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Sports Data APIs for Individuals!
Cleveland Guardians relief pitcher Emmanuel Clase has been nearly unhittable all season long. On Sunday, the right-hander was called upon to protect a two-run lead over the Kansas City Royals. The 24-year-old needed only 12 pitches to record his major league leading 41st save of the season. He's converted 41 of his 45 save opportunities to go along with a microscopic 1.38 ERA, 0.73 WHIP and 75/10 K/BB ratio across 71 2/3 innings. There's still a few games left in the regular season for Clase to add onto his total.
Minnesota Twins outfielder/designated hitter Byron Buxton is slated to start in center field next season according to manager Rocco Baldelli. The Twins' skipper told reporters during MLB winter meetings that Buxton is recovering well from his October arthroscopic knee surgery and should be ready to go for spring training. The oft-injured dynamic 29-year-old served as DH-only last season to keep him healthy. He ended up playing in just 85 games, however, and put up a poor .207/.294/.438 batting line to go along with 17 home runs, 42 RBI, and nine stolen bases. Buxton will always carry considerable injury risk but when he is locked in and healthy he's one of the most productive fantasy outfielders in the league.
Contrary to an earlier report on Friday, free-agent two-way superstar Shohei Ohtani was not on a plane that landed in Toronto that many assumed he was on. It's been a whirlwind day for Ohtani news, and this is yet another conflicting report with what had been released earlier in the day. As of right now, nothing is official in the Ohtani sweepstakes and he remains unsigned, despite reports that he was expected to make a decision on his next team by Friday. The Los Angeles Dodgers have been the favorites to land the two-time MVP all offseason, but the Blue Jays could be going strong for the generational talent after losing out on Juan Soto this week. Stay tuned.
First baseman Evan White is headed from Atlanta to the Los Angeles Angels. White was just acquired by Atlanta from Seattle. He hasn't appeared in the big leagues in two years. The 27-year-old has pop but it doesn't look like he has a good enough hit tool to carve out a regular role for a big-league squad.
Infielder David Fletcher and catcher Max Stassi are on the move from the Los Angeles Angels to the Atlanta Braves. Fletcher is a 29-year-old utility man who provided a 0.1 WAR in 89 games last season. Stassi is 32 years old and hit .180 in 2022. He did not play in 2023 due to a family medical issue. If Stassi is to return in 2024, it probably won't be with Atlanta, as they are stacked at catcher. Neither player moves the needle much in fantasy leagues.
Pitchers Nick Robertson and Victor Santos have been reported as the package being sent from Boston to St. Louis for Tyler O'Neill. Robertson is a relief pitcher with major league experience and good strikeout numbers in a cup of coffee. He appeared in 22 1/3 innings for the Red Sox and Dodgers, striking out 26. However, he finished the season with a 6.04 ERA and 1.75 WHIP. He'll likely head into Spring Training with a chance to win a bullpen spot for the Cardinals. Santos looks like a fringe starter with low strikeout rates and an average. WHIP. It could take a couple of injuries for him to start in the bigs in 2024.
The Boston Red Sox are acquiring outfielder Tyler O'Neill from the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday. It's unclear at the time what the Cardinals will receive in return. The 28-year-old Canadian has an intriguing mix of power and speed, but injuries have limited him to just 168 games the last two years and made him expendable in St. Louis after an impressive 2021 campaign that saw him hit .286 (138-for-482) with career-highs in home runs (34), RBI (80), stolen bases (15) and runs scored (89) in 138 contests. Despite the last two disappointing seasons, O'Neill should have plenty of appeal as a value pick in fantasy drafts in hopes that he will bounce back with a change of scenery and better health in Beantown. If he's fully healthy, O'Neill should be an everyday player in Boston's outfield in 2024, something that wasn't going to happen if he stuck around in St. Louis.
The Minnesota Twins have received increased trade interest in infielder Jorge Polanco over the last week. The Twins exercised their $10.5 million option on Polanco for the 2024 season, but teams have come calling on the 30-year-old veteran this offseason. Durability issues have been Polanco's Achilles heal, as he missed a considerable chunk of time in 2023 due to ankle, knee and hamstring issues. But he was solid at the plate when he was on the field, slashing .255/.335/.454 with a .789 OPS, 14 home runs, 18 doubles, 48 RBI, four stolen bases and 38 runs scored in 343 trips to the plate over 80 total games. The switch-hitting Dominican might have a better fantasy outlook outside of Minnesota, but durability concerns aren't going to go away. If the Twins do trade Polanco, Edouard Julien would become the team's regular at the keystone in 2024.
Free-agent pitcher Jordan Montgomery is unlikely to re-sign with the Texas Rangers due to the fact the club lost a local television deal. The left-hander is certainly in heavy demand after dazzling during the 2023 campaign. Montgomery worked to a career-best 3.20 ERA across 32 starts between the St. Louis Cardinals and Rangers this past season and went on to post a 2.90 ERA across six appearances (five starts) for the Rangers in the postseason en route to a World Series championship. The 30-year-old has quietly been one of the more reliable starting pitchers in baseball since debuting in 2017, as he owns a career 3.68 ERA across 141 outings between the Yankees, Cardinals, and Rangers.
Free-agent designated hitter/pitcher Shohei Ohtani is reportedly set to sign with the Toronto Blue Jays. The most coveted free agent in baseball history is likely headed north of the border with a $500 million contract, or more, certainly in play. The two-way phenom underwent another procedure on his UCL in September, which will prevent him from pitching at all in the 2024 season. He also underwent Tommy John surgery in 2018, which kept him off the mound the following season. The right-hander worked to a stellar 3.14 ERA across 23 starts before going down to injury and also slugged 44 home runs alongside a .304 average and 20 stolen bases across 599 trips to the plate, cruising to his second AL MVP award in the process in the 2023 campaign.
Free-agent left-hander Zach Logue has signed a minor-league deal with the Atlanta Braves. The southpaw endured a difficult 2023 season in the Tigers' organization, as he surrendered nine earned runs on the back of three homers in just 11 innings with the Tigers while posting a 6.58 ERA across 27 appearances (21 starts) with Triple-A Toledo. A ninth-round pick of the Toronto Blue Jays in the 2017 MLB draft, Logue owns a 6.88 ERA across 17 MLB outings (10 starts) spanning 68 innings of work. He also owns a career 4.55 ERA across 111 starts and 128 appearances in his minor-league career. Logue elected free agency in early October.