Fantasy baseball players in the news

by KFFL Staff on February 2, 2011 @ 09:13:14 PDT


First Baseman

1B | Justin Morneau | Minnesota Twins | Injury, Fantasy
Minnesota Twins general manager Bill Smith said Monday, Jan. 31, that the team is targeting April 1 for a return from 1B Justin Morneau (concussion), reports Phil Mackey, of "You can circle April 1 on the calendar. That's the day we're shooting for to get him ready," Smith said. "It's still a work in progress. He is not 100 percent." Morneau hasn't faced live pitching since July 7 when he took a knee to the head in a game against the Toronto Blue Jays.

Second Baseman

2B | Felipe Lopez | free agent | Free Agents
Updating previous reports, the Boston Red Sox paid IF Felipe Lopez a $15,000 buyout on his 2011 option in hopes of receiving a sandwich pick if a team signed the Type B free agent in the offseason,'s Alex Speier reports. If Lopez signs a minor league deal with the Tampa Bay Rays, the Red Sox would not be entitled to draft pick compensation.

2B | Oscar Salazar | San Diego Padres | Transaction
The San Diego Padres designated 2B Oscar Salazar for assignment Tuesday, Feb. 1, according to The Sports Network.

2B | Blake DeWitt | Chicago Cubs | Fantasy
Chicago Cubs 2B Blake DeWitt worked with hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo at the end of last season to eliminate a toe tap that he used at the plate, according to's Carrie Muskat. "It takes less timing," Jaramillo said of the reason for the switch. "There's so much timing involved with the tap and your hands going back to a starting point, and now he's taking out the tap and going straight back with his hands." DeWitt hopes to use the opposite field more this year. DeWitt and 2Bs Jeff Baker and Darwin Barney all figure to see at-bats at second base this year.

2B | Ryan Theriot | St. Louis Cardinals | Fantasy
Updating a previous story, St. Louis Cardinals 2B Skip Schumaker and SS Ryan Theriot are the top contenders to hit leadoff this season, with Schumaker having more experience in the spot, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Derrick Goold. OF Colby Rasmus could hit second or even sixth in the lineup.

2B | Dustin Pedroia | Boston Red Sox | Injury, Fantasy
Boston Red Sox 2B Dustin Pedroia (foot) will not be limited in any way as the season approaches, according to's Evan Drellich. "Like anybody that's had a screw put in (their foot), you have some days where you're like so thankful," manager Terry Francona said. "You feel those little milestones or breakthroughs, and then, you have a couple days where you get frustrated. But I think from talking to him and the people that are running his rehab that he's going to come through this with flying colors. We'll check with him every day, but I think he's going to be OK."

2B | Rickie Weeks | Milwaukee Brewers | Fantasy
Milwaukee Brewers 2B Rickie Weeks' arbitration hearing has been set for Feb. 17, according to The Associated Press.


SS | Alexei Ramirez | Chicago White Sox | Fantasy
Updating a previous report, the Chicago White Sox agreed on a four-year, $32.5 million extension with SS Alexei Ramirez Tuesday, Feb. 1, according to's Scott Merkin. The deal contains a $10 million option for a fifth year.

SS | Cliff Pennington | Oakland Athletics | Injury, Fantasy
Oakland Athletics SS Cliff Pennington (shoulder) is expected to be fully ready for Spring Training, according to assistant general manager David Forst, reports Susan Slusser, of the San Francisco Chronicle. Pennington had offseason surgery on his left shoulder.

Third Baseman

3B | Chipper Jones | Atlanta Braves | Injury, Fantasy
Updating a previous report, Atlanta Braves 3B Chipper Jones (knee) is hopeful of playing in the field during Spring Training games, reports Charles Odum, of The Associated Press. After a batting practice session at Turner Field in Atlanta Tuesday, Feb. 1, he ripped the cover from a ball. "That's what you've got to look forward to," Jones joked with president John Schuerholtz.

3B | Josh Bell | Baltimore Orioles | Fantasy
Baltimore Orioles 3B Josh Bell worked out with former O's OF Brady Anderson during the offseason, and he looks noticeably thinner, according to Roch Kubatko, of "I haven't jumped on a scale yet," Bell said. I'm going to wait and surprise myself. I feel great. I'm running well. Everything's stronger." Bell appears likely to start the season with Triple-A Norfolk after the team acquired 3B Mark Reynolds from the Arizona Diamondbacks during the offseason.

3B | Placido Polanco | Philadelphia Phillies | Injury, Fantasy
Philadelphia Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said 3B Placido Polanco (elbow) is recovered from offseason surgery on his left elbow, reports Todd Zolecki, of "He's fine. I haven't heard anything to the contrary," Amaro said. "He should be 100 percent."

