MLB In Full Bloom 1/27/2014

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19 – Number of days until pitchers and catchers report

66 – Number of days until Opening Day

Its Super Bowl week and chances are that MLB News & Notes will get swept under the rug. But, never fear baseball purists. The staff at BEONDECK.com and MLB IN FULL BLOOM will not let that happen. No story is too small for this blog and we will continue to help you prepare for your fantasy drafts!

MLB NEWS & NOTES

  • Matt Garza and the Milwaukee Brewers finally finalized on a four-year deal for $50 million over the weekend. The contract also includes a $13 million vesting option for a fifth year. Garza can earn an additional $1 million per year in reachable incentives, so the total value of the deal could wind up being $67 million. Garza had a 3.82 ERA over 155 1/3 innings last season between the Cubs and Rangers. As long as he can remain healthy, he's a nice addition to what now looks like a pretty good Brewers rotation.
  • Adam Dunn said he realizes he may see fewer at-bats this season after the White Sox signed Jose Abreu and re-signed Paul Konerko over the offseason.  Konerko and Dunn figure to split at-bats at the DH slot while Abreu is given every opportunity at first. If Abreau struggles at first base, there is the possibility that Dunn's opportunity to play is consistent.
  • Erik Johnson is "penciled in pretty firmly" into the club's rotation according to White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper. Johnson had an interesting season in 2013. There were highs and lows and downs, but he did post a 3.25 ERA over five starts. However, Johnson is the team's top pitching prospect, having put up a solid 1.96 ERA in 24 outings between Double- and Triple-A in 2013. Johnson's ceiling isn't too high, but he could be a solid mid-rotation starter. Fantasy owners should target Johnson in the later rounds of AL-Only leagues and deep mixed leagues.
  • Daisuke Matsuzaka and the Mets agreed to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training. He'll compete for the final spot in the club's rotation but seems likely to begin the year at Triple-A.
  • Michael Young is still undecided on whether he'll retire or return for a 15th season. Young stated over the weekend that if he did decide to return that it's a "safe bet" it would be for the Dodgers. He'll have minimal fantasy value in 2014 even if he does decide to return.
  • Corey Hart is happy with the progress of his surgically-repaired knee. When last healthy in 2012, Hart hit .270 with 30 homers and 83 RBI in 149 games for Milwaukee. Seattle general manager Jack Zduriencik and manager Lloyd McClendon have discussed a three-man rotation between Hart, Logan Morrison and Justin Smoak between first base and DH.
  • Pablo Sandoval was back in the lineup Sunday for his Venezuelan league team. Sandoval reportedly pulled up lame after running out a groundball in the eighth inning on Saturday, but the Giants and their fans can breathe a sigh of relief. Sandoval has lost 42 pounds this offseason and is entering the final year of his contract with the Giants. Fantasy owners should expect a very good year from him.