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1 week agoOakland Athletics closer Liam Hendriks avoided salary arbitration on Friday by agreeing to a one-year, $5.3 million deal, according to a source. It was Hendriks' final year of arbitration eligibility. The 30-year-old right-hander ended up taking over the team's closer role in 2019 and was fantastic, posting a 1.80 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, a career-high 25 saves and 124 strikeouts in 85 innings over 73 relief appearances and two starts. He came into the 2019 season with one career save under his belt in 2017 with Oakland. With Blake Treinen out of the picture, Hendriks will open the 2020 season as the undisputed closer and will have plenty of fantasy appeal.--Keith Hernandez - RotoBallerSource: San Francisco Chronicle - Susan Slusser
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1 week agoMiami Marlins shortstop Jonathan Villar avoided salary arbitration on Friday by agreeing to a one-year, $8.2 million deal. It is Villar's final season of arbitration eligibility. The 28-year-old was one of the lone bright spots for the lowly Orioles in 2019, hitting .274/.339/.453 with a career-high 24 home runs, 73 RBI and 40 stolen bases in 162 games. Villar stole a career-high 62 bags back in 2016 with the Brewers and also had a 30-steal campaign in 2018 with the Brewers and Orioles. Don't expect another 20-plus homer season in pitcher-friendly Miami with another rebuilding club, but Villar bring elite speed to the table for fantasy owners.--Keith Hernandez - RotoBallerSource: MLB Network - Jon Heyman
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1 week agoThe New York Mets and starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard avoided salary arbitration on Friday by agreeing to a one-year, $9.7 million deal, according to a source. Thor made a career-high 32 starts (197 2/3 innings) for the Mets in 2019, but he posted a career-high 4.28 ERA, 1.23 WHIP and 202 strikeouts. He also allowed a career-high 94 earned runs and 24 long balls, which obviously hurt his ERA. 2019 was the second straight year that he boasted a K/9 under 10.0 as well. If he can keep the ball out of the air more in 2020, he could easily bounce back given his swing-and-miss stuff, but health has also been an issue for Syndergaard in the past.--Keith Hernandez - RotoBallerSource: SNY - Andy Martino
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1 week agoThe Milwaukee Brewers and catcher Omar Narvaez avoided salary arbitration on Friday by agreeing to a one-year, $2.725 million deal. It was Narvaez's first season being eligible for arbitration. He'll essentially be replacing Yasmani Grandal as Milwaukee's backstop in 2020 after breaking out to the tune of a .278/.353/.460 slash line with 22 home runs, 63 runs and 55 RBI in 428 at-bats for the Mariners last season. Narvaez's previous high-water mark for homers in a season was nine, so it remains to be seen if he can stay on the lofty pace he set for himself in 2019. His new environment in Milwaukee is conducive to power, but he'll likely be overvalued in single-catcher formats at the weakest fantasy position.--Keith Hernandez - RotoBallerSource: MLB.com - Adam McCalvy
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1 week agoSeattle Mariners outfielder Mallex Smith avoided salary arbitration on Friday by agreeing to a one-year, $2.35 million deal, according to a source. It was the first year that he was eligible for arbitration. While Smith led the league with 46 swipes, he hit a putrid .227/.300/.335 with only six home runs and 37 RBI in 134 games in his first season in Seattle. He has 86 stolen bases the last two seasons, making him a valuable commodity for his speed, especially since fewer players are running wild in this day and age. However, Smith might once again be a single-category contributor in 2020.--Keith Hernandez - RotoBallerSource: Robert Murray
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1 week agoSeattle Mariners outfielder Mitch Haniger avoided salary arbitration on Friday by agreeing to a one-year, $3.01 million deal, according to a source. Some freak injuries caused Haniger to play in just 63 games for the M's in 2019, and he hit a disappointing .220/.314/.463 with 15 home runs and 32 RBI after batting .285/.366/.493 with a career-high 26 dingers and 93 RBI in 157 games in 2018. Haniger will need to do a better job of making consistent contact in order to bounce back if he's healthy in 2020, but there's still a lot to like about him. His fantasy price will obviously drop in 2020 because of his down year, but there's value potential here.--Keith Hernandez - RotoBallerSource: Robert Murray
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1 week agoOakland Athletics shortstop Marcus Semien avoided salary arbitration on Friday by agreeing to a one-year, $13 million deal, according to a source. Semien finished third in the American League MVP voting in 2019 after hitting an impressive .285/.369/.522 with a career-high 33 home runs, 92 RBI and 10 stolen bases in 162 games for Oakland last season. He'll become a free agent after the 2020 season. Semien had never hit more than 27 homers in a single season, and that came back in 2016. He has some impressive power for a shortstop, but his pitcher-friendly home environment might make matching his career year in 2019 more difficult in his contract season.--Keith Hernandez - RotoBallerSource: MLB.com - Mark Feinsand
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1 week agoPittsburgh Pirates first baseman Josh Bell avoided salary arbitration on Friday by agreeing to a one-year, $4.8 million deal, according to a source. It was Bell's final year of arbitration eligibility. The 27-year-old was a breakout star in 2019, slashing .277/.367/.569 with 37 home runs, 94 runs and 116 RBI in 527 at-bats. It was a huge improvement over the 12 home runs he hit in 148 games the previous season, and it was his first All-Star selection. We get a feeling it won't be the last for Bell, who has become a legitimate first base power threat worth considering in the early rounds of fantasy drafts.--Keith Hernandez - RotoBallerSource: MLB.com - Mark Feinsand
