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Sports Data APIs for Individuals!
Washington Nationals outfielder Victor Robles (hamstring) and catcher Kurt Suzuki (head, wrist) are not in the starting lineup for Game 1 of the National League Championship Series against the Cardinals on Friday. Michael A. Taylor will continue to man center field and bat seventh, while Yan Gomes is behind the plate and hitting eighth against Cardinals starter Miles Mikolas. Both Taylor and Gomes are known more for their defense than their hitting, so both will be deep DFS sleeper picks for the lone playoff game on Friday night.
Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Randy Arozarena was released in Mexico's Yucatan state on Thursday prior to a hearing following allegations of domestic violence, according to sources. Legal sources said that Arozarena was released from all charges when he reached an agreement with his former partner, who decided not to take legal action against the outfielder. The 25-year-old broke out in the playoffs for Tampa and set a major league record with 10 postseason home runs before losing to the Dodgers in the World Series. He also hit .377 with 14 RBI in 20 playoff games and was named the MVP of the American League Championship Series against the Yankees. Arozarena should be considered a top-50 fantasy outfielder heading into 2021.
Tampa Bay Rays shortstop and top MLB prospect Wander Franco (biceps) hasn't played for his Dominican Winter League team, the Leones del Escogido, since Friday due to a sore right biceps. Franco will travel back to the U.S. to be looked at by team doctors. The 19-year-old hit .350/.435/.500 with a home run and a steal in five games before suffering the injury, also showing off his slick fielding. Franco hit .327/.398/.487 with nine home runs, seven triples and 18 steals in 114 games with Single-A Bowling Green and High-A Charlotte back in 2019. It doesn't sound like his injury is too serious, and the Rays are understandably being cautious with the No. 1 prospect in all of baseball. Whenever Franco makes his MLB debut in 2021, he should contribute immediately for fantasy managers.
The Colorado Rockies acquired right-hander Robert Stephenson and minor league outfielder Jameson Hannah from the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday in exchange for right-handed pitchers Jeff Hoffman and Case Williams. Stephenson, 27, made 10 relief appearances for the Reds last year and was 10-13 with a 5.15 ERA in 104 outings (22 starts) for Cincy in his five seasons. Hoffman, who is also 27 years old, had an ugly 9.28 ERA in a career-high 16 relief outings for Colorado last year. He's 10-16 with a 6.40 ERA in 68 career games (38 starts). Hannah, 23, didn't appear in a game in 2020. Williams, 18, was a fourth-round pick of the Rockies in this year's draft.
The San Francisco Giants are interested in free-agent left-hander Jon Lester as they look to add one more starting pitcher this offseason. Lester seriously considered signing with the Giants before joining the Cubs in 2014. San Francisco general manager Scott Harris worked in the Cubs front office during Lester's time in Chicago, and pitching on the West Coast isn't a deal-breaker for the 36-year-old southpaw. The Giants are looking for a replacement after lefty Drew Smyly signed with the Braves. Lester has been durable in his career, but he has a 4.64 ERA (94 ERA+) the last two years, including a 5.16 ERA with a 5.14 FIP during the shortened 2020 season. At this point, the veteran is a low-upside, matchup-based arm, although a move to pitcher-friend San Francisco could prolong his career.
The Texas Rangers are listening to trade offers for starting pitcher Lance Lynn. USA TODAY's Bob Nightengale reported two weeks ago that rival executives fully expect the Rangers to deal the 33-year-old right-hander this offseason. He's entering the final year of his three-year, $30 million deal and could be a very nice one-season rental for a team in search of some experienced starting pitching. The Rangers are in rebuild mode and Lynn had a nice 3.32 ERA with a 1.06 WHIP in 13 starts during the shortened 2020 season. Lynn could be even more attractive with a winning ballclub in a new venue.
The Cincinnati Reds are open to trading starting pitcher Sonny Gray this offseason, even though they will also be losing Trevor Bauer to free agency. Gray is signed for $20 million over the next two seasons and has a $12 million team option for the 2023 campaign, making him an affordable option for teams that are looking for a starting pitcher. Bauer won the National League Cy Young in 2020, but there's a big drop-off in terms of talent after him on the free-agent market, which could make Gray extremely attractive on the trade market. The right-hander was excellent with Cincy the last two years after struggling with the A's and Yankees. A move out of Cincinnati might make him even more attractive to fantasy managers.
The Houston Astros are considering trades for shortstop Carlos Correa. The 26-year-old can become a free agent after the 2021 season and the Astros know they are unlikely to sign him to a contract extension before that point. The No. 1 overall pick in the 2012 draft, Correa has been injury prone in his career and had a .709 OPS in the shortened 2020 season. But he's still an excellent defensive shortstop and has a career .833 OPS and a proven track record of success in the playoffs, which would make him a highly coveted option on the trade market this winter or into next season. Correa might've had a down regular season last year, but he hit .362 (17-for-47) with six home runs and 17 RBI in 13 postseason games.
Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Randy Arozarena has been detained in Mexico's Yucatan state after allegations of domestic violence. Arozarena hasn't been formally charged, as Mexico allows a two-day period for prosecutors to decide whether to bring charges. Major League Baseball is looking into the matter. The 25-year-old became a playoff legend, setting a major league record for most postseason home runs (10) while also hitting .377 with 14 RBI in 20 playoff games for Tampa Bay. He was named the MVP of the American League Championship Series against the Yankees. If Arozarena isn't charged or punished by MLB for domestic violence, he should be a top-50 fantasy outfielder after his October breakout.
Atlanta Braves right-hander Mike Soroka (Achilles) has resumed throwing nearly four months after he had surgery to fix a torn right Achilles. The 23-year-old suffered the injury on Aug. 3 against the Mets and had surgery several days later. In 2019, Soroka finished sixth in the National League Cy Young race and second in the NL Rookie of the Year voting in 2019 after posting a 2.68 ERA in 174 2/3 innings. The Braves haven't announced a specific timetable for Soroka's return, but Zack Britton and Adam Wainwright were able to return within five to six months after suffering Achilles tears in the past. Soroka's price could be discounted this year, but it'll go up if he's on track to be fully healthy for the start of the 2021 season.
The Tampa Bay Rays have told other teams that they are open to the idea of trading starting pitcher Blake Snell, a former Cy Young winner, according to multiple sources. Tampa isn't actively shopping the left-hander, who has three years and $39 million left on his five-year, $50 million extension, but trading the 27-year-old represents the team's best chance to create some financial flexibility given their financial losses during the COVID-19-shortened season. Word of a potential trade has made it back to Snell, but he is committed to the Rays and would love to remain with them. The Angels and Mariners are among the teams believed to be interested in the southpaw. Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto has made 10 trades with Tampa since September of 2015, and Snell's hometown is in Seattle.