MLB In Full Bloom 1/27/2014


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 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!


  • 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.

MLB In Full Bloom 1/24/2014


22 – Number of days until pitchers and catchers report

69 – Number of days until Opening Day

Happy Friday to everyone! Hard to believe that January is flying by as quickly as it is right now. But, you won't hear me complaining as we're just another day closer to pitchers and catchers reporting. As expected, now that Masahiro Tanaka is off the market, the pace is heating up in the hot stove as other free agents are beginning to find new homes. Thursday brought some interesting headlines so let's get right to it!


  • Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports was the first to report that on Thursday that Matt Garza had agreed to a 4-year $52 million contract with the Milwaukee Brewers pending a physical. However, shortly after those reports surfaced, the Brewers posted on their Twitter account that talks were "ongoing" and there is "no deal yet". This is an unusual situation because that physical was scheduled in Milwaukee followed by a press conference at Miller Park. Well, that press conference never took place. The Brewers are saying that there is no issue with Garza's physical, but they are hammering out the final details of the deal. That certainly could be the case, but it also could be that an issue did arise during the physical and the Brewers are adjusting the contract similar to what the Red Sox did with Mike Napoli a year ago. It's unknown where this is going so stay tuned.
  • Grant Balfour and the Tampa Bay Rays agreed on 2-year $12 million deal. He did sign for less money than the Orioles had agreed with him on which was 2-years for $15 million. Balfour said that he had better offers elsewhere. Reportedly the Mets were that team and the Nationals were also in the mix for the right-hander. So clearly other teams took a different view on Balfour than the Orioles. He is in a good situation. He is going back to Tampa Bay and he has a great relationship with Rays manager Joe Maddon. He lives in Clearwater in the offseason, no state taxes in Florida, and he is on a contending team. While he did lose some money, he ended up OK.
  • Stuart Sternberg, Rays principal owner, said on Thursday that the Rays are not actively trying to trade David Price this year. Sternberg said that his expectation is that Price will be in Tampa. The Rays feel they have a team that will contend the AL East. For all the financial challenges the Rays have they have made several moves to improve their chances this year. They are certainly not punting. Despite Sternberg's comment, my honest belief is that Price will not make it through the season.
  • Miguel Cabrera said at the Tigers' Winter Caravan Thursday that he's been fully recovered from October sports hernia surgery for about two weeks. Cabrera shouldn't have any restrictions when spring training begins in a few weeks.
  • David Robertson will be the Yankees closer in 2014 according to managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner said Wednesday. Robertson has huge shoes to fill as he takes over for the great Mariano Rivera. Robertson has posted a 1.91 ERA over the past three seasons and has made progress with his control. He has the potential to be a top-10 closer in fantasy leagues.
  • Jon Lester said he'd be willing to take a discount in order to get an extended contract from Boston. After the Dodgers inked left-hander Clayton Kershaw to a lucrative deal, baseball watchers in Boston have speculated about the kind of deal it would take to keep Lester in a Red Sox uniform beyond 2014. Apparently, Lester is motivated to stay in Boston and may not hit the free-agent market.
  • Matt Harvey (elbow) is hoping to begin playing catch by the end of February. Harvey has progressed from rehabbing his arm to regular upper-body workouts. He is even hopeful of returning at some point in late 2014, but he understands that the Mets aren't going to let that happen.

Page 64 of 200