aiming to return in late July
    Alex Cobb (elbow) is hoping to return in late July.

    Advice: He's now 10 months removed from Tommy John surgery. Cobb has posted an ERA lower than three in each of his last two healthy seasons, though it remains to be seen how effective he'll be post-surgery. The right-hander's return will likely bump either Matt Moore or Erasmo Ramirez from the starting rotation. Yesterday, 7:30 pm
  • Red Sox to use Roenis Elias in long relief
    Roenis Elias is a favorite for the Red Sox's long relief role.

    Advice: Boston acquired Elias from Seattle as part of the Wade Miley trade earlier this offseason. Elias has mostly been used as a starter throughout his career but Boston's rotation is already set. Knuckleballer Steven Wright was an innings eater out of the pen last season and could occupy a similar role for the Sox in 2016. Yesterday, 6:59 pm
  • Alderson hoping Wright plays 130 games
    Mets GM Sandy Alderson said his goal is for David Wright to play 130 games this season.

    Advice: Wright has only done that once in his last three seasons. "We’re gonna make sure that he’s not overworked," said Alderson. "So it’s important for us to find somebody who can play 30 games or so at third base when he’s not in there." Along with Wright, Asdrubal Cabrera, Wilmer Flores and Neil Walker should also see time at the hot corner this year. Yesterday, 6:27 pm
  • Carlos Santana to see time at outfield?
    Indians manager Terry Francona hinted Carlos Santana could play in the outfield this season.

    Advice: Santana has seen time at catcher and third base in the past but last year he was limited to only playing first base. Though Santana will still get most of his reps at first, it's possible he could make a few outfield cameos with Michael Brantley (torn labrum) sidelined for the first month. Infielders Michael Martinez, Mike Napoli and Jose Ramirez could also fill in at outfield if needed. Yesterday, 6:11 pm
  • Indians likely to carry five outfielders
    Collin Cowgill and Joey Butler are the favorites to land Cleveland's last two outfield spots.

    Advice: With Michael Brantley (labrum) likely out for the first month, the Indians will have to mix and match at outfield. Rajai Davis, Abraham Almonte and Lonnie Chisenhall are assured roster spots, but the rest of Cleveland's outfield is up for grabs. Cowgill has 308 games of big league experience while Butler saw a career-high 257 at-bats for Tampa Bay last season. Michael Choice, Robbie Grossman and Shane Robinson will also be at Indians camp. Yesterday, 5:58 pm
  • Hendricks, Warren vying for last rotation spot
    Kyle Hendricks and Adam Warren are expected to compete for the No. 5 spot in the Cubs' starting rotation.

    Advice: The other spots will be filled by reigning Cy Young winner Jake Arrieta, Jon Lester, John Lackey and Jason Hammel. Hendricks was quietly solid for the Cubs last year, finishing with an ERA under four and a respectable 8.35 K/9. Warren, who was acquired in the Starlin Castro trade, spent most of last season bouncing back and forth between the bullpen and the starting rotation. Clayton Richard could be a fallback option for Chicago if Hendricks and Warren fail to impress in spring training. Yesterday, 4:46 pm
  • Aaron Harang an option for Marlins?'s Joe Frisaro suggests the Marlins could target free agent right-hander Aaron Harang to fill out their starting rotation.

    Advice: Frisaro also lists Tim Lincecum, Cliff Lee, Kyle Lohse and Alfredo Simon as possible rotation candidates. Harang previously hinted that 2015 may have been his last season though he has yet to officially announce his retirement. The veteran right-hander began last year strong but faded in the second half with an ugly 6.11 ERA after the All-Star break. Yesterday, 1:42 pm
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  • Padres may wait to trade James Shields
    According to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, the "feeling among a few executives" is that the Padres won't look to move James Shields until the trade deadline.

    Advice: Shields allowed a league-leading 33 home runs last season. That stat is especially alarming because 16 of his 33 starts came at the famously pitcher-friendly Petco Park. Shields will need to put together a strong first half to rebuild his trade value. The right-hander is entering the second year of a four-year contract. Yesterday, 1:17 pm
  • Pineda plans on throwing 200 innings in 2016
    Michael Pineda said Saturday that his goal for the 2016 season is to pitch 200 innings.

    Advice: "My biggest goal this season is, No. 1, try to be healthy for pitching the whole year" the 27-year-old right-hander said. He has come back nicely after missing the entire 2013 and 2014 seasons due to injuries, and now trains year-round at a gym that he constructed near his home in the Dominican Republic. Pineda logged 160 2/3 innings for the Yankees in 2015, posting a 4.37 ERA (2.95 xFIP), 1.23 WHIP and 156/21 K/BB ratio. Yesterday, 12:30 pm
  • Bumgarner to take the hill on Opening Day
    Giants manager Bruce Bochy confirmed the obvious on Saturday, tabbing Madison Bumgarner as his Opening Day starter.

