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Sports Data APIs for Individuals!
Baltimore Orioles outfielder Austin Hays provided all of the team's runs in Friday's 2-1 loss to the Rays. Hays went 2-for-3 with a single, a solo home run, and a walk. He took Tyler Glasnow deep in the fourth inning for his second HR of the season. Hays has not provided the success he had in 2019 and now owns a disappointing .227/.296/.307 slash line on the season.
The Chicago White Sox declined 2021 options on designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion ($12 million) and left-hander Gio Gonzalez ($7 million) on Friday, making them both free agents. Encarnacion's deal didn't include a buyout, while Gonzalez will receive $500,000. Chicago also exercised their $3.5 million option on utilityman Leury Garcia on Friday. Encarnacion, 37, hit just .157 with 10 home runs during the 60-game season, and his .377 slugging percentage was the lowest of his 16-year career. Even with a potential universal DH in play again in 2021, the veteran could struggle to find work. Gonzalez, 35, had a 4.83 ERA in 12 outings (four starts), striking out 9.7 hitters per nine innings, his best rate since 2009.
The Cleveland Indians decided to pick up catcher Roberto Perez's $5.5 million team option for the 2021 season on Friday. Perez has been excellent for the Tribe while handling one of the American League's best pitching staffs. A shoulder injury likely had something to do with Perez hitting just .165 with one home run and five RBI in 32 games during the shortened 2020 season. He's certainly more of a defensive-minded backstop, but Perez can be of use in two-catcher leagues when he's going well with the stick.
The Cleveland Indians declined 2021 options on relief pitcher Brad Hand ($10 million), first baseman Carlos Santana ($17.5 million) and outfielder Domingo Santana ($5 million) on Friday, making them free agents. Hand will receive a $500,000 buyout and the Santanas will each receive $250,000. The 30-year-old Hand led baseball with 16 saves this year, but he wasn't claimed by a team on outright waivers. He had 58 saves and a 2.78 ERA in 111 games for the Tribe the last two-plus years. Carlos Santana hit a career-low .199 with eight home runs and 30 RBI in 60 games, but it's possible he re-signs at a lesser contract.
The Chicago Cubs are likely to pick up first baseman Anthony Rizzo's $16.5 million option for the 2021 season before the Sunday deadline, according to sources. The Cubs did the same for the 31-year-old before last season, picking up a similar $16.5 million option for 2020. Rizzo continues to be a stalwart at first base and a leader in the clubhouse for the Cubbies. He hit just .222, though, with 11 home runs during the shortened season this year. Rizzo has been a solid value for Chicago after he signed a seven-year, $41 million extension back in 2013. The left-handed slugger will get a chance to rebound from his disappointing 2020 campaign next year and should remain a top-50 fantasy pick.
The Chicago Cubs declined starting pitcher Jon Lester's $25 million team option on Friday, making him a free agent. The 36-year-old southpaw was at the end of his six-year, $155 million deal with the Cubs, but he could still return on a lesser deal. Lester will receive a $10 million buyout. The three-time World Series champion is optimistic that he can get something worked out and return to Chicago. Lester struggled with some mechanical issues in 2020 but rebounded late in the year to finish 3-3 with a 5.16 ERA. The Cubs will also decline their option on infielder Daniel Descalso, who will be owed a $1 million buyout.
Philadelphia Phillies relief pitcher Hector Neris had his $7 million club option for the 2021 season declined and will face arbitration for the second straight season. Philadelphia also declined club options on relievers David Robertson and David Phelps as it has become clear the team is set on trimming payroll after the pandemic-shortened season. Neris and the Phillies avoided arbitration last February by agreeing on a deal that paid the closer a prorated amount of $4.6 million. Neris went 5-for-8 in save chances this season with a 4.57 ERA as he lost the closer job to Brandon Workman. Neris remains on the Phillies 40-man roster but carries little fantasy value at this point without a set closer's job.
The Texas Rangers declined to pick up starting pitcher Corey Kluber's $18 million option for the 2021 season on Friday, making him a free agent. They'll give him a $1 million buyout instead. However, the Rangers are willing to re-sign the veteran right-hander to a contract of lesser value, mostly likely a one-year, incentive-laden deal. The two-time Cy Young winner has missed most of the last two seasons due to injuries. The 34-year-old pitched in just one inning in 2020 before suffering a torn muscle in the back of his right shoulder. He missed the entire season but has been medically cleared to resume an offseason throwing program. Kluber's fantasy value will obviously be way down heading into the 2021 season, but he could be a nice value pick later in drafts, depending on where he winds up in free agency.
The Milwaukee Brewers declined the 2021 options on infielders Jedd Gyorko and Eric Sogard and outfielder Ben Gamel on Friday. Gyorko and Sogard both had $4.5 million options, while Gamel remains under team control after the team declined his $2.55 million option. Gyorko hit .248 with nine home runs and 17 RBI in 43 games and 117 at-bats this year, and his .838 OPS was the highest on the team while playing mostly against left-handed pitchers. He eventually became the team's primary first baseman. Sogard hit just .209 with a homer, 10 RBI and a .560 OPS in 44 games. Gamel had a .237 average with three home runs, 10 RBI and a .718 OPS in 40 games. The trio aren't likely to be anything more than utility options going forward, limiting their fantasy value significantly.
The New York Mets claimed right-handed reliever Nick Tropeano off of waivers from the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday. In 2020, Tropeano posted a 1.15 ERA, a 1.15 WHIP, and struck out 19 in 15 2/3 innings pitched for the Pirates. Despite the solid performance in 2020, albeit in a limited number of innings, Tropeano owns a 4.29 career ERA and a 1.37 career WHIP over the course of six seasons. While there is some upside with this move for the Mets, the 30-year old holds little fantasy value heading into 2021 for managers.
Right-handed reliever Jacob Barnes was claimed off waivers by the New York Mets on Friday. In 2020, with the Los Angeles Angels, the 30-year old posted an unimpressive 5.50 ERA, and 1.28 WHIP in 18 innings pitched. Notably, however, Barnes throws in the mid-to-upper 90s and posted a 2.25 FIP with 24 strikeouts in 2020. As such, there is some potential middle relief upside for the Mets with this move. That said, for purposes of fantasy, Barnes holds little value heading into 2021.