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6 days agoThe Los Angeles Angels acquired starting pitcher Dylan Bundy from the Orioles on Wednesday in exchange for Triple-A pitcher Isaac Mattson and other prospects, according to sources. Bundy has had his fair share of struggles in Baltimore, going 7-14 last year with a 4.79 ERA, 1.36 WHIP and 162 strikeouts in 161 2/3 innings over 30 starts. But he should benefit from leaving the last-place Orioles and the tough American League East division moving forward. His K/9 has been at 9.0 or better each of the last two years, too, so he'll give fantasy owners nice strikeout upside as he moves West. Consider Bundy an intriguing late-round dart throw with plenty of upside left in his right arm.--Keith Hernandez - RotoBallerSource: The Athletic - Ken Rosenthal
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6 days agoThe Chicago White Sox and Minnesota Twins are among the heaviest suitors for starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner now that Zack Wheeler has agreed with the Phillies, according to sources. The Yankees are involved to some extent, too. Veteran lefty Cole Hamels also inked a deal with the Braves on Wednesday. Bumgarner's market has been very hot of late, and most believe he'll sign with a team before next week's winter meetings. Chicago is looking for two potential starters to boost their rotation this winter, and MadBum would be an excellent veteran presence on a young team. The lefty went 9-9 with a 3.90 ERA and 1.13 WHIP in 34 starts last year with San Fran. A hitter's park in Chicago would be a clear downgrade over the pitcher-friendly environment that he's been pitching in his entire career.--Keith Hernandez - RotoBallerSource: SNY - Andy Martino
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6 days agoThe Texas Rangers and Chicago White Sox are both interested in outfielders Marcell Ozuna and Nick Castellanos, according to sources. Ozuna hit .241/.328/.472 with 29 home runs, 80 runs, 89 RBI and 12 stolen bases in 130 games in his second season with the Cardinals, while Castellanos hit a combined .289/.337/.525 with 27 homers, 100 runs scored, 73 RBI and two steals in 615 at-bats between the Tigers and Cubs in 2019. Castellanos finished off extra hot with the Cubs and doesn't have draft-pick compensation tied to him as a free agent, so he might be more attractive to both Texas and Chicago. Both players would be plenty attractive in the hitter-friendly atmospheres in either Texas or Chicago.--Keith Hernandez - RotoBallerSource: MLB Network - Jon Paul Morosi
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6 days agoThe Philadelphia Phillies and starting pitcher Zack Wheeler are in agreement on a five-year deal worth more than $100 million, according to sources. Wheeler's market was moving very fast and he was expected to sign before next week's winter meetings. The right-hander will slot into a rotation next to the likes of Aaron Nola, Jake Arrieta and Zach Eflin, among others. Wheeler will stay in the familiar National League East, but he's moving to more of a neutral ballpark to more of a hitter-friendly one in Philadelphia. Still, the 29-year-old is a young arm on the rise, and he has one of the hardest average fastballs in the game. If he can continue to pound the strike zone and keep the ball out of the air, Wheeler will be a solid fantasy asset.--Keith Hernandez - RotoBallerSource: ESPN.com - Jeff Passan
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6 days agoStarting pitcher Madison Bumgarner's market looks to be just as robust as starting pitcher Zack Wheeler's at the moment. One executive predicts that both starters will sign before next week's winter meetings in San Diego. Teams such as the Phillies, White Sox, Reds, Astros, Angels, Blue Jays, Twins, Yankees, Rangers and Padres could all be interested in the veteran left-hander. MadBum is coming off a season in which he went 9-9 with a 3.90 ERA, 1.13 WHIP and 203 strikeouts in 207 2/3 innings over 34 starts with the Giants. The 30-year-old isn't as dominant as he was earlier in his career, but he still gets plenty of swings and misses and would be an excellent veteran addition to any team looking to bolster their rotation. Bumgarner should still be relevant in all fantasy formats in 2020, but his outlook will depend on his landing spot.--Keith Hernandez - RotoBallerSource: MLB.com - Mark Feinsand
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6 days agoThe Arizona Diamondbacks are among the teams interested in outfielder Nick Castellanos, according to one source. Castellanos hit a combined .289/.337/.525 with a career-high 27 home runs, 100 runs scored and 73 RBI in 151 games between the Tigers and Cubs last season. He was even better in his 51 games with the Cubbies, slashing .321/.356/.646 with 16 long balls and 36 RBI. Castellanos probably has more fantasy appeal if he were to stay in Chicago, but Arizona also wouldn't be a terrible landing spot for his fantasy upside in 2020 and beyond. The 27-year-old could do quite well on the open market with no draft-pick compensation tied to him.--Keith Hernandez - RotoBallerSource: MLB Network - Jon Paul Morosi
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6 days agoThe Houston Astros are another team interested in starting pitcher Zack Wheeler. At this point, who isn't interested in Wheeler? The right-hander is the third best available starting arm on the market behind Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg, and the Astros are looking at replacing Cole potentially with Wheeler. The Phillies, Reds, White Sox, Twins and maybe others are looking at Wheeler, and he could sign a deal before next week's winter meetings with his market reaching a fever pitch of late. The 29-year-old is a rising star and posted a 3.96 ERA, 1.26 WHIP and 195 K's in 195 1/3 innings last year over 31 starts with the Mets. He'd become a lot more attractive with Houston's lineup supporting him.--Keith Hernandez - RotoBallerSource: MLB Network - Jon Heyman
