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Player Notes

  • Rays sign Brandon Lowe to 6-yr, $24M deal
    Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Rays have signed Brandon Lowe to a six-year, $24 million contract extension.

    Advice: The deal will also come with two club options. Lowe has appeared in just 43 games at the major league level, but the 24-year-old former third-round pick ranks as a top-100 prospect and has been tearing it up this spring in the Grapefruit League. He should see regular starts at second base this season for Tampa Bay. Today, 8:46 pm
  • German Marquez lit up for eight runs Tuesday
    German Marquez was rocked for eight runs on 10 hits over 4 1/3 innings Tuesday in a Cactus League start against the Angels.

    Advice: Marquez melted down in spectacular fashion, serving up five runs on four hits -- including a pair of homers -- in a disastrous third inning. Not only did he give up a solo shot to leadoff-man Justin Upton, but he was also tagged for a three-run dinger by utility infielder Taylor Ward later in the frame. Despite the catastrophic outing, the 24-year-old righty has allowed only 12 runs (11 earned) on 21 hits with 15 strikeouts and six walks in 12 1/3 innings this spring. There's plenty of risk associated with selecting Marquez in the early rounds of fantasy drafts this year, but his electric stuff and lofty strikeout floor minimize the chances of a total collapse. Today, 8:44 pm
  • Luke Bard hit hard in start vs. Rockies
    Luke Bard was lit up for three runs -- two earned -- on four hits over one inning in a Cactus League start against the Rockies on Tuesday.

    Advice: Bard served up three extra-base hits, including a solo homer to Daniel Murphy, in his lone inning of work. He also recorded one strikeout and did not walk a batter. The 28-year-old righty had his contract purchased by the Angels earlier in the week after signing a minor-league deal last month. There’s a chance he could get optioned back to Triple-A, but will likely open the season in the Angels bullpen. He can be safely ignored in all fantasy formats. Today, 8:34 pm
  • Lucas Sims serves up two runs vs. White Sox
    Lucas Sims surrendered two runs on three hits over 2 2/3 innings Tuesday in a Cactus League start against the White Sox.

    Advice: Sims recorded only one strikeout and issued a pair of walks. The 24-year-old righty, who was acquired from the Braves in exchange for Adam Duvall at the trade deadline last July, has given up six runs on 10 hits with seven strikeouts and two walks over 6 2/3 frames this spring. He’ll likely operate in a swingman-type role at the major-league level if he makes the Opening Day roster, but he could open the season in the Triple-A rotation. Today, 8:30 pm
  • Jakob Junis twirls five solid frames vs. Cubs
    Jakob Junis allowed two runs on five hits over five innings Tuesday in a Cactus League start against a Cubs split-squad.

    Advice: Junis struck out five batters and only issued a pair of walks. The 26-year-old righty has generated plenty of buzz this spring, thanks to a significant uptick in his average fastball velocity. He’s given up eight runs on 17 hits with 13 strikeouts and four walks over 12 1/3 innings of work. He's already been named to the Royals Opening Day rotation and should be on the fantasy radar in deeper mixed leagues. Today, 8:29 pm
  • Pinder starting in LF and hitting fifth Wed.
    Chad Pinder will start in left field and bat fifth in the Athletics' Opening Day game against the Mariners on Wednesday in Japan.

    Advice: Robbie Grossman is on the bench for this one with the Mariners starting left-hander Marco Gonzales. Mike Fiers will be on the mound for the A's. Oakland's full starting lineup for this season-opening tilt at the Tokyo Dome: Ramon Laureano CF, Matt Chapman 3B, Stephen Piscotty RF, Khris Davis DH, Chad Pinder LF, Matt Olson 1B, Jurickson Profar 2B, Marcus Semien SS, Nick Hundley C. Today, 8:22 pm
    New Player Note
    Chad Pinder Oak - 2B,3B,OF
  • Andriese allows one run over four-plus
    Matt Andriese yielded one earned run over 4 1/3 innings Tuesday in a Cactus League start against the Padres.

    Advice: Andriese scattered four hits and one walk while striking out three. The 29-year-old right-hander has been stretched out as a starter this spring, but he'll probably work as a long reliever for the Diamondbacks if he is able to crack their Opening Day roster. Andriese is sporting a 5.06 ERA through five Cactus League appearances. Today, 8:18 pm
  • Buehler hits 98 mph in Cactus League debut
    Walker Buehler was charged with one earned run over 2 2/3 innings Tuesday in his Cactus League debut against the Indians.

    Advice: That run actually crossed the plate after Buehler departed, with Jake Bauers smacking an RBI single off Dodgers reliever Yimi Garcia in the top of the third inning. Buehler looked sharp, hitting 98 mph with his fastball a couple of times and striking out two batters without issuing a walk. The 24-year-old has been eased along this spring to protect his young arm, but he should be somewhere close to full strength when he takes his first turn in the regular-season rotation. Today, 8:09 pm
  • Ichiro in RF, batting ninth for M's in Tokyo
    Ichiro Suzuki is starting in right field and batting ninth in the Mariners' Opening Day lineup Wednesday against the Athletics.

    Advice: First pitch is scheduled for 5:35 a.m. ET at the Tokyo Dome in Japan. Here is the full starting lineup for Seattle: Dee Gordon 2B, Mitch Haniger CF, Jay Bruce 1B, Edwin Encarnacion DH, Domingo Santana LF, Omar Narvaez C, Ryon Healy 3B, Tim Beckham SS, Ichiro Suzuki RF. Marco Gonzales is toeing the slab first for the M's, with Mike Fiers getting that honor for the A's. Today, 7:46 pm
  • Astros to extend Bregman for 5 yrs, $100M
    Mark Berman of Fox 26 in Houston reports that the Astros have reached agreement on a five-year, $100 million contract extension with Alex Bregman.

