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Sports Data APIs for Individuals!
The Texas Rangers are among the most serious suitors for free-agent left-hander Carlos Rodon. It was reported several weeks ago that the New York Mets were another team with interest in the veteran southpaw. The Rangers already traded for righty Jake Odorizzi this offseason and are serious about upgrading their rotation heading into the 2023 season. Rodon would be a potential ace for Texas after he rejected the San Francisco Giants' qualifying offer in order to test the open market this winter. The 29-year-old has been an All-Star the last two seasons and went 14-8 with a 2.88 ERA (league-low 2.25 FIP), a 1.03 WHIP, a career-high 237 strikeouts and 52 walks in 178 innings over 31 starts for San Fran.
Free-agent left-hander David Price will not pitch in 2023, according to his long-time agent Bo McKinnis. Price isn't using the retirement word, but if this ends up being it for him, he'll finish his major-league career with a 157-82 record and a 3.32 ERA over 2,143 2/3 innings in 14 seasons. The five-time All-Star and 2013 American League Cy Young winner mostly worked as a reliever the last two seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers, posting a 3.47 ERA (4.11 FIP), a 1.33 WHIP, three saves and 95 strikeouts in 114 innings pitched over 79 appearances (11 starts). The 37-year-old was better in 2022 with a 2.45 ERA, 1.16 WHIP and 37 K's in 40 1/3 relief innings. If Price does return in 2024, it'll likely be in a limited relief role.
The Chicago Cubs and free-agent starting pitcher Jameson Taillon agreed to a four-year, $68 million deal on Tuesday night, according to sources. It was reported earlier on Tuesday night that the Cubs were making a final push to bring Taillon into their starting rotation, and now it's official. The 31-year-old's 2022 season may not have finished as strong as it started, but he still had a solid year for the New York Yankees, going 14-5 with a 3.91 ERA (3.94 FIP), a 1.13 WHIP and a 20.7 percent strikeout rate in 177 1/3 innings over a career-high-tying 32 starts. Taillon will have a weaker lineup behind him in Chicago, but he'll also be leaving the tough American League East for a much weaker division overall in the National League Central.
The San Diego Padres had a high level of disappointment when shortstop Trea Turner chose to sign with the Philadelphia Phillies on Monday for 11 years and $300 million, according to multiple sources. The precise terms of the Padres' offer to Turner weren't known, but two people not directly involved but familiar with the dealings said the Padres offered Turner more than the Phillies. San Diego drafted Turner 13th overall in 2014, only later to trade him to the Washington Nationals in a three-team deal that brought Wil Myers to the Friars. Turner and his wife were said all along to prefer the East Coast since they're both from Florida. A team source said Monday that the Padres are no longer in the market for a shortstop and were always really only in it for Turner, who since the start of 2016 has led baseball in steals (228) and ranked ninth in batting average (.303).
The Los Angeles Dodgers are among the teams talking to long-time Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner. The Miami Marlins have also reached out. Turner became a free agent when the Dodgers declined his 2023 option for $16 million. The 38-year-old looked more his age last year in his ninth year in LA. He still hit a respectable .278 with a .350 on-base percentage in 532 plate appearances (128 games), but his power was down considerably with only 13 home runs after clubbing 27 in 2021. Turner drove in 81 runs and scored 61 runs for the Blue. The two-time All-Star is transitioning to more of a designated-hitter role at the tail end of his career, but he could return to the Dodgers for another year. The Marlins are desperately in need of more hitting.
The San Francisco Giants are believed to have offered in the neighborhood of $360 million to free-agent outfielder Aaron Judge, but the assumption/belief among rivals is that the New York Yankees remain the favorites to re-sign the record-breaking slugger. MLB Network's Jon Heyman reported earlier on Tuesday that Judge appeared headed to the Giants before backtracking on his report. There's still a chance that the Giants could lure the 30-year-old American League MVP away from the Bronx, even after signing outfielder Mitch Haniger on Tuesday. Judge could make his decision before the Winter Meetings conclude this Thursday. He set the AL home run record with 62 home runs last season while also driving in 131 runs and scoring 133.
The Philadelphia Phillies are reportedly close to a two-year, $15 million deal with free-agent relief pitcher Matt Strahm, the Athletic's Matt Gelb reported Tuesday. The left-hander had a successful 2022 season out of the bullpen for the Red Sox, posting a 3.83 ERA, 1.23 WHIP and 26.9% strikeout rate with 12 holds and four saves in 50 appearances. While the Phillies did cycle through several options at closer last season, it seems unlikely that Strahm would fill a significant high-leverage role, limiting his fantasy value.
The Houston Astros are interested in free-agent outfielders Michael Conforto and Andrew Benintendi as potential options to play left field, per MLB.com's Brian McTaggart. Both are left-handed hitters and would complement the host of right-handed hitters in the Astros' current lineup. Conforto did not play in 2022 due to shoulder surgery, but he compiled a .255/.356/.468 slash line in seven seasons with the New York Mets. Benintendi had a decent season with the Royals and Yankees, slashing .304/.373/.399 with five home runs, 51 RBI and eight steals. While neither offers a ton of upside from a fantasy perspective, either player's value would certainly be higher if they held an everyday role in the Astros' lineup.
The Chicago Cubs are "closing in on" a deal with free-agent starting pitcher Jameson Taillon, MLB.com's Mark Feinsand reported Tuesday. The Cubs also finalized a one-year deal with first baseman/outfielder Cody Bellinger earlier in the day. Taillon had an excellent first half of the 2022 season with the Yankees before tapering off and ended with a 14-5 record and a 3.91 ERA, 1.13 WHIP and a 20.7% strikeout rate in 32 starts. While it does look like the Cubs are attempting to bolster their roster overall, this would not be an ideal landing spot for Taillon from a fantasy perspective, as the Cubs had a middling lineup last season.
The Philadelphia Phillies signed free-agent right-hander Taijuan Walker to a four-year deal worth $72 million on Tuesday, according to sources. Walker will join the division-rival Phillies after spending the last two seasons with the New York Mets. He was an All-Star for the first time in his career in 2021 but he actually pitched better in 2022, going 12-5 with a 3.49 ERA (3.65 FIP), a 1.19 WHIP, 132 strikeouts and 45 walks in 157 1/3 innings pitched over 29 starts. The 30-year-old should become the Phillies' No. 3 starter heading into the 2023 season behind Zack Wheeler and Aaron Nola. Walker's fantasy value won't change all that much heading into next year while staying in the National League East division.
The San Francisco Giants and free-agent outfielder Mitch Haniger agreed to a three-year, $43.5 million deal on Tuesday, according to sources. Signing Haniger doesn't take the Giants out of the running for superstar free-agent slugger Aaron Judge. The Giants have been pursuing both Haniger and Judge on the open market. San Fran was able to land Haniger at a pretty decent cost because of a long list of injuries early in his career. The 31-year-old managed to play in only 57 games in 2022, hitting .246/.308/.429 with 11 home runs, 34 RBI and 31 runs scored in 247 plate appearances. Haniger can be a real fantasy contributor if he stays healthy, as evidenced by a 2021 season in which he slashed .253/.318/.485 with an .804 OPS, aa career-high 39 home runs, 100 RBI and 110 runs scored in 157 games.