Michael Brantley
Indians' Michael Brantley: To resume hitting after Christmas
Michael Brantley, LF, CLE
12/5/2016
News: Brantley (shoulder) is expected to resume hitting after Christmas and remains on track to be ready for spring training, Jordan Bastian of MLB.com reports.

The 2016 season proved to be quite a disappointment for Brantley, who appeared in only 11 games for the Indians after experiencing several setbacks in his return from shoulder surgery. The talented outfielder will make for an intriguing draft day gamble as he possesses the upside to be a potential league-winning player but comes with a fair amount of risk due to his recent injury history.

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Lorenzo Cain
Royals' Lorenzo Cain: Progressing as planned in rehab from wrist injury
Lorenzo Cain, CF, KC
12/5/2016
News: Royals manager Ned Yost said that Cain (wrist) will be "100 percent ready to go" when the season starts and that he's on schedule with his rehab this offseason, Jeffrey Flanagan of MLB.com reports.

The expectation is that Cain won't be able to swing a bat for another couple of weeks, but his rehab progress to this point is a very encouraging sign as the Royals look to get him ready for Opening Day. In addition to missing time last season, Cain's slash line took a hit across the board in 2016 as he failed to hit .300 for the first time since 2013 while seeing his slugging percentage fall from .477 to .408.

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Joey Rickard
Orioles' Joey Rickard: May land in platoon for left field spot
Joey Rickard, RF, BAL
12/5/2016
News: Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette said the team plans to platoon Rickard (thumb) with Hyun Soo Kim in left field for 2017, the Baltimore Sun reports.

Based on his performance as a rookie last season, Rickard makes sense on the small side of a platoon after he hit .313/.367/.494 against southpaws in 2016 (by comparison, he hit just .247/.296/.322 against righties). Much like Kim, Rickard offered very little in terms of homers (5) or steals (4) a year ago, but the duo might generate a steady number of runs scored if manager Buck Showalter uses them in a table-setting role.

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Hyun Soo Kim
Orioles' Hyun Soo Kim: Currently in line for platoon role in left field
Hyun Soo Kim, LF, BAL
12/5/2016
News: Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette said the team plans to platoon Kim with Joey Rickard in left field for 2017, the Baltimore Sun reports.

With the potential loss of Mark Trumbo in free agency, the O's are apparently setting their sights on finding a regular right fielder this offseason, while leaving left field to a duo that covered a combined 105 games at the position in 2016. While the construction of the lineup is unclear with approximately four months to go before Opening Day, Kim was often used as the team's No. 2 hitter during the second half of the season. Although he struggled during spring training, and initially to open last season, Kim finished with a .302/.382/.420 line. It should be noted, however, that Kim contributed very little in terms of home runs (six) and stolen bases (1), but he could be a useful source of runs scored if the team's current left field plans afford him four or five starts per week on the large side of a platoon.

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Eddie Rosario
Twins' Eddie Rosario: Thumb injury healing
Eddie Rosario, LF, MIN
12/5/2016
News: Rosario's fractured left thumb is healing well enough that he's considering playing for Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports.

Rosario isn't expected to be cleared to play in time for the Puerto Rican Winter League, but it looks like he'll be ready to play when the WBC begins in early March. Rosario fractured his left thumb while sliding in a game on Sept. 17. He'll enter spring training as the favorite to start the year as the Twins' starting left fielder.

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Andy Burns
Blue Jays' Andy Burns: Outrighted by Jays
Andy Burns, LF, TOR
12/5/2016
News: Burns cleared waivers and was outrighted by the Jays, Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet reports.

This is Burns' first outright, meaning he has no choice but to remain in the Jays' system. The 26-year-old went hitless through 10 games for the big league team in 2016. Burns hit .230 over 111 games with Triple-A Buffalo.

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Jared Hoying
Jared Hoying: Non-tendered by Rangers
Jared Hoying, RF, TEX
12/2/2016
News: The Rangers declined to tender Hoying a contract Friday, making him a free agent.

He's managed just a .305 on-base percentage in four seasons at Triple-A and he struggled mightily in his first exposure to big-league pitching. Further, while he played some center field at Round Rock this year, Hoying is not a plus defender even in the corners, so it seems likely he will have to settle for a minor league deal in free agency.

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Adam Brett Walker
Orioles' Adam Walker: Plucked off waivers by Orioles
Adam Brett Walker, RF, BAL
12/2/2016
News: Walker was claimed off waivers by the Orioles on Friday.

Walker only spent 10 days in the Brewers organization prior to being designated for assignment at the end of November, and now he'll head back to the American League. The 25-year-old outfielder is a true three-outcome hitter as his 8.3 percent walk rate, 38 percent strikeout rate, and 27 home runs at the Triple-A level last season, so it's unlikely that he'll be able to garner a regular role at the major league level until he solves his major swing-and-miss issues.

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Kenny Wilson
Athletics' Kenny Wilson: Latches onto Athletics with NRI deal
Kenny Wilson, CF, OAK
12/1/2016
News: Wilson signed a minor league contract with the Athletics on Thursday that includes an invitation to spring training, CSN Bay Area reports.

Wilson's top asset is his speed, as he accumulated 30 or more stolen bases in each of the past three seasons. However, the speedy outfielder hasn't ever hit well above the Double-A level, so the likelihood of him cracking the major league roster and making a fantasy-relevant impact is slim to none.

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Norichika Aoki
Astros' Norichika Aoki: Agrees to deal to avoid arbitration
Norichika Aoki, LF, HOU
11/30/2016
News: Aoki agreed to a one-year, $5.5 million contract with the Astros on Wednesday, avoiding arbitration, Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle reports.

The Josh Reddick signing last week clouded Aoki's future with the organization a bit, with some speculating that he could be non-tendered, but the 34-year-old is staying put. A waiver acquisition earlier this month, Aoki hit .283/.349/.388 in 118 games with the Mariners this past season, striking out just 45 times in 417 plate appearances. As a high-contact lefty, Aoki could see regular time on the favorable end of a left-field platoon.

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