Trey McNutt
Padres' Trey McNutt: Signs minor league deal with Padres
Trey McNutt, SP, CHC
2/8/2016
News: McNutt has signed a minor league contract with the Padres, Baseball America reports.

A former top prospect, the 26-year-old no longer has the glimmer he once did. He'll look for a fresh start with a new organization in the Padres, but spent most of the 2015 campaign on the disabled list following shoulder surgery in 2014.

Analysis: 

Hyun-Jin Ryu
Dodgers' Hyun-Jin Ryu: Lost 20 pounds during offseason
Hyun-Jin Ryu, SP, LAD
2/8/2016
News: Ryu (shoulder), who resumed throwing from a mound in mid-January, has reportedly lost 20 pounds this offseason, according to J.P. Hoornstra of the Los Angeles Daily News.

Given that he's coming back from surgery to repair the labrum in his pitching shoulder, there isn't a firm timetable for Ryu's return. When asked about his recovery after his first mound session in January, Ryu said that he hopes to be ready for Opening Day. Nevertheless, the Dodgers' increased rotation depth affords them extra time if Ryu needs to begin the season on the disabled list and progress through the final stages of his recovery beyond the first week of April. If Ryu is healthy and ready to pitch on Day 1, Alex Wood may end up in the bullpen, or at Triple-A to begin the season, but it would hardly be surprising to see the Dodgers take a cautious approach with Ryu's recovery.

Analysis: 

Freddy Garcia
Freddy Garcia: Retires after career spanning decades
Freddy Garcia, SP, LAD
2/7/2016
News: Garcia will retire after one final start in the Caribbean Series championship game, Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com reports.

Garcia will be remembered more as a back-end innings eater, but he did occupy key positions on some of MLB's most noteworthy teams, including the 2001 Mariners that won 116 games and the curse-breaking 2001 White Sox. The 29-year-old will retire with a 156-108 record and a career 4.15 ERA while starting for seven different franchises in his 14-year MLB career.

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Jake Arrieta
Cubs' Jake Arrieta: Avoids arbitration with Cubs
Jake Arrieta, SP, CHC
2/6/2016
News: Arrieta and the Cubs avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $10.7 million contract Friday night, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports.

Arrieta will receive a salary bump in excess of $7 million after winning the NL Cy Young Award in 2015. He will have one more year of arbitration eligibility remaining, and will have a good chance to top his 2016 salary if he is anywhere near as dominant as he was a year ago. Arrieta will head the Cubs' rotation this season, making him the odds on favorite to take the ball Opening Day.

Analysis: 

A.J. Schugel
Pirates' AJ Schugel: Clears waivers, outrighted to Triple-A Indianapolis
A.J. Schugel, SP, PIT
2/5/2016
News: Schugel cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A Indianapolis on Friday, but he will still receive an invitation to spring training as a non-roster invitee.

Schugel has been claimed off waivers three times this season, but for now he'll remain a part of the Pirates organization. He'll still get to attend major league spring training, but this makes it more likely that he'll begin the year in the minors.

Analysis: 

Zack Wheeler
Mets' Zack Wheeler: Targeting July 1 return date
Zack Wheeler, SP, NYM
2/3/2016
News: Wheeler and the Mets are targeting a July 1 return date from Tommy John surgery, Adam Rubin of ESPN reports.

The Mets previously had not ruled out an early-June return, but now the timetable has been pushed back a bit. Wheeler is hoping that an altered arm angle can help him recover more effectively and improve his command going forward, similar to what Jacob deGrom did after his Tommy John surgery.

Analysis: 

Jesse Biddle
Pirates' Jesse Biddle: Traded to Pirates
Jesse Biddle, SP, PIT
2/3/2016
News: Biddle (elbow) was traded to the Pirates on Wednesday, CSN Philadelphia's Jim Salisbury reports.

He was designated for assignment last week, but considering his previous status as a highly-touted prospect, it is not surprising that the Phillies received interest in Biddle. Back in 2012 he was electric at times, flashing a beautiful curveball with great shape and depth, but poor command and a fringe fastball led to him getting hit hard in the upper levels of the minors, and he now serves as a cautionary tale for prospect hounds who fall in love with pitchers with incomplete repertoires in the lower levels. That said, the Pirates might be the best developmental organization for pitchers, so this is an ideal spot for Biddle to try to salvage his professional career. This has very little fantasy impact, however, as Biddle will miss all of 2016 after undergoing Tommy John surgery in the fall, so it won't be clear what the Pirates have in Biddle until 2017. He will likely spend all of 2016 on the 60-day DL.

Analysis: 

Jeremy Bleich
Phillies' Jeremy Bleich: Signs a minor league deal with the Phillies
Jeremy Bleich, SP, PIT
2/3/2016
News: The Phillies signed Bleich to a minor league contract, Baseball America reports.

Bleich spent last season in the Pirates' minor league system. He was 1-2 with a 2.88 ERA and a 42:14 K:BB ratio in 56.1 innings across three levels. He will give the Phillies some additional relief depth in the minors.

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Mike Foltynewicz
Braves' Mike Foltynewicz: Could begin season on DL
Mike Foltynewicz, SP, ATL
2/2/2016
News: Foltynewicz (illness) could begin the season on the disabled list, MLB.com reports.

A blood clot in his right arm gave Foltynewicz a major scare at the end of last season -- doctors said it was life-threatening -- and forced him to undergo surgery in September to remove the anterior half of his first rib. Fortunately, the 24-year-old was said to be looking good physically and emotionally as he played long toss at Turner Field on Monday, but he will be a couple weeks behind schedule when spring training begins later this month. Down approximately 15 pounds from a season ago, Foltynewicz seems to have the floor of a late-inning reliever, but the rebuilding Braves could give him another chance in the rotation once he's back to full strength.

Analysis: 

Keyvius Sampson
Reds' Keyvius Sampson: Offseason elbow surgery
Keyvius Sampson, SP, CIN
2/1/2016
News: Sampson had surgery to repair loose bodies in his pitching elbow over the offseason, the Cincinnati Enquirer reports.

Sampson had troubles with the elbow at the beginning of the season but tried to pitch through them all season. He expects to be ready at the beginning of spring training. "There were times my parents and my agent would call and they could see I wasn't getting fully extended and I didn't look like I was 100 percent," Sampson said.

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