    Advice: The announcement comes as no surprise as the 26-year-old is the Giants' ace and one of the top hurlers in the league. He owns a terrific 3.04 ERA, 1.11 WHIP and 8.7 K/9 through his first 1171 major league innings and looks poised to get even better in 2016. Yesterday, 11:45 am
  • Avisail Garcia could be expendable in Chicago
    Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports believes that Avisail Garcia could be expendable in Chicago if they add another outfielder such as Dexter Fowler.

    Advice: The White Sox have been looking to add a big bat to their outfield all winter, either through trade or free agency, and the fact that they continue to pursue those options doesn't bode well for their opinion of Garcia. While he has a decent blend of power and speed, his tools haven't translated as expected at the big league level and he slashed a disappointing .257/.309/.365 in 2015. Yesterday, 11:40 am
  • Nottingham addition doesn't impact Lucroy
    Brewers general manager David Stearns said Saturday that the acquisition of Jacob Nottingham doesn't impact Jonathan Lucroy.

    Advice: While it doesn't sound as though this will speed up the timeline to deal Lucroy, having the catcher of the future in tow has to make the club feel more confident in the decision. Expect him to be dealt at some point before the trade deadline. Yesterday, 11:03 am
  • Joe Panik (back) claims he's fully recovered
    Giants second baseman Joe Panik told Alex Pavlovic of CSN Bay Area that he's feeling "100 percent" and fully recovered from his back injury.

    Advice: Panik wound up on the disabled list in August due to inflammation in his lower back and he only wound up playing in three games the rest of the season before getting shut down. The All-Star second baseman indicated that he has altered his offseason workout plan with the goal of preventing the issue from returning. Panik slashed .312/.378/.455 with eight homers, 37 RBI and three stolen bases in 100 games last season. Yesterday, 7:24 am
  • Orioles and Gallardo continue to work on deal
    According to Roch Kubatko of MASN Sports, the Orioles continue to work on a three-year deal with free agent right-hander Yovani Gallardo.

    Advice: Kubatko notes that while things certainly appear to be heading in the right direction, nothing is imminent. The deal is believed to be in the range of $40-$45 million and may also include an option. As the O's would be forced to surrender their first round pick in order to sign Gallardo, there has been speculation that they could then go after another free agent tied to draft pick compensation, such as Dexter Fowler. Yesterday, 5:31 am
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  • Christian Vazquez makes throws to bases
    Christian Vazquez (elbow) was able to make throws to second and third base from behind the plate on Friday without any issues.

    Advice: Vazquez continues to make nice progress in his recovery from reconstructive elbow surgery with Red Sox manager John Farrell estimating that, "He’s probably at about 90 percent". The 25-year-old backstop made a name for himself with his cannon of an arm, cutting down 15 of the 29 would-be base stealers against him during his rookie season in 2014. With Blake Swihart and Ryan Hanigan also in the fold, it will be interesting to see how the club's catching situation plays out this spring. Yesterday, 5:25 am
  • Mejia busted for PED again, gets lifetime ban
    Major League Baseball has issued a permanent suspension of Jenrry Mejia after a third positive test for a performance-enhancing drug.

    Advice: It's difficult to comprehend how Mejia let this happen. The reliever previously served an 80-game suspension and was still serving a 162-game suspension for positive tests when he got caught again with Boldenone. He's the first player ever in the majors or minors to receive a lifetime ban for performance-enhancing drugs. Mejia can apply for reinstatement in one year but his suspension must last at least two years. Since there's no precedent, it's hard to know what his chances are of being reinstated. It's quite a fall for a guy who not long ago was serving as the Mets' closer. Friday, 1:50 pm
  • Ian Desmond 'less of a target' for White Sox
    FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal reports that Ian Desmond "appears less of a target" for the White Sox than adding an outfielder.

    Advice: USA Today's Bob Nightengale also previously reported that the White Sox' supposed interest in Desmond was overblown. Rosenthal notes that the club likes Tyler Saladino at shortstop and believes top prospect Tim Anderson could be ready to take over at the position before the end of 2016. Desmond has been linked to both the White Sox and Rays recently, but neither destination looks terribly likely at the moment. The shortstop has gained little traction in the free agent market this winter. Friday, 1:13 pm
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  • Tanaka (elbow) cautious about Opening Day
    Masahiro Tanaka (elbow) indicated Friday that he "can't say for sure" whether he'll be ready for Opening Day.

