Update: Tigers and J.D. Martinez avoid arbitration and settle on 2-years $18M.
This is great news for the Tigers and Martinez and the outfielder was rewarded for his big 2015 season and will be very affordable again in 2017. The 28-year-old’s homerun total jumped from 23 in 2014 to 38 last year and also drove in a career high 102 runs. Martinez may not reach 38 bombs again, but he should still provide fantasy owners with a lot of power and the potential to once again drive in 100 runs. Martinez is a very safe outfield option in fantasy baseball in 2016. Analysis: Phil Backert
The Orioles are “making progress” in contract talks with free agent righty Yovani Gallardo.
The Orioles starting rotation is a disaster waiting to happen so they desperately need to add another proven pitcher and Gallardo would fit that description. The Orioles have been reluctant to part ways with their first round draft pick, but they may not have much choice as they have spent a lot of money this off-season and still may not be a better team than last year after the departure of Wei-Yin Chen to the Marlins. Gallardo is a durable pitcher as he has pitched at least 180 innings the last seven seasons. Despite having an ERA of 3.42 in 2015, the right-hander’s WHIP was 1.416 and his strikeout per nine innings dropped to 5.9. Gallardo’s fantasy value is tied to where he signs and if he does end up in the American League East, fantasy owners can safely avoid the veteran. Analysis: Phil Backert
Mitch Moreland and the Rangers avoid arbitration and settle at $5.7M.
The Rangers and Moreland avoided a salary arbitration hearing that was set for Wednesday by coming to terms. The first baseman had a slash line of .278/.330/.482 with 23 homeruns and 85 RBIs in 2015 and is poised to once again help fantasy owners in the power and run production department. First base is always deep so Moreland will get lost in the shuffle, but his ability to hit the long ball and be a run producer makes him a very capable fantasy performer. Analysis: Phil Backert
Evan Gattis underwent surgery to repair a hernia and is expected to miss most of Astros spring training.
If it's just most of Spring Training, there's nothing to report. But as you know, most of Spring Training is a bit to close to the beginning of the regular season, so there is some risk of Gattis missing some time here. Gattis' value is down this year anyway as he no longer qualifies at catcher and is largely just a DH/UTIL option in fantasy leagues. But he's going outside the top 200 picks generally, so the risk that he may miss a short amount of time does not hurt his fantasy value significantly more. Analysis: Brett Talley
Rangers signed SS Doug Bernier to a minor league contract.
The 35 year-old Doug Bernier was not invited to Spring Training and will likely play most of his time at Triple-A ball. He did see five at-bats with the Twins last season getting one hit, two RBIs, one BB, and three Ks. In the minors he did a better job with a larger sample size hitting .256 with 20 RBIs, two HRs, and 36 BB. Analysis: Mike Cahill
Yu Darvish's goal is to start throwing bullpen sessions in March.
When healthy, Yu Darvish has been brilliant for the Rangers. If he can come back from his Tommy John surgery, he will provide a big boost for the Rangers' starting rotation. In his three seasons, Darvish has a 39-25 W-L record, 3.27 ERA, 545 1/3 innings pitched, 218 BB, and 680 Ks. He has only two complete games in his whole MLB career, so durability is a concern when looking at him in the draft. Analysis: Mike Cahill
Masahiro Tanaka (elbow) threw off of a mound for the first time since his surgery and it went great.
An arthroscopic procedure was done back in October to remove a bone spur from his elbow that had been there since prior to signing with the Yankees. With his pre-spring training and rehab plan already in full swing he should be good to go for the start start of the pre-season work coming his way. Tanaka is still dealing with the partially torn ligament in his elbow and was spotty at times last season as he tried to pitch around the injury. Overall he went 12-7 with a 3.51 ERA in 24 starts for the Bronx Bombers and should be able to improve on those numbers assuming he stays healthy this season. Analysis: Matt Selz
Travis Ishikawa has signed a minor league contract with the White Sox.
Ishikawa was slated to be a member of the Mariners with the same type deal less than a month ago but that fell through. He managed to see action in just 44 games in 2015 carrying just a .206/.306/.302 slash line and with the White Sox having very good first base depth already, Ishikawa should be a minor league depth piece for Chicago for much of the season. Analysis: Matt Selz
Jason Castro lost his arbitration case on Tuesday and he will get $5 million for this season.
Astros brass and Castro were just $250,000 apart in their initial offerings but decided to take it in front of the arbitrator instead of settling. The lefty backstop followed up a disappoint 2014 campaign with a similarly disappointing 2015 one in terms of offense as he's managed just a .217 AVG and 25 homers over the last two years combined. He does however bring good defense and pitch framing to the table which ultimately got him the million dollar raise over 2015's salary but from a fantasy prospective he is a buy-low kind of player and hope that he turns things around with the bat this season. Analysis: Matt Selz
Cuban Lazarito Armenteros will decide which team he will sign with on Wednesday.
Wednesday, February 10th, is the first day he is eligible to sign with a major league club following his clearance by the commissioners office. Armenteros, 16, is the next Cuban phenom who is being compared to everyone from Bo Jackson and Willie Mays combined to Bryce Harper and Mike Trout. That's a serious list of comps for a 16-year-old kid but if the scouts are right he could be the next super star to arrive in the big leagues as a teenager. The Yankees, Red Sox, Rays, Angels, and Diamondbacks are all out of the signing process due to international signing rules in baseball and a few more teams will have to decide if it's worth it to pay a dollar-for-dollar tax on anything over $300,000 in order to sign the kid. It will certainly be a horserace down to the moment he signs his name on the dotted line. Analysis: Matt Selz
John Lamb underwent disc surgery on his back in December.
Lamb, 25, came over from the Royals as part of the Johnny Cueto deadline deal and pitched for the Reds the rest of the way in 2015, despite his terrible numbers. The fact that the procedure went unreported until now, nearly two months later, is surprising in this day and age of social media and instant news outlets. He is penciled in as the Reds fifth starter but will now undoubtedly miss the start of the season and may need a tune up in Triple-A first. His 5.80 ERA over the last 50 innings as a Red isn't great but he did post a 3:1 K:BB ratio (58:19) meaning there is hope he can get the ERA figure down. He will be a waiver wire add come draft time. Analysis: Matt Selz