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Sports Data APIs for Individuals!
As of Friday, the San Diego Padres and New York Yankees were far apart on a deal for outfielder Juan Soto, according to sources briefed on the discussions. Meanwhile, the Toronto Blue Jays are one of several teams talking to the Padres about Soto, and they would be an ideal fit if they fail to land two-way superstar free-agent Shohei Ohtani. The Padres are seeking a big, multi-player return for Soto, including major-league-ready or near major-league-ready pitching. From Toronto, the Friars could seek a package including one or more pitchers from a group that includes top prospect Ricky Tiedemann, Bowden Francis and Alek Manoah. However, like other clubs, the Jays could be concerned about paying Soto $30 million-plus for 2024 and then likely losing him as a free agent.
Toronto Blue Jays starting pitching prospect Ricky Tiedemann (left hamstring, calf) played catch as part of his recovery on Wednesday. Minor inflammation has limited Tiedemann early in camp, but his injury isn't believed to be very serious. MLB.com's latest injury update notes that "Tiedemann continues to play catch to keep his arm moving, and the Blue Jays should have a clearer plan in the coming days," adding that he should be available for the regular season if he doesn't need much longer to ramp up. The Jays would love to see him reach the majors after he produced a 1.98 FIP, a .199 opponent batting average, and 16.47 K/9 in the minors last year.
Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Kyle Bradish (elbow) threw from 90 feet again on Wednesday. He continues to make progress in his recovery from a right UCL sprain and subsequent PRP injection. Bradish impressed to the tune of a 3.27 FIP, 8.96 K/9, 2.35 BB/9, and 49.2 GB% in 2023, putting him in line for a steady rotation role as soon as he's healthy. The hurler recently said he has been making great progress, but he's still going to open the regular season on the injured list.
San Francisco Giants closer Camilo Doval was very efficient during Monday's Spring Training game against the Los Angeles Angels. He pitched one full inning but required just eight pitches, all of which were strikes. He surrendered one hit and struck out two batters along the way. Doval has emerged as a very effective relief arm, tossing 67.2 innings, maintaining a 2.93 ERA, and registering 39 saves in 2023. He remains the Giants' closer heading into 2023, giving him significant fantasy appeal.
Tampa Bay Rays right fielder Josh Lowe went 1-for-2 with a double during Tuesday's Spring Training game against the New York Yankees. He ultimately came around to score. The 26-year-old has now logged a hit in three consecutive Spring Training games dating back to 2023. Of course, his offensive contributions extend beyond the Grapefruit League. Lowe was one of Tampa Bay's top hitters last regular season, slashing .292/.335/.500 with 20 home runs. He also demonstrated his impact on the basepaths, swiping 32 bags on 35 attempts. With solid power and impressive base-stealing skills, Lowe figures to remain a strong fantasy baseball option in 2024.
Boston Red Sox first baseman Triston Casas (illness) has been away from JetBlue Park for a few days as he recovers from the flu. He has still been managing to swing a bat, per manager Alex Cora, and he should be healthy enough to play in a game within the next few days. The 24-year-old looked great in his first full season last year, slashing .263/.367/.490 with 24 homers, 65 RBI, 70 walks, and 126 strikeouts over 132 games. He was the AL Rookie of the Month in July and should remain an everyday contributor this coming season. He has shown solid defensive skills at first base but needs to produce better splits against lefties before the Red Sox can trust him to start on a daily basis.
Philadelphia Phillies infielder Edmundo Sosa (foot) was scratched from the team's Grapefruit League lineup on Wednesday due to a left-foot contusion. He's listed as day-to-day after fouling a ball off his foot, but manager Rob Thomson said that Sosa is expected to return to spring training action on Thursday. "He's fine, he told me he could have played, I would think for sure he's going to be in there tomorrow," Thomson said. The 27-year-old Panamanian hit .251/.293/.427 with a career-high 10 home runs, 30 RBI, four steals and 34 runs scored for the Phils in 104 regular-season games in 2023. Sosa has proven to be a below-average major-league hitter, but he can play second base, third base, and shortstop and isn't a terrible utility infielder to have around in real life.
The Chicago Cubs have Justin Steele, Jameson Taillon, Kyle Hendricks, and Shota Imanaga locked into the top four spots in their starting rotation to begin the 2024 season, with Javier Assad, Drew Smyly, Hayden Wesneski and Jordan Wicks battling for the final spot in spring training. Right now, Assad and Wicks might have the edge for the fifth spot, but it's a coin flip, according to MLB's Jordan Bastian. Manager Craig Counsell wants to maintain flexibility with the last rotation spot, meaning there could be a shuttle between Triple-A Iowa and Chicago to build in extra rest for the starters. If Smyly doesn't win the job, he should fit in the bullpen. Assad, 26, had a strong 3.05 ERA and 1.23 WHIP over 109 1/3 innings in 2023. Wicks, 24, a former first-rounder, had a 4.41 ERA and 1.27 WHIP in just 34 2/3 innings in his rookie season.
Chicago Cubs infielder Nick Madrigal provides the Cubs with an elite contact-based bat and can fit as a backup at second and third base. Nico Hoerner is set to be the club's primary second baseman, while manager Craig Counsell has made it clear that he wants to take a long look at Christopher Morel at the corner, given his athleticism and offensive upside. In addition to Madrigal, Patrick Wisdom and Miles Mastrobuoni give the Cubs some other bench options. The 26-year-old Madrigal, a former first-round pick by the Chicago White Sox in 2018 out of Oregon State, has hit .280 in his four big-league seasons, but it's come with only four home runs, 67 RBI and 16 stolen bases in 234 games. Madrigal has limited NL-only fantasy upside as a bench/utility option for the Cubbies.
Cincinnati Reds right-hander Graham Ashcraft (toe) is set to make his Cactus League debut on Thursday night against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Ashcraft has been slow-played in spring training after having surgery on his toe last September, but he's ready to go now and is expected to part of the team's Opening Day starting rotation, barring a setback with his toe this spring. The 26-year-old former sixth-round pick out of the University of Alabama at Birmingham went 7-9 in his second big-league season in 2023 with a 4.76 ERA (5.06 FIP) and 1.37 WHIP with 52 walks and 111 strikeouts in 145 2/3 innings over 26 starts. He started strong last year before eventually falling apart. Despite his high velocities, he's been a disappointment so far in the strikeout department.
Los Angeles Dodgers right-hander Bobby Miller allowed back-to-back doubles to the Chicago White Sox in his Cactus League debut on Tuesday, but he eventually settled down and allowed only the two hits and a run while striking out one and walking none in his two innings of work. "I thought Bobby threw the ball well," manager Dave Roberts said. The Dodgers and fantasy managers are counting on Miller to take a step forward in 2024 after a strong rookie year that saw him post a 0.78 ERA through his first four major-league starts. The 24-year-old finished with an 11-4 record, 3.76 ERA (3.51 FIP) and 1.10 WHIP in 22 starts. Not only does Miller have elite velocity, but he can fool batters with six different pitches. He'll have a high price as a low-end No. 2/high-end No. 3 starter in fantasy drafts this spring.