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2 days agoNew York Yankees starting pitcher Luis Severino will not pitch for the Dominican Republic in the 2023 World Baseball Classic because general manager Brian Cashman didn't allow him, according to a source. It makes sense with 2022 being Severino's first full season back from Tommy John surgery. The 28-year-old right-hander also missed two months last year due to a lat injury, but he had a solid 3.18 ERA, 1.00 WHIP and 112 strikeouts over 19 starts and 102 innings when he was healthy for the Yanks. New York picked up Severino's $15 million option for 2023. RotoBaller currently has Severino ranked as the No. 38 fantasy starter heading into spring training. There is injury risk with him, but he should be a solid No. 3/4 starter otherwise.--Keith Hernandez - RotoBallerSource: Z101 Digital - Hector Gomez
2 days agoThe New York Mets signed free-agent outfielder DJ Stewart to a minor-league deal on Thursday that includes an invitation to major-league spring training. Stewart was taken in the first round (25th overall) by the Baltimore Orioles in 2015, and he spent his first five seasons with the team. He managed to play in only three big-league games for the O's in 2022 due to injuries, and he has a career slash line of .213/.327/.400 with a .728 OPS, 26 home runs, 73 RBI, 75 runs scored and three stolen bases in 195 games over his five seasons. The 29-year-old left-handed hitter possesses some raw power, but he'll strictly serve as organizational outfield depth for the Mets in 2023.--Keith Hernandez - RotoBallerSource: Mets Insider
2 days agoWashington Nationals starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg (ribs, shoulder) is throwing near his home in D.C., but his pitching prognosis remains unclear after thoracic outlet surgery. Strasburg had surgery in July of 2021 but made only one start last season before being shut down again. With just eight total starts over the last three seasons due to injuries, it's understandable if fantasy managers want nothing to do with the 34-year-old right-hander in 2023. We'll keep a close eye on his progress this spring, but it's a good bet that he won't be ready for the start of the regular season. You're probably better off taking a flier on a less injury-prone pitcher at the end of fantasy drafts this spring.--Keith Hernandez - RotoBallerSource: New York Post - Jon Heyman
2 days agoLos Angeles Angels third baseman Anthony Rendon (wrist) is said to be feeling "fantastic" this offseason after a season that was marred by injury in 2022. Rendon had right wrist surgery in June, and although he was able to return late in the year, he played in a career-low 47 games and hit a very disappointing .229/.326/.380 with a career-low .706 OPS, five home runs, 24 RBI, 15 runs scored and two stolen bases in 193 plate appearances. He's still seen as a key piece for the Halos moving forward, though, and better health could mean a big rebound. Rendon only played in 58 games in 2021 due to injuries, though, so fantasy managers will have plenty of concerns heading into 2023. The 32-year-old will at least be cheap in drafts because of injuries the last two seasons with the Angels.--Keith Hernandez - RotoBallerSource: New York Post - Jon Heyman
2 days agoNew York Mets starting pitcher Kodai Senga throws 100 mph and has a forkball so nasty that it's called a "ghost pitch," but he only received a $75 million deal over five years as a mid-rotation starter due to what sources are calling an iffy physical with the team. It's common for Japanese pitchers to have more wear on their arms earlier since star starters throw more innings at younger ages. Despite some concerns, Mets officials are confident that Senga will be healthy for 2023. He's already 30 years old and has been one of Japan's best pitchers over the last 10 years, thanks to a diverse arsenal of pitches that should play in the States. There's plenty of upside with strikeouts, but he has only gone over 150 innings once in the last six seasons.--Keith Hernandez - RotoBallerSource: New York Post - Jon Heyman
3 days agoRight-hander Mark Leiter Jr. re-signed a minor-league deal with the Chicago Cubs on Thursday that includes an invite to major-league spring training. Leiter returns to the Cubbies after being pushed off the 40-man roster this offseason. The 31-year-old posted a career-best 3.99 ERA (4.29 FIP), 1.14 WHIP, his first three MLB saves, 25 walks and 73 strikeouts in 67 2/3 innings covering a career-high 35 appearances (four starts) in 2022 with Chicago. He'll attempt to impress at camp in order to win a bullpen spot on Opening Day. In three major-league seasons with the Cubs, Philadelphia Phillies and Toronto Blue Jays, Leiter has an unimpressive 4.95 ERA (5.06 FIP) and 1.35 WHIP in 181 2/3 frames.--Keith Hernandez - RotoBallerSource: Watch Marquee - Andy Martinez
3 days agoThe probability of the Minnesota Twins trading outfielder Max Kepler has been significantly reduced with spring training quickly approaching. The Twins are fully stocked on left-handed-hitting corner outfielders with Joey Gallo, Kepler, Trevor Larnach, Matt Wallner and Nick Gordon. The desired interest in Kepler just wasn't there this offseason after he produced a 2.0 wins above replacement despite hitting just .227/.318/.348 with nine home runs in 446 plate appearances. The 29-year-old continues to show great plate discipline, but his drop in power in 2022 was worrisome. But it could be attributed to multiple injuries that limited him to 115 games played. Kepler needs to put the ball in the air more to rediscover his power, but the ban on shifts should help his cause as far as overall average.--Keith Hernandez - RotoBallerSource: The Athletic - Dan Hayes