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6 days agoThe Philadelphia Phillies are looking at starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg. They are also believed to be the top current bidder for starting pitcher Zack Wheeler as they attempt to bolster their starting rotation heading into 2020 and beyond. Strasburg and Gerrit Cole are the top free-agent arms available, with Wheeler a close third on that list. It's believed that Strasburg prefers to stay in Washington, but he might chase the most dollars this winter. The Yankees, Dodgers and Padres are also linked to Strasburg. After an excellent season and even better playoffs that saw him win the World Series MVP, Stras will be a high-end fantasy starter wherever he lands.--Keith Hernandez - RotoBallerSource: MLB Network - Jon Heyman
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6 days agoThe Toronto Blue Jays have checked in on starting pitcher Michael Pineda, according to sources. The 6-foot-7 right-hander had a 4.01 ERA in 26 starts with the Twins last year before he was hit with a performance-enhancing suspension to end his season. The 30-year-old will continue serving the suspension to start 2020. Toronto is clearly looking to beef up their rotation this winter, and Pineda would help them accomplish that. Injuries have plagued him in the past, but he has shown big-time potential in the past with the Yankees, and we saw glimpses of it last year in Minnesota. Moving to hitter-friendly Toronto and the American League East, however, would make a lot of fantasy owners hesitant to take a late-round flier on him.--Keith Hernandez - RotoBallerSource: TSN Sports - Scott Mitchell
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6 days agoThe Washington Nationals are pursuing third baseman Josh Donaldson heavily. It could mean that the Nationals believe they have no chance of re-signing Anthony Rendon, who is the most coveted position player on the open market this winter. Donaldson, 33, doesn't have the upside that comes with Rendon and he has his own injury concerns to boot, but he had a nice bounce-back season with Atlanta in 2019, slashing .259/.379/.521 with 37 home runs, 96 runs and 94 RBI in 549 at-bats. A former American League MVP, Donaldson has plenty of fantasy appeal for his power stick if he stays on the field, and D.C. would be a fine landing spot for a multi-year contract.--Keith Hernandez - RotoBallerSource: USA TODAY Sports - Bob Nightengale
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6 days agoThe Philadelphia Phillies are seen by sources as the most potent bidders for starting pitcher Zack Wheeler. The Reds and White Sox are also involved, but the Rangers are no longer an option. The 29-year-old right-hander is considered the third best free-agent option on the starting pitching market behind Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg. He had a 3.96 ERA for the Mets last year, has made 60 starts over the last two seasons and has an average fastball velocity of 96.7 mph, which was fourth best in 2019. Wheeler is expected to get a deal of at least five years and at least $100 million, and he could make his decision before the winter meetings start next week. The Mets will receive draft-pick compensation if Wheeler signs with another club, which seems likely at this point.--Keith Hernandez - RotoBallerSource: ESPN - Buster Olney
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6 days agoThe Atlanta Braves and left-handed starter Cole Hamels agreed to a one-year, $18 million deal on Wednesday, according to sources. The veteran southpaw was looking for a short deal with a contending team, and he gets it with the Braves. Hamels is no longer the dominant pitcher he was earlier in his career, but he can still be plenty effective and should have a shot to pick up plenty of wins with the contending Braves. The 35-year-old went 7-7 with a 3.81 ERA, 1.39 WHIP and 143 K's in 141 2/3 innings (27 starts) with the Cubbies in 2019. Health could be an issue moving forward, but Hamels should have mixed league appeal in his new home.--Keith Hernandez - RotoBallerSource: ESPN.com - Jeff Passan
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6 days agoThe Toronto Blue Jays are interested in starting pitchers Hyun-Jin Ryu and Dallas Keuchel, among other free-agent starters. It's no secret that Toronto is in need of improving their starting rotation, but they won't shop at the top of the market for arms like Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg. Ryu was one of the best starters in the game last year, going 14-5 with a 2.32 ERA, 1.01 WHIP and 163 K's in 182 2/3 innings (29 starts) for the Dodgers. Keuchel signed late with Atlanta and was decent with an 8-8 record, 3.75 ERA, 1.37 WHIP and 91 strikeouts in 112 2/3 frames (19 starts). Ryu is the higher-upside arm if he's healthy, but both pitchers would face bigger challenges in the tough American League East and in hitter-friendly Toronto.--Keith Hernandez - RotoBallerSource: MLB Network - Jon Paul Morosi
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6 days agoAt least one of the teams engaged with the Milwaukee Brewers regarding closer Josh Hader is convinced that the Brewers will keep the left-handed reliever heading into the 2020 season. Milwaukee is rightfully asking for a king's ransom for the best left-handed reliever in the game, but it's still possible a desperate team gives up the farm for him. Hader, still only 25, had a 2.62 ERA, 0.81 WHIP, 37 saves and a career-high 16.4 K/9 in 75 2/3 innings last season. The only negative thing about Hader is that he's already tossed 204 2/3 innings in his three seasons with Milwaukee as a workhorse bullpen arm. No matter where he's pitching next year, he'll be an elite fantasy closer with tremendous strikeout upside.--Keith Hernandez - RotoBallerSource: ESPN - Buster Olney
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7 days agoThe San Francisco Giants are among the teams showing interest in outfielder Nick Castellanos, according to two sources. The Cubs are also interested in re-signing Castellanos after he posted a 1.002 OPS in 51 games for the team following a deadline deal from the Tigers. Giants general manager Scott Harris was the assistant general manager for the Cubs in 2019. The White Sox and Marlins are among possible suitors for Castellanos. Castellanos would be a nice right-handed complement to San Fran's lefty-heavy lineup, although a move to a pitcher-friendly park could depress some of his fantasy upside.--Keith Hernandez - RotoBallerSource: MLB.com - Jon Paul Morosi
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