3B | Greg Dobbs | Florida Marlins | Transaction
The Florida Marlins signed free-agent 3B Greg Dobbs (Phillies) to a minor league deal Monday, Jan. 31, according to The Sports Network.

3B | Pablo Sandoval | San Francisco Giants | Fantasy
Updating a previous report, San Francisco Giants 3B Pablo Sandoval has lost more than 20 pounds this offseason, according to's Stan McNeal.


C | Paul Hoover | Boston Red Sox | Transaction, Free Agents
The Boston Red Sox signed free-agent C Paul Hoover (Phillies) to a minor league contract Tuesday, Feb. 1, reports Matt Eddy, of Baseball America.


OF | Mark Kotsay | free agent | Free Agents
The Milwaukee Brewers are close to finalizing a deal with free-agent OF Mark Kotsay (White Sox), according to's Adam McCalvy. Kotsay would receive a one-year deal. He could become a backup to 1B Prince Fielder, but would more likely fit into a crowded outfield. Kotsay would compete for at-bats with OF Chris Dickerson.

OF | Johnny Damon | Tampa Bay Rays | Fantasy
Tampa Bay Rays OF Johnny Damon will likely serve as the team's leadoff hitter this year, according to's Bill Chastain. Damon will split time between left field, designated hitter and off of the bench.

OF | Carl Crawford | Boston Red Sox | Fantasy
Boston Red Sox OF Carl Crawford has been hitting the gym for four days a week since Dec. 1, without a break, according to The Boston Globe's Peter Abraham.

OF | Domonic Brown | Philadelphia Phillies | Fantasy
Philadelphia Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said Monday, Jan. 31, that it is an open competition in right field, reports Todd Zolecki, of "Oh, yeah. Oh, it's open. Wide open," Amaro said. OFs Domonic Brown, Ben Francisco and John Mayberry Jr. are expected to compete for the job.

OF | Angel Pagan | New York Mets | Transaction, Fantasy
The New York Mets avoided arbitration with OF Angel Pagan Monday, Jan. 31, by agreeing to a one-year, $3.5 million deal, according to's Adam Rubin.

OF | Jason Bay | New York Mets | Fantasy
An American League scout thinks New York Mets OF Jason Bay was too pull-oriented in his first season with the team last year, according to's Jerry Crasnick. "His balance wasn't great, and without a stable base he struggled to get his lower half in a ready hitting position on time. That caused his upper half to pull off the ball pretty regularly as he overcompensated," the scout said. "Who knows if it was just a matter of him having some difficulty finding his timing or whether he was attempting to live up to his contract? My best guess is that it was some kind of combination of the two." Bay also swung at a career-high 27.1 percent of pitches outside of the strike zone.

OF | Jordan Schafer | Atlanta Braves | Injury, Fantasy
Atlanta Braves OF Jordan Schafer (wrist) said he lost some strength after undergoing wrist surgery, according to the Macon Georgia News' Bill Shanks. This offseason, Schafer worked with a physical therapist to deal with scar tissue in his wrist and to help him gain more strength. "I've been swinging now for three months," Schafer said. "I haven't had any problems at all. I've been hitting twice a day. I feel really good right now. I can get back to balls inside. It doesn't hurt anymore. There's no sharp pain. I have my strength back. The ball jumps again." He is also working on improving his agility on the base paths and in the outfield.

OF | Jeff Fiorentino | Baltimore Orioles | Transaction
The Baltimore Orioles re-signed OF Jeff Fiorentino to a minor league deal Monday, Jan. 31, according to The Baltimore Sun's Dan Connolly. The deal does not include a Spring Training invite.

OF | Michael Cuddyer | Minnesota Twins | Injury, Fantasy
Minnesota Twins OF Michael Cuddyer (knee, appendix) said his knee is feeling stronger than before after undergoing offseason knee surgery, according to The Associated Press. Cuddyer also underwent an appendectomy in the offseason.

Starting Pitcher

SP | Roy Halladay | Philadelphia Phillies | Injury, Fantasy
Philadelphia Phillies SP Roy Halladay (groin) said Tuesday, Feb. 1, that the muscle strain on the lower half of his body is no longer an issue heading into Spring Training, reports David Murphy, of the Philadelphia Daily News. "After two weeks, I felt good and it was back into the regular offseason program," Halladay said. "After that two weeks, it was really completely gone as far I could tell." Halladay has added extra focus toward building strength and flexibility in his lower body and core this offseason.

SP | Jeremy Bonderman | free agent | Free Agents
The Cleveland Indians are showing interest in free-agent SP Jeremy Bonderman (Tigers), according to a source, reports Jordan Bastian, of General manager Chris Antonetti declined to comment.

