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Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Kenta Maeda would like to remain in the team's starting rotation for an entire season. Maeda, who often starts the year in the rotation before moving to a relief role late in the season and postseason, has told the team that he's unhappy with his role as a swing man late in the year. His agent, Joel Wolfe, reiterated Maeda's feelings to president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman this week. The Japanese right-hander continues to be effective in both roles, so the Dodgers don't have a ton of incentive to change things up. That could especially be the case if they land a big-name starter on the free-agent market this winter like Gerrit Cole or Stephen Strasburg. Maeda went 10-8 with a 4.04 ERA, 1.07 WHIP and 169 K's in 26 starts and 11 relief outings. Especially on this good Dodgers team, Maeda has value in all fantasy leagues when he's starting regularly.
The Tampa Bay Rays acquired outfielder Hunter Renfroe and prospect infielder Xavier Edwards on Thursday for outfielder Tommy Pham. Renfroe, a 27-year-old slugger, will head to the Rays after bashing 25-plus homers in three consecutive seasons. Despite his reputation as a defensive liability, Renfroe materially improved his game in 2019 with a +5.1 defensive WAR. A proven power hitter, the streaky Renfroe should remain a valuable home run commodity in all fantasy formats. For dynasty participants, Edwards slots as the sixth-ranked prospect in the Rays organization and possesses promising speed and batted-ball potential. After completing High-A ball in 2019, the 20-year-old Edwards is likely a couple years from his major league debut.
The San Diego Padres acquired outfielder Tommy Pham for outfielder Hunter Renfroe and prospect infielder Xavier Edwards on Thursday. After three straight seasons with over 20 homers and 15 steals, the 31-year-old Pham will join a Friars roster starved for on-base savviness. A late bloomer, Pham didnt become a full-time player until 2017 but owns a strong .844 OPS in 546 career games. With above average batted-ball metrics, hell conceivably be the Padres starting left fielder in 2020 and should resume his position as a four-category fantasy contributor in a challenging hitting environment.
The New York Yankees are making signing starting pitcher Gerrit Cole their top offseason priority and have ownership-level approval to offer him a record-setting deal, according to sources familiar with the team's plans. The 29-year-old right-hander, who led baseball in strikeouts in 2019, is set to smash David Price's record contract for a pitcher of $217 million. The Yankees and Angels are preparing for a bidding war that executives expect will reach well beyond $250 million. The Dodgers are also in the mix. The top pitcher on the open market could sign sometime this month. Cole was drafted 28th overall in the first round by New York in 2008, but the pitcher chose to attend UCLA and went No. 1 overall to the Pirates three years later. He's believed to prefer the West Coast, but it may not matter if the Yankees offer him the most cash. Cole went 20-5 with a league-leading 2.50 ERA and major league-best 326 strikeouts in 212 1/3 innings for Houston last year.
The Minnesota Twins agreed to re-sign starting pitcher Michael Pineda to a two-year, $20 million deal on Thursday, according to a baseball source. Pineda will miss the first month-plus of the 2020 season while finishing off a suspension, but the big right-hander has plenty of upside, especially while staying in pitcher-friendly Minnesota. The 30-year-old Dominican finished 11-5 with a 4.01 ERA, 1.16 WHIP and 140 strikeouts in 146 innings over 26 starts for the Twins in 2019. You'll miss some starts to begin the year, but Pineda is surely worth adding in mixed leagues in the middle rounds.
Washington Nationals principal owner Mark Lerner said that the team can't afford to re-sign both starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg and third baseman Anthony Rendon this offseason. "Theyre huge numbers. We already have a really large payroll to begin with," Lerner said. Washington could still bring both players back, but it's highly unlikely. Strasburg, who was named World Series MVP, it the more likely of the two to stay in D.C., and the Dodgers and Rangers have been pursuing Rendon heavily. Both Stras and Rendon were instrumental in the Nationals winning their first ever World Series title, and both players will come off the board early in next year's fantasy drafts no matter what uniform they are wearing.
The Los Angeles Dodgers are interested in relief pitcher Blake Treinen, according to a source. Treinen was non-tendered by the A's on Monday after he had a rough year with Oakland, posting a 4.91 ERA, 1.62 WHIP, 59 strikeouts and 16 saves in 58 2/3 innings. The 31-year-old right-hander was the best reliever in baseball in 2018 and picked up his first All-Star selection when he had a microscopic 0.78 ERA, 0.83 WHIP, a career-high 11.2 K/9 and 38 saves for the A's. He could easily bounce back in 2020, and Los Angeles would be a great spot to do it as a setup man for closer Kenley Jansen. Treinen might not have an avenue to consistent save chances next year, but he could be very attractive in leagues that count holds.
The St. Louis Cardinals are a new potential bidder for the services of starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner, according to a source. The Twins, Reds, White Sox and Braves have also been linked to the veteran left-hander, and he could sign a deal before the winter meetings start next week in San Diego. The Cardinals rotation is already in good shape with Jack Flaherty, Miles Mikolas, Dakota Hudson and Adam Wainwright in the mix, so adding MadBum would be a cherry on top. Bumgarner is expected to land a deal worth at least $100 million. He's no longer the dominant ace he was in his prime in San Francisco, but Bumgarner still has some years left if he can stay healthy. St. Louis would be a fine landing spot for his fantasy value as well.
The New York Mets acquired outfielder Jake Marisnick from the Astros on Thursday in exchange for lefty relief pitcher Blake Taylor and outfielder Kenedy Corona. The 28-year-old Marisnick is a wizard with the glove and can play all three outfield positions at an above-average level. However, he hit just .233 with 10 home runs and 34 RBI for the Astros in 2019 in 73 starts. He's never been much of a fantasy asset for his bat and is a better real-life player than fantasy one. Marisnick is a career .227 hitter with 54 home runs and 178 RBI in seven seasons with Miami and Houston. Taylor, 24, had 10 saves and a 2.16 ERA with 74 strikeouts in 40 outings in three minor league levels with New York last year. Corona is just 19 and hit .301 with 23 extra-base hits and 19 steals in his first professional season.
The Milwaukee Brewers acquired catcher Omar Narvaez from the Mariners on Thursday in exchange for minor league pitcher Adam Hill and a competitive balance Round B draft pick. The left-handed hitting Narvaez, 27, had a career year for Seattle in 2019, hitting .278 with 22 home runs and 55 RBI in 132 games. He'll effectively replace Yasmani Grandal as Milwaukee's catcher after Grandal signed with the White Sox last month. While Narvaez is one of the better hitting catchers, he had a .994 fielding percentage and threw out 13 of 71 base stealers (18 percent). Manny Pina, who hit .228 with seven homers and 25 RBI in 76 games last year, should back up Narvaez. Narvaez will have plenty of fantasy appeal in hitter-friendly Milwaukee in single-catcher leagues, while Tom Murphy should be the starting catcher in Seattle now that Narvaez is out of the picture.
The Cincinnati Reds are among the teams interested in starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner. Current manager David Bell worked previously in the Giants front office. The Braves, Twins, Angels, Padres, Yankees and Phillies are other possibilities for the veteran southpaw, and he could sign before the winter meetings kick off next week. Injuries are now a concern with the aging left-hander, but he was still pretty solid in 2019, going 9-9 with a 3.90 ERA, 1.13 WHIP and 8.8 K/9 in 207 2/3 innings over 34 starts with the Giants. Moving to a hitter-friendly park like Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati may not be the best landing spot for Bumgarner, but he should still remain relevant in all mixed leagues next season.
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