Dexter Fowler: Has deal in place with Cardinals
by RotoWire Staff | Special to
(9:15 pm ET) Fowler has a deal in place with the Cardinals, Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports.

According to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Fowler is en route to St. Louis for his physical, having received an "over-the-top offer" from the Cardinals. The deal is expected to be formally announced Friday. Fowler missed some time with a hamstring issue in 2016, but he was a force atop the lineup when healthy, batting .276/.393/.447. His excellent on-base skills and ability to hit from both sides of the plate should keep him in the leadoff spot on an everyday basis.

Rangers' Brady Feigl: Traded to Rangers
by RotoWire Staff | Special to
(7:55 pm ET) Feigl was traded to the Rangers on Thursday along with Tyrell Jenkins in exchange for Luke Jackson, Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports.

Feigl has made just one appearance with a full-season affiliate over the past two seasons -- he worked exclusively with rookie-level clubs in 2016 while continuing his rehab from Tommy John surgery. A 6-foot-4 lefty, Feigl is still just 25 and flashed an ability to hit his spots and miss bats before going down with the elbow injury.

Rangers' Tyrell Jenkins: Traded to Rangers
by RotoWire Staff | Special to
(7:35 pm ET) The Braves traded Jenkins (elbow) and Brady Feigl to the Rangers on Thursday in exchange for Luke Jackson, Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports.

Jenkins finished with seven more walks than strikeouts (26:33 K:BB) in 52 innings with the Braves in 2016, and was hit hard when he did put the ball in the strike zone (11 homers). His 5.88 ERA looks bad enough, but his FIP was almost a full run higher at 6.86. The right-hander also battled some ulnar nerve inflammation late in the year, which caused some numbness in his fingers. It's uncertain how he'll be deployed to begin 2017, but Jenkins seems destined to end up in the bullpen full time.

Pirates' Josh Bell: Focusing on move to first base in 2017
by RotoWire Staff | Special to
(6:55 pm ET) 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.

Joe Nathan: Looking to play in 2017
by RotoWire Staff | Special to
(5:50 pm ET) 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.

Brewers' Kirk Nieuwenhuis: Undergoes nerve release surgery
by RotoWire Staff | Special to
(4:40 pm ET) 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.

Angels' Matt Williams: Selected in Triple-A Rule 5 Draft
by RotoWire Staff | Special to
(3:20 pm ET) 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.

Rockies' Charlie Blackmon: Part of failed trade talks with Toronto
by RotoWire Staff | Special to
(12:20 pm ET) 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.

Reds' Stuart Turner: Selected by Reds in Rule 5 draft
by RotoWire Staff | Special to
(11:50 am ET) 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.

Pirates' Chad Kuhl: Currently has inside track to rotation spot
by RotoWire Staff | Special to
(11:30 am ET) 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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