3 days agoBaltimore Orioles shortstop prospect Jackson Holliday has been invited to major-league spring training as a non-roster player. The son of former big-league outfielder Matt Holliday, Jackson was the first overall pick by the O's last year. In 20 games for the team's rookie-level affiliate and Single-A Delmarva, the 19-year-old hit .297/.489/.422 with a .911 OPS, one homer, nine RBI, 14 runs scored and four stolen bases in 90 plate appearances. Holliday isn't going to crack the big-league roster out of spring training, but the Orioles will get a closer look at him this spring. But he should rise quickly through the team's farm system in the next couple of years. Holliday will be joined at major-league camp by other top prospects in Colton Cowser and Jordan Westburg.--Keith Hernandez - RotoBallerSource: Orioles Twitter
3 days agoPittsburgh Pirates infield prospect Termarr Johnson, who was the fourth overall pick in last year's draft, has been invited to major-league spring training as a non-roster invitee. The 18-year-old hit .222/.366/.365 with a .731 OPS, one homer, six RBI, seven runs scored and six stolen bases in 23 games with the team's rookie-level affiliate and Single-A Bradenton last year. Johnson won't be making the big-league club, but he could rise quickly through the system if he continues to perform. Along with Johnson, Pirates top prospects Henry Davis and Quinn Priester will also be at big-league camp.--Keith Hernandez - RotoBallerSource: Pirates Twitter
3 days agoThe Pittsburgh Pirates signed free-agent infielder Chris Owings to a minor-league deal on Thursday that includes an invitation to major-league spring training. Owings, a veteran of 10 major-league seasons, spent the 2022 season with the Baltimore Orioles but hit just .107/.254/.143 with no homers, six runs scored and a stolen base in 26 games played. He didn't fare a whole lot better in the minors for the New York Yankees or in an independent league after he was released by Baltimore. Owings hasn't played over 100 games in a single major-league season since 2018 with the Arizona Diamondbacks, and he'll strictly serve as veteran infield depth with the rebuilding Pirates.--Keith Hernandez - RotoBallerSource: Milb.com
3 days agoMiami Marlins second baseman Luis Arraez won his salary arbitration case at $6.1 million over the team on Thursday, according to a source. The Minnesota Twins filed a number of $5 million before they traded Arraez to the Marlins this offseason, but the number didn't change following his trade. Arraez won the American League batting title in 2022 with the Twins when he hit .316. The 25-year-old also added a .375 on-base percentage, .420 slugging percentage, .795 OPS, career-high eight home runs, 49 RBI, 88 runs scored and four stolen bases in 603 plate appearances over 144 games. He will be Miami's everyday second baseman and leadoff batter in 2023. Although Miami isn't the best hitting environment and their offense as a whole isn't anything to write home about, Arraez should once again be a great source of average, OBP and runs scored.--Keith Hernandez - RotoBallerSource: MLB.com - Mark Feinsand
3 days agoThe Seattle Mariners and super utilityman Dylan Moore avoided salary arbitration on Wednesday by agreeing to a three-year, $8.875 million extension, according to sources. The deal contains no options and escalators to $9 million-plus while buying out one free-agent year. Moore posted a strong .368 on-base percentage in 2022 and played seven different positions. The 30-year-old had offseason surgery on his abdomen but is expected to be ready for Opening Day, where he should continue to get plenty of playing time against left-handed pitchers all over the field. In his fourth MLB season for the M's last year, Moore slashed .224/.368/.385 with a .753 OPS, six home runs, 24 RBI, 41 runs scored and 21 stolen bases in 104 games. He is valuable in deeper leagues for his positional versatility and speed.--Keith Hernandez - RotoBallerSource: ESPN.com - Jeff Passan
3 days agoFree-agent right-hander Gray Fenter signed a minor-league deal with the New York Yankees on Wednesday. Fenter was formerly with the Baltimore Orioles and San Francisco Giants and had a nice 2.95 ERA and 32 strikeouts in 21 1/3 innings for the Lancaster Barnstormers of the independent Atlantic League in 2022. The 27-year-old was previously drafted by the Orioles in the seventh round in 2015. He has never made it to the major-league level and sports a 3.93 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 183 walks and 402 strikeouts in 347 2/3 innings over 113 appearances (69 starts) in six seasons in the minors. There's a very good chance that Fenter will open the 2023 season in the minor leagues for the Yankees as pitching depth.--Keith Hernandez - RotoBallerSource: New York Post - Jon Heyman
3 days agoSeattle Mariners closer Paul Sewald (elbow, heel) has resumed throwing and should be ready to pitch in spring training games. Sewald had surgeries on his right elbow and his heel in the offseason. The 32-year-old could be eased into spring training action, but relievers typically don't need a ton of work before the regular season. He had a team-high 20 saves last season and will enter Opening Day as Seattle's primary closer yet again, giving him plenty of value in fantasy leagues on an improved Mariners team. Sewald could have a short leash if he falters, though, and Andres Munoz and Diego Castillo are plenty capable of handling ninth-inning duties as well. Sewald had a career-best 2.67 ERA (3.88 FIP), 0.77 WHIP, 20 saves and 72 strikeouts in 64 relief innings last year.--Keith Hernandez - RotoBallerSource: The Seattle Times - Ryan Divish
3 days agoSeattle Mariners catcher Cal Raleigh (thumb) underwent offseason surgery on his left thumb. Raleigh was able to catch left-hander Marco Gonzales' bullpen session on Tuesday in Arizona without any issues, though, so he should be ready for the start of the 2023 season. The 26-year-old still hasn't been cleared for full baseball activities, so he could be slightly behind the other catchers in camp. His surgery took place last fall and addressed a broken left thumb and a torn ligament in his hand. Raleigh clubbed 27 home runs and drove in 63 runs in 119 games in just his second MLB season for Seattle in 2022, so he'll be pretty attractive as a low-end starting catcher in fantasy drafts this spring, assuming he has no setbacks with his thumb in spring training.--Keith Hernandez - RotoBallerSource: The Seattle Times - Ryan Divish


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