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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
Mets LF Michael Cuddyer out against Pirates SP A.J. Burnett
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(1:04 pm ET) Mets veteran left fielder Michael Cuddyer is catching a break Saturday against Pittsburgh. He is getting the day off in favor of rookie Darrell Ceciliani.

Cuddyer has not had much success against Pirates scheduled starter. A.J. Burnett. He is 7-for-34 lifetime against the right-hander with just one home run and three RBI.


Nationals Michael Taylor to start in left field against Phillies
by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer
(12:59 pm ET) Nationals outfielder Michael Taylor will start in left field against the Phillies on Saturday.

Taylor will face off against left-handed pitcher Cole Hamels. Taylor is a career .261/.320/.478 hitter against left-handed pitchers, and has homered against Hamels once in 5 at-bats.


Phillies SS Freddy Galvis benched Saturday at Washington
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(12:53 pm ET) Phillies shortstop Freddy Galvis complained that the cold weather in Colorado made him cold at the plate - but perhaps he's just cold at the plate. He went hitless in four at-bats at much-warmer Washington on Friday night.

The bottom line is that he's out of the lineup Saturday for the fifth time this season. He has just three hits in his last 27 at-bats.


Nationals 2B Dan Uggla gets the start against Phillies
by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer
(12:53 pm ET) Nationals 2B Dan Uggla has been solid against left-handed pitchers this year, something his team wants him to continue on Saturday against the Phillies' Cole Hamels.

Uggla, who is hitting .273/.385/.545 in 11 at-bats against lefties this season, will get the start over Danny Espinosa.

In 62 career at-bats against Hamels, Uggla is only hitting .145/.239/.323 with three home runs, two doubles and six RBI.


Angels SS Erick Aybar smashes his first homer of 2015
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(12:45 pm ET) Angels shortstop Erick Aybar has been raking for three weeks, but he did something Friday night he had not done all year.

He homered.

Aybar blasted off with one aboard to put the cherry on top in a nine-run fifth that buried Boston. He had already walked and scored in the inning.

He has hit safely in 16 of his last 18 games and his .325 slugging percentage is at its highest point since the season opener.


Braves SP Miller looks to continue hot streak in start against Brewers
by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer
(12:40 pm ET) Braves starting pitcher Shelby Miller has been on fire to start the season.

Miller (5-1) will get the start on Saturday against the Brewers, where he will look to extend his excellent start to the season.

Through eight starts, Miller has a 1.33 ERA.


Mariners' McClendon: Hisashi Iwakuma still not close to return
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(12:39 pm ET) Mariners starting pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma continues to receive treatment for his strained right lat muscle. However, he has yet to resume throwing, per MLB.com.

“I would imagine when we get back he’ll start throwing again and then start his process all over again,” McClendon said. “He’s going to be out awhile.”


Austin Jackson's struggles in minors delaying return to Mariners
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(12:37 pm ET) Mariners outfielder Austin Jackson played in his sixth rehab game for Triple-A Tacoma on Friday. He went 1 for 5 with three strikeouts.

Jackson is batting .250 (6 for 24) with four walks and seven strikeouts on his rehab assignment. Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon, however, gave no indication Saturday of a specific date for Jackson's return.

“The ankle is feeling good, but the bat isn’t,” McClendon said, per MLB.com. “As of right now, it’s still open.”


Braves LF Jonny Gomes will start against Brewers
by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer
(12:36 pm ET) Braves left fielder Jonny Gomes will start against the Brewers on Saturday.

Gomes will be in the starting lineup for the second time in the team's last three games. He's 2 for 5 in his last two games.


Braves SP Alex Wood feeling better, plans to make next start
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(12:32 pm ET) Braves right-hander Alex Wood has confirmed that he will make his Wednesday start against the host Dodgers after losing his Friday outing to a virus, 680 The Fan has reported.

Wood, who added that he would be available Saturday out of the bullpen, will probably simply wait until his next start to pitch. He is coming off his finest effort of the year, a seven-inning performance at Miami in which he allowed just one run.


 
 
 
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