SP | A.J. Burnett | New York Yankees | Fantasy
New York Yankees pitching coach Larry Rothschild said he still has confidence in SP A.J. Burnett after watching him throw off flat ground recently, according to's Wallace Matthews. "He's healthy, the stuff is still there, and his mind and heart are in the right place," Rothschild said. "He wants to do well, and I believe I can help him to do that."

SP | Andy Pettitte | free agent | Free Agents, Fantasy
Free-agent SP Andy Pettitte (Yankees) will not be present at the New York Yankees' first workout in Spring Training Feb. 15, according to's Bryan Hoch. Pettitte is scheduled to appear for an autograph signing that same day.

SP | Freddy Garcia | New York Yankees | Fantasy
New York Yankees SP Freddy Garcia is 8-2 with a 4.40 ERA in his career against the Boston Red Sox and is 8-2 with a 3.56 ERA in his career against the Tampa Bay Rays, according to's Andrew Marchand.

SP | John Maine | free agent | Injury, Free Agents
Free-agent SP John Maine (shoulder) feels great and is throwing well after shoulder surgery in July, according to his agent Rex Gary,'s Adam Rubin reports.

SP | Josh Beckett | Boston Red Sox | Fantasy
Boston Red Sox SP Josh Beckett hired a personal trainer this offseason and altered his workout routine, the Boston Herald's Scott Lauber reports. Manager Terry Francona partially attributed Beckett's struggles last season to making too many changes. Overall, Beckett threw his cut fastball 15.3 percent of the time, according to the statistical database His previous high was 5.1 percent in 2009. As a result, he threw his curveball only 18.2 percent of the time last season, down from 25.5 percent in 2009 and 23.7 percent in 2008. "I think he had time to sit when he was hurt, and he was watching (left-hander Jon) Lester and (righty Clay) Buchholz throwing those cutters. All of a sudden, he started doing that," Francona said. "He'd throw one good one, then he'd throw three bad ones."

SP | Chris Narveson | Milwaukee Brewers | Fantasy
Milwaukee Brewers pitching coach Rick Kranitz said SP Chris Narveson has "every right to be in the rotation" after winning 12 games a season ago, reports Tom Haudricourt, of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

SP | Rich Harden | Oakland Athletics | Fantasy
Oakland Athletics SP Rich Harden will wear No. 18, as RP Andrew Bailey already has Harden's former No. 40 when he had his first stint with the A's, reports Susan Slusser, of the San Francisco Chronicle.

SP | Francisco Liriano | Minnesota Twins | Fantasy
The Minnesota Twins have not signed SP Francisco Liriano or OF Delmon Young yet, making them the final two arbitration cases yet to settle, according to Phil Mackey, of The Twins have only had four cases go before the arbitration judge in the past 10 seasons, so it's likely a one-year contract will be agreed upon shortly. However, the report adds that the team does not traditionally hammer out contract extensions until February or March.

SP | Kyle Kendrick | Philadelphia Phillies | Fantasy
Philadelphia Phillies SP Kyle Kendrick is likely to start the season in the bullpen if the team keeps SP Joe Blanton, reports Todd Zolecki, of

SP | Kyle Lohse | St. Louis Cardinals | Fantasy
St. Louis Cardinals SP Kyle Lohse will enter Spring Training slotted as the team's No. 5 starter, behind SPs Adam Wainwright, Chris Carpenter, Jake Westbrook and Jaime Garcia, according to's Matthew Leach. Ps Miguel Batista, Lance Lynn and P.J. Walters are candidates to be the "sixth starter."

SP | Mike Minor | Atlanta Braves | Fantasy
Atlanta Braves Ps Mike Minor and Brandon Beachy are expected to be two of the top candidates for the team's No. 5 rotation spot this year, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Carroll Rogers.

SP | Tommy Hanson | Atlanta Braves | Fantasy
Atlanta Braves SP Tommy Hanson spent his offseason working at the Boras Sports Training Institute in Southern California, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Carroll Rogers. Hanson said he has gained 10 pounds of muscle and has strengthened his back, which was one of his offseason priorities.

SP | Rodrigo Lopez | Atlanta Braves | Transaction
The Atlanta Braves signed free-agent SP Rodrigo Lopez (Diamondbacks) to a minor league deal Monday, Jan. 31, according to's Jerry Crasnick.

SP | R.A. Dickey | New York Mets | Fantasy
Updating a previous item, New York Mets SP R.A. Dickey will receive $2.25 million this year and $4.25 million in 2012, according to's Adam Rubin. Dickey received a $1 million signing bonus, and the team has a $5 million option for the 2013 season with a $300,000 buyout.

