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Fantasy baseball players in the news

By KFFL Staff

First Baseman

1B | Mat Gamel | Milwaukee Brewers | Injury, Depth Chart Tidbit, Fantasy
Milwaukee Brewers 1B Mat Gamel (knee) is expected to start at first base with 1B Corey Hart (knee) out for at least the first two months after knee surgery last week. 1B Hunter Morris is also expected to get a long look during spring training, and 3B Taylor Green might also play the position.

1B | Chad Tracy | Washington Nationals | Fantasy
Washington Nationals 1B Chad Tracy is completely healthy, after having undergone mid-season groin surgery and a knee scope during the offseason.

1B | Paul Konerko | Chicago White Sox | Fantasy
Chicago White Sox 1B Paul Konerko said Friday, Jan. 25, that he is uncertain if he will retire after the 2013 season.

1B | Jonathan Singleton | Houston Astros | Transaction, Fantasy
Houston Astros 1B Jonathan Singleton will participate in Minor League camp this spring despite being suspended for the first 50 games of the season for testing positive for marijuana. General manager Jeff Luhnow feels Singleton could still reach the majors in 2013 despite his setback.

1B | Lars Anderson | Arizona Diamondbacks | Transaction
The Arizona Diamondbacks designated 1B Lars Anderson for assignment Thursday, Jan. 24.

Second Baseman

2B | Kelly Johnson | Tampa Bay Rays | Transaction, Free Agents
The Tampa Bay Rays agreed to a one-year deal with free-agent 2B Kelly Johnson (Blue Jays).

2B | Jemile Weeks | Oakland Athletics | Depth Chart Tidbit, Fantasy
Oakland Athletics manager Bob Melvin said second base will be an "open competition" in the spring training between 3B Scott Sizemore and 2B Jemile Weeks. Sizemore will also get reps at third base during camp.

2B | Danny Espinosa | Washington Nationals | Injury, Fantasy
Updating a previous report, Washington Nationals 2B Danny Espinosa (shoulder) played the final six weeks of the 2012 season with a torn rotator cuff in his left shoulder. The injury was initially believed to be a bone bruise but was correctly diagnosed shortly after the season ended. Espinosa opted to rehab the injury instead of undergoing surgery and has spent the last several weeks strengthening the muscles around his rotator cuff. He was cleared to take dry swings Jan. 1, and began hitting balls off a tee shortly thereafter, before starting regular batting practice last week. "I feel strong now, but at the time, I couldn't do anything," he said. "If I had known (the severity of the injury), I probably would've pulled myself out. I wasn't doing anything to help the team."


SS | Jean Segura | Milwaukee Brewers | Depth Chart Tidbit, Fantasy
The Milwaukee Brewers are committed to SS Jean Segura as their starter, with INF Jeff Bianchi as the top backup option on the 40-man roster. The team also has SS Bobby Crosby in camp on a minor-league deal.

SS | Alex Gonzalez | free agent | Free Agents, Fantasy
Milwaukee Brewers general manager Doug Melvin hinted the free-agent SS Alex Gonzalez (Brewers) remains a possibility to return.

SS | Ronny Cedeno | free agent | Injury, Free Agents, Depth Chart Tidbit, Fantasy
The St. Louis Cardinals are among the teams interested in free-agent SS Ronny Cedeno (Mets). Cedeno might be a fallback option with SS Rafael Furcal (elbow) still on the mend after an elbow injury.

SS | Andrelton Simmons | Atlanta Braves | Fantasy
Atlanta Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said Friday, Jan. 25, that he envisions SS Andrelton Simmons to serve as the top of his lineup, with OF Jason Heyward batting second and OF Justin Upton filling the third spot in the batting order.

Third Baseman

3B | Scott Rolen | free agent | Free Agents
Los Angeles Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said he has talked with free-agent 3B Scott Rolen (Reds) about the possibility of playing for the Dodgers.

3B | Anthony Rendon | Washington Nationals | Fantasy
Washington Nationals minor league 3B Anthony Rendon, who is expected to begin the season with Double-A Harrisburg, said his ankle is completely healthy. "That's in the past now," he said.

3B | Jeff Baker | Texas Rangers | Transaction, Free Agents, Fantasy
The Texas Rangers have agreed to terms with free-agent INF Jeff Baker (Cubs) on a minor league contract. He will be a non-roster invitee to spring training camp.

3B | Will Middlebrooks | Boston Red Sox | Injury, Fantasy
Boston Red Sox 3B Will Middlebrooks (wrist) said his wrist is fully healed and he has been training all offseason.

