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12/21:Free-agent relief pitcher Joakim Soria agreed to a two-year, $15 million deal with the Oakland Athletics on Friday, according to multiple reports. Soria was 3-1 with a 4.09 ERA in 26 games with the Brewers last year after he was acquired from the White Sox. He earned 16 saves with the White Sox in the first half of the season and had a 0.74 ERA with 32 strikeouts in his last 23 games dating to May 21. The veteran right-hander has 220 career saves in 11 years in the big leagues and will serve in a setup role for closer Blake Treinen. Soria will mainly be a handcuff for Treinen owners.--Keith Hernandez - RotoBallerSource:
12/21:The Los Angeles Dodgers acquired starting pitcher Homer Bailey, middle infield prospect Jeter Downs and pitcher Josiah Gray on Friday from the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for outfielders Yasiel Puig and Matt Kemp, starting pitcher Alex Wood and catcher Kyle Farmer. The Dodgers also sent $7 million to Cincy. The main takeaway for LA here is that they cleared money under the luxury-tax threshold, which will better equip them to make a run at Indians starter Corey Kluber or free-agent outfielder Bryce Harper. They also cleared space in the outfield for Harper. Downs, 20 years old, is a legitimate prospect on the cusp of the top 100. He hit .257/.351/.402 at Single-A Dayton last year as a second baseman. Gray struck out 59 in 52 1/3 innings in 12 starts for Rookie level Greenville. Bailey's buyout will cost $28 million, but the Dodgers are expected to cut him.--Keith Hernandez - RotoBallerSource: Yahoo Sports - Jeff Passan
12/21:The Cincinnati Reds acquired outfielders Yasiel Puig and Matt Kemp, starting pitcher Alex Wood and catcher Kyle Farmer on Friday in exchange for starting pitcher Homer Bailey, middle infield prospect Jeter Downs and pitcher Josiah Gray, according to league sources. The Dodgers are also sending $7 million to the Reds. Puig and Kemp will both start at the corner outfield spots in 2019 and provide legitimate thump to their lineup. Kemp was an All-Star in 2018 but had a terrible second half. Puig's fantasy value jumps, as he should be playing every day now. Wood, a left-hander, improves Cincy's rotation after going 9-7 with a 3.68 ERA, 1.21 WHIP and 135 strikeouts in 151 2/3 innings in 2018. Wood is an injury risk and is now moving to a hitter-friendly ballpark, so he won't be as attractive to fantasy owners.--Keith Hernandez - RotoBallerSource: Yahoo Sports - Jeff Passan
12/21:The St. Louis Cardinals officially signed free-agent relief pitcher Andrew Miller to a two-year, $25 million deal that includes a vesting option and a full no-trade clause, according to a source. His option is worth $12 million and vests at 110 games combined in 2019 and 2020. He'll also be able to make $500,000 per year based on appearances with a $2.5 million buyout on his option. Miller will turn 34 next May and went to the disabled list multiple times last year, limiting him to just 34 innings. Before last season, though, the left-hander had been one of the most dominant southpaw relievers in the game for years. If he returns to full health, Miller could easily bounce back, and he has a shot to close games with his new team. Miller's fantasy stock is on the rise after his disappointing 2018 campaign.--Keith Hernandez - RotoBallerSource: The Athletic - Ken Rosenthal
12/21:The Oakland Athletics acquired infielder Jurickson Profar from the Texas Rangers on Friday in a deal that also included the Tampa Bay Rays, according to league sources. The Rangers will receive pitcher Brock Burke, infielder Eli White, Kyle Bird, Yoel Espinal and international money from the Rays, while the Rays will receive reliever Emilio Pagan, Rollie Lacy and the 38th pick in next year's draft. Profar finally broke out as a post-hype prospect with good health and regular playing time in 2018, hitting .254/.335/.458 with 20 home runs, 77 RBI, 82 runs and 10 steals. The switch-hitter should take over at second base in Oakland with Jed Lowrie leaving in free agency. With guaranteed playing time, Profar is a rising middle infield commodity in mixed leagues, although his new home park isn't as friendly to hitters. Burke is 22 years old and had a breakout year in the minors.--Keith Hernandez - RotoBallerSource: Yahoo Sports - Jeff Passan
12/21:The San Diego Padres designated starting pitcher Clayton Richard for assignment on Thursday. The roster move was to accommodate the recent signing of second baseman Ian Kinsler on the 40-man roster. Richard, who posted a 5.33 ERA and 1.38 WHIP in 158 2/3 innings last season, will be owed $3 million in 2019. This is another signal the Padres are committed to their youth movement. Along with starters Joey Lucchesi and Eric Lauer, a plethora of young arms will compete for starting slots next season. At 34 years old and a career 4.46 ERA pitcher, Richard will likely have to compete for a major league job wherever he lands.--Andrew Le - RotoBallerSource: SDUT - Kevin Acee
12/20:The St. Louis Cardinals are closing in on a deal for free-agent relief pitcher Andrew Miller, according to sources. Miller was on the disabled list multiple times in 2018 and never really found his footing, finishing with an un Miller-like 4.24 ERA and 1.38 WHIP, although he still struck out 45 hitters in 34 innings. The left-hander was one of the most dominant relievers in baseball in previous years, though, and he could easily bounce back with better health. The Red Birds also don't have a set closer heading into 2019, so Miller could see a good number of save chances next year if he signs in St. Louis.--Keith Hernandez - RotoBallerSource: The Athletic - Ken Rosenthal