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1 week agoThe Chicago White Sox and closer Alex Colome avoided salary arbitration on Friday by agreeing to a one-year, $10.532 million deal, according to a source. Colome earned the hefty raise from $7 million last year by posting a 2.80 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, 30 saves and 55 strikeouts in 61 innings pitched over 62 outings in his first season with the Pale Hose. The 31-year-old is expected to be the team's closer again in 2020, and his value is enhanced on a White Sox team that made a handful of notable upgrades to their lineup this winter. Colome could be overvalued heading into draft season, but he could also earn more save chances.--Keith Hernandez - RotoBallerSource: MLB.com - Jesse Sanchez
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1 week agoBaltimore Orioles relief pitcher Mychal Givens avoided salary arbitration on Friday by agreeing to a one-year, $3.225 million deal, according to a source. Givens had a rough 4.57 ERA but also recorded a career-high 11 saves for the last-place Orioles as the primary ninth-inning arm for Baltimore down the stretch. He has a nice 10.8 career K/9 as well, so Givens will have some low-level appeal for fantasy owners once again in 2020, as he's expected to open the year as their closer. However, on a rebuilding Orioles squad once again likely to be at the bottom of the standings, there may not be a ton of value in Givens in mixed leagues.--Keith Hernandez - RotoBallerSource: MLB.com - Mark Feinsand
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1 week agoLos Angeles Angels starting pitcher Andrew Heaney avoided salary arbitration on Friday by agreeing to a one-year, $4.3 million deal, according to a source. Heaney made just 18 starts for the Halos in 2019 due to injury and went 4-6 with a 4.91 ERA, 1.29 WHIP and 118 strikeouts in 95 1/3 innings pitched. There is bounce-back potential for the 28-year-old left-hander if he can stay healthy all year, and his strikeout upside is evident with a K/9 10.0 or above in three of the last four seasons. Heaney could be a nice value pick in the middle rounds of drafts.--Keith Hernandez - RotoBallerSource: MLB.com - Mark Feinsand
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1 week agoThe Arizona Diamondbacks and starting pitcher Robbie Ray avoided salary arbitration on Friday by agreeing to a one-year, $9.43 million deal. It's his final year of arbitration eligibility and he can become a free agent after the 2020 season. The 28-year-old lefty has been the subject of trade rumors dating back to last summer. He took a slight step back in 2019, posting a 4.34 ERA and 1.34 WHIP. Ray finished seventh in the National League Cy Young voting in 2017 when he had a 2.89 ERA and 1.15 WHIP as an All-Star. He has nice strikeout upside, but an average of 4.7 walks per nine innings the last two years have hurt his numbers overall. Ray completed seven full innings only one time last season and averaged 17.58 pitches per inning, which was the fourth worst among 61 qualified pitchers.--Keith Hernandez - RotoBallerSource: USA TODAY Sports - Bob Nightengale
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1 week agoChicago Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant avoided salary arbitration on Friday by agreeing to a one-year, $18.6 million deal, according to a source familiar with the agreement. Bryant's name has surfaced in trade rumors this offseason after he hit .282 with 31 home runs and 77 RBI in 2019. He finished eighth in the National League with 108 runs scored and posted a .382 on-base percentage, 16th best in baseball. His numbers could've been slightly better, though, as he missed the final week of the season with a sprained right ankle. If Bryant wins his service-time grievance, this would be his final arbitration year and he could become a free agent after 2020. He was selected with the second overall pick in 2013 and won NL Rookie of the Year honors in 2015 and NL MVP in 2016. Chicago also agreed to a one-year, $1.575 million deal with outfielder Albert Almora Jr. to avoid arbitration on Friday.--Keith Hernandez - RotoBallerSource: ESPN.com - Jeff Passan
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1 week agoBoston Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts avoided salary arbitration on Friday by agreeing to a record-breaking, one-year, $27 million deal, according to a source. The amount breaks the record set by Nolan Arenado last year of $26 million. Boston also reached one-year deals with outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. ($11 million) and relievers Brandon Workman ($3.5 million) and Heath Hembree ($1.6125 million) on Friday. Betts will be a free agent after the 2020 season and hit .295 with 29 home runs and 80 RBI in 2019 while also leading the American League with 135 runs scored. A fifth-round selection in 2011, Betts has developed into one of the best all-around players in baseball and should be a top-three fantasy selection in upcoming drafts. He's led baseball in runs scored (163) and is second in extra-base hits (394) and fourth in hits (965) since making his major league debut in June of 2014.--Keith Hernandez - RotoBallerSource: ESPN.com - Jeff Passan
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1 week agoThe Milwaukee Brewers agreed to an undisclosed deal with infielder Jedd Gyorko on Friday, according to a source. Gyorko played in only 62 games last year with the Cardinals and Dodgers and hit an embarrassing .174/.248/.250 with two home runs and nine RBI. At this point in his career, Gyorko is more of a utility infielder with some pop in his lumber, so he's highly unlikely to provide much for fantasy owners, even in a hitter-friendly environment like Milwaukee. At best, Gyorko will hope to be a platoon bat at the hot corner now that the Brew Crew has moved on from Travis Shaw and Mike Moustakas.--Keith Hernandez - RotoBallerSource: The Athletic - Ken Rosenthal
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