Fantasy Player Updates & News  2016 MLB Draft Guide Is Here!

Justin Verlander underwent successful core muscle repair surgery this morning. Verlander will "undergo physical rehabilitation for the next six weeks and will be reevaluated at the end of that time.

An out of nowhere situation for Verlander who wasn't known to be suffering any ailments that required surgery. The Tigers' Twitter feed is reporting that Verlander will have physical therapy for the next six weeks, but there is a reasonable expectation that he will be ready to rock by the time the season starts. Of course, six weeks out puts him well behind others so it might be a challenge for him to build up enough arm strength to be able to go early in the year. Coming off a relatively down season, this injury all but assures that Verlander should be dropped in your rankings - at least until we get more clarity on where his body is at.ANALYST: Ray Flowers
Verlander suffered the injury at the end of December while participating in an offseason conditioning program. Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski released a statement saying, We fully anticipate Justin to participate in spring training and be in a position to compete at the beginning of the 2014 season. This is just another red flag for an ace who showed signs this past season that his large workload, a MLB high of 932 innings pitched between 2010-2013, not to mention his willingness to rear back and throw 100 mph late in games, may have finally begun to catch up to him.ANALYST: Michael Pichan

Coco Crisp is expected to remain with the Athletics in the outfield and as the designated hitter.

With the trade for Khris Davis, the Athletics now have a full outfield without a starting spot for Coco Crisp. Davis is a clear upgrade over the injury-prone and old outfielder in Crisp, who is now likely to be a fourth outfielder and occasional DH. Crisp is unlikely to get enough playing time to be worth a look in fantasy leagues. Analysis: Ben Diamond

Frankie Montas had rib resection surgery Friday to remove his right first rib.

Montas, considered a top-100 prospect by some publications, had rib surgery on Friday that will keep him out for 2-4 months. The Dodgers hoped that Montas would contribute for the team this season, but it's hard to see that happening now. Montas has an elite fastball that can hit triple-digits, but his delivery and command are messy leading many to believe he's a reliever long term. That said, Montas has the pitches to be a shutdown closer. His upside won't be hurt by the surgery, but his risk and ETA to the majors are a bit higher now. Analysis: Ben Diamond

Walter Tavares was recalled from the D-League.

With the Hawks still without Tiago Splitter, they have been dressing 7'3" Walter Tavares for depth. Tavares has been averaging 9.8 points, 9.6 rebounds and 2.4 blocks in only 21 minutes per game in the D-League. It appears the Atlanta sent Tavares down to get him extra repetitions and he is now back with the team after All Star Weekend is finished.  Analysis: Greg Jewett

Athletics designated Sean Nolin for assignment.

In order to clear room on the 40-man roster for Khris Davis, the Athletics have designated for assignment a left-handed pitcher. Sean Nolin who came to Oakland in the Josh Donaldson trade, will be open to the waiver process and could be claimed due to his being a southpaw. Nolin was 2 - 2 in Triple-A last year but may be on his way to a career as a reliever if he wants to stick in the majors. With Oakland as a starter, Nolin was 1 - 2 with a 5.28 ERA and 1.62 WHIP.  Analysis: Greg Jewett

Athletics traded C Jacob Nottingham to the Brewers.

Catcher Jacob Nottingham has once again been traded, but the Brewers general manager knows Nottingham well as he came from the Astros front office. Nottingham was a part of the trade to acquire Scott Kazmir. The young catcher will now assume the role of eventual replacement for Jonathan Lucroy for Milwaukee. Nottingham hit .316/.372/.505 in the minors last year with 17 home runs and 82 RBI in 119 games.  Analysis: Greg Jewett

Athletics traded Bubby Derby to the Brewers.

Bubby Derby was a sixth round draft choice by Oakland out of San Diego State University. Derby has been traded by Oakland to the Brewers in return for Khris Davis. The young pitcher only appeared in 14 games last year for the A's but did sport a 11.3 strikeouts per nine total along with 1.21 ERA in 37 1/3 innings pitched. Derby will now join the growing list of pitching prospects in Milwaukee.  Analysis: Greg Jewett

Athletics have acquired OF Khris Davis from the Brewers.

In the second half last year, Khris Davis hit 21 home runs with a slugging percentage of .545 for the Brewers. But his power will now be put to the test as the young slugger has been traded to Oakland. Davis did hit 11 home runs on the road last year but his slash line dropped to .190/.261/.385 away from Miller Park. While the power could stay with Davis, there could be some regression in his average and production due to the move to a bigger park which favors the pitcher.  Analysis: Greg Jewett

Brandon Belt and the Giants are expected to discuss a long-term deal.

Coming off of a career year in regards to home runs (18), RBI (68) and stolen bases (9), Brandon Belt had a nice 2015 season despite only playing in 137 games. It appears the Giants agree as they may try to sign Belt to a long-term deal. Belt has a .271/.347/.456 slash line with room to grow. His hard contact (exit velocity 90+ MPH) percentage of 39.5 percent last year was also a career high. With health and 150 games played, Belt could put together a 20 home run and 10 stolen base season. Last year, only Anthony Rizzo, Paul Goldschmidt and Joey Votto eclipsed those numbers at first base.  Analysis: Greg Jewett

Aroldis Chapman and Yankees have settled for $11.32 million.

With one hurdle cleared and Aroldis Chapman under contract, fantasy owners will now await to hear if any suspension will affect Chapman for 2016. Chapman filed for $13.1 million with arbitration and the Yankees countered with a $9 million dollar offer. Both sides agreed to the $11.32 figure to avoid a hearing. No pitcher has thrown more pitches over 100 MPH the last three years and Chapman saved 33 games last year with a 1.63 ERA. As part of the Yankees "superpen", Chapman could be primed for a strong year as long as he does not miss any time due to baseball's domestic abuse policy. If Chapman pitches a full season, fantasy owners who are drafting him at a markdown will be rewarded at season's end. Much like Chapman will look to be rewarded in free agency soon.  Analysis: Greg Jewett

Diamondbacks outright Will Locante to Triple-A Reno.

As a player who was designated for assignment, Will Locante has cleared waivers. Arizona has outrighted Locante to Triple-A Reno. Locante spent most of last year at Double-A with two wins and a 5.79 ERA. He did strike out 38 batters in 42 innings, but he also walked 34 which makes him too risky for fantasy owners.  Analysis: Greg Jewett

Cubs designated LHP Edgar Olmos for assignment.

This is not a Stand and Deliver or Dexter reference. But the Cubs has designated left-handed reliever Edgar Olmos for assignment. Olmos pitched at Triple-A for the Marlins last year with one save in 33 innings pitched. He had a respectable 3.55 ERA but his WHIP was 1.36. Olmos did appear in six games for Miami last year but he walked more batters than he struck out. As a left-handed reliever, it stands to reason that Olmos will catch on elsewhere soon.  Analysis: Greg Jewett

C.J. McCollum will replace Chris Bosh in the Three-Point Contest on Saturday.

For a second consecutive year, C.J. McCollum is shooting just under 40 percent from three-point range for the Trail Blazers. After Chris Bosh withdrew from the All Star Game with a strained calf, C.J. McCollum will take his place in the three-point shooting contest. McCollum has made 125 out of 319 attempts this year and was disappointed not to be in the contest from the start. With this opportunity, he can prove he belonged in the competition all along.  Analysis: Greg Jewett

Indians have signed C Guillermo Quiroz to a minor league contract with an invite to spring training.

What does catching 27 games in the Pacific Coast League with a .247/.303/.292 slash line get you? A minor league contract with a spring training invitation if you are Guillermo Quiroz. He has logged 148 games in the majors and his last time was with the Giants in 2014. Due to his age and average below the Mendoza line in the majors, Quiroz is probably organizational depth for Cleveland at this time and should not be on fantasy radars.  Analysis: Greg Jewett

Indians designated C Tony Wolters for assignment.

In the corresponding move to sign Tommy Hunter, the Indians have designated a Double-A catcher for assignment. Tony Wolters hit .209/.290/.280 for the Indians affiliate last year. He is only 23 years old, so Wolters will hope to catch on with another team if claimed or could return to the Indians farm system if he clears the waivers process.  Analysis: Greg Jewett

Indians have signed RHP Tommy Hunter to a one-year deal.

Former starting pitcher Tommy Hunter has transitioned well to the bullpen since making the switch in 2013. Since then, Hunter has saved 16 games. After being traded last year to the Cubs, Hunter entered free agency and has signed a contract with Cleveland. Their bullpen could use a live arm and Hunter has that with his 97 MPH fastball. He relies on his curve for swings and misses. Hunter did have a bit of regression in 2015 with an ERA of 4.18 after being below three during the 2013 and 2014 seasons. There is room for Hunter to see high leverage innings in the Indian bullpen and if anything were to happen to incumbent closer Cody Allen, Hunter could see some save opportunities as well.  Analysis: Greg Jewett

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