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Offseason Extra: Newfound Fantasy riches?

Senior Fantasy Writer
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The Mariners became the story of the offseason with their moves at the winter meetings, complementing their signing of Cano with two low-cost, high-upside bats.

Of course, a move to Seattle is never good news for a hitter, but for Corey Hart, it's at least reassurance that someone still views him as an everyday player and trusts him to bounce back from the two knee surgeries that sidelined him in 2013. During his time with the Brewers, he was always better at home than on the road, but he was going to be a risky pick regardless of where he went. With playing time less of a concern, he's worth a late-round flier.

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No doubt, Logan Morrison was in need of a change of scenery, but again, the Mariners aren't the team for resuscitating hitters. Between Michael Saunders, Dustin Ackley, Justin Smoak, Jesus Montero and Mike Zunino, they've had enough trouble developing their own. Morrison still has intriguing potential, but between his balky knee and stalled production, he has enough hurdles to overcome before you even factor in Safeco Field.

The Mariners weren't the only team making moves. The Yankees signed Carlos Beltran and re-signed Hiroki Kuroda, but in terms of Fantasy significance, those moves pale in comparison to their early signings of Jacoby Ellsbury and Brian McCann, who both figures to hit more home runs at Yankee Stadium. The change in venue certainly shouldn't hurt Beltran, but whether or not you target the soon-to-be 37-year-old in the middle rounds is more a matter of whether or not you believe this is the year he finally slows down. If it is, it won't matter where he's playing.

The way the Athletics rotation comes together should be one of the more fascinating storylines in Fantasy, as it is every year. The signing of Scott Kazmir seemed to give them a clear cut starting five, with Tommy Milone around as an insurance policy, but with Drew Pomeranz in the mix, someone could end up getting the squeeze. It will most likely be Pomeranz to start out since he hasn't had as much success as Jarrod Parker, Sonny Gray, Dan Straily or A.J. Griffin to this point. But none of those four is particularly established, and Pomeranz was thought to have a higher ceiling than all of them before he had the misfortune of being traded to the Rockies. Even if he begins the year in the minors, he could make a surprising impact if the Athletics straighten him out.

Brett Anderson, meanwhile, now has the unfortunate task of taming Coors Field. So much for his sleeper appeal.

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Player News
Jay Bruce homers twice, drives in three
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(9/21/2014) Reds outfielder Jay Bruce sandwiched two solo homers around an RBI single in a 7-2 win Sunday over the Cardinals. Bruce, hitting .217, is up to 18 homers and 65 RBI.

Lance Lynn fans nine in defeat
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(9/21/2014) Cardinals starter Lance Lynn struck out nine over six innings Sunday, but took the loss in a 7-2 defeat to the Reds. Lynn allowed three runs on four hits, including two homers to Jay Bruce, while walking a pair.

Now 15-10 with a 2.73 ERA, Lynn is scheduled to face Arizona on Saturday.


Alfredo Simon registers 15th win
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(9/21/2014) Reds pitcher Alfredo Simon improved to 15-10 Sunday with six strong innings in a 7-2 win over the Cardinals. Simon allowed two runs on seven hits, striking out three and walking two, and lowered his ERA to 3.34.

Simon had gone seven innings in four of his previous five starts, and he owned a 17-inning scoreless stretch before the Cards scored in the fifth. He'll take on the Pirates at home Saturday.


Royals done sitting Billy Butler
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(9/21/2014) Though Billy Butler looked like he may have lost his DH job to Josh Willingham for the first couple weeks after Eric Hosmer returned from a hand injury, Royals manager Ned Yost told the Kansas City Star Sunday that the longtime Royal will play every day the rest of the way.

Butler went 2 for 4 with an RBI Sunday against the Tigers. It was just his sixth start in the team's last 15 games.


Jed Lowrie exits after getting hit in foot
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(9/21/2014) Athletics shortstop Jed Lowrie was hit in the foot by a pitch in his first at-bat Sunday against the Phillies, but the Athletics didn't remove him from the game until the fifth inning. Nick Punto took his place.

"He's all right," manager Bob Melvin told MLB.com. "Just got it pretty good on the foot. As a shortstop you have to have your range, and on the ball in the hole he was having a little trouble getting over there."

Lowrie is day to day.


Xander Bogaerts should be back Tuesday
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(9/21/2014) Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts, who left Sunday's game with a stiff neck, should be back in the lineup Tuesday against the Rays, according to the Providence Journal. The injury was the aftereffect of him getting hit by a ricocheted ball in batting practice.

Though Bogaerts is having a so-so rookie season, he has been terrific in September, batting .312 (24 for 77) with four home runs and an .840 OPS.


Pedro Alvarez could return for postseason
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(9/21/2014) Though Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez, who hasn't played since Sept. 5, has been ruled out for the rest of the regular season, he could potentially return for the NLDS if the Pirates advance that far, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune. The Pirates are currently tied with the Giants for the top wild card spot.

Alvarez had lost his starting third base job to Josh Harrison even before the injury, but he had begun transitioning to first base, making five starts there.


Jason Heyward has swelling in the thumb
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(9/21/2014) Braves outfielder Jason Heyward, who was out of the lineup for a third straight game Sunday against the Mets because of a thumb injury, hasn't been able to grip a bat yet because of swelling in the thumb, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He remains day to day.

Chaz Roe designated for assignment
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(9/21/2014) The Yankees designated right-hander Chaz Roe for assignment Sunday. Roe made three appearances for them in September, allowing two earned runs on three hits and three walks in two innings.

Astros relievers have hurt obliques
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(9/21/2014) According to the Houston Chronicle, Astros relievers Darin Downs and Josh Fields are both nursing oblique injuries. Because Downs aggravated a previous injury, he could possibly miss the rest of the season.

Downs last pitched in a game Friday. Fields, who was beginning to earn some save opportunities, hasn't pitched since Sept. 9.


 
 
 
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