1B | Lance Berkman | Retired Players | Transaction, Fantasy
Free-agent 1B Lance Berkman (Rangers) confirmed Wednesday, Jan. 29, that he will retire from professional baseball.
2B | Alexander Guerrero | Los Angeles Dodgers | Depth Chart Tidbit, Fantasy
The Los Angeles Dodgers are now calling the battle for the starting second base job an open competition. Doubt about the fielding of 2B Alexander Guerrero mean SS Dee Gordon and SS Miguel Rojas, also candidates for the starting second base job, have a chance to start.
SS | Jonathan Villar | Houston Astros | Depth Chart Tidbit, Fantasy
Houston Astros SS Jonathan Villar is expected to begin the season as the team's starting shortstop.
3B | Michael Young | free agent | Free Agents, Fantasy
The Los Angeles Dodgers continue to try and convince free-agent 3B Michael Young to put off retirement and return as a place-holder second baseman, bench contributor and veteran presence.
3B | Manny Machado | Baltimore Orioles | Injury, Fantasy
Baltimore Orioles 3B Manny Machado (knee) is expected to be cleared to resume baseball activities after his checkup later this week, and he's on track to be ready for Opening Day.
OF | Billy Hamilton | Cincinnati Reds | Fantasy
Cincinnati Reds OF Billy Hamilton was already at the team's spring training facility in Arizona to work on his hitting, and especially his bunting. The team feels with his quickness and speed that if he perfects the art of bunting, it will make things very difficult for opponents. Hamilton is working with his former manager, Double-A Pensacola skipper and former MLB speed demon Delino DeShields. "It's been good. I've been working on my bunting a lot more, and me and him are doing things with my hitting that will help me out this season," Hamilton said. "When spring training comes, I will be ready."
Hamilton is expected to be the team's new leadoff hitter and center fielder. His ability to rack up silly stolen base totals and runs scored will make him a fantasy favorite in rotisserie leagues, and a solid outfielder in most other formats.
OF | Nelson Cruz | free agent | Free Agents, Fantasy
The Seattle Mariners are still interested in free-agent OF Nelson Cruz (Rangers).
SP | A.J. Griffin | Oakland Athletics | Depth Chart Tidbit, Fantasy,
Oakland Athletics SPs A.J. Griffin and Dan Straily might win the final two spots in the team's rotation, but they will have competition. SP Drew Pomeranz will be stretched out during spring training, and he is hopeful of winning a rotation spot. SP Tommy Milone is also hopeful of pushing his way into the mix and re-gaining his spot in the rotation. P Josh Lindblom is also expected to be under consideration, although he is likely to begin the season at Triple-A Sacramento.
SP | Jarrod Parker | Oakland Athletics | Depth Chart Tidbit, Fantasy,
The Oakland Athletics have SPs Jarrod Parker and Sonny Gray at the top of their rotation, and newcomer SP Scott Kazmir is likely to be included on the staff. That leaves two open spots in the team's rotation.
SP | Ubaldo Jimenez | free agent | Free Agents, Fantasy,
The Toronto Blue Jays have done extensive background checks on free-agent SP Ubaldo Jimenez (Indians) and remain interested in free-agent SP Ervin Santana (Royals) and other free agents, according to sources. Both Jimenez and Santana would require a team to give up a high draft pick, but Toronto has "protected" picks at Nos. 9 and 11. The fact that Jimenez will likely be cheaper than Santana doesn't mean he's their preferred choice. Free-agent SPs A.J. Burnett (Pirates) and Bronson Arroyo (Reds) are also in the fold.
SP | Danny Salazar | Cleveland Indians | Fantasy,
Cleveland Indians SP Danny Salazar reported to the team's spring training facilities Jan. 12 and is working on keeping his fastball down in the zone and pitching more to the corners of the strike zone.
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