    Advice: Tanaka underwent arthroscopic surgery in late November to remove a bone spur from his right elbow. He's nearing mound work and says he's "perfectly healthy," although it wouldn't be a surprise if the Yankees take it slowly with him this spring. Ultimately, he should be fine well in advance of Opening Day. The bigger injury concern with Tanaka remains the partially torn ulnar collateral ligament that he's been pitching through. Friday, 9:08 am
  • Orioles hope to wrap up Gallardo deal Friday
    MLB Network's Jon Heyman reports that the Orioles are hoping to complete a deal for Yovani Gallardo on Friday.

    Advice: Heyman indicates that the only hangup at this point is whether the contract will be for three years or three years plus an option. ESPN's Buster Olney reported previously that the deal is expected to be worth $40-45 million. The Orioles were resistant to give up their first-round pick to sign Gallardo, but ultimately they decided they needed a workhorse. Once the contract for Gallardo is completed, the O's are then expected to target a hitter. Friday, 7:01 am
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  • Heyman: White Sox are in on Ian Desmond
    Jon Heyman of CBS Sports confirms the White Sox are one of the teams considering free agent shortstop Ian Desmond.

    Advice: It's not the first time we've heard the White Sox linked to Desmond. The Rays are also in the running, though so far both teams have been hesitant to give up a draft pick. Desmond is coming off a tough season with Washington. He led the National League in errors and finished second in the NL with 187 strikeouts. He may have to settle for a one-year deal and test the market again next winter. Thursday, 12:28 pm
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  • Orioles and Gallardo remain 'optimistic'
    While the Orioles have yet to strike a deal with free agent right-hander Yovani Gallardo, "both sides appear to be pretty optimistic," according to's Brittany Ghiroli.

    Advice: Ghiroli said the two sides met Wednesday and now "the ball is in the Orioles' court." The Orioles had previously been hesitant to give up their first-round pick for Gallardo but now they seem open to it. Clearly Baltimore is in "win-now" mode. Dexter Fowler or Pedro Alvarez could be the next domino to fall for the O's once Gallardo gets squared away. Thursday, 9:49 am
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  • Vazquez (elbow) still making progress
    Christian Vazquez (elbow) will throw to bases on Friday.

    Advice: When asked about his elbow, Vazquez said, "Fine. No problem." It sounds like he's almost fully recovered from Tommy John surgery. Blake Swihart has already been named the starting catcher, which means Vazquez will likely open the year in Triple-A. Thursday, 8:57 am
  • Olney: Gallardo could get 3 years, $40-45M
    ESPN's Buster Olney reports that the potential contract being discussed between the Orioles and free agent right-hander Yovani Gallardo would be worth three years, $40-45 million.

    Advice: Nothing's official yet, but there's a ton of smoke here. Multiple outlets have reported that Gallardo and the O's are closing in on a contract. The club will have to surrender the 14th overall selection in this summer's amateur draft should they sign the soon-to-be 30-year-old right-hander, but he provides an upgrade for a rotation that has needed a boost. Last season, Gallardo pitched to a 3.42 ERA, 1.41 WHIP, and 121/68 K/BB ratio across 184 1/3 innings (33 starts) for the Rangers. Should the Orioles ink Gallardo to a contract, they could next pursue outfielder Dexter Fowler. Pedro Alvarez and Jay Bruce are outside options as well. Wednesday, 3:39 pm
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  • Crasnick: Tweaks needed for Gallardo, O's
    ESPN's Jerry Crasnick reports that "some tweaks" remain before a potential contract is struck between free agent right-hander Yovani Gallardo and the Orioles.

    Advice: Both MLB Network's Jon Heyman and FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal reported on Wednesday that the Orioles are in substantive talks with Gallardo. Crasnick writes that said talks are "gaining momentum," though nothing's official as of yet. Per Heyman, this could potentially be a three-year contract with a possible opt-out clause. Should a deal be struck, the Orioles would have to surrender the 14th overall selection in this summer's amateur draft. Gallardo turns 30 in late February. Wednesday, 2:03 pm
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  • O's, Gallardo moving closer to a deal
    MLB Network's Jon Heyman reports that the Orioles and free agent right-hander Yovani Gallardo are moving closer to a deal.

    Advice: This confirms what was reported by Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Heyman hears that the two sides are talking about three guaranteed years, though it sounds as if an opt-out could potentially be included. Nothing is done yet, but it would be interesting to see if adding Gallardo could provide the impetus for the O's to sign outfielder Dexter Fowler, another qualifying offer free agent. Wednesday, 7:58 am
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  • Rosenthal: O's making progress on Gallardo
    FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal reports that the Orioles are "making progress" in talks with free agent right-hander Yovani Gallardo.

