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Sports Data APIs for Individuals!
The Pittsburgh Pirates are reportedly one of the teams interested in free-agent starting pitcher Kyle Gibson, per MLB Network's Jon Heyman. The 35-year-old compiled a 10-8 record with a poor 5.05 ERA, 1.34 WHIP and 20.1% strikeout rate in 31 starts with the Phillies in 2022. However, he was a useful fantasy streamer at times throughout the season and had a more encouraging 4.06 SIERA. Gibson's high WHIP and low strikeout numbers have always limited his fantasy upside, and going to a team with a poor offense like the Pirates would further limit his potential fantasy value.
Milwaukee Brewers top position player prospect Sal Frelick is expected to play for Italy in the World Baseball Classic. With Hall of Fame catcher Mike Piazza at the helm as manager, Frelick will be joined by Max Stassi, Vinnie Pasquantino, Trey Mancini, Nicky Lopez and other major-leaguers to represent Italy in the WBC. Frelick is listed 30th on MLB's top-100 prospect list and is on the cusp of a promotion to the big leagues in 2023. The former first-round pick worked his way up from High-A in 2022 and finished off the year with the Brewers' Triple-A affiliate in Nashville. Between the three levels, Frelick combined for a .331/.403/.480 slash line with an .883 OPS and 163 hits. Playing in the WBC could be the exposure that Frelick needs to come out hot in the 2023 season, and there's a good chance that he will make his debut for the Brewers in the coming months.
New York Mets top pitching prospect Matthew Allan (elbow) reportedly underwent a revision UCL surgery and will miss the 2023 season. Allan had Tommy John surgery in 2021 and it appears that Allan needed a second operation. The 21-year-old has now undergone three elbow surgeries in his young career. Allan was ranked 10th on the Mets' top-30 list in 2022 and is expected to play a vital role in the rotation over the next couple of years. The right-hander hasn't played professionally since 2019, when he made five starts between the team's Rookie affiliate and the High-A Brooklyn Cyclones. Between the two teams, Allan molded a 2.61 ERA with 14 punchouts and a 1.45 WHIP. The former third-round pick is indefinitely out for the 2023 season and may even miss some time in 2024.
Milwaukee Brewers first baseman Rowdy Tellez will be representing Mexico in the World Baseball Classic. Tellez will be joined by other major-leaguers to represent Mexico, such as teammate Luis Urias, Julio Urias, Randy Arozarena, Joey Meneses and others. Tellez hit a whopping 35 home runs this past season with the Brewers and continues to emanate elite power. His slash line was underwhelming after molding a .219/.306/.461 triple line this past season, but that's typical for a sole power hitter. The first baseman accumulated a 115 OPS+ and drove in 89 runs. His .306 on-base percentage was at the root of his low average, but playing in the WBC could help him out. Not to mention, Tellez also received an offer to play for Israel in the WBC.
Carlos Beltran, who spent 20 years in the major leagues and at one point served as the New York Mets manager, will be leaving the YES network. Beltran received a job offer from the Mets as special assistant to general manager Billy Eppler. The 45-year-old spent some time with YES and broadcasted live games in 2022. Just three years back, Beltran was slated to become the Mets manager but was fired after he was linked to the Astros' sign-stealing scandal. According to the New York Post, manager Buck Showalter was considering Beltran to become the Mets assistant hitting coach, but he ultimately landed a job under Eppler. Additionally, Beltran placed sixth in Hall of Fame voting in his first year on the ballot with a 46.5% mark.
The writers at FOX Sports projected five landing spots for Los Angeles Angels superstar Shohei Ohtani when he becomes a free agent after the 2023 season. The Angels were not one of the five teams. The teams consisted of the New York Mets, Los Angeles Dodgers, San Diego Padres, New York Yankees and San Francisco Giants. The optimal choice for the Angels is obviously to lure Ohtani back, but it seems that other teams will bid just as aggressively in the offseason. The Angels are all in on Ohtani, but with owner Arte Moreno at the helm, the odds may not be in their favor. The owner of the Mets, Steve Cohen, will have no issues splurging on a perennial talent. The other aforementioned teams will pursue Ohtani with similar aggression, and the 28-year-old may become the first baseball player to bank upwards of $500 million.
