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Sports Data APIs for Individuals!
The Kansas City Royals have agreed to a contract with relief pitcher William Smith. The two sides have agreed on a one-year, $5 million deal for the 2024 campaign. The veteran southpaw began his career with the Royals back in 2012. Last season, Smith began the year as the closer with the Texas Rangers. However, he fell out of the role and became more of a late-inning option. He finished the season with a 4.04 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, 22 saves, and a 55/17 K/BB ratio across 57 1/3 innings. Smith should be in the mix for the saves with the Royals not having a solidified closer. Fantasy managers will have to wait until Spring Training to see what the Royals plan to do with Smith in the bullpen.
Updating a previous report, Los Angeles Dodgers infielder Max Muncy (hand) was diagnosed with a left-hand contusion and is day-to-day, according to the team. Muncy was hit by a pitch on his left hand in his first at-bat of Wednesday's Cactus League game against the Texas Rangers and was removed early. X-rays on his left hand came back negative, which is great news for the Dodgers and Muncy with the start of the 2024 regular season less than a month away. LA could hold Muncy out of spring training games for a few days, but he should be ready for the two-game series in Korea against the division-rival San Diego Padres on March 20-21. Muncy gives fantasy managers plenty of power, RBI and on-base percentage, but he'll put a serious drain on your team's batting average and has been injury-prone in recent years.
Tampa Bay Rays infielder Yu Chang (oblique) is dealing with a left-oblique injury in camp and is expected to miss a couple of weeks. The 28-year-old Taiwanese infielder suffered the injury during Wednesday's Grapefruit League game versus the Toronto Blue Jays and is now likely to open the 2024 regular season on the injured list. When he's healthy enough to return, Chang will now likely make his season debut in the minors with Triple-A Durham. He's expected to fill a reserve role for the Rays this year if he's in the big leagues. Chang went 17-for-105 (.162) with six home runs, 18 RBI and four stolen bases in 39 games for the Boston Red Sox in 2023 and has a weak .204/.265/.359 career slash line with 20 homers and 79 RBI in 235 games in his five major-league seasons.
The New York Mets have recently checked in on free-agent starting pitchers, including right-hander Michael Lorenzen, according to league sources. However, the communication likely reflects a desire to stay connected if they have another injury rather than imminent, serious interest. New York's top starter, Kodai Senga, has already been shut down for three weeks due to a strain in the back of his shoulder. FanGraphs projects the Mets to have the sixth-worst rotation in the majors, so adding more pitching depth would be a good idea. They are banking on a bounce-back from Luis Severino and steps forward from Sean Manaea and Tylor Megill. Other options to beef up the rotation besides Lorenzen include lefties Blake Snell and Jordan Montgomery and righty Mike Clevinger.
San Francisco Giants outfielder Mike Yastrzemski (shoulder) made his spring training debut on Wednesday, serving as the designated hitter and batting third in the lineup for the Cactus League game against the Oakland Athletics. Yastrzemski was held back a bit due to a left-shoulder impingement, but he has improved now and is ready to play in games as the DH. The 33-year-old should start playing the outfield soon and is fully expected to be ready for Opening Day in late March. Before he's cleared to play in spring games in the outfield, Yaz is scheduled to throw from 110-120 feet. Yastrzemski isn't going to give fantasy managers much help in the batting-average department, but he can provide decent counting stats in the strong side of a platoon in San Fran's outfield in deep-mixed and NL-only fantasy leagues if he can stay healthy.
Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Bryan Reynolds made his spring debut on Sunday in a 2-0 Grapefruit League loss to the Orioles. The switch hitter did nothing of note, going 0-for-2 with a strikeout. The former All-Star's second game on Tuesday, a 13-4 win over the Braves, got things headed in the right direction by going 1-for-3 with his first home run of the spring. It was a 2-run shot that went over the batter's eye in centerfield off Braves reliever Ben Bowden. It came from the right side, and although he's hit for a slightly better average over his career from the right side of the plate (.282 vs .275), his power typically comes from the left side (.160 ISO vs .215 ISO). Regardless, he's been a valuable contributor in most categories other than stolen bases over the years, but with the rule changes last season he stole a career-high 12 bases. Perhaps this aspect of his game has been overlooked in drafts, with an ADP of 90 versus a RotoBaller rank of 79.
Los Angeles Dodgers infielder Max Muncy (hand) is heading for X-rays on Wednesday after being hit on the left hand by a pitch in his first at-bat in the Cactus League game against the Texas Rangers and pitcher Cody Bradford. Muncy played a few more innings on defense before eventually being removed from the contest. The Dodgers will be keeping their fingers crossed that the 33-year-old left-handed slugger doesn't have a break of any kind in his hand, which would surely cause him to miss the start of the 2024 season. Muncy, a two-time All-Star, hit a career-high 36 home runs in 2023 and has reached the 30-homer mark in four of the last five full seasons. However, he also hit just .212 last year and .196 in 2022. He's more attractive in OBP leagues and for his power and run production, but you'll have to live with the hit in batting average.
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+.