SP | Edinson Volquez | Cincinnati Reds | Fantasy
The Cincinnati Reds finalized their one-year, $1.625 million deal with SP Edinson Volquez Monday, Jan. 31, according to the National Post. Volquez can make an extra $50,000 in incentives; $25,000 each for 24 and 28 starts.

SP | Justin Duchscherer | Baltimore Orioles | Fantasy
Baltimore Orioles SP Justin Duchscherer is expected to enter the starting rotation behind SP Jeremy Guthrie, according to's Jerry Crasnick.

Relief Pitcher

RP | Daniel Schlereth | Detroit Tigers | Fantasy
Detroit Tigers RP Daniel Schlereth may be called upon as the left-handed relief specialist out of the bullpen, according to's Jason Beck. "We liked what we saw last year. Now, he can do more than that. He can get righties and lefties. He's got a left-handed breaking ball and an above-average fastball. But he can get out anybody, really," Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski said.

RP | Brad Lidge | Philadelphia Phillies | Fantasy
Philadelphia Phillies RP Brad Lidge felt good this offseason after not having to deal with any nagging injuries, according to's Stan McNeal. "Every once in a while you catch yourself thinking that," Lidge says. "I'm going to use spring training to be able to slowly but surely get to that 100 percent when the season opens. I feel great right now and obviously that's the way I want it. But there's going to be plenty of time to put on the finishing touches in spring training."

RP | Fernando Rodney | Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim | Fantasy
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim RP Fernando Rodney is expected to be the team's closer when the season starts, according to's Lyle Spencer. However, RP Scott Downs also has closing experience, and manager Mike Scioscia is high on RPs Kevin Jepsen and Jordan Walden. "With the power arms that we have in the back end of our 'pen," Scioscia said, "I really feel that we're going to have a closer that is going to emerge."

RP | LaTroy Hawkins | Milwaukee Brewers | Injury, Fantasy
Milwaukee Brewers RP LaTroy Hawkins (shoulder) said he is recovering nicely from shoulder surgery at the end of last season, reports Tom Haudricourt, of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "I'm doing well," Hawkins said. "I've been throwing pain-free since the start of the year, every other day." Hawkins expects to be ready for Opening Day, barring any setbacks.

RP | Jason Berken | Baltimore Orioles | Injury, Fantasy
Baltimore Orioles RP Jason Berken (shoulder) said he has lost 30 pounds during the offseason by increasing his training, running more and eliminating certain foods from his diet, reports Roch Kubatko, of "It was tough for me because I had a pretty bad diet last year," Berken said. "I'm one of those guys who can put on weight real fast, so I have to watch it." Berken is also expected to be ready for Spring Training after having surgery last summer to repair a torn right labrum.

RP | Jamey Wright | Seattle Mariners | Transaction
The Seattle Mariners re-signed RP Jamey Wright to a minor league contract Monday, Jan. 31, reports Greg Johns, of Wright received an invitation to Spring Training and will compete for a bullpen job. He joined the Mariners for the second half of the 2010 season after opening the year with the Cleveland Indians.

RP | Chad Durbin | free agent | Free Agents
Updating a previous report, free-agent RP Chad Durbin (Phillies) is not likely to re-sign with the Philadelphia Phillies, according to Todd Zolecki, of "I would say that we're probably not going to re-sign him," general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said. Durbin is reportedly seeking a two-year contract.

RP | Jason Isringhausen | free agent | Free Agents
Free-agent RP Jason Isringhausen (Reds) had a throwing session for the Cincinnati Reds Monday, Jan. 31, as he seeks a minor league deal with an invitation to Spring Training, according to's Mark Sheldon. "(Price) said he threw good," said general manager Walt Jocketty. "It went kind of like it did last year. We're not sure if we will pursue it or not. We'll discuss it in the next few days. We have quite a bit of right-handed pitching."

RP | Mark Hendrickson | Baltimore Orioles | Transaction
The Baltimore Orioles re-signed RP Mark Hendrickson to a minor league deal with an invitation to Spring Training Monday, Jan. 31, according to The Baltimore Sun's Dan Connolly. Hendrickson was choosing between the Orioles and the Colorado Rockies. He can make $900,000 if he is on the big league roster all year. He will battle with RPs Clay Rapada, Troy Patton and Pedro Viola for a spot on the roster.

RP | Elmer Dessens | free agent | Free Agents
Free-agent RP Elmer Dessens (Mets) said the New York Mets have no interest in re-signing him, according to's Adam Rubin.

RP | Jason Grilli | Philadelphia Phillies | Transaction
The Philadelphia Phillies agreed on a minor league deal with free-agent RP Jason Grilli (Indians) Monday, Jan. 31, according to's Todd Zolecki. The deal does not include an invitation to Spring Training.

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