3B | Alex Rodriguez | New York Yankees | Injury, Fantasy
New York Yankees president Randy Levine said he expects 3B Alex Rodriguez (hip) to return at midseason following offseason hip surgery after general manager Brian Cashman left open the possibility that Rodriguez could miss the entire season. Levine stays in close contact with Dr. Bryan Kelly, who performed the surgery on Rodriguez, and Kelly thinks Rodriguez will be a part of the team this year. "He has assured me that as long as Alex does the rehab he will be back playing - and not spring training playing - six months from the day of the operation," Levine said.


C | Landon Powell | New York Mets | Fantasy
New York Mets C Landon Powell lost his five-month old daughter when she passed away Friday, Jan. 25, the family announced on Facebook. Izzy Powell suffered from Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis, a disease in which white blood cells can build up in an organ and destroy other cells. KFFL sends condolences to the Powell family and friends.

C | A.J. Ellis | Los Angeles Dodgers | Injury, Fantasy
Los Angeles Dodgers C A.J. Ellis (knee) said Sunday, Jan. 27, that he feels fully recovered from left knee surgery and is already partaking in all baseball drills. "I'm doing all my regular baseball activities," Ellis said. "It looks like a normal January for me." Ellis lives in Wisconsin, and he actually rehabbed his knee in the offseason with the Milwaukee Brewers medical staff. The Dodgers arranged the medical cooperation with the Brewers.

C | Jonathan Lucroy | Milwaukee Brewers | Depth Chart Tidbit, Fantasy
Milwaukee Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said he is not sure who he would consider to be the team's third catcher. Both of the catchers on the 40-man roster (Jonathan Lucroy and Martin Maldonado) will miss a portion of spring training camp because of the World Baseball Classic. The Brewers' other catchers in major league camp (Dayton Buller, Anderson De La Rosa, Blake Lalli, Rafael Neda and Adam Weisenburger) are all non-roster invitees, with Lalli being the only one with prior MLB experience.

C | Joe Mauer | Minnesota Twins | Depth Chart Tidbit, Fantasy
After playing in a career-high 147 games last season while seeing time at catcher, first base and designated hitter, Minnesota Twins C Joe Mauer hopes to see more playing time behind the plate in 2013 after proving he is completely healthy. "I've been preparing for the season to be the everyday catcher," he said. "I can go over to first if they need me to do that. I can DH if they need me to do that, too. The way I've been preparing is catching every day." General manager Terry Ryan said the team is looking for him to catch approximately 120 games, with an occasional start at first base or as a DH.

C | Jason Castro | Houston Astros | Injury, Fantasy
Houston Astros C Jason Castro (knee) said Friday, Jan. 25, that he finally believes his knee problems are in the past. He expects to begin camp as healthy as ever and is eager to build on last year's strong finish.

C | George Kottaras | Kansas City Royals | Transaction, Fantasy
The Kansas City Royals claimed C George Kottaras off waivers from the Oakland Athletics Friday, Jan. 25. In a corresponding move, INF Tony Abreu was designated for assignment.


OF | Oscar Taveras | St. Louis Cardinals | Fantasy
St. Louis Cardinals OF Oscar Taveras was named Major League Baseball's top outfield prospect in 2013.

OF | Grant Green | Oakland Athletics | Fantasy
Oakland Athletics manager Bob Melvin said the team will give OF Grant Green an extended look at second base in spring training.

OF | Yoenis Cespedes | Oakland Athletics | Depth Chart Tidbit, Fantasy
Oakland Athletics manager Bob Melvin is not worried about finding playing time for all of his outfielders, saying there will be plenty to go around for OF's Chris B. Young, Yoenis Cespedes, Seth Smith, Josh Reddick and Coco Crisp. "There are enough at-bats for everyone," Melvin said. "It's how they're allotted that's the difficult part. We're set up for injuries if something were to happen along those lines, but I think it's going to be more of a feel thing."

OF | Carlos Gomez | Milwaukee Brewers | Free Agents, Fantasy
Milwaukee Brewers OF Carlos Gomez did not play winter ball in the Dominican Republic for the first time in 10 years. Instead, he worked out to prepare for the World Baseball Classic with fellow countryman and free-agent OF Manny Ramirez.

OF | Bobby Abreu | free agent | Free Agents
The Boston Red Sox are not expected to pursue free-agent OF Bobby Abreu (Dodgers) even though they attended his workout earlier this offseason.

