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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
Report: Diamondbacks sign Jordan Pacheco to minor-league deal
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(12/25/2014) The Diamondbacks will re-sign infielder Jordan Pacheco to a minor-league deal with an invitation to spring training, MLBDailyDish.com reports.

Pacheco hit .255/.299/.333 in 153 at-bats between Colorado and Arizona in 2014. He made appearances at catcher, first base, second base and third base last season.


Indians sign Jeff Manship to minor-league deal
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(12/24/2014) The Indians have signed pitcher Jeff Manship to a minor-league deal. Manship posted a 6.65 ERA and 16:14 K:BB ratio in 23 innings with the Phillies in 2014.

Rockies sign Roger Bernadina to minor-league deal
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(12/24/2014) The Rockies have signed outfielder Roger Bernadina to a minor-league deal. He hit .167/.304/.258 in 66 at-bats with the Reds and Dodgers in 2014.

Rockies OF Carlos Gonzalez resumes hitting
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(12/24/2014) Rockies outfieler Carlos Gonzalez revealed this week that he has been cleared to practice hitting for the first time since undergoing knee surgery in August, MLB.com reports.

Gonzalez had been having issues with the troublesome knee for more than a year before undergoing a procedure to repair a patella tendon on Aug. 18. He also dealt with appendicitis in January and a persistent finger injury throughout the season. The issues led to a down year for the outfielder, as Gonzalez hit just .238/.292/.431 with 11 home runs and 38 RBI in 260 at-bats.


Reds sign Michael Bowden to minor-league deal
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(12/24/2014) The Reds have signed pitcher Michael Bowden to a minor-league deal, MLBDailyDish.com reports.

Bowden, who has 133 2/3 innings of experience in the majors, spent the 2014 season with the Seibu Lions of Nippon Professional Baseball, where he delivered a 4.50 ERA and 30:24 K:BB ratio in 40 innings.


Cardinals release Robert Stock
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(12/24/2014) The Cardinals have released pitcher Robert Stock. A converted catcher, Stock posted a 4.12 ERA and 43:46 K:BB ratio in 63 1/3 innings between Class A Peoria and high Class A Palm Beach last season.

Report: Orioles interested in Padres' Will Venable, Seth Smith
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(12/24/2014) The Orioles have continued dialogue with the Padres regarding trading for an outfielder, with Padres outfielders Will Venable and Seth Smith drawing the most interest from the team, the Baltimore Sun reports.

Either player would address the team's need for lefthanded hitters who fare well against righthanded pitching. While neither figures to receive significant playing time in San Diego after the Padres imported three outfielders via trade this offseason, either Smith or Venable would be expected to assume a platoon role with Baltimore at the outset of the season with the potential to earn a full-time starting position.


Rays outright Brandon Gomes to Triple-A
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(12/24/2014) The Rays have sent pitcher Brandon Gomes outright to Triple-A Durham. He delivered a 3.71 ERA, 1.15 WHIP and 24:11 K:BB ratio in 34 innings in 2014.

Cubs announce David Ross signing
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(12/24/2014) The Cubs finalized a deal with catcher David Ross Tuesday. The two sides came to terms on a two-year deal worth $5 million, per a previous report.

Ross hit just .184/.260/.368 in 152 at-bats with the Red Sox in 2014.


Orioles, Delmon Young agree to one-year deal
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(12/24/2014) The Orioles have agreed to a one-year deal with outfielder Delmon Young worth $2.25 million, CBSSports.com baseball insider Jon Heyman reports. The deal is pending a physical in January.

Young had been in dicussions with the Orioles in November but was reported to be seeking a two-year deal after hitting .302/.337/.442 line with seven home runs and 30 RBI in 242 at-bats with Baltimore in 2014. The two sides were said to be back in discussions earlier in December and have now come to terms on a deal. Young made more than half of his appearances with the team in the designated hitter role last season, but it's possible he could be used more in the outfield with the team losing multiple outfielders this offseason.


 
 
 
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