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Free-agent outfielder Carlos Gonzalez, who is 34 years old, intends to play in 2020. Gonzalez, a three-time All-Star with the Rockies, spent his first season away from Colorado last year with the Indians and Cubs and struggled in his 45 games. Car-Go hit just .200/.289/.283 with three home runs and 10 RBI in 145 at-bats. He was always a much better hitter at Coors Field than on the road in his time with the Rockies, and he likely has little left to offer fantasy owners if he signs with a team and makes their major league roster. At this point in his career, Gonzalez would be nothing more than a platoon bat in a corner outfield spot.
The Arizona Diamondbacks have agreed to acquire outfielder Starling Marte from the Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday, according to sources. It's unknown which players the Pirates are receiving in return, so stay tuned for more details on the swap. The rebuilding Bucs have been in the market to trade Marte all offseason, and they have finally gotten something done. The addition of Marte, who will in all likelihood play center field, will allow the D-backs to move Ketel Marte back to the infield. Marte should receive a little fantasy boost with this move after he slashed a healthy .295/.342/.503 with 23 home runs, 97 runs scored, 82 RBI and 25 stolen bases in 539 at-bats in 2019. The 31-year-old is a nice contributor for his owners across all categories.
The Chicago Cubs continue to have interest in second baseman Scooter Gennett. Gennett got a late start to the 2019 season due to injury and just could never get on track, hitting an anemic .226/.245/.323 with just two home runs and 11 RBI in 42 games with the Reds and Giants. The 29-year-old did hit a combined 50 home runs in 2017 and 2018 with the Reds, though, and he was an All-Star in 2018 when he slashed .310/.357/.490 with 23 homers and 92 RBI in 154 games. Still, it remains to be seen if Gennett can get back to those heights, and there wouldn't be a guarantee of consistent playing time in Chicago if he signs there.
The San Diego Padres are willing to send two young major leaguers and at least one prospect to Boston along with outfielder Wil Myers in exchange for Boston Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts, according to multiple sources speaking on condition of anonymity. But in order for the Padres to take on Betts' $27 million salary for 2020, they want the Red Sox to pay more of Myers' contract -- he's owed $61 million over the next three years and Boston is offering to cover about half that. The Padres are willing to include outfielders Manuel Margot or Josh Naylor and starting pitchers Cal Quantrill or Joey Lucchesi. Betts, the 2018 American League MVP, would likely play center field in San Diego. With Betts set to become a free agent after the 2020 season, he'd likely be a one-year rental for the Padres.
The Cincinnati Reds are considering trading outfielder Nick Senzel. It makes sense now that the Reds signed outfielder Nicholas Castellanos to add to the team's crowded outfield picture that now includes the likes of Senzel, Castellanos, Jesse Winker, Shogo Akiyama, Aristides Aquino and Phillip Ervin. Senzel, 24, was the team's top prospect coming up through the farm system and made his debut in 2019, hitting .256/.315/.427 with 12 home runs, 55 runs scored, 42 RBI and 14 stolen bases in 104 games. Hitting leadoff atop a revamped Reds lineup should benefit Senzel in obvious ways, and his power/speed combination is certainly attractive to fantasy owners as a breakout candidate in 2020. However, it looks like he may not be long for Cincinnati. Stay tuned.
The Cincinnati Reds agreed to a four-year, $64 million deal with outfielder Nicholas Castellanos on Monday, according to sources. The opt-out clause in the contract will be after the first season. This is a great landing spot for Castellanos from a fantasy perspective at hitter-friendly Great American Ballpark. The 27-year-old (28 in March) hit .289/.337/.525 with 27 home runs, 100 runs and 73 RBI in 615 at-bats with the Tigers and Cubs in 2019. He really turned it on with Chicago to close out the season, slashing .321/.356/.646 with 16 home runs and 36 RBI in 51 games. He joins a crowded outfield picture in Cincy that also includes Nick Senzel, Shogo Akiyama, Jesse Winker and Aristides Aquino, but Castellanos will be an everyday starter.
Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Christian Yelich (knee), who missed the final three weeks of the 2019 season with a fractured right kneecap, said that he is ready for the start of spring training. Its good, Yelich said. Finally, fully healthy, ready to go. Shouldnt be any limitations this spring. Its nice to be healthy again. The Brewers must decide if they will move Yelich from right field to left field now that Avisail Garcia is in the fold and may be a better fit in right field because of his strong arm. The 28-year-old won the National League MVP in 2018 and was runner-up in 2019, hitting .329/.429/.671 with 44 home runs, 97 RBI and 30 stolen bases in 130 games. He'll be a surefire first-round fantasy selection.
The Cincinnati Reds have emerged as the front-runners to sign outfielder Nicholas Castellanos, according to one source. There are indications that the two sides have made progress on a deal in the last couple of days. The Giants have also negotiated with Castellanos in recent weeks. The 27-year-old would likely continue playing outfield if he lands with Cincinnati despite their already crowded outfield picture of Nick Senzel, Shogo Akiyama, Jesse Winker, Aristides Aquino and Phillip Ervin. Castellanos had a 1.002 OPS with 16 home runs in 51 games for the Cubs down the stretch after being traded from the Tigers at midseason. He'd be an everyday player in Cincinnati and would likely enjoy their hitter-friendly home park.
Milwaukee Brewers relief pitcher Corey Knebel (elbow) is expected to get back on a mound next week, according to manager Craig Counsell. "The light is at the end of the tunnel for Corey, for sure. You can tell hes excited about it. Were not going to see him in spring training pitching for us, but you will see him pitching for us in the season," Counsell said. Knebel missed all of the 2019 season after having Tommy John surgery, but he should be available for the Brewers sometime in the first half of 2020, barring any setbacks. The hard-throwing right-hander was an All-Star in 2017 when he had a 1.78 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 14.9 K/9 and career-high 39 saves in a league-high 76 outings. He fell back down to Earth in 2018 with a 3.58 ERA and only 16 saves. Knebel could have fantasy value again even if he's not closing games in Milwaukee because of his swing-and-miss stuff, but obviously fantasy owners will be more interested in him if he's pitching the ninth inning. That job has been Josh Hader's since Knebel has been hurt, and he's been one of the most dominant lefty relievers in the game.
Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Lorenzo Cain (ankle, knee) said he's finally feeling right again physically after it took until December for his knee and ankle injuries to subside. Cain might receiver another injection for his thumb before the season as a precaution, but he should be healthy entering the 2020 season. The 33-year-old (34 in April) played in 148 games last year despite his injuries, but his lower-body issues took a toll as he hit just .260/.325/.372 with 11 home runs, 48 RBI and 18 stolen bases. Cain has never been much of a power guy -- his career high in home runs was 16 back in 2015 with the Royals -- but his speed numbers were also down in 2019 as a result of his injuries. With better health, he should be able to bounce back on the average and stolen base front.
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