    Advice: The Orioles would surrender the No. 14 overall pick in this year's draft to sign Gallardo, which is something they have been reluctant to do until now, but his price could have dropped to the point where they are willing to get the deal done. Baltimore certainly could use another quality arm in their rotation after losing left-hander Wei-Yin Chen. Gallardo is coming off a career-low 3.42 ERA last season with the Rangers, but his strikeout rate has been in a steady decline. Wednesday, 7:24 am
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  • Masahiro Tanaka (elbow) throws off mound
    Masahiro Tanaka (elbow) threw off a mound on Tuesday.

    Advice: It's the first time he's thrown off the bump since he underwent surgery back in October to remove a bone spur from his right elbow. Tanaka might be a little behind others in spring training, but he's fully expected to be ready to roll come Opening Day. The righty held a 3.51 ERA and 139/27 K/BB ratio over 154 innings last season. Tuesday, 1:29 pm
  • Jason Castro loses arb. case, will make $5M
    Jason Castro lost his arbitration hearing against the Astros and will make $5 million in 2016.

    Advice: Castro requested $5.25 million when arbitration figures were exchanged last month, so it wasn't much of a difference, but the two sides were unable to avoid a hearing. The 28-year-old batted .211 with 11 homers and a .648 OPS over 104 games in 2015. He's going into his final year before free agency. Tuesday, 10:32 am
  • Report: Ian Desmond a 'long shot' for Rays
    ESPN's Jerry Crasnick writes that free agent shortstop Ian Desmond is a "long shot" for the Rays.

    Advice: There's been some chatter about the Rays being interested in Desmond, as he could be a bargain at this point of the winter, but the club doesn't want to give up a draft pick in order to sign him. There's always the chance that they could change their mind, but the 30-year-old appears likely to end up elsewhere. Many have pegged the White Sox as a logical fit for Desmond, but they are also reluctant to give up a pick. Tuesday, 8:38 am
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  • Yovani Gallardo talking to three teams
    SB Nation's Chris Cotillo reports that the Orioles and two other clubs are in talks with Yovani Gallardo's agent.

    Advice: Cotillo adds that the Rockies no longer appear to be in the mix for the right-hander. The Orioles have been connected to Gallardo for a while now and have a need for a reliable starter, but they're hesitant to part with the No. 14 overall pick. Gallardo figures to be looking for a deal similar to Ian Kennedy's five-year, $70 million pact. Monday, 5:05 pm
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  • Astros, Castro have arb. hearing on Monday
    Jason Castro will have an arbitration hearing with the Astros on Monday afternoon.

    Advice: And a ruling should come Tuesday. Castro requested a $5.25 million salary for 2016 and was offered $5 million from the Astros' front office when arbitration figures were exchanged in mid-January. Now three arbitrators will choose one of those numbers. Castro, 28, is in his third and final year of arbitration, meaning he can become a free agent next winter. Feb 8, 5:20 am
  • 'Quite a bit of interest' in Alex Cobb
    Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports that there's been "quite a bit of interest" in Alex Cobb this offseason.

    Advice: However, he adds that the Rays "are likely to hold on to their pitching for now." Cobb missed all of 2015 and will be absent for much of 2016 after undergoing Tommy John surgery last May. Given that, it's hard to imagine the Rays getting a suitable offer for him. The right-hander is under team control through 2017. Feb 7, 7:38 am
  • Orioles still mulling pursuit of Gallardo
    Roch Kubatko of reports that the Orioles are "checking medicals again and weighing the pros and cons" of signing Yovani Gallardo.

    Advice: It was Kubatko who suggested a week ago that the O's would probably move on from Gallardo and were more likely to acquire a starter via trade. However, he's now saying they "definitely are reconsidering" despite their hesitancy to forfeit the No. 14 overall pick. Gallardo's peripherals and velocity have been heading in the wrong direction, but his durability could be a big boost for an O's team that lost Wei-Yin Chen this offseason. Feb 7, 5:18 am
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  • Report: O's still interested in FA Gallardo
    Sources tell Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports that the Orioles remain interested in free agent Yovani Gallardo.

    Advice: Recent reports suggested the O's wouldn't have interest in Gallardo because he would cost the team the No. 14 overall pick in June's MLB Draft, but Rosenthal said the price for the right-hander could fall to the point that it would make sense for the club. The team acquired potential starter Odrisamer Despaigne on Thursday, but their rotation remains a weakness and they'll need help from somewhere to compete in a loaded AL East. The market for the 30-year-old has been cold and getting colder as teams go alternative routes in their search for starting pitching help. Feb 4, 3:30 pm
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