Josh Bell
Pirates' Josh Bell: Focusing on move to first base in 2017
Josh Bell, 1B, PIT
6:55 PM
News: General manager Neal Huntington said he's focused on deploying Bell at first base in 2017, Travis Sawchik of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports.

After starting 2016 in Triple-A, Bell finished the season in the majors, slashing .273/.368/.406 over 128 at-bats while splitting time between right field and first base for the Pirates. Although he struggled on defense at times last season, the 24-year-old only began playing first base in 2014 due to Pittsburgh's outfield depth with Andrew McCutchen, Starling Marte, and Gregory Polanco. In anticipation of Bell grabbing hold of the starting job at first base, the Pirates have kicked around the idea of moving John Jaso to third base. The move to first should only help Bell's fantasy value, as it now seems he could serve as an everyday player for the Pirates in 2017. Without having to worry about position changes, the switch-hitter could be poised for a breakout year at the plate.

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Joe Nathan
Joe Nathan: Looking to play in 2017
Joe Nathan, RP, SF
5:50 PM
News: Nathan is interested in returning to the majors for the 2017 season, Jon Heyman of MLB Network reports.

The 42-year-old sat out all of 2015 due to Tommy John surgery, recovering in 2016 to throw a combined 6.1 scoreless innings with the Cubs and Giants. His last full season came in 2014 with the Tigers, where he posted a 4.81 ERA across 58 innings while converting 35 of his 42 save opportunities. With his age and injury history, it is difficult what to make of Nathan's desire to return. If he is miraculously able to repeat his 2013 numbers (1.39 ERA, 10.2 K/9, 3.1 W/9 and 43 saves), Nathan will find himself a home quickly. However, it is more likely we will see numbers closer to his 2014 totals (4.81 ERA, 8.4 K/9, 4.5 W/9 and 35 saves), which will make it difficult for the righty to find much value in fantasy. At this point, he's more of a "wait and see" option.

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Kirk Nieuwenhuis
Brewers' Kirk Nieuwenhuis: Undergoes nerve release surgery
Kirk Nieuwenhuis, CF, MIL
4:40 PM
News: Nieuwenhuis underwent nerve release surgery following the 2016 season, Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.

Nerve release surgery is an alternative to sports hernia surgery with a faster recovery time. The 29-year-old amassed 392 plate appearances across 125 games last season, though he batted just .209. His solid defense and veteran presence were enough to convince the Brewers to tender him a contract for 2017, however. He appears to be on track for the start of spring training, though the team has not officially provided a timetable for his return.

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Matt Williams
Angels' Matt Williams: Selected in Triple-A Rule 5 Draft
Matt Williams, SS, STL
3:20 PM
News: Williams was selected by the Angels in the Triple-A portion of the Rule 5 draft Thursday.

The 27-year-old shortstop slashed .263/.355/.346 for Triple-A Memphis in the Cardinals' organization last season. In his 395 plate appearances over 113 games, he didn't do anything too substantial, hitting just one home run, stealing 11 bases in 18 attempts and knocking in 35 RBI to go along with his mediocre slash line. He will serve as organizational depth for the Angels next season.

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Charlie Blackmon
Rockies' Charlie Blackmon: Part of failed trade talks with Toronto
Charlie Blackmon, CF, COL
12:20 PM
News: Blackmon was part of an unsuccessful trade attempt when the Rockies tried to acquire right-handed pitcher Marcus Stroman from the Blue Jays, Jon Morosi of MLB Network reports.

Rumors of Blackmon being traded have been swirling, but the Rockies have struggled to find suitors for the outfielder. The Blue Jays weren't willing to part ways with their ace Stroman in a one-for-one deal. MLB Trade Rumors projects that Blackmon will earn $9 million in 2017 through arbitration. Clearing that potential salary could keep the Rockies in play for some of the bigger-ticket free agents. The 30-year-old is coming off a career-best season in which he set personal records in average, OBP, slugging percentage, home runs and RBI.

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Stuart Turner
Reds' Stuart Turner: Selected by Reds in Rule 5 draft
Stuart Turner, C, CIN
11:50 AM
News: Turner was selected by the Reds with the 17th pick in the Rule 5 draft Thursday.

Turner will essentially provide the Reds with a warm body capable of setting up behind the dish in case Devin Mesoraco were to suffer an injury during spring training. He has not played above Double-A and offers limited upside. Look for him to be subjected to waivers and offered back to the Twins at the end of spring training.

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Chad Kuhl
Pirates' Chad Kuhl: Currently has inside track to rotation spot
Chad Kuhl, SP, PIT
11:30 AM
News: Kuhl appears to have an inside track to a rotation spot for the Pirates, Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.

Pirates manager Clint Hurdle intimated that Kuhl was a favorite for one of the three vacancies behind Gerrit Cole and Jameson Taillon during a session with reporters at the Winter Meetings this week. Oddly enough, Kuhl had more success away from home in 2016, posting a 2.72 ERA in 46.1 innings outside of PNC Park compared to a 7.03 mark in 24.1 innings at home. More importantly, he showed signs of progress in the second half, including an 18.8 percent strikeout rate and 3.77 ERA (.250/.311/.399 line against) after the All-Star break.

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Luis Torrens
Padres' Luis Torrens: Traded to Padres
Luis Torrens, C, CIN
11:05 AM
News: Torrens, who was selected by the Reds in the Rule 5 draft, was traded to the Padres on Thursday, MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo reports.

The Reds will receive cash and a player to be named later in the deal. Torrens, a 20-year-old catching prospect, missed all of the 2015 season following surgery to repair a torn labrum and played in just 52 games in 2016. He has some on-base skills, posting a 13.4 percent walk rate at Low-A last season, but he won't be fantasy relevant anytime soon. The Padres will have to keep Torrens on the active roster all season, otherwise he will be exposed to waivers and offered back to the Yankees. He will probably simply be stashed on the bench if he breaks camp with the club, as he is unlikely to be ready to handle the offensive or defensive side of the game at the big league level.

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Andrew McCutchen
Pirates' Andrew McCutchen: Likely staying in Pittsburgh now?
Andrew McCutchen, CF, PIT
10:50 AM
News: McCutchen is increasingly likely to remain in Pittsburgh in 2017 with a move from center field to one of the corner spots, Jon Heyman FanRag Sports reports.

With a trade market full of quality veteran outfielders, the Pirates may be changing course with McCutchen and considering dealing other pieces, perhaps prospects, from the organization instead. McCutchen's contract can keep him in Pittsburgh through the 2018 season, as he'll collect $14 million in 2017 before a $14.5 million option is on the table for 2018.

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Tyson Ross
Tyson Ross: Pirates express interest
Tyson Ross, SP, SD
10:45 AM
News: The Pirates are among the teams that have checked in on Ross (shoulder) since he was non-tendered by the Padres last week, Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.

Ross had surgery in October to remove a rib as a method of treating thoracic outlet syndrome, so his availability for the start of spring training, and subsequently Opening Day, is in question. Estimates pegged Ross as a likely $9 million pitcher if he had received a contract from the Padres, so it's likely that he'll be seeking a one-year deal in a similar range to prove that he's healthy with the hope of cashing in as a free agent after he logs quality innings in 2017.

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