Do you know the story of Brady Aiken? The number two prospect in the Indians organization is working his way back from Tommy John surgery. Yes, he’s a 20 year old who has already had the surgery. It’s already been a long journey for Aiken who was drafted by the Astros 1st overall, only to have the club back out after arm issues arose. Cheering for the kid am I.

Matt Bush will remain in the Rangers bullpen for now. “The thing that we’ve got to continually do is evaluate what we think is best for Matt and the Texas Rangers,” manager Jeff Banister said. A former #1 overall draft pick who has had plenty of issues off the field, Bush finally found his footing last season and had an impressive year out of the Rangers pen with a 2.48 ERA, 0.94 WHIP and 61 strikeouts in 61.2 innings. He will enter the year as a setup man to Sam Dyson who posted 38 saves last season for the Rangers.

Krampus and a parade.

Chris Carter hit 41 homers with 94 RBI and an .821 OPS last season. Why can’t he get a job? Strikeouts or not, he’s still a productive offensive player. Must be his asking price?

Ivan Nova is headed back to the Pirates on a 3-year, $26 million deal. The nearly 30 year old righty spent six years in New York before ending up with the Pirates last season. A moderate starter for most of his career, Nova had a 4.90 ERA with the Yankees before heading to Pittsburgh where he made 11 starts with a borderline impressive 3.06 ERA. Nova did have an impressive 4.54 K/BB ratio over 162 innings last season setting himself up for the big payday. A solid performer against righties with a .661 OPS, he was ineffective last season against lefties allowing them to bash him for a .306 batting average and .809 OPS. That was the third year in a row that lefties hit at least .300 against him by the way. Nova should be part of a solid, youthful, rotation on Opening Day. In order for him to have any chance of continuing the work he flashed with the Pirates that will have to improve (which seems unlikely). My best guess is that he simply pitched over his head, and this talk of Ray Searage being the messiah is somewhat overrated.

Now I know why I like to be alone.

The Padres made two moves on the hill as they signed Clayton Richard (1-year, $1.75 million) and Jhoulys Chacin (1 year, $1.75 million). The padres still need arms, there are reports suggesting they are also in talks with Jake Peavy (LINK) and Jered Weaver (LINK), but as things currently sit both Richard and Chacin will be given a chance to compete for a rotation spot. Richard is a 33 year old lefty who had a deceiving 3.33 ERA last season that hid his 5.45 K/9, 1.32 K/BB ratio and 1.66 WHIP. He was awful. Chacin, who has the much bigger arm, struck out 119 batters over 144 frames last season (34 outings, 22 starts). He walks too many, 3.44 per nine, and doesn’t miss enough bats (7.44 per nine, a six year high), but he does generate a lot of grounders which is nice (48 percent the last two years). Even if starting, neither is worth a look in mixed leagues with Chacin being the more enticing option in NL-only setups.

Manny Ramirez ain’t done playing... not yet.

The White Sox apparently are interested in dealing Jose Quintana. Seems very strange to this scribe. Due just $14.35 million the next two seasons, the soon to be 28 year old seems like the type of guy to build around, not to send out of town. Quintana is stable, the anti-Rich Hill, with four consecutive seasons with 200-ininngs pitched. Each of those seasons his ERA has been between 3.20 and 3.51. Each year his WHIP has been between 1.16 and 1.27. Each year he’s struck out between 164 and 181 batters. He’s a rock of stability and dirt cheap. He’s gonna be very costly to pry away from the White Sox.

Tyson Ross continues to generate interest which is understandable given how well he has performed when healthy. Ross, a 29 year old righty, had a 3.07 ERA and more than a strikeout per inning from 2013-15. Alas, Ross made one start last season, on Opening Day, as he dealt with all kinds of physical woes highlighted by thoracic outlet syndrome which required surgery. There have always been concerns about how his arm will hold up given that he throws his slider more than 41 percent of the time the past three years, and with last year’s meltdown he’s going to have to settle for an incentive laden deal to build his value back up. No matter where he signs his fantasy outlook is extremely muted at the moment.


Ray Flowers can be heard Monday/Tuesday and Thursday/Friday, 8 PM EDT, Wednesday 7 PM EDT on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio (Sirius 210, XM 87). You can also hear Ray Sunday nights at 9 PM EDT PM on the channel talking fantasy sports. Follow Ray’s work at Fantasy Alarm and on Twitter (@baseballguys).