OF | Michael Bourn | free agent | Free Agents
The Baltimore Orioles could show interest in free-agent OF Michael Bourn (Braves) if he is willing to accept a bargain deal.

OF | Scott Hairston | Chicago Cubs | Free Agents, Fantasy
New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said if the trade between the Arizona Diamondbacks and Atlanta Braves involving OF Justin Upton had happened before the Chicago Cubs had signed free-agent OF Scott Hairston, the Mets would have had a greater chance of re-signing Hairston.

OF | Jayson Werth | Washington Nationals | Injury, Fantasy
Washington Nationals OF Jayson Werth (wrist) said his wrist is not as strong as he wants it to be but feels good at this point. He said the total recovery time for his wrist injury is around 18 months.

OF | Jerad Head | Washington Nationals | Transaction, Free Agents
The Washington Nationals have signed free-agent OF Jerad Head (Tigers) to a minor-league deal. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

OF | Andre Ethier | Los Angeles Dodgers | Fantasy
Los Angeles Dodgers OF Andre Ethier said he is not worried about the rumors about the team trading him because general manager Ned Colletti has told him the team will not be trading him.

OF | Matt Kemp | Los Angeles Dodgers | Injury, Fantasy
Los Angeles Dodgers OF Matt Kemp (shoulder) said his shoulder is getting "better and better." He has started doing soft toss and hitting off a tee and is expected to begin facing live pitching Feb. 5.

OF | Justin Upton | Atlanta Braves | Fantasy
Atlanta Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said Friday, Jan. 25, that he envisions SS Andrelton Simmons to serve as the top of his lineup, with OF Jason Heyward batting second and OF Justin Upton filling the third spot in the batting order.

OF | J.D. Martinez | Houston Astros | Injury, Fantasy
Houston Astros OF J.D. Martinez (hand) is four months removed from surgery on his hamate bone in his left hand. He is anxious to get to spring training to see how the hand responds while swinging a bat regularly. "I really haven't been able to swing that much yet, but I feel like it's right there and really close," Martinez said. "I'm trying to rest it as much as I can now because I know when spring training starts, it's going to be non-stop. I feel like I'll be ready and it will be strong enough for me to do what I have to do."

OF | Ryan Sweeney | Boston Red Sox | Transaction, Fantasy
The Boston Red Sox re-signed OF Ryan Sweeney to an undisclosed deal Friday, Jan. 25.

OF | Ryan Kalish | Boston Red Sox | Injury, Fantasy
Boston Red Sox OF Ryan Kalish (shoulder) will need more surgery on his right (non-throwing) shoulder and will miss spring training. He'll undergo the procedure next week, according to a major league source. Kalish had two surgeries in 2011, one for a bulging disc in his neck and the other for a torn labrum in his left shoulder.

OF | Austin Jackson | Detroit Tigers | Fantasy
Detroit Tigers OF Austin Jackson, who stole a career-low 12 bases last year, is expected to increase that total in 2013 after the team hired new base running consultant Jeff Cox. Jackson said that hitting in front of OF Torii Hunter should also help increase his stolen base total. "We obviously would like to see guys steal more bases," manager Jim Leyland said.

Starting Pitcher

SP | Jenrry Mejia | New York Mets | Fantasy
New York Mets SP Jenrry Mejia would have to make the team as a reliever, or he'll begin the season at Triple-A Las Vegas. SP Jeremy Hefner would have to make the team as a long reliever or head to Triple-A as well.

SP | Justin Verlander | Detroit Tigers | Fantasy
Detroit Tigers SP Justin Verlander is throwing and is considering playing for the USA team in the World Baseball Classic, according to Team USA bench coach Larry Bowa. Verlander will decide closer to the date rosters must be finalized.

SP | Homer Bailey | Cincinnati Reds | Fantasy
The Cincinnati Reds haven't had extension talks with SP Homer Bailey.

SP | Carlos Villanueva | Chicago Cubs | Fantasy,
Updating previous items, the Chicago Cubs finalized their two-year, $10 million contract with SP Carlos Villanueva Saturday, Jan. 26. Villanueva will earn $5 million annually as part of Saturday's deal. The sides had agreed to the contract in mid-December, pending a physical.

SP | Yovani Gallardo | Milwaukee Brewers | Fantasy,
Milwaukee Brewers SP Yovani Gallardo planned to report to Arizona before the end of this week to begin ramping up workings before the World Baseball Classic. Gallardo will be pitching for Team Mexico. He missed the event in 2009.