    Advice: Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported less than an hour ago that the two sides were discussing a long-term deal, and now comes word that it's already at the finish line. This new contract will cover all three of Bregman's arbitration-eligible years while also locking up what would have been his first two years of free agency. The star third baseman will remain in Houston through at least the 2024 campaign. Bregman, 24, exploded to a .926 OPS with 31 home runs, 103 RBI, 10 stolen bases, and 105 runs scored over 157 regular-season games last season for the American League West-champion Astros. He's going 16th overall right now in the average Yahoo fantasy baseball league, and rightly so. Today, 6:55 pm
  • Brewers 'talking to' FA closer Craig Kimbrel
    According to Ken Rosenthal and Robert Murray of The Athletic, the Brewers are "talking to" free agent closer Craig Kimbrel.

    Advice: Milwaukee already boasts one of the top bullpens in baseball, but Jeremy Jeffress is set to open the 2019 season on the injured list with right shoulder fatigue and really any MLB team could use a reliever of Kimbrel's caliber. The 30-year-old right-hander owns a career 1.91 ERA and he struck out 96 batters over 62 1/3 innings last season for the World Series-champion Red Sox. Recent reports have also tied Kimbrel to the Cubs, Rays, and Nationals. It seems that Boston has truly moved on. Today, 6:39 pm
    Not Active
  • Astros, Pressly do 2-year, $17.5M extension
    Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle reports that the Astros have finalized a two-year, $17.5 million contract extension with reliever Ryan Pressly.

    Advice: Pressly will make $8.75 million in both 2020 and 2021. He had already been locked in for a $2.9 million salary in 2019. Per the Houston Chronicle report, the deal also carries a vesting club option for a third season in 2022 which could carry a value of $10 million. Pressly was acquired from the Twins last July and absolutely flourished in the Astros' bullpen, delivering a 0.77 ERA, 0.60 WHIP, and 32/3 K/BB ratio over 23 1/3 innings to finish out the 2018 regular season. He'll continue to work in a setup role behind closer Roberto Osuna, who is also under club control through at least 2021. Today, 5:56 pm
  • Luis Castillo gets Opening Day nod for Reds
    Luis Castillo has been named the Reds' Opening Day starter.

    Advice: He'll take the hill March 28 against the visiting Pirates. Sonny Gray, Tanner Roark, and Anthony DeSclafani will follow Castillo in the Cincinnati rotation, with the announcement of the team's fifth starter to come at a later date. Castillo carries high-level fantasy upside into the 2019 regular season after a quietly dominant second half in 2018. Today, 5:54 pm
  • Jacob Nix diagnosed with UCL tear in elbow
    Jacob Nix has been diagnosed with a small tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his in his right elbow.

    Advice: Nix will be examined by Dr. Neal ElAttrache before a course of treatment is decided upon. The 23-year-old right-hander, who entered Padres camp in competition for an Opening Day rotation spot, could suddenly be facing Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery. Today, 5:50 pm
  • Greinke to start on Opening Day for D-backs
    Zack Greinke will start for the Diamondbacks on Opening Day against the Dodgers.

    Advice: This will be his third Opening Day start in his four years with Arizona. Greinke has pitched to a promising 2.79 ERA with 10 strikeouts over 9 2/3 innings this spring in Cactus League play and should again be a solid fantasy starter throughout the 2019 regular season, even at age 35 and even with his fastball velocity in a steady decline. Today, 5:47 pm
  • A's place Nick Martini (knee) on 10-day IL
    Athletics placed OF Nick Martini on the 10-day injured list with a right knee sprain.

    Advice: Martini suffered the injury in late February and is still in recovery mode. He did not accompany the A's on their season-opening trip to Tokyo and probably won't be ready to join the active roster until early-to-mid April. Today, 5:37 pm
    10-Day DL
  • A's place Jharel Cotton (elbow) on the IL
    Athletics placed RHP Jharel Cotton on the 10-day injured list with a right elbow injury.

    Advice: Cotton is about 12 months removed from Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery. He probably won't be an option for the A's rotation before early-to-mid June. Today, 5:34 pm
    10-Day DL
  • A's place Chris Herrmann (knee) on the IL
    Athletics placed C Chris Herrmann on the 60-day injured list with a right knee injury.

    Advice: Herrmann underwent arthroscopic knee surgery earlier this month and will miss at least the first two months of the 2019 regular season. Nick Hundley and Josh Phegley figure to handle catching duties in Oakland until top prospect Sean Murphy is ready. Today, 5:31 pm
    60-Day DL
  • A's purchase contract of C Nick Hundley
    Athletics purchased the contract of C Nick Hundley from Triple-A Las Vegas.

    Advice: Hundley will open the 2019 regular season as the A's primary catcher, though there's not much fantasy appeal here. The 35-year-old batted just .243 with a .285 on-base percentage over 608 plate appearances with the Giants between 2017-2018. Today, 5:28 pm
  • Chase Anderson whiffs four in loss to Rangers
    Chase Anderson surrendered two runs on six hits over four innings Tuesday in a Cactus League start against the Rangers.

    Advice: Anderson struck out four batters and only issued one walk. It was a nice rebound performance for the 31-year-old righty, who is battling for one of the final spots in the Brewers rotation, after being lit up in his previous start last week. He’s given up 11 runs on 16 hits, including four long-balls, with 11 strikeouts and four walks over 14 innings this spring. Today, 4:37 pm
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