Toronto Blue Jays closer Jordan Romano has withdrawn from Team Italy for the upcoming 2023 World Baseball Classic. It's good news for those that plan to invest in Romano as a top-10 fantasy closer this year. The 29-year-old right-hander has emerged as one of the better closers in baseball on one of the best rising teams in the sport. He was a first-time All-Star in 2022, when he had a sharp 2.11 ERA (2.82 FIP), 1.02 WHIP, career-high 36 saves, 21 walks and 73 strikeouts in 64 relief innings. Romano has 59 saves in the last two years for Toronto and will enter the 2023 season as the Jays' unquestioned closer. RotoBaller currently has him ranked as the No. 6 fantasy closer behind Ryan Pressly.
The Cincinnati Reds signed free-agent outfielder Nick Plummer to a minor-league deal this week. Plummer made his major-league debut last year with the New York Mets, going 4-for-29 (.138) with two home runs, six RBI, four runs scored and 12 strikeouts in 31 plate appearances over just 14 games. The 26-year-old former first-rounder (23rd overall) by the St. Louis Cardinals in 2015 has produced a .223/.359/.361 slash line, .720 OPS, 40 home runs, 193 RBI, 268 runs scored and 50 stolen bases in six seasons in the minor leagues. Plummer has a chance to earn more big-league at-bats with the rebuilding Reds, but there's still a pretty good chance he'll begin the 2023 campaign down on the farm.
The Washington Nationals signed free-agent right-hander Chad Kuhl to a minor-league deal on Saturday that includes an invite to major-league spring training. The 30-year-old struggled with the Colorado Rockies last year and went 25-30 with a 4.44 ERA in 100 games (84 starts) with the Pittsburgh Pirates before that. He'll give the Nationals more starting pitching depth. In his 27 starts for the Rockies in 2022, Kuhl produced a career-worst 5.72 ERA (5.26 FIP), 1.55 WHIP and weak 17.8 percent strikeout rate in 137 1/3 innings pitched. A right triceps strain put him on the injured list to close out last season, but he could see some spot starts for a rebuilding Nationals organization if he proves he's healthy early in 2023.
The Boston Red Sox signed former Tampa Bay Rays right-hander Jake Faria to a minor-league deal on Saturday, according to a source. Faria began his MLB career mostly as a starter for the Rays in 2017 and 2018, but he's mostly served as a reliever in two seasons since then. The 29-year-old didn't pitch in the majors at all in 2022 and had a 5.51 ERA (4.58 FIP), 1.59 WHIP, 13 walks and 32 strikeouts in 23 appearances (three starts) over 32 2/3 innings pitched for the Arizona Diamondbacks. Faria had a rough 7.48 ERA in 12 outings (nine starts) at Triple-A St. Paul with the Minnesota Twins in 2022. He'll give the Red Sox some starting and relieving pitching depth in 2023 but won't be on the fantasy radar at all if he's in the big leagues.
The Kansas City Royals have started exploring contract extensions for their young core of players and will continue to do so over the next year, according to general manager J.J. Picollo. Shortstop Bobby Witt Jr., starting pitcher Brady Singer and first baseman Vinnie Pasquantino are among those in that group. The Royals are currently in rebuilding mode, but they'd like to lock in their core for years to come. Witt, a former second overall pick in 2019, didn't disappoint as a full-time starter in his first MLB season, as he slashed .254/.294/.428 with a .722 OPS, 20 home runs, 80 RBI, 82 runs scored and 30 stolen bases in 150 games. Singer was arbitration-eligible for the first time this offseason, but the sides couldn't agree on a deal. Pasquantino also debuted in 2022, and hit .295 with 10 homers and 26 RBI in 72 games.