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Sports Data APIs for Individuals!
Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Kyle Schwarber was 0-for-2 in Thursday's 2-0 loss to the Chicago Cubs but did walk twice. He's been struggling to hit recently, batting .185 in his last 15 games, but still has five home runs in that span. Overall, it's been a productive season for Schwarber, who's slugged 42 HRs and has slashed .212/.315/.483 with 95 runs, 87 RBI, and nine stolen bases over 149 games. The lefty is a must-start in every league unless fantasy managers are going all in for batting average.
The St. Louis Cardinals are showing interest in trading for White Sox right-hander Dylan Cease. Rumors surrounding a Cease trade have intensified over the last 24 hours and it is believed a trade could get done sooner than later. The Cardinals' interest is intriguing as they have already made significant rotation splashes this winter with the additions of free agent right-handers Sonny Gray, Lance Lynn, and Kyle Gibson as they completely re-make their starting rotation. Cease was the AL Cy Young runner-up in 2022 when he tossed a 2.20 ERA across 32 starts but he took a step back in 2023, working to a 4.58 ERA across 33 outings. Nonetheless, the 27-year-old takes the ball every fifth day, boasts big-time strikeout numbers, and is under club control through the 2025 campaign.
The Chicago Cubs and Tampa Bay Rays have held trade talks in regards to Rays right-hander Tyler Glasnow. With a $25 million salary for the 2024 season incoming for the big right-hander, the low-budget Rays are almost certain to trade him this offseason with several teams, not surprisingly, interested in his services. Of course, health issues are the biggest red flag when it comes to Glasnow. His 21 starts in 2023 represented a career-high but he has still started just 60 games since becoming a full-time Ray in the 2019 season. He's been money when healthy, however, as is coming off a 3.53 ERA and big-time 25.8% K-BB last season and sports a career 21.2% K-BB%. He has posted a SIERA of 3.18 or better every season since the 2019 campaign.
The Chicago White Sox and minor-league outfielder Wynton Bernard have agreed to a minor-league pact for the 2024 season. The well-traveled Bernard has appeared in 1,010 minor-league games in a professional career that began in the 2012 season but he finally got the call to the big leagues when he played in 12 games with the Rockies in the 2022 season. He hit a respectable .286 in 42 plate appearances with the Rockies that season but most recently hit .329 with eight homers, 26 stolen bases, and an .872 OPS across 66 games with Triple-A Albuquerque last season. The 33-year-old is a career .291 hitter in the minors with 65 home runs, although 32 in the last two seasons, and 265 stolen bases in 3.472 at-bats.
The Atlanta Braves and right-hander Jackson Stephens have agreed to a one-year, non-guaranteed split contract for the 2024 season. The club outrighted Stephens off of their 40-man roster earlier in the month but have brought him back on a non-guaranteed deal after he worked five appearances out of their bullpen in September. The 29-year-old worked to a solid 3.00 ERA in those 12 innings before elbow inflammation claimed the remainder of his season. While it's unclear if he will be ready to go for spring training, Stephens owns a respectable 4.19 ERA across 80 big-league appearances between the Reds and Braves, so a flyer low-risk flyer makes sense in this situation.
The Milwaukee Brewers and outfield prospect Jackson Chourio have agreed on a historic eight-year, $80 million deal, the richest contract for a player who has yet to play a game in the big leagues. The deal includes two team options. Just 19 years of age, Chourio has played just six games above the Double-A level as he hit .280 with 22 home runs and 43 stolen bases across 122 games at Double-A in 2023 before hitting .333 with one steal across six games at the Triple-A level. The low-budget Brewers are making a bet that they will be paying a star player just $10 million annually shortly into the contract while the young outfielder nets some financial security. He could be in line for his big-league debut at just 20 years of age in 2024 and is certainly a dynasty league gem at this point.
The Atlanta Braves and right-hander Penn Murfee have agreed to a one-year, non-guaranteed split contract for the 2024 season. The Braves scooped Murfee off waivers from the New York Mets two weeks ago, the second time he was claimed on waivers this offseason after the Mets originally claimed him from the Seattle Mariners. The 29-year-old spent the 2023 season with the Mariners, tossing a 1.29 ERA, albeit alongside a 4.64 SIERA, across 16 appearances before elbow issues ended his season in June. Certainly, Murfee is worth a flyer considering he has worked to a 2.70 ERA across 80 MLB appearances but a UCL procedure in June could cost him significant time in the 2024 campaign.
Free-agent right-hander Nick Martinez and the Cincinnati Reds are in agreement on a two-year, $26 million deal on Thursday that includes an opt-out clause after the first year, according to sources. The 33-year-old opted out of the last two years and $16 million of his deal with the San Diego Padres this offseason to reach the open market. Martinez went 10-8 over the last two years with the Friars while posting a 3.45 ERA (4.17 FIP), 1.27 WHIP, nine saves, 81 walks and 201 strikeouts over 110 outings (19 starts) and 216 2/3 innings. He wasn't all that effective as a closer in San Diego, but he did have 23 holds and should work as a useful swing man in Cincinnati with the back end of the bullpen already locked down with Alexis Diaz and recent signing Emilio Pagan.
Milwaukee Brewers top center field prospect Jackson Chourio is expected to complete a deal on Thursday that will be the richest contract ever for a player who has yet to reach the big leagues. The deal is expected to be for eight guaranteed years and close to $80 million and include two team options. The deal will top Chicago White Sox outfielder Luis Robert Jr.'s six-year, $50 million deal. The 19-year-old Chourio is the second-ranked prospect this offseason in all of baseball, behind only shortstop Jackson Holliday of the Baltimore Orioles. This contract likely means that Chourio will be in Milwaukee's Opening Day lineup in 2024 after he slashed a strong .283/.338/.467 with an .805 OPS, 22 home runs 26 doubles, three triples, 91 RBI, 44 stolen bases and 88 runs in 128 games with Double-A Biloxi and Triple-A Nashville in 2023.
Free-agent right-hander Jaime Barria agreed with the Cleveland Guardians on a minor-league deal on Wednesday, according to sources. Barria spent his first six big-league seasons with the Los Angeles Angels and was granted free agency in October. The 27-year-old will receive an invite to major-league spring training next year. In his six seasons with the Angels, Barria appeared in 134 games (62 starts) and recorded a 4.38 ERA (5.08 FIP) and 1.32 WHIP with a 7.7 percent walk rate and weak 17.9 percent strikeout rate in 462 2/3 innings. He had a career-best 2.61 ERA in 2022 for the Halos before dropping significantly this past season with a 5.68 ERA. If Barria makes it to the big leagues for Cleveland, it will likely be in a middle-relief role.
Free-agent utility infielder Joey Wendle and the New York Mets agreed on a one-year, $2 million deal on Wednesday, pending a physical, according to sources familiar with the deal. Wendle was an All-Star with the Tampa Bay Rays in 2021 before spending the last two years with the Miami Marlins. But he's only a career .263 hitter with 32 home runs in eight big-league seasons, and his worst season came in 2023 when he hit .212/.248/.306 with two home runs, 20 RBI, 16 doubles, seven stolen bases and 33 runs scored in 112 games played for the Fish. The 33-year-old left-handed hitter stands at 6-foot-1 and 195 pounds and will mainly serve the Mets with his glove and defensive versatility for the upcoming 2024 campaign.