Giants' Joe Panik: "100 percent" entering 2016 after back injury
by RotoWire Staff | Special to
(2/13/2016) Panik (back) says he is "100 percent" and was cleared by team doctors in mid-December, Alex Pavlovic of CSN Bay Area reports.

Panik was already considered good to go for spring training, but this should confirm his health for 2016. The 25-year-old will be trying to match a career season in which he hit .312/.378/.455 while striking out in less than 10 percent of plate appearances.

Dodgers' Brandon Hicks: Joins Dodgers on minor league deal
by RotoWire Staff | Special to
(2/9/2016) Hicks signed a minor league contract with the Dodgers last week, Baseball America reports.

A .162/.280/.319 first half to 2014 led to Hicks' removal from the Giants' 40-man roster, and he failed to work his way back up in 2015. Now 30, Hicks can't really play shortstop anymore, but he will provide the Triple-A club with a depth option at second base and third in 2016.

Reds' Brandon Phillips: Turned down two trades
by RotoWire Staff | Special to
(2/1/2016) The Reds are unlikely to try to trade Phillips again after he turned down two trades this offseason, one with the Nationals and one with the Diamondbacks, the Cincinnati Enquirer reports.

In both cases the trade broke down when Phillips, who has a full no-trade clause, wanted more money to approve the trade and a deal was not reached. The Reds would like to be able to trade Phillips and play Jose Peraza, but their plans may be put on hold.

Brewers' Aaron Hill: Traded to Brewers
by RotoWire Staff | Special to
(1/30/2016) Hill was traded to the Brewers on Saturday in a five-player deal, ESPN's Keith Law reports.

Hill is owed $12 million for 2016, the final year of his deal, so Arizona was fortunate to be able to pass him off, but it costed one of their top prospects (Isan Diaz) to get the deal done. Hill could occupy the short side of a second base platoon with Scooter Gennett this year, while also seeing time at third base if young players like Will Middlebrooks and Garin Cecchini don't work out. Still, with Milwaukee rebuilding, the young players figure to get more chances than an aging Hill who does not factor into the team's long-term plans.

Dodgers' Howie Kendrick: Willing to play some 3B
by RotoWire Staff | Special to
(1/30/2016) Kendrick has expressed a willingness to play some third base this year for the Dodgers, the Los Angeles Times' Andy McCullough reports.

Justin Turner is coming off microfracture surgery, so the team may need Kendrick to fill in some at the hot corner early on. Enrique Hernandez and Chase Utley are more than capable of handling second base, so Kendrick's ability to handle third gives the Dodgers an extreme amount of flexibility. While many of the Dodgers' positions will be platoons, Kendrick should be in the lineup almost every day, possibly hitting leadoff, so he is one of the few Dodgers who is safe to target in drafts.

Dodgers' Howie Kendrick: Signs two-year contract with Dodgers
by RotoWire Staff | Special to
(1/29/2016) Kendrick signed a two-year contract with the Dodgers on Friday, pending a physical, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports.

After declining their qualifying offer, the 32-year-old second baseman is headed back to the city of angels after all. Kendrick batted .295 with nine homers and 54 RBI in 2015 in his first year with the Dodgers, and he'll hope to build off that season and remain one of the better-hitting second baseman in the league.

Mets' Neil Walker: Agrees to one-year contract with Mets, avoiding arbitration
by RotoWire Staff | Special to
(1/29/2016) Walker and the Mets agreed to a one-year, $10.55 million contract Friday, avoiding arbitration, Jon Heyman of MLB Network reports.

After being traded to the Mets in exchange for Jon Niese, the only part left to make Walker a Met was to settle his contract either before or through arbitration. They managed to get a deal done before arbitration, as Walker settled to take $50,000 less than the middle point between his asking price and the Mets' initial offer. The 30-year-old will hope to be one of the better hitting second basemen again this season, as he has proven to be in the past by hitting at least 12 home runs and driving in over 50 runs every season since 2010.

Dodgers' Enrique Hernandez: Rehabbing according to schedule
by RotoWire Staff | Special to
(1/29/2016) Hernandez has not experienced any setbacks in his recovery from right-shoulder surgery, Ken Gurnick of reports.

Although it was just minor surgery, this is great news for both the Dodgers and Hernandez. Going into 2016 the 24-year-old will look to build off his success from last season when he hit .307 and will likely be the Dodgers top utility player.

Analysis: Anthony Rendon a prime bounceback candidate
by Chris Towers |
(1/28/2016) If you want an example how quickly perception can change for a young player, look no further than Nationals infielder Anthony Rendon. Coming into the 2015 season, he was viewed as one of the brightest young stars in baseball, coming off a .287 average, 21-homer, 111-run season with 17 stolen bases. He was the kind of all-around stud who, then just 24, would be a future Fantasy first-rounder in no time.

One injury-plagued year later, and Rendon is going 79th overall in's average draft position tracker. Rendon is going 60 spots later in drafts than Mookie Betts, whose 2015 breakout (.291, 18 homers, 21 steals) looks an awful lot like what Rendon did the year before. Betts deserves to go ahead of Rendon for good reason this season, but don't forget about Rendon when looking for your second baseman -- he could be a steal in the sixth round or later if that's where he ends up going.

Nationals' Danny Espinosa: Avoids arbitration with Nationals
by RotoWire Staff | Special to
(1/15/2016) Espinosa (hamstring) agreed to a one-year, $2.875 million deal with the Nationals on Friday, avoiding arbitration, MLB Network's Jon Heyman reports.

It seems that Espinosa is the favorite to open the season as the Nationals' starting shortstop (he will qualify at second base). However, the expectation is that Trea Turner will be up to challenge him for at-bats at some point in the first half of the season, meaning Espinosa could spend the majority of the year as a utility infielder. When he is starting, Espinosa figures to hit near the bottom of the Nationals' lineup, so there are plenty of reasons to look elsewhere to fill a middle infield spot in mixed leagues.

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