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Sports Data APIs for Individuals!
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.
The Los Angeles Dodgers may be close to re-signing veteran third baseman Justin Turner. The free-agent third baseman has tested the waters and is reportedly looking for a four-year deal that would take him through his age-39 season. However, Turner has been at the heart of the Dodgers success over the past several seasons, including their World Series title run in 2020. The 36-year-old has seen some interest from the Blue Jays, but it always felt like only a matter of time before he and the Dodgers would figure things out. In seven seasons with the Blue, Turner has hit .302/.382/.503 with 116 home runs while receiving National League MVP votes in each season from 2016-18. Turner has had some good years in LA, but he's probably a better real-life clubhouse guy now days than a fantasy contributor. He'll help with on-base percentage and average, but his counting stats could leave plenty to be desired as he heads into his age-36 season.
Free-agent relief pitcher David Robertson (elbow) threw his first bullpen session on Thursday and is planning a showcase for interested teams in early February after having Tommy John surgery in August of 2019. The veteran right-hander has a 2.90 career ERA and 137 saves in 661 relief outings over 12 big-league seasons. But Robertson made just seven appearances for the Phillies after signing a two-year deal before the 2019 season. The 35-year-old missed all of last season and is hoping to add bullpen help for an interested team. He received a $2 million buyout when Philadelphia declined his option for the 2021 season. It remains to be seen if Robertson will be ready for the start of next season, and he'll have to prove to his next team and fantasy managers that he's healthy before once again seeing a prominent role in the back end of a bullpen.
Free-agent starting pitcher Chris Archer could be a possibility for the Chicago Cubs as they look for starting rotation options on a budget this offseason. Archer missed all of last season due to thoracic outlet syndrome, but he's hoping to be ready for spring training. Mike Foltynewicz, Carlos Rodon, Rick Porcello and Trevor Williams could also be options for Chicago on the free-agent market. Archer had a forgettable 5.19 ERA with the Pirates in 2019, but the two-time All-Star was strong earlier in his career with the Rays, who acquired the right-hander from the Cubs in a 2011 trade when he was still a minor league prospect. The 32-year-old has hit a low point in terms of fantasy value, and most fantasy managers will avoid him coming off a missed season. But Archer could be an early season waiver wire addition if he proves he's healthy in the right situation.
Chicago Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant admitted that trade rumors swirling around him have caused him to lose some of the joy in playing baseball in recent years. "It really got to me sometimes. The stuff I was hearing. The first trade rumors [in 2018] that started to pop up really got to me. I find myself [thinking], 'Man, is this even fun anymore? Why did I start playing this game?' Because it was fun," Bryant said. The All-Star third baseman will make $19.5 million in 2021 but can become a free agent after next season. He's been the subject of trade rumors because he hasn't come to terms on an extension with Chicago. The 2016 National League MVP hit just .203 last year while battling injuries. His stock is down and he's no longer a top-10 fantasy third baseman, but Bryant is still on the right side of 30 and could be a value selection as a bounce-back candidate, especially if a change of scenery ignites him.
The Los Angeles Angels have emerged as suitors for free-agent relief pitcher Brad Hand, according to sources. The New York Mets and Toronto Blue Jays are among the other teams involved. To a lesser degree, the Astros and Dodgers have some interest. Cleveland cut Hand in a cost-cutting move after the 2020 season in which the left-hander led all of baseball with 16 saves while also posting a solid 2.05 ERA 0.77 WHIP while striking out 11.9 hitters per nine innings. The 30-year-old southpaw is a three-time All-Star, including in 2019 with Cleveland, and should be in the mix for save chances wherever he winds up. With the Angels, however, things would be less clear, as the Halos traded for closer Raisel Iglesias this offseason. Hand is a quality late-inning arm with plenty of closing experience, but he might lose the most fantasy appeal if he were to sign with the Angels as more of a setup arm.
The Cincinnati Reds are among many teams showing interest in free-agent shortstop Andrelton Simmons. Cincinnati has been connected to several shortstops this offseason, including Didi Gregorius. The Reds are looking to secure a starter at the 6 after Freddy Galvis became a free agent. Injuries have limited Simmons the last two years with the Angels, but he's widely regarded as one of the best defensive shortstops in the game with incredible range and a cannon for an arm. He hit .297 with a .702 OPS in 30 games in the shortened 2020 season. Simmons, 31, slashed .264/.309/.364 with a .673 OPS, seven home runs, 40 RBI, 10 stolen bases and 47 runs scored in 398 at-bats over 103 games in his last full season in 2019. He has some modest power/speed in his profile, but Simmons will be more of a deep-league or single-league middle infielder for fantasy managers.
The Atlanta Braves are circling on free-agent catcher J.T. Realmuto, according to league sources. Other teams on the west coast are also expressing interest in the All-Star catcher. The Philadelphia Phillies are rumored to be the favorites to re-sign Realmuto, who spent the last two seasons with the team. Philadelphia is believed to have offered Realmuto a five-year deal in the $110 million range, but he could be holding out for a larger deal. Atlanta has Travis d'Arnaud, William Contreras and Alex Jackson currently on their roster at the catching position, so they would clearly like to upgrade at the position. The 29-year-old Realmuto was an All-Star in 2018 and 2019 and hit .266/.349/.491 with 11 home runs and 32 RBI in 47 games for the Phils in 2020. He remains the best hitting catcher in the big leagues and should come off the board first among catchers yet again in 2021 fantasy drafts.
While the Toronto Blue Jays signing of outfielder George Springer to a six-year, $150 million deal this week would seemingly take them out of the market for free-agent starting pitcher Trevor Bauer, sources say that might not be true. If Bauer were to land in Toronto as their ace, the Jays would immediately vault to one of the top teams in the American League in 2021. Bauer would pair with left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu at the top of the Blue Jays rotation to give them more stability alongside youngsters Nate Pearson and Trent Thornton. Bauer won the National League Cy Young award last year with the Reds and is the top arm available on the open market by a wide margin. Toronto is a tough environment for pitchers and would probably be the least attractive landing spot for the righty, but Bauer will be a fantasy ace no matter where he lands in free agency.
The Los Angeles Dodgers are monitoring the market for right-hander Trevor Bauer and could be a player for his services, depending on the price, according to sources. The Dodgers are now focused on a right-handed infield bat, but Bauer and the Dodgers remain a possibility as his market develops. Adding a third ace to a mix that already includes Clayton Kershaw and Walker Buehler would make the Dodgers rotation one of the best in baseball. Bauer, who won the National League Cy Young award in 2020 with the Reds, is the best available player on the open market. He had a 1.73 ERA and 100:17 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 73 innings over 11 starts last year and will be a high-end fantasy ace no matter where he lands.
The Houston Astros reached a two-year, $7 million deal with catcher Jason Castro on Thursday, according to sources. The deal includes $2 million in performance bonuses based on games played in 2021. Castro returns to Houston after spending his first six major leagues seasons with the Astros. He was an All-Star with the club in 2013. The 33-year-old left-handed hitter batted just .188 with two home runs and nine RBI with the Angels and Padres in 27 games in 2020. Castro has always been known as a defense-first backstop, with a .230 career batting average. He's expected to split playing time behind the dish in his return to Houston with Martin Maldonado. At best, Castro is an option for fantasy managers in two-catcher formats.