12/20:Free-agent starting pitcher Anibal Sanchez agreed to a two-year, $19 million deal with the Washington Nationals on Thursday, according to multiple reports. Sanchez will help bring up the rear of the rotation behind Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg and Patrick Corbin after the team traded Tanner Roark. The 34-year-old surprisingly went 7-6 with a 2.83 ERA in 24 starts for the Braves in 2018. He also had a career-low WHIP of 1.08 after struggling for Detroit in previous seasons. Sanchez's career-worst 6.41 ERA in 2017 and time in the minor leagues shows that he's no sure thing to have a second straight solid season in D.C. However, he can be useful in the right matchups in deep mixed and NL-only leagues.--Keith Hernandez - RotoBallerSource:
12/20:The Los Angeles Angels signed free-agent starting pitcher Trevor Cahill to a one-year, $9 million deal on Thursday, according to a source. Incentives could push the total to $10.5 million. Cahill will stay in the west, where he went 7-4 with a 3.76 ERA, 1.19 WHIP and 100 strikeouts in 110 innings (20 starts) for the A's last season. The veteran right-hander still has decent strikeout stuff but is an injury risk, as he hasn't gone over 30 starts or reached 200 innings since 2012 with the Diamondbacks. Still, the move to Anaheim is a good fit, and he'll surely be on the streaming map in mixed leagues next year.--Keith Hernandez - RotoBallerSource: The Athletic - Ken Rosenthal
12/20:Free-agent second baseman Daniel Murphy agreed to a deal with the Colorado Rockies on Thursday. The deal is expected to be for two years and $24 million. Murphy isn't the best defensive second baseman, so he'll likely be Colorado's main first baseman, which means Ian Desmond should move to the outfield full time. Murphy will be 34 next April and has injury concerns (played in just 91 games in 2018 due to knee issues), but he hit .299/.336/.454 with 12 home runs and 42 RBI with the Nationals and Cubs. While Murphy's power isn't ideal for a first baseman, his move to Coors Field will for sure be a boost to his fantasy upside.--Keith Hernandez - RotoBallerSource: USA TODAY Sports - Bob Nightengale
12/20:Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Yu Darvish (elbow) has resumed light throwing on flat ground after having a minor right elbow procedure that ended his 2018 season in September. The Japanese right-hander's first season in Chicago was a disaster, as he went just 1-3 with a 4.95 ERA over just 40 innings before going on the disabled list in May and never returning. Darvish can be one of the more dominant starting pitchers in baseball when he's healthy (career 11.0 K/9), but his elbow injury will make fantasy owners much more cautious heading into 2019 drafts. He's a bounce-back candidate and a value pick next season, but he does carry substantially more risk as well.--Keith Hernandez - RotoBallerSource: - Jordan Bastian
12/19:The Houston Astros officially signed free-agent outfielder Michael Brantley to a two-year, $32 million deal on Wednesday. Brantley was able to stay healthy in 2018 with Cleveland and hit a nice .309/.364/.468 with 17 home runs, 76 RBI, 89 runs scored and 12 stolen bases in 631 plate appearances. He made the All-Star team for the third time as a result. Houston plans to rotate him between left field, first base and designated hitter. The 31-year-old still comes with some risk because of his extensive injury history, but this move should boost his fantasy value, especially if he's able to add eligibility at first base. As long as he stays healthy again, Brantley can provide fantasy owners with numbers in all categories.--Keith Hernandez - RotoBallerSource: NBC Sports - Craig Calcaterra
12/18:Free-agent starting pitcher Matt Harvey agreed to an undisclosed deal with the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday, according to a source. The Halos can certainly use some pitching help with Shohei Ohtani (elbow) out for the 2019 season and Matt Shoemaker now a free agent. Harvey, once known as the Dark Knight when he was an All-Star for the Mets in 2013, hasn't been the same since having shoulder issues. He went 7-9 with a 4.94 ERA, 1.30 WHIP and 7.6 K/9 in 32 outings (28 starts) with the Mets and Reds in 2018. Twenty four of his starts came with Cincy, where he posted a 4.50 ERA. He can be useful in deep mixed and AL-only leagues in the right matchups, but he no longer carries elite upside like he did early in his career. There are worse places Harvey could've landed, though.--Keith Hernandez - RotoBallerSource: - Mark Feinsand
12/18:The Chicago Cubs agreed to an undisclosed deal with free-agent infielder Daniel Descalso on Tuesday. Descalso was a utility player for Arizona the last two years and hit .238/.353/.436 with a career-high 13 home runs and 57 RBI in 138 games last season. He spent most of his time at second base (51 games) and third base (34 games), but he can also play a little first base and the outfield and has a knack for delivering as a pinch-hitter late in games. Chicago is a nice landing spot for him, where he'll likely continue to serve in a utility role while mostly playing the keystone. His fantasy value is mostly limited to NL-only leagues, however.--Keith Hernandez - RotoBallerSource: Fan Cred - Jon Heyman
12/17:The Houston Astros are closing in on free-agent outfielder Michael Brantley, according to sources. Rival executives expect the deal to be for two years and around $32 million. If Houston is unable to trade Josh Reddick, a Brantley addition will make it tougher for outfield prospect Kyle Tucker to make a big impact in his rookie season. Brantley can be used in left field, at designated hitter and at first base, although he's never played first base in the big leagues. The 31-year-old managed to stay healthy for the first time since 2015 when he played in 143 games for Cleveland last year, hitting .309/.364/.468 with 17 home runs, 76 RBI, 89 runs and 12 stolen bases. His injury history makes him a little risky, but Brantley is a very solid player in multiple categories if he stays on the field, and a move to Houston's dangerous lineup makes him more attractive in mixed leagues. Adding first base eligibility would be another plus.--Keith Hernandez - RotoBallerSource: The Athletic - Ken Rosenthal
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