SP | Chris Narveson | Milwaukee Brewers | Injury
Milwaukee Brewers assistant general manager Gord Ash said 1B Mat Gamel (knee) and SP Chris Narveson (shoulder) will be ready for spring training after being examined Sunday, Jan. 27. Ash said Narveson threw a bullpen session Friday, Jan. 25, and did not have any problems.

SP | Kyle Lohse | free agent | Free Agents,
Milwaukee Brewers owner Mark Attanasio is not ruling out the possibility of the team signing free-agent SP Kyle Lohse (Cardinals). "There's always a chance," Attanasio said. "Again, it's a function of size of contract, length of contract. Kyle had a phenomenal two seasons the last two seasons. We just have to see if that fits in our overall scheme."

SP | Wily Peralta | Milwaukee Brewers | Depth Chart Tidbit, Fantasy
Milwaukee Brewers manager Ron Roenicke hinted that SP Wily Peralta is the favorite to win the No. 3 spot in the starting rotation, behind SPs Yovani Gallardo and Marco Estrada. This would leave SPs Chris Narveson, Mike Fiers and Mark Rogers to battle for the final two spots in the rotation.

SP | Jair Jurrjens | Baltimore Orioles | Fantasy
Baltimore Orioles SP Jair Jurrjens expects to speak to team officials this week regarding the possibility of pitching in the World Baseball Classic, after he arrives in Baltimore to take his physical. The Curacao native said he is "50/50" about pitching for the Netherlands.

SP | Clayton Kershaw | Los Angeles Dodgers | Injury, Fantasy
Los Angeles Dodgers SP Clayton Kershaw (hip) said he hasn't been bothered this offseason by right hip pain. His throwing program has been similar to what he's used in previous offseasons but he has also added a workout program designed to strengthen his hip.

SP | Mike Pelfrey | Minnesota Twins | Injury, Fantasy
Minnesota Twins SP Mike Pelfrey (elbow) said he is ahead of schedule in his rehab from Tommy John surgery and expects to enter spring training with no limitations.

SP | Jhoulys Chacin | Colorado Rockies | Transaction
The Colorado Rockies have agreed to terms with SP Jhoulys Chacin on a two-year deal worth $6.5 million.

SP | Hector Santiago | Chicago White Sox | Fantasy
Updating a previous report, Chicago White Sox SP Hector Santiago has declined an invitation to pitch for Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic. Santiago has an opportunity to win a spot in Chicago's starting rotation during spring training in place of SP John Danks (shoulder).

SP | Chris Sale | Chicago White Sox | Fantasy,
Chicago White Sox SP Chris Sale has gained weight during the offseason, and will open camp at 180-185 pounds. He was 168 pounds at the start of spring training last season.

SP | John Danks | Chicago White Sox | Injury, Fantasy,
Chicago White Sox SP John Danks (shoulder) said Friday, Jan. 25, that he remains on schedule in his recovery. He is hopeful to resume throwing breaking pitches next week.

SP | Kyle Gibson | Minnesota Twins | Fantasy,
Minnesota Twins Ps Kyle Gibson and Liam Hendriks might be fighting for the fifth starter job in spring training. General manager Terry Ryan said earlier that he monitored how the Atlanta Braves handled SP Kris Medlen, and that could be a model on how Gibson is used. However, the team would prefer to keep him in a starter role. "I'm open to pitching wherever they want me to pitch, honestly," Gibson said. "My goal is just to get to the big leagues as fast as I can, and if that's as a reliever or as a starter - so be it."

SP | Kevin Correia | Minnesota Twins | Injury, Depth Chart Tidbit, Fantasy,
Minnesota Twins SPs Kevin Correia, Scott Diamond and Vance Worley appear to be virtual locks for the rotation, and the team also expects SP Mike Pelfrey (elbow) to be ready at or near the beginning of the regular season.

SP | Kris Medlen | Atlanta Braves | Fantasy,
Atlanta Braves SP Kris Medlen has dropped out of the World Baseball Classic for Team USA due to the impending birth of his first child.

SP | Shaun Marcum | New York Mets | Fantasy,
New York Mets SP Shaun Marcum's one-year deal calls for him to make $4 million with the chance to earn an extra $2 million in performance bonuses.

SP | Zack Wheeler | New York Mets | Fantasy,
Al Goetz, the agent for New York Mets SP Zack Wheeler, believes his client should begin the year in the team's starting rotation. "If the Mets have five starters better than what I saw from (Wheeler) they will win the East," Goetz tweeted. However, the Mets already have a full rotation with SPs Johan Santana, Matt Harvey, Jonathon Niese, Dillon Gee and Shaun Marcum.

SP | Ricky Nolasco | Miami Marlins | Fantasy,
Miami Marlins SP Ricky Nolasco thinks that he will be traded by the deadline this summer. "I feel pretty sure I'll be traded sometime before the deadline," Nolasco said. "It all depends on how I pitch." He will make $11.5 million this year and will be a free agent heading into 2014.

SP | Andy Pettitte | New York Yankees | Fantasy,
The New York Yankees would prefer if SP Andy Pettitte didn't pitch for Team USA in the 2013 World Baseball Classic. Team USA manager Joe Torre expressed that it's doubtful Pettitte will play for the team this year. "(The Yankees) have expressed concerns because of the injuries he has had," Torre said. "So we're thinking about it and we're talking about it. We don't have to make a decision until Feb. 20. So we have some wiggle time here. We'll see what happens."

Relief Pitcher

RP | Chad Durbin | Philadelphia Phillies | Transaction, Free Agents
The Philadelphia Phillies agreed with free-agent RP Chad Durbin (Braves) on a one-year, $1.1 million deal with a club option for 2014. He can earn $350,000 in incentives. The deal is pending a physical.

RP | Hideki Okajima | Japanese League | Free Agents
The Oakland Athletics are interested in free-agent RP Hideki Okajima (Japanese League).

RP | Kenley Jansen | Los Angeles Dodgers | Injury, Fantasy
Los Angeles Dodgers RP Kenley Jansen (heart) is fully recovered from his heart procedure and isn't expected to have any issues going forward. Jansen said he has thrown one bullpen session already and will head to Arizona next week with the expectation that he will enter spring training at the same point in his offseason workout program that he would have been following a normal winter.

RP | Phil Coke | Detroit Tigers | Depth Chart Tidbit, Fantasy,
If Detroit Tigers RP Bruce Rondon struggles with the closer's role, the team feels there are several internal candidates to fill the role. "(RP Phil Coke) can save you a game, maybe even two games," manager Jim Leyland said. "Whether he could hold up physically and mentally trying to save games every day, I'm not sure."

RP | Bruce Rondon | Detroit Tigers | Depth Chart Tidbit, Fantasy,
The Detroit Tigers management are calling RP Bruce Rondon the leading candidate for the closer's job, but they are not anointing him as the closer just yet. "We do have some others who can do the job if he needs a break, but to me, the leading candidate is Rondon," general manager Dave Dombrowski said.

RP | Joaquin Benoit | Detroit Tigers | Fantasy,
Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland said Sunday, Jan. 27, that RP Joaquin Benoit is not considered a candidate to close due to physical limitations. "Joaquin Benoit physically, I don't think he can do it. With all due respect to Benoit, he doesn't bounce back," Leyland said of potential back-to-back days of work.

RP | Roy Oswalt | free agent | Free Agents, Fantasy
Bob Garber, the agent for free-agent SP Roy Oswalt (Rangers), said he has not heard about any interest in his client from the New York Mets.

RP | Brian Wilson | free agent | Free Agents, Fantasy
New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said the club plans to visit free-agent RP Brian Wilson (Giants) soon to watch him throw a second time.

RP | Ron Mahay | Retired Players | Transaction, Free Agents, Fantasy
Free-agent RP Ron Mahay (Reds) has announced his retirement.

RP | Matt Lindstrom | Chicago White Sox | Fantasy
Updating previous reports, Chicago White Sox RP Matt Lindstrom will receive a base salary of $2.3 million during the 2013 season. His one-year contract includes a club option for the 2014 season worth $4 million, with a $500,000 buyout.

RP | Craig Breslow | Boston Red Sox | Fantasy
Updating a previous report, Boston Red Sox RP Craig Breslow's two-year deal will pay him a base salary of $2.325 million in 2013 and $3.825 million in 2014. The Red Sox hold a $4 million option for the 2015 season, with a $100,000 buyout. Breslow made $1.795 million in 2012.

RP | Chad Qualls | Miami Marlins | Free Agents, Fantasy,
The Miami Marlins agreed to terms with free-agent RP Chad Qualls (Pirates) on a minor-league deal Friday, Jan. 25. He also received an invite to spring training.

RP | David Robertson | New York Yankees | Transaction, Fantasy,
The New York Yankees avoided arbitration with RP David Robertson Friday, Jan. 25, by agreeing to a one-year, $3.1 million deal.


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