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Sports Data APIs for Individuals!
Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Brendan McKay (shoulder) underwent thoracic outlet syndrome decompression surgery Tuesday, according to an announcement from the team. Per the announcement, "McKay will focus on rehabbing as a pitcher ... with the expectation that he will resume throwing no later than early February." The fourth-overall pick in the 2017 draft out of Louisville, McKay owns a 5.14 ERA and 4.03 FIP in 49 career Major League innings. Tampa Bay's current rotation options for next season include Shane Baz, Luis Patino, Drew Rasmussen, Ryan Yarbrough, and Tommy Romero.
The New York Mets are determined to add a top starting pitcher after just signing outfielders Starling Marte and Mark Canha and infielder Eduardo Escobar on Friday, and their order of preference appears to be Max Scherzer, Kevin Gausman and Robbie Ray. It's unclear how realistic it is for the Mets to land Scherzer. The Mets also have interest in re-signing Marcus Stroman, but he said that the team would prefer a bigger name starting pitcher. The New York Post's Joel Sherman reported that the Mets also have interest in right-hander Jon Gray. After spending $124.5 million on free-agent bats on Friday, it's possible that Gray and Stroman are more realistic targets. Stroman had a nice 3.02 ERA in 33 starts for the Mets in 2021, so he'd be a solid consolation prize if New York doesn't make a huge splash with a starting pitcher.
The Seattle Mariners are acquiring second baseman/outfielder Adam Frazier from the San Diego Padres on Saturday in exchange for hard-throwing left-handed reliever Ray Kerr and outfielder Corey Rosier, according to sources familiar with the agreement. Frazier will give the Mariners an upgrade at the keystone and can fill in as an outfielder option if needed, too. The 29-year-old hit .305/.368/.411 with five home runs and 10 stolen bases in 639 plate appearances with the Padres and Pittsburgh Pirates in 2021. Frazier doesn't have much pop, but his elite contact skills are an asset in fantasy. Kerr, 27, had a 3.18 ERA, 1.06 WHIP and 60 K's in 39 2/3 innings for Double-A Arkansas and Triple-A Tacoma in 2021. Rosier, 22, hit .390/.461/.585 with three homers, 23 RBI and 13 steals in 31 games with Single-A Modesto in his first professional season.
Word has gotten out that the Baltimore Orioles would listen to trade offers for star center fielder Cedric Mullins, and teams are lining up to give it a shot knowing that it's probably a long shot. The asking price for Mullins is understandably extremely high, with teams like the Philadelphia Phillies, Texas Rangers, Houston Astros, San Francisco Giants and New York Yankees likely to be interested because of their need for a center fielder. Mullins was an All-Star in 2021 and finished ninth in the voting for American League MVP after hitting .291 with 30 home runs, 30 stolen bases, 91 runs scored, 37 double and an .878 OPS. He's only 27 years old and won't be a free agent until 2026, which only raises his price. Mullins certainly would be more attractive in fantasy playing for a contender like the Yankees.
The Detroit Tigers have been in discussions with free-agent shortstop Javier Baez, according to sources. The Tigers are currently focused on Baez after previously talking with both Carlos Correa and Marcus Semien. Baez could be a fallback option for the Tigers if Correa's price tag is too rich for their taste. But one thing is clear: Detroit is looking for a high-profile shortstop as they try to go from rebuilding to contending in 2022. The soon-to-be 29-year-old Baez had an up-and-down year in 2021 with the Chicago Cubs and New York Mets, but he finished hot and was walking at a career-high rate to close the season in New York. Baez will remain a streaky hitter because he swings and misses often, but he had a pretty solid season with a .265/.319/.494 slash line and 31 homers when it was all said and done.
The Arizona Diamondbacks acquired outfielder Jordan Luplow from the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday in exchange for infielder Ronny Simon. In a corresponding move, the D-backs designated right-handed pitcher Brett De Geus for assignment. Luplow hits from the right side and has mostly been a platoon bat at outfield and first base in his five big-league seasons. Luplow hasn't had more than 261 plate appearances in any one season, but he does have a decent .245/.360/.539 career slash line with a 14.3% walk rate and 23 home runs in 378 plate appearances against left-handed pitchers. Luplow should provide a nice platoon option for Arizona's young outfield. Simon is a switch-hitting infield prospect that hit .249/.343/.475 with 15 home runs and 12 steals in 449 plate appearances with Low-A Visalia last season.
The New York Mets have signed free-agent outfielder Starling Marte to a four-year, $78 million contract. On Friday, the Mets had a busy day, acquiring infielder Eduardo Escobar, outfielder Mark Canha, and now Marte via free agency. The 33-year-old slashed a career-high .310/.383/.458 with 12 home runs, 55 RBI, 89 runs scored, and 47 stolen bases over 120 games for the Miami Marlins and Oakland Athletics. He was the best free-agent centerfielder on the market. Marte has more value in category leagues due to his elite speed and will be one of the top-10-12 outfielders off the board in upcoming fantasy drafts in 2022.
Free-agent pitcher Michael Wacha agreed to a one-year deal with the Red Sox on Friday. He was mainly used as a traditional starter for the Tampa Bay Rays in 2021. The right-hander will provide the Red Sox with pitching depth and slot into the back-end of Boston's starting rotation. The 30-year-old went (3-5) with a 5.05 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, and a 121:31 K: BB across 124 2/3 innings for the Rays in 2021. Wacha will be used as a streamer when the matchup is favorable in most fantasy leagues and is a solid reserve pitcher in deep-league formats in 2022.
The New York Mets and free-agent infielder Eduardo Escobar agreed to a two-year, $20 million contract on Friday. The 32-year-old bounced back in 2021 after a disastrous campaign in 2020 (slashed .212/.270/.335). He slashed .253/.314/.472 with 28 homers, 90 RBI, 77 runs scored, and one stolen for the Diamondbacks and Brewers over 599 plate appearances in 2021. Escobar has multiple eligibility and will qualify at first (18 games), second (42 games), and third base (99 games) in most leagues in 2022. The former Diamondback has hit for 25 or more home runs in three of his last four seasons and should remain a viable fantasy asset with his new team for the upcoming year.
The New York Mets and free-agent outfielder Mark Canha agreed to a two-year, $26.5 million deal on Friday. The 32-year-old has been an on-base machine and is 13th overall in OBP over the last three seasons. He slashed .231/.358/.387 with 17 home runs, 61 RBI, 93 runs scored, and 12 stolen bases with a .115 wRC+ over 625 plate appearances for the Athletics in 2021. Canha will slide into the right field for Michael Conforto, who declined his qualifying offer and tested the free-agent market this offseason. The former Oakland Athletic is more valuable in OBP league formats but should remain a solid fantasy asset with his new team in 2022.
The Arizona Diamondbacks are being connected to free agent reliever Kirby Yates, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. The 34-year old signed a one-year deal with the Toronto Blue Jays last offseason but didn't pitch at all after undergoing his second Tommy John surgery. That was after only pitching 4.1 innings in 2020 due to injury. Before his health troubles, he was an effective reliever from 2017 until 2019, posting a 2.40 ERA, 38.5 K%, and 0.97 WHIP along with 54 saves. The Diamondbacks don't have a clear shutdown reliever, so he may get the chance to save some games if he signs. However, he shouldn't be drafted as a closer right now, as most teams don't want a closer who's appeared in only six games the past two seasons.