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Sports Data APIs for Individuals!
Free-agent reliever Joe Kelly is close to signing with the Los Angeles Dodgers, according to The Athletic's Fabian Ardaya and FanSided's Robert Murray. The hard-throwing veteran posted a 4.12 ERA, 1.195 WHIP, and 60:18 K/BB ratio over 39 1/3 innings between the White Sox and the Dodgers last season. Kelly was traded to Los Angeles at last season's deadline but had his $9.5 million team option declined at the end of the year. The Dodgers will likely bring him back for less money now.
The New York Yankees claimed infielder Jahmai Jones off waivers from the Milwaukee Brewers on Wednesday and designated infielder Jordan Groshans for assignment in a corresponding move to make room on the 40-man roster for Jones. The 26-year-old Jones, a former second-round pick by the Los Angeles Angels from Wesleyan School, made seven appearances at the big-league level for the Brew Crew in 2023, going 2-for-10 (.200) with no homers and three RBI. It was his first time appearing in the majors since 2021 with the Baltimore Orioles, when he went 10-for-67 (.149) with no homers and three RBI in 26 contests. Jones looked good offensively in the minors last year, but he has yet to put it together at the big-league level in 36 games in three seasons.
To make room for the recently acquired outfielder Sam Hilliard on the 40-man roster, the Colorado Rockies placed right-hander Antonio Senzatela (elbow) on the 60-day injured list on Wednesday. Senzatela had Tommy John surgery and is expected to miss the entire 2024 season, so he's completely off the fantasy radar. The 29-year-old Venezuelan pitcher was only able to make two starts last season before being shut down with his elbow injury, and he allowed four earned runs on seven hits (three homers) while walking two and striking out four in his 7 2/3 innings pitched. Senzatela hasn't been much to look at from a fantasy perspective in his seven-year big-league career, posting a 4.87 ERA and 1.44 WHIP with 209 walks and 451 strikeouts in 679 2/3 total innings.
Los Angeles Dodgers right-hander Walker Buehler (elbow) said he felt good during his first live batting practice session of camp on Tuesday and that his fastball was sitting at 94-95 mph. Buehler said he will probably need another three to four live batting practice sessions before being ready for game action, but he sounded encouraged by his progress of late. The 29-year-old didn't pitch in the big leagues at all in 2023 while recovering from Tommy John surgery in 2022, and the Dodgers are slow-playing him at spring training. There's no timetable for when he'll make his 2024 season debut, and fantasy managers shouldn't be surprised if the Dodgers keep him out for the entire first month in order to help them manage his innings. Buehler is a risk coming off a lost season in 2023, but his track record before his elbow injury was solid enough to take a chance on him in all fantasy leagues.
The Colorado Rockies have claimed outfielder Sam Hilliard off waivers from the Baltimore Orioles. The O's had claimed him earlier in the offseason from the Atlanta Braves where he appeared in 40 games in the 2023 season, hitting .236 with three home runs and four stolen bases across just 78 trips to the plate. Now, the 30-year-old returns to the organization where he spent the first four seasons of his big-league career from 2019-2022. He appeared in 214 games with the Rockies, slugging a career-high 14 home runs in the 2021 season. His bat has largely been well below the league average in his career as he owns a .215 lifetime average with 32 homers, 19 steals, and a .718 OPS across 254 games, production that grades out 22% below the league average, as per his 78 wRC+.
Houston Astros infielder Dixon Machado left a Grapefruit League contest early on Wednesday after apparently injuring his knee coming into third base. He was unable to continue running towards home plate but walked off the field under his own power. The 32-year-old is on a minor-league deal with the Astros after most recently appearing in the big leagues with the San Francisco Giants in the 2022 season when he made just 17 trips to the plate. He has spent the bulk of his big-league time with the Tigers from 2015-2018 and is the owner of a career .226 average with two homers and three stolen bases across 522 plate appearances. He also spent two seasons in the KBO between 2020 and 2021.
The Pittsburgh Pirates have signed outfielder Dustin Peterson to a minor-league deal that presumably includes an invite to big-league spring training. The former second-round pick of the Padres has appeared in just 19 big-league games, 17 of which came with the Tigers in the 2019 season when he hit .227 and stole one base across 47 trips to the plate. More recently, he spent the 2023 season with Triple-A Lehigh Valley in the Phillies organization where he hit .244 with 19 home runs and a 10.6% BB% across 85 appearances. He should merely serve as minor-league outfielder depth for the Bucs in the 2024 campaign.
The San Diego Padres have signed veteran outfielder Tim Locastro to a minor-league deal that includes an invitation to big-league spring training. The 31-year-old has played sparingly throughout his big-league career as he has accumulated just 616 plate appearances across parts of seven MLB campaigns. In that time, he has hit .228 with nine home runs but has also swiped 45 bases and scored an even 100 runs. He spent the 2023 season with the Mets where he hit .232 with two HR, six SB, and a .731 OPS across 67 trips to the plate, production that graded out 9% superior to the league average, as per his 109 wRC+. Locastro doesn't offer much with his bat but his speed could land him a depth role with the Friars this season.
The Baltimore Orioles have signed veteran infielder Kolten Wong to a minor-league deal that includes an invite to big-league spring training. The 33-year-old has several productive seasons on his resume but suffered a disastrous 2023 campaign. Wong hit just .183 with four home runs, three stolen bases, and a .519 OPS across 87 games split between the Mariners and Dodgers. He hit .165 with a .468 OPS across 67 games with the Mariners before being released and he rebounded to a .300 average and an .853 OPS across 34 plate appearances with the Dodgers. He joins a crowded, youthful, and talented infield in Baltimore as he might be able to provide some veteran insurance behind baseball's No. 1 prospect in Jackson Holliday at the keystone.
Chicago Cubs second baseman Nico Hoerner is 0-for-5 through two Cactus League games. He was 0-for-3 in his debut, a 7-0 loss to the Padres on Sunday, and 0-for-2 on Tuesday in a tie versus the Reds. He batted in his typical leadoff spot on Sunday, but on Tuesday he was uncharacteristically batting cleanup. That shouldn't be the case during the regular season as he spent his time hitting out of the 1-2 spots in the order all of last year, and his speed profile is more suited for the top of the order with his 43 stolen bases in 2023. He's less suited for the middle of the order as he isn't a big power producer (1.8% Barrel%), with just nine home runs and 68 RBI last season. He does have supremely high contact rates that make him one of the best in the league at putting the bat on the ball, which makes him a more attractive asset in points leagues. As for roto, he's going around 60th overall, well ahead of his RotoBaller rank of 78.
Atlanta Braves rookie outfielder Forrest Wall, who has game-changing speed on the basepaths, is making a case to open the year on the team's Opening Day roster out of camp. Wall also plays all three outfield positions. He totaled 57 stolen bases in 66 attempts in 2023 at Triple-A Gwinnett and in the majors. Wall stole five bases in six tries in 15 games for the Braves and went 6-for-13 (.462) with two doubles and a homer. The 28-year-old was a former first-rounder of the Rockies and toiled 9 1/2 years in the minors with four organizations before getting his first big-league call last summer. Wall showed modest production with his bat in the minors, but the Braves think he can improve. He's gone 3-for-5 with a homer, two RBI and a steal in four spring games so far and could carve out a bench role in Atlanta to begin the season.