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Sports Data APIs for Individuals!
The Milwaukee Brewers are talking with top outfield prospect Jackson Chourio about a landmark contract that could influence the direction of their offseason and the makeup of their 2024 roster, according to The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal. Chourio has played just six games above Double-A, and a new deal would establish a new standard for players with no major-league experience who already were under team control. His deal would be longer and guarantee him more money than the six-year, $50 million deal that outfielder Luis Robert Jr. signed with the Chicago White Sox in January of 2020. Chourio doesn't turn 20 until March 11 but is already widely considered one of the two top prospects in the game alongside Orioles shortstop Jackson Holliday. If a deal is struck, it would likely ensure that Chourio would be in Milwaukee's Opening Day lineup in 2024.
Boston Red Sox relief pitcher Liam Hendriks (elbow) said Tuesday that he hopes to debut for his new team by the trade deadline. The 35-year-old veteran overcame non-Hodgkin's lymphoma last year but then underwent Tommy John surgery in August. Hendriks said, "That's my goal. That's 12 months-ish. ... Throwing has been going well." It remains to be seen if Hendriks can hit that timeline, but he should offer fantasy impact when he does return. He was one of baseball's top closers with the White Sox from 2021 through 2022, earning a combined 75 saves. Kenley Jansen is the team's current closer, although he has been mentioned in trade rumors this off-season.
Miami Marlins second baseman Luis Arraez said Tuesday that while he "100 percent yes" would be interested in a contract extension, the team has not started any related conversations. The 26-year-old and the Marlins just completed his arbitration case, in which he will earn the $10.6 million the Marlins filed for in 2024, rather than the $12 million he had filed for. Arraez slashed .354/.393/.469 with 10 home runs and 69 RBI in 2023, earning his second batting title. President of baseball operations Peter Bendix said, "I love that he wants to stay here... That's something that we're going to keep internal." While his lack of high-level contribution in other categories limits his overall fantasy value, Arraez's elite batting average skills are undeniable.
Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Brendan McKay successfully threw live batting practice Tuesday, the first time he had pitched to hitters since August 2022. The former fourth overall pick in the 2017 draft has endured several injuries, the latest being Tommy John surgery in September 2022. McKay is at camp as a non-roster invitee and has a long way to get in shape to pitch in the big leagues again, but his pedigree and the way the Rays manage their pitching staff could make him worth monitoring throughout the season. He may have the opportunity to become fantasy-relevant at some point.
Chicago White Sox director of player development Paul Janish said Tuesday that the team plans to allow top prospect Colson Montgomery to initially play in his natural position of shortstop. Janish said, "We are proponents of let's give him that opportunity." However, he also mentioned that health and playing success could leave the possibility of second base and third base open. The 21-year-old is the team's top prospect and is the No. 9 overall prospect in baseball, per MLB Pipeline. He only reached Double-A Birmingham last season, but it would not be surprising to see him with the White Sox at some point this season. Montgomery is a top fantasy name in dynasty leagues, and the potential to slot into multiple positions could make him relevant sooner rather than later in re-draft leagues this season.
San Diego Padres manager Mike Shildt said Tuesday that newly signed relief pitcher Yuki Matsui will make his Cactus League debut in Thursday's opening game against the Dodgers. The 27-year-old lefty signed a four-year, $21 million contract this off-season after spending the past decade pitching for the Rakuten Golden Eagles in Japan. Matsui was a successful closer, but the Padres also signed KBO reliever Woo-Suk Go and have Robert Suarez as the incumbent for the closer's role. Fantasy managers should keep a close eye and ear out in the Padres' camp as things progress.
Chicago Cubs right-hander Kyle Hendricks is looking to build off his solid 2023 season after returning from a worrisome shoulder injury that caused him to get a late start last spring training. Hendricks looked good in a live batting practice session last Saturday and was sitting around 86-88 mph with his fastballs. The 34-year-old soft-tossing veteran didn't throw his first bullpen session last spring until Feb. 24 and didn't make his season debut until May while working back from a capsular tear in his right shoulder. Upon his return, Hendricks "felt completely normal again," and it was backed up the fact that he topped 90 mph on a fastball 14 times while seeing the highest spin rate of his career on his changeup. Hendricks will be a key starter for Chicago's rotation, but there's just not much fantasy upside due to his lack of strikeouts.
Chicago White Sox right-hander Edgar Navarro (elbow) will have Tommy John surgery in early March, according to the team. The 26-year-old Venezuelan made his major-league debut in 2023 for the Pale Hose and struggled, allowing seven earned runs on 11 hits (two homers) while walking two and striking out nine in 8 2/3 innings over eight appearances out of the bullpen. He was outrighted off the 40-man roster in December and will now miss all of the 2024 campaign. In five seasons on the farm, Navarro has gone 15-14 with a 5.14 ERA and 1.58 WHIP with 15 saves, 160 walks and 278 strikeouts in 264 1/3 innings over 173 appearances (five starts). When he returns from his elbow injury in 2025, Navarro will be minor-league relief depth for Chicago.
Free-agent catcher Gary Sanchez (wrist) is close to finalizing the one-year, $7 million contract that he reached with the Milwaukee Brewers nearly two weeks ago, according to sources briefed on the discussions. There was a holdup because the Brewers had lingering concerns over the condition of Sanchez's right wrist after his physical, and the expectation is he will accept a lower base salary with incentives that would allow him to earn the original $7 million if he stays healthy. The deal also includes a mutual option for 2025. The 31-year-old veteran backstop fractured his right wrist on Sept. 6 while with the Padres when he was hit by a pitch. Before that, he had a resurgent 2023, batting just .218 but hitting 19 homers with a .792 OPS in 260 plate appearances. In Milwaukee, he'll be the primary backup to William Contreras but will also see at-bats at designated hitter.
The Tampa Bay Rays placed right-hander Drew Rasmussen (elbow) on the 60-day injured list on Tuesday to make room on the 40-man roster for the signing of infielder Amed Rosario. Rasmussen won't return until the second half of the 2024 season after having an internal-brace procedure on his right elbow last July. The 28-year-old looked great for the Rays in eight starts last year before getting hurt, posting a 2.62 ERA (2.54 FIP) and 1.05 WHIP with 11 walks and 47 strikeouts in 44 2/3 innings pitched, but fantasy managers are going to have to wait until later this year to get another look at him. He's already had two Tommy John surgeries in his career, too, so expecting Rasmussen to pick up where he left off in 2023 would be pretty foolish.
Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said that he had a conversation with designated hitter Shohei Ohtani (elbow), and Ohtani wants 50 at-bats this spring to be ready for the regular-season opener in Korea against the division-rival San Diego Padres. The at-bats could come as a combination of live batting practice, simulated games on the back field and in Cactus League games. The 29-year-old Japanese superstar had right-elbow surgery last September and won't pitch at all in his first year in LA, but he will open the regular season as the full-time DH. Ohtani could get off to a slow start at the plate as his surgically repaired right elbow adjusts, but he should still be in consideration for fantasy managers late in the first round after winning his second American League MVP in 2023 in the last three years.