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Saturday, December 3, 2016

FANTASY BASEBALL HOT STOVE ISSUES: SURPRISE NON-TENDERS FLUSH OPEN MARKET

With the second installment of the Winter Meetings getting set to get underway, there were a few new names added to the free agent list on Friday as some hitters and pitchers were non-tendered by their respective teams.  The most prominent of those were San Diego Padres pitcher Tyson Ross, Arizona Diamondbacks catcher Wellington Castillo, and Washington Nationals outfielder Ben Revere.  Well we should say "ex-players" as all three were given their walking papers on Friday.  That means there are now some more options on the open market as free agency gets set to go into overdrive over the next week.  Let's take a closer look at each case.

Wellington Castillo:  This one was the biggest surprise as Castillo has been a dependable bat behind the dish the last few seasons and in 2016 was solid once again as he hit .264 with 14 home runs and 68 RBI for the D-Backs.  Alas Arizona chose to go ahead with Chris Hermann and the newly signed Jeff Mathis for 2017 and Castillo now joins Matt Wieters and the rehabbing Wilson Ramos at the top of the catching market.  There should be good interest in Castillo given the 15-home run power and decent RBI production.  As long as he finds a starting spot, Castillo should be among the back-end options in 12-team leagues.

Tyson Ross:  The San Diego Padres are getting rid of anything that is not nailed down and Friday saw them trade catcher Derek Norris to the Washington Nationals and non-tender previously impressive power pitcher Tyson Ross.  Ross of course comes off a washout 2016 where he made just one start before missing the rest of the year with ongoing shoulder trouble.  Eventually Ross underwent surgery soon after the season was in the bank which might have prompted the move.  Still this is very surprising since Ross is just 29 and he had pitched very well for the team with a composite 3.16 ERA and putting up a very impressive 9.2 K/9 since 2013.  While Ross is not expected to return until May at the earliest, his power arm and youth will get quite a bit of buy low attention going forward into the winter. 

Ben Revere:  This one was no shock as the Nats reportedly are nearing a deal for Andrew McCutchen to play centerfield and so they had no sue for the speedy Revere who fell flat on his face in 2016 by hitting .217.  However Revere is a very good bounce back candidate for 2017 as he has been a perennial .300 hitter prior to last season and his ability to swipe 40 bases and score 75-plus runs make him a solid outfielder 3 asset.  He will land on his feet somewhere and at the age of 29, has youth on his side